Daytona Bike Week. Arlin Fatland. Another Godfather Of Choppers Celebrates 40 Years In The Motorcycle Industry

For this tribute to Arlin Fatland, I lend my keyboard to industry friend and photo journalist Steve Kelly.

“Arlin Fatland, has reached a landmark few will ever attain, 40-years in the custom motorcycle industry.  He is both Custom Bike Builder extraordinaire and owner of the infamous 2-Wheelers.  Arlin is also, without a doubt, a razor sharp businessman. He owns shops on both Sturgis and Daytona’s Main Street as well as his original hometown store in Denver, Colorado.

He was quick to realize the value of investing in Main Street real estate way before anyone else, and the benefit of retaining the same location year after year during the World’s largest biker rallies.  Walking into 2-Wheelers is like stepping into a biker’s Kasbah. You instantly know that Arlin is a parts hoarder, and you never know quite well what you will find.  He has vintage Harley toys, custom bike parts that have been long forgotten, a myriad of clothing and a large selection of what he likes to call ‘novelty items’.  His stores are a firm favorite with locals and rally goers alike due to his cheap prices, happy go lucky staff and constant friendly banter.

I’ve shot as many, if not more, of Arlin Fatland’s bikes over the years, than those built by the other Godfather Of Choppers named Arlen Ness who is also celebrating 40-years in the industry.  It is hard for me to comprehend that I was only 10-years old when Arlin & Arlen were setting up their fledgling enterprises in 1970.  A lot has changed over the years, choppers have come and gone out of fashion, as have bobbers, but Arlin always builds something totally unexpected, totally unique. He he has never been one to follow trends…

As Daytona Bike Week is here, why not do yourself a favor by dropping in to check out Arlin’s 2-Wheelers store (740 Main Street, Daytona Beach). You will find a beautifully handcrafted, 40th Anniversary tooled, Daniel Ballard leather saddle, which was presented to Arlin to mark his 40th Anniversary in the business.  You will also find a historic photomontage that has been assembled by Arlin’s long-suffering girlfriend Donna.  Whether you buy a bottle of iced water, a T-shirt or a complete bike, you will still get the same friendly service. It is one of the key aspects that has kept Arlin’s business flourishing for the past four decades.  I’m extremely proud to call this down to earth, highly talented man a friend, and wish him continued success” (40th Anniversary Seat by Daniel Ballard a.k.a Bitchin’ Stitchn’) Steve Kelly

Zipper's

18 Responses to “Daytona Bike Week. Arlin Fatland. Another Godfather Of Choppers Celebrates 40 Years In The Motorcycle Industry”


  1. 1 Tod T Feb 27th, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Congrats Arlin, looks like I need to add his store to my list for a must see roadtrip…..

  2. 2 Bob Walker Feb 27th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Arlin is a true gentleman. Two Wheelers is one of a kind and a great place to buy cool chopper stuff from the real deal!

  3. 3 MDavies Feb 27th, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Saw some cool photos of Arlin in Denver recently at: http://www.digpicphoto.com/Colorado_MotorCycle_Show.htm

  4. 4 Gary Bang Feb 28th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Arlin is one of my best friends and he is Uncle Arlin to my children. I could write for days about Arlin but will cut it short some of the most fun I have ever had was with him. He made me pick up Cigarette butts in Sturgis for Prospect duties and made me laugh till I wanted to die.

    I wish that I could tell every one about the good times but some of it is better left to those involved.

    I am not sure if the Godfather thing works for him, but for sure he is the reason a lot of people have went to Sturgis and are riding Harley-Davidsons in the Denver Area.

    Hamsters he is the one that made it happen and he made it happen real big. He is much bigger than a Godfather and bigger than a King “some one give me a word.”

    To one Iowa boy to another that really made a difference. I Love you Man Gary F Bang

  5. 5 Pepper Feb 28th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Congratulations Arlin, on 40 fabulous years!

  6. 6 Harlan Mar 1st, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Thank you Arlin for always being there for me and all of us. You are a good friend, mentor and Hamster Brother.
    Oh, Did I mention that you always have the odd parts in your shop that we all need to keep rollin?
    Best,
    Harlan

  7. 7 One Bad Bitch Mar 1st, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I’m a Colorado Native and have shopped at 2 wheelers since the early 90’s! Congratulations on 40 years Arlin! I’m honored to be your friend, and colleague in the industry.

  8. 8 Steve Allington Mar 1st, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Arlin, looks like we made it……..

    We have had many great times and plan on many more. Still have the “”RR Ring” bet you wish you had it…….

    See ya in Sturgis

    Love ya Steve

  9. 9 Gary Bang Mar 1st, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Steve do you remember the year that Arlin had your ” R.R Ring” ? a lot of people do not know what the R.R is all about “Roy Rogers King of all Cowboys”. I should have not let the cat out of the bag? I think that you should pass the ring to Arlin just like I am passing Johnny my White Cowboy Boots. Arlin will have to put tape on the ring to make it fit and Johnny will have to put Newspaper in the boots to make them fit.

    I think Arlin is for sure King of All Cowboys. Steve you know I Love you. Gary Bang

  10. 10 Olive Oil Mar 1st, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Arlin never had the opportunity to meet you but Two Wheelers has been a “must be” stop for me the past 25 years in Sturgis. I will introduce myself next time in. Congratulations on 40 years.

  11. 11 howard kelly Mar 1st, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Congrats Arlin–you deserve the recognition
    Howard

  12. 12 Steve Allington Mar 1st, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Gary, you know I Love You too….say hi to Mary and the Girls

  13. 13 Steve risdal Mar 2nd, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Arlin,
    Congrats on forty great years…good ol Ames boy made good !
    Best always from the Rubber Knife Gang

  14. 14 Daniel Ballard Mar 2nd, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Arlin Fatland’s 2 wheelers mc shop is like a candy store for adults. If you have not had a chance to meet Arlin and see his biker candy you need to. when I got my first h-d, 2 wheelers was and is the only shop locally that will have what you need to keep an old bike running. not many places have a mouse trap linkage rod in stock, but Arlin did. and not to mention all the cool goodies to bolt on to make it look cool too. I was compelled to mark such an achivement of 40 years in buisiness in the same location and two satilite stores on main street Sturgis and Daytona. I turned 40 myself just days after presenting Arlin with his seat, so to think he’s been at it since I was in diapers is hard for me to wrap my head around. Happy 40 TH Arlin and 2 wheelers crew. thank you for the opportunities given to me.

  15. 15 Gary W Clem Mar 3rd, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Arlin

    I really enjoyed reading the article about your accomplishments, as one who has been friends with you for 50 plus years you continue to amaze me. I’m very thankful for our friendship and wish you the very best.

    Gary W Clem

  16. 16 Mark Luther Mar 5th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I enjoyed reading about another Ames Iowa boy making it good. I was racing Harleys when I lived in Ames. Still riding at 70; just got me a Goldwing.

  17. 17 Robert Rooney Sep 15th, 2010 at 1:08 am

    congratulations from classic motorcycle the real wooden motor cycle’s

  18. 18 zipper Sep 26th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    congrats you old gezzer from another old denver gezzer!!!

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