“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
Any other weekend in Santa Barbara and you’d never guess that Steve McQueen and James Dean used to race on these streets. The high-end Southern California beach town is no longer known for its adrenaline-inducing roadraces, but rather its beautiful views and expensive real estate—but that didn’t stop TROG. The Race of Gentlemen has managed to shake up the surfside community, bringing classic cars and motorcycles to race side by side through the city streets once more.
Cabrillo Boulevard runs parallel to one of Santa Barbara’s most prominent beaches—a long, straight(ish) road perfect for converting into a makeshift dragstrip. This was to be the one-day home of The Race of Gentlemen, an event series started on the East Coast to celebrate old-timey racing, race vehicles, and the culture that surrounds them. Motorcycles have to be made before 1947 and all cars are required to be manufactured prior to 1953. The rules are a bit exhausting, limiting any and all non-period correct modifications, but, hey, that’s how they keep it tight. Drivers and riders dress in 1930s–’50s attire as if to make it seem like you’ve just stepped out of a time machine, something that works a little better when you’re on the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey, like the original event, as opposed to outside of a Hilton Hotel like this one.
Over the course of the day, cars and bikes ran down the strip in different pairings. Some spitting rubber, burning out, and tearing down the road, others slowly sputtering to life as riders push off with their feet to get going. The selection of vehicles wasn’t massive, numbering somewhere close to 40 in all, and when each race takes less than 30 seconds and the event runs all day—that’s a whole lot of runs for the same cars and bikes. We were lucky enough to not witness any crashes, though we did see a couple of participants break their cars at the starting line and have to be pushed off.
They haven’t announced plans to come back to Santa Barbara next year, but we’re hoping to see TROG back on the West Coast again. While it was great to see racing back in Santa Barbara, we have our fingers crossed for another event on the beach.
The Outlier’s Guild Motorcycle Show is coming, and soon. The third annual event, which showcases a remarkable collection of café racer, bobber, classic, tracker, scrambler, modern classic, and brat style motorcycles along with full custom builds, unfolds tomorrow, March 23, so if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, you best hurry.
The OG Moto Show unfolds in downtown Los Angeles on March 23, 2019, at the The Container Yard, and will gather more than a hundred of the top custom builders from across the country and thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts together in a unique setting. The all-star roster of builders in the mix includes: Shinya Kimura of Chabott Engineering, Maxwell Hazan of Hazan Motorworks, Mitsuhiro Kiyonaga of Kiyo’s Garage, Dustin Kott of Kott Motorcycles, Justin Webster, Michael LaFountain of Raccia Motorcycles, Roland Sands, Cristian Sosa of Sosa Metalworks, Hugo Eccles of Untitled Motorcycles, and Michael Woolaway “Woolie’s Workshop” of Deus ex Machina.
New bikes will be on display too, including, oddly enough, a so-called “unveiling” of the 2019 Kawasaki W800 Café model, as well as the all-new Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor and Continental GT. The Himalayan will be there as well. We’ve seen and/or ridden all of those bikes already, so we’re not sure what the big deal is; our guess is just additional exposure for those brands, both of whom are co-sponsors of the show.
Onsite, there’ll also be the OG Moto Market with vendors, food trucks, coffee, and live entertainment. The OG Moto Art Gallery, an exhibit of motorcycle-inspired art, photography, and motorcycles, will showcase work from artists and photographers from around the world, and new this year will be the OG Moto Showcase, an interactive session with the industry’s top builders. Service & Supply barbershop will be offering free hair cleanups and beard trims throughout the event.
The event will go down from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at The Container Yard, 800 E. 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
Tickets cost $15 at the door with limited online pre-sale tickets for $10. Kids 12 and under are free with adult admission. Tickets can be purchased on ogmotoshow.com.
18 photos of classic cars and motorcycles drag racing through city streets for TROG West 2019
The annual custom bike shindig in downtown Los Angeles is March 23 at the Container Yard
The Sergeant pants from Fuel Moto look like the sort of pants my dad would have worn riding his old Honda thumper off-road in the ’70s. Suede panels, accordion sections, quilted padding on the thighs—they hit all the key points of well-constructed old-school riding gear but with a little more modern tech than meets the eye.
Constructed of an 11.5-ounce stretch cotton twill on the outside and backed with an abrasion-resistant aramid layer in the seat and knees, the Sergeant will keep you safer than normal jeans even without the pads. CE Level 2 padding does come equipped, however, in the knees and hips. The knee pads conveniently slip out from the outside, as you can see in the video, which is great when you’re walking around off the bike—those pads can be a little cumbersome.
While I initially got these pants for some dirt and adventure riding, I continuously find myself surprised by how at-home they look on everything I ride. They fit a little small in the waist, so if you’re between two sizes, go for the bigger one. The hem on the pants is also quite short, which is why you see them pictured with tall dirt boots so often—this may limit off-bike wearability for some of us taller guys, but I pair them with some tall Red Wings and they don’t look bad at all.
Priced at 275 euro, or about $310 US, they’re right where you’d expect them to be considering all the materials and pads used. Stay tuned for an in-depth review once we get some time wearing these rad new pants and head over to Fuel Moto’s website to check out other products in the meantime!
Fashionable moto pants blend retro dirt style with modern fit and protection
This brooding Street Bob came out on top as the 2018 Battle of the Kings Grand Champion.
You might assume the biggest custom bike competition in the world is the AMD World Championship, a sprawling event whose next celebration takes place at the 2020 Intermot show. But perhaps you’ve also heard of a little shindig called the Battle of the Kings?
It’s a sanctioned throwdown between authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships from more than 25 countries to see who can dream up the coolest custom, and it also happens to be one of the largest custom bike competitions on the planet. With the 2019 event already underway and with US and Canadian dealers in the mix this year (the US dealer contest in 2015 and 2016 was known as Custom Kings), you can bet this showing will be chock-full of mind-blowing builds.
It works like this: Dealers must build a custom Harley-Davidson using a budget no bigger than half the cost of the original model with a specific quota of H-D aftermarket parts (50 percent being Genuine Motor Accessories). The builders are allowed to choose from three style categories—Dirt, Chop, and Race—but this year, they can use any model from the range (excluding trikes and CVO). The rules may sound restrictive, but in the end they ensure a level playing field and encourage a good measure of creativity from the builders. Simple, right?
From there fans vote online for their favorite custom Harley as each country’s favorite bike (strictly one vote per login). Each country then declares a National Winner with the five most popular bikes from each region selected, and a panel of international judges picks a finalist from each region. All finalists and their one-off creations are then flown to Milan for the EICMA 2019 show where the Grand Champion will be crowned.
In 2018, more than 300 dealers entered, and a seven-man team of judges led by Vice President of Styling and Design Brad Richards made the final call. The 2018 Grand Champion of the Battle of the Kings was Bangkok Harley-Davidson with its Street Bob-based “The Prince,” winning by one vote!
The epic international showdown looks to be bigger than ever in 2019 with more than 350 entries already. This year, US dealers are aiming to inspire the next generation of builders by teaming each build with a trade school and having students wrench along with dealership guys. We’re personally having a blast following the Buddy Stubbs H-D build on Instagram (@buddystubbshd), watching Crew Chief Danny Wilson transform a Fat Bob with students from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute.
Here’s a look at some of the past winners and a few current entries (2019 voting has started in other countries but doesn’t open for the US Battle of the Kings until April 15 at h-d.com/botk.
RELATED: Battle of the Kings: Project #002
inalist (out of three) in last year’s BOTK competition was Adelaide Harley-Davidson Bike Works for its race-themed H-D Roadster called “Back to the Track.” (Harley-Davidson/)
The international Harley custom build-off between dealers will include the US and Canada this year