“Electric Revolution” brings copper and wire to that bastion of internal combustion, the Petersen Museum
Karlee Cobb’s “Outrider” Custom Indian Scout
“Electric Revolution” brings copper and wire to that bastion of internal combustion, the Petersen Museum
The King of Custom Motorcycles left a big mark on the industry
Launched in November, the Project Scout competition is giving dealers from around the globe a high-profile forum to showcase their passion for Indian Motorcycle and their team’s talent by building a custom Indian Scout.
There are no restrictions on the bike’s theme, cost or build style, the only rules being the dealers had to use an Indian Scout or the newly introduced Scout Sixty as the base model and use a minimum of three authentic Indian Scout accessories from the current catalogue.
From now through Friday 19th February, Indian Motorcycle fans can vote for their favorite Project Scout by visiting
On Saturday 20th February, the top three Project Scout finalists as voted by Indian Motorcycle fans will be announced. The dealers behind these three machines will then receive an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to the 75th annual Daytona Bike Week.
Indian Motorcycle will host a special award ceremony in Daytona Beach on Friday 11th March, during which a panel of celebrity judges will select the ultimate winner of the ‘Project Scout: Build a Legend’ program, with party goers voting for the winner of the Fan Favorite award.
Reid Wilson, Marketing Manager for Indian Motorcycle commented: “The response from our dealers to the Scout Custom Series and now this Project Scout program has been incredible. Watching these builds come together from around the world has been amazing. It’s clear that the passion and talent for customizing Indian Motorcycle models is built into our dealer base, and we know that people will be fired up when they see the final Project Scout builds.”
Visit the Indian Motorcycle website to place your vote today and stay tuned to Indian Motorcycle’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.
Indian Motorcycle is also inviting Daytona Bike Week attendees to visit the brand’s display that will feature the full 2016 line-up as well as custom and vintage bikes. In addition licensed riders can demo ride all the latest models including in the new Indian Scout and Indian Scout Sixty.
Stay tuned to Indian Motorcycle for more announcements including owners’ activities, parties and other features during Daytona Bike Week.
Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine wants to see your custom bikes! If you have a project that has already been shot, we would love to see the photos. If you have a project that is recently finished and hasn’t been shot yet, we would love to hear about it and potentially get some shots taken and have it featured. Below is a general outline of what we’re looking for, as well as some questions to help us write the story on you and your bike!
Thanks, and we look forward to your response!
Selected bikes will:
-Be featured as the main image on MotorcycleCruiser.com’s home page for a minimum of one day.
-Have a feature written about the bike and the shop/ builder
-Live indefinitely on the website as searchable content
-Be promoted through all social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
What we’re looking for:
Cruiser, standard, brat, café, club-style, bobber, scrambler, whatever sort of swing-arm, non-sport bike custom bike you have. Anything from custom Triumphs, BMWs, Sportsters and Bolts, to weirdo metric 250 and 125cc builds. If you’ve got it, we want to see it!
Please send hi-res images including profile shots of both sides of the bike, as well as 45 degree angle shots from the front and the back, and close-up detail shots of any interesting pieces.
1. What was the motorcycle you used as a platform for this custom job, and why?
2. What is the first impression you want people to get when they see this build?
3. What was this bike built to do? (city streets, scrambles, highway, everything…)
4. If you could summarize your building style in three words, what would they be?
5. Who or what do you see as your main style influence on this build?
6. Which custom parts were made in house?
7. Which aftermarket parts did you have to source out?
8. What is a detail that you love that the untrained eye might overlook?
9. What’s next for this particular bike? (will it be touring the shows, sold to a customer, etc.)
10. Which sort of bike do you see yourself using for your next build?
PLEASE EMAIL SUBMISSIONS TO: Cruiser@BonnierCorp.com
With the news of El Chapo’s capture, we found ourselves talking about his mid-day escape from the maximum-security prison in which he was being held in Mexico.
The Mexican drug lord arranged for a tunnel to be dug from a field outside of the prison to a shaft that led to El Chapo’s shower stall. The tunnel was about a mile long and actually quite well made, with ventilation shafts, wiring for lights, and rails that the funky custom motorcycle would run on to bring the fugitive to freedom.
Looking closely at the bike you can see that it’s a single cylinder, air cooled engine. The shocks on the back are pretty dinky so we’re thinking this bike can’t be any larger than 250cc’s. Also the skinny dual-sport looking tire, chain drive and what looks like a drum brake, indicate that it’s probably one of the infinitely popular 125cc Chinese, Mexican, or Japanese made universal motorcycles. A great example of this type of bike is the Honda CG125, an affordable and highly reliable bike used all over the world. We think it’s most likely a Mexican or Chinese motorcycle, like the Honley pictured here.
Whatever it was he rode, that was one crazy contraption and a truly incredible escape. We’re glad they caught him, and hope he doesn’t manage to escape again!
Frank Bott is world-famous and locally anonymous. That’s how it is in modern digital life. Heck, there’s every chance you even know who Frank is because you live nowhere near him. He just moved to a spot some say is directly over a filled-in missile silo, in Utah.
He shoots bikes. Bott is one of America’s most accomplished studio photographers of motorcycles. At last count, his images have graced publications more than 120 times in just the past five years.
Bott has lived most of his life in the Lakewood area of Los Angeles County. Nine years ago he relocated to Asheville, North Carolina, to be closer to his sister. About five years ago, he decided to bring two of his loves together, motorcycles and photography, and so he set up a studio in an abandoned grain silo in Asheville’s River Arts District, inviting enthusiasts to bring their bikes by for a shoot.
In those early days, Bott discovered he had a lot to learn. As he told us, “It turned out that photographing bikes is very difficult. So it became a challenge, [but] we figured it out over a couple of years. In past lives, I shot for AP and newspapers, I managed networks, did IP security. I love art and long, sequential, detailed information. Now I’ve combined them.”
Over time, Bott moved his workplace to an old factory nearby and began masking around his subjects with a combination of white and black fabric walls, floor, and ceiling. Bott revealed, “Corey Perrine, a photojournalist, told me I needed to shoot bikes the same way I’d shoot a watch or jewelry,” he said. “So we built a huge box to put the bike in, nearly 30 by 40 feet.
“We had to do this to control the lighting because the contrast range is so difficult, from chrome to dull, black tires,” he explained. “The Kelvin temperature has to be perfect to respect the colors. People bring us some amazing paint jobs, and our images have to have to be true; we have to make the metallics explode.” Eli Whipple has assisted Bott for many of his developments and is still very involved. “He’s a chemical genius,” Bott said. And he’s a fire dancer earning a B.S. degree in environmental science. “Eli came up with the mechanical design solutions for lighting arrangement, distances. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
The weird thing, or rather, the weirdest thing, is that Bott shoots most motorcycles for free. He takes crazy-beautiful studio shots, of perfect color without reflections or hot spots, and he usually does it for nothing and then gives the images to whoever owns the motorcycle. This is because he has a business model that’s light-years ahead of most corporations. He’s a baby boomer with the savvy of a millennial.
Today, while I write this, Bott has 353,706 “likes” on his Facebook page, “Motorcycle Photography by Frank Bott.” He’s got the numbers of a rock star. “We’ve shot 292 bikes for free and 36 for a fee,” he said. “Shooting for free was the last thing we thought could work. But after learning more about the web, we saw the biggest thing I needed was an audience. And telling people I’d shoot for free, they’d come.”
“We’ve shot 292 bikes for free and 36 for a fee,” he said. “Shooting for free was the last thing we thought could work. But after learning more about the web, we saw the biggest thing I needed was an audience. And telling people I’d shoot for free, they’d come.”
“After we established ourselves on Facebook, we did an experiment and bought $50 worth of ad clicks,” he continued. “It was used up in minutes. We did it again to see if it was a fluke, and again it was gone in minutes. So we knew we had something. Now we have 1 to 2 million views a week. We have an enormous audience. When I moved to Tooele [Utah], I was surprised how many knew who I am. It’s working.
“I charge for outdoor shooting, for bikes that I’ve learned won’t draw an audience, and for corporate work,” Bott continued. “For our free stuff, we can have someone in and out in an hour or so, and I supply them with 20 to 25 pictures, with rights to large-format versions.”
Popular Photography magazine noticed and did a full-page feature about Bott. Wired magazine also did a feature about Bott, and now we are. Frank Bott is a freakin’ phenomenon.
Presently, Bott has moved to Tooele, a sleepy sheep town that sits on the edge of Miller Motorsports Park, about an hour or so from Bonneville Salt Flats—if you travel at 90 mph. That also puts him about 40 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, which Botts calls very non-Latter-day-Saints friendly these days.
His new studio is, according to some, atop a former missile silo, and, even better, it has a retractable roof he wouldn’t mind getting operable again. His new studio soft box will be 27 by 42 feet, allowing him to shoot cars more easily, as well as taller items like apehangers and humans. He’s also upping his wattage from 26,000 to 32,000. Bring sunglasses, and be prepared for some minor hallucinations.
For those who care about technical details, Frank shoots with a Canon 6D camera, using a 1.2 Canon lens. Soon he’ll have live capture, which means in about 30 seconds after a shot it will post to a big screen so customers can see the images immediately.
Despite his accomplishments in photographing motorcycles, the best part about Bott is Bott. He’s one of my favorite humans. Now that he’s moved from a city whose unofficial slogan is, “Keep Asheville Weird,” Asheville is now a little less weird, and I’m a little lonely.
Bott had a small dog named Creature, who he saved from the expressway and pneumonia. Sadly, Creature was killed last winter in a hit-and-run accident while on a leash just a few feet from Bott. So loved were these two that Creature has a beer named after him at Asheville’s Wedge Brewery. Creature has passed on, Bott has moved on, but Creature beer is still available. And it’s 11 percent! A nice excuse for a visit, no?
Bott’s images can be found at frankjbott.com, his Facebook page, and at bikeexif.com, managed by Chris Hunter, who Bott said has doubled the experience for some of his shoots. “Chris and I share,” Bott said. “He writes about the bikes he posts with my images. It gives the owners great gratification: pictures and words.”
Back in Tooele, Bott found Maynard, recently saved directly from the executioner’s proverbial ax, a life of abuse, heartworm, and other parasites. Bott said his pals teach him patience.
If you’re willing to visit Tooele, submit an image of your bike to the wayward photographer. He needs custom bikes or cool stories. If you have neither, just a “regular” bike with particular story to tell, Bott will shoot it for far less than you would likely guess. Ask him.
Twice a month now, Bott is having family night, doing free portraits of the Tooele locals. “I can shoot a dozen people at once,” he said. “I’m not going into the portrait business; it’s my way to show respect to the local culture and to meet my neighbors.” Get there, and help Bott make Tooele weird.
today announced its ‘Project Scout: Build a Legend’ custom program. The program gives select dealers a high-profile forum to showcase their passion for Indian Motorcycle and their team’s talent by building a custom Indian Scout. There are no rules or restrictions on bike theme, cost or build style, although entrants must utilize a 2016 Indian Scout model and a minimum of three genuine Indian Scout accessories from the current catalog of more than 200 items. The Indian Scout custom build program was open to Indian Motorcycle dealers from around the world on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The Indian Scout has long been a favorite platform for custom builders, and the 2016 Scout continues that heritage with class-leading power and handling upon which customizers can build their ultimate vision,” said Indian Motorcycle Marketing Director Scott Meek. “Through this program we are giving our dealers around the world a global stage from which to demonstrate their creativity, and ultimately to write a new chapter in the legendary history of the Indian Scout.”
From now through January 15, 2016 each participating dealer will submit monthly photos reflecting their progress toward completion, which Indian Motorcycle will regularly highlight on its social media channels. Beginning on January 18, final custom build photos will begin being published and shared on the Indian Motorcycle website and social media channels and Indian Motorcycle fans will be allowed to vote for their favorites. This fan voting will continue through February 19, and on February 20 the top three finalists will be announced.
The top three Project Scout finalists as voted by Indian Motorcycle fans will receive an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to the 75th annual Daytona Bike Week for themselves plus a guest. Finally, Indian Motorcycle will host a special award ceremony in Daytona Beach during which a panel of celebrity judges will select the ultimate winner of the ‘Project Scout: Build a Legend’ program, and party goers will vote to determine the winner of the Fan Favorite award.
Stay tuned to Indian Motorcycle’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels for contest updates and regular progress reports on each custom build project.
Nestled into an alleyway in the busy streets of Downtown Los Angeles, Lock Baker is putting together some of the most insanely well engineered forward-thinking custom motorcycles ever built.
Lock is a builder’s builder. There is a reason that among the 30 or so people at the shop opening were some of the biggest and most impressive names in customs. He isn’t just putting an engine in a custom frame, he is engineering every single component from engine to frame in order to make the ultimate machine.
The latest bike on the lift: The Interceptor MK2 is one of the most brilliantly engineered bikes I have ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on. There isn’t a component on this machine that hasn’t been carefully assessed and run through the “how can we do this better?” grid. This is the sort of bike you can easily get lost looking at and still never understand the full amount of work and thought that went into it. I recognize some of the other bikes around the shop as pieces from earlier in Eastern Fabrications story, namely “Icarus,” whose Twin-Cam engine was treated with Continental aircraft cylinders as well as a ton of other insane pieces that are an absolute wonder to me.
Lock works on another level and sitting talking to him about his bikes, you’re talking to an artist more than a mechanic. The passion he has for what he does beams out of his eyes as he excitedly explains the details of his mechanical masterpieces to you. There aren’t a lot of builders pushing themselves the way that Lock is with Eastern Fabrications, and with the new space: it’s only getting better.
For more information on Lock Baker and his awesome new shop in Downtown Los Angeles, visit his website EasternFabrications.com
The following report is filed with the NHTSA:
Report Receipt Date: July 8, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V439000
Component(s): Electrical System
Potential Number of Units Affected: 45,153
Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)
Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 ST1300PA, 2014-2015 CB500, CBR500, CRF250L, CBR650, CTX700, NSS300, VT750, VT1300, 2015 CB300F, CBR300, CBR600, and 2014-2016 NC700 motorcycles. In the affected motorcycles, sealant may have been incorrectly applied to the starter relay switch, and as a result, the electrical system may have a loss of power.
A loss of electrical power may cause an engine stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace any affected starter relay switch, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-866-784-1870. Honda’s number for this recall is JS9 and JT0.
MORE RECALL INFORMATION: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.
Every year thousands of people flood the Spanish Village by the Sea for San Clemente’s Fiesta. Fiesta is a fun and unique street fair with tons of food, craft beer from local breweries, bands on three stages, and lots of other activities for the whole family. And this year, it’s getting a lot better.
We are very excited to announce that this year, for the first time, Motorcycle Cruiser and Baggers Mag are joining the fun! We will be there judging the Best Cruiser and Best Bagger awards, with a killer set of gear for the winners. We’ll be right across the street from the San Clemente Library, set up with a few of our favorite sponsors.
If you would like to have your bike in the show, email BaggersMag@BonnierCorp.com, or just cruise on down to Fiesta and register the day of the event.
For more information on San Clemente Fiesta, check the City Chamber of Commerce page HERE