Once a year in the hills of Silverado, California, motorcyclists and riders alike gather for the Born-Free Vintage Motorcycle show. Here you'll find just about everything—literally. Choppers, bobbers, scramblers, cafes, customs, vintage and classic bikes...you get the picture. With all the interest lately surrounding Flat Track racing among the motorcycle community, it seemed only natural that the two events would collide at some point, and collide they did. Welcome to the Born Free Stampede Flat Track Races.

Held this year at the Costa Mesa Speedway in sunny Southern California, unique bikes and builders all converged upon the humble Costa Mesa Fairgrounds for an all-out battle to see who could wrestle their unwieldily chopper around the small dirt track quickest—which made for quite an entertaining evening. Not only that, but some of the best Hooligan racers in the county stopped by and took part in the battle for victory with their highly modified Sportsters and the like.

If you're not hip to the 'Hooligan' race scene, the concept is pretty simple: Take a heavy bike that's 750cc's or more (i.e. Harley Sportster, Dyna, FXR, Indian Scout), strip off everything that's not needed for racing, and then proceed to thrash them around an oval dirt track like you stole them. Nothing is sacred when it comes to which bikes people choose; it's not uncommon to see a brand-new Indian Scout parked on the grid next to a '39 Knucklehead. As I always say, why be scared to ride old bikes? There's one in a museum somewhere, right? That seemed to be the theme of the night, and the crowd certainly wasn't disappointed.

Here are just a few of the bikes that were on display, intended to whet the appetite of the custom motorcycle enthusiast in preparation for Born Free 9, as well as a few more of the race bikes that battled gladiator-style around the Speedway for the crowd's enjoyment.

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This beautiful custom Knucklehead was just about one of the all-time cleanest and elegant builds I've seen to date—and could have easily taken the place as my favorite bike in the show.Photo: Brody Cox
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I really, honestly don't know where to even start with this one—just look at this thing! If you want to stand out, this is how you do it. My favorite touch was the white leather primary chain cover.Photo: Brody Cox
Born Free Stampede
I don't know if there exists anything more mesmerizing than this Harley-Davidson Flathead hillclimber. The heads and parts of the case were media-blasted to a coarse finish.Photo: Brody Cox
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Here's a rather slick Panhead that had a subtle yet stunning flake/flame paint job.Photo: Brody Cox
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I literally did a double-take when I walked past this one. One of these engines is hard enough to start, but two? My hat's off to you.Photo: Brody Cox
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Most if not all of the bikes that were outside the main arena will be present at this year's Born Free show in Silverado, CaliforniaPhoto: Brody Cox
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This Shovelhead blew me away with its intricate detail.Photo: Brody Cox
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The folks at Prism Supply Motorcycle Co. brought this incredible Panhead out to the race, and there was no shortage of eager onlookers around it throughout the night.Photo: Brody Cox
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Here's quite a non-conventional take on a Knucklehead, simple and unique. I dig it.Photo: Brody Cox
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At first glance, I was very impressed with this Knucklehead from Kiyo's Garage, especially the paint job. I soon realized, however...Photo: Brody Cox
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...that this particular Knucklehead was missing an entire cylinder. Gone. Knucklehead thumper, anyone? I can't say I've seen that done with one of these engines before!Photo: Brody Cox
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An awesome Harley-Davidson Sprint 250 was sitting just beyond the grandstands.Photo: Brody Cox
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The winners of the Hooligan Expert Class: Mikey Hill, Brad Spencer and Jason Klements. These guys were hauling!Photo: Brody Cox
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Chop everything! I can vouch for the fact that Thomas from Zero Hour crushes it on his pull-start mini-chop. Wicked.Photo: Brody Cox
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If you've never seen Go Takamine race anything, I'd highly recommend hunting him down and observing, this guy has style for days. Takamine essentially created the 'brat-style' motorcycle movement single-handedly back in the late '90s in Japan, and now builds custom motorcycles in California.Photo: Brody Cox
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Local Speedway legend Shawn 'Mad Dog' McConnell slid this vintage Indian tracker around the speedway effortlessly. Shawn also raced other machines in the Stampede, including but not limited to: A Honda XR75, a stock-ish Harley-Davidson Dyna, and a full-on Hooligan Sporty.Photo: Brody Cox
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This vintage Indian was piloted by none other than Jim Ottele, and he sure gave Shawn McConnell a run for his money. There are few things I'd rather watch than two vintage flat track machines duking it out at wide open throttle.Photo: Brody Cox
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Do you want your Indian Scout to look like this one here? Well, you're in luck—RSD Design has kits available to turn your Indian Scout into a fire-breathing Hooligan tracker.Photo: Brody Cox
Born Free Stampede
Jason Klements was on fire in the Hooligan Expert race, and secured himself a podium finish.Photo: Brody Cox
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Although I've never tried it, I can't imagine that racing a tank-shift Harley-Davidson on a speedway track is a particularly easy thing to do.Photo: Brody Cox
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With a turnout like this at the pre-show race, I'm really interested to see all the bikes on display at this year's Born Free 9!Photo: Brody Cox

For more information on this year's Born Free 9 custom motorcycle show, check out bornfreeshow.com.