El Diablo Run 2017

Words and photos by Timmy Marr

               What can you say about The El Diablo Run that hasn’t already been said? It’s the fabled, lawless chopper party south of the border that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a weekend full bikes, booze, and debauchery in the small Baja town of San Felipe. If you missed it, you can’t go next year because it only happens every two years. Being a bi-annual event definitely helps keep the kook level low. Or perhaps the two year waiting period is only in place to add anticipation. One thing is for sure: it’s definitely the most fun you can have in Mexico on two wheels.

 

The EDR 2017 schedule looked a little something like this: Thursday May 11th was the pre-party at Old Rose Tattoo in Temecula, California. Its tradition to get a $20 flash tattoo to commemorate your Mexican adventure. Friday May 12th was the 300 mile group ride from Temecula to San Felipe. The group started out huge with well over 100 bikes in the pack. It eventually got thinner and broken up as people got over riding in a pack or just needed to stop more often for gas. Saturday May 13th and Sunday May 14th (Mother’s Day) were when The Circle of Death and the Cocktagon beach brawl took place. The Circle of Death is a dirt track race in a sketchy empty lot. And the Cocktagon is a last man standing fight to the death where contestants buy a wiffle ball bat for $10 and either beat each other into submission or try to push each other out of the ring. Winner takes the pot. Monday May 15th was the day everyone was supposed to ride back home. That was just a suggestion though. A lot of SoCal locals went home Sunday because they had to work the next day, and some people stayed in Mexico indefinitely.

I rode out to California solo from Kansas and took my sweet time doing it. I rolled into my friends’ house in Temecula late on Thursday and missed out on the official pre-party. Getting a tattoo right before I’m about to swim in the ocean didn’t sound very appealing anyways.

The group ride out of Temecula was awesome. It was a brisk 50-something degrees when we set off at 7am. The journey started with these gently curving roads that dumped out into awesome valleys surrounded by lovely green hills. After that, we rode through different desert landscapes for pretty much the entire rest of the journey. But it was like cool desert, you know? The first desert was really rocky and mountainous and the temperature was not bad at all. As we got closer to the Mexico border, it got hotter and flatter, and sandier.

We crossed the border in big packs of bikes and the guards wanted nothing to do with us and just waived us all through. As soon as you cross the border, it gets real Mexico real quick. All the cars, street signs, and buildings are totally different. It was kind of a culture shock for me because I had never driven into another country like that before. The landscape soon turned to wide open desert with a few red mountains. The road all the way to San Felipe was in surprisingly good shape. No potholes or poor repairs. Just a nice desolate road that seemingly went nowhere. Eventually, to our left we could start to see the ocean, and soon after, we came up on real civilization for pretty much the first time since crossing the border. The town of San Felipe.

The vibe on the EDR was a little different this year from years past. People were encouraged to make their own plans and just meet in Mexico. Two full days in San Felipe gave people the freedom and extra time to do whatever they wanted to. You could explore the town and absorb the culture, you could hit up the natural hot springs 60 miles south of town, or you can just float around in the ocean nursing your hangover until you’re ready to do it all over again.

The first day there was awesome. I can’t even describe how wild it is to see your friends from all over, together on the beach in Mexico. I ended up getting sloshed hard on Friday night thanks to my friend Zac from Oklahoma who just kept the Tecate’s comin. I paid for it the next morning when I was puking every 10 minutes but it was worth it.

Saturday I mostly just relaxed in the ocean and chit chatted with my fellow chopper greaseballs. A lot of my friends went to the hot springs 60 miles south of town and came back with horror stories of potholes that they will cherish forever. A few Circle of death races went on that day as well.

Sunday we got up and went to town to take pictures with the San Felipe sign, then got ripped off a tube being pulled behind a boat by Mr. Banana himself. The circle of death races finished up and the cocktagon ended in a truce when the two remaining gladiators hugged it out. We went to bed early in preparation for the journey back to the states the next day.

Monday morning it was surprisingly chilly and windy. I rode up with a totally different group of people I rode down with and it was great. No major breakdowns, no bad attitudes. We got a police escort to the border and passed through with flying colors. We were glad to be back in our home country where we can drink the water and use our cellphones.

The El Diablo Run is the freaky granddaddy of all chopper runs. Everyone comes back from Mexico with plenty of wonky stories, and everyone seems to be all smiles all the time. Even when you are spewing black liquid out of both ends from Montezuma’s Revenge, you leave the bathroom and enter paradise and it’s hard not to be stoked.

See ya’ll in 2019! Maybe not. Who knows, man. That’s a long ways away.

– Timmy

Giddy Up! 2017

 Words and photos by Timmy Marr (@SkidMarr)

The Giddy Up Vintage Chopper Show takes place every year towards the end of March in New Braunfels, Texas. In my opinion, it’s in the perfect location, at the perfect venue, during the perfect time of year.

2 days before the show

Myself, my brother Tyler, and our friend Kelly (who rode an extra 180 miles to get to us) set off to ride 300 miles from Wichita, Kansas to Denton, Texas at 6:00pm. We were riding into a 25+mph headwind the whole way south and the enormous trunk that I put on my bike was like a parachute. But we made it to my friend Blake’s house around 1am and crashed for the night.

1 day before the show

We got up and prepared to make the hour long trek in scattered showers from Denton, to Weatherford, Texas to meet up with the man, Danger Dan. Those of us that had rain gear, put it on. And those of us that didn’t, hardened the fuck up.

Myself, Tyler and Kelly from Kansas, Scotty and Blake from Texas, and Anthony from San Diego all met up in Weatherford at Dan’s house just in time for it to stop raining. Now the fun could begin. The sun was shining, and I could finally bust out my camera.

Anthony, Tyler, Scotty, Me, Blake, Dan, and Kelly

We were rolling 7 deep and took backroads all the way to New Braunfels and stopped probably every 40 miles. It was a beautiful change of pace and scenery for us Kansas boys considering we spent all day yesterday jamming down Interstate 35 at night.

We made a gas and oil stop in the small town of Hico when our very own Gabe @loudngreasy cruised right by! He stopped and gave me a hug and hauled ass out of there to catch up with his group.

We chugged along and made our way to Spicewood, Tx. Home of Dan Carr of DC Choppers. There we met Josh Kurpius, famous photographer and chopper pilot who ended up rolling with us for the remaining 60 miles to the Giddy Up Pre-Party at the Harley dealership in New Braunfels.

We hung around the pre-party for a few hours. Drank some beers, caught up with friends and listened to the bands. Then we went back to the campsite where the real pre-party goes on. Friday night at the campsite was spent eating canned food cooked on a fire, drinking beer, and wandering from campsite to campsite making new friends. Oh and I gave a few trunk rides.

The day of The Show

My brother and I got up and cruised down river road just to scope out some of the local sights. Then we headed into the show around 11am.

Giddy Up is definitely my favorite “big” chopper event of the year. The River Road Ice House is the perfect venue equipped with a stage and all the show bikes up front with a dirt lot full of vendors and bikes out back. The campground is in the perfect spot right down River Road along the Guadalupe River. It’s in the early spring, so it’s like the perfect shakedown run for people who have been cobbling together their rickety choppers all winter. And the vibe is like, perfectly chill, dude. It sounds dumb, but chill is the best word to describe it. This year the show went from 10am – 8pm so you could show up whenever you like, look at bikes, shop in the vendor area, leave, rip down to the campsite to take a nap, then come back and drink some Lone Star Beer.

The Giveaway Panhead
The guy who won the panhead was gone. Already on his way home

The official after-party takes place at the campground. I don’t have any photographic evidence of this night, but it was a romp and a rave and a hootenanny all rolled into one. Trust.

The Party Pack

 

1 day after the show

We woke up, drank some water, and hit the road hard. We rode all 600 miles home that day in under 12 hours with the wind to our backs this time. We ran into a pretty nasty storm in the last 60 miles and took some pea size hail at 80mph, but that just makes for a better story.

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again: Every weekend I spend in Texas feels like the best weekend of my life. Giddy Up 2017 was no exception.

-Timmy

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

Lone Star River Run 7

Words and Photos by: Timmy Marr

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The Lone Star River Run takes place in New Braunfels, Texas at Camp Huaco Springs (same place as The Giddy Up Vintage Chopper Show) every 3rd weekend in October. The LSRR is in its 7th year and has no big sponsors or other BS. It’s just a good ol’ fashioned weekend full of ridin’, campin’, and beer drinkin’ (preferably Lone Star Beer). My friends from Oklahoma known as the “Oklahomies” go to this run every year. This year they decided to trailer their bikes down to make the nearly 600 mile trek extra speedy. They had an extra spot on their trailer and in their truck and thought I was worthy of their presence, so I took the opportunity and tagged along.

On the drive down, my bike fell over on the trailer and put a dent in another bikes gas tank. I’m really not good at the whole trailering thing. But we arrived at the campsite on Friday much faster and more dry than we would have been if we rode. As soon as we pulled in to the campground, I immediately got the sense that this is more of a family reunion than a Chopper run. Probably 90% of the people there have attended in years past. And everyone was a Texan except for maybe like 6 of us. The first night was spent setting up camp, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones while talking choppers under a full moon.

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Saturday morning we all got up around 9:00am and naturally split into groups to ride into town for some Tex-Mex breakfast. We got back to camp at 11:00am just in time for the group ride to depart along River Road, headed towards the town of Blanco for lunch. The weather was perfect and the pace was ideal. We were riding in a pack of 50+/- bikes comfortably cruising the back roads around 55mph.

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After our lunch in Blanco, we rode down some beautiful gently curving empty roads headed towards Luckenbach, Texas. We spent our time in Luckenbach in the shade drinking a few beers, taking a few naps, and poking fun at the group of big wheel baggers that rolled in. After we were rested and refueled, most people went back to the campsite while a small group of us rode on to another bar.

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My bike met its Brother from another Mother
My bike met its Brother from another Mother
Luckenbach chillen
Luckenbach chillin

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Small breakdown after Luckenbach
Small breakdown after Luckenbach
Oklahomies know how to chop a sportster
Oklahomies know how to chop a Sportster

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A delicious handmade dinner was served that night at the campsite while a live band played along the perfectly still river. After everyone ate, a heated game of Cee-Lo broke out on the tables. Dice were being shook so fast and dollar bills were exchanging hands so quickly I didn’t dare to participate. After that, some people went to bed broke, and some stayed up and partied. I didn’t take any photos that night. Too busy livin it.

The next morning, we packed up and loaded our bikes on the trailer while getting teased by everyone. We hugged all our old and new friends goodbye and hit the road back home. Every weekend I spend in Texas feels like the best weekend of my life. The Lone Star River Run was no exception.

 

SB&D Tampa, Florida

 

 

Southbound and Down 2016.

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The third year running, SB&D hosted a show at The Boardr skatepark in Tampa, Fl. People trucked, trailered and road in from all over. With the fall weather finally breaking the day before, Floridians were able to break out the flannels and enjoy themselves for a day of choppers and fun.

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Eric of FNA custom cycles out of lakeland brought out a couple of his mad creations, here is the Three In The Stink, a rad mag fired two stroke triple.

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Dagner just finished this beast of a sporty up and had it on display along with his pipe company, Dagner pipes. Later in the day found him ripping wheelies on it looking like a boss.

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I shoot photos with a go pro, unfortunatley this Larry pierce built dream machine did not transfer as well in the low light, but was able to get this one showing off a rad placed swazi. The more I looked at this machine, the more I loved it. A truly amazing build.

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Wes from Riders on the Norm was there with his buddy John, who brought this beautiful cone.

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Im not sure who killed it more, Drew with the build or Bryson with the paint but both of these dudes nailed it and are representing Florida very well.

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Best garage built winner was Arthur and his wild Triumph.

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The last of the go pro battery was spent trying to capture the maniacs out front ripping burnouts and wheelies. Look up the hashtags and see for yourself, you’ll be glad you did.

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After helping a buddy load up and recharging, I met up with buddies Dallas and Erm. They happened to have a pile of great people with em to ride to the after party at The rivers edge just south of Tampa. A highlight to a great day.

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Miss Mandoozle got to ride in her first real group ride and killed it. Still on her about covering up them ankles though.

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Blocking traffic for the group made life with this many riders so easy as we road into downtown Ybor.

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Sean is from Baltimore…clearly we are all cold weather pussies as he didnt flinch riding in a tshirt while us Floridians were excited to finally be able to cover up after a long and hot summer.

Its days like these that make all the lonely garage time working the bugs out of builds all worth it. Too much fun with too many good people to worry about the too cool to say hi types. Come down to Florida next year and enjoy it for yourselves.

Cheers -Mandoozle

 

 

Gabe’s Ride Out 2016!

Photos and words by: Timmy Marr (@SkidMarr)

The Gabe’s Ride Out is a Ride/Camp event thrown by our very own @Loudngreasy in North central Texas. I knew about this event from this forum and I decided I had to go since it was only 400 miles away.

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Friday August 26th, I got home from work at 4:00pm and packed all my shit into the enormous, stupid trunk on my bike. It only took about 15 minutes because I purposely didn’t unpack from my Sturgis trip 2 weeks earlier. 6 hours and 300 miles later, I rolled into Denton, Texas to see my good friends and shack up for the night.

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Saturday August 27th, I rolled out of Denton at 7:00am because I still had to ride 100 miles west to the meet up point. The “ride” portion of Gabe’s Ride Out was scheduled to leave the “Rockin’ S Bar and Grill” at 9:00am. It was a foggy, cool morning with no traffic. The lame scenery of the DFW metropolis started to give way to the hills of scrub trees and cacti known as West Texas. I was jamming 80mph down a paved whoop-section on a farm road when I almost hit a weird baby pheasant that I later learned was actually a Road Runner. I got to the “Rockin’ S Bar and Grill” on Possum Kingdom Lake at 9:05am. No one was there and the place wasn’t even open. I thought to myself “Damn these dudes are punctual! They left without me!” I called Gabe and he informed me that there’s actually 2 locations of this bar and Google lead me to the wrong one. So I had to rip 30 minutes back into the town of Graham. No big deal.

The view from the wrong Rockin' S Bar
The view from the parking lot of the wrong Rockin’ S Bar

Once I got to the correct location, I parked my bike with all the rest and walked inside excited to meet all these guys I had only talked to/seen on the internet. Its wild meeting people from the internet for the first time in real life because you probably already know a ton about their lives. Todd (@Wagonburner), Josh (@Ramzy) Larry (@BackPorchChoppers) and Dillon (@Fatkat) all rolled in late because they pre-partied a little too hard the night before. I felt totally comfortable with everyone and my skepticism’s about riding and hanging out with total strangers all weekend melted away. We ate breakfast and ended up rolling out of Graham closer to 10:30am.

The view from the correct Rockin S Bar
The view from the correct Rockin’ S Bar

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The ride started out as a nice highway cruise through some west Texas scenery until we got to the Palo Pinto Creek Reservoir. The road around this lake was steep, narrow, and neat with plenty of sharp curves, BUT it had the worst surface texture of any road I have ever ridden. Literally pot holes on top of concrete patch jobs on top of asphalt speed bumps. Everything in my trunk was constantly being tossed up against the lid with a loud “thunk”. It almost made me regret owning a rigid chopper. I wish I had pictures to document this road, but I was too focused on not dying. It was radical.

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The road soon smoothed out but the damage was already done. Josh’s Sportster he rode trouble free all the way from Virginia started to backfire and eventually died. I offered up my tools and we sat on the side of the road and scratched our heads until the ignition module cooled off and started working again. As we were leaving, another evo sporty belonging to the man named Sam wouldn’t start. His rectifier was dangling ungrounded to the frame so it wasn’t charging his battery. I hooked him up with some spare bolts and his brother gave him a push start and all was well.

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We rode in a light mist of rain to a neat little honky tonk bar and drank until the rain let up. Then, we rode to Strawn, Texas to eat some world famous chicken fried steak served with huge bowls of gravy for the whole table to slather onto their food as they please (#TableGravy). After the legendary Steve chugged his fair share of gravy though a straw, we hit the road with full bellies headed toward the official bar of the Gabe’s Ride Out, the “Prickly Patch”. The Prickly Patch was 60 miles away on a terribly wavy paved state highway. I hit a JUMP in the road at 65mph that launched my bike and I an entire foot into the air (Todd can confirm the altitude and I can confirm it was terrifying). Shortly after that, my kickstand fell off nearly killing everyone riding behind me. Josh was kind enough to retrieve it for me after a car ran it over and flung it into the air. We got maybe 12 more miles down the road when Ol’ Backfire Josh’s bike started to crap out for the second time. Two guys hung back with him on the side of the road while the rest of us went ahead to the bar to get beer….. and a truck for Josh’s rescue. We spent a couple hours and had a great time in the prickly patch drinking and chatting with a few locals in the air conditioning.

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Before the sun set, we headed just up the road to the ranch where we would all camp and party for the rest of the night. At the ranch, we had to ride in some very slick mud to set up camp just as it was getting dark. “Momo”, the first man to ride into the grass slid out and ate shit immediately on his shiny new Harley LowRider. No harm done and made for a fun story. The rest of the night was spent drinking beer, telling stories, watching old chopper movies, gazing at the millions of stars, and tending to a fire all while laughing and having the best time in middle-of-nowhere, Texas. Really one of those “you had to be there” kind of nights.

The stage
The stage
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Brothers Sam and Steve hanging out on the stage with Larry’s Triumph
"The Fist" members awarding Momo with a belt buckle for his beautiful shit eating entrance
“The Fist” members awarding Momo with a belt buckle for his beautiful shit eating entrance

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The screen where chopper movies were played
The screen where chopper movies were played on the stage

Bro.....

The Legendary Dick Finger
The Legendary Dick Finger

We all woke up around 9:00 or 10:00am to a warm sun. Poor ol’ Minnesota Todd was drenched in sweat on this 85 degree morning. Everyone helped clean up, said their goodbyes and we all headed our separate ways happy that we all just made so many new friends.

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I am very glad I participated in the inaugural Gabe’s Ride Out. I dubbed it “Gabe’s Rough Ride” since we somehow managed to find the gnarliest roads in Texas, but the asphalt conditions only made it more fun. I was worried about getting ID’d at bars and not being able to relate to all you dudes double my age, but people bought me beers and motorcycles are a universal language. Everything worked out and we all had a blast. Gabe had chopper games planned and I planned to take a lot more pictures, but we were too busy just having fun it seems. The Gabe’s Ride Out was an incredibly laid back, small, and perfect event with a hilarious name. Like I said, it’s one of those “you had to be there” kind of things. And next year, you should be.

Thanks for the opportunity, guys!

 -Timmy “The Teenage Chopper MacGyver” Marr

Doozle does Detroit.

The boys contacted me just before I was leaving for this trip about possibly contributing. Not sure of my self and what all I have to offer as Im just a no body doing life the only way I know how, I graciously accepted. With hopes to spread stoke and inspire, here is my first post. Hope ya’ll enjoy. -Chad

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Doozle Does Detroit

It seems that summer ends as soon as it starts. It felt like just yesterday we all were carving the mountains during Smokey Mountain Chopperfest. I guess the saying is right, time flies when you’re having fun. With fall about to start, I needed to get out of the sauna state and roam some miles while I still could. A few phone calls and considerations, I was pumped to head to Detroit for Oily souls and the Venturo’s bbq.

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I ditched a plane ticket for the following weekends family vacation in Michigan and trucked up to Acme, Pa. A good buddy, Kyle Lopes had been working there all summer at a rad indy HD shop, McClain’s jam cycle. I dumped the swingshuv out and packed her up for the weekend. Kyle got cut from work and off we went to Pittsburg. It was my first time ever seeing the city. From the outside it looked glorious and on the inside it seemed American as fuck.unspecified-3unspecified-5

The next morning we were headed towards Cleveland to meet up with some guy named Bob. Kyle mentioned tolls along our way and I just laughed. We have them all over in Orlando and on a bike its not hard to cover up a plate to roll for free so I said, “Just follow suite, I got ya.” Well, I encountered a new kind of tollbooth; this motherfucker had an arm that about close lined me off the bike. Holding on like hell I definitely did not cover my plate and ended up head butting the flexible arm. I cannot wait for that ticket in the mail. Back to Bob though, Bob has a rad pan/shovel with some of the most meticulous ingenuity I have ever seen in person. Brake linkages that attach to the oil pump, a brake stay that god himself would have a hard time creating and an engine that makes the devil smile every time it’s kicked to life. After meeting Bob and talking, I found out his bike was also in the show. Fuck yeah for riding it there!unspecified-4unspecified-7

A couple hundred miles later we rolled into the velodrome where the Venturos were hosting their 4th annual bbq. All types of bikes and people gathered around an old abandon bicycle racetrack. The sun had begun to set and beers were flowing. One of those points in time you wish you could relive over and over again.

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Waking up in the Venturos yard the next morning, we all road to grab food. The McDonalds we found had more security measures than most banks I’ve been in, a nice reminder as to where we were. Next was the famed ghetto tour, unfortunately cut short from some afternoon showers, we ended up under a huge pavilion with beers, some smoke and a skateboard. We all made the absolute most of it and left as friends.

 

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The rains subsided and the rest of the Venturos met us at the pavilion for the ride to the show. A few miles of Detroit’s finest roads and we arrived. Parked in the median directly across from the entrance, we walked right in. Beautiful bikes, happy people and delicious tacos, you couldn’t ask for anything more.

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A few blocks after we left the show my go pro slipped out of my jacket, luckily Kyle noticed it and we u-turned back. There it lay in the middle of an intersection…lucky af. However it was late Saturday night in Detroit and we lost the group. A few random gas station directions later we found 8mile road, jogged back to 7mile and a right at the Little Ceasers. Success, we made it back to the house.

A long night with no sleep, still tripping, we left around 7am. I couldn’t even gather my tent up, seriously, barely got my other belongings on the bike. Absolute shambles and we were off, the good ol’ Irish goodbye.

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A bit over 300 miles of trying not to fall asleep or puke and our weekend was done. A huge thanks to Will Solares for the initial invite, Kyle Lopes and his boss for everything. Who ever puts on Oily souls, y’all nailed a great event and the Venturos, Thanks for the hospitality guys. End of summer success. Cheers -TheMandoozle

Who The Fuck is Ricky Bongos?!?

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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

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 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: rickybongos.com.  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.

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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! 😉

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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
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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.

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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.

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  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.  

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  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. 

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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.

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  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!

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  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.

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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.

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  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.

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  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 www.openroaddesign.ca  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

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 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.

    b0zwar

 

  • 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.

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  • 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