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Builders Who Stood the Test of Time


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On Sunday August 8th Michael Lichter invited members of the media and the motorcycle industry to the Grand Opening of his 2021 Motorcycles As Art Exhibition held at the Buffalo Chip. The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge for the entire rally.


 The invitation was: Many motorcycle builders come and go. Economic downturns and fickle twists and turns of moto fads can yield a new crop of talent each year, only for those names to become forgotten by the onset of the next trend.  


Those with metal-lined backbone and character strong enough to buck trends have earned their legendary status and a fair amount of recognition. During the 81st anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, you’ll have the opportunity to see dozens of these builders display a motorcycle in the style of their choosing in the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s 2021 Motorcycles as Art exhibit titled “More Mettle: Motorcycles and Art that Never Quit.” 


In addition, this one-time collection will give you the chance to see legendary Lichter Photography one the walls of the exhibit hall surrounding the bikes.

 The exhibit is free and open to the public at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Event Center from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 through Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.


More Mettle: Motorcycles and Art That Never Quit will feature a collection of custom motorcycles from the world’s most celebrated builders that’ll show you the spectrum of history and possibilities inherent in custom motorcycling. Without a theme to guide the builds themselves, you will see the world’s most legendary builders shine in their particular niche of custom motorcycle building that’s made them a household name in a world-class gallery setting.


For the second year in a row, builders needed to have completed at least 20 custom builds and been in business for at least 20 years. Faced with the knowledge that half of all businesses fail in the first five years, it was evident these motorcycle aficionados had fought hard to become successful and legendary well beyond the confines of the industry.


You were able to get an up-close view from every angle as each bike is individually lit and displayed atop elevated pedestals spread throughout the hall.


Aaron Greene, Aaron Greene Customs
Arlin Fatland, Two Wheelers M/C Denver
Bill Dodge, Blings Cycles
Billy Lane, Choppers Inc.
Brian Klock, Klock Werks
Carl Olsen, Carl's Cycle Supply
Cole Foster, Salinas Boys
Cory Ness, Arlen Ness Enterprises
Dan Bacon Carr, DC Choppers
Dave Perewitz, Perewitz Cycle Fabrication
Donnie Smith, Donnie Smith Custom Cycles
Fred Cuba, Fred's Speed and Sport
Jerry Covington, Covingtons Customs
Jim Nasi, Jom Nasi Customs
John Shope, Dirty Bird Concepts
Kiwi Mike Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles
Mark & Paul Shadley, Shadley Bros
Matt Olsen, Carl's Cycle Supply
Michael LaFountain, Raccia Motorcycles
Mondo Porras, Denver's Choppers
Pat Patterson, Led Sled Customs
Paul Cox, Paul Cox Industries
Paul Wideman, Bare Knuckle Choppers
Paul Yaffe, Paul Yaffe Originals
Richard Pollock, Mule Motorcycles
Rick Fairless Strokers Dallas
Roland Sands, Roland Sands Design
Shinya Kimura, Cabot Engineering
Taber Nash, Nash Motorcycle Co.
Tim McNamer, Ballistic Cycles30
Tom Keefer, Franklin Church Choppers


Michael Lichter

Michael Lichter began photographing custom bikes and the biker-lifestyle in the 1970s. Working with Easyriders Magazine since 1979, he has produced over 800 stories for them. Michael is also a regular contributor to 16 other publications around the world, has 11 coffee table books to his credit and exhibits his photographic art in galleries and museums in the USA and abroad.

As a curator, Michael first started creating themed exhibitions with custom motorcycles and art in 2001 at the Journey Museum in Rapid City. In 2009, the annual exhibition was moved to the purpose-built 7,000 square foot gallery at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip where it was given the name “Motorcycles As Art.”

Michael has operated out of the same commercial photography studio in beautiful Boulder, Colorado for more than 35-years.

Find out more about Michael Lichter and see his work here:





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Reader Comments

Very cool article!!

Jane Jackson
Palm Bay, FL
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
I look forward to this event with Michael every year, unfortunately my husband's health was not allowing us to see it. I love the pictures and article Rogue

Cat One Legged Blonde
Boscobel, WI
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Editor Response Hey Cat, hope your husband feels better. Rogue is having a blast.

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