We all just attended Arlen Fatland’s 50th anniversary party at what is now Billy Lane’s home for Choppers Inc on Main Street in Daytona with Rod Woodruff, Jack & Lynn Deagazio, Toni Woodruff, Marilyn Stemp, Jeff Zielinski, Cory Ness, Christine LePera, john marcella, Jody Perewitz, Zach Ness, Dave Perewitz, Timothy Remus, Billy Lane, Erin Lane, and many more. I wanted to share all of these images because it was a gathering of some of the industries most wonderful people. I spoke with Billy Lane & his wife Erin for a while over a few days time regarding the shop being purchased from Arlen, and it’s future. I will keep tabs with Billy on this project so that I don’t report incorrect news, but the idea is to make it a cool lounge more or less, highlighting future builders while honoring the past, so with that said, I will sit back and await the shops future & in October, I will do another shoot there & show you how Billy & Erin’s goal has moved forward. NEXT UP: The editing of my Son’s of Speed images from a few days prior. Continue reading Great time at Arlen Fatland’s 50th anniversary party, Daytona Bikeweek 2020→
Sturgis, SD (February 14, 2020) Few entities and people have stood the test of time and can rightfully be called legendary like those joining the Sturgis Buffalo Chip lineup today. The Buffalo Chip’s self-proclaimed house band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, is continuing a legendary tradition by finishing off their 40-plus year career with an ultimate send-off on the Wolfman Jack Stage on Sunday, Aug. 9. This is Skynyrd’s second stop at the Chip as part of their three-year “Farewell Tour.” In keeping with the theme, 36 of the world’s most celebrated motorcycle builders have accepted Michael Lichter’s invitation to create and display a motorcycle in the style of their choosing for the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s 2020 Motorcycles as Art exhibit titled “Heavy Mettle: Motorcycles and Art with Moxie.” All invited builders have completed at least 20 custom builds and been in business for at least 20 years. The one-time exhibit will also feature photographs captured by Lichter over his 40 plus-year career. The exhibit is free and open to the public at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Event Center from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 through Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. Continue reading Lynyrd Skynyrd and the World’s Best Motorcycle Builders Join Legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Lineup in 2020→
There’s nothing typical about Billy Lane’s shop near Daytona Beach. But then, why would there be? Very little in the works here is like anything custom biking has seen before.
Billy has everything a builder could want in the compact space: lathes, welders, Bridgeport, powerhammer, English wheel, sheetmetal and machine shop tools to boot. Everything is efficiently set up allowing for multiple projects in the works simultaneously. And there’s even a space carved out for a workout bench and free weights—for heavy thinking?
One of the things occupying Billy’s thoughts and time lately is the Sons of Speed project, a initiative to build and race motorcycles inspired by early 20th Century boardtrack racers. His own Perry Mack-powered machine is almost done (Google that!), along with ‘trackers for Rossmeyer H-D’s Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe and American Iron’s Buzz Kanter. Billy’s brother Warren and buddy Rick Petko are building their bikes around Indian Power Plus engines: 7 to 8 horsepower monsters that may just smoke everybody else! Watch for news about Sons of Speed as the bikes are finished, tuned and prepped for racing.
Aside from this, Billy talks animatedly about classic brands such as Reading Standard, Thor and Pope. Having studied the history of so many early bike brands, he speaks of Al Crocker and Joe Petrali like they’re buddies he was just bench racing with the other day, as though he knows what they were thinking when they made engine changes to get an advantage on the race track.
Meanwhile, Billy’s busy doing overhead valve conversions on vintage Indian engines (seems the factory was stuck on sidevalves back in the day) and there’s a Crocker Twin he might fit up with Indian heads. He’s got a 1928 Brough Superior race motor he might build a cool custom around; a twin carb, twin magneto beast. Yes, really! To all of this! The shop is a veritable magician’s workshop bursting with an alchemy of styles and eras which—thanks to the fabricator’s practiced skill—come out looking like they were meant to be that way.
It was a great visit with a thoughtful man, one who’s putting his considerable energy into concepts and projects that are certain to set new standards.