Always a prominent event during the Sturgis Rally, the annual Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycle As Art” event returned to the Buffalo Chip’s® 7,000 square foot Exhibition Center with an all new exhibit titled “Come Together, The Sprit of Born-Free” celebrating freedom of expression, contemporary motorcycle design and the vision of today’s most innovative artists and custom bike fabricators.
Yesterday Tuesday August 7th, the who’s who of the custom motorcycle industry was invited by curator Michael Lichter to preview this 2012 exhibition as much about the culture and times it was born of as it is about the machinery itself. Over the last few years, custom bike building has been returning to its roots and the work of about 30 builders was displayed to explain & illustrate this prominent emerging movement within custom motorcycling.
To the guests, Michael Lichter and the featured custom builders explained the Spirit of Born-Free, a return to the roots of bike building the way it was done during the 1950′s to the 1970’s: most often builders working in their garages to build with their best friends machines made to be ridden very hard and reflecting their personality. They dislike catalogue ready billet-cut machine-made parts and prefer to create their bikes from the ground up using old pre or post World War II original parts, restoring or repurposing them and searching them in swap meets or online on eBay.
All the bikes displayed at the “Come Together” exhibition were chosen by Michael Lichter among those participating to the annual “Born Free” show, a young annual event created in 2009 by Grant Peterson of Freedom Machinery and Accessories and Mike Davis of Born Loser. The one-day gathering is about the love of old motorcycles and like minded individuals having a good time together and riding their bikes from all over the USA to participate to the show. They ride all types of bikes from Harley Knuckleheads to Panheads and Shovelheads, from Triumphs to BSA’s to Hondas and Kawasaki’s. Most of the exhibition builders are experiencing Sturgis for the first time and and its spirit of “Born-Free.” (see below the list of all builders and artists featured)
If participating to the rally, visiting this exhibition at the Buffalo Chip is a must. Open daily to the public with free admission from August 4th through the 10th, from 2 pm to 10:00pm. Directions: From Sturgis, continue 3.4 miles east on SD Highway 34, look for the “CHIP” buffalo sculpture on the horizon. From SD Highway 34, turn right on 131st Avenue, then veer left immediately on Alkali Road for “CONCERTS.” Travel one mile east on Alkali Road, then take a right on 132nd Avenue and another right into the Buffalo Chip’s east gate. Upon arrival into The Chip, the Lichter Exhibition Hall at the Russ Brown Event Center will be on the right at 20603 132nd Avenue – Sturgis, SD 57785-6635. Plenty of free bike parking.
Bike Builders Include:
Dan “Bacon” Carr
Jason & Wayne Alquist
Kiyonaga “Kiyo” Mitsuhiro
The Speed Merchants’ Brandon Holstein
Yaniv Neevo Evans