Every organization needs a command center. The prolific and talented dudes behind FMA / Born Free / Born Loser chose a non-descript tilt-up in Orange, CA as their home away from home. It may be plain on the outside, but the interior is packed with neat stuff. Inside you'll find a creative and well-merchandised display area, offices, small pick-pack and ship area, several bikes in various stages of repair and a wild collection of taxidermy and motorcycle-related artifacts. I recently sat down with Mike Davis and asked him a few questions about the set up.
Who is, and what is the Cycle Lodge? The Cycle Lodge is the FMA ,Born Loser and the Born Free headquarters. The proprietors are Grant Peterson and Harpoon (FMA) and Mike Davis (Born Loser). We all have acquired so much stuff over the years our garages were full and needed somewhere to put and display it properly so a shop made sense.
When did this A-team assemble? We have been in the shop for just over a year but we have been friends for about 5 years. While Grant and myself are doing all the Born Free show stuff the Harpoon does his paint work and runs a man-whore service.
Do you guys have official hours and stuff or is an invite-only tree fort? No hours. We are there a lot just different times and days of the week. Appointments work best and Tuesday nights have been quite popular.
Who does what? Grant and myself conduct most of the business and are always working on our own projects . The Dr. (Aka Harpoon) sneaks in late at night and does his Doctor stuff. His secret cabinet of mystery may have things in we dare not speak of.
What's a typical weekend like at the Lodge? What would a fly on the wall see? We usually are working on our bikes, meeting customers or just staring at light mock ups. We do get quite a few friends dropping in to enjoy the many treats we have to offer... moonshine to Kit Kats.
Do you work on other people's bikes or just your own? Mainly our own but friends do drop by for a fix now and again. Come by, buy a part in the showroom/museum and install it in the service center and have a snack... it's a one stop shop.
Where did all this cool shit on display come from? Who's the hoarder? Is any of it for sale? I have a big problem collecting stuff. Alot of stuff. But I do sell it a lot of it too. Grant is battling his own demons when come to buying goods. The good doctor has mainly his personal possessions at the lodge but he will show up with parts for sale now and again. There is a lot for sale but some of the antiques and relics are for display purposes only.
Who rides what on a regular basis? Grant always rides his Shovel, Harpoon his Pan and I have been enjoying my 72 boat tail lately.
Mike, you've had more bikes than most, what's your favorite? Any you regret selling? Any idea how motorcycles have passed through your hands in the last ten years? My Panhead will always be my favorite. Yes I have regretted a couple, the most recent was a '47 Knuckle long bike. I panicked and sold it. Bad move! I also sold a 56 Triumph to a friend in Japan and I really do miss it. I just saw it in Yokohama and almost cried. I don't know for sure on how many bikes but think 75-ish would be a pretty fair guess. It's hard to say, I have a really bad memory.
How much work is going on behind the scenes for Born Free 4? More than anyone would want or care to know about. It is a full time job but it's worth it.
Anything new we should know about concerning the event? We just announced that the winner of best in show will be an invited guest to the Mooneyes show in Japan. That is a huge deal and a great honor. We also are taking Born Free and all who will follow to Sturgis.
What's the future hold? I don't really know for sure but I hope we can keep the show going and going in the right direction. It's getting tougher and more complicated. I can say for sure that we will always love old motorcycles and that will never change.
You can visit the various sites associated with the 'Lodge here:
Born Free 4