Born Free Motorcycle Show – Ridin’ Dirty in So-Cal
The Born Free Motorcycle Show has come a long way from its humble beginnings. At the first event, 200 motorcycles gathered in a warehouse parking lot in Orange County, CA. Over the last eight years, Born Free has transformed itself into one of the premiere motorcycle events in the U.S., drawing upwards of 20,000 motorheads and thousands of motorcycles from all over the world. As in Europe, Japan and other far off lands.
So what’s the secret? Born Free founders Mike Davis and Grant Peterson say it’s all about the love of old motorcycles and like-minded individuals having a good time together enjoying the bikes of the past and the culture that surrounds them.
Motorcycles, choppers and trikes from virtually every decade invaded Oak Canyon Ranch in Irvine, CA., June 24-25 for the 9th annual Born Free Motorcycle Show for a weekend of motorcycle mayhem. Harleys, Indians, Triumphs, Nortons, Bultacos, Husqvarnas, Hondas, Kawasakis, you name it. New or old, it doesn’t matter: anything with two wheels (or even three) is welcome and adds flavor to the show.
Bikes, beer, babes and, well, plenty of badassery covered every square foot of the scenic 17-acre Oak Canyon Ranch, where there was no shortage of chrome, candy paint, sissy bars, leather, flames, tattoos and halter tops. Why did halter tops ever fall out of favor? We swear we heard Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” playing in the wind.
Every year Born Free has a special display for the Invited Builders where you can get an up-close look at what some of the best custom motorcycle builders on the planet are creating. This year 24 builders were invited, and their creations will blow your socks off. You can check out all of their builds here.
The guys at Born Free try to incorporate something new into each show, and this year was no exception. On Thursday night they hosted The Stampede, which featured dirt-track racing at nearby Costa Mesa Speedway. Another new addition was The Get Down at the Ranch, a half-pipe sponsored by VANS which had more than 20 skaters flying high all weekend. Skating royalty Steve Caballero, Christian Hosoi and Bucky Lasek were even spotted dropping in on the ramp, which was a crowd favorite for every soul in the joint.
If that’s not enough bang for your buck, there were kick-ass bands rocking two stages all weekend, great food and hundreds of vendors hawking everything from T-shirts to custom parts for your motorcycle. And if you still had money burning a hole in your pocket, you could always buy a raffle ticket for The Give Away – a Born Free tradition.
The Give Away isn’t just any raffle. For just $25, you get a poster and a raffle ticket. If it’s your lucky day, you’ll get to ride home on a 1951 Harley-Davidson Panhead, a 1942 H-D Knucklehead or a brand-new 2017 H-D Lowrider S. Now that’s a raffle worth entering!
Whether you’re into custom bikes or stock rides, a garage builder or weekend warrior, a gearhead or a speed junkie, like patina or metal-flake or just want to check out the motorcycle scene, then Born Free motorcycle show is for you. The people watching isn’t bad either!