January 27, 2015

BF7 Invited Builder : Dalton Walker

 Dalton Walker of Split Image Kustoms has been tearing up the bike show circut for the past few years and now is a builder in our invited group. Dalton's shop is based in the small farm town of Hanford California but his style & ability are big time. His full show, wild 70's influenced choppers are a great addition to our diverse group and brings a new element that we have not had before. I got him to send me a few pics of what he is building and some of what he has built.  Follow Dalton's build here and check out his site to learn more about what he does. http://splitimagekustoms.blogspot.com/  

January 23, 2015

GNRS Starts Today

We will be out at the Grand National Roadster Show all weekend selling Born-Free Posters/Tickets. We also have a limited number of BF6 Tees & a few BF7 Tees featuring the Adam Nickel poster art. There are some great bikes in the show this year from past builders , the best in show winner and special guests.

January 19, 2015

BF7 Invited Builder : Arie VanSchyndel

Arie V of  was part of the dynamic duo building team ( Big Nick Zazzi ) that brought the killer Street/ Strip Shovel to BF6 and opened many eyes & doors. Arie has a strong background in fabrication that stems from designing & fabricating roll cages and building suspension systems for racing world. He has become a go to guy in North San Diego for frame building ,customizing, bending handlebars, fab work and makes a nice line of chopper parts. His shop is Vee Manufacturing so if you need some work or parts look him up. Arie and his brother also produced the Hot Rod Havoc & Two Wheel Terrors videos. Arie has checked in with his first build update and writes:
 The motor is a built 80" 1950 Harley-Davidson EL Panhead.
  The frame will be hand built in house and It should have a real radical look with the front cylinder standing straight up. I also will be making a springer front end using some parts from a factory inline unit and old ford radius rods....and few hand crafted touches too. The bike won't be super long or totally raked out but it will definitely have that chopper look. Stay tuned for more build updates and our builder video series.

January 16, 2015

BF7 Invited Builder : Shawn Long

Shawn Long is very talented artist, painter and bike builder. Shawn has a long history with Born-Free....He painted an amazing tank for the Vans giveaway at BF4, did some killer artwork for a promo at BF3 and is now an invited builder. Shawn was also a part of the Show Class Peoples Champ promo and the bike he built grabbed the attention everyone watching and ourselves. Shawn is a super classy guy and has a real cool style that will add some diversity to our builder group. He just checked in and writes:

For my efforts, I am just shootin for a classic bike that I am digging.  It may touch on many different styles, but to quote a buddy of mine, let's call the vibe "choppermint".  This bike has been dancing on my brain for some time now, so it feels good to finally let it out. Starting with a 1947 Knucklehead engine sitting comfortably in an early OEM frame, with a VL springer out front. A few "ideas" still to iron out; a custom dual Linkert setup, narrowed hubs, narrowed oil tank, built gas tank, sissy stick, and Hellings bars and risers. Undecided on wheel and tire setup so I'm keepin my options open - dual 19's, 18 rear and 19 front, or 18 rear and 21 front.  Of course to wrap things up, the bike will be adorned with all the frills that deems the name show bike, but it isn't being built with sitting idle in mind. As you can see from the pics, most of the parts collection has taken place, so now its time to really get at it. See you in the sunshine. Be great!


January 14, 2015

January 13, 2015

BF7 Invited Builder: Shawn Donahue

Party? Shawn is know worldwide for his ability to party but he his also building a reputation has a top notch bike builder, fabricator and
 frame restoration guru. Shawn's ability to learn and create is something I have never seen before...there is really nothing he can't do if his mind is set on it. He opened his shop up a few years back (Bronsonville) with partner Pablo in Pomona CA and has been turning out high quality work ever since. This year he is back as a builder and here's the story...For Born-Free this year I'm building an 86" stroker Knucklehead chopper. This build is inspired by an older Swedish bike that unfortunately doesn't exist anymore. I've always loved Joakim Frantz's knucklehead "Satan's Dream" and have wanted to build my take on that bike for years. I'm excited to get the chance to finally do that this year! I will be building the frame, gas tank, oil tank, and springer front end from scratch, as well as controls, handle bars, sissy pole etc. This bike will be long and thin with tons of fabrication and full show chrome & paint. Party.

January 12, 2015

The Giveaway Knucklehead Post 1

This is the first of many updates to come on the 1946 Harley Davidson Knucklehead we are giving away at BF7. Max Schaaf of 4Q Condition in Oakland CA will be building & riding the bike to the show. Max has built some of the coolest bikes for BF & himself over the years and we are very happy he accepted our proposal to build one of the giveaway bikes. Here are some words from Max... This is my first post about the Knucklehead I am building and Born-Free is giving away at BF7. I've started to collect some parts for it. One being a beautiful 1946 Knucklehead motor, I really dig Knuckles in straight leg Panhead frames so I've acquired one of those as well. The rest is just gobbley guck for the photo, but you get the idea. I'm very excited about this endeavor and am actually a little anxious as I type this. My vision is to build a chopper, that when finished i'll ride to the show. It will not be a show bike that has immaculate paint and chrome with no farts on the seat, though I will be doing lots of fabrication and paint on the bike. I just think those style bikes are fun to build and ride and that way whoever wins it can enjoy themselves and not feel like they can't breathe on it. Feels corny to over explain  so i'll stop, and just say...... the winner wins a Knucklehead and I hope he/she can ride it out of there or at least enjoy riding it wherever it ends up. Stoked to do this. Mike & Grant  thanks for giving me this opportunity. If the bike runs well maybe i'll just ride past the show and head for Mexico. In the Wind... or On the Win. $25 chopper. Crazy.
P.S. Need kickstand.

I had no idea, digging up the burried treasures, while brushing off the cobwebs

BF7 Invited Builder : Nick Zazzi

 Nick Zazzi or Big Nick as most know him by is a first time builder for the BF invite but not the first bike he has built for BF. Last year Nick & Arie ( also BF7 invited builder ) built a tough as nails Shovel that impressed us and everyone else at the show...we asked them to both build bikes for BF7. We simply don't know everyone or see every bike being built & have preached this procedure for years and this is exactly how it should work..they built a cool bike, brought it to the show , everyone loved it and now are building bikes for this year. Nick also represents what we try to do every year and it is no easy task....find new people with the same passion , drive and desire to build but a different style, approach and technique. Nick just checked in with his first build post and he writes:
 Here are some pictures and the idea behind my build. I will be basically doing a mash up of my 1951 Harley-Davidson  Pan/Shovel and my 1954 Pan. I am using a a 51 bottom end with shovel tops, an early 4 speed, 16" wheels front and rear, a peanut tank that I am making split tanks with, 8" apes, also using 39mm tubes & making the trees to hug the front tire as tight as possible. It will all be in a frame (made in-house) that's also a mix of both stock and aftermarket touches. The concept behind build is a twist on my old Pan I built 7 plus years ago and now do it to the best of my abilities today.
 I moved to California almost two years ago after leaving my 9 to 5 of 15 years in New York and taking this on full time. Being able to be part of the show is truly an amazing feeling and accomplishment and to be listed with the group of builders from this year is still somewhat surreal! We welcome Big Nick to Born-Free and can't wait to see his bike at the show.