Untold Stories of the American Chopper

Sugar Bear Speaking Engagement at Harley-Davidson Museum

With his consistent philosophy, "If it ain't long, it's wrong," legendary chopper builder Sugar Bear builds long Springer frontends, and therefore long choppers, going on 37 years. Sugar Bear, who started producing these zero flop, smooth-handling choppers in 1971, knows a lot about the motorcycle industry and its untold true stories.
With his consistent philosophy, "If it ain't long, it's wrong," legendary chopper builder Sugar Bear builds long Springer frontends, and therefore long choppers, going on 37 years. Sugar Bear, who started producing these zero flop, smooth-handling choppers in 1971, knows a lot about the motorcycle industry and its untold true stories. On Thursday, November 13, at 7 p.m. the Harley-Davidson Museum will present an evening with Sugar Bear as he shares his experiences in the industry, untold stories, rare photos, and home movies of the early days of the chopper scene in his presentation, “Untold Stories of the American Chopper.”

From his first introduction to the movement in the ’60s to opening his own shop in South Central Los Angeles in 1971, Sugar Bear is a chopper culture icon. Sugar Bear learned alongside mentor Ben “Benny” Hardy, who played a key role in the creation of two most famous choppers: the “Captain America” and “Billy Bike” from the movie Easy Rider. While the original _Easy Rider _bikes were destroyed in the movie’s production, two replicas are on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum.

The evening will include an introduction by Karen Davidson, Director of Harley-Davidson General Merchandise and great-granddaughter of one of the Motor Company founders, and an audience Q&A session, moderated by Jim Fricke, Harley-Davidson Museum Curatorial Director.

In addition, from Thursday, November 6, to Thursday, November 13, one of Sugar Bear’s famous choppers, named “Gorjus,” will be on display in the Harley-Davidson Museum lobby. (Photo: Gorjus by Ernie Lopez.)

Reservations to attend are required and space is limited. The event is free to Harley-Davidson Museum members and $10 for the general public. Reservations and tickets are available starting Tuesday, October 28 at www.h-dmuseum.com. Doors to the event will open at 6 p.m. The Harley-Davidson Museum will be open until 5 p.m.