“It was built around the suspension. And it was Moos’s brainchild,” said Krystal Hess, founder and spearhead of Motorcycle Missions, a 501(c)3 organization that helps veterans dealing with PTSD find hope and healing through motorcycles. Krystal was talking about the tiny Strider custom bike shown here, which was built by the MM team and unveiled at the Flying Piston Benefit Breakfast at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip in August. As for “Moos,” that’s custom builder and fabricator Chris Moos, a mentor in the MM program and Krystal’s partner.Continue reading Motorcycle Mission Strider Custom→
Paramount Movie Ranch State Park, Agoura, CA, October 15th, 2017– The LA Calendar Motorcycle Showcontinued its now 27-year tradition as the premier outdoor street bike event in America at two exciting 2017 dates and venues this year. The 2nd event this October had the Calendar Show’s Calendar Bike Building Championshipjoining theRider RoundUp at the Ranchproduced by celebrity Calendar Bike builder Russell Mitchell and wife Rachel / Exile Cycles at the Paramount Western Movie Ranch in Agoura, CA, just down the road from the legendary Southern California biker hangout The Rock Store on Mulholland Highway. It was an exciting day of beautiful Custom Motorcycles, Activities, great tasting Food Truck, BBQ and Craft Beer, Vendors, Manufacturers and Live Music.
The Rider Round Up at the Ranch was the second year celebration of Exile Cycles’ 20th Anniversary Party held at Paramount Ranch the year before, now continuing on an annual basis. And again it was a benefit to raise money to FightLeukemia by auctioning off products and services, together with money donated by the Vendors and Sponsors, this year raising $7000 for the Cause.
The famous Paramount Ranch movie location is a fun place to hold a bike show, with spectators being able to ride their bikes and park in the streets of the old western town. For movie and TV Buffs, Paramount Ranch was first owned and built by Paramount Movie Studios as a western town movie set back in the 1923 for the then popular western movies. In the 1960’s a paved sports car road racing track was built on the land and held races for a few years. More recently the location was the set for the popular 90s TV Series of the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. A train station was built in the western town for Dr, Quinn, including the laying of real train tracks and the installation of a live running steam locomotive with cars which operated back and forth across the set. When the Dr. Quinn TV series ended the entire Paramount Ranch including the western town movie set was given to the U.S. Park System for public use, with the condition it could still be used for filming and special events. Most recently the western set was used it the HBO TV series West World.
The Train Station Platform was the location for this year’s Calendar Bike Building Championship, the custom motorcycle contest franchise feature of the LA Calendar Motorcycle Show producer by FastDates.com Calendar photographer Jim Gianatsis. Assisting Jim in producing this year’s bike contest was Calendar Kitten Corle, who ran the morning’s Contest Registration, posed for the bike owners and spectators for photos, and assisted Russell Mitchell and Jim with the authentic Mikuni Carburetor Trophies at the end of the day in the shaded concert and dining area.
Taking Best of Show at the 2017 Rider RoundUp Calendar Bike Building Championship was Max Hazan’s hand crafted Supercharged KTM Single Cafe Racer. Max, who has a storefront custom bike shop in Venice Beach, CA, built this latest customer consigned bike bike from scratch around a 420cc KTM / Husqvarna 4-stroke single cylinder dirt bike engine. Max fabricated a belt drive system off the engine’s crankshaft to run a mini dual rotor Supercharger fed by a Keihin FCR39 Racing Carburetor.
The KTM single’s steel tube rigid frame chases hosing the water-cooled motor was built around 26-inch classic car tires with custom built spoked wheels. The tiny rear disc brake located behind the rider’s right foot, operates a shaft through the frame with a fixed primary sprocket on the other side, engaged with the drive chain, to slow the rear wheel down when the foot bake is pressed. Very original! The hand made springer front forks with hydraulic damping and a front headlight that turns with the steering stem is also unique. The bike is finished off with a beautiful had made aluminum fuel tank, handlebars and many other components. It was unanimous by anyone who saw it, that Max’s Supercharged KTM Board Track Racer Replica was the Show winner, one of the Calendar Bike Building Championship’s best ever builds in its 26 year history.
Garnering Judge’s Special Mention in this year’s 2017 Championship was 2016 Best of Show winner Yuichiti Yoshizkwa,/ Custom Works Zon / cw-zon.com who again flew in again from Japan with his complete build crew and their newest custom bike named “Zonkern”. The Sportser powered sport bike featured a highly intricate aluminum tube frame with a Ducati Superbike single side rear swingarm, and full hand fabricated aluminum gas tank and bodywork.
The Calendar Bike Building Championship Championship Class Winners included Todd Daniel in Street Custom with his beautiful Turbocharged Red Bagger which premiered at the Calendar Bike Builder’s Party back in July where it was photographed for the next Iron & Lace Calendar.
Also premiering back in July at the Builder’s party and also photographed for the Calendar was Richard Jones’ Sportster powered British replica custom, now taking the Classic American class. The Bar Hopper / Bobber Class was dominated by classic Triumph Twins from the ‘60s, with Anthony Robinson entering two Meriden bikes, and taking first place with the most unique which had the cylinder head reversed so the carburetors faced forward, and the exhausts ran straight out of the back of the heads.
For additional information on the Winning Motorcycles, the Calendar Bike Building Championship, and to order the new 2018 FastDates.com Motorcycle PinUp Calendars go to – http://www.FastDates.com
2017 Rider RoundUp Calendar Bike Building Championship Best of Show:Max Hazan’s Supercharged KTM Single Cafe Racer. Judge’s Special Mention: Yuichiti Yoshizkwa,/ Custom Works Zon Sportster Street Custom:1. Todd Daniel Red Turbo Bagger; 2. John Meade / Azzkikr Custom Bagger. Bar Hopper:1. Anthony Robinson Triumph Bobber w/ reversed heads; 2. David Bird, Triumph Bobber; 3. Anthony Robinson Triumph Bobber. Classic American: Richard Jones Sportster British Retro; 2. Spike’s custom Harley; 3. Richard Jones aluminum frame Big Twin / 2016 Show Class winner.
Russell (Mohawk and shades) and Rachel Mitchell (pink hair on the chopper) with their Exile Krew of Volunteers who worked hard to put on a great event and raised $7000 to help fight Leukemia. Thanks Guys and Gals!
Women motorcycle riders are far more common today than ever. But like any situation in which a minority population ultimately becomes accepted, there were trailblazers. One of the best-loved female riding pioneers, Gloria Struck, turned 90-years-old in 2015 and she’s still riding. That means there’s no better time than now to appreciate her. And if you don’t know Gloria Struck, it’s time you did.
Gloria celebrated her 90th birthday on July 7th in New Brunswick, Canada during the Motor Maids Annual Convention. Those two events have overlapped for years; she joined Motor Maids in 1946 so the celebration has become a tradition of sorts. Explained Gloria, “Me and Betty Fauls, (Motor Maids Founder) Dot Robinson’s daughter, were the first to reach 60 years as a member and still riding, then 65. Betty joined when she was 14. I was 21.” Both Gloria and Betty are on track to receive recognition at next year’s convention for reaching 70 years as members, “and, God willing, still riding,” said Gloria.
The Motor Maids convention moves locations each year but no matter where it’s held, from Oregon to South Carolina, Gloria rides there from her home in Clifton, New Jersey. She still rides to Daytona and Sturgis, too. It was in Clifton that Gloria’s father started his motorcycle shop in 1915, selling Excelsior-Hendersons and bicycles. “All businesses at the time were storefronts with little apartments above or behind, so that’s where I was born, behind the motorcycle shop,” she said.
When her father passed away unexpectedly in 1928, Gloria’s mother took over the shop, operating as an Indian dealer through the 1930’s and ‘40s. Gloria recalls typing the bills at the age of 12. “I was a serious child, very shy very quiet. Now I’m more juvenile!” she said, laughing.
Her brother Arthur started working in the business from age 16 and when their mother retired in 1947 he established Tramontin Harley-Davidson, which still operates in Hope, NJ. “2015 is the 100th year in the motorcycle business for my family,” said Gloria.
It was her brother who made her learn to ride when she was 16 in 1941 and it wasn’t an option it was a foregone conclusion. “When I said I wasn’t going to learn because I didn’t want to, he insisted, he changed my mind,” said Gloria emphatically. If you know Gloria at all, you know that changing her mind would come easy.
But she took to riding naturally and spent the next 12 years exploring, often riding on her own to distant locations, until she married in 1954. “I always acted like a lady and was treated like a lady,” she said. “I dressed appropriately and I still do.”
Did she ever run into trouble? “I was a very naïve person. I didn’t realize you could get into trouble. On my long distance trips I’d sometimes meet up with other riders and ride with them until our paths went different directions. I never had any fear about it because I didn’t know I should.”
For example, when she was about 26, she met a man from Lima, Ohio, on Main Street in Daytona. It was nighttime and he told her that since she was alone she should be very careful. “By that time I had wised up, but I thought that was very nice,” she said. “I felt like other riders looked after me. Even now, men will want to take my arm to help me, but I’m better on my feet than they are.”
Speaking of Daytona, Gloria has been riding there since 1951 and has lots of pictures from the days they raced on the beach, but she didn’t hang out with racers. Not until now. “I was there twice when Klamfoth won on the beach,” she said. “I took pictures of him but I never knew him. I only really know the racers just since we’re all old.”
Gloria’s constant and trusted riding partner is her daughter, Lori Struck DeSilva, who says she can’t keep up with her mother in any way. But, justified Gloria, “It’s not safe to go by speed limits, you have to keep up with the traffic.”
Lori is also a Motor Maid and has accompanied Gloria to conventions since 1996. Something that made this year’s convention even more memorable was the presence of Gloria’s 25-year-old granddaughter Kathy, Lori’s daughter. “She was just determined,” said Gloria. “Kathy bought a bike the Wednesday before we left, practiced two and a half days and rode with us to New Brunswick, 1735 miles round trip. That’s a long way for a new rider,” said the woman of 90 who did the same trip on her 2004 Heritage! “My goal is to ride cross-country at 100. On two wheels! Just two!”
Gloria was an Avon Lady for 44 years and she is still radiant. She credits consistent good habits, soap and water, and the avoidance of chemicals. Remember, this comes from a woman who has traveled many miles on a motorcycle in harsh conditions. She plans to write a book on healthy living and how to live to be 120. Who wouldn’t read that?
Positive and down to earth, Gloria has a sense of how lucky she has been but there’s no attitude or entitlement whatsoever. On her recent birthday, the Wheels Through Time Museum posted the event on their Facebook page and it went viral. “I beat out Jay Leno!” she said, clearly delighted. She couldn’t even get through the 1700+ comments posted in response before she had to leave for Sturgis.
It’s Gloria’s warmth, her gumption and her perpetual authenticity that endear her to so many, and she feels the same about the riders she’s met. “I’m thankful for all the wonderful motorcycle people I have met throughout the years and I hope to still keep meeting more in the years ahead!” she said. “They really feel like family to me.”