Michael's Blog

Builders & Bikes

Steve Glennon's S&S Panhead in Japan
May 25, 2022
Steve Glennon's S&S Panhead chopper. Photograph ©Michael LIchter 2021
Club Harley Magazine made a great layout on Steve Glennon's S&S Panhead in their Japanese Magazine
Portraits of builders from Bill Dodge's BCMoto Invitational Show at the TMMR
May 23, 2022
Some of the builders in Bill Dodge's BC Moto Invitational Show at the TMMR (Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival)
Brandon Keene’s Keene Built custom drop-seat rigid Evo
May 14, 2022
Brandon Keene’s Keene Built custom drop-seat rigid Evo from last year's BC Moto invitational bike show at the TMMR.
Donnie Smith's Heavy Mettle Shovelhead
Sep 2, 2020
Donnie Smith's Survivor Harley-Davidson Shovelhead built in 1982 in the Smith Brothers and Fetrow days was on display as the oldest legacy build in Michael Lichter's 2020 "Heavy Mettle" exhibition at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.
Coast-to-Coast Multicast with J Shia and Sofi Tsingos
Jul 22, 2020
Jessi Combs in Bobby Green's Overland Whippet at The Race of Gentlemen. Wildwood, NJ. Photo ©2015 Michael Lichter.
Of course, we paid tribute to Jessi Combson to kick off last nights “Women in Custom Biking” episode of the “Coast-to-Coast” podcast that I co-host with Cris Sommer-Simmons, but most of the show was given up to two incredible custom motorcycle builders, J Shia and Sofi Tsingos.
Heavy Mettle Exhibition Builders on Shoptalk Multicast
Jul 19, 2020
“Heavy Mettle” exhibition builders Brian Klock, Jerry Covington and Paul Yaffe will be on tonight’s “ShopTalk” multicast
Rhett Holley’s Root Beer Float Scott Peck Harley-Davidson Shovelhead
Jul 17, 2020
Rhett Holley’s Root Beer Float Harley-Davidson Shovelhead that he built for and with the help of Scott Peck. Opening spread from Club Harley Magazine (Japan), July 2020 issue.
Rhett Holley’s Root Beer Float that he built for/with Scott Peck is one beautiful machine. Starting life as a 1975 Superglide, he and Scott Peck, the customer that commissioned the bike and helped with much of the build, found this Shovelhead in a barn with the front wheel sticking through a hole outside the barn. 
Sugar Bear on Ken Conte’s Bikers and Racism Podcast
Jul 7, 2020
Sugar Bear leads the way on the Lichter / Sugar Bear ride from the Broken Spoke County Line during the annual Sturgis Black Hills Motorcycle Rally. Sturgis, SD, USA. August 2, 2009. Photo ©2009 Michael Lichter.
Sugar Bear, the legend who has said, "If it ain’t long, it’s wrong" has a very fitting logo of a big red heart with wings.
Bill Dodge What the Hey Burnouts
Jun 12, 2020
“What the Hey?” Bill Dodge after a pass at the Baker Burnouts at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip in 2009. Photo ©2009 Michael Lichter
Bill Dodge after a pass at the Baker Burnouts at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip in 2009. He sure doesn’t look happy as he says (or I imagine him to be saying), “What the Hey?” I’m guessing there was a rematch in this 1st to 5th gear competition from Baker Drivetrain, but regardless, Bill is always a gentleman and the best of sports, so I’m sure it was solved amicably with no blows dealt.
Carl Olsen Out for a Ride
Jun 2, 2020
Carl Olsen riding one of his Knuckleheads from his shop, Carl's Cycle Supply. Just before leaving together for the AMCA Wauseon National meet. Aberdeen, SD, USA. July 14, 2009. Photography ©2009 Michael Lichter.
Carl Olsen doing what he loves to do. It doesn’t really matter which bike he takes out since at his Carl’s Cycle, he has plenty to choose from, but in this case, it was his 61 ci 1946 Harley-Davidson EL Knucklehead. 
Dan Rognsvoog's Blue Bayou in Heavy Duty Magazine (Australia)
May 31, 2020
Dan Rognsvoog's Blue Bayou feature in Heavy Duty Magazine Australi. Photos ©2018 Michael Lichter
Dan Rognsvoog built this drag inspired custom as a tribute to his first show bike on the occasion of his 20th anniversary of building custom bikes. The turbocharged Shovelhead looks like it may have just “blew by you", and so with its beautiful blue paint job, it was dubbed the “Blue Bayou” (the title of a Roy Orbison song from the early 1960’s). Dan is a great builder who was in my Passion Built exhibition a couple of years ago. With that theme being you couldn’t make a living from your craft, he fit perfectly as he builds his bikes (at least one per year) as a creative outlet from his day job as a power-plant mechanic.
Dirty Jeff's Flathead, England, 1984
May 28, 2020
Dirty Jeff on his Flathead. England, 1984
I instantly loved this Flathead when I first saw it at the Kent Custom Bike Show in 1984, enough so that I met up with Dirty Jeff back in London after the show to do a full feature on the bike. It was light and compact and had great attitude. Jeff was one cool dude with a lot of character, and then her expression is awesome, absolutely in the moment and wonderful.
Brian Buttera’s Pan makes the cover of Heavy Duty Magazine (Australia)
May 25, 2020
Brian Buttera’s “Take Two” 1955 Panhead Chopper inspired by Brian’s days of racing BMX as the cover feature of Heavy Duty Magazine (Australia). The frame, springer front end and rear fender are handmade from stainless steel and polished. Photographed in Sturgis. Photo ©2019 Michael Lichter
Congratulations Brian Buttera for getting the cover of Heavy Duty Magazine (Australia) along with a healthy 8-page inside feature. This beautiful BMX inspired custom Panhead was in my “What’s the Skinny?” exhibition at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip
Karen Moore’s Moore Customs Sporty
May 22, 2020
Engine detail. Karen Moore's Moore Customs Sporty. Photo ©2019 Michael Lichter
So how did the fun lovin' truck drivin' Brit Karen Moore end up building this beautiful bike in Wichita, KS? Well, I can tell you, she didn’t take a non-stop jet to get there!
Russell Mitchell getting a hard time in Daytona 2007
May 21, 2020
Russell Mitchell gets a hard time from a cop on Main Street during Daytona Beach Bike Week. Photo ©2007 Michael Lichter
Here is an image from 2007 of Russell Mitchell of Excile Cycles having a little fun, and a simultaneous run-in with the powers that be during Daytona Bike Week. These were the times of the Discovery Channel Biker Build-Offs...