What started as a rather small parking-lot show four short years ago in Orange, California, has become the largest show of its kind in the world. With at least 5,000 bikes riding in and more than 30,000 spectators through the gates of Oak Canyon Ranch in the span of eight hours, Born-Free 4 wasn’t like anything you’ve ever experience in your lifetime.
Being at this event was complete and total sensory overload and the fact that it’s free to park, free to get in, and free to have your bike in the show makes this event almost too good to be true. That’s just the way the organizers Grant Peterson of FMA and Mike Davis of Born Loser have always wanted it, and they have both made many sacrifices to keep it that way each and every year.
What’s also strange about this event is that you wont see any blinged-out baggers or 300 rear-tired “choppers” anywhere in the mix. That is because Born-Free’s complete and total focus is on traditional choppers. Yes, those clunky old bikes from the ’60s and ’70s that most wouldn’t be caught dead on are still alive, well, and being built everyday by the thousands—and not just in Southern California either. By the looks of the attending bike’s license plates, crusted oil, andm dirt these choppers were ridden to Born-Free 4 from all over the US of A. Sorry SAMCRO, but this is what the real biker counter-culture is all about.
Along with the myriad of quality bikes that were ridden in by the public for show, the organizers of Born-Free also invited numerous chopper builders of both the backyard and professional ilk to compete in their own invitational builder’s contest, and all we can say is that the future of traditionally built raked and flaked two-wheeled freedom machines is in some good hands. You will be seeing many of them in the pages of Hot Bike in the near future.
After seeing this show grow to what it has in such a short period of time, it is very evident that young guys building old bikes—whether it’s from their garages or small shops—seems be in full force. From the amount of buyers, sellers, and suppliers of all things throwback and retro making it happen, this traditional chopper scene or even Born-Free for that matter have no sign of slowing down for years to come. For more info hit them up at bornfreeshow.blogspot.com