Born Free 5

The most common single-word description I hear about Born Free is this: overwhelming. It's true, there were so many bikes, friends, etc it was impossible to spend enough time with any of them. I tried to get photos of all of the invited builder bikes and failed miserably. Even getting the straight scoop on who won what has been a little tough. I poached the following list from Lisa at Chop Cult, but I'm pretty sure Yaniv from Powerplant won something too, so even this list seems incomplete. Whatever, I'm sick of sitting on the photos and wanted to share 'em, so here's a fat sack of motorcycle pics from the Invited Builder's Corral.

Invited Builders Category:
1 - Joey Cano
2 - Chopper Dave
3 - Kiyo

Best Knucklehead: Show Class People's Champ winner, Bobby Good Times.

Best Panhead: Kevin Baas

Best Japanese: Kiyo

Best Flathead: Jason Sheets' 1931 Harley VL who's bike was also picked by the ticket winner Ryan Hagger of Murrieta. The ticket, number #1154, was sold through Lowbrow Customs.

Best Competition: Brandon Holstein “Brawny Built”

Best Chopper: Kouske from Sunrise Cycles.

Harley Davidson Awards:
Trip to the Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary Party: Joey Cano
Harley Davidson 120R Power Plant:  Scott “T - Bones” Jones

Best in Show / Trip to Mooneyes Yokohama Japan: Scoot “T-Bones” Jones


Show Class Magazine's People's Choice Showdown Shindig!

So, the Friday night before Born Free 5, six (well, five due to a radiator in utah) bike builders converged on Cook's Corner in Orange County, CA. Spectators were allowed a single ticket, and then had to pick which bike's ballot box to slip it into. Bobby Good Times' white knucklehead was the winner and he was rewarded with the chance to display his bike with the Invited Builders the next day. All of the bikes were top-notch in every way, and the parking lot outside the bar was packed with tons of gems from all over. Sorry I didn't get any decent pics of Pete's bike, it was so crowded it was hard to get in there. Jordan had van trouble on the way and missed the party but his pan was on display in the SCM booth all day Saturday. We are stoked to have been a sponsor, thanks Show Class!

Since 1926. Thanks for the hospitality, Rhonda!

Special 79 Jay Roche's tidy Ironhead was definitely no roach! Jay's a great friend and inspirational craftsman.

The level of detail and one-off parts on Travis McClelland's 1960 "Steam Hammer" panhead was insane.

You may know Shawn Long as the painter who goes by the Imperial House moniker. Not only is he a world-class pinstriper and painter, he's one hell of a bike builder. His pan was super neat and not far from the first-place slot.

Pete Mason's knucklehead was a great looking bike. I'm just bummed I didn't get more photos of it. 
The riders at Cook's voted by dropping a single ticket into a custom painted ammo can (Thanks Hot Dog!) in front of each bike. Towards the end of the night, the Show Class dudes counted 'em up and Bobby "Good Times" had the most votes with his gorgeous "White Wizard" knucklehead. He got to display among the Invited Builders the next day at Born Free and went home with the "Best Knucklehead" award from that. Talk about good times!

Rider 'em, don't hide 'em! I always find the parking lot at any bike show to be equally interesting and inspiring as the full-on show bikes. Between beers, I wandered the lot outside Cook's and shot a few snappies. 

It was weird not to be on a bike all weekend, but with all the junk we had to haul to the event, etc it was more practical to drive my van. I'm stoked to have it back on the road again finally, and even more stoked that it suffered through the high temps with no problems. -Bill