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KISS Bike Story

One Dream Bike Was Autographed

By Wilburn Roach and Michael Lima
6/10/2010 6:44:41 PM


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“You wanted the best,” The announcer screamed into the stage mike. “You got it, the best the hottest band in the world KISS!” That’s what you heard just before one of the most influential rock-n-roll bands of Michael Lima's time took the stage.

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”Now comes the two wheeled version,” Michael or Mike, the builder said. “A bike themed after this highly exciting and momentum driving rock band called, GOD of THUNDER taken from their song God of Thunder on the 1976 release Destroyer. We built it as a tribute to the band and their farewell tour. I thought of many other great bands of my time, but none that I could carry through out the entire bike like KISS.”

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The build proceeded. “About 6 months into the build I got news from friends that KISS was coming to a concert with Aerosmith,” Mike said. “While building the bike friends and family were at my back yard shop daily, and we all joked and talked about how cool it would be if we could get the bike autographed by the band.” Both bands were scheduled to play at the Ice Palace in his home town of Tampa, Florida, December 3rd, 2003.

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It was the month of May. Fabricating was still moving forward, and they were still waiting on parts from Kendall Johnson. “He still had my motor,” Mike said. The joking and the thought of actually watching the bike be autographed became a lot more serious, as the bike came closer to being done. “It still didn’t look good, as far as completing the bike by concert time.”

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At the time of this build the biker industry was starting to take off with the Discovery Channel and all the other biker shows being aired on TV. This arising trend just made Mike more enthused and competitive. “Oh yeah,” Mike muttered kicking at the pavement. “Let’s not forget the back orders for parts.” He faced the same dilemmas as the major players. “But I knew whatever I turned out would be just as good as the Big Boys or better.”

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” The bike, first of all, had to be done in good taste,” Mike said, “Not outspoken, gaudy or overdone. The paint was a real mind bender, and at my age remembering what I had for breakfast is a chore. It took many late nights sketching and thinking. I wished it was as easy as the TV makes it seem.”

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“I’ve been riding and hanging around bike shops for a long time,” Mike added. “I’ve always been a motor head growing up, so lots of things came to me fairly easy, like the fabricating, designing, etc. It was not till September did I collect nearly all the parts to get it up and running in primer, to make sure all the bugs were worked out before paint.” He rode it for 4 weeks, tore it all back down and off to paint it went. Paint time was 7 weeks. The paint came back from GT Graphics of Bradenton Fl. and he put it back together in a week or less, finishing this tight project by the end of November.

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The concert was Dec. 3rd, and Mike was invited by a local radio station, who were producing they’re radio show from a local pub across from the Ice Palace. “I was invited to display the KISS bike,” Mike said. The DJ aired the live radio show till 6:00 p.m. KISS was first on stage and kicked off their performance at 7:00 or 7:30. “We left the pub and proceeded to the back entrance where Kiss would be coming in at any time”, Mike said like a kid waiting for Christmas. “Just as we arrived so did the band. I had already parked the bike, where they couldn’t help but see it in full view, as they entered the rear of the Ice Palace.

Upon arriving they slowed down as they passed the bike and nearly stopped and gave me and all my friends the thumbs up. It was then that I felt that maybe, just maybe, we had a chance in getting the bike autographed. When we got to the back gate it was still daylight, well daylight turned to dark and we waited and waited. Some roadies came out and were looking at the ride. Lots of people came out to look at it, but it wasn’t until their road manager, Wayne, came out and introduced himself. He heard from other about the Kiss bike, at the rear entrance, and wanted to check it out and he did.”

While he asked some questions about the build, he stated that he rode, and while talking said he was from Mass. “So was I,” Mike said. “I could tell he was impressed with my bike. You could see his eyes roaming all over the bike.” Wayne kept talkin without taking his eyes off the bike. Mike was thrilled that the KISS road manager was so interested and a biker. “So I asked what our chances were to have the band autographed my bike.” Without looking up he said he would see what he could do and walked back into the building.

“The suspense was overwhelming,” Mike said. “It seemed like we waited for days. It wasn’t till 45 minutes later that he came back out of the Palace and walked up to me.

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”OK,” Wayne said,”let’s roll this bike back stage, but you can bring only one other person in with you.”

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”My younger brother, with his video camera, and myself rode the bike to the overhead door, where we shut the bike off and roll this 650 pound monster, which seemed like miles, to a spot where he said he would bring the band over to take pictures. I couldn’t believe that we were back stage waiting for KISS to come off stage directly to my ride and take some pictures. We got some awsome video of Gene on the bike with his tongue going on and on. They were huge towering over me, as if I were a dwarf. As fast as they appeared, they were off to the VIP ticket holders area.

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While in the VIP room Wayne came back to us and directed us to a back stage section and said they have lots of media coverage going on. “They’ll be very busy for a while but stay here, “Wayne said. “It’s the only way out from their dressing rooms.”

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”We did just as he said, and one by one, hours after hours, we accomplished what we went for,” Mike said with a wide smile. “The bike was autographed.”

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” The build was a challenge and the end results very satisfying,” Mike continued, “but the autographs, and meeting the band, one by one, then asking for their autographs was a level most only dream about. Nothing was planned per say. We wished, we took a chance and the cards were dealt in our favor.”

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Since the completion of the KISS bike, it has aired on TV three times, featured in Hot Bike magazine and magazines through out the US and abroad. It won numerous shows including Easyriders show circuit, Rats Hole Show and Seminole Hard Rock & Casino’s. Mike received a personal phone call from Jay Leno of the Tonight Show commending him on the build. He was chosen builder of the month by Southern Biker magazine, and it won two Best Display awards. The bike is an enormous crowd pleaser wherever shown. “People just stare and smile as if remembering their first KISS concert,” Mike said. “The people who approach me always tell me about their KISS experiences.

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Well that’s his story. “A new beginning will start,” Mike said, “As much as I have been through with this custom one- of-a- kind-ride and the memories it added to my life, I can’t wait to start a new build.” In order to kick off his new project, the KISS bike will need to be sold. “Anyone interested or know of any huge KISS fans, who might be, contact me at mailto:MBEAN@TAMPABAY.RR.COM MBEAN@TAMPABAY.RR.COM for more information.

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ACCURATE ENG. BANNER 
BLK

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KISS BIKE MIKE 2005 SPEC SHEET

GENERAL

OWNER MICHAEL LIMA
SHOP NAME YOU ASK I‚LL BUILD
SHOP PHONE 813-294-2116 cell
E-MAIL MBEAN@TAMPABAY.RR.C OM

MAKE/MODEL GOD OF THUNDER/ GROUND UP CONSTRUCTION

YEAR 2003
FABRICATION MICHAEL LIMA
ASSEMBLY MICHAEL LIMA AND GOOD FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
BUILD TIME 13 MONTHS

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ENGINE

YEAR/SIZE 2003 124 C I
TYPE S&S
BUILDER KENDALL ( H.P.) JOHNSON
CASES S&S
FLYWHEELS S&S
RODS S&S
PISTONS S&S
CYLINDERS S&S
HEADS KENDALL JOHNSON / HEAD QUARTERS
VALVES S&S
ROCKERS S&S
ROCKER BOXES S&S
PUSHRODS S&S
PUSHROD TUBES S&S
CAM S&S
LIFTERS S
CARBURETOR MIKUNIE 48 MM
AIR CLEANER D&D CUSTOMS
IGNITION HEAD QUARTERS
EXHAUST CHOPPED UP MARTIN BROS.
FINISH FLAT BLAKK / DIAMOND PLATE HEAT SHIELDS

TRANSMISSION

BAKER 6 SPEED
FINISH BLAK/CHROME
CASE BAKER
CLUTCH BARNETT
TOPSIDE COVER BAKER
PRIMARY DRIVE BDL 3‚ OPEN
FINAL DRIVE BELT
GEARS BAKER

FRAME

YEAR/TYPE 2003 WAREAGLE
RAKE 48 DEGREE
STRETCH 5 degrees
SWING ARM WAREAGLE

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SUSPENSION

FRONT
BUILDER MIDWEST
YEAR / TYPE 2003 / BIGUN‚S
MODIFICATIONS TOP SLEEVES POLISHED ALUMINUM POINTS
TRIPLE TREES BIGUN‚S

REAR
YEAR / TYPE WAREAGLE
MODIFICATIONS TONS
SHOCKS CHROM CADDIES

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WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES

FRONT
SIZE / TYPE 21‚ HYSPEED EURO COMPONENTS
TIRE MAKE / SIZE METZLER 120/75/21
CALIPERS HHI
ROTORS HY SPEED

REAR
SIZE / TYPE 18‚ HY SPEED BY EURO COMPONENTS
TIRE MAKER / SIZE METZLER 240
CALIPERS HHI
ROTOR CUSTOM, 15 5/8 ΠROTOR

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FINISH / PAINT

COLORS BLACK, SILVERS, GOLDS BY HOUSE OF COLOR
PAINTER GT GRAPHICS, BRADENTON FL.
GRAPHICS AND ARTIST NAME
MOLDING MICHAEL LIMA
POLISHING MICHAEL LIMA
POWDER COATING NADA

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ACCESSORIES

FRONT FENDER HANG NAIL BY THE GODFATHER
REAR FENDER REWORKED EDDIE TROTTER
FENDER STRUTS MICHAEL LIMA
GAS TANK / CAP INDEPENDENT / FLUSH MOUNT POP-UP
OIL TANK WAREAGLE
DASH NONE
GAUGES OIL FILLED OIL PRESSURE
HANDLEBARS MICHAEL LIMA
RISERS MICHAEL LIMA

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MIRRORS ONE CUSTOM, BY CRUZIN MACHINE

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HAND CONTROLS GRANDURE
FOOT CONTROLLS GMA
FOOT PEGS BORGET AND CERIL HUZE
HEAD LIGHT FABRICATED HEADWINDS
REAR LIGHT TRIPPLE X COMBO TAG AND LIGHT
OIL COOLER MERCH PERFORMANCE
SEAT CUSTOM BY CHARLIE AKERMAN PLANT CITY FL
ELECTRICAL WIRED BY LESTER PERKINS
COIL NOLIGY
STARTER ALL BALLS

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BDL

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Reader Comments


I am the proud owner of this bike. It was purchased quite awhile back and put into a private show collection. We have now decided to bring it back out on tour.

It will be featured at MotorRama in Atlanta 2021

Jodi House
Jackson, GA
Monday, July 12, 2021
Editor Response Congratulations, good to see it on the road again.
--Bandit
Say Mike, the Kiss bike is still the coolest bike I ever saw.

Ron Parker
Lithia, FL
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
NICE JOB, BEAUTIFULL BIKE. REALLY A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE PROUD.

I AM HONORED TO KNOW YOU AND HAVE YOU WORK ON MY DREAM.hOORAA! FOR MASS PEOPLE.

bRUCE wALZ
bRANDON,, FL
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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