Born Free 9. What can you say? These guys keep turning it up! This year the addition of Thursday night flat track races and Invited Builders reveal at Costa Mesa Speedway was the biggest change from previous events. The racing was a fun diversion for us. We do a lot of standing around and shooting the shit all weekend so it was fun to start out with something active. The race was the most organized thing I’ve seen since Marine Corps boot camp. There was hardly a break between heats so the racing was fast and furious for fans and participants. The challenging track was tiny but groomed to perfection. Huber got on the mic and made fun of his buddies on tank shift bikes. Me and Otto fought for last place in the Vintage Single class and no one got hurt so it was a perfect eventing.
Cook’s Corner on Friday was the usual crush of bodies and booze surrounding the six finalists in Show Class Magazine’s People’s Champ competition. All the bikes were top notch, but Christian Newman’s knucklehead took the prize. Check this feature by our friends at Revzilla and you’ll see why. https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/newmans-knuckle There are a hundred insane, hand-crafted details on this bike. Check the outboard rear disc brake and sprocket to get started. The frame and fork (and almost everything else) is stainless steel, completely made from scratch. It’s no wonder he won the PC award and then took home best knucklehead from Born Free two days later.
The show itself is a chopper carnival of epic proportions. The Invited Builder Bikes keep getting better and better. Check our video for a peek at each one. This year Vans brought a vert ramp and San Diego Customs put on an FXR and Dyna show. Dunk tanks, pretty girls, polish dogs with sauerkraut combined with cold beer on tap from Loser Machine’s boobie bar and thousands of chopper nerds added up to plenty o’ fun in the sun. As always the ride-in Grass Pass area was one of my favorites to peruse. Show bikes are great and all, but I’ll never get tired of looking at a well-used motorcycle that actually gets ridden.
Since there is so much going on at an event of this size, we’re going to break our coverage up into smaller chunks. This is the “overview” of the event. We’ll have a few more blog entries, videos and photo collections that drill down into specific bike categories, inspirational build details and other parts of Born Free that are easy to overlook.
Big thanks to the builders who created these incredibly inspirational machines and the team who put on the show, we can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the next one.
You can find more info at www.bornfreeshow.com