Happy Punkin' Day

Street Chopper

Wow, we got a sneak peek yesterday at the December issue of Street Chopper. We'll be stoked to see Billy Bartells take over as editor and hope he continues this trend away from the gross, over-priced penis extension bikes and embraces the bikes, people and events that seem more relevant to us regular guys who will never pay 50 grand for some rolling easter egg. Thanks for your hard work on this directional change Courtney and crew.

You can look forward to seeing our friend Caleb's Gran Sancho panhead shot earlier in the year down in San Felipe in this issue. Wow, a nicely crafted custom motorcyle that gets the piss ridden out of it on a regular basis? You bet. Good for you, Caleb, and thanks SC for showing real bikes not just show queens.

Also in this issue, painter extraordinaire, Harpoon does a tech story on helmet painting. It just happens to be on a couple of our lids, but could be applied to anything. Cool thing is all the stuff is available at your local crafts store and it's not all super-secret unobtainium flakes scraped from Ken Howard's old school bus. Great job on the lids, Poon, they look rad and your captions are as entertaining as they are informative.

Lastly, there are six pages of McGoo's writing and our friend Eric Penrod's photos describing our trek to NY this past summer. They even used that lucky little pic I shot while Chris and I were riding over the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan. It's not your standard tough guy chopper story which makes it fun. Thanks again to everyone we met on that trip, reading the story and looking at the pics again really made me crave Guiness and potholes for some reason...



The Real Smoke Out!

Thanks to everyone for the calls, text messages and emails concerning the fires. It's a terrible tragedy for many folks not far from here and so far we have been very fortunate. The worst we've had to deal with is smoke and dust and the non-stop internet-fueled rumor mills.

The wind has died down a bit so hopefully that will allow firefighters like our friend Oscar to do their job a little easier.

The best source for info on the fires I've found is our newspaper's website, channel 27 on Fios or radio station 103.3 FM if you are local.

You can see Temecula at the top of this map and see how we're just sucking smoke. This map was grabbed at 1530 hrs today.


The Four Aces Connection

At the Horse Magazine's recent Smoke Out West event a couple people asked me if I worked for Four Aces (I was wearing the shirt). I guess someone else asked Wes if he owned Biltwell. This is an honest confusion since we do a lot of stuff together, but could use some clarification just so everyone who might care has the correct info.

Wes White owns Four Aces Cycle in Pacoima. It's a full-service shop that specializes in custom motorcycles. Most specifically old British stuff, but as his recent Chop-Off winning 45" shows, he's no slouch when it comes to HD's either. He is also a retailer of Biltwell products, among a myriad other bits and brands. Wes doesn't own Biltwell, and we have nothing to do with his shop except as a supplier, customer and friend.

We met Wes a couple years ago when McGoo and I drove to the valley in the middle of the night with a useless lump of a T100 engine I bought off eBay. We were impressed with his articulate and friendly manner and I'm sure he thought we were total douchebags. Over the next year or so I pestered him with stupid Triumph questions and told him about this hairbrained idea we had cooked up while I was still in Iraq -- The El Diablo Run.

Slowly we all became friends and saw each other at various events and such. Chris went to Bonneville with Wes and helped out in the pits. Somewhere along the line we started Biltwell and ran a few of the ideas by Wes and got some solid input in return. His knowledge of custom motorcycle history and the perspective gained from earning a living wrenching on old bikes was invaluable. Wes stocked a few of our early items and determined that selling our parts was a pretty good deal. We loved it because his shop was like a tiny test market and it's valuable to chat with someone who isn't just blowing smoke up your rear end. To make the relationship less one-sided, I've done the design work on his last few t-shirts, stickers and most recently his website.

In the meantime Wes has become a devout sponsor of the EDR and we sponsored his most recent racing program at Bonneville.

When it came time to develop the next round of products, we asked Wes if he wanted to do some signature parts. Something loosely based on the relationships skateboarders used to have with sponsors back when they did their own graphics and things were a little less disposable. He designed two items, the Four Aces exhaust tips, based on an Amal carb velocity stack and the Aces handlebar. We put his shop's name on these parts and he gets a cut from whatever we sell. Neither party will get rich off of anything we do, but we figured it was a way to help him out and experiment with what the marketing wizards of the world call "Co-branding".

This mingling of the minds may have led to a little confusion, but our involvement has been mutually beneficial. Wes is doing brisk parts and accessory sales that didn't exist for him a year ago, and I still pester him with retarded questions about old Triumphs.

If you are in the LA area, you owe it to yourself to pop by and visit Wes and check out his shop. If you don't live close you can get a pretty good glimpse into what he's all about by checking out his BLOG and tap into a good history lesson once in a while by reading the SPOTLIGHT section of his website.

Thanks for being part of the team, Wes!


The Aces Handlebar. Chromoly, 7/8 or 1" diameter and available in chrome or black electroplate. $77 MSRP.

The Four Aces exhaust tips shown here in black, but also available in Silver, shown below.

55 bucks a pair. Of course, all of these items as well as helmets and everything else we sell are available from Four Aces Cycle.


Necessity is The Mother of Invention

Our friend Steve Crandall at FBM Bikes in upstate NY is a crafty bastard, and a BMXer to the core. Check out how Steve hauls his bike to trails and skateparks in The Empire State. Steve cobbled this BMX bike rack from scraps of 4130 chromoly that was laying around in his frame-building shop. According to Steve, "There is a whole crew of BMXers with old jap bikes, making racks for their BMX's and they're stoked. Its awesome." It sure is, Steve. Thanks for sharing your idea with us.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

-- McGoo


Helmets on Parade!

We kickstarted our Custom Helmet Painter Program a little over six weeks ago, and so far the response has been awesome. Roughly a dozen talented painters on two continents ponied up for the program right off the bat, and their work has been well received by the masses. It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not even going to try and list every painter by name. The smart ones are showing their handiwork online at places like The Jockey Journal. These are random photos I culled from that resource to show everyone who doesn't frequent this message board the kind of custom-painted Biltwell hoods that are out there. I've listed the JJ2 handle of each painter below the image, so if you want to commission any of these guys for a custom helmet of your own, feel free to search JockeyJournal.com for the member and get to it. If you're a painter whose work isn't featured in this abbreviated expose, please email photos of your best stuff along with contact info and prices and we'll feature you in a future blog on this website. To Charlie, Paul, Ryzart, Shad, Mitch and the rest of the painters whose names I can't recall (sorry about that!), thanks a million for all your support.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Kim Boyle's personal brain bucket, art courtesy of RYZART.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A metal flake masterpiece by JERRY REED.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Two views of the same flashy helmet from HOTROD72.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This beauty was painted for Wes White at Four Aces Cycles. It matches the bike show winner that Wes and his crew assembled for this year's Smokeout West biker build-off. I think Nick painted it, but I could be wrong. Wes can tell you for sure--give him a call.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

FLYINSOLO71 (our good friend Paul) dropped the sweet lightning and lace color scheme on this Biltwell brain bucket. Photos don't do Paul's work justice.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Two very different but equally stylish and unique paint jobs from a Euro dude named BULLER on the Jockey Journal. Dig the lettering...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The name of the guy who painted this baby escapes me, but it too has some bad-ass lettering and some really nice pinstriping. I wish I could do cool art like this guy.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is our good friend Mitch Maciel's personal Biltwell skid lid. Mitch goes by ALTERED PILOT on the JJ2, and he's our go-to guy for dope paint jobs. If you don't believe me, just check out Billdozer's custom Altered Pilot masterpiece below...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

matte black striping on a gloss black helmet, gold accents with classic freehand lettering. Gotta love it.

Thanks again to all the talented painters who are a part of the Biltwell Custom Painter Helmet program. If you want to participate in this program, please email us your name, mailing address and phone number and Chris will send you more info.

-- McGoo


Back From The Smoke Out West

Well we are back. One new tranny in the old van an extra day in Blythe and we are good as new! The ride was great and the weather was too. Thanks to Joel, Kim, Fredo, Oscar, Eric, David and Abe for riding along with us. We had a blast. The Smokeout was good too. Wes won the builders build off event and the event was a success.

Operation Charlie Foxtrot.

Happy birthday, Fredo!

Blythe is Beautiful!

On the road again...

Hockin' the goods.

Panheads Forever.

The Chop Off winner---Four Aces.

Wes and Jeff over at Four Aces built the Bike of the Year as you can see. Its even better in person, I could stare at it for hours. Congratulations on the Win guys Great Job! Check out the Four Aces site for more pics.


Smoke 'em if you got 'em


We're leaving for the Horse Magazine's second annual Smoke Out event in Cottonwood, Arizona first thing Thursday morning. We're going to take it easy and stop half way and camp along the river in lovely Blythe, CA and then ride in the rest of the way on Friday.

We'll have a booth set up so be sure sure to stop by and say hello.

Also, don't miss Wes White from Four Aces Cycle's official Chop Off bike. I've seen photos and can't wait to see it in person.

Once the venue shuts down we'll be camping at the Deadhorse Campgrounds by the skate park about five minutes away from the fairgrounds.


EDR or Bust!

For three years I've subjected myself to the agony and the ecstacy of building a motorcycle for the El Diablo Run. This year I decided to cut myself some slack and just tweak last year's EDR bike for next year's ride. Modifications include a new 19" x 3.5" front wheel, a new seat courtesy of Xian Leather, and some stubby little handlebars from a Ducati Monster. I am shaking down my refurbished Sporty on the ride to the Smokeout West this weekend. I'm really happy with the new stance and the new front rubber, and Xian once again outdid himself on the first-class seating. Thanks to Bob at Temecula Motorcycle repair for mounting and balancing my front tire, and thanks to Christian at Xian for getting my new seat done in time for the SOW. See you in Cottonwood...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Side profile. I think the skinnier and taller front tire gives it a more classic chopper stance, whatever that means.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Xian trod upon new territory with this seat. Embroidery and canvas aren't materials Christian is known to work with, but his finished product is exemplary. I love this seat.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The inverted Biltwell Clubman bars on earlier versions of my motorcycle were awesome, but my friend Kim convinced me to give the sportbike bars off his Ducati a shot. I change handlebars like Chris Collins switches cylinders, which as anyone who has seen Oklahoma's Pan can tell you is a lot!

-- McGoo