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Old June 30th @ 09:20 am   #1
GAMBLER's Avatar
From: SoCal

Los Angeles, Calif. – February 6, 2006 – “Biker Build-Off,” the consistently popular series from Original Productions that made custom bike-building a mass culture phenomenon, is back for its fifth season on Discovery, launching in the Fall of 2006.

Production begins today on the latest series of contests in which 26 fabricators will square off in 13 head-to-head competitions. By the time the final detail is applied to the last bikes, these trend-setting builders will have once again set the standard for what makes choppers cool.

“In the six years since we started spotlighting chopper culture, we’ve seen how these bike legends as well as hot-shot newcomers connect with a huge, diverse audience,” says “Biker Build-Off” creator Thom Beers, CEO and Executive of Original Productions, and the man who first saw the television appeal of biker competitions. “With each series, we boost the excitement and celebrate the phenomenon even more. Season five will continue that tradition.”

Hugh King – known throughout the gearhead community as “The Chopper King,” thanks to his hands-on involvement as co-executive producer of the “Biker Build-Off” series and director-producer of its predecessor, “Motorcycle Mania” – has again assembled the cream of custom bike builders to compete in “Biker Build-Off.”

As with the previous “Biker Build-Offs,” each builder will be given two weeks to create a custom motorcycle, from the ground up. Although aesthetics are crucial to all the builds, the contest also requires the bikes to work; the builders must ride them as far as 1,000 miles to major bike events, where attendees vote for their favorite.

The stakes, and tension, are raised with the fifth season, however. Each builder/designer will be allowed only one packet of tools to use on the road to the competition, and there will be no follow truck packed with extra equipment. If a bike breaks down and the rider can’t fix it with what he’s carrying, he’s out of the competition.

In three of the Build-Offs the trophy will go to the fastest bike rather than to, as in the past, the most popular. The contestants in those match-ups will build track and motocross bikes, then go head to head for the top prize.

Also “Biker Build-Off” season 5 will feature a woman builder for the first time and the most multi-cultural, multi-national lineup of artisans ever. But, then, the motorcycle subculture is growing at a ferocious pace.

“Biker Build-Off” has made many custom builders, who once worked in obscurity and were only known to just a handful of dedicated riders, into national celebrities. Their shops are destinations for the millions of biker faithful, and their work is in great demand. A-list Hollywood celebrities, white-collar executives and professionals are among the growing audience for high end, one-of-a-kind bikes.

That mass appeal doesn’t surprise The Chopper King. In his years producing motorcycle competitions – first for Original Prods.’ “Motorcycle Mania” series” and then for “Biker Build-Off” – King has seen how these craftsman connect powerfully with viewers.

“They create kinetic art: sculptures that just happen to go 120 MPH,” King says. “These are the last of the great artisans, guys who can work with their hands. They take metal and shape it, take pipe and bend it, take paint and leather and rubber and refashion it, making each bike unique and special. We once knew how to use our hands, how to use tools; now most of us just know how to push computer keys. Not these guys.”

Viewers of the upcoming season of “Biker Build-Off” will see artisans from across the chopper spectrum. The match-ups this season include:

• Mike Metzger vs. Larry Linkogle: Both men build Motocross bikes, and will subject their creations to awesome long-distance flips and jumps for the gold
• Ivy Tosclair vs. Kevin Alsop: A small shop owner and prize winner from New Orleans goes up against a major manufacturer and legend from Big Bear, Calif.
• Scott Long vs. Trevelene: Two of the toughest guys in the business face off in a contest to build the ultimate old-school chopper.
• Roland Sands vs. Jesse Rooke: Both builders are young, both are based in Southern California, and both are convinced they can build the fastest bike.
• Paul Yaffee vs. Dave Perewitz: A pair of world famous, veteran builders – one from the Southwest, one from the Northeast – goes bike-to-bike.
• Ell Pitts vs. Harold Pontarelli: Both are big names in the chopper world and neither is comfortable with finishing in second place.
• Matt Hotch vs. Roger Goldammer: The reigning “Biker Build-Off” champion squares off with the reigning world champion.
• Billy Lane vs. Russell Mitchell: One’s all-American, the other’s British (although he’s gone native in North Hollywood), both are looking to be crowned the undisputed stud muffin of bikerdom.
• Craig Whitford vs. Mike Long: You think trikes are kids’ stuff? Don’t tell these guys, two of the baddest three wheel builders around.
• Kim Suter vs. Gypsy Charros: An up-and-coming female bike builder from Texas goes against an established and famous male builder from Kansas.
• Jason Hart vs. Brian Klock: They’re young, extremely inventive, heavily rewarded builders, both from the heart of the Midwest, and now they’re going mano-a-mano.
• Detroit Brothers vs. Jason Kangas: Two rough neck young brothers go up against one of the newest kids on the chopper block. But neither does anything that can be mistaken for child’s play.
• Marcus Walz vs. Michael Prugh: A pair of the leading designers in the world -- One’s from Germany (though he works out of Florida), the other is from Rapid City, SD – seek global domination.

“These guys are all the top of the top, making the coolest, most coveted machines,” King says of his lucky 13 match-ups. “They know that they have to build bikes that have to be beautiful and they have to work.”

King will be showcasing the competitions on the go-to website for gearheads, and gearhead wannabes:

Old June 30th @ 09:23 am   #2
GAMBLER's Avatar
From: SoCal
check out all the pix in the gallery

Biker Build-Off Behind the Scenes
Billy Bartels

Roland Sands vs. Jesse Rooke

I don't have cable or satellite, or TiVo, or any sort of premium programming that doesn't arrive by way of DVD or bunny ears. I know that's weird in this day and age, but I just find the internet that entertaining (and I'd get a lot less work done with the idiot box on). So I have no idea what goes on in a Build or Bust or Biker Build-Off, but what I have read enough to know is that not everything you see on 'reality TV' can be believed.

I was out taking pics at the Willow Springs round of the AHRMA Vintage road races April 29-30 (aka the Corsa Moto Classica) when Discovery's circus rolled into town. A Performance Machine box van arrived, followed swiftly by an FMF box van, several rental minivans full of camera-folk, and PM owner Perry Sands' huge big-rig motorhome. Instantly the pits went from a sleepy little race (on the same weekend as both the AMA Superbike race at Fontana and the Laughlin River Run) to a total zoo. at least in a 100-foot radius of the transporters.

Freshly minted custom bikes were unloaded from the box vans as a curious mob grew around the perimeter, and annoyed racers revved their motors to get through the crush and to the starting line for the next race.

Out of the PM van came Roland Sands' latest creation, "No Regrets." It was stunning, and exactly the sort of custom bike you'd expect an ex-roadracer to build. The frame is a combination of a racing-style perimeter frame and a traditional double-cradle, with some beautiful machined aluminum pieces at all the key mounting points. The geometry is aggressive and gold Ohlins suspension components keep both of the Dunlop slick-shod wheels in touch with the ground at all times. Powering the handmade Superbike is a Kendall Jackson-tuned Harley-Davidson Twin Cam with a slew of go-fast parts on it. But aside from making possibly the fastest air-cooled V-Twin ever, this bike is just plain cool. The paint alone is worth its own magazine article, featuring gold leaf, two-tone mate black and deep red metalflake. The brown anodizing on all of the machined parts really stands out as well.

From the back of the FMF van came Jesse Rooke's machine. Jesse took the exact opposite approach with his machine. Starting with a KTM 950 Twin (straight out of an Adventure) the Rooke bike had the heart of a modern semi-sportbike, but then went his traditional old-school route for the rest of the bike. The frame is a single-downtube rigid with a nice single radius all the way from the steering head to the rear axle. A Rooke Nana Girder front end with a Progressive 5th Element mountain bike shock connects the laced front wheel to the frame. Rather than ditching the radiator in the pursuit of clean lines (and knowing this contest was to take place in the desert), Jesse mounted the curved unit just in front of the fat rear tire; it matches the lines of the rear wheel perfectly.

Unfortunately, despite that stroke of genius, it is still hard to get a water-cooled powerplant to conform to the clean lines of a custom. Simply put, the KTM suffers from apparatus maximus, with tubes and hoses all over the place. Kudos to Jesse for making it look as cool as it does with some nice handmade pieces, like the crankcase breather box on the left side.

What was up with all this aggressive equipment in contest to be decided on looks? Word came down that this Biker Build-Off was going to be special. For one thing, the builders had only 10 days to complete the bikes. Most importantly, instead of the usual popularity contest, this one was to be decided on the ground with stopwatches and skill. These beautiful handbuilt machines would be road raced, drag raced and flat tracked, with the winner of the best two-out-of-three to be crowned the victor.

Looking at the machines and riders, I was wondering how this could be even remotely close. In one corner, you have what amounts to a hand-made naked Superbike ridden by a former AMA champion, in the other you've got a rigid-framed bike with a mountain bike front shock (but with a potent motor) ridden by a former BMX racer. How is this a race? The one hope for Rooke was Sands' hot-rodded Harley motor melting down in the desert heat.

The first contest to run would be the road race, predictably won by Sands. The two were given a couple laps to warm up and check out the course before a one-lap standing-start race around Willow's 9-turn 2.5-mile track. Rooke got the better start and led through Turn 1, but after that it was all Sands. Even before they got to Willow's infamous 130- mph-plus Turn 8, Sands had more than a 10-second lead, then the veteran racer held it wide open while the Rooke slowed for the long right hander. Game Over.

It wasn't clear what possessed them, but the pair then switched bikes and took another lap. I was convinced that Sands was going to crash. Racers that win championships do not know how to hold back, and sticking a guy like Roland on something with well over 100 hp and no rear suspension at a track like Willow Springs. well, you might as well fill out the hospital admission forms now.

Shockingly (at least to me) he made it back in one piece, and still beat Rooke by a fair margin to boot. He did look like he was about to wet himself though. Meanwhile, the short upward-pointing exhaust on the Sands bike had just about melted Rooke's shoe.

The next contest up was the drag race. At least here there was a shot at parity: 1) drag bikes don't need to handle, and 2) the liquid-cooled Twin should rev out better than a motor with pushrods. The drags were to be best two of three tries down the quarter-mile front straight. The first pass had Roland simply walk away from Jesse, due to a better start. It was looking grim for Team Rooke. The next run, while closer, had Sands crossing the stripe first again, though by a much smaller margin.

So, there's your best two-of-three - game, set and match, right? Wrong. This is where the TV magic happens. After some whispering between producers and the builders, a last run was taken in which Rooke held off Sands by a couple lengths to win one pass. What do you want to bet that one gets shown first or second on TV?

In fact, rumor control has it that the flat track portion of the event (filmed the next day) will be inserted between the two pavement events for the final screen version. Why, you ask? It seems Sands had some sort of 'mechanical difficulty' during the flat track which handed the win to Rooke. Hmm, seem a little convenient that the event that looked like a total ass whooping turns into Sands squeaking out a win?

But I digress...

After the drag portion of the event, it was time for the teams to prep for the following day's flat track. Ever laid back, Rooke did a once-over of his KTM and settled in to take pictures and sign autographs for the fans. Over in Camp PM, they were debating on how to cut the slicks for the most traction. Just then dirt track legend Jay Springsteen happened by and gave Roland some lessons in how to cut knobbies.

At the time (not aware of the editing that would take place later) I was thinking, "That is why this guy's a champion." Even after wrapping up the contest, he was still going for the three-event sweep.

The broadcast of the event on the Discovery Channel is scheduled to air in early August.

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shit happens...
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Old June 30th @ 09:26 am   #3
GAMBLER's Avatar
From: SoCal
a couple of pictures I took at LVSX

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Old June 30th @ 09:27 am   #4
vegaseric's Avatar
From: Las Vegas/Summerlin

Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa LE/2007 Suzuki GSXR600/2000 Honda CBR600F4
I didn't even get as far as the second post in this thread when I thought..."that Roland Sands vs. Jesse Rooke matchup is gonna be nice". Those are some great behind the scenes shots.
Old June 30th @ 09:29 am   #5
vegaseric's Avatar
From: Las Vegas/Summerlin

Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa LE/2007 Suzuki GSXR600/2000 Honda CBR600F4
I was just admiring those fluted Ohlins forks on one of the bikes in Liam's MotoGP thread. Beautiful.
Old June 30th @ 09:30 am   #6
f4xpres's Avatar

Motorcycle: 06 CBR1000RR
Thats a chopper i would actually ride.....
Old June 30th @ 09:30 am   #7
GAMBLER's Avatar
From: SoCal
I think Jes likes Rolands bike!

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Old June 30th @ 09:33 am   #8
GAMBLER's Avatar
From: SoCal
a few pix I snapped of the Rooke bike
love the Ti plumbing FMF did on it - LC8 has plenty of ponies

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