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Lynyrd Skynyrd and the World’s Best Motorcycle Builders Join Legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Lineup in 2020

80th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

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


1“Evil Ethel” from Strokers Dallas and “Desert Racer” from IWAN-BIKES GmbH pick up 1st place prizes, “King Octane” from Coastal Victory and “Grifter” from Brisan Motorcycles named runner-ups

MINNEAPOLIS — December 9, 2016 —Victory Motorcycles® is thrilled to announce that custom Victory Octane®motorcycles built by Strokers Dallas of Dallas, Texas, and IWAN-BIKES GmbH of Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, Germany, have won the “Operation Octane” dealer build contest. These two champion Victory dealers are joined in the winner’s circle by runner-ups Coastal Victory of Murrells Inlet, S.C., and Brisan Motorcycles of New Castle, Australia.

A competition determined by the voting public, Operation Octanehad 26 Victory dealers from around the world creating their own interpretations of the light, fast and affordable 2017 Victory Octane.

“Take a mean bike and make it meaner. That’s the vision we had in our mind for our evil Victory Octane that we call Ethel,” North American Champion Strokers Dallas says of Evil Ethel.

“The Desert Racer is born from the underground,” International Champion IWAN-BIKES GmbH says of Desert Racer. “Special knobby tires, a low handlebar, a metal cooler protection, off-road footrests and a real leather seat make you ready for hard rides! The front suspension is protected, and the rear fender is special designed for muddy roads. The paint job is handmade; it’s a real military color. The design is special airbrush work. To transport some goods we have added throw-over-bags.”

“Keeping with the Victory brand tradition, we added fenders from a Victory Kingpin (modified to fit), had our painter (Rusty Nash) add a SIC custom paint job and topped the build off with a Ness Intake and Bassini 2-into-1 Exhaust,” North American Runner-Up Coastal Victory says of King Octane.

“Our goal was to create a motorcycle that was still recognizably an Octane, but meaner, leaner and more eye catching than the standard bike,” International Runner-Up Brisan Motorcycles says of Grifter. “It also needed to sound fantastic, be great fun to ride and turn heads wherever it goes. The resulting build combines a hand-made tail section, repurposed Arrow exhaust with lobster back headers, metallic cherry and graphite paintwork, 18″ Performance Machine wheels and a stance that begs the rider to take the long way home.”

Fans of Victory Motorcycles were invited to vote for their favorite bike online at VictoryMotorcycles.com from Oct. 31 to November 21.

Available in Gloss Black ($9,999), Matte Super Steel Gray ($10,499), Matte Pearl White ($10,499) and Gloss Black with Graphics ($10,499), the 2017 Victory Octane features a high revving liquid-cooled 60-degree V-Twin with four-valve heads and dual-overhead cams that makes 104 horsepower and 76 foot-pounds of tire-shredding torque. While it has the heart of a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb™ racer and a 0-60 mph time that makes it the quickest Victory ever produced, there’s also a stiff and lightweight cast-aluminum frame, sharp steering geometry, a tight wheelbase and 32 degrees of lean angle.

“We knew these Victory dealers were going to produce some stellar rides, and they did not disappoint,” says Nate Secor, Manager of Marketing, Victory Motorcycles. “We styled the Octane – the most aggressive Victory motorcycle ever built – with sleek lines and a powerful motor in a lightweight chassis, but they made these bikes their own. Congratulations to all of the participating dealers on their impressive creations.”

Learn more about Operation Octane and Victory Motorcycles at VictoryMotorcycles.com or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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One for the Books: 2016 Dallas Ultimate Builder Results

The 48 bikes that made the 2016 J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show were a varied lot representing just about every popular style of customs. Baggers, cruisers, bobbers, choppers and café racers slotted into the show’s four custom categories including FreeStyle, MOD Harley, MOD Custom and MOD Retro.
The Ultimate Builder is a show within the International Motorcycle Show series. You will see enthusiasts from all over Texas stop in to take a look around. Rick Fairless was walking the floor and checking out the action as well as world champion Kevin Schwantz.
Gerald Van Meter of B&B Cycles received a Bell Helmet for the People’s Choice award. The SHO DOG award goes to the guy or gal that works the hardest representing their company. For Dallas, The Leatherworks’ Solo Bag was awarded to Mike Kordash as he was representing his company, MikesFrameWorks.com, and the work they do engraving and straightening antique frames.
The FreeStyle Class – FreeStyle is an open class for any build with a motorcycle based drive train. It includes any 2 or 3 wheel motorcycle as defined by the DMV.
Timothy Scates built a bike for his daughter Amy and named it Amy’s Twisted Bobber. The twisted down tube came from steel forged in the 1800’s. Tim hand built the handlebars, gas tank, frame and rear fender. The 74ci Harley engine runs split rocker boxes, SU Carb and magneto. Tim took home a check for $2,000 and an Anvil Ring from Speakeasy Original.
1 #175 – Timothy Scates – 2006 Custom named Amy’s Twisted Bobber
2 #800 – Southern Works Cycle, Richard Carey – 1942 Custom
MOD HARELY Class – The MOD Harley class allows for motorcycles with Harley cases and a Harley frame cradle. Art Steel jumped up onstage for the 2nd time at the awards ceremony for his bike named Never Enough. The 2013 Road King features a C.M.P. Turbo, 32” 3D wheel and a power train coated in cerakote. The paint was provided by Steel Vision. Art received a check for $1,000.
1 #700 – All Star Baggers, Art Steele – 2012 Road King named Never Enough
2 #250 – MisFit Customs, Chris Eder – 2012 Road King named 17
MOD Custom Class – The MOD Custom class requires an OEM engine and frame. Neck may be cut to rake or stretch frame. Hard tail sections, stretched swing arms and wide tire kits are acceptable. Carlos Sanchez of SLAB Cycles took the win with his Yamaha Roadster and features 26”inch wheel, custom springer and stainless bars.
Carlos built a super sanitary sled and took home a check for $750 for his effort.
1 # 600 – SLAB Cycles, Carlos Sanchez – Yamaha Raodster
2 # 500 – AJ Harris – 2013 Royal Enfield named The Wild Hare
MOD Retro Class – This class is for bikes older than 1984. It allows for any drivetrain and frame configuration. Sofi Tsingos rolled 4 bikes into the MOD Retro class and rolled out with 1st place and a $750 check for her 1977 Honda CB550 named Frank. She modified the rear seat loop with integrated tail light. The bike features a GSXR frontend, Benelli tank, GSXR calipers and nickel plated frame.
1 #975 – GT MOTO, Sofi Tsingos – 1977 Honda CB550 named Frank
2 #525 – Cut-N-Shoot Choppers, Ron Lee – 1972 Shovelhead named Vato
Jeff Holt, Brand Director of Hot Bike and Street Chopper Magazines provides two Editor’s Choice Awards. He could not be in attendance so we used a cardboard cut-out for the photo op. He selected Kyle Shorey of Speed Foundry for the Street Chopper and Art Steel of All Star Baggers received the Hot Bike award.

Ultimate Builder Results: Dallas, TX

Post by Jack McIntyre, Article by Jeff Najar

The most bikes, the greatest diversity, and the most big wheel baggers in one show describe the 2015 edition of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show in Dallas.  Over 40 bikes rolled into the friendly confines on Friday, January 23, 2015.

The craftsmanship, design and innovation were just outstanding. For example, Kyle Shorey of Shadetree Fabrication  brought in a slick little Softail that was built off his kit that allows you to convert your sled into an old-school bobber in a matter of hours. Platinum Motorcycles brought in a crazy Kawasaki ZX14 bagger. It’s being developed into a kit so that anyone with a little talent can ride a sportbike as a bagger.

The hardest working motorcycle entertainer, Progressive Insurance’s Pat Jansen, kicked off the show in fine style. The first award handed out was the People’s Choice award and it went to Krystal Hess of Ricochet Customs.  She left Big D with a Special Ops vest from 5 Ball Racing Leathers and a Custom 500 lid from Bell Helmets.

The Showdog Award is for the builder that works the show floor the hardest. There were many contenders but Art Steele had it in the bag by hiring spokes models to assist in promoting his company and his line of custom Baggers. For his efforts he took home The Leatherworks Inc. solo bag.

J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Winner: FreeStyle Class

Controlled Chaos features a hand built frame with a half of a leaf spring handling the damping on the rear. The 47 CI Harley-Davidson mil utilizes dual mags and dual carbs. The tank and sheet metal were hand-hammered into submission. Paint supplied by Lonnie Moore.

  1. Moore Customs, Larry Moore – Controlled Chaos, 2015 Moore Customs
  2. MisFit Customs – Acid Trip, 2013 Street Glide

J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Winner: MOD Custom Class

MisFit Customs placed 6 bikes into the competition and came away with a first in MOD Custom and 2nd in FreeStyle. Acid Trip, features a raked neck, extended bags, performance upgrades and sound that makes your ears bleed. The show stopping paint was applied by Execution Style.

  1. MisFit Customs – Acid Trip, 2013 Street Glide
  2. Metroplex Kustoms, Crush – MK Road King, 2010 Road King

J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Winner: Retro MOD Class

Jimmie Lee & JC Coen rolled in their customer’s bike, T100. Two and a half days later they rolled out of Dallas, TX with a big check and a win. The bike features a drop seat frame and a T100 500cc mil. The white powder coat frame contrasts beautifully with the turquoise tank and rear fender. The bike comes with a springer frontend and raised white wall Pirelli tires front and rear.

  1. Three Two Choppers  – T100, 1971 Triumph T100
  2. Freddie Arnold  – Memphis Magnum, 1947 HD

Throughout the weekend builders were interviewed on the Progressive stage. Enthusiasts were able to see behind the curtain and understand how the creative process works and what it takes to build rolling pieces of art.

Three classes, FreeStyle, Retro MOD and MOD Custom, are presented at each of the J&P Cycle’s Ultimate Builder competition. The bikes are sourced from the local builder community and each show has a unique selection of custom bikes. Retro MOD bikes are motorcycles older than 1984. Anything goes with FreeStyle bikes and you are only limited by your imagination. Bikes retaining the frame cradle and OEM engine cases are slotted into the MOD Custom class.


The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows rolls into 11 cities across the nation. The nationwide motorcycle extravaganza has something for every powersports lifestyle and fan. Besides the nation’s largest custom bike show, it’s the best place to experience the latest in gear, aftermarket parts and accessories. You can see the all-new models from major manufacturers and enjoy rider seminars at the main stage and much, much more. The J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show is produced by BikerPros.com.

Keeping Up With Rick

rickfKeeping up with Rick,


Reader of IronWorks in the past will recall Rick Fairless’s regular column in that magazine. Approachable and entertaining, Rick’s articles always brought response.


As this stream of recent messages shows, they still do, even after IronWorks has ended and Rick has moved on.



I was just going through some old mags trying to forget about all this damn snow we’ve had in NYC this winter and I saw your introductory column. It reminded what I like about you…that and the tie-dye of course. Hopefully you’ll find another mag to write for. In the meantime I’ll keep going through old mags trying to remember what warm weather was like.

Ed Gruber



Hey Ed, thanks for the kind words. Sorry about the snow, we are in the 70’s for Friday & Saturday. I actually just started writing for American Iron’s MOTORCYCLE BAGGER magazine. They said my first issue hits the news stands May 20. I hope you like that magazine too. On behalf of my pal Marilyn Stemp & myself I want to thank you for taking the time to read IronWorks magazine. Come visit me in Dallas sometime. 

Thanks for the email Ed.




I’ll definitely be on the lookout for that issue. Been out of work for 2 1/2 years so no road trips in my future. Had to sell both bikes and my car to stay indoors. I believe that this is the year the Lord “will restore what the locust has eaten” so another bike will hopefully be in my future. I always wanted to ride through Texas. When I do I’ll stop in at the Fairless Estate for a cold beverage and some new tie-dye. My wife finally got me to throw out my last shirt because of the Swiss cheese look it had acquired. I thought it added character but she thought it made me look homeless. Happy wife happy life won that battle. May God bless and prosper you brother.



Good luck to you Ed & I hope you get back on your feet soon!
Cya Ed.



Rick Fairless
Strokers Dallas