Sturgis “Motorcycle As Art” By Michael Lichter And Paul D’Orleans. Race Inspired Motorcycles Built For Speed.

Lichter1Lichter2lichter00Lichter3The 14th Annual Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycle As Art” exhibition officially opened on Sunday August 3rd under the theme “Built For Speed”. The who’s who of the motorcycle industry gathered at the Buffalo Chip exhibition hall to admire the  beautiful and rare display of more than 35 race-inspired custom motorcycles curated by internationally famous photographer Michael Lichter and vintage motorcycles expert Paul d’Orleans. Members of the press had the opportunity to get a preview of this exhibition and to learn about the builders and how they found inspiration in one of the many branches of racing: Speedway, Flat Track, Drag Racing, Board Track,  Grand Prix, Land Speed Record, etc. Each machine is displayed with its description and racing style origin, from “Cut-downs” of the 1920s, “Bob-jobs” of the 1930s, “Café Racers” of the 1950s, ‘Drag-bike’ Choppers of the 1960s, and ‘Street Trackers’ of the 1970s.

Lichter4Lichter5As always, entry to the Buffalo Chip’s 7,000’ purpose-built Michael Lichter art gallery is FREE and this year, hours have been extended, now opening at 10:30 am into the evening concert hours (around 10.30 pm).  The show is open until Friday night August 9. To find the gallery, head to the Buffalo Chip and turn east on Alkali Road; go to the EAST entrance. The gallery is next to the EAST entrance and does not require a ticket to enter.

Lichter6Lichter7Lichter8Michael Lichter wants to give a special thanks to the ‘Motorcycle as Art’ industry sponsors Ace Cafe Orlando, Avon Tires, Baker Drivetrain, Burly Brand, Carhartt, Crusher Exhaust, Hot Leathers, Icon Motorsports, J&P, Kuryakyn, Motor Bike Expo Italy, Mustang Seats, Progressive Suspension, Ridewright Wheels, Tucker Rocky / Biker’s Choice and S&S Cycle.

Lichter9Lichter11Among the Builders And Artists featured in the “Built For Speed Exhibition”:

The 32-motorcycles in ‘Built for Speed’ include customs by long established and emerging builders, side by side with factory-loaned machines.  Builder sending bikes include Alan Stulberg (Revival Cycles), Arlen Ness, Bill Dodge (Blings Cycles), Bill Rodencal (Fat Dog Racing), Brandon Holstein (Brawny Built), Brian Klock (Klockwerks), Dan “Bacon” Carr (DC Choppers), Dan Rognsvoog with Skip Schulze, Jason Paul Michaels (Dime City Cycles), John Reed, Kenji “Ken” Nagai (Ken’s Factory, Japan), Kevin Baas (Baas Metal Craft), Kirk Taylor (Custom Design Studios), Matt Olsen (Carl’s Cycle), Michael O’Shea (Medaza Cycles, Ireland), Nate Jacobs (Harlot Cycles), Pat Patterson (Led Sled Customs), Paul Cox (Paul Cox Industries), Paul Wideman (Bare Knuckle Choppers), Roland Sands (RSD), Skeeter Todd, Tator Gilmore, Warren Lane  and Zach Ness (Arlen Ness, Inc). Factory-built machines include a custom Street 750 from the Harley-Davidson design department, Indian’s “Spirit of Munro” Jeb Scolman built streamliner and a Land Speed Racer from Confederate Motorcycles alongside Icon’s “Iron Lung” road racer, George Smith’s “Tramp” (replica) from S&S, Deus Ex Machina’s “DAKDAAK” Honda CRF 450X and Clem Johnson’s original Vincent “Barn Job” from John Stein. Artists on the walls include Conrad Leach, Darren McKeag, David Uhl, Eric Hermann, Harpoon, Jeff Nobles, Marc Lacourciere, Michael Lichter, Richie Pan, Scott Jacobs, Scott Takes, Susan McLaughlin and Paul d’Orléans, Tom Fritz, Trish Horstman and an all new “21 Helmets” display of race inspired Bell Helmets from SeeSee Motor-Coffee in Portland.


14 Responses to “Sturgis “Motorcycle As Art” By Michael Lichter And Paul D’Orleans. Race Inspired Motorcycles Built For Speed.”

  1. 1 TJ Martin Aug 4th, 2014 at 8:45 am

    These two guys are becoming one ___ of fantastic and serious team . Great books … well done shows etc .

    In my [ never even close to being a ] humble opinion ? 😉

    Lichter and D’Orleans are the two greatest promotors of M/C in existence today . Forget about all the [ not so ] Reality TV garbage . These two guys are the REAL deal and the kind of representation we need if we wish to survive

  2. 2 nicker Aug 4th, 2014 at 2:20 pm


    Looks like some Way Cool stuff.
    But Clem Johnson’s “Barn Job” is truly iconic (and hopefully immortal).
    Over 150 MPH in 9 seconds, he built EVRYTHING himself (even Cams & Gears).
    Johnson was the first 2-wheeler to go over 160 MHP.

    Now….. If they could only get Stan Dishong’s DOHC Pan Head on display……….

    People who literally “built their own bikes. The country sure could use more of-em today.

    Hope this show and those like it reignites the the ingenuity and passion for achievement this country seems to be loosing.

    Thanks Paul & Mike

  3. 3 Blackmax Aug 4th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Agree with TJ Martin & Nicker
    You don’t get any better representation of bikes & the lifestyle than these 2
    Especially Michael Lichter, a true gentleman & the BEST biker photographer, ever !!!!

  4. 4 Zipper Aug 5th, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Great post, wish there was more. ..Z

  5. 5 ROGUE Aug 5th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I had the privilege of being one of the people who attended this show and it is something that I look forward to while I am in Sturgis.
    I strongly recommend if you are in the area to stop by and enjoy it too.
    Others could learn from Michael and Paul how to put an event on.

  6. 6 Pat Simmons Aug 5th, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    No doubt this will be the highlight of the rally for many of the folks there. Michael and Paul really know how to put on a show. Always visually stunning, and incredibly informative. I’ve spent literally hours at past exhibitions, completely enthralled with the many bikes, displays, and art. For motorcycle riders, enthusiasts, and history junkies, it just doesn’t get much better. Looks like another phenomenal presentation, and I encourage everyone who has the opportunity to attend. I’ve always been blown away, and I know you will too. Thanks Michael and Paul, and congratulations on another killer exhibition!

  7. 7 Martin Twofeather Aug 5th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Love that Pan! Great job Michael and Paul,and great coverage Cyril.

  8. 8 Cris Sommer Simmons Aug 7th, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Can’t believe I missed this show! It’s no doubt one of the best parts of Sturgis for me. Congrats Mike and Paul! See you on the Cannonball!

  9. 9 Paul d'Orleans Aug 7th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for the kind words – it’s an honor to work with Michael, who is truly a gentleman and a master of his craft. We’ll both be on the Cannonball in a few weeks, as Cris Sommer Simmons notes; Michael as the official photographer, riding backwards for 4100 miles, and me facing forwards on a 1933 Brough Superior!

  10. 10 John Aug 9th, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Always looking , inspiring , even for a late starter to this world

  11. 11 JZ Aug 9th, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Well done and well deserved, Paul and Michael!

  12. 12 john reed Aug 9th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I started putting bikes in shows about 1970 and after the 2011 AMD show in Sturgis I decided I wasn’t going to show a bike again.
    Most of the custom shows seem to have a strange combination of intensity and ego , may be its because everyone is in competition and because they judge each other political expertise is just important as the quality of the bike so the entrants run around doing whatever they can to get more people to pick their bike, it gives it almost a circus feel.
    I always felt a lot more comfortable walking round Michaels shows because he has picked bikes and art work that is not necessarily as flash as the show bikes, but they are exactly what is needed to complete a whole package for the overall theme. and it has got even better since he teamed up with Paul whose expertise complements his own.
    We have bee friends for well over 30 years and I am very fond of him but I have always been hurt (just a bit) that he never asked me to bring a bike to his show and when he asked me this year I pretended I didn’t want to because I retired while the same time I was pulled out a bike I couldn’t finish years ago that I thought would be found interesting and after I felt I had moaned and whined enough I agreed put it in the van and I was off like a raped ape.
    I have a trouble pretending to smile when I am with a lot of people, but at the media party I met so many people I knew and had a chance to meet the other builders, I had a shit kicking grin the whole evening,
    Skeeter is just as ugly but still making really nice bikes and should be inducted in the museum next year,
    Rogue was more mellow than normal, (between me and you I reckon he has had a face lift because when the light hit him right he looked younger and quite attractive)
    Tater had his drag bike ,it fascinated me and I was very happy talking about bikes with him, and afterwards I wondered what it would be like if we sat on each others bike, mine is small his is big, he is big and I am almost a midget (Or whatever they call little people these days)
    The sheet metal on the Indian was so flat that I wished I had paid more attention when I was an apprentice and they sent me to the sheet metal department,
    I enjoyed messing with the young engineer that was just as intense as I was his age.
    and lots and lots of other people
    It was one of the best evenings I had for a long time
    Michael, Paul you made an old man happy.

  13. 13 Michael Lichter Aug 12th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    It is late Monday night (officially very early – 4:30 am on Tuesday) and I just finished shooting the last of the bikes in this year’s Motorcycles as art exhibition with the help of my trusty (as well as overworked and sleep deprived) assistants Melissa and Shannon so this exhibition can be featured in a 132 page special edition of Dice Magazine. As with the Cafe Racer book on last year’s Ton Up exhibition (from Motorbooks), this will again be a collaboration between myself and Paul D’Orleans.

    With too many Sturgis nights being up until 4+ am, I didn’t get on the internet much nor make any Facebook posts, but I will start making them now that I just have the editing left to do. Thank you for all the great comments about the Built for Speed exhibition. This was my 14th year putting the exhibit together (of course with the awesome collaboration with Paul these last two years) and despite my wife urging me to move on due to the amount of work (and again, many late nights) during the year it takes to put it together, I have agreed to keep going through 2016.

    I hope to see you all next year, Michael (ps – I fell asleep at the keyboard before hitting send, so it really is Tues am now!)

  14. 14 XS650 Aug 12th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Men – I am really digging the direction of motorcycle builders artists are going. building up like not only to roll down the highway at 80 miles an hour but also look beautiful and function properly not some goofy concept just a balanced flowing approach to building bikes that doesn’t just take into consideration the design and style aspect but also something that is functional and can driven down the highway. Excellent post..

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Cyril Huze