Darrell Murphy’s Honda 1500
The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is headed to Charlotte this coming weekend, and the lineup includes a couple of local builders vying for the freestyle custom title and the three-grand check that comes along with it.
The Charlotte Convention Center show, like the shows before it in other cities across the country, features stunt riders, a vintage motorcycle exhibit, seminars lead by titans of the motorcycle industry and what they bill as “the world’s largest” custom-bike-builder competition.”
The Smage Bros. Stunt Show, finalists on the NBC television show “America’s Got Talent,” will rev up the crowd making runs through obstacle courses, riding on the back wheel and hopping their trials bikes around.
A couple of local builders, Christopher “Toro” Meyer and Darrell Murphy will be two of some 10 builders from North Carolina entered in the show.
Murphy is entering a 1998 Honda GL 1500C and Meyer has entered his Bonneville Triumph Black custom.
Charlotte Motorcycle Show
When: 4-9 p.m. Feb. 24; 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Feb. 25; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 26.
Where: Charlotte Convention Center, 501 South College St.
Cost: A one-day pass is $13 if bought in advance online, or $15 at the door. For children age 6 to 11, a one-day pass is $10; free for age 5 or younger.
www. motorcycle shows .com/ charlotte
Murphy’s bike will soon be featured in StreetFighters Magazine,and he says he’s put $35,000 to $40,000 into making it a contender. He made most of the parts himself, molding plastic, designing the bikes upholstery and creating a custom exhaust system. Murphy’s bike is a little unusual for the custom bike breed in that he rides it to and from shows. No Trailer Queen, Murphy entered his bike in the freestyle custom-bike competition.
Murphy has a serious bike pedigree and has, at various times, worked as a machinist, a welder, a drag racer, an obstacle-course rider, a motorcycle salesman and a bike repair technician.
As for his custom bike work, he says he has worked on 300 to 400 bikes, and it’s the work he enjoys. Murphy recently sold off six of the bikes in his collection.
“There’s no sense keeping one. They just collect dust. The fun is in the restoration,” Murphy says.
Would he like to win the title? Damn right he would, but that’s not the primary reason he take on his projects.
“To me, it’s a sculpture,” Murphy said of his custom works. “This is my recreation. And when you’re done, you can ride it to work.”
Christopher Toro Meyer’s Bonneville Black