So I have been thinking about my favorite bike builders of all time. It is very hard to decide but there are some huge influences that impact me on a daily basis.
Number 1. Arlen Ness- Almost everything that is wild about choppers and especially sportsters came out of the bay area and Arlens shop. Arlen started just like me doing what he loved and then turned it into a huge business. I look at it as a good plan on my part. Except Arlen had way better taste and ability then I will ever have. Diggers are what he contributed to the whole world. Many builders did them but noone can touch the Nessability.
Number 2. Shinya Kimura- I will not go on and on about Shinya but if you think taking a bike apart and then doing a little chop here and bob there then he would blow your mind. When he was doing the Zero Eng stuff he was years ahead and still had a timeless way of building a solid bike. Now he is selling bikes to movie stars and does everything with such passion and love that it rubs off on others. Sure some of the stuff he builds is over the top but it was all built by his two hands and hammers in hand.
Number 3. Bratstyle- A few years ago now I started hearing the word Bratstyle. Being uncool as I am I had no idea about the Japanese shop of such name. I quickly got brought up to speed and wish everyone else would just stop biting what they are doing. Everything they but out has got a certain POP to them. have my own issue with all the Japanese guys buying up all out bikes in the states but Bratstyle will chop anything. They are especially good at the SR 500 yamaha's. But no brand or make is safe. Much like my shop. I have just about chopped every kind of bike out there some look good and some don't but the experience is always worth it.
Number 4. Chopper Dave- Just out of respect for the fact he built Super Freak I had to add Dave. Super cool dude and had some serious skill with bike parts. He has built many a cool bike and with the Super Freak I still can just stare for hours at it. Like his blog and the photo skills aren't to bad at all. Naked girls, motorcycles and oil brands.
Number 5. Ben Hardy- Another one I am not going to go on and on about. He built the two most famous bikes in the world. I preferred the Billy Bike but either one I would be proud to ride. Look up the History of the chopper and get schooled.
Also as a side note as I write this there are thousands of insane bikes in So Cal right now. I hate my life right now and because it is 104 degrees out side it isn't even nice to ride here. Damnit