S&S Cycle Presents Today’s Top Custom Motorcycle Builders

s&ScycleYesterday I received an advance copy of this new gorgeous book and of course could not resist spending my all evening reading about the 50 Builders featured and look at the superb photography of their custom bikes. As you remember, one year ago S&S Cycle was celebrating its 50th Anniversary, commissioned 50 builders (for reason of schedule conflict I had to decline their request)  to build a custom bike using one of their engines, and organized a big party at their Wisconsin headquarters.

This gorgeous 224-page hardcover book with a foreword by Jay Leno is written by Howard Kelly, ex-communications manager at S&S Cycle and photographed by Michael Lichter.

What I appreciated the most in this new celebration of some of the world’s leading custom bike builders is the fact that, in addition to those builders who already have an household name, it introduces you to a new generation of builders from the US and abroad. Time was overdue that they get the public exposure they deserve. Also, I liked very much the fact that Michael’s photography is, for a change, done on a black background, helping your eyes focus on the beautiful details of these rolling pieces of art.

In 1958 George Smith started S&S Cycle with a mission of “making all bikes go faster”. His philosophy has never changed and the 50 bikes presented in this reference book were all required to be intensively ridden (unfortunately in poor weather condition) during the 50th Anniversary Celebrations. For their beauty and intricate details all these custom motorcycles would deserve to be featured and preserved in museums, but all of them were conceived and S&S engineered to be ridden fast.  They are pure custom motorcycles and looking at them may give you new inspiration to perpetuate the art of motorcycling. You can order online by going to “S&S Cycle Presents Today’s Top Custom Builders“.

17 Responses to “S&S Cycle Presents Today’s Top Custom Motorcycle Builders”

  1. 1 Bertrand Sep 15th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    THANKS AGAIN ! ! ! !

  2. 2 krugger Sep 15th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    To Bertrand, you paid for the cover…? 😉

    Well done Bertrand…

    That was a very nice event and i have been very proud to build a tribute bike to S&S!

    thanks again for this great time and very nice souvenir!

    I can’t wait to watch the book! Hope that it will be quickly shipped in Belgium….

  3. 3 Blake Sabers Sep 15th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I also would like to mention that it was a great event and would like to thank S&S and Howard for the great hospitality!

    The book is top notch and has excellent photography!


  4. 4 gina woods Sep 15th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    S&S put on a great celebration..was an honor to promote it with Howard & Brett leading up to the event and then broadcast LIVE from the event and have the opportunity to interview so many great builders under one roof! I hope it happens again!

  5. 5 jatinder pal Sep 16th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Like to add to my collection of books….should be good.

  6. 6 BikerDATA Sep 16th, 2009 at 5:54 am

    This was the event of the year last year. It was a once in a lifetime experience meeting all the builders and capturing images from behind the scenes. I even got to help Arlen Ness flush some metal shavings out of his engines at the S&S factory.

    You can see all the behind the scene image at a 50th Anniversary gallery I posted at http://www.BikerDATA.com

  7. 7 izadore007 Sep 16th, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Congradulations for Being mentioned in S&S event and Book . I am sure ALL who have been Awarded have Also BOUGHT MORE S&S ENGINES THEN THE BUILDER’S WHO WER NOT ! After all S& S is not a 501 C3 .

  8. 8 Brandon Sep 16th, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Izadore007. What you wrote doesn’t make any sense because the 50 bikes built by the 50 builders were commissioned by S&S and evidently all builders had to use one of the S&S powerplants. Evo, Shovel, Twin Cam, Edge models. Remember. It was S&S Cycle 50th Anniversary!

  9. 9 izadore007 Sep 16th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Yes you are right , but the 50 Builders that were commisioned were the Best Clients !That makes perfect sense, also! Buisness Cent$.

  10. 10 krugger Sep 16th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    to izadore007:

    i ‘m new in the business, i started my workshop in 2003! I work alone in my old farm

    I buyed my first new engine in2006( i always builded my bike with HD second engine before)

    I buyed my first S&S engine in 2008. So i think that S&S don’t win a lot of money with me…. I’m probably not one of the best S&S customer….

    I wan the 50th anniversary P-series , the second was Cory Ness…..

    So i think that you say a lot of stupidity……

  11. 11 CAROLYN TOMAS-KIWI INDIAN MOTORCYCLES Sep 16th, 2009 at 11:08 am

    This book is amazing,wonderful and beautiful, Michael’s photos are just awesome as always. It was a pleasure to meet Howard last year at S&S’s 50th anniversary. It’s always a pleasure working with Jay Leno,
    Thank you to these men, our Kiwi Krew, our sponsors, everyone at S&S Cycles and their families for giving kiwi Indian Motorcycles the oppotunity to be one of the 50 builders to build and show our Chieftain at the S&S Cycles 50th Anniversary.
    Please everyone, get a copy of this book, you will love it,.

  12. 12 Mike Avila Sep 17th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    That is the way to tell them Freddy !! you did a great job on a fantastic bike !! I hope you are well my friend……………………Mike

  13. 13 Izadore007 Sep 19th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Krugger, Did they include Grade School Tuitoring as part of the First Prize. They had to give the First Place Prize to an Illiterate. Next Year upon your Progress in the Field of Reading, Writing and speaking you will be allowed to TALK!

  14. 14 reality Sep 21st, 2009 at 6:10 am

    People do not respond to the izadore007.
    He understands nothing. He knows nothing. He chooses to make statements based on assumptions and not facts. Once you realize this you will know that it is a futile struggle of debate with a man with no knowledge of what he is talking about. Which means you spend more time teaching him of things he will undoubtedly refuse you believe because he is the kind of man that chooses to speak of things he thinks to be true with no actual facts. We call these people idiots. Which this man is, in my opinion. He probably thinks of himself as a great bike builder that was not invited or knows of one that he thinks should have been invited. If this man spent any time thinking anything through he might have thought of how hard it was to get all possible bike builders in a short list of 50. Maybe he thinks S&S should have done 50,000 bike builders. But this man probably only think of himself, which shows in his way of writing and trying to bring down a nice event set try and celebrate a birthday and people who enjoyed the company’s products. So… do not respond to any further of this guys idiotic ramblings.

  15. 15 Revolution Mfg Sep 21st, 2009 at 11:09 am

    i just got my book and it was a great read. the pics of all the bikes are awesome and the info on all the builders was great.


    L’esprit mis ce connard. Vous construisez quelques belles choses. L’espoir pour se passer quand le dos d’im visitant ma vieille maison dans Leuven ce printemps. Espérer que tout est bien.

  16. 16 Big Papa Sep 21st, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Great Job to Howard, Michael and the rest of the S&S Team, their employees and builders in making this happen…what a difference a year makes. This is certainly part of history for our industry…

  17. 17 howard kelly Sep 22nd, 2009 at 8:34 am

    This book is one for the archives for sure. The S&S 50th Anniversary is a milestone in our culture–for 50 of the best builders to come together and unify to celebrate one company in our industry–well we have never seen it before and i don’t know that we ever will again. I hope someone elese pulls something like it together, but I don’t see it on the horizon. Look at the list of builders, look at the bikes, there is literally something for everyone in the mix.

    And Michael’s photos…if you were there you know what he went through to get 50 bikes shot in a VERY short period of time…he and Steve broke their butss to pull it off

    I am proud to be associated with this group.

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Cyril Huze