New Reality TV Show With Detroit Bros


Producer Tom Beers think that that Detroit’s rusty aesthetic has a large audience appeal and that the city has a lot to be proud of regarding everything on wheels. And I agree. It’s official, the Discovery Channel is going to run a 13-episode series on James and Dave Kaye, the 2 brothers who founded Detroit Bros in 2002. You wonder: will the show concept be closer to “American Chopper” or to “Biker Build-Off” or “Monster Garage”?

The answer? Different, of course. Because a TV reality show is about personalities and attitude, and memorable designs can take very different roads depending of  who you work with, where you work, the tools you use and…the editing. As a matter of fact, Beers love so much to produce “tough guys” series that the show was not shot in the 2 brothers shop, but on a rusty detroitbroscyrilhuzeblogbiswarehouse with a leaky roof tucked along a side street in Southwest Detroit. I guess to look more real because it is a REALITY show… I have no doubt hat James and Dave are working hard, have talent, are sincere at what they do and do it well, especially metal shaping that seems to be their forte. Will we see both cars and motorcycles? It seems so. In addition to boosting their own business I hope that this TV show will help re-promote the city of Detroit as the heart of the US automotive industry. The first season 13-episode “Motor City” TV show starts in January 2010. Detroit Bros (top picture Bart Madson, lower Detroit Journal)

52 Responses to “New Reality TV Show With Detroit Bros”

  1. 1 Mike Oct 12th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I’ll be amazed if all 13 episodes actually air… ratings will kill it in 2-3 more likely.

    Definitely won’t get a 2nd season. Haven’t we had enough of the fake drama biker shows?

  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus Oct 12th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Reality Show ….. there is a conflict of terms …. how can something “Scripted” be reality anything. I suppose Tom Beers put Hugh King in the corner for this one ????? Tom stick with The Deadliest Catch … and Dirty Jobs at least those shows are somewhat believable.

    At any rate I wish the Detroit Guys the best of luck with the new series.

    Over & Out,


  3. 3 Brandon Oct 12th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Detroit residents will love it. Maybe not when the broadcast shows a city full of rust and roof leaks. For sure, will not help Detroit commercial and residential real estate market. Good for the Bros (royalties), bad for Detroit (already destroyed).

  4. 4 Scout Oct 12th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Go Detroit!

  5. 5 FUJI Oct 12th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    When I think of Detroit and radical motorcycles Ron Finch comes to mind. The high priest of funk / physcadellic art.

  6. 6 Fluke Oct 12th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    AKA Monster Garage: Detroit.

    Motorcycles? not so much!

  7. 7 FUJI Oct 12th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Russell Mitchell. Please don’t forward a copy of the art of a chopper to the Detroit Brothers.

  8. 8 isaac Oct 12th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Mike, I read your response and got to wondering if America was done with motorcycle shows. I looked up the Nielsen ratings for the only biker show on the tube right now. Sons of Anarchy is # 8 on cable T.V. rating sheet. The Discovery channel and the History channel are constantly running old documentaries about bikers. So to answer your question, apparently America hasn’t had their fill yet.

    The economy is in the tanker and a new show that can offer a little bit of hope (and if these brotters are even little likable) could be an easy hit. Based on O.C.C.s success staged reality show or not the audience clearly doesn’t care. Americans are starving for a show that can offer a little hope and be amused at the same time.They just want be be entertained.

    “If those guys can do it, maybe I can too” I’ve heard a lot of gear heads say this and I know a couple of guys that actually incorporated and are building bikes right out of their garages. If this show offers a stage for good old American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. I think they got a real good shot at catching on. They got talent and they make great bikes. Only time will tell if people will tune in to see THEM and their bikes!!

    I look forward to seeing the show and wish them the best.

  9. 9 Lon Nordbye Oct 12th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Congrats Dave and Jamie. The Detroit Brothers are the purest form of image and raw talent out there. As documented in the industry, Dave and James will destroy everything in their path, it doesn’t matter if they are on TV or not. There has been talk of motorcycling going back to it’s more ruthless, counter-culture, outlaw roots and in comes the Detroit Brothers. Take it for what it’s worth, entertainment. Have fun with it and get ready for the REAL Sons of Anarchy.

  10. 10 Heavy Iron Oct 12th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Don’t know the Detroit Bros. other than the first spoof they appeared on for Hugh “Chopper” King. I think the “look at me I’m a badass is played out”. One has to wonder just what we will learn from this or if we will be entertained. Good luck to the Detroit Bros.

  11. 11 Mike Oct 12th, 2009 at 8:54 pm


    Your point about “the only biker show on TV right now” says it all. Sons of Anarchy isn’t a biker show – it is a soap opera/drama show that is based on bikers. It has as much to do with bike building and bike “reality” shows as that show Renegade with Lorenzo Lamas. In other words, nothing at all.

    There was Bike Build Off, Jesse James’ numerous shows, Southern Chopper (or whatever it was called) as well as various other shows, OCC and the Strokers Dallas one.

    They are all gone, save for OCC who is without contract soon, IIRC.

    The rest, all gone.

    That a podunk network who has practically NO shows on it plays reruns is irrelevant. What is the Nielsen ratings of reruns of BBO? Ask a network exec if they would pick up a new show if the ratings BBO gets were the expected viewership? They would run the other way, after they stopped laughing.

    I think Tom Beers is a one-trick pony. He picked up a good thing – shows about “fringe” industries. I thought he would move on to new things, but other than shows about blue collar workers, he seems to have no other ideas.

    Like I said, I will be amazed if this show even gets aired in it’s entirety. I’m sure the network already paid for the whole series, but I am positive there will be no 2nd season.

  12. 12 Greek Oct 12th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Mike above just made a good analysis. For sure bikers are fed up with these “non-reality”shows. The public at large? A very marginal audience. Curious to know what will be the air time. very late at night or Sunday morning at mass time or afternoon during football games?

  13. 13 Dar - Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers Oct 12th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Detroit Bros… all the best on your new venture. I have always admired your authentic, original bike designs. These are good guys who deserve what comes their way.

  14. 14 Fluke Oct 13th, 2009 at 12:32 am

    According to the AP…. The show synopsis: The brothers are given a team on Monday and they have 5 days to build the designated vehicle, some of the “challanges” a Model T into a hot rod, a 92 GMC Suburban into a pothole filler , a ford fiesta rolling on 2 ten foot wheels and a half bar/half car called the “Motown Mullet” Will the “master fabricator” Jesse appear in the last 5 minutes of each show to save the day by building the exhaust pipes, or will his cir-clip pliers slip from his grasp and he die in a blaze of badass glory? tune it to see after a quick word from our sponsors.

  15. 15 No One Oct 13th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Ive read on a news site about the DB’s new show… That news web site said that one of the projects was a 1929 Ford hot-rod build………. another show was a 1996 suburban that was turned into a pot hole filler type of truck. Has a asphalt holder, a fire heater.. it drives around and fills pot holes….. There was another but I forgot… Sounded just like MONSTER GARAGE… same type ‘frame’….

    I think there are many of us that if we where approached by Tom B, the producer of all these shows, and wanted to hand us some cash and build some cool fun stuff I think ‘most’ of us builders would probably do it………. I would… in this economy, for sure. If my friends made fun of me because I was on another “bike show”, that’s OK I got to build some fun stuff and have a pocket full of cash…

    I like the DB’s… who cares if there on ‘another bike show’.. its just like hanging & watching your friends at a party in Sturgis….. kick back, have a beer, and take it with a grain of salt !!!!!!! ROCK OUT James & Dave !!!!!!!!!

  16. 16 A$$HOLE Oct 13th, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I can see the uproar now. The show is doomed before it begins. The logo has a penatgram. This show is the debil!

  17. 17 Otis Ward Oct 13th, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Good luck Brothers! Looking forward to watching your show.

  18. 18 Ben Oct 13th, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Congrats to the boys anyway. I have met these two on many occasions and think they are neat folks. They certainly are characters on their own, reality show or not. This could be a fun watch!

  19. 19 FHP Scott Oct 13th, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Hopefully somewhere in all of this new media attention….the custom motorcycle industry and DB will benefit somewhat.

    If riders see on TV… maybe they’ll buy some product and help the industry. Or maybe a point made on the shows to support your local bike shop…we know they need it.

    Good Luck to you guys…I will check it out.

  20. 20 MM Billetworks Oct 13th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Have always enjoyed DB’s bikes…unique and creative!

    Good luck on the new show(s)!

  21. 21 Joe Skonecki Oct 13th, 2009 at 9:22 am

    “Haven’t we had enough of the fake drama biker shows”

    They will do fine if their show runs back to back with fake drama wrestling.


  22. 22 Fab Kevin Oct 13th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Having worked with Dave and James on one of the episodes, they have my respect. The show was a blast to do, and as a native Detroiter – I am grateful that they chose to shoot the show here and showcase some Motor City Talent. Television like this isn’t going to change anyones life – it’s just entertainment. At the end of the day, its simply a way to spend an hour away from the rest of the day’s usual worries.

  23. 23 BadMonkeyMW Oct 13th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I’ll watch the episode with Fab Kevin b/c he’s my hero. Everyone else is suspect.

  24. 24 CAROLYN TOMAS-KIWI INDIAN MOTORCYCLES Oct 13th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    These guys are the nicest guys I’ve ever met. I hope that the show is a success. I hope they will remember the little people like the Kiwi’s when they get famous. Congrats guys..

  25. 25 Hardlydangerous Oct 13th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    If they make this into another Monster Garage and have the guys build a series of stupid single purpose vehicles like the “pothole filler” mentioned above, I will be very disappointed. If they just show them planning and building real motorcycles, more power to them. Let’s keep it real….PLEASE!!

  26. 26 Dennis Johnson Oct 13th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Congrats Dave and James. I’m still a huge fan of your creativity.


  27. 27 Joe Mielke Oct 13th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Best of luck. Be True!

  28. 28 Joe Skonecki Oct 13th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Dave and James

    Please keep it real/natural guys. I wish you the best from Toledo! Keep doing what you love, and have fun.

  29. 29 Matt Olsen Oct 13th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Good Job Guys!!!! Congrats!

  30. 30 No One Oct 14th, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Detroit Brothers star in upcoming Discovery show
    Oct. 10, 2009, 8:29 AM EST
    DETROIT (AP) — Business hasn’t been too good lately for the Detroit Bros. Custom Cycles shop. Founders Dave and James Kaye hope the magic of TV may soon help.

    The brothers are starring in an upcoming Discovery Channel series called “Motor City Motors” that they hope not only will turn around their struggling business, but also provide a boost to their economically challenged hometown.

    “I think the show will bring some attention to Detroit and all of the possibilities here — all the available jobs, all the intelligent people that are here and are out of work or are struggling with their job or aren’t getting paid enough,” James Kaye said. “I’m hoping we can really make a difference.”

    Each hour-long episode follows the Kayes and their dad, John, as they work to build a one-of-a-kind vehicle over a five-day period. And the stuff they’re building goes way beyond the typical custom bike or car.

    In one case, they built a “Festevil,” a kind of a hamster wheel with a 1991 Ford Festiva in the middle. The Kayes removed a three-foot section from the center of the body, then set the subcompact car inside 10-foot steel rings with independent braking for each side.

    Series producer Eric Lange said eight of 13 episodes have been shot, and the first one will premiere early next year.

    “It was a win-win situation for them. Their bike shop was hurting. And this was a chance to bring Detroit builders in and give a little back to Detroit for them,” Lange said Friday at an open house for media, officials and businesses.

    The brothers are given a challenge and a team of workers on Monday and get five days to make it a reality.

    In addition to the Festevil, the Kayes also turned a 1929 Model T into a hot rod and transformed a 1992 GMC Suburban into a pothole filler with a 10-foot nitrogen spring-loaded arm, rotating hot box, 500,000-BTU torch and hydraulic tamping front end.

    “We throw big challenges at them, which I always love. It’s ‘can you do this?’ That’s all,” said series creator Thom Beers, whose Original Productions also is responsible for “Deadliest Catch” on Discovery Channel and “Ice Road Truckers” on The History Channel.

    The Detroit Brothers — both in their 30s — take pride in being from Detroit and hope the show trains a spotlight on the men and women who represent today’s car culture.

    “It’s been hectic, terrifying and amazing — a really surreal experience,” Dave Kaye said.

  31. 31 YDKJ Oct 14th, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I’m gonna write a review on your show so ya better be frickin awesome. You animals are just what we need to get our lifestyle back in the limelight. Looking forward to seeing the show. Kick some ass!

  32. 32 Darin Maltsbeerger-MTI Instructor Oct 14th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Dave and James,

    Several of my friends posted above. Like them I wish you the best of luck. Let your talent lead you, and always be yourself. You guys are very successful at whatever you choose to take on. When you get through Mitchell,SD……stop in and see the students and myself. The class really enjoys your work.


  33. 33 BikerMarc Oct 14th, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Hey Bros,
    Looking forward to the show. You gotta do what ya gotta do in this sputtering economy.

    All the best and make us proud.


  34. 34 choppertom Oct 14th, 2009 at 8:26 am

    good luck DB’s.
    you guys know how to “make” a good time when things get mundiane & boring. we all need to have good friends like you around….

  35. 35 1550tc Oct 14th, 2009 at 9:52 am


    They should do a reality show at the CHIP, now that would be a REAL reality show.

    I think if a tv crew followed you around they would be death tired or have enough footage for 2-3 seasons LOL

    You should have McCain’s ole lady back and invite Sarah P , and Levi back as judges for the Ms Buffalo Chip contest! Those 3 should cover 3 demos pretty good for a tv show.
    Could be like , The good, The bad and the Ugly at the Buffalo Chip

  36. 36 Joe Skonecki Oct 14th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    “how can something “Scripted” be reality anything.”
    Jeff Nicklus

    Good bunch of guys.
    I just had a good conversation with Aarron at Detroit Bros. It is NOT scripted. I look forward to seeing the show.

  37. 37 Dave Kaye Oct 14th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Hey guys, thanks for the all support and positive comments. And thanks for Mr. Huze for featuring us on his blog! We’re half done with the show at this point, and I can say that yes, it definitely has a Monster Garage aspect, but there is quite a bit more to the show. Also, it is a reality show – no scripts, nothing staged – but there is always a producer saying “now, say that again but more concise.” That type of shit is gonna happen no matter what I think, but I can promise you it’s not going to look like OCC or Southern Steel. We are basically just busting ass to make some weird shit in five days, and trying to have fun doing it. Anyways, we’re looking at an early January 2010 air date so stay tuned!


    Dave Kaye
    Detroit Bros.

  38. 38 Gina Woods Oct 15th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Right On Guys! Best of luck to you Dave & James…keep it real!

  39. 39 Machete Oct 15th, 2009 at 2:30 am

    I love their bikes and think they are interesting enough guys to pull this off. Best of luck!!!

  40. 40 jatinder pal Oct 16th, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Looking for the OCC way to sucess….god help the bros…

  41. 41 Kevin "TEACH" Baas Oct 16th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Cool good for them..someday I hope the chopper class can get some airtime, that would be cool!

  42. 42 blkcat3113 Oct 17th, 2009 at 5:43 am

    unlike OCC these guys are the real deal. The last thing we need in the industry & the motorcycle community are more ignorant,its all about me and not the bikes rockstar bike builder mentallity!! I built my first custom off of their dropseat frame and if I came across any problems these guys were always there to help. good luck to dave,james & shop pop with the series!!!! Go DB!!!!

  43. 43 JJ is a fake Oct 19th, 2009 at 8:28 am

    LOL !…. another “reality show” about a couple of guys building choppers and every other episode they get to build something exciting … like a gorilla cage or something…PUHLEEEEASE… no more “FAKE” REALITY SHOWS

    There are enough idiots out there that think jesse james, occ and a few others actually made money building those “THEME BIKES”. I wont watch “reality anything” anymore and neither will anyone I know, except for a laugh or two….FABRICATORS?… Ha, Im laughing my ass off

  44. 44 Stefanie Aziere-Sattler/Art By Stefanie Oct 19th, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Congrats Dave and James, So Cool to see you guys making headlines, its a long way from an easy up tent and a few bikes. I knew from the first moment I laid eyes on your unique style of building that it was only a matter of time before the right person saw your work. Hope to see some of that one of a kind perspective you have. I’ll always remember you guys burning up the pavement-doing donuts, in the parking lot at the end of the day, Myrtle Beach Bike week.. Harley Davidson Convention Center. I was the artist (my first Big Show) across from you, I painted you guys and that moment… Its called “Tearin it up”. You were great entertainment then and I wish you great success.
    Stefanie Aziere-Sattler

  45. 45 patrick sheridan-- A.K.A. superdad Oct 19th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    i was on one of the builds with dave and jamie too. the show and builds are REAL for those of you who think it scripted! we got a lot of talent here in motown, and as a master body mechanic struggling with the sorry state of our economy, this will hopefully show the world why WE ARE STILL THE MOTOR CITY.we have in the past ,can now, and will continue to do it all here…………………………………… we can do it all here

  46. 46 Manhattan Choppers Oct 19th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Motor City, by that you mean osaka, toyko, munich,don’t see them shutting down dealers. he he

  47. 47 Dewan Oct 28th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Go Detroit Bros. Detroit desrves this because it breeds people like the brothers that drive the rolling market.we are the Motor city and the Detroit brothers further solidify that title for us just like the big 3 once did.
    Thanks for helping Detroit to remain hip and on the cutting edge.
    Dewan Thornberry
    HogSnot Lubricants
    Pontiac, Michigan

  48. 48 shocktherapissed Oct 28th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    wonder how many people know we have some of the best motor oil now coming from detroit?

  49. 49 Zack Dec 29th, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Motorcycles and hot rods are heading back where it was before the tv boom… the wannabes are gone.
    It is just a matter of time and economy for the market to get at normal level… (I hope)
    In the mean time we need to adapt and survive… not an easy task right now.
    If you are looking to buy a car… buy american, if everybody do the same…. our future is safe.

    At least I have the Cafe Racer #26 built by the Detroit Bros to keep me company while I wait.
    Peace and grease.

  50. 50 Scott Dunahoo Jan 13th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    The show would be ok with on the retarded so call artist Jamie. The company they own would prolly be doing better also. Dudes like a 12 year old kid maybe younger. Get rid of him and the show might make it possible for season 2 to happen with him no way will it get resigned for number 2

  51. 51 squid1 Feb 8th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hey , “JJ is a fake”. You dont have a clue. its obvious you never cut and shaped metal, made a dead engine sing again, welded or any of the other mechanical arts these guys do so well. Belive me, very few can do it well. Its an art learned for years if youre lucky enough to work with some masters. JJ and MG changed TV for ever. He started a trend that brought countless spinoffs, some good and of course some horrible (OCC). But dont dis the DB, Dave is a stud and could make this show work. Tho i agree Jamie is a waste of space.

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