Arlen Ness Honored By The Petersen Auto Museum

Arlen-Ness1The Los Angeles museum is hosting a summer-long exhibit called “Arlen Ness, Art on Two Wheels” which will feature a variety of Arlen’s builds (as well as builds by his son Cory and grandson Zach) running from July 13-Sept. 8.

To launch the exhibit, The Petersen Auto Museum  is organizing a motorcycle cruise-in on Saturday, July 13 from 9am-2pm. Anyone who rides on two wheels to the museum will receive free parking and 2-for-1 admission into the museum. Arlen will be signing autographs at 11am. Additionally, Friday night, the 12th of July at 6 pm, the museum will be hosting a birthday bash for Arlen. Friends of Ness will speak to honor the living legend himself, and there will be drinks and dinner. Tickets can be purchased at Petersen Museum.

Arlen-Ness2Arlen-Ness3Ness began his career in the 1960s with the customization of a 1947 Harley Knucklehead. After entering the bike in local shows, he was noticed by future customers and started a business custom painting bikes. As his popularity grew and demand increased, Ness began selling custom parts and custom motorcycles with a stretched and lowered style which became the hallmark of his designs. After more than four decades, Ness has a large product line specializing in Victory and Harley-Davidson accessories and has received a variety of awards including Builder of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards and induction to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

For more information on the Birthday Bash or V-Twin Cruise-In, visit Petersen Museum or call 323-964-6370. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California 90036.

22 Responses to “Arlen Ness Honored By The Petersen Auto Museum”

  1. 1 LenNY Sinnet Barnett HD May 31st, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Wish I could go the Ness’s are true legends in the motorcycle industry .

  2. 2 Greeko May 31st, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Year of Ness top picture?

  3. 3 Rodent May 31st, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Arlen led the way.

  4. 4 Mike Marquart May 31st, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Recognition well deserved! The entire Ness family is a class act. See you in Sturgis.

  5. 5 Rick Fairless May 31st, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Arlen Ness is a HUGE reason why I fell in love with custom motorcycles in the 70’s & why I’m in the motorcycle business today. When I was a young man, I used to study the Ness catalog & all his cool bikes (actually, I still do today!). I wanted so bad to emulate this man that is a God to me & so many other people around the world. Thank you Arlen for all you have done for me & our industry that we love so dearly. You more than anybody in the history of custom motorcycles, has blazed the trail for us to follow. Now that Arlen & I are good friends, I can tell you that Arlen is as good a man as God ever put on this earth. I can also tell you that his son Cory & Grandson Zach are both cut from the same fine cloth. Long Live Arlen Ness, the King of Custom Motorcycles. I’ll Cya soon Arlen,

  6. 6 Woody's May 31st, 2013 at 10:29 am

    An honor well-deserved. One look at his ’57 Chevy bike and you knew you were seeing a whole new world on the way.

  7. 7 JC May 31st, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Congrats to the whole Ness family. See you in a few weeks.

  8. 8 ray c wheeler May 31st, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    One class act……

    Well done to the entire Ness family…..

  9. 9 Jezza Jun 1st, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Yeah, well deserved. A living legend and a really nice humble guy as well. The Ness family are all just really nice genuine people to talk to and always take time to chat and be polite. A few other so called superstars out there could learn a lot from this class act!

  10. 10 Freedomlaw Jun 1st, 2013 at 6:13 am

    As a relative newcomer to motorcycling (11 or 12 years now), I have made the rounds of a number of custom bike shows and met a number of motorcycle “celebrities.” Each of us carries our own criteria for “class act” but this man sure meets mine. When I stood in line to meet him in Maryland, he was a gentleman. He accepted my compliments on his work with grace and humility. I contrast this with another “biker celebrity” who used verbal and non-verbal communication to make it perfectly clear that that he held me/us in contempt. I completely agree with Jezza. A class act!

    p.s. Although I have never met him, I feel the same way about Cyril. I appreciate this blog and the class act of promoting the hard work and talent of others without believing in somehow diminishes self.

  11. 11 Doc Robinson Jun 1st, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Arlen is a true class act who has contributed hugely to the motorcycle culture around the entire world. Without doubt the true godfather of custom bike building.

  12. 12 Blackmax Jun 1st, 2013 at 10:03 am

    A well deserved honor to a man who truly is a “master builder”
    and a very gracious gentleman.
    Congrats to you, sir & the entire Ness clan

  13. 13 tholland Jun 1st, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Well spoken ….RF. A legend in his own time

  14. 14 Pat Simmons Jun 1st, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    What a great place to view the work of one of the greatest motorcycle builders in the world. Rick Fairless hit the nail on the head with his comments. Thanks for saying it so well for the rest of us.

  15. 15 Olive Oil Jun 1st, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Enroute to Sturgis one year I stopped to don my rainsuit for a pending storm. Who should stop towing a load of show bikes, Arlen Ness. He wanted to check if I had broke down.
    Gracious gentleman indeed.

  16. 16 nicker Jun 1st, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks so much for many years of showing the positive side of bike building.
    Without examples like you the general public would get the idea that we’re all morons.
    An award well deserved…. Congrats.


  17. 17 nicker Jun 1st, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    -BTW- Arlen
    I’m still sorry i let ya beat me out of that Vincent at an SF bike Auction so many years ago.

    I still have the lot-list for the event.
    There were something like 6 Vincents on the list.
    As i recall the first one went for $300.00…….
    You and i bid against each other for the last one……….. At $900.00 i was tapped-out…….. 🙁
    Mike McQueen kept elbowing me to keep bidding, saying it was well worth the price.
    I said in that case go for it himself. He said he already had a rapid and was now looking for a Shadow.

    Several years later he offered me his Vincent for $5000.00..
    Another cool scoot gone forever……. :-(…..


  18. 18 Cris Sommer Simmons Jun 2nd, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Long time friend, great person, great family!

  19. 19 domino Jun 2nd, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Diggers for freekin ever !!

  20. 20 Howard Kelly Jun 3rd, 2013 at 9:05 am

    In the years I did magazines, no one ever amazed me more than Arlen. He was always willing to help out with whatever idea I had for the mag, Cory was the very same way. It’s a great family that respects riders and customizes. Congrats Arlen!

  21. 21 JIM BETLACH Jun 3rd, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Arlen has always set the finest examples of custom bike building period! Many trends were started by Arlen and continue with the Ness family today. Class act Arlen………

  22. 22 Harlan Jun 4th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Happy Birthday Arlen.
    Looking forward to sharing the road with you and our fellow Hamsters, friends and family on our annual trip to Sturgis.

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Cyril Huze