Photos by Art Hall
July 12-13, 2008, Queen Mary Event Park, Long Beach, CA – The 17th annual Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show Weekend presented by Performance Machine returned to the Queen Mary Event Park in Long Beach on July 12-13th, 2008.
Thousands were in attendance to enjoy hot bikes, and cool ocean breezes. The weekend featured many of the world’s top Pro and Amateur street bike builders in attendance to compete in the Performance Machine Calendar Show Bike Building Championship with a bulging purse of $86,000 in cash and awards. There were 10 individual classes for American V-Twin and Metric Street Custom, Performance, Classic, Bobber, Chopper and Sportbike motorcycles.
Taking home the coveted Best of Show award for the first time ever at a major show was an incredible metric custom from builder Jim Giuffra / AFTcustoms.com. Named “Er Hed” for it’s air-cooled Yamaha XVS engine fed by a Mikuni HSR carb, the bike features a specially modified Yamaha/Redneck Engineering/ AFT Customs oil-in frame with RMD billet girder front forks, and a single shock rear suspension.
Performance Machine also offers is own trophy for the Best Performance Machine Equipped Bike with a $5,000 product award from Performance Machine products going to Todd Silicato from Todd’s Custom Cycles for one of his bikes.
Spectators got to meet top celebrity custom bike builders including last year’s best of Show winner Greg Westbury, 2004 Best of Show winner Shinya Kimura, plus Ron Simms, Todd Silicato and many more. They also attend free Calendar Bike Builder Seminars with the top Calendar builders to learn what it really takes to build some of the world’s most innovative and beautiful custom bikes as featured in the Iron & Lace and Fast Dates Calendars.
One of the biggest spectator draws throughout the weekend was again the Calendar Show’s exclusive S&S Cycle World Championship Horsepower Dyno Shoot Out hosted by Kerry Bryant of Area P Exhaust Systems. World Record runs are open up to anyone, including the change to see just how strong your streetbike really is, with Classes & Awards for all stock and modified American V-Twin and Metric Sportbikes. The most spectacular run during the weekend proved to be John Cabral’s Suzuki Hayabusa American Turbo Powered 500hp +! Engine Blow Up at full throttle that saw titanium, aluminum , oil and coolant flying everywhere in spectacular fashion, forcing a shutdown of the dyno for about an hour while it was cleaned up. The S&S Cycle staff used the lull in the action to answer engine building questions from the crowd and hand out free t-shirts.
Other exciting activities during the weekend include the S&S Cycle World Championship Horsepower Dyno Shoot Out; free Calendar Bike Building Seminars with celebrity Iron & Lace Calendar builders including Todd Silicato of Todd’s Cycle, Dave Stinsen of Edelbrock Engineering and Yasuyoshi Chikazawa of Chica Custom Cycles.
Included also was the exciting Calendar Girl Music Festival with beautiful girl bands and singers including singer songwriters Kari Kimmel and actress Elizabeth Nicole, pop rockers Taxi Doll, AC/DC Tribute rock band Whole Lotta Rosies, Lead Zeppelin tribute band Moby Chick, Reckless Driver, Absinthe Women, plus the sexy Purrfect Angelz dance shows jammed fans to the Main Stage both days.
This year’s Show also featured a big sportbike turnout in the Metric Midway with the Big Rig display from Triumph Motorcycles brought in by SoCal Triumph, Ducati in Brea, CA.
Spectators also got complimentary weekend admission aboard the historic Queen Mary Ghost Ship, and entry to the Saturday Night Iron & Lace Calendar Builders Party with a live band in the ship’s Observation Bar. Spectators arriving on motorcycles get security parking for just $5 right at the Show’s Main Entrance. When the Queen Mary’s on-site parking reached capacity, spectators arriving by car were directed to park in the downtown Long Beach Parking Garages on Shoreline Drive with free Shuttle Busses or paid Taxi Boat rides available from Shoreline Village Marina direct to the Show.
“Producing another successful Calendar Show this 17th year was definitely a challenge,” explained Show producer Jim Gianatsis. “What with the recent and sudden down turn in the custom bike market, I was sad to see that about a third of our well-known bike and product manufacturers, and custom bike builders who were with us last year are either no longer in business, or just can’t afford to attend shows. Plus the problems in the American economy are keeping more people close to home. We still had over 10,000 spectators in attendance for the weekend which was great, considering that other major bike events across America have been down by as much as half. We were able to pull in a lot more sportbike and Calendar Girl Music Festival fans which helped.”