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2014 Anaheim Easyriders Bike Show: A Purrfect combination

By PJ Hyland

ANAHEIM, CALIF., JAN. 4—SoCal riders found the combination of mild weather and the lure of two-wheeled eye-candy at the annual Easyriders Bike Show Tour’s stop in Anaheim too tempting to ignore. Last year when actor/heartthrob Charlie Hunnam, “Jax” on the FX channel’s hit TV show Sons of Anarchy, was the celebrity guest, 3,000 young ladies, many with male escorts in tow, enthusiastically forked over the admission charge and then queued up for 10 hours to get a hug and a photo. Though the midway in Hall “A” at the Anaheim Convention Center wasn’t as crowded this year, organizers were pleased with the turnout.

The intricate filagree work done on this Heritage had onlookers in awe throughout the show

The intricate filagree work done on this Heritage had onlookers in awe throughout the show

This year Mark Boone Junior, “Bobby” on SOA, was the celebrity guest. I had a chance to meet him at the Boot Ride last year, and with Mark it’s “what you see is what you get.” His down-to-earth persona proves he’s obviously managed to avoid “going Hollywood.” Fans who waited nearly all day for their turn to meet the man were not disappointed, as Mr. Boone took the time to greet every one of his admirers with a hug or a handshake, sign a picture and then patiently pose while each person or group got a photo with him.

This bobber from Powerplant Choppers took one of three Best of Show awards in the Judged category

This bobber from Powerplant Choppers took one of three Best of Show awards in the Judged category

In my capacity as a moto-scribe I regularly attend, or have attended, pretty much all the major shows in the Southwest. I can’t think of another event in the area that attracts so many bike show competitors. And although the majority of registrants hail from the region, it’s normal for photo spreads featuring more than a few of the entries to appear in both nationally distributed print media and digital media. Builders with international bona fides like Russell Mitchell typically display multiple entries. In the mix this year were a number of highly regarded locally-based builders who regularly walk off with best-in-class and best-of-show trophies at some of the most prestigious competitions in the Southwest and throughout the country.

Yaniv Evan of Powerplant Choppers, whose hand-built bobber-style offering included an S&S Panhead motor and a BAKER tranny, was one of three Best of Show winners in the Judged category. Jimmy Todorovitch of Profile Cycle also picked up a Best of Show trophy for the ground-up build he and its owner, Sam Baldi, have been campaigning across the country this past year, picking up several awards along the way. Paul Ponkow of Bones Legacy Choppers in Las Vegas also won a Best of Show trophy in the Judged category. Dave Nichols made it a point to let Paul know how much he and his staff liked the entries from Bones Legacy Choppers. Mr. Ponkow is on something of a run over the past couple of months, as his entries won multiple awards at the prestigious David Mann Chopperfest in Ventura, California, in early December. Frequent bike show competitor Paul Cavallo of Spitfire Motorcycles also won a trophy in the Judged category. And it was good to see both Clint LeGrant of HWY 66 Choppers and Junior Skolnick and his crew from LifeStyle Cycles take four trophies in the People’s Choice category. But when Junior heard that one of his entries had won the coveted “Baddest Bagger” award judged and presented by Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation, he literally jumped for joy and could be heard throughout the hall hollering, “That’s it; that’s the one I really wanted!”

Junior Skolnick of LifeStyle Cycles with his Baddest Bagger-winning bike and trophy

Junior Skolnick of LifeStyle Cycles with his Baddest Bagger-winning bike and trophy

This year organizers displayed a photo of each award winner and his or her bike on a flat-screen TV on the side of the stage during the awards presentation process. What a great idea. I won’t be surprised to see organizers at other awards presentations follow suit in coming months.

Once again this year, Paul Yaffe brought a bunch of his outrageously-styled Glides (Street and Road) and displayed them at his Bagger Nation pavilion on the west end of Hall “A.” The Purrfect Angelz favored attendees with some energetic, highly choreographed dance exhibitions on the main stage, and at the end of each performance the four ladies sat on the front of the stage where they signed their calendars and posed for photos with audience members. Not only are these ladies off-the-charts gorgeous and talented, but each one is also personable and accommodating to a fault. When I tried to get a few words with Purrfect Angelz founder/director Lisa Ligon, who parlayed a stint with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders into a media career as model, music-video vixen, talk show co-host and workout guru to pose with her girls, she politely refused, saying, “The moment is about the Angelz, not about me.” Rock star Steve Miller was seen sauntering around the facility perusing the exhibits and greeting fans just as the Purrfect Angelz were performing a dance routine to a medley of his hits. What are the chances?

Members of the Purrfect Angelz pose in front of the stage

Members of the Purrfect Angelz pose in front of the stage

I encountered Bill Kennedy of Kennedy Motorcycles in Oceanside, California, just as he was about to head out and enjoy the favorable riding conditions on his way back down the coast. Talk about a larger-than-life personality; it’s always great to hang out with a guy who has been an industry influence over the course of five decades.

At 4:00 p.m. sharp, Randy Morton of Rock and Roll Custom Paint coated both pages of an opened phone book with blue paint and had “Panhead” Billy Burrows press his hands onto the pages. Then Billy sat on his 1960 Pan and gently laid one of his paint-covered hands on either side of the tank. The ceremony served to further personalize an iconic motorcycle.

"Panhead" Billy Burrows slaps his handprint on the tank of his ’60 Pan as Beatnik and Randy Morton of Rock and Roll Custom Paint look on

“Panhead” Billy Burrows slaps his handprint on the tank of his ’60 Pan as Beatnik and Randy Morton of Rock and Roll Custom Paint look on

The late David Mann’s art continues to draw onlookers of every age demographic to the exhibition of his work, which has become a fixture on the Easyriders Bike Show Tour. Almost everyone, whether they ride or not, can appreciate his genius at portraying the bikes and the biker culture of a bygone era.

Bike Show Results:

Winners for the 2014 Easyriders Bike Show

Winners for the 2014 Easyriders Bike Show

People’s Choice
Best Of Show
Dave Swenson, Anaheim, CA, 2014 Special Construction
Paul Soto, Oceanside, CA, 2006 Screamin’ Eagle
Ruben Gonzalez, Anahiem, CA, 2000 FLH

Antique/Old School
1st Place: LifeStyle Cycles, Anaheim, CA, 1995 Softail

Old School Bobber
1st Place: Manuel Miller, Long Beach, CA, 1969 Triumph

Old School Chopper
1st Place: Mike/HWY 66 Choppers, Montclair, CA, 2002 Bomber

Modified Stock Street
1st Place: Bob Garza, Downey, CA, 1991 Softail

Modified Stock Tour
1st Place: Ruben Gonzalez, Anaheim, CA, 1986 FXRT

3 Wheel Custom
1st Place: Richard Gonzales, Moreno Valley, CA, 1994 custom chopper

3 Wheel Radical
1st Place: LifeStyle Cycles, Anaheim, CA, 2010 custom trike

Custom Sportster
1st Place: Jason Charlin, Walnut, CA, 2013 XL1200

Street Custom
1st Place: Thomas Alban, Fullerton, CA, 2006 Softail

Specialty Chopper
1st Place: Steve Rubio/HWY 66 Choppers, Montclair, CA, 2005 66 PRO

Radical
1st Place: HWY 66 Choppers, Montclair, CA, 2013 Rigid

Radical Bagger
1st Place: Marcos Mendieta, San Bernardino, CA, 2006 Street Glide

 

Judged

Best Of Show
Paul Ponkow, Henderson, NV, 1973 Bonneville
Power Plant Choppers, Los Angeles, CA, 1952 Rigid
Salvatore Baldi, Cherry Valley, CA, 2013 Custom

Antique/Old School
1st Place: Ron Baldonado, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1946 Board Track Spl.

Old School Bobber
1st Place: Paul Ponkow, Henderson, NV, 1950 VL-FL

Old School Chopper
1st Place: Paul Ponkow, Henderson, NV, 1964 Bonneville

Modified Stock Street
1st Place: Richie Navarro, Indio, CA, 2003 Fat Boy

Modified Stock Tour
1st Place: Al Sanchez, Fresno, CA, 2005 Road King

3 Wheel Radical
1st Place: Frank Devenport, Huntington Beach, CA, 2001 Deuce Trike

Custom Sportster
1st Place: Buzz/HWY 66 Choppers, Montclair, CA, 1994 HWY 66 Flyer

Street Custom
1st Place: Bob Carrillo, Lawndale, CA, 1972 Police Special

Speciality Chopper
1st Place: Seth Slagiel, Downey, CA, 2013 EVO

Radical
1st Place: Paul Cavallo, Rancho Cucamunga, CA, 1956 Panhead

Radical Bagger
1st Place: Tyler Coletta, Rancho Cucamunga, CA, 2012 Road Glide

Bagger Nation Award
1st Place: LifeStyle Cycles, Anaheim, CA, 2012 FLTRX

Editor’s Choice
1st Place: Joe Kerivan, Huntington Beach, CA, 1942 Knucklehead

Best Paint
1st Place: Tyler Coletta, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 2012 Road Glide

Best Display
1st Place: KD Custom/Ruben Gonzalez, Anaheim, CA, 2000 FLH

 

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