Born-Free 11 Vintage Motorcycle Show 2019

Highlights from SoCal’s biggest custom cruiser show.

The crowd around Hawke Lawshe’s Harley shovel, “Azureus,” was huge, as the engineering wonder captivated many show attendees’ and fellow builders’ imaginations. Lawhe discussed details of his build with many viewers at Born-Free 11, including the exposed rockers and pushrods, 6-foot-long rake, and 11-foot long wheelbase. Lawshe’s build won first place among the invited builders.Julia LaPalme

Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts cruised out to the 11th annual Born-Free vintage bike show at Oak Canyon Park near Irvine, California, this past Saturday and Sunday. More than 24 builders brought their latest two- (and three-) wheeled creations for folks to admire and their peers to judge. In addition to the slew of eye candy on display, there was also the Harley-Davidson Wall of Death, a half-pipe freestyle skate show, free Ferris wheel rides, and a huge vendor area featuring motorcycle performance parts, accessories, protective riding gear, and lifestyle apparel. Here are some highlights from the two-day show.

This 1974 Kawasaki KZ400, built by Zane Cook of Old Bike Barn, sports a beautiful multi-tone blue paint scheme with a sunburst and swoopy '70s-inspired design, as well as a multi-tiered rear fender that is reminiscent of gills.Julia LaPalme
Jimmy Light of Horsepower Inc. built this 2019 Road King Special with magenta-accented Brembo brakes, turbocharger, and a jewel-toned multi-colored paint scheme featuring Tron-like design elements and a turquoise flaming skull on the front fender.Julia LaPalme
Some paint schemes of builders’ bikes were subtler than others, either by color or by design. This 1966 Harley-Davidson shovel, built by Rod “Grimey” Davis, featured a bright coral red paint, with a beautifully detailed turquoise pinstripe.Julia LaPalme
The Ferris wheel at Born-Free 11 offered free rides for any attendee, which allowed views of the large vendor tent area and the adjacent half-pipe built for the skate show.Julia LaPalme
Stellar Moto was one of the many vendors at Born-Free 11, and had an ongoing stream of customers trying on the Dyneema jumpsuits and leather jackets. Stellar’s initial line of clothing and riding gear is made for women, but the company is expanding with a men’s line as well.Julia LaPalme
Stunt rider Ashley Lammela signed posters for customers who visited her at the Bassani Xhaust vendor’s booth.Julia LaPalme
A giant half-pipe, sponsored by Vans, featured skaters showing off their skills, and entertaining a crowd of adults and kids alike.Julia LaPalme
The Ives brothers entertain the crowd for their last show of the day on Saturday, seeming to defy gravity as they ride two at a time on the Wall of Death.Julia LaPalme
Many custom builds feature either a single rider seat, or a dual seat for rider and passenger. Few offer a three-person saddle, like this Harley-Davidson panhead custom trike built by Jeff Bloedorn.Julia LaPalme
This beautiful Triumph pre-unit, built by Nik Heer, was literally the lowest-profile bike among the invited builders’ builds. The “Cheetah MkII,” built by Young Guns Speed Shop in Switzerland, is a land-speed racing bike, and won the Best Competition Build award.Julia LaPalme
Another example that proves the competition field was more than just Harley-Davidsons and cruisers, this 1957 Triumph Firebird built by David Morales was a gorgeous restoration with lots of custom brass accents as well as a pair of small leather saddlebags.Julia LaPalme
Hawke Lawshe accepts his first place award from Born-Free founder Grant Peterson, which included a plaque, a check for $5,000, and a trip to the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show in Japan later this year.Julia LaPalme