A pilgrimage to Sturgis, South Dakota is a must for any motorcycle rider in the US. This year, there’s an extra incentive to go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and we have famed photographer Michael Lichter to thank for it. Together with organizers of the annual rally, Lichter is scheduled to present an exhibit unlike any other, featuring 35 of the best bike builders in the world. It’s called “The Naked Truth - 35 Customs / 35 Years / Motorcycle Exposed,” and as you can expect, it’s going to feature some of the finest bike builds you’ll ever see, all of which were created specifically for this exhibit.

Unlike other exhibits, the Naked Truth will prominently feature these rolling metal sculptures up-close-and-personal. No glass casings here, ladies and gentlemen. Just elevated pedestals, proudly displaying these naked bikes, bereft with paint and graphics for the entire world to see. Basically, this is where real bike builders separate themselves from the rest of the flock. Without the benefit of sick paint jobs and graphics, these creations visually highlight the true ethos of real bike builders with absolutely no filters separating the final work from the hands that built them.

The Naked Truth exhibit will be exclusively shown at the rally’s Motorcycles as Art Exhibition from August 1 to August 8, 2015 at the Russ Brown Events Center. Admission is free to the public, giving riders no reason not to see this one-of-a-kind showcase of the best bike builders doing what they absolutely do best.

Click “continue reading” to read more about the Naked Truth exhibit at the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Why it matters

Any time an exhibit likes this is organized in a place like Sturgis, South Dakota, you know it’s going to be a big deal. A huge deal even. That’s why it’s important for those who have the time to go see it because there will probably be no other exhibit that will be able to capture the true essence of bike building.

For some artists, bike building is a business and a lucrative one at that. But for others, it’s more than a way to pay the bills. It’s art in its purest form. These artists are in charge of what they create and oftentimes, they build something that really encapsulates not only their skills as bike builders, but more importantly, the real essence of what this vocation calls for.

Geographic issues will prevent from seeing it and yes, I’m stewing mad about it. But if others can take the time to check out, do so without hesitation. Trust me when I tell you, the roster of builders participating in this exhibit reads like a who’s who in the industry. You wouldn’t want to miss out on what could very well be the highlight of your year.

Artists scheduled to present their naked creations at the Buffalo Chip’s 2015 Motorcycles as Art exhibit

  • Aki Sakamoto - Hog Killers, Hawaiian Gardens, CA
  • Alan Stulberg – Revival Cycles, Austin, TX
  • Ben Jordan – Jordan Designs, Waxhaw, NC
  • Bill Dodge – Bling’s Cycles, Daytona Beach, FL
  • Bill Rodencal – Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, WI
  • Billy Lane – Choppers Inc., Daytona Beach, FL
  • Brandon Holstein, Brawny Built, Signal Hill, CA
  • Brian Klock – Klockwerks, Mitchell, SD
  • Bryan Fuller – Fuller Hotrods, Atlanta, GA
  • Cristian Sosa – Sosa Metalworks, Las Vegas, NV
  • Dale Yamada – Mad Jap Kustoms, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Dalton Walker - Split Image Kustoms, Hanford, CA
  • Dan “Bacon” Carr – DC Chopper, Austin, TX
  • Dave Perewitz - Perewitz Cycle Fabrication, Bridgewater, MA
  • Jeff Cochran - Speedking Racing, West Harrison, IN
  • Jeff Wright - Church Of Choppers, Des Moines, IA
  • Jim Nasi – Jim Nasi Customs, Phoenix, AZ
  • John Stein – Stage Fright Drag Racer, Pacific Palisades, CA
  • Jordan Dickinson – Union Speed and Style, Monticello, MN
  • Kaichiroh Kurosu – Cherry’s Company, Tokyo, Japan
  • Ken “Kenji” Nagai - Ken’s Factory, Nagoya, Japan
  • Lock Baker – Eastern Fabrications, Los Angeles, CA
  • Matt Olsen – Carl’s Cycle, Aberdeen, SD
  • Nate Jacobs – Harlot Cycles, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Ola Stenegard - Gotland, Sweden
  • Pat Patterson - Led Sled Customs, Dayton, OH
  • Paul Cox – Paul Cox Industries, Brooklyn, NY
  • Paul Wideman - Bare Knuckle Choppers, Wright City, MO
  • Paul Yaffe - Paul Yaffe Originals, Phoenix, AZ
  • Rick Bray – RKB Kustom Speed, Fresno, CA
  • Roland Sands – RSD Design
  • Shinya Kimura - Chabott Engineering, Azusa, CA
  • Warren Lane – Atomic; Miami Beach, FL
  • Yaniv “Neevo” Evan - Powerplant Choppers’; Los Angeles, CA

Press Release

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s 2015 Motorcycles as ArtTM Exhibition presents famed photographer Michael Lichter’s “The Naked Truth – 35 Customs / 35 Years / Motorcycles Exposed.” This exhibition will lay bare the raw talent of 35 world-renowned bike builders, most of whom are building their creations specifically for this exhibition.

The Buffalo Chip’s 2014 Motorcycles as Art Exhibit in the Russ Brown Events Center
Unlike any other exhibition before, nothing will come between the viewer and the bikes’ most basic elements of shape, form and design.

In the ultimate expression of human creative skill and imagination, custom motorcycle builders create incredible beauty, sweeping lines that beg for the wind paired perfectly with precise feats of mechanical engineering. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip®’s 2015 Motorcycles as Art™ Exhibition presents famed photographer Michael Lichter’s “The Naked Truth – 35 Customs / 35 Years / Motorcycles Exposed.” This exhibition will lay bare the raw talent of 35 world-renowned bike builders, most of whom are building their creations specifically for this exhibition. Each of these rolling metal sculptures will be displayed exposed and naked, unencumbered by paint and graphics, atop elevated pedestals to better give guests an open view from every angle. “Naked Truth” will be open to the public at no charge from Saturday, Aug. 1 through Saturday, Aug. 8 in the Buffalo Chip’s Russ Brown Events Center.

“Unlike any other exhibition before, nothing will come between the viewer and the bikes’ most basic elements of shape, form and design,” said Michael Lichter. “Each builder’s passion and talent will be revealed through the fine details of craftsmanship evident in every aspect of their work. The builders are exposing themselves, as well as their work, in this show. Without the cloak of paint or graphics, the bikes’ most basic form right down to it’s smallest details are naked and open to examination. There is no hiding behind a slick paint job, enhancing a line or curve with a brilliant graphic; the beauty comes strictly from the hand of the man who fashioned it.”

“Michael is the world’s premier motorcycle photographer,” said Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff. “He has been shooting bikes and the biker culture for more than 35 years, and his expertise and knowledge of motorcycle culture makes him the perfect person to curate the Motorcycles as Art exhibits at the Chip. We are honored to host his “Naked Truth” exhibition this year.”

Appropriately, hanging alongside these “naked” bikes, will be more than one-hundred photographic prints chosen from curator, Michael Lichter’s archives. Exposed as his subjects appeared, without retouching and enhancement, Lichter’s photographs have captured the changing face of the motorcycle world from the 1970s to today.

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