David Mann Chopperfest Breeds Creativity, Ingenuity and Superior Workmanship

Ventura California, Sunday, February 4, 2018: The gates to the 14th annual David Mann Chopperfest were supposed to open on December 10th, 2017. Problem was, the Ventura County Fairgrounds were full of Thomas Fire evacuees and first responders. The event’s promoters got the word out that everyone had an extra two months to get their choppers ready for the show. They moved the event to the first weekend in February and with the weather cooperating, it felt more like June! Does that mean if the promoters move the event back to December, Ventura will be getting two Chopperfests in one year? I don’t think anyone will be complaining, but seeing the massive crowd today (and basking in the beautiful weather), the promoters might think about keeping the February date.

While motorcycle trade shows display the latest models and classic motorcycle shows have beautifully restored motorcycles, nothing comes close to matching the creativity, ingenuity and workmanship of the bikes on display at the David Mann Chopperfest. David Mann, would be proud. These are just a few that turned my head.

The show had hundreds of vendors and many of them arrive on choppers. This posse was parked behind the Dice Magazine booth.
There has to be a Captain America bike at every chopper show. This bike was purchased from California Motorcycle Company who made hundreds of them (and had Peter Fonda sign them). Seems like cheating.
While the vast majority of choppers at the show were Harley-engine based projects, a few Japanese engines sneak in. This is a sweet Yamaha 650 from Iron Heart Cycles.
How cool would it be to build such an awesome chopper that Revell makes a model out of it? This chopper got the Revell seal of approval.
These colors greatly offend many chopper enthusiasts (as does the fur trim on the saddle). Still, I saw plenty of folks taking their photos with this creation.
Choppers are supposed to look mean and dangerous. This one fits the definition perfectly. If you’re interested, he is asking $15,000 and you can call him at (818) 970-1886.
Before choppers, bobbers followed the hot-rod mentality of taking a stock automobile and removing every unnecessary component. There is something very satisfying looking at a stripped-naked motorcycle.


I’ve always felt a bobber needs to perform as well on a scrambles or TT track as it does on the road. This is my idea of a true bobber.
Same bobber, from a slightly different perspective.
A portion of every admission went to Thomas Fire victim relief. It was great for the community that so many riders supported the event.
Biltwell was a major event sponsor. If you haven’t seen their product offerings, hit this link.
Jeff Holt (right) has been a good friend for a long, long time. It was great to bump into him but a bummer to hear Bonnier Corporation just let him go as Editor-in-Chief of Street Chopper and Baggers magazines. Their loss. Jeff is hatching plans for his next chapter. I’m in.
A swap meet takes place at the show. Rent a U-Haul, load up all your bike stuff and make a lot of money.
Is this a chopper? I don’t think so. I’ll call it two-wheel art.
Take a close look at the detail. Some serious time and energy went into to crafting this motorcycle. Not my cup of Castrol, but you can’t deny its workmanship.
Again, not a chopper but a sweet Harley done up Vincent style.


February in California. Temps flirted with 80 degrees. Guess I shouldn’t advertise that. California has enough people already.
I’ve seen this little beauty at other automotive and motorcycling events around Ventura and it always catches my eye. This is what a motorcycle should look like.
Primos Helmet Design offers up refurbished helmets. I have a bunch of old helmets that need new liners. Wish I had brought them with me.
The Primos Helmet guys (I’ll bet that is Primos but he was busy and I didn’t want to bug him) were working on helmets while riders looked on.
Hey buddy, you installed the cylinders backwards. This idea may look cool, but it hasn’t worked well for motorcycle companies who have tried it (except a Harley’s rear cylinder).
Rat bikes! I love’em.
A bobber rat bike.
Pretty sure this rat bike didn’t get brought in on a trailer. Rat bikes get ridden.
All that blue sky is so I could get the entire length of sissy bar in the photo.
Anyone for a little dual-sport riding? Don’t think I could keep up on the road to the trail, but my CFR250L would smoke this thing once we hit the singletrack.
Another dual-sport Harley that wouldn’t be a lot of fun off road. Is this a bobber for modern age?
Most of the parking lot is filled with modern-day Harleys all modified to the owner’s desires (shouldn’t Harley sell their bikes with carburetors, pipes and air filters that work?). Between those bikes can be some real gems.
The Sportster 48 is my favorite model Harley, but the solo saddle sucks. This guy found a sweet alternative. I’m not so sure about the pipes if I’m going to have my wife on the back.
Camping with the Indian.
I don’t like sidecars. I want my wife to be holding on tight (isn’t that why most guys buy a motorcycle?).
This creation (something old and something new) is for sale. I’m not listing the number because I want to talk to this guy first. Cool bike.

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