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2013 Easyriders Bike Show Tour—Anaheim

By PJ Hyland

ANAHEIM, CALIF., Jan., 5–I lived in the Sherwood Village community, which is located on the south (backside) of the internationally famous Anaheim Convention Center, from 1989 through 2006. In fact, I could tee up a shag ball and reach the Convention Center with a 3-wood from the postage stamp of a lawn in front of my townhome. Even with my extensive knowledge of the building and its many avenues of access, I found myself inching along the parking garage lines in heavy traffic for what must have been 15 minutes. I took the situation as a sign that the 16th annual edition of the Easyriders Bike Show Tour, in its second year at the Convention Center, was doing land-office business.

Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy

Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy

Once inside Hall “A” I realized that my assumption had been right on the money. In certain stretches on the midway I found myself elbow to elbow with the more than 7,000 attendees as I tried to clear enough space to get photos of the more audacious-looking entries in the Bike Show.

When I asked a uniformed Convention Center operative to direct me to the area where I might find Charlie Hunnam, she pointed to the extreme opposite end of the room. As I approached the platform I got confused, as I couldn’t figure out where they’d put the end of the line. So I followed the queue all the way down one side of the hall and quite a way down the adjoining wall before I located the end. This was no single- or even double-file deal; for the most part, the line sprawled out three-to-five wide. To add insult to injury, once a hopeful got near the platform there was a sizable maze chock full of people yet to be navigated before one could climb the stairs for a photo op with the blonde English heartthrob. But for his legion of admirers, the ordeal would prove to be well worth the aggravation. Talk about accommodating; Mr. Hunnam was downright gracious to each one of his thousands of admirers. His smile never flagged and his demeanor remained perpetually sunny. He encouraged his fans to snuggle in close while he sat at the table, so he could hear whom they wanted their autograph made out to. He then would stand up and gather everyone in the group in his arms while he posed with them for a photo.

The lovely and talented Purrfect Angels

The lovely and talented Purrfect Angels

When I asked Sandy Williams, the lady who ramrods the whole cockeyed rodeo, if she would escort me up on the platform for an introduction and a quick interview she said, “Charlie’s manager stipulated, absolutely no media interviews.”

Deterred but determined, I went back to the front of the platform, elbowed my way to the front of the barrier and when there was a momentary break in the action I hollered, “Charlie! Good luck with Pacific Rim!” (the futuristic thriller he stars in that will be in theaters this July). He looked my way and smiled so I could get a photo. Now I didn’t care a whit about his politics or his love life, I just wanted to compliment Mr. Hunnam on hanging in there as an actor with such heavyweights as Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal. I also wanted to ask him about his personal ride. A quick Google search turns up to a YouTube interview where Charlie states that he puts over 8,500 miles per year on his blacked-out Super Glide, which closely resembles the one he rides on Sons of Anarchy.

Did I neglect to mention that the age demographic represented in the crowd of autograph seekers included a significant contingent of young ladies in their late teens to mid-20s? It’s no secret that The Motor Company is doing its best to attract female customers, as well as a generally younger following. Maybe they should feature Charlie in their ad campaign… just a thought.

Bagger Nation Award winner Doug Ide with his 2009 Road King and Paul Yaffe

Bagger Nation Award winner Doug Ide with his 2009 Road King and Paul Yaffe

At the other end of the hall on a similar platform, Mike Ballard, owner of the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis and the setting for the reality show of the same name on the TruTV network, and his lady Angie were signing autographs and posing for photo ops with patrons of their retail display. I had met Mike and Angie at a rally two years ago and soon after that I had included Full Throttle Saloon on my DVR list. Both Mike and Angie acted like they remembered me as they posed for my lens. I said to Mike, “I get so wound up watching you guys I want to reach for a Valium to take the edge off. I’ve been to your saloon during Bike Week and as far as I could tell everything seemed to come off without a hitch.” Mike just chuckled, gave me a long-suffering look and shook my hand.

Situated next to the Full Throttle exhibition area I found Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation pavilion. Three audaciously modified Street Glides languished on their kickstands drawing gawkers like a peep show. Mr. Yaffe himself held forth, fielding questions and offering info to curious event goers. Once again this year the noticeably trimmed-down “Phoenix Phenom,” as I’ve begun referring to him, offered a special trophy, the Bagger Nation Award, which went to Doug Ide of Sacramento, California, for his cobalt blue 2009 Road King. While I’m on the topic of special awards, Dave Nichols, editor of Easyriders magazine, presented the Editor’s Choice trophy to Jaime Cruz for his reproduction 1948 Panhead.

Proud sponsors of the Easyriders Bike Show Tour included GEICO Insurance, Dennis Kirk, Lucas Oil, Supertrapp, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorney and Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation. All of the sponsors featured their goods and services at booths on the exhibition hall floor.

Editor's Choice winner Jaime Cruz with his pristine reproduction '48 Panhead custom

Editor’s Choice winner Jaime Cruz with his pristine reproduction ’48 Panhead custom

Several other vendors of note joined them. I got to exchange jibes with Chuck Abney and Dave Dildine, two representatives from The Law Tigers Motorcycle Attorneys, while they posed for me with their spokesmodels, Marissa Barton and Nicole Allen.

Kevin Jones, owner of Los Angeles Harley-Davidson of Anaheim, greeted attendees with his infectious smile and accommodating personality from his booth on the midway. He introduced me to Erika Dial, his marketing director, and I enjoyed our conversation.

Rebecca Barnhart, marketing director for SoCal Motorcycles of Brea, California, posed for me along with spokesmodel Michelle Shear behind a Victory motorcycle right off the showroom floor.

Tim Melody, of Old School Eyewear, snatched the sunglasses out of my shirt pocket and changed out the smoke colored, polycarbonate lens from the convertible padded frames I purchased from him last year. Of course the service came with a humorous philosophical tidbit that made me chuckle.

While I was visiting with Steve Schapiro my heart sank as I watched legendary builder and world land-speed record holder Wink Eller trundle into the Schapiro & Leventhal Motorcycle Attorney’s booth on crutches. “Aw, Wink,” I bemoaned, “Not again! Did you crash one of those two-wheeled projectiles you build and then routinely push past their limits?” He laughed and said, “No, nothing like that. I finally got my knee replacement.” Then he went on to tell me that after Bonneville this summer he planned to retire. I got a little sad when I heard that news. His retirement will truly mean the end of an era for his friends and fans. But I cheered up later when the announcer called his name twice as a trophy winner in the bike show.

2013 Easyriders Bike Show - Anaheim

2013 Easyriders Bike Show – Anaheim

Speaking of legends, I got the chance to congratulate internationally famous builder Russell Mitchell, owner of Exile Cycles, on his recent nuptials and wish him all the best in his capacity as a new husband. He favored the rally with an exhibition that included a number of his creations, and all but one were painted black, of course!

This would be a good time to mention that I also had the pleasure of seeing and chatting with legendary builder of long bikes, Sugar Bear and his lady, Fuji.

Bill Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Custom Cycles out of Oceanside in San Diego County, gave me a big hug and let me know what a great time he was having. Then he said, “Can you believe this crowd? Man, they’re doing something right!”

Andy had his beautifully fashioned and reasonably priced seats on display at his Bar Enterprises booth. And it’s always great to see Dan “Whistler” Plinski, who puts on the Bikers Against Cancer rally at Irvine Lake in The O.C. every year. This year it will take place on May 19.

The Pete Alva Project and Jive Mother Mary were the two bands that kept the place rockin’ throughout the afternoon and into the evening. The Purrfect Angelz dance team tore up the Convention Center stage, much to the delight of all who watched their performances. After each show the ladies always accommodate their fans by posing for photos.

This year motorcycles qualified for discounted parking at $6, while cages paid $12. Nobody likes to pay to park, but the show was well worth that and the cost of admission. Be sure to catch the Easyriders Bike Show Tour when it comes to a city near you.

Award winners for the 2013 Easyriders Bike Show - Anaheim

Award winners for the 2013 Easyriders Bike Show – Anaheim

Anaheim Winners 2013

People’s Choice

Best of Show
1. Keith Drum, KD Customs, Anaheim, CA, 2012 Spec Chopper
2. Harold Tapley, Lathrop, CA, 2012 Big Kahuna
3. Jim Beck, Montclair, CA, 1969 Hwy 66 Custom

Antique/Old School
1. Pat Taylor, Canoga Park, CA, 1948 H-D FL Pan
2. Jimmy Clark, Hwy 66 Choppers, Montclair, CA, 1952 H-D EL Pan

Old School Bobber
1. Jay Hollis, Altadena, CA, 1949 FL Pan
2. Manual, Hwy 66 Chopper, Montclair, CA, 1972 Honda chopper

Old School Chopper
1. Amber & CJ LeGrant, Montclair, CA, 1978 Denver Grasshopper
2. Ryan Grossman, Los Angeles, CA, 1948 H-D Devlina

Modified Stock Street
1. Jesus Rendon, Commerce, CA, 2006 H-D Softail Deluxe
2. Rich Lora, Escondido, CA, 1996 H-D Softail

Modified Stock Tour
1. Peter Rodriquez, Anaheim, CA, 2002 H-D Road King
2. Keith Drum, Anaheim, CA, 2002 H-D Road King

3-Wheel Custom
1. Cynthia Creer, H-D Trike

3-Wheel Radical
1. Richard Gonzales, Morena Valley, CA, 1994 H-D Custom Shovel

Custom Sportster
1. David Zemla, La Palma, CA, 2006 H-D Sportster

Specialty Chopper
1. Al Alcorn, Big River, CA, 1977 H-D Bobber Chopper
2. Todd’s Cycles, Huntington Beach, CA, 2012 Custom
3. Jerry Farr, Huntington Beach, CA, 2006 Custom Hardtail Shovel

Radical
1. Bruce Weibelt, Huntington Beach, CA, 2007 Big Bear Chopper Sled Deluxe
2. Herman Gould, Surprise, AZ, 1997 H-D XL
3. Manny Garcia, Hacienda Heights, CA, 2009 Custom Chopper

Radical Bagger
1. Marcos Mendieta, San Bernardino, CA, 2006 H-D Road King
2. Marcos Mendieta, San Bernardino, CA, 2007 H-D Road King
3. Gary Hummel, Corona, CA, 2007 H-D Street Glide

 

Judged

Best Of Show
1. Paul Wheeler, Van Nuys, CA, 1947 H-D FL Knucklehead
2. Howard “Tree” Slayton, Los Angeles, CA, 1947 H-D Radical Chopper
3. Rick Bray, Hanford, CA, 1981 RKB Custom Fala Doro

Antique/Old School
1. Wink Eller, Orange, CA, 1938 H-D WLA
2. Michael Maiello, San Diego, CA, 1947 H-D FL

Old School Bobber
1. Seth Slagiel, Oxnard, CA, 2012 H-D Shovelhead
2. Herman Gould, Surprise, AZ, 2012 Short Chop Bobber

Old School Chopper
1. Jason Weldon, Anaheim, CA, 1947 H-D Knucklehead
2. Bob Mendoza, Riverside, CA, 1948 H-D 45 Flathead

Modified Stock Street
1. Mary Ann Hummel, Corona, CA, 2001 H-D Deuce
2. Ray Mena, Colton, CA, 2008 H-D FLSTN Softail

Modified Stock Tour
1. David Flores, San Jose, CA, 1999 H-D Heritage Softail
2. Sal Lopez, Oxnard, CA, 2006 H-D Road King

Judged 3-Wheel Custom
1. Frank Devenport, Huntington Beach, CA, 2005 H-D Sportster

3-Wheel Radical
1. Jim Michard, Phoenix, AZ, 2012 Custom Trike

Custom Sportster
1. Scott Doyle, Bakersfield, CA, 2010 H-D Sportster Forty-Eight

Street Custom
1. Wink Eller, Orange, CA, 2012 Race Landspeed
2. Paul Morris, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2010 G2 Gangster
3. John Harding, Hemet, CA, 2008 Apache

Specialty Chopper
1. Dalton Walker, Hanford, CA, 2010 Sic
2. Todd’s Cycles, Huntington Beach, CA, 2012 Custom Rigid
3. Jerry Farr, Huntington Beach, CA, 2006 Custom Hardtail Shovel

Judged Radical
1. Bruce Weibelt, Huntington Beach, CA, 2007 Big Bear Chopper Sled
2. Herman Gould, Surprise, AZ, 1997 H-D XL
3. Manny Garcia, Hacienda Heights, CA, 2009 Custom Chopper

Judged Radical Bagger
1. Marcos Mendieta, San Bernardino, CA, 2006 H-D Road King
2. Marcos Mendieta, San Bernardino, CA, 2007 H-D Street Glide
3. Gary Hummel, Corona, CA, 2007 H-D Street Glide

Judged Bagger Nation
1. Doug Ide, IDE Innovations, Sacramento, CA, 2009 H-D Road King

Editor’s Choice
1. Jaime Cruz, Hemet, CA, 1948 Reproduction Panhead

Best Paint
1. Bruce Weibelt, Huntington Beach, CA, 2007 Big Bear Chopper Sled

Best Display
1. Skot (Scott) Ramos, Burbank, CA, 2012 Spec Pro Street

 

2 comments

  1. In the picture of all winners I’m the guy with the black Bennie and shirt that reads Cocky . Question I worked two years to build my bike I won people’s choice for my 2013 pro-street chopper lime green one of a kind sure wish I could get a photo of me and my bike from your magazine .thanks there’s no mention of me winning first place I know wink and we went together I see him in the win comments . Thank you

    [Reply]

  2. Thank you

    [Reply]

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