The Kernville Kampout 2016

words and photos by Cantina Fly,  Luke Taylor..

The Kernville Kampout this year was epic fun.  I didn’t have the Triumph locked in enough to make the ride for the first one last year. So this year, with phase one complete on Echo3, I planned on Kernville before they even announced the date. I made plans early and had some friends planning to go with.
The day before we were set to leave, my last friend canceled and said he had to work. So it was a solo mission for the ride. I waited until 11:00am Friday to see if he could get off work, and finally hit the road.

I made a gas stop and was on the 395 2 hours later. The solo ride across the desert was awesome. The whole ride was awesome actually, particularly the 178. Sometimes I feel like I’m riding through a painting on roads like that. Lots of twisties and smooth pavement.

When I pulled into Kernville I immediately saw what a beautiful town it was. It’s a rad little town tucked in between the mountains. I found camp and met Sean (@Pig) . The campsite we had was right on the river. Prime real estate for the weekend. I set up my tent a few yards from the river, and we went up to have some free beers. I had a couple and went to the store for food/supplies (beer).

It was dinner time so we met up with Jon (@ThebeardedGringo) and went up to the brewery. We met all his crew and enjoyed a meal like old friends. I was stoked to find myself at a table full of chopper friends after leaving the house by myself earlier that day.  #vivalacantina for that one.

Saturday morning I woke to the sound of the river and an amazing view. I set up my camp stove but it wouldn’t light. I tore it apart and everything was fine. It was bad (old) fuel cans. Sean offered to get some new fuel cans, he ran up to the store, and I spilt all my food 50/50 with him from there out. We cooked up a hearty breakfast, and admired our teamwork.

We lounged around and talked bikes with our neighbors while breakfast digested. Around noon, Sean, John and myself went for a ride along the Kern river, up to the giant redwoods. The road was rough in spots but the curves and scenery more than made up for it.

We found the “trail of a thousand giants”, paid $5 to park, and walked the trail. It was worth the $5. I was completely blown away by these trees. Its incredible. Sean was so excited he climbed inside this tree-vagina. I took pictures like a Japanese tourist, but hey, I was touring.

It was getting chilly, and I headed back to camp. The sun was shining on the other side of the mountain, so I took my time and checked out the river. Next year I’ll have a fly reel with me.

Back at camp everyone gathered by the bikes, booze, and band. I wanted to put my bike up near the show area, so I fired her up and let her warm. I then proceeded to lay down some dirt antics I have no visual proof of, so I will go in to no further detail. But it was rad!!! #trustme

Saturday night was a blast, talked to a bunch of cool people and had a great time.
I have no specifics on the awards (again, free rum and beer) but I can tell you there was some noteworthy choppers. Most notably a Denver’s Choppers barn find. Completely original and immaculate. I didn’t run into the guy, but the hearsay was the neighbor lady had it her garage for years and sold it to him for $1,700!! Props to him for riding it there!

My personal pick was this flathead with the twin top tubes and split tanks. The chrome frame and paint was perfect. Don’t know who to credit for it, but excellent work!

The whole party was a cool vibe, just people stoked on bikes, laughing, and having fun. It was a pretty smalI crowd and I got a lot of positive feedback on my bike which was cool. There’s no party like a chopper party!

We made it back to camp thanks to the light of the blood moon, and I think it was midnight when Sean and I cut up the sirloin, onions, and jalapeños I got at the store. Cooking fajitas was the greatest idea ever. We scarfed some tacos, and marveled at the performance of my tiny camp stove.

Sunday morning everyone was breaking camp as they woke up. Sean and I broke down camp and reflected on an awesome weekend. I splashed my face in the river, and loaded up my bike.
Said goodbyes to all my chopper friends as they rode out. I waited a while for the sun to rise some more, and took off, happy I had already gassed up.


The bike was running super happy on the crisp cool air. I stopped to piss, and while it was running, quickly took what is probably my favorite picture of my bike so far.

Inyokern was my first gas stop and I had a cheeseburger and coke at Classic Burger. That place is crazy good you should eat there. I had a text from my friend that he would meet me in Kranmer junction, and ride the second half home with me. I rode a very windy hour on the 395, met at the gas station and got fuel. We cruised down I15, until this shit happened.

Luckily I was only 50 miles from home. I slapped some zip ties on it and rode to the next gas station. With the bike gassed up again, I got cozy in a parking space to evaluate. I put one more zip tie on it and decided it was as good as it was going to get. I rode the the rest of the way just cruising at 60mph. Thank God I run a front brake!

I always love pulling onto the driveway after a trip. The sense of victory this time was even better. What an awesome run to wrap up a season of riding on a fresh build.
Thanks to Biltwell and the sponsors for a rad event and an epic weekend, much appreciated.

Now do yourselves a favor and get to Kernville next year. I’ll see you there.

-Luke Taylor

Who The Fuck is Ricky Bongos?!?


1. Hey Ricky! Thanks for taking time to shoot the bull with us. Care to tell the readers a little about who you are?

Hey thanks for hitting me up!

Seems to be the question of late.. Been having fun w/ that hashtag.

 By trade, I’m an Audio Engineer and sometimes double as a Production Manager for concert tours, events, and nightlife. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life touring all over the world, many times over. I grew up just outside Washington, DC; lived in Brooklyn, NY for 10 years; and now settled down in Las Vegas.

 I’ve been customizing and building bikes since about 1999.

  Working in entertainment, my schedule is flipped. You see- I rarely get to attend many motorcycle events, as I work weekends or when most people are on vacation. In the rare occasion I get off work and enter bike shows (and sometimes win those bike shows) people are always like “Who the Fuck is this guy!?!” … And that’s the story of my life haha


 I was always taught never say no to work. Take it whenever you can get it.


2. Is bike building and parts your source of income or just a passion?

 It has always been a passion. I work a lot at my ‘day job’ here in Vegas.  Fri-Sun I’m pulling 3 shifts back to back each day between the nightclub and MGM. 10am-4am.  (That’s 48 hours on the clock in 3 days!) The other 2 days is just 10hr shifts and recently I get Tues/ Wed off. I’m new to this day off thing, but it’s  been really cool, as the wife and I just had 2 little ones and it gives me time to enjoy my family.

 I was always taught never say no to work. Take it whenever you can get it, because in the entertainment business it comes and goes… I’ve been very fortunate to sustain through the dry periods by always picking up extra gigs when I can.   I don’t have cable or never really got into the whole TV watching thing. My mind is always racing on different thoughts and ideas, and I never had the patience to deal with that stuff.

  I like to head into the shop and wind down that way. Through the years, I’ve come up with different parts or ideas that I think would be beneficial to other people. That’s why I started my online store:  I just actually renewed it the other day. I can’t believe my website is almost 16 years old!  (Maybe I should throw a party). It’s actually afforded me another outlet, besides selling the bikes I build, to bring in some  money to invest back into my passion.

Haha. like the time I punched the lead singer of All American Rejects in the face for disrespecting a female fan…


3. What or who got you into custom motorcycles?

 My buddy Dave Hartshorn (soundguy Dave) back in Virginia. Every year we would head down to Daytona and Myrtle beaches for the bike weeks. It was about 3 times before I couldn’t take it anymore and got my first bike. $100 xs750 triple. It was far from running and all in pieces. But, I was determined and after about 6 months of hiding the project from my parents in my sound gear trailer, I got it to run! Painted some flames on it and rode that fucker all the way to Daytona! Smoking oil and parts flying off and all haha!

  Some dude offered me cash for the bike on the spot and I was hooked. Took that money, bought some tools and another project and that’s kinda how it’s been ever since. The bikes have always provided for themselves. Re-kindling the money right back into itself.

4. You crank out some amazing bikes to be working out of your home garage. Do you outsource much work or find ways to do it yourself?


  I always push to do it myself. I’m VERY adamant about this practice. Even if you don’t have the tooling, find a spot that will let you use theirs.  That’s the best way to learn. Today with youtube and befriending old timers, you can learn to do just about anything yourself. Yeah, it takes longer and not as pro in the beginning, but you get more out of it nonetheless.


5. Do you have one bike you built that was your favorite or wish you could have hung onto?

 I really miss that first xs750. I almost tear up thinking about that piece of shit bike. It was my first taste of real freedom. We all know that feeling, that’s why we all still ride bikes.


Don’t ask these small businesses to hook you up. Do them the solid and pay full price if it’s a product made in the USA.


6. What kind of services or parts do you offer right now? 

 I have my integrated headlights. Turn signals built right into the housing.  I’m actually tweaking the design and going to be offering full LED next month! I was getting complaints about hiding the big ballast needed to run the HiD. That’s the cool part of what we do.. Rework and change, constantly move forward.

   I have riser adapters that will allow you to bolt HD risers directly into Paughco and DNA springers.

 Cool accessories with the skull bolt logo like the tail light lenses made by my buddy Mason over at PsychoResin.

  My next venture is coming out w/ a full set tank and fenders I designed to bolt on and customize your sportster. Kinda looks like a smaller Dyna. 100% made in the USA and everything I have saved up has been invested into this project. Hopefully coming in the next few months.



7. As a small business yourself how do you feel about supporting grassroots and mom and pop shops?  

  It’s the only way. That’s what our country was brought up on. Also- Don’t ask these small businesses to hook you up. Do them the solid and pay full price if it’s a product made in the USA. We have to compete with China and are doing everything we can to keep prices low while still offering a quality product.


8. With a day job like yours you must have some memorable stories, we consider the Cantina an internet dive bar so to speak. Do you have any one story that stands out you could share?

  Haha like the time I punched the lead singer of All American Rejects in the face for disrespecting a female fan… Or the time in Nigeria when I asked where I’m plugging up my stage ground,  and the dude literally digs a hole in the dirt w/ his hands!! …I prefer divulging these types of stories over many beers in person. Hit me up whenever in Vegas! 😉



9. I know you have an upcoming feature in The Horse magazine, any tips for our readers on accomplishing something like that?

 I never in a million years thought my bikes would make it in magazines. I’ve literally been bugging them for so many years.. Haha constantly sending pics of my work. They either dig it or not. Doesn’t make your bike any better than anyone else’s.. It is pretty fucking cool to see it on shelves at the supermarket though!


10.Hopefully reading this will shed some light on who the fuck Ricky Bongos actually is. We very much appreciate you finding time to fill in some blanks for us. Any parting words or shout outs?

VivaLaCantina!!!!! Seriously I LOVE and 100% support what you are doing here. Keep it grassroots and real without corporate influence.


Here are a few more of the bikes that Mr Bongos has built over the years. -Viva









Making Metal Fly with Open Road Designs.

  • Tell us a little about Open Road Design and the man behind the art.

Open Road Design is a one man shop. I am the one man, Ryan Hausmann. Originally I wanted it to be an online store that sold cool biker stuff and I would do metal engraving on the side. It turns out I hate selling stuff and just want to cut metal all day. So really it’s a metal engraving shop I run out of a room in my apartment. I’ve been an artist all my life. Constantly drawing something. Metal engraving is the first medium I’ve taken really seriously and I’m hooked.


Open Road Design is a one man shop. I am the one man.

  1. What were you doing to put food on the table before starting Open Road and what pushed you to take the proverbial leap of faith?

To help pay the bills I’ve worked in every kind of factory out there. The usual crappy temp work where you get paid 11 an hour and try not to lose a finger on the machinery.

I decided to start Open Road purely because I wanted to be able to ride whenever the hell I wanted. The season is so short in Canada you have to take advantage of every second. Working on a beautiful day is enough to drive you insane here. I wanted to be my own boss. When it was riding weather I wanted to be able to take the day off and ride. Only way to do that is start your own business. Now that I think about I must be a little obsessed with riding to go into fucking debt, work 60 hours a week for a 3-4 month riding season. Never thought about that until now. hmmm 

I do love making other peoples bikes beautiful.


  1. How did you get into engraving and what were your influences? 

I chose to get into metal engraving because of my love of motorcycles and art. It seemed like a cool way to combine my too passions. I watched a short youtube video on metal engraving and said that looks awesome!  I took my savings, walked into a place that sold the equipment, drop about 2-3 grand and then  went home to figure out how it all worked. In retrospect maybe I should of done a bit more research but in the end it’s worked out just fine. All it takes is a shit ton of fucking hard work!!

Artistically I don’t actually look to the bike scene for influence.Bike mags are great on a rainy cold day or in the winter. But I’m a fan of street art, pop art, murals and even a good old fashion museum to get the juices flowing.  Walking around a bike show looking at bikes doesn’t interest me. If the weather is nice, I’m riding. I hate parking my bike. I get too frustrated that no ones riding on a gorgeous day.

I do love making other peoples bikes beautiful. For most people, they work on a bike for years and years to get it how they like it. Saving up every dollar for what they love.  And I know folks save up money to get engravings from me. I take a great deal of pride in that and I work my hardest not to let them down. I’m aware that bikes are very personal, part of their identity. It makes me take my job ..maybe a bit too seriously. To be part of these very personal moving sculptures blows my mind on the regular and to know that people trust me with their money means a lot.  


  1. What was your first freedom machine? 

My first bike was 96 Honda Magna. 750 or 800 I think. Purple and white, ugly but fast. Since I’m a short guy it was way too big for me (like everything really is). But if you can learn to ride a bike that you can barely touch the ground on you can ride anything. It was worth the initial pain in the ass learning curve for the skills I picked up. 


meh, I can live another few months off of tuna and crackers.

  1. Hand engraving seems to be a fading art form with computerized machines nowadays, what are some of the tools you use to achieve your magic? 

I use a GRS Gravermach set up with all the bells and whistles. It’s a pretty standard set up for people who take engraving seriously/professionally. The tools are expensive but worth every penny if your going to take the work and the craft as far as you can.


  1. Have you had any major hurdles to overcome to get where you are today?

Hardest thing is self doubt. When you are in the grocery store not being able to afford anything because you didn’t sell enough parts that month. That makes you think what the fuck am I doing with my time. Then you get to see one of your parts on a bike and your like….meh, I can live another few months off of tuna and crackers. My job rocks!


  1. Do you have any parts/designs that you hate engraving? Any you love? 

I hate how much I engrave the word FUCK. At this point it’s lost all meaning to me. Everyone wants fuck you, fuck this, fuck them and fuck me. Best design I was ever asked to engrave was of a vagina. I shit you not, a spread lip close up of some guy’s wife’s VAGINA! The hard part was all the tiny hairs. lmao  Apparently she loved it! All in a days work.


I shit you not, a spread lip close up of some guy’s wife’s VAGINA! The hard part was all the tiny hairs.

  1. How has being north of the border affected your business?

  I think being away from the scene has actually helped. We have some bike shows here, one or two okay swap meets in the summer. But nothing compared to the states. Artistically it works great because I don’t feel I like I have to follow trends or fads. I can stay in my little room and engrave what I want. I’m not caught up in things when everyone is all of a sudden riding a chopper or has the trendy paint job.  I just do what I like and ship the parts to Americans that dig my work. In however many years I’ve only shipped to in Canada 5-6 times. And we Canadians FUCKING RIDE IN THE SUMMER!! I bet we put on the same amount of clicks as some folks who can ride all year around.


  1. Here at the Cantina we envision ourselves as a Dive Bar of sorts where like fellow two wheeled brethren can talk bikes and have a voice. Do you have a favorite bar story to share? 

Best night ever!! At my favorite dive bar Maz. They have “patio”in front of lawn chairs and tables right on the sidewalk. I was having some beers there when my friend calls and asks me where I’m at. I said Maz and she said she was going to swing on by. A cab pulls up half hour later and my friend steps out in a ballgown, hair down up, tiara and all!!  She’s a professional opera singer and just had a show. Apparently it went really wellor badly ( nights a bit fuzzy)  and she wanted to get tanked and was too lazy to change. A few shots, beers later, she was standing in the street in front of us singing Ave Maria the way only a opera singer can. Not a dry eye in the house! Nothing beats that story.


  1. I would like to extend a big thank you from us and our readers for taking the time to shed some light on the man behind the metal. Do you have any farewell shout outs or parting words?

I appreciate this wholeheartedly man!! I need all the help I can get. I want to give a very big shout out to anyone who buys from small business like me. I know it costs more but it’s worth it and helps keep food on the table and more importantly gas in the tank!!

To see more work by Ryan please visit his website at  you can also follow him on instagram @openroaddesign.  

thank you for tuning in.. -Motocantina.

Dick Chavez: Rule Hard Cycles

Born and raised in the Midwest cornfields


Care to take a moment to tell everyone a little about yourself and Rule Hard Cycles?                                                                                                                                  I’m Dick Chavez, Born and raised in the Midwest cornfields, I love motorcycles, and I am the owner of Rule Hard Cycles. I have been riding motorcycles since I was a little kid. Dirtbikes and woods riding is how it all started but as I grew up and my interest in building things grew I got into building custom bikes. I started out about 8 years ago with nothing but a love for bikes and an interest in fabrication. I luckily landed a job that allowed me to learn a lot of fabrication skills and support my family. As my skills grew I slowly added what tools I could afford and next thing you know I’ve spent the last 8 years of my life building a family and a motorcycle shop. Unfortunately the job that allowed me to learn a lot of the skills I wanted didn’t pay well enough for me to support my family. That combined with me seemingly having more people ask me to do work on their bikes I figured that this was my opportunity to support my family with my passion. Rule Hard Cycles is focused on offering honest local service, custom fabrication, art, & media. We offer apparel and stickers with original artwork and also create random videos and keep a blog that covers the shop, our art, and basically anything we think is cool.


Never use duct tape to fix anything


  • What are your shop goals and mottos?                                                                   Goals for my shop are to support my family by building cool bike parts and American made apparel and stickers. Mottos…hmmm. Never use duct tape to fix anything, fuck the factory, if it can’t be ridden like a fucking dirt bike fuck it. Seriously, I took my 9′ ironhead offroad frequently so don’t be a bitch.RuleHard_PegasusBull logo_WKG
  • What was your first motorcycle?

    My first real bike was a late 80s honda XR80. I learned how to jump, wheelie, corner, flatrack etc… all on that thing. Years of wrecks and riding with only minor repairs. Hondas are the king four strokes. My first street bike was a 81 Suzuki GS850. I put so much work into that thing and looking back I really hacked that thing up haha. Live and learn.



  • What influences in your life got you where you are today?                                    I grew up very poor and i was constantly building or creating things as a child. From taking apart junk I found in the garbage to battle bots, to hover crafts. If I could have the chance to create something I was there. That’s why custom bikes captured my heart…its the only way I truly feel freedom. Working on bikes and riding bikes is my way of focusing my rapid moving thoughts.


I wasn’t losing and I was having fun. I have no interest in building anything that doesn’t have a purpose.


  • You built your flat track bike for Mama Tried, rode it once and went and dominated on the track where it seems that many builders nowadays could care less about riding. Would you rather build show bikes or hard ridden machines?                                                                                                                                I wouldn’t say I dominated but I did pretty good considering I finished it the day before and had 0 miles on it haha. I built it to be a fast multi purpose street bike and the gearing was too high. I wasn’t losing and I was having fun. I have no interest in building anything that doesn’t have a purpose. The functionality of a build is half the art. Even if its just made to go down the drag strip it still has a purpose. Bikes that don’t run and just look pretty are basically just a sculpture. Choppers, race bikes, dirt bikes, whatever….ride the fucking thing.



  • The Cantina is a huge supporter of small business and keeping business local. What is your outlook on supporting small guys?                                         Supporting local guys just makes sense. It literally is one of this countries biggest issues. Not just economically but culturally. My generation is more concerned with bottom dollar prices than buying something with someones heart and soul into it while improving the American economy. We support as many American manufactures, local businesses, union made products as possible. Its something I believe in and if I cant run my business by those rules I wont do it. I have no interest in slinging cheap parts and feeding my family of the dollars off those who are ruining the country. At the same time I understand that not everyone can afford the American made premium…we are looking at ways to improve our efficiency and lower our prices.



  • Do you have a fondest motorcycle memory?                                                                I have so many…but honestly its probably the days spent in the woods with my friends. finding obstacles and having fun. Eating lunch out of a cooler with our gear on. I love street bikes but dirt bikes make great memories. I recommend everyone to own one.IMG_20160330_083817

  • We at the Cantina consider ourselves as somewhat of an internet dive bar where guys can drink a few beers, be themselves and talk bikes. Do you have a noteworthy bar story to share?                                                                         Actually no, we grew up around bonfires…not bars. Best bonfire story is probably the night we poured too much gas in the fire and made a fucking huge fireball and had a mini bike wheelie contest. Warm august nights around bonfires.


  • How do you feel about where the motorcycle industry is right now and what do you see in the future for Rule Hard?                                                                   With out sounding like to much of a prick…I think it needs to die off a bit. It expanded rapidly and its being driven by cheap parts and gorillas. Choppers always have and always will be about expressing your self and freaking out the squares. Its not about bolting on a bunch of catalog parts tying to imitate a look. there is a difference between being inspired by something and trying to imitate it.IMG_20160324_185651115

  • Thank you for all your support and taking a moment out of your busy day to shoot the shit with our readers. Any shout outs or parting words?             Shout out to everyone who supports what we do. We are pouring our lives into it.  Rule Hard, Stay Filthy, American Made      edit b

Bellying up with the flies. The Bearded Choppers interview.

We here at the Moto Cantina love the fact that we are a community run chopper site. Our forum is full of interesting characters. Recently we were approached by @shovelwitch with an interview to contribute to the site. We couldn’t resist and gave him freedom to interview his good friend Todd at Bearded choppers. This is our first user provided interview and I’m sure it wont be the last.. So sit back grab a drink and have a read.. -The Fist.


Bearded Choppers: A shop for the follically endowed, who happen to enjoy cutting up perfectly good machines.




My ultimate dream bike is an old Harley Flathead 80”…

SW- Whether it be that you saw a potential dream bike in the pages of a magazine, or saw first-hand a righteous chop banging gears past you on your commute to work, you have gotten hooked. For most of us being stoked on bikes involves purchasing a bike, and working overtime to be able to change this or that over time. For a select few of us that means it’s time to wrap up our life and dedicate ourselves full time to the art of building a motorcycle. We find these folks living a monastic life, regarded as absurd to the squares and revered by us folks in between. You can find them secretly welding alone at night in rented shops that have been converted to austere living quarters, devotees to the art of the Chopper.

Todd Boardman, owner of the Bearded Chopper fits the bill for one of most committed builders I know. After serving in the Army as a gunner aboard a Bradley armored vehicle, Todd returned home working odd jobs eventually settling in the university town of Stillwater, Oklahoma to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Being friends before his shop opened its doors nearly a year ago, it has been inspiring to see a close homie work his way up completely from his own hard work.

It’s freezing and iced over in Stillwater, Todd and I decided to hit up a warm coffee shop right up the street from my house for this quick interview:


SW- What got you into bikes, particularly choppers? Is there any bike that you can recall that was a source of inspiration to chop a bike? 

As far as getting a motorcycle is concerned, after being deployed in Iraq all I wanted was to recapture the thrill. Three months after being back from Iraq I bought my first bike. (featured sporty) I always liked CFL frame bikes made by West Coast choppers, there was one in red and black Jesse James made that was my favorite. What interested/inspired me the most was how Jessee James did everything himself, that’s what got me into welding and learning how to do fabrication my self.


sporty motor


I learned how to TIG weld thanks to my grandpa, who was a welding instructor at Tinker Air Force Base for nearly 30 years.


SW-  What kind of background do you have as far as fabricating parts?

I learned how to TIG weld thanks to my grandpa, who was a welding instructor at Tinker Air Force Base for nearly 30 years. He invented a way to weld on titanium without using a bag and purge line on the backside of the welding surface, the process was developed by him for NASA to be used on the Space Shuttle, I think it’s safe to say welding comes natural to members of my family. I am almost finished with a BA in Mechanical Engineering, which sure has taught me a lot about fabrication processes

The Bearded Chopper is exclusively a fabrication shop, for one of a kind hand-made frames, sissy bars…


SW- What kind of chop shop are you running?

The Bearded Chopper is exclusively a fabrication shop, for one of a kind hand-made frames, sissy bars, if you have requests for any fabrication work involving bikes I’m open for requests and up to the challenge. I do have pre-fabricated handle bars in stock, but I can build any set of bars directly to your specifications if you are interested in a one of a kind look.


SW- Do you have any plans as far as future developments or product lines?

Right now I’d like to get full sets of polyurethane foot pegs, shift pegs, brake rubbers, sold as a set, a line of shop shirts will be available soon as well. I’m interested in making sets of handle bar grips down the line too.


SW- Ultimate dream bike?

My ultimate dream bike is an old Harley Flathead 80” in a custom frame built by yours truly, for the classic look I’d like to throw some fat tires on their front and back. I think it would be even funnier to throw the bone-stock crowd off and install air ride suspension under the seat and give it better performing more modern controls”





SW. A couple of days after meeting up the cold spell lifted a bit so I made my way, a blocks away from my house, to where The Bearded Chopper shop is nestled between a UPS distribution center and other shady looking steel buildings. The commercial district in Stillwater Oklahoma is on the other side of the train tracks literally, and is a perfect setting for standing in a shop with a door open, beer in hand, talking bikes. Todd lives with his Shiba Inu named Scoot in a two story steel building that has been converted to a living quarters and shop, the building has had its fair share of seedy tenants I the past according to Todd,

“Haha I guess before I picked up the place there were mirrors all over the walls and ceiling, and a stripper pole in the ‘bedroom’.” -Todd



“All in all I scored a cool dent in my gas tank from my nuts and a great story.”

That shit show has since been cleaned up it is apparent one of Todd’s unspoken laws is shop cleanliness. The frame jig, tubing benders, metal stock, and finished products all have a designated portion of the shop which just in my visit Todd picked up the broom twice to sweep.




The Sporty featured is Todd’s first bike, and first build as well. Look it over carefully because there is a lot to be missed, a Chassis Design rigid frame with a subtly concealed rear axle hardware, all the mounting for the tank, controls, and engine were welding on by his steady hand. The paint work was the first run ever done by one of his friends and it really sets the bike apart, that and a very distinct dent on the back of the gas tank, Todd tells the story better than I:

“I was leaving campus during my second semester in school a mail truck swerved into my lane and brake checked me. I chose to down shift and brake hard, my only other option was to fly into the left lane where I hit a car stopped to make a left turn. I had a broken pelvis, I almost lost my left nut as it didn’t have blood flow for over 16 hours….. All in all I scored a cool dent in my gas tank from my nuts and a great story. I was back riding in five weeks after told to take it easy for six months haha” -Todd

Well I’m glad Todd can laugh about it now……

I have known Todd now for more than five years, longer than I have even had a bike. Before I met the dude and even had a chance to decide what kind of bike I wanted, he helped me make my mind up by riding his chop through traffic with his beard flapping over his shoulder. His style of building has stayed consistent to what he is stoked about, which is hard to find in a culture that flits to trends like locusts. Todd does not discriminate on what projects you want done, his taste in its basest form is quality workmanship not a particular era or trend of bike building. Whether it’s a sky scraper throwback sissy bar like the HA rocked in the 60’s, or a crazy one of a kind modern air bag ride frame I know Todd at The Bearded Chopper has got you covered.





by Shovelwitch



If you have a favorite fabricator, indie shop, painter, etc. contact us at and run it past us… everyone knows someone cool.