Headed out to get the morning coffee at the Shell station and look what we found. Taber Nash and his son Reggie rocking the front page of the Daytona Beach News Journal! Big thanks to David Massey for spending some of his valuable time with us on the Limpnickie LOT…
By DAVID MASSEY , Staff photojournalist
March 6, 2010 12:05 AM 2 Comments Vote 0 Votes
* East Volusia
Taber Nash of Nash Motorcycle Company, Vancouver, Wash., shows off one of his bikes, a 1975 Ironhead Sportster, with his son Reggie, 2, at the Limpnickie Lot in South Daytona.
SOUTH DAYTONA — Five miles south of the loud crowds, chrome and classic rock on Main Street, gritty punk music screams from a trailer as 30-somethings with arms sleeved in ink, shaved heads, dreadlocks and beards build beautiful motorcycles out of other people’s junk.
This place is known as the Limpnickie Lot, headquartered at Stone Edge Skate Park, and it is as much a state of mind as a vendor parking lot — an attitude that’s becoming a trend in the world of custom choppers.
“The Limpnickie Lot came together out of necessity,” said 32-year-old Taber Nash, Limpnickie’s founder and owner of Nash Motorcycle Company in Vancouver, Wash. Nash said he got tired of setting up his tent and display next to mainstream custom builders, so he blended his love for punk and metal music with skateboard and BMX culture to develop his own style of bike building.
Three years ago, Nash got some of his friends together to set up the show for the first time at the skate park and Limpnickie was born. Nash and his brothers used the catchy name to describe dirty, scruffy kids in their neighborhood, and the name stuck. The rest is history, or the rest is the future, rather … the future of custom chopper building.
Young meets old here, as builders in their 20s and 30s use recycled parts from bikes out of the Easy Rider era that haven’t seen daylight for decades. Refurbished and tarnished steel frames and restored engines, still covered in rust, are pounded and wrenched together in strange combinations to form bikes like you’ve never seen.
Unlike their shiny and highly chromed airbrushed counterparts, these bikes look like they’ve been through battle rather than the beauty shop. Most of the rides parked on the cracked asphalt could be props from “Mad Max.”
This motley crew of like-minded motorcycle builders employs more trash than flash to make their rides. Deltona resident “Boston Mike” Olson, owner of Boston Mike’s Custom Bikes in Sanford, used found parts like a filter from a 1950s-era kitchen appliance for an air cleaner cover.
He fashioned a ribbed aluminum drain pipe into an oil tank on his bike named Betty, built with a 1969 Harley-Davidson frame, the same year Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper appeared in “Easy Rider.”
Olson, a 39-year-old Massachusetts transplant, doesn’t have the resources or the desire to build flashy, expensive bikes. For him, it’s about time, effort and a do-it-yourself mentality.
“You can get further with elbow grease than you can with money,” he said.
Olson estimates he spent 100 hours and $1,400 on Betty, and it paid off. The candy apple-red custom graced the cover of Street Chopper Magazine in February.
Limpnickie builders make each ride with whatever parts they can collect or make by hand and the result is sweet, dirty and one of a kind. Builders like Nash usually don’t even sell bikes to just anyone off the street. At his custom shop, he likes to get to know customers to build them a bike that fits their unique character.
The alternative building style found in this lot is catching the eyes and ears of the rest of the motorcycle industry. William G. Davidson, better known as “Willie G” and the senior vice president and chief styling officer for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, made a surprise visit to the lot Tuesday to check out what the next generation was up to.
“These bikes accentuate, rather than cover up, exposing the beauty of the raw metal,” Davidson said while pausing next to the Bare Knuckle Choppers tent.
According to the Limpnickie Lot’s organizer and editor of Cycle Source Magazine, Chris “Wild Man” Callen, the lot is a chance for builders and friends to “be together and have a good time,” Callen said. “It’s a celebration of the motorcycle. I like to think of it as the island of misfit toys.”
It’s not all shenanigans, though. Callen and his crew had the Boys and Girls Club out to the lot this week and collected canned goods for local families in need.
The Limpnickie Collective, which travels to events nationwide, includes Nash Motorcycle Company, Led Sled Customs, Bare Knuckle Choppers, E-Fab Motorcycles, Garage Co. Customs and Black Sunshine Customs, to name just a few.
This next generation believes in less show and more go. For these industry deviants, the biker’s adage “chrome don’t get ya home” are words to live by.