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Captain America Chopper

Easy Rider was, and remains, the quintessential motorcycle road movie. The motorcycles for the film, based on hardtail frames and panhead engines, were designed and built by two African-American chopper builders—Cliff Vaughs and Ben...

Floyd Clymer Was A Gentleman and a Motorcycling Legend


Pratap Narayan Sarkar’s Photos
Floyd Clymer

Floyd Clymer was a pioneer in the sport of motorcycling. He was a racer, a motorcycle dealer and distributor, a magazine publisher, a racing promoter, an author and a motorcycle manufacturer. A colorful personality, Clymer’s life story could fill volumes. He was famous throughout the United States in the 1910s as the youngest Ford dealer in the country. He became interested in motorcycling and went on to become one of the leading racers in the country during the 1910s and ‘20s.

Clymer then moved into publishing. He wrote books and magazines on both automobiles and motorcycles, owned Cycle magazine for a time and became a leader in that field. Clymer also promoted dozens of AMA national motorcycle races and he single-handedly tried to revive the Indian motorcycle brand during the 1960s, overseeing the manufacture of several different motorcycles that bore the Indian name.

The son of a country doctor, Clymer was born in Indianapolis on October 26, 1895 and grew up in Berthoud, Colorado. He showed great ambition from an early age. Many articles were written about the boy auto salesman from Greeley, Colorado, the 13-year-old Clymer who was the youngest Ford dealer in the country. Clymer also became interested in motorcycles. As a teenager Clymer became an excellent rider. By the mid-1910s, he was occasionally entering races and he opened a Harley-Davidson and Excelsior dealership in Greeley.

Clymer first made a name for himself in racing circles in 1916 when he led a large portion of the famous Dodge City 300 on a factory Harley-Davidson. He was the fastest rider all day at Dodge City, but his bike broke after 110 laps of the 150-lap race. Clymer solidified his racing reputation by winning the famous Pikes Peak hillclimb aboard an Excelsior. Just making it to the top of the hill was considered quite an accomplishment for a motorcyclist. Prevailing opinion at the time (especially among the automobile racers) was that a motorcycle would not make it above the timberline. Clymer went on to win the national sidecar championship in 1920 and later earned numerous national hillclimbing titles throughout the 1920s.

Ever the promoter, Clymer garnered great exposure for his dealerships by setting city-to-city records on motorcycles during business trips, even though other record-setters never seriously pursued many of Clymer’s city-to-city routes. A classic example of this was his 1920 Chicago-to-Denver record of 63 hours.

Clymer also thought of innovative ways to market motorcycles. He began setting up booths at farm and ranch shows, showing a variety of uses for motorcycles in agriculture. Clymer promoted motorcycles as a practical vehicle to area police departments, newspapers, and delivery companies.

By the late-1910s Clymer had entered the publishing business with his “Motorcycle Topics” magazine. His involvement in publishing would continue for the rest of his life.

Clymer ran into problems with the law in the late 1920s when one of his operations was charged with mail fraud. He was convicted, but was given the opportunity to avoid jail time if he pled guilty and made restitutions to the wronged parties. Clymer refused, claiming his innocence. He appealed the case, lost and spent just over a year in the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. Clymer was a model prisoner and was reportedly even permitted to leave prison to participate in local races.

Clymer showed his resilience after getting out of prison. He moved to Los Angeles and took over the West Coast Indian distributorship from Al Crocker, who was concentrating on manufacturing his short-track (Speedway) racing machines. Ironically, Clymer established a successful mail order parts business. He also began promoting races during this time and helped revive the Trailblazers Motorcycle Club. Clymer tried to revive the classic Dodge City races of the 1910s and ‘20s. Two races were held (100 miles in length) at Dodge City in the early 1950s, but attendance was poor and the race was again discontinued.

Clymer loved Hollywood and helped promote motorcycling in the 1930s by loaning bikes to the movie studios for use in movies. Clymer also arranged to have movie stars receive bikes on loan from Indian in exchange for the company using publicity shots of the stars on its bikes for advertising.

Clymer helped launch the racing career of Ed Kretz. He gave Kretz a job at his shop so he could have time off to go to races across the country and later convinced Indian to hire Kretz as a factory rider.

When Indian’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in the early-1950s, it was Clymer, along with a few other Indian loyalists, who stepped up and offered financial assistance to keep the company going. Even though the company ceased production in 1953, Clymer continued for years to try to revive Indian. He purchased the rights to the name and attempted to market several foreign-made motorcycles under the Indian name without success.

In 1951, Clymer purchased the fledgling Cycle magazine from Petersen Publishing. Clymer’s journalistic style was later summed up by a phrase in a later anniversary issue of Cycle, “Clymer never met a motorcycle he didn’t like.” He always emphasized the positive aspects of motorcycling in his publications and shied away from critical testing reviews of motorcycles, which was becoming the style of writing that the public demanded during the 1960s. Clymer owned “Cycle” until 1966 when he sold the publication to the New York-based Ziff-Davis Publications.

Immediately after selling “Cycle”, Clymer tried to generate interest in the ill fated, German-made Munch Mammoth. This huge motorcycle featured a 1300cc engine developed for an automobile. While the most powerful motorcycle of its time, the Mammoth, largely due to its expensive $4000 price tag, never caught on, although it remains an interesting motorcycle that was considered ahead of its time.

Clymer spent his latter years trying in vain to revive the Indian. At first he fitted Indian nameplates to 500cc single-cylinder Velocette-based machines. He later spent a quarter-of-a-million dollars to have a prototype Indian built based closely on the original V-Twin design. That machine never made it to market.

Clymer died of a heart attack while working at his home office on January 23, 1970. Wife Merle and two children by a former marriage, Robert and Mildred, survived him. His involvement in motorcycling had spanned over 50 years. He will always be remembered as an innovator and tireless promoter of motorcycling.

http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?RacerID=145

Michigan Motorcycle Events for 2013 May 4, 2013 Clio, Michigan…

Michigan Motorcycle Events for 2013

May 4, 2013 Clio, Michigan
Jokerfest Bike Rally
The rally will be held at 1170 West Wilson Rd. in Clio. The gates open at 12:00 pm on the 3rd. The fee is $20.00 for each person or $25.00 a couple. The motorcycle activities includes biker games and a bike run. The fee for the bike run is $5.00 per bike. The run will benefit the Bethany Baptist food pantry. There will also be food, band, raffles and more. Primitive camping is available. For more information call (810) 965-1545 or click here to send e-mail.

May 4, 2013 Ida, Michigan
Don’t be Tardy for the Party
Sponsored by abate region18 awareness program
The ride starts at Fireman’s Park, 3016 Lewis Avenue in Ida. Registration begins at 11:00 am and the ride goes out at 1:00 pm. The ride ends with a hog roast, music, auctions, 50/50drawing and more. For more information call (734) 790-7927 or go to http://abateregion18.org/.

May 5, 2013 Pinckney, Michigan
Motorcycle Scavenger Hunt
Sponsored by Teamster Horsemen 43
The ride starts at Zukey Lake Tavern, 5011 Girard Drive in Pinckney. Registration is from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. The ride fee is $25.00 per bike. A t-shirt will be given to the first 75 riders. Participants will need a digital camera or phone camera to photograph completed tasks. The ride ends with prizes. The event is a fund raiser for Trails Edge Camp University of Michigan CS-Motts Hospital. For more information call (313) 702-4115, or go to http://teamsterhorsemenmi.4t.com/ChapterEvents.html.

May 5, 2013 Pinckney, Michigan
Teamster Horsemen Itch’n Run
Sponsored by Zukey Lake Tavern
The motorcycle scavenger hunt starts at Zukey Lake Tavern, 5011 Girard Drive in Pinckney. Registration begins at 11:00 am. The first 75 riders get a free ride t-shirt. You will need a digital camera, or a camera phone, to take photos on the hunt. All entry’s eligible for the $250.00 door prize drawing. There will be a bonus photo prize drawing for a $100.00. The fund raiser is for Trails Edge Camp, U of M CS-Motts Hospital, supporting ventilator dependent children. This is a rain or shine event. For more information call (313) 702-4115 or click here to send e-mail.

May 5, 2013 Holly, Michigan
Hogs in Ministry Presents: Rally at Battle Alley
Sponsored by Hogs In Ministry
The rally will be held at S. Saginaw St. and E. Maple St. in Downtown Holly. Registration is from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. The event will include prize drawings all day and vendors. Biker service and blessing at 12:30 pm . For more information call (248) 328-0490, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.hisriver.net/him.

May 11, 2013 Somerset Center, Michigan
Somerset Beach Blessing of the Bikes
Sponsored by South Michigan Conference Motorcycle Task Team
The event takes place at Somerset Beach Campground, 9822 Brooklawn Court in Somerset Center. Registration begins at 10:00 am. Admission is $5.00 per person. The event includes motorcycle games, a ride in bike show, an organized ride, door prizes, music and more. The is no additional fee it enter the bike show. The bike show will include several classes and trophies will be awarded to winners. Trophies will also be awarded to winners of the bike games. For more information call (269) 808-7512, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.somersetbeach.org/.

May 18, 2013 Belleville, Michigan
1st Annual Belleville Church of God Blessing of the Bikes
Sponsored by Belleville Church of God
The event takes place at Belleville Church of God, 45170 Hull Road in Belleville starting at 11:00 am. The event includes the motorcycle ride. The ride fee is $10.00 for the rider and $5.00 for a passenger if pre-registered. On the day of the ride the fee is $15.00 for the rider and $5.00 for a passenger. The winner on the ride will receive a cash prize. The event also includes a blessing, food, music and more. Proceeds will help feed and clothe people in need through the Ministry Gods Favor. All bikes will be welcomed. For more information call (734) 915-7115 or click here to send e-mail.

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May 18, 2013 Flint, Michigan
4th Annual Michigan National Armed Forces Day Freedom Ride
The ride starts at the American Legion Hall, 4314 W. Carpenter Rd. in Flint. Registration is from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm and the motorcycle go out at 4:00 pm. The fee is $15.00 for the rider or $20.00 with a passenger. The Police escorted ride proceeds to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Mott Lake, for a tribute service. Then returns to Flint for food, raffles, 50/50, door prizes and more. The money raised during this event goes to the American Legion. The American Legion provides troop support through various programs nationwide and believes there is no separating the warrior from the war. For more information click here to send e-mail, or go to http://michiganfreedomride.webs.com/.

May 27, 2013 Belleville, Michigan
Thunder Rolls in Belleville
Sponsored by Brown Funeral Home and Brown Family Center
The ride starts at Wayne County Community College’s front parking lot, 9555 Haggerty in Belleville. Registration and line-up begins at 11:00 am and the motorcycle leave at 1:00 pm. The fee is a $10.00 donation and all riders are welcome. This is an organized police escorted scenic drive through parts of Van Buren Township, to the Belleville Veteran’s Memorial in Horizon Park. There will be a special memorial service once all are assembled. The money will benefit veterans and their families. For more information call (734) 697-5090 or click here to send e-mail.

June 1 – 2, 2013 Pinckney, Michigan
Blessed in Hell
Sponsored by Abate of Michigan Region 14
The event will be held at Hell Creek Ranch, 10866 Cedar Lake Road near Pinckney. On Saturday there will be a swapmeet beginning at 9:30 am. Vendor fee is $20.00 for Saturday only or $50.00 for Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s activities include a bike show, music, vendors, door prizes, contests and more. Admission is $10.00 per bike. The ride in bike show will begin at 10:30 am. Bikes classes will be stock, antique, rat, and custom. Trophies will be awarded to winners. For more information call (313) 407-4671.

June 8, 2013 Lapeer, Michigan
A Ride to Remember, Mike & Melissa Jucius
Sponsored by Lapeer VFW Post 4139
The ride starts at 128 Daley Rd. in Lapeer. Registration begins at 9:00 am. The 100 mile ride for Charity. includes 5 stops along the way, with spaghetti dinner and entertainment after ride. All the proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House. For more information call (810) 338-3089 or click here to send e-mail.

June 13 – 15, 2013 Rothbury, Michigan
25th Annual Sandy Corley Memorial Run
Sponsored by Fremont HOG and Friends
The rally will be held at 5900 S. Water Rd. in Rothbury. The gates open at 9:00 am. The fee is $50.00 in advance or $60.00 on the day of the event. The motorcycle activities include a ride-in bike show and field events. There will also be the famous HOG auction, self-guided tour, food, rustic camping and more. For more information call (231) 924-3020, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://fremontmihog.com/.

June 15, 2013 Ferndale, Michigan
3rd Annual Cops On A Run Charity Poker Run
The ride starts at 2233 Burdette Street in Ferndale. Registration is from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. The ride fee is $25.00 per person. The fee includes a t-shirt. The police escorted ride includes a stop in in Lansing before returning to Ferndale. the ride ends with a party with raffles, 50/50 drawing, and more. For more information call (313) 930-3853, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://copsonarun.com/.

June 15, 2013 Hartford, Michigan
Hartford MI Bike Weekend
Sponsored by Home Grown Concerts
The bike weekend will be held at Van Buren County Fairgrounds, 55670 County Rd 681 in Hartford. The gates open 10:00 am. The motorcycle activities include the biker burnout and a Vintage Bike Contest to be voted on by the crowd at large with the winners awarded a plaque. There will also be contests and music. For more information call (269) 420-3498 or click here to send e-mail.

June 15, 2013 Dearborn, Michigan
Bikini Bike Wash
Sponsored by Rosenau Power Sports
The bike show will be held at 24732 Ford Rd. in Dearborn. The event begins at 10:00 am. The motorcycles will be judged in one class with the best custom bike awarded a trophy. The event will include DJ, food and more. For more information call (313) 948-9574, or go to https://www.facebook.com/dtownryderz1.

June 13 – 15, 2013 Rothbury, Michigan
25th Annual Sandy Corley Memorial Run
Sponsored by Fremont HOG and Friends
The rally will be held at 5900 S. Water Rd. in Rothbury. The gates open at 9:00 am. The fee is $50.00 in advance or $60.00 on the day of the event. The motorcycle activities include a ride-in bike show and field events. There will also be the famous HOG auction, self-guided tour, food, rustic camping and more. For more information call (231) 924-3020, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://fremontmihog.com/.

June 22 – 23, 2013 Manistee, Michigan
Thunder at the River
This event will be held at the Little River Resort Casino 2700 Orchard Hwy. in Manistee. The ride will depart at 12:00 pm. Paid registrations received by May 31st will receive a free limited edition, commemorative t-shirt. Other motorcycle activities will include a bike show and the Sunday poker run. The event features The Michigan Vietnam Memorial Wall. Other activities for the weekend include vendors, informational displays, entertainment, food, prize drawings, silent auction, and more. This event is to honor our United States Military, and to raise awareness and financial support for countless Military Veterans/POW Programs to benefit Michigan Vets. Funds from this event benefit Michigan Veterans. For more information call (231) 477-5162, or go to http://rollingthundermichigan1.com/.

July 12 – 13, 2013 Grass Lake and Jackson, Michigan
The Wheels of Thunder
The main part of the event will take place on the 100 block of Brown Street in Down Town Grass Lake. The gates open at 9:00 am. The event includes a motorcycle show, poker run, vendors, music, stunt show, and a presentation to the Veterans and Men and Women of the Armed Forces. the event is free to the public. The motorcycle show will include awards for best of show in two divisions. The show will be divided into pro and armature divisions. The poker run will take place on Saturday. The poker run starts at Bone Island Grill in Jackson with registration beginning at 9:00 am and the last motorcycle going out by 10:30. The poker run will end in Grass lake. For more information call (517) 474-6222, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.thewheelsofthunder.com/.

July 14 – 21, 2013 West Branch, Michigan
Ogemaw Hills Bike Week
The rally will be held at Ogemaw County Fair Grounds, 2300 Rifle River Trail in West Branch. The gates open at 12:00 pm on July 14th. Motorcycle activities include vintage bike show, racing, parade, and field events. There will also bands, raffles, food and vendors. For more information call (989) 896-6429, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.ogemawhillsbikeweek.com/.

August 3, 2013 Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
7th Mary’s Dream-Living without Fear Ride
Sponsored by Grey Dragons, and Mary’s Dream-Living Without Fear Org
The ride starts at 711 West Pickard in Mt. Pleasant. Registration begins at 9:00 am. This is a 50 mile police escorted ride to Evart for dinner and fundraiser activities. The proceeds to domestic violence programs across the state. For more information call (906) 293-5419, (906) 287-0987, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.marysdream2008.org/.

August 3, 2013 Gaylord, Michigan
Second Annual Life Cycles Benefit Ride
Sponsored by Crossroads Ministries Inc. and New Life Pregnancy Resource Center
The ride starts at 919 S Otsego Ave. in Gaylord. Registration begins at 10:00 am and the motorcycles leaves at 10:30 am. The fee is $15.00 for the rider and $5.00 for a passenger. The 120 mile scenic ride will go through Northern Michigan to Cheboygan and then back to Gaylord. 100% of the proceeds go to benefit the Gaylord New Life Pregnancy Resource Center. Registration forms are available on line. The rain date will be August 10th. For more information call (989) 732-1626, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.gaylordnewlife.com/.

August 10, 2013 Clinton Township, Michigan
Bikers Against Dystrophy
Sponsored by Wolverine Harley-Davidson
The poker run starts at 44660 North Gratiot Ave. in Clinton Twp. Registration begins at 9:00 am. The fee is $15.00. The run ends in Wolverine with music, food, gift card raffles, silent auction, vendors and more. The proceeds go to Macomb Aware for Community Assistance and Cure Duchenne for Research. For more information call (586) 530-0285 or click here to send e-mail.

August 14 – 18, 2013 Manistee, Michigan
The Americas 911 Ride
The ride starts at Days Inn, 1462 Manistee Highway in Manistee. Motorcycles go out at 10:00 am. The motorcycle ride is to remember those who served, protected, and lost their lives on September 11th 2001. Participants must pay a registration fee of $150.00 for the rider and $40.00 for a passenger. Proceeds will go to the America’s 911 Foundation, Inc. to be distributed to various police, fire and emergency medical organizations. Routes and intermarry may vary but most routes will include stops in Somerset, Pennsylvania; Washington, DC; and New York City. For more information call (231) 398-3611, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://americas911ride.org/.

(Manistee)
August 17, 2013 Byron Center, Michigan
B.F.E. Motorcycle Run
The run starts at 84th St. Pub & Grill, 8282 Pfieffer Farms Dr. in Byron Center. Registration begins at 8:30 am. Breakfast and dinner are included in registration. The run benefits Marine Corps. Coordinating Council. For more information call (616) 292-3749 or click here to send e-mail.

August 24, 2013 Grand Ledge, Michigan
SPC Bradley D. Rappuhn Memorial Poker Run
The ride starts at Americn Legion, 731 North Clinton Street in Grand Ledge. Registration is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. The Poker Run will have several stops at surrounding American Legion posts before ending in Grand Ledge with food, music, raffles, silent auction and more. The winner will be announced. All proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. For more information call (517) 862-2920 or click here to send e-mail.

September 1, 2013 Akron, Michigan
Akron Bike Week 2013
Sponsored by Ironhorse Bar and Grill
The bike run starts at 3592 Main St. in Akron. Registration begins at 10:00 am. The event will also include bands, vendors, pig roast, and more. For more information call (989) 691-5761, click here to send e-mail.

September 21, 2013 Dimondale, Michigan
Bikers for Books The Run
The ride starts at Capitol Harley Davidson, 9550 Woodlane Drive in Dimondale at 12:00 pm. Proceeds will be used to purchase books for schools. For more information click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.facebook.com/BikersForBooks.

October 6, 2013 Fraser, Michigan
Michigan Dressers MC 26th Annual Toys for Kids Rally
Sponsored by Michigan Dressers MC and Fraser VFW Post 6691
The rally starts at Fraser V.F.W. Post #6691, 17075 Anita Ave. in Fraser. Sign-in begins at 10:30 am. The fee is one new unwrapped toy or a $10.00 cash donation per person. The motorcycle parade departs at 12:00 pm. The ride ends with a live band, food, and more. All of the toys are used locally for underprivileged children. All cash donations and profits go to the local sponsored child. All motorcycles are welcome. For more information call (586) 354-7715, click here to send e-mail, or go to http://www.michigandressers.8k.com/. Pp

1966 BARRED OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINE | BRUTAL! FRANK! VIOLENT!

– – __________________________________________________________________________ From the archives of Nostalgia on Wheels comes this lil’ peek at Barred Outlaw Motorcycle magazine– a biker exploitation rag written not for riders, but for voyeurs looking for what makes those bad boys tick. Think of it as a primer for squares on bikers. There’s just enough laughable, inaccurate and hyperbolic writing […]