February 2004 News (Continued from here) Past Event: 2/15/04




Arlen Ness

The Discovery Channel's


"The Great Biker Build Off"

at the Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu


featuring  The Man Himself...Arlen Ness and son Cory Ness

(This was a great success!)


Visit the Big Kahuna Rentals booth again at the upcoming

"Chopper's Only Hawaii" on July 4th 2004 @ The Hard Rock Honolulu


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Discovery Channel Show Attracts Chopper Fans
Father, Son Compete For Best Chopper

February 16, 2004

HONOLULU -- Bikers invaded the Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu Sunday as a popular Discovery Channel program was taping. The show attracted bikers from all over the state.

In case you haven't watched cable TV lately, shows about building custom motorcycles are extremely popular. Judging by the huge crowd at the Hard Rock Café, Hawaii has plenty of bikers fascinated with custom choppers.

The Discovery Channel show is called "The Great Biker Build Off and Show."

It's father versus son. Father Arlen Ness built his bike. Son Cory Ness built his and the local crowd got to look them over and vote on a winner.

As part of the competition they have to ride them at least 500 miles.

"So we've been real busy. We were looking forward to getting the bike done so we could bring them here do some riding and have some sunshine," Cory Ness said.

For chopper aficionados this is great stuff.

"My particular bike here is an S and S 145 cubic inch motor with stopper style rubber mount frame," Arlen Ness said.

From an unofficial survey, the crowd seemed to like Cory's bike.

"Diamond cut on everything. It's just a $15,000 supercharger on there for the carburetor system. I mean he fires up, you heard the noise, just awesome, awesome bike," one fan said.

"Arlen's is really a good looking bike. I love it, but it's a little loud for me, too much color. People see that one coming from miles away," another fan said. The motorcycle was covered in orange and bright green.

Parked at the event were custom bikes made in Hawaii, some worth up to $80,000. It shows that Hawaii can build a lot of custom bikes well, well built bikes," a chopper enthusiast said.

The producers of the Discovery Channel show said they're impressed with the aloha of the local bikers. They're coming back to Hawaii in July to do another show about choppers.

Copyright 2004 by TheHawaiiChannel.com All rights reserved.


SURF BOARDS AND BOOGIE BOARDS - Hawaii Motorcycle Rentals by A Big Kahuna Motorcycle Tours and Rentals Biker heavyweights, fans to gather in Honolulu

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer


The Great Bike Build-Off and Show

Ride: Registration at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Moanalua Gardens; last bike out at 10 a.m.; $10 entry (first 300 sign-ups get a free T-shirt)

Show: 1 p.m. Sunday at the Hard Rock Cafe; entertainment by Willie K; Lanai and Augie to emcee; free; 955-7383

Also: bike-building classes and competition; voting on Arlen Ness and Cory Ness bikes; 330-2919

If you can think of it, the motorcycle maniacs on "The Great Bike Build-Off" will make it. Sometimes, while we watch.

In today's world, custom-made bikes are the rage — thanks in large part to Discovery Channel shows such as "The Great Bike Build-Off," "American Chopper," "Motorcycle Mania" and "Motorcycle Women."

They are to the Discovery Channel what "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is to Bravo. Even nonmotorcycle enthusiasts watch these shows with amazement as choppers meticulously come together piece by piece.

Hawai'i's scenic backdrop is being added to the mix this weekend.

Arlen and Cory Ness, a father-and-son motorcycle- building team, have been tooling around the Big Island on their custom bikes. On Sunday, they and thousands of Island bikers will assemble for a gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe on O'ahu called The Great Bike Build-Off and Show.

The Discovery Channel and Original Productions crews taped a special here (no air date yet) that will focus on the choppers created by Arlen and Cory Ness, and their Hawai'i adventures.

While Harley-Davidsons are favored by many bikers, a range of brands will be on display.

"It's the biggest one-day biker event (in Hawai'i)," said organizer Chris Tronolone, who expects several thousand bikers to gather in the morning at Moanalua Gardens, then take to the streets on their choppers — via H-3, Waimanalo and Hawai'i Kai — to wind up in the afternoon at the Hard Rock. There, a bike show with classes, displays and best-in-show voting will be held.

"It's all happening here because of Arlen and Cory," said Tronolone. "They built their bikes in California, but Arlen was here earlier on a vacation, when we had our first annual choppers show last July. We invited him to come spend an hour, and he spent the whole time with us."

When The Discovery Channel contacted Arlen Ness two months ago to do a build-off episode facing off with his son, he said that would be fine, if they could build the bikes in California, unveil them on the show "but shoot in Hawai'i, because of our gorgeous scenery and great weather," said Tronolone. "Yes, weather was a major factor."

Tronolone said Ness contacted him a month ago and asked if a Hawai'i biker gathering was doable.

"Our big plans were for a Fourth of July show this summer," Tronolone said — so he had to hustle to put Sunday's event together. "This one is coming together quick."

Mark Deacon (known simply as Deacon, who owns Pro-Street Custom Cycles and is associated with the Hog Pen, said landing this weekend's show is a big deal for Island bikers.

"You're talking about some heavyweights participating in the Islands," he said. "It's not only an amazing coup for us, but for the whole industry."

When hobbyists and serious riders and builders create wheels that cost $50,000, $60,000 or $70,000 apiece to build, they're in a league of their own, Deacon said.

Deacon, who has been a motorcycle fan since he was 15, turns 50 next year. "Things and feelings have changed about bikers," he said. "The old image — the roughness of the bikers — has really changed. It's all about freedom of expression, but with wider acceptance."

Tronolone estimates there are at least 7,000 registered Harley bikers here and a host of riding clubs.

He attended a bike build-off on the Mainland each of the past two years, including one at Sturgis, S.D., which attracts 500,000 to 600,000 bikers. "It's absolutely huge," he said of these events. "Riders ship their bikes, or ride to the event, so having one here is good to put Hawai'i on the map. These guys (and women) spend money."

The riders come from most states and from such diverse international spots as Japan and France. And they come from all walks of life — business, education, with public servants such as firefighters and police officers among the biker brigade.

"The motorcycle industry is booming," Tronolone said. "A lot of the success is due to the shows on Discovery Channel. 'American Choppers' is the No. 1-watched show on Discovery and a boon to the motorcycle industry."

As for The Discovery Channel program, Hawai'i was embraced as a destination. "The Big Island was chosen because of the wide open road, with less traffic, so helicopters did some filming from above," said Tronolone.

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com,

Posted on: Friday, February 13, 2004

Lifted from: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Feb/13/il/il02a.html

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