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Sturgis 2004 The Best Bikes and Chicks

What Else Do You Need?

Text and photography by Frank Kaisler
6/10/2010 3:12:41 PM

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lead - cutie on 

Don Hotop's old style creation and sidecar. He was one of Bandit's partners on the Monster Garage old school chop build.

Who needs to see another goddamn Jack Pine tree. We experienced one of the quietest Sturgis nights ever this past August. It might have had something to do with the temperatures sinking down into the low 40s setting a lowest temperature known since the late 1930s.

riding shot

The exact night was either Tuesday or Wednesday. Instead of heading for the sack with the constant rumbling multitudes of twin exhausts reverberating in the the chincy motel walls, there was only the occasional blast of a lone rider searching for the warmth of a shared sleeping bag in some outlying campground or maybe a close-by motel room and a hot shower to release the chill from his or her bones.

two cuties
These girls could release the chill from my bones.

The entire week was one of cool temps over the Badlands, hot chicks and bitchin’ bikes. Added to the overall experience was a new show touting the top 50 custom bikes in the country, sponsored by Legend Air Suspension and held in their parking lot down in Rapid City. The Journey Museum also housed a new exhibit called “Bob is Back” featuring Dave Mann art work and a plethora of bobber style bikes, the Journey Museum is also in Rapid City just east of the convention center where H-D displayed their new line of ’05 bikes and accessories.

We're not messing around now. You've read about the shows, downtown, Buffalo Chip bands, politics and a couple of ride stories, let's cut to the chase. Here's the best bike and babes I was fortunate enough to capture with this long-assed lense.


We ran across this trick shovel at the Top 50 show at Legend Air Suspension’s facility, there are a ton of handmade parts on this bike such as the truss mounted rear fender and modified piston headlight. Check out the VL I-beam front end, handmade footboards, controls, and the oil tank set into the top of the gas tank. The engine is sporting an early style L-series S&S cab with a handmade velocity stack.

cute couple
At least she was having a good time.

One of the cleanest flatheads we’ve seen in quite a while is this fine example by Josh Miles from Hank Young’s shop in GA. The detailed flathead engine and four-speed transmission sit in a modified VL frame fitted with a VL front end. The gas and oil tank are handmade and sit on either side of the top frame rail. The whole look of the bike is reminiscent of early factory race bikes. The detail of each part far exceeds anything the factory ever produced.



S&S Cycle from Viola, WI had founder George Smiths dual carb Panhead on display at the Journey Museum show. This is a true period bobber with cut down fenders homemade foot peg mounts, buckhorn handlebars and of course, some go fast goodies in the S&S motor. The most distinctive feature is the dual DC Linkert carbs bolted to the modified heads. S&S was one of the few companies that modified stock H-D heads for dual carbs. The story goes that George Smith melted down broken fins from other heads to make welding rod to weld up the stock intake ports and make new ports facing out the left side of the bike.

cutie in 
The girl Jose couldn't catch.

bobber 3
Our man, Bikernet Correspondent, from the island (Puerto Rico), Jose, constructed this sharp period Panhead bobber. The detailed panhead and four speed transmission sit in a wishbone frame painted a bright purple with white scallops, the white is carried through to the side walls of the tires, foot board rubbers, grips, kicker pedal and brake pedal rubber, all hard items to find.


This Indian Chief bobber was one of Steve McQueen’s bikes from his extensive collection of old motorcycles. This bike is a true era bobber, stripped of the huge fenders the bike takes on a racy look. The muffler has been removed with the head pipe left open to announce the bikes arrival.

old police 
The one and only Sturgis Police car.


Ted Tine of Essex Motorsports, in CT, was buzzing around Sturgis on this bright green metal flake Softail. All of the bodywork is metal consisting of close fitting panels easily removable for service. More metal sculpting is seen on the rear fender with frenched turn signals, license plate and seat area.

cutie in pink
I missed a few hot bikes watching this girl pour beers.

This new CFL from West Coast Choppers was built for master metal sculptor Jeff Decker. During the day the bike was on displayed at the WCC booth on Lazelle Street in Sturgis, in the evening Jeff and his wife were seen from Spearfish down to Rapid City. The color scheme was taken from a 1960s era dragster and is just stunning when seen in person.


From the Sucker Punch Sally shop, in Ohio, comes this tight little Shovel with high mount Sportster gas tank, Moon oil tank and two-into-one exhaust system with “cocktail shaker” muffler. No front brake but dual rear calipers provide enough stopping power. We shot these photos at the Metzler show held in the parking lot of the Journey Museum.

cutie long 


I spotted this rigid frame Sportsterat the Metzler show, not in the show but parked at the curb. The Ironhead engine fits the rigid frame perfectly. The round oil tank, abbreviated rear fender with the short handhold fender brace looks clean. An early aftermarket springer front end with a spool front wheel and only the original drum rear brake probably makes for an interesting ride. The seat appears to be a Bates mounted to the frame and the air cleaner looks handmade.


Out in front of the Journey Museum was a great line-up of bikes, Indian Larry’s Discovery Channel bike, Jeff Decker’s CFL, Big Chris from NY’s new Panhead project and a couple of bikes from WCC.

rat pan

Keino, out of Indian Larry’s shop, in Brooklyn, NY just got his new bike up and running. We really liked this Panhead with the single down tube frame, midmount controls, high straight pipes and handmade gas tank. The oil tank is in the rear fender and the late model narrow glide front end adds to the sleek lines.



This wild knucklehead was parked in front of the S&S truck on Lazelle Street and had more handmade parts out of aluminum than we have ever seen.

Check out all the drilled holes for reducing weight, even the reinforcing rails welded to the front down tubes of the frame. We couldn’t find out what size the engine was but it breathed through an S&S two throat carb into a set of trick knuckleheads. Check out the hand shift and foot clutch along with the adjustable height rear foot pegs.


Matt Hotch of Hot Match had his Biker Build Off winning bike on display at the Top 50 show where it always had crowd huddled around it. With a unique air suspension system front and rear, people were on their hands and knees looking for air under the frame.


Talk about a long bike, we spotted this guy riding around the Legends show toward the end of the day. The bike is a big twin with every goddamn thing handmade The frame is a mono-shock set-up with the shock mounted down and behind the solo seat. The bike sports a right hand drive transmission and a decent size nitrous bottle just forward of the rear wheel.



This evo rigid looks as if it rolled out of the late 60s or early 70s. The gold plating hidden fender supports, sissy bar and reverse paint job elements are wild. The give away that this bike was newly constructed is the right side drive transmission, 3-inch belt drive and what appears to be 80-spoke wheels. No matter when it was built, it is still a sharp bike.

long haired 

We caught this Sporty cruising down Lazelle Street. The springer front end with what looks like an early K model front hub, fits the rigid framed Ironhead, so does the coffin tank and the long rear fender. The battery sits on the side of the frame behind the primary with a big twin oil tank mounted beneath the seat.

Note how the brake pedal has been adjusted up so the rider can catch it with the heel of her boot.

cutie red top
He's showing her what? I'll show her something.


There is something about this Shovel that made our eyes follow it till it was out of sight, it may have had something to with the blonde riding pillion. A stock 4-speed frame with a cone motor shovel, lowered front and rear suspension and a nice mix of new custom parts such as the side mount plate holder, mirrors and tapered turn signals on the rear fender struts. The triple trees are billet, the tanks have been extended and the fenders are custom.


Just a couple of guys having fun on Main Street in Sturgis. The Evo Softail closest to you is a nice clean road-bike in basic black with a nice mix of custom and performance parts. The Thunderheader and S&S air cleaner lends one to believe it moves out smartly, while the 80-spoke wheels, custom fenders, extended tanks, t-bars, and headlight enhance the cosmetic image. The red bike in the back of the photo appears to be a custom built unit with a big inch S&S motor and inverted front.

There is nothing better than cruising Main in the sunshine.

cutie blond 
Recognize the truck behind her?

flamed bike

There were plenty of good-looking Indians in town, this is but one. The ape hangers look comfortable, and the black paint with flames and upswept fishtail exhaust were right at home in Sturgis.

bobber 1

bobber 2
There's Billy Lane's island jogger. A classic rat Pan.

That's all you're gonna get outta me this year. The finest bikes I could find from Wyoming to Rapid City. That's my job, and I can't wait to do it again.


Yep, here's some shots of hot bikes and girls not mentioned. Can't go on forever.

--Frank Kaisler

chopper 1

end shot - 
cutie in black

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Reader Comments

Hello there, i did enjoy your nice bike pics !!!
Keep up the good work.
Best regards from Europe

Arno Peeters
Eindhoven, Noord Brabant, Netherlands
Monday, March 5, 2012

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