Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Week To Go!

So here's the plan...

On Tuesday night we'll be having a get together for everyone leaving on the ride and anyone else who wants to stop by. Our good friend Shane has offered up his awesome joint, Crash 45 (home of Thursday bike nights) as a host. SpeedMetal will be there from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.

Crash 45 is located at:
321 E. 45th Avenue, Denver, CO 80216

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Wednesday morning we're going to meet at the old SpeedMetal shop not too far from Crash 45. Everyone going with us on the ride needs to be there by 5:30 am! We'll have a brief meeting to get everyone on the same page then we'll roll-out.

The old SpeedMetal shop is located at:
375 E. 55th Ave, 80216

View Larger Map

IMPORTANT NOTE - If you talked to me, Dave or Lucas about staying at the shop on Tuesday night before we leave please send me an email ASAP - I need to give you guys some updated info...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ride to Born Free Update - Big News!

I just got a call from our good pal Michael Lichter who had some BIG news. It seems the good folks over at Cycle Source magazine are interested in our little ride out West and want to run a feature story on it. Michael will be shooting and collecting stories during the trip for the upcoming article.

It's not too late to join the Ride to Born Free - come be a part of a historic event and maybe get your face in print. If you want to join in, shoot me a message - and we'll find a place for ya!


Friday, June 3, 2011

time to ride!

Matt Jackson and the boys down in Austin go for a little cruise...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

These guys get it!

Nice work Justin, can't wait to ride with you guys!

Dave Griffin's '81 XS650

Hey kids, time for another Ride to Born Free build! This time it's David Griffin and his 81 Yamaha XS650 project. For anyone complaining about not having time to finish a build, talk to Dave - besides trying to get his chop done in time he's also been burried in a home remodeling project and taking care of a newborn. That's some serious dedication...

What are you building?
The bike is an '81 Yamaha XS650 that I bought off Craigslist. I brought the frame to G&L Choppers down in Colo. Springs for their rigid tail section, bought a few odds and ends off the internets and then I've pretty much made the rest myself.

How long has the build been going for?I bought the donor bike in September of last year. It's now April and I'm getting pretty close to finishing up so I would say 8 months total (albeit I'm not finished yet). I'm also just recently had a kid and am doing a pretty large scale remodel to my house so my time to work on the bike has been limited to what I can squeeze in really late at night.

What inspired you on this build? How did you get the idea for the build?
I've been riding motorcycles most of my life but have never really thought of actually making my own. Last summer I rode down to Santa Rosa NM for the Smokeout show with an awesome group of people who all rode the coolest old bikes that each one had either made or modified themselves. The Denver Dirtbag's DIY and creative spirit is pretty much what inspired me to do my own. I like the look of the British motors a lot but wasn't really into spending that much money on another bike so the XS seemed like the perfect solution. There must be a million XS choppers out there so finding some designs I liked wasn't too difficult.

Is this your first build? If not, what was your first build? How did that go?Definitely my first go around. Its gone pretty well for the most part and I'm totally satisfied on how its looking so far.

What's been the hardest part of the build?
I'm a pretty handy guy but building a machine that I have to trust to not kill me has been tough. I've tried to keep it simple but I have a tendency to over think stuff and obsess over structural adequacy. I really don't want to be the guy with the broken down shit 1000 miles from home, or that becomes roadkill.

What other builders inspire you?
I'm really into skateboarding so I would have to say Max Schaaf and Jasin Phares. I don't pay attention to "the industry" per se so I actually didn't even know they had turned to motorcycles until a skating friend told me to check out what Max is up to. Those guys rip on skateboards and have made some pretty sweet machines.

What do you love most about choppers, building bikes, riding, etc?Riding down the road for hours just taking it in and thinking.

Any thoughts about choppers, the state of the industry, BF3, etc?
Just looking forward to the Born Free ride. By the looks of it this is going to be a massive ride. I can't wait to see all the creative stuff and meet some new people.

Awesome build Dave - can't wait to ride with you in a couple weeks!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Just a reminder - if you want to camp with us Wednesday night or stay with us in the casino on Thursday night you need to let me know TODAY (5/31/11)! Better hurry - we've only got 1 spot left...

Here's who I've got confirmed so far:
- Dave, Lucas & Rodney - You guys are covered
- Justin & Jessica - Denver
- Dave - Denver
- Jeffrey & Natalie - Denver
- Aylissa & Rob - Denver
- Josh & Patty - Denver
- Matty & Tracie - Denver
- Ben - Colorado
- Jordan - Minnesota
- Nathan - Minnesota
- Steve - Pennsylvania

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thursday Night

After a couple long days in the heat and a night of sleeping I figured it might be nice to sleep indoors. For our Thursday night stay in Mesquite I've got us a group of 15 rooms at the lovely Virgin River Resort & Casino.

Each room will have double queen size beds & all are non-smoking. Rooms are $27 each. If you want a room, let me know by next Tuesday (5/31/11)! I need to give the casino a finalized list of all the guest names by June 1st.

The rooms are first come, first serve - once all 15 are gone you're on your own!

Justin - I got your group down for six...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Camping in Utah

Ok, we've got a ourselves a nice little group site reserved for our first night out in Green River, UT. We'll be staying at:
United Campground
910 E Main St
Green River, UT 84525

Here's the best part - the reservations are already made! If you want to camp it's $8 a person, payable to me in person.
All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post so I can get a headcount back to the campground owner!

If you want a spot you MUST claim it by June 1st!!!

If sleeping outdoors isn't your thing here are a couple promising looking hotels in Green River:

The Plan (so far)

Ok - just to get everyone on the same page I thought I'd lay out the plan we have so far...

Tuesday, June 21
In the evening there'll be a pre-ride party at the new SpeedMetal shop in south Denver. Come hang out and meet everyone you'll be riding with. We'll post the time, address and directions for all of you up here soon.

Wednesday, June 22nd
We leave from the SpeedMetal shop at dawn. Anyone who rides out after the support trailer leaves is on their own! We'll take I-70 west through the hills and ride a total of 360 miles to Green River, Utah. Most of you guys voted for camping that night and I'm working on finalizing a campground - more details soon...

Thursday, June 23rd
We'll leave early again and ride 340 miles through the desert to Mesquite, NV. I'm looking into getting us some group rate lodging here too.

Friday, June 24th

We ride 360 miles to Oak Canyon Ranch, site of Born Free 3! If you're camping you can make reservations here (

Saturday, June 25th - Born Free 3! After the show most people are splitting up and many are extending their trips out somewhere else, so just a heads-up - there is no organized ride back...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ride to Born Free Videos!

Hey Everyone - Now that we've got our builders video done we're working on producing some videos to get you ready for the ride. We've got the first one here, take a look:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ben Brockman's '78 GS 750

Hey all - time for another Ride to Born Free build profile. This time it's Ben Brockman and his chopped '78 GS 750.

What are you building?
I'm building a 1978 Suzuki GS 750.

How long has the build been going for?
About 5 months.

How did you get the idea for the build?
The reason for the chop is simple. I wanted to chop a bike, pretty much anything I could get my hands on cheap. I scored this bike for $450.

Is this your first build? If not, what was your first build? How did that go?
This is my first full hardtail chop. I had a gs450 that me and a friend hooked up with solid struts, but I blew that up. 450's don't like mountain hwy's. This one is much, much more work.

What's been the hardest part of the build?
Putting all the little things back together. All the tabs, the rear brake assembly is kicking my ass right now. Getting everything lined up for that and creating new mounts and hoping it will all work. I had a little help with the frame in the begining but have been on my own winging it with the rest. It's coming along real nice and can't wait to be on the road.

What other builders inspire you?
I get inspired by everything! Every bike has inspiration to me, good or bad, I'll take ideas from anything.

What do you love most about choppers, building bikes, riding, etc?
The thing I love most about building is the satisfaction of turning raw steel into a working bracket,frame,peg etc. Im still pretty new at this but Im having allot of fun figuring shit out. Then when it's all said and done, the gratification of riding down the road on a scoot i built with everything in my own reach and for hardly any money! Can't wait for the next one!

Any thoughts about choppers, the state of the industry, BF3, etc?
My thoughts about BF3. I CAN'T FUCKIN WAIT!! This is gonna be a good summer in the wind!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Concord Bay, CA

Patrick Edwards posted up on the Ride to Born Free Facebook wall -
"Hey all, Trying to hook up with some good ol boys leaven the concord bay area headed to born free! I'm trying to get a chase truck to help out but no promises. Any ideas?"

If anyone going to Born Free is going through that area drop Patrick a note on the Ride to Born Free Facebook page or just leave a comment here and we'll get you connected.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reno / Sacremento / Bay Area riders

Hey everyone - Roll call for everyone coming down from the Reno/Sacremento/Bay Area or somewhere further up north! We want to help organize some meetup points for people on other routes. If you're going to be coming that way post something up here or shoot me a message!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Jesse Jordan's Build

Hey all - To help get you guys excited about Born Free 3 and our history-making journey we're going to show off some of the awesome builds people making the ride this year have been working on.

To start off let's take a look at Jesse Jordan's '79 FXE build...

What are you building?
It started life out as a 79 FXE and has turned into a chopper of some sort.

How long has the build been going for?
Its been on my mind for a couple of years but I tore it down last fall. I went for a full winter build (from the ground up).

What inspired you on this build? How did you get the idea for the build?
I grew up around old Harleys and have always wanted to put a shovel together. My dad and I picked up his bike from a friend that had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (who has since passed). It was sitting in a pile of old blankets and rat nests, I was just going to build a “rat” bike but couldn’t leave well  Enough alone. Engine, frame, paint, I just kept at it. I just wanted to do it on the cheep and have been pretty successful. I have done most every thing myself including shooting all the black paint, it isn’t perfect but it’s pretty close.

Is this your first build? If not, what was your first build? How did that go?
No it’s not. My first build was a 47 Knuckle. I did not do the engine work myself and have paid for it ever since, 500 miles, 7 years and 2 pistons later I have to tear it apart and start from scratch (maybe next winter).

What's been the hardest part of the build?
My timing, I was painting the frame out in my garden in between the rain and 40 deg weather. My wife had to help me carry the frame out the garden gate, down the stairs and into the garage so I could hang it over the propane heater to cure (3 times).

What other builders inspire you?
I have met some cool people in the bike world Max Schaaf, California
Fritz but my father has inspired me the most. He always had the coolest bikes and got me into the blogger chopper world. The most important thing he has told me is, why buy it when you can build it. Those words have always inspired me in all endeavors, besides it’s way cooler to show off something you made.

What do you love most about choppers, building bikes, riding, etc?
I love the simplicity of the machine, lean, light, and cool. Every one
is different, even the flaked out sea of wassel tanked, bates seated, inline
springer choppers. Building and riding a dinosaur of a machine in a sea of new
bikes with owners who don’t even know where the drain plug is makes me a little
proud, but then you guys know how that feels.

Any thoughts about choppers, the state of the industry, BF3, etc?
I thought that the traditional bike scene was lost in the past. Stories I heard from my dad and his friends you know the good old days, old photos and grainy slides. I had the opportunity to go on the 69 Mile ride last fall and I just got back from the Deathtraps swap meet in Sonora. All the good old days aren’t gone yet. The 50k chopper scene has passed (I hope) and I like what I have been seeing on all of these blogs. There are still real bikes around and it’s good to see them.

I am looking forward to Born Free 3 and have even put together a group of old crusty bikers to go along with me. A couple of them have even dusted off there old junk to bring along.


That's a great build Jess - I love that you're keeping a friend's bike in the family and that you're keeping old iron on the road. I can't wait to see it in person! Thanks for sharing with us.

To check out more of what Jess and his buddies are up to go to

If you or anyone you know coming out to Born Free this year is riding a homemade machine and wants to share with the rest of us shoot me an email -


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wednesday Night in Utah

We'll be in or near Green River, Ut our first night on the road. Question is do y'all want to camp or get a motel? Vote on the right, and vote soon so I can make some reservations!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Calling All Smartphone Owners...

In addition to all the people that are going to saddle up and make the ride this year I've also heard from a lot of people that wish they could make the trip but just can't this time. Fortunately there are lots of great ways to include everyone on our adventure. One of those ways is UStream.

UStream is a free web service that allows anyone with a smartphone to broadcast live video - anytime, anywhere. I've been working with them to setup a Born Free 3 channel where people at home can log in to see the action, both from the ride and from the show.

If you've got a smartphone and want to be part of the Born Free "film crew" hit me up and I'll get you setup on our channel and show you how to get started.

And, if you know anyone who isn't going be sure to let them know we're not leaving them out this year!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

East Coast Riders???

Steve Bennett's not fuck'n around this year... While some folks in So Cal are complaining that Born Free has been moved out the city ("it's too far to drive") Steve is preparing to saddle up and make the trip out from Pennsylvania!

So, is anyone else headed out to Born Free from the East Coast? Anyone out that way want to meetup with Steve as he journeys West?

If so, leave a comment or hit up the Ride to Born Free Facebook page and drop a line! You guys can be the group that starts Ride to Born Free 3!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Hey all - time for another update. The list keeps growing and it's looking like this thing could be HUGE! What ever lame-ass excuse your buddies are trying to give you, ignore it and get their ass on a bike!

We've got close to 60 confirmed riders so far and the blog site has been getting a lot of hits. 60 fuck'n choppers rolling through the Nevada desert??? Yeah, this going be bad-ass...

Worldwide people are checking in from Canada, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Hungary, Italy, Austria, France and more to see what we're up to.

For those looking to get a rough idea of the plan so far here's what it looks like:
- Meetup in Denver the night of Tuesday June 21st. I'm working on planning something for that night, probably just a lot of beer drinking while watching 'On Any Sunday', but we'll do something...

- Leave from Speedmetal's shop on Wednesday morning (5/22). Ride 370 miles to Green River, UT.

- On Thursday (5/23) we roll from Green River to Las Vegas, 412 miles. So far I've heard much from anyone in the Utah/Nevada area. It would be cool if we could meetup with some of those folks are party in Vegas for a night before the show. If you know anyone in that area give them a shout!

- Friday we ride to Born Free 3, a short 270 miles.

We're going to have a lot of old bikes, and probably a lot of breakdowns so I've tried to keep the daily mileages reasonable. If a couple 350-400 mile days are going to be a problem shoot me a message and we'll figure something out. None of this is set in stone yet, so if you have any ideas let's hear them!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Big News!

So there's this guy who takes pictures of motorcycles, you might have heard of him. His name's Michael Lichter and he'll be tagging along with us on the way to Born Free.

In all seriousness, if you don't know that name you should; it's a real honor to have someone like this on board. Michael has spent the last three decades producing the highest quality motorcycle images in the business. He's got an amazing talent for not just capturing the machines, but also the people, culture and events that surround them.

Cycle Matters did a great interview here ( and you can see more of his work here (

So there you go - one more reason to grab some friends, saddle-up and join this year's Ride to Born Free.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This is really cool - I'm hearing from more people everyday and I think we're just getting started...

Anchor Motorsickles will be coming out from Kansas City and they've graciously offered up their shop for anyone going through town until May 20th. Thanks for supporting the ride Anchor!

We'll have more details soon about the meet-up location, dates & times and some maps as well.

Three months to go...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Huge Thanks to Speedmetal!!!

When I got the idea to organize a ride out to Born Free the first people I talked to were Dave & Lucas over at Speedmetal. If you've never heard of these guys before you will soon - they sponsor the killer 'Love Thy Chopper' show in Denver each year (getting bigger & bigger), they build some of the region's most mind-blowing custom chops (ask them about owning the Grand National show) and they're just all-around great dudes.

As a top-level sponsor of this year's Born Free show they were happy to jump in and help promote the journey out west. Lucas has offered to carry a mobile shop with him in the show bike trailer for anyone who breaks down along the way and I'll be working with Speedmetal on documenting and broadcasting our journey to the world. Come be a part of chopper history - drop a line in the comments below and let us know where you're starting from!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Going to Born Free???

Why not join the boys from SpeedMetal Cycles  and some of Denver's finest scumbags for a first class trip.

Here's the intial idea:
  • everyone going to the show from east of Denver can meet up in Colorado the night of Tuesday June 21st
    • we'll use this site to get you guys connected
  • we'll roll out from Denver on Wednesday June 22nd
  • spend the night somewhere on the road June 22nd
  • crash Vegas on the 23rd
  • arrive at Oak Canyon Ranch on the 24th

Let's just kick this off informally - if you're interested leave a comment with your location and any thoughts about the plan so far.