Vintage Bikes Raise Hell And Dirt At The Halloween Hill Climb

Costumed tomfoolery in the dirt

Being at a Hell On Wheels MC event is sort of like going back in time and being in a segment from the classic motorcycle movie On Any Sunday. These events are all about having the most fun one can have on two wheels with a vibe straight from the 1970s. Personally I have just as much fun spectating at these throttle-happy shindigs as I do racing in them. It’s nonstop entertainment and smiles.

Hell On Wheels MC is a vintage motorcycle shop based out of Santa Ana, California, run by a gentleman called “Meatball.” I’m not even sure what Meatball’s real name is, though I’m positive there is a pretty good story behind the name. What I do know is he has been wrenching on and racing vintage bikes ever since I can remember first hearing about him nearly a few decades ago.

halloween hill climb costumes

Left: El Diablo showed up for some good times.
Right: The Indian of Go Takamine from Brat Style.
Bottom: A cheetah by the name of Phil rode the wheels off his Ironhead.

Ed Subias

Meatball and his crew laid out a challenging yet friendly to all bikes dirt course at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino that featured a few turns and jumps before finishing with a steep football-field-length uphill.

Mike Davis

Left: A daily-rider Dyna with street tires made it up the hill a few times and didn't a few other times.
Right: Mike Davis on the move.

Ed Subias

The racing was loose and eclectic as riders battled head to head, with sometimes even a third bike sneaking in the race. The machines ridden ranged from chopper minibikes to vintage desert sleds to VW-powered trikes with a good amount of costumed riders atop them. If it had an engine and two or three wheels, it was probably raced. The largest (more than a dozen) class of bikes consisted of vintage tank-shft V-twins that were 50, 60, 70 or more years old! Quite surprising yet awesome. Seeing and hearing those bikes roar around in action was definitely the highlight of the event.

Rubber Ducky Halloween Hill Climb

Left: Rubber Ducky on a pitbike.
Right: Mike Davis flat out blitzed up the hill on his vintage Triumph twin.
Bottom: An Ironhead hill climb bike built by high school students throwing up some dirt.

Ed Subias

If you like to have fun of any kind, the Hell On Wheels events are not to be missed, especially the yearly Halloween hill climb. We’re already getting our costume and bike ready for next year.

harley davidson

More than a dozen vintage tank-shift bikes showed up to battle each other and the hill.

Ed Subias

Halloween Hill Climb costumes

Top: Scott Jones of Noise Cycles going full throttle on his flathead. His costume is the Harley-Davidson pig.
Bottom: Mike Lohrman tearing it up.

Ed Subias

Halloween Hill Climb

Left: Jeff Leighton battled the hill all day on his tank-shift Harley-Davidson.
Right: Go Takamine races his vintage Indian just about every weekend somewhere.
Bottom: Dirty Larry ripped this trike up the hill successfully a few times and became the crowd favorite of the event.

Ed Subias

Halloween Hill Climb racing

Top: Dimitri Coste (baseball player) and Robert Bush ("Alex" from A Clock Work Orange) battle head to head on some vintage British steel.
Bottom: Vince Gelling (foreground) and Jimmy Burnouts ("Maverick" from Top Gun) battle on a couple of Sportsters.

Ed Subias



Halloween Hill Climb chopper mini-bike

A wide variety of machinery took to the hill like this chopper minibike piloted by Tommy.

Ed Subias