Bill is a family man with a bad motorcycle problem. Current rides are a slightly modded '92 FXR, an '06 Triumph T100, a 1952 45" and a '65 Triumph unit 650 in the works.
The sixth annual running of the gypsies went off this year without a hitch. If you don't count a few crashes along the way that is. Walter has the event running like an old, but well-oiled machine and riders from all over the east coast and even the occasional lost Californian (me) had a great time riding, camping and hanging with friends. With attendance setting new records it was impossible to get pics of every bike, but heres a bunch of 'em.
If you follow Lowbrow Customs at all, you've probably seen the grip of high-class machines the Malinky brothers have built. From old British iron to a panhead chop and record-setting Bonneville race bikes, Tyler and Kyle have built some bangers. So what's a man with a twin-engine Triumph on a hard deadline supposed to do with his shovelhead basket case? If you're friends with one extremely talented Jesse Bassett as Tyler is, you ask him to build it for you.
Our friend Gilby Clarke has exceptional taste in old motobikes, especially those of the knucklehead variety. We've featured a few of them over the years, and always jump at the chance to see what this Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famer is up to next. Hanging out the night before Born Free last summer provided a relaxing location to shoot some photos and pick Gilby's brain about his latest bike.
On a recent trip to Wes White's Four Aces Cycle in California's San Fernando Valley I was lucky enough to admire this fine piece of motorcycle drag-racing history. Built by Max Kelly around 1958 as a supercharged gasser, the chassis was later sold to Sonny Scott who campaigned the bike in 1959 as a nitro-burning fueler with Priness Perry as the pilot. The bike was heavily raced from 1960 to '65 and was a top US competitor. Making it even more historically significant is the fact that Scott and Perry were black men in a sport mostly populated by white dudes. Today this hotrod time capsule has been restored by Wes and was recently shipped to a museum in Iowa.
Nestled in the bowels of an industrial area of Los Angeles is a small shop with an extra-large work load. Chris Richardson and his wife Fiona are LA Speed Shop. Talent, style and work ethic all collide in a place packed with projects, finished bikes, parts and old artifacts. We recently hijacked an afternoon at the shop and pestered Chris with questions about living the dream of the independent chopper builder.
It's easy to get wrapped up in the details while building a custom motorcycle and forget about the overall stance, complete package, etc. Likewise you can nail the stance and then cut corners on the little stuff and end up with a disappointing pile of compromise. Clay Rathburn doesn't have this problem and is known for his stunning, hand-built motorcycles. Their clean lines and lack trendy frills makes his bikes easy to pick out as Atom Bomb Customs. For this particular machine, Clay kicked classic choppers square in the nuts and made himself a semi-modern dirtbike from scratch and a little help from an old OIF Triumph. It looks so well proportioned and finished from every angle that you could almost think it's a factory dirt bike, though you'd be hard pressed to figure out the exact vintage.
Who wants to go racing? Street Chopper magazine and Editorial Director Jeff Holt, that's who. Not one to turn down a challenge, when the opportunity came up to go to Bonneville with help from Sailor Jerry's Rum and a grip of generous sponsors, Jeff enlisted his friend Chris from LA Speed Shop and the plan and bike started taking shape. Here's what Holt has to say on this ambitious project.
Caleb Owens won the Builder's Choice award at Born Free for the second time in a row. This is hard enough to do once, but to pull it off twice with two completely different bikes makes it even more of an accomplishment. Especially when you consider the fact that CRO Customs is something Caleb does on the side - he's got a full time job, married, kid on the way, all the normal life stuff we mortals deal with. Skill and work ethic coupled with a humble but confident personality results in a builder who is as down to earth as he is talented. Caleb recently wrote a super long blog detailing his experience leading up to the show and we've republished it here so you can see a ton of photos of the bike and get an insider's view of what it took to pull this thing off.
We met Bill at last spring's Dixie Roundup and his nickname (to us, anyway) became Moonshine Bill as soon as we learned what he was serving: 72 quarts of the sweetest-tasting white lightning in the dirty South. After his buddy Ross cooks up the potent elixir, Bill adds the fruit and spices that give this moonshine its tasty kick. Speaking of tasty, Bill's Yamaha is a sweet treat, too.
If you've shopped at Lowbrow Customs in recent years, you've done business with Kyle Malinky. Tyler's workaholic big brother is the Operations Manager at Lowbrow, and he plays as hard as he works. Since most of Kyle's experience has been with hot rods and Triumphs, on this bike he set out to personalize a machine many Lowbrow customers and ChopCult readers are familiar with: Harley's venerable Evo Sporty.
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