Riding Off into the Sunset
Some to-do lists take a little longer than others. Rick and Kent James, two brothers from Tarentum, Pennsylvania, first purchased a pair of Triumphs back in the late sixties. Rick chose a 1965 Bonneville 120R while Kent went with a 1967 Daytona 500 T100R. After putting some solid miles on the two bikes, they decided to take the leap into building custom choppers out of the bikes. Over the years, their collection of parts slowly grew, and while they never stopped riding motorcycles, the goal of finishing those two bikes took a backseat to life.
Pink Panther Shovelhead
There’s a lot to unpack with this in-your-face shovelhead chopper from Ed Jankoski. You might have recognized his name from the local scene or within the pages of our previous issues. Like some of the best personalities in the chopper community, Jankoski could look intimidating from a distance, but up close, he’s as warm and welcoming as they come. That receptiveness is well represented with his latest build, a hot pink, oversized 1980 Harley-Davidson shovelhead with a few different layers of purpose.
Imagine waiting over thirty years to buy the motorcycle of your dreams. The story behind this panhead dates back to the late seventies when Mark Klos of Bethel Park laid eyes on a fiery chopper parked outside of a local watering hole. It was love at first sight, but unfortunately, “Pamela” the panhead wasn’t available.
2022 Steel City Mods vs. Rockers
When most people from Pittsburgh say they’re heading to the beach in August, they typically don’t mean gathering with other motorcycle enthusiasts on the sunny sands of Neville Island. Over the last two summers, the Steel City Mods vs Rockers event has taken place at Paradise Island Bowl and Beach, where you’d be surprised to find a parking lot full of classic bikes near a beachfront tiki bar with live music and a pin-up contest. This year’s event on Saturday, August 27, 2022, was quite the party. Sergio Kyriakis of Ton Up Pittsburgh filled us in on the event’s history and details.
A motorcycle is oftentimes a representation of its builder.While it might look simple from one perspective, this 1968 Triumph Bonneville has a uniqueness far beyond its straightforward appearance. Originally a barn find, the bike began its transformation with the goal of becoming a salt flat racer until the pandemic altered those plans and shifted the direction to what you see here. The builder, Jessika Janene, also went through quite a change during this time period, beginning a transgender journey that would completely reshape her life in many ways.
A person’s path into building motorcycles can typically be traced back to their creative roots. Some of the most impressive bike builds come from those who dove deep into a craft and then merged that passion with their interest in these two-wheeled troublemakers. In Raymond Karhut’s case, his love of painting and desire for learning new techniques were the perfect fit for jumping head-first into constructing a classic ironhead chopper. We spoke with him about his 1985 Harley-Davidson XLH, the process behind the build, and his path from a tattoo apprenticeship to custom chopper paint.
Summer RideOut 2022
After the roller coaster of uncertainty we’ve been dealing with for a few years, anything that happened pre-pandemic now seems like the distant past. Things have changed quite drastically since our first annual Summer RideOut in 2018, but one thing remains certain–if the weather cooperates, you can always expect a good turnout at a motorcycle gathering.
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2022
Those who love vintage cars, motorcycles, and street racing look forward to July in the Steel City. It’s tough to describe an event like the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix to someone who hasn’t yet experienced it, but every year, an overwhelming number of cars, both classic and new, swarm the city for the nation’s largest vintage street race. Spanning ten days, the event includes parties, parades, car shows, and a motorsports race through the streets of Schenley Park.
Glory Daze 2022
There’s something to be said about the power of a moment. It has always fascinated me how certain events could essentially become checkpoints throughout life, impacting the psyche so intensely that they shift a person’s perspective or spark an interest in a new creative craft. The good vibes that radiate throughout Glory Daze are an example of this force and a representation of the motorcycle community as a whole. It’s rare to find such an odd mix of contrasting personalities all together in one place. The combination of a magical venue, loads of art, and a shared passion for two wheels creates a moment where people can be as free and authentically weird as they want, all while soaking in inspiration from custom motorcycle builds.
Trippy Ten 2022
The annual Trippy Ten is a psychedelic-themed helmet art exhibit I created to show appreciation for painters working in the motorsports industry. Every year, event partner Bell Helmets provides a lid to ten selected artists to paint however they choose. The finished helmets are then displayed at the Glory Daze Motorcycle Show in Pittsburgh, PA, before being returned to each painter after the event. This year, the artists were able to choose between the Bell Bullitt and Eliminator models.
In the matter of choosing between style and functionality, there’s a sweet spot when piecing together a chopper. Performance often takes a backseat with most builds, but sometimes it’s the driving force of inspiration. The thought of cruising through the twists and turns of rural Pennsylvania backroads on a muscular chopper with a snappy engine sounds like the ideal way to clear your thoughts in these weird times. Maybe that’s what was running through the mind of Roll On Cycle’s Zack Williams when he crafted the Evo Power chopper seen here.
If you go grab issue Number 007 off of your bookshelf or workbench, you’ll see the incredible Chromophobia shovelhead gracing the front cover. That particular chopper was done by painter Tyler Elliott of TE Customs, who just happens to also be the builder behind the classy ironhead you see here. This was his first bike build and the one that ultimately opened the door for him into custom motorcycles.