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Weston man builds epic motorcycle to promote saving lives through Be The Match donations

By | General Posts

WESTON – It’s a gleaming, curvy, sport-style motorcycle with a distinct Art Deco look, and there’s no other bike like it on Earth.

Mark Ecklund of Weston took two years of painstaking, detail-oriented work to build it, hand-fabricating most of its body work from thin aluminum. For just the tail section, the 53-year-old machinist took two weeks to patiently and gently tap — using a hand-held, hammer-like metal molding tool — a piece of aluminum into the shape he wanted.

The project represents the ability to save lives. Mark created the motorcycle to honor and promote Be The Match, a worldwide organization that works to match donors of life-saving bone marrow and stem cells to people suffering from blood cancers such a leukemia and lymphoma. In 2012, Mark donated stem cells that were used to save the life of a 53-year-old Pennsylvania man, who is a husband, father and grandfather.

Mark is a serial inventor who has built and designed things such as a one-person hovercraft, a safety faucet that prevents scalding and an improved version of a compound bow, and it’s his habit to enthusiastically and compulsively throw himself into projects. But even for his standards, this motorcycle, once a brand-new Indian cruiser, is special.

A year after the transplant, Ecklund and the stem cell recipient, Todd Euen of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, met and became instant friends. The experience was so gratifying that Ecklund can’t even begin to explain it. All he can say is that the motorcycle is a physical manifestation of those feelings, and a vehicle to promote Be The Match. He and his wife, Chris Ecklund, are doing anything they can to encourage people to register for Be The Match donations.

“We want to bring that awareness to people, to have more people register,” Chris said.

The motorcycle is a work of art, Mark said, “that is more of a campaign.”

‘Forever grateful’

Todd, a controller at a Ford dealership, was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2012. In order to save his life, doctors rushed him to Pittsburgh, located about 66 miles west of Johnstown. If Todd hadn’t gotten treatment, he likely would have died within two weeks, doctors told him.

“I was in shock,” Todd said.

He received Mark’s donation in a procedure done on Christmas Eve of 2012.

Be The Match requires that donors and recipients wait a year after procedures before connecting with each other. After that year passed, Todd contacted Mark to get to know him and thank him.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I met him. He basically saved my life,” Todd said. “It was real emotional when we met. … Our family is forever grateful to him.”

‘I knew exactly what I was going to do’

Chris and Mark decided to become donors when Mark turned 35. They both regularly give blood, and it was Mark’s idea to do more.

“We just wanted to help people,” Mark said.

They found Be The Match, did a little research, and then, almost on a whim, drove to the Appleton office of Be The Match to register. Chris still hasn’t been matched with a recipient.

“I’m really jealous of Mark,” she said.

After meeting Todd , Mark came up with the idea to design and build the Be The Match motorcycle. He talked about his plans with Chris, and she agreed that they should purchase the 2015 Indian Scout to convert. Chris didn’t quite grasp what her husband had in mind; she thought it would be a light modification of the new Indian model.

As Mark started to the project, “I thought, ‘We spent all this money to tear it apart,'” Chris said.

Mark visualized his motorcycle from the start. “I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew exactly what I was going to do,” he said.

He wanted something that would be magnetic to other motorcycle enthusiasts. And even though Chris didn’t know the details, she’s been married to Mark for 29 years. So she wasn’t surprised when he spend nearly all his free time working on the bike. Nor was she surprised at the result.

They take the motorcycle to races and shows. First riders come see the bike, then Chris and Mark go into their Be The Match spiel, and often Chris will get people to register for donations on the spot. (It requires filling out a form and doing some cheek swabs to get DNA samples.)

Jess Klingberg, the Be The Match community engagement specialist based in Appleton, said the motorcycle is magnet for potential donors, helping sign up potential donors by the dozen. She attended a motorcycle rally with the Ecklunds. “That motorcycle turns a lot of heads,” she said.

Todd accompanied Mark and Chris to one show near Pittsburgh, and even though he’s gotten to know Mark and his all-in attitude, he was still surprised at how much gusto both Mark and Chris display when promoting Be The Match.

“They have jumped all in,” Todd said with a laugh.

Be the Match Radiothon

A live, over-the-air Radiothon for Be the Match will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 19 on the Wausau rock radio station WIFC-FM 95.5 Jess Klingberg, the Be The Match community engagement specialist who works in the organization’s Appleton office, will be on air to explain details about the program and tell stories about what Be The Match can mean for individuals dealing with cancer.

Funky Panhead Part 5

By | General Posts

New front wheel and disc brake

With the help of Paughco and Black Bike Wheels

Okay, so the classic 19-inch spoked wheel rolled in from Black Bike Wheels, in Van Nuys. They have grown to build spoked wheels for every make and model in virtually every size. Too cool. If you need a spoked wheel give them a call and speak to Elliot or Eric. Tell them Bikernet sent you.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TECH ARTICLE

2007 Harley-Davidson Custom Bike Is a Throwback to the Bobbers of Old

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

There are few things the name Harley-Davidson cannot be associated with in the world of motorcycles. From road-going bikes to custom builds, the name is present all across the board in the industry, and it has been so for a great number of years now.

There’s good reason for that, as there are few types of motorcycles today that don’t have a trace of Harley in them. Back in the 1920s, for instance, J-series Harleys gave birth to what today are known as bobbers. Seen by most as the less bling cousins of the choppers that have flooded the streets in times closer to our own, bobbers have been seen across the ages as signature builds of shops around the world.

Because there are so many Harley-based bobbers out there, it’s nearly impossible to say which is the best. Yet from time to time one really stands out, and it is worth a closer look.

Waiting on the list of vehicles that will sell at the end of the month at an auction in Salt Lake City is exactly such a build, simply titled 2007 Harley-Davidson bobber.

Built in the same city where the auction is set to take place, the motorcycle was designed in such a way as to bring back memories of the bobbers build back in the 1960s and 1970s: there is no front fender, the rear one is significantly shorter, and there are literally no other body part elements standing in the way of the exposed V-twin or the black frame.

Offsetting the metal look of the engine and exhaust and the blue tone of the limited bodywork is hand-crafted, brown leatherwork spread throughout.

The ones selling the bike say the entire build cost over $20,000 back when it was made, but there’s no estimate as to how much it is expected to fetch during the auction.

If Mad Max Needed One More Motorcycle for Filming, This Would Have Been It

By | General Posts

Italian people have designer genes in their blood, as a guy called Luca Lamperti clearly shows after making a full custom Mad Max and Alien vs Predator mash-up based on a Ducati Monster. He calls it the Apophis 99942.

Grezzo, by his nickname, runs a custom builds workshop called Raw Bike Factory and he is a full time artist and iron “worker” full of creativity. He likes to think that he is a shaper of unusual things and this bike is the result of his ideas.

At first glance, his creation makes our brains think only about Mad Max movies combined with Alien vs Predator. It’s the perfect bike for an alien to ride between the galaxies to kill the predators.

Everything on the bike, except the engine and the mainframe, is a custom build. Starting in the front we can see many little braided lines, albeit only one of them is a real brake hose. The tires have metal studded bands attached to them. This makes the machine unrideable on the street, so he has the perfect excuse to keep this beauty inside the house and admire it every day.

To achieve a more aggressive look, he changed the original 40-something tooth puny sprocket with a gigantic and humongous home-made sprocket. The tank, saddle and tail section are made from one big aluminum piece, hand-beaten into the desired shape. The symbols drawn on the different parts of the bike are applied via a special mechanical process that can engrave on aluminum.

One other thing that stands out for this bike is the fact that it has steel grips. It seems like Grezzo does not like rubber at all. In addition, he thought that keys are not cool either, so by typing a special code on the bike’s touchscreen placed instead of the original dashboard, you can start the engine.

The Apophis 99942 was created to participate at custom bike building championships. It participated at the AMD World Championship in 2018 in the freestyle class. Although this build is special and unique, it only got an honorable mention.

Super Ball Sunday

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What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial this year? Ours is the Lowbrow Super Ball Commercial we made last year…

It is only a minute and a half long.. watch and enjoy. Let us know what you think in the YouTube comments or by replying to this email!

PS – Mama Tried is coming up next month.. Get your Mama Tried entry tickets from Lowbrow and avoid waiting in line to purchase them at the show!

The people below are using motorcycles in the proper fashion: excitement, adventure and passion. Get out of the house, out of your comfort zone, tag @lowbrowcustoms and hashtag #lowbrowcustoms, #lowbrowlife, #lowbroworder or #rideeverywhere for a chance to see your post highlighted here.

We love seeing photos of your projects, motorcycles and adventures. We also love hearing about what we are doing right and what we could be doing better… it helps us improve! Take a moment and check out all the reviews on our website or leave us a Google Review. We genuinely appreciate it!

Win Tickets to the Super Fun “One Motorcycle Show”!

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by Wm. Steven Humphrey from https://www.portlandmercury.com/

If you love motorcycles, then the annual One Motorcycle Show is the cultural event of the season! Experience hundreds of the hottest rare, custom-built motorcycles designed by master crafters from across America (and of course, here in the PNW). Oh, but that’s not all! Along with delicious brews, coffee, food, live bands (including Hot Snakes, Thunderpussy, Red Fang, and more), and loads of motorcycle inspired art, this beloved show has also moved to Veterans Memorial Coliseum—which means what? That the famous dirt track races which were previously held in Salem will now join the rest of the show under one huge roof! Oh dear god… can you stand that much motorcycle fun?

This awesome show goes down Fri Feb 7-Sun Feb 9, with indoor dirt track racing on Sat Feb 8, all at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. For times and tickets, hit up the website. OR if you’re feeling lucky enter to WIN TWO FREE WEEKEND PASSES to the show with the widget thingy below—but HURRY. Deadline for entry is February 3 at noon!

Enter to win TWO weekend passes to The One Moto Show!

https://www.the1moto.com/

10,000 beers • 5,000 high-fives • 200+ bikes • 5 bands • 70 vendors • 20 partners

15 race classes • All under ONE roof!

The One Motorcycle Show is an inclusive showcase crafted to celebrate weird, rare, custom, classic and unconventional bikes in a way that everyone can enjoy, whether they ride or not. Started with the impulsive idea to bring together a small community of enthusiasts in underground venues of Portland, the One Show has expanded to an improbably massive event that is emulated around the country and admired around the globe.

The One Motorcycle Show

February 7th 8th 9th 2020

Funky Panhead Part 4, New Frontend Installed

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Brand New from Paughco, Early-Style Springer and Black Bike Wheel

I spent a lot of money and time rebuilding an old 41mm wide glide for my 1969 Panhead build. It was one of those crazy builds, fulla twists and turns, but the glide haunted me.

Then I got a call from the masterminds at Paughco. They recently developed a new springer configuration, because so many overseas manufactures stole their classic, flat side design.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS TECH ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

Join the Cantina today – Subscribe for just $24. https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

Rik Albert blends love of motorcycles, cars with art

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by Thia James from https://thestarphoenix.com

Saskatoon’s Rik Albert speaks about his unique art and his 10-year quest to bring an ergonomic bike handle bar to market.

“You build that?” asks a man walking along the residential street where Rik Albert rides his bike, equipped with a Toon bar, a raised handle bar of his invention.

Albert explains that the handle bar is for people with carpal tunnel syndrome — since it’s intended to relieve some of the pressure put on the rider’s wrists — and people with spinal injuries, since the rider remains in an upright position.

“Holy smokes,” the man replies. Both continue on their way.

The Toon bar has been a 10-year passion for Albert. It’s still at the prototype stage, but he’s been an unfailing advocate for his invention. He created a video, wrote a letter to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, and has appeared on local television to spread the word about his creation. He reached out to DeGeneres, who is originally from Louisiana, because they share Acadian roots, he says. He’s originally from New Brunswick.

Albert’s father was from New Brunswick and his mom was from Western Canada; they met in Ontario and moved to New Brunswick, then to Montreal, where he became bilingual by learning English. When his parents divorced, he moved to Esterhazy, Sask. when he was about 10 years old.

“(When I) got off the train, I could see the Atlantic and I could see the Pacific, and went ‘Wow, this is flat,’ ” he jokes.

Albert went on to work for General Motors and Harley-Davidson, which speaks to both of his passions, cars and motorcycles.

The idea for the raised handle bar came almost out of necessity. As he puts it, he’s already used seven of his nine lives.

When he was 27 in 1989, while riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Davidson to the Alberta border, he attempted to pass a truck near Gull Lake and ended up underneath it. The truck sucked him under its front wheel and dragged him for a distance, crushing his right ankle and breaking his right hand and collarbone.

He spent time in three different hospitals, he says.

While rehabilitating over the course of three to four years, he found the best thing for him was to be on a bicycle to move his right leg and hand.

One day, while at work unloading Harleys, he came close to suffering another injury when a three-ton truck backed up, nearly missing him. After that, he designed the raised handlebars.

Albert can’t bend over traditional handlebars, putting his weight on his right wrist, so he made a version of what would come to be known as the Toon Bar for himself. Almost 10 years ago, he had a friend weld a piece of pipe to his bike’s existing handlebars, then added a crossbar. He wants to make telescopic handles and functional hand brakes for it, he says.

He’s been approached by many people while out riding his bike with the raised handles who have asked him to bring it to market, he adds.

“I wish I had a log and a camera on the bars to show their expressions, because you’d think I was riding a bike on Jupiter or on Mars.”

While he works to move his invention past the prototype stage, sales of his art are what “buys the mac and cheese,” as he puts it. Albert repurposes unused motorcycle parts, such as exhaust pipes stripped off at the retail level for new owners who want custom pipes. He’s used them to create and sell custom-built lamps.

He’s had vehicle parts in his hands since he was a General Motors parts manager in his 20s, he says, and became familiar with cars at a young age when his dad raced cars in Montreal.

He fondly remembers his time working for Harley-Davidson.

“It’s a shame when a customer buys a brand new Harley that the pipes are $500 each and they take them off brand-new and throw them in a corner and nobody uses them again. So I figure, why not repurpose them and make all kinds of stuff with them?”

After his accident and rehabilitation, he learned how to work with glass. Over the last 10 years, he’s created commissioned glass works, including tables and mirrors, for customers in Vancouver, Calgary, New Brunswick and Montreal. To generate sales, he relies on word of mouth, online classified ads and appearances at craft, art and car shows — anywhere he can exhibit his work for free.

One piece he keeps for himself is dedicated to his Acadian roots. It took 20 hours of airbrushing and etching behind the glass, he says.

Louis Paquette, the owner of Saskatoon Truck Centre, met Albert at a Cruise Night event earlier this year and bought a lamp, which led Albert to show him photos of his other custom furniture pieces. Paquette saw a coffee table he liked and asked Albert to build him one. The lamp and table are now at Paquette’s business. When clients ask where he got it from, he says “It’s an old family secret.”

Paquette, a past director of the Saskatchewan Craft Council, said he isn’t a motorcycle enthusiast, but he does collect cars. Albert’s work is unique, he says.

“He uses his imagination when it comes to motorbike parts. Who the hell would think that you’d take some mufflers and make a coffee table out of it?”

What drew him to Albert’s display at Cruise Night was his custom-built Corvette — the combination of the back end of a 1976 model and the front end of a 1981 model.

One child dubbed the vehicle The Batmobile, Albert says. He attributes his interest in rebuilding cars to his father’s own interest in hot rods, and going to car shows.

“Everything I have, I pretty much make it to my own liking and make it custom made so it’s not a cookie-cutter item,” he says.

Dull Yamaha XSR900 Turns Into Convoluted Naked Racer

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

On the market as a naked motorcycle paying tribute to the classic bikes of old, the Yamaha XSR900 somehow manages not to be a real head-turner. At least not in factory specification, because when custom builders get down to business, it turns into something else entirely.

The factory-made motorcycle is as basic as it gets from a design standpoint, lacking all the unnecessary elements that on other two-wheelers cover the front and side. But given enough imagination and just a few extra elements, the XSR900 can look quite appealing.

The motorcycle depicted in the gallery above is called Type 11 and started life as a Yamaha XSR900. It was born after hours and hours of work on three different prototypes, at the hands of a London-based custom builder by the name of Auto Fabrica.

The bike no longer looks bare and simple, but features flowing lines – obvious especially when it comes to the long, curved exhaust – that make you think the bike is no longer slamming against the incoming air, but rather flowing through it.

That’s mostly because of the way in which the fuel tank has been shaped and extended to embrace the handlebars, and then end with the large, round headlight.

The changes made to the Yamaha are not only visual. The Type 11 uses Ohlins forks and socks, the steel exhaust we mentioned earlier, painted black, and carbon-nylon parts in the radiator. Also, there’s Alcantara on the seat and aluminum on the grips.

Auto Fabrica says it will build this bike in limited numbers, and only to order. That means the personalization options go even further, and each client will have the right to ask for the desired specifications.

No pricing for the custom build has been announced. More details on the Auto Fabrica Type 11 can be found at this link.

Royal Enfield Donates More Than $100,000 in Motorcycles, Parts to Youth Program

By | General Posts

Royal Enfield and BUILD Moto Mentor Program Partner to Benefit Wisconsin Students

Royal Enfield Donates More Than $100,000 in Motorcycles, Parts to Youth Program

MILWAUKEE (Nov. 22, 2019) —​​Royal Enfield​ and ​BUILD Moto Mentor Program​ are joining forces in a unique partnership designed to use motorcycles to build positive futures forWisconsin high school students. The BUILD program is a non-profit educational organizationthat pairs teams of high school students with bike-building mentors for the opportunity to learntrade and technical skills. Through a new multi-year partnership, Royal Enfield will donate 16Classic 500 motorcycles to the program along with parts, support and technical trainingmentors. The organization hopes the partnership will allow BUILD to grow the number of highschools in Wisconsin able to participate in the program.

Now in its tenth year, BUILD provides students with opportunities to learn trade skills includingdesign, welding, fabrication, mechanical repair and machining as they relate to the motorcycleindustry. In addition to acquiring technical skills, teams also participate in marketing andfundraising efforts promoting the program and host local events showcasing their work, growingtheir exposure to professional and life skills.

“The partnership with Royal Enfield opens up many opportunities for us, not only in the ability toimmediately support more teams, but also explore additional benefits we can provide to theparticipating students. We are excited for the future of the program with the partnership of RoyalEnfield here in Milwaukee as they share our passion to bring motorcycling and STEM-relatedskills to youth,” said Kevin Frank, president of BUILD Moto.

Last year, Royal Enfield’s flagship dealer in Milwaukee mentored a team, and for the past twoyears the brand was the presenting sponsor of the Brewtown Rumble, a vintage motorcycle show that serves as the program’s largest fundraiser. “We were eager to increase ourinvolvement with BUILD after seeing firsthand the positive results it has on the youth here in theMilwaukee area,” said Rod Copes, president of Royal Enfield Americas. “We recognize thebenefits of engaging youth in the motorcycling industry early on and are honored to helpparticipants acquire skills that will serve them well today and into adulthood.”

This year’s program starts in December, with teams required to meet at least once a weekthrough winter and spring. Other local businesses, such as Indian Motorcycle of MetroMilwaukee, are also integral to the program as the sponsors of the Dyno Day, where all teamsare invited to bring their builds to the Muskego location and receive a dyno run.

Student teams will ultimately compete for a final award, the Royal Enfield BUILD Cup, which willbe presented at the largest outdoor motorcycle show, Brewtown Rumble, sponsored by RoyalEnfield in June.

About BUILD – Founded by ​The Iron Horse Hotel​​in 2011, BUILD is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to pairing teams of high school students with bike-building mentors in a collectiveeffort to learn valuable life and interpersonal skills while working on motorcycles. http://buildmoto.com/

About Royal Enfield – The oldest motorcycle company in continuous production in the world, Royal Enfield made itsfirst motorcycle in 1901. A division of Eicher Motors Limited, Royal Enfield has created the mid-size motorcycle segment in India with its unique and distinctive modern classic motorcycles.With its manufacturing base in Chennai, India, Royal Enfield has been able to grow itsproduction rapidly against a surge in demand for its motorcycles. Royal Enfield is a leadingplayer in the global middleweight motorcycle market.

Royal Enfield North America (RENA) is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and isdeveloping a growing network of more than 90 dealers in North America, including the U.S.,Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. RENA currently offers the Bullet 500, Classic 500, Himalayan and the all new 650 Twins: INT 650 and Continental GT 650 motorcycles along with a range ofgenuine motorcycle accessories and apparel.

For more information on Royal Enfield North America, please visit

www.RoyalEnfield.com/us/en/​, ​www.Instagram.com/RoyalEnfield_NA​,www.Facebook.com/RoyalEnfieldNorthAmerica​.