13 years ago, Mike Davis and Grant Peterson had a party. Maybe not the breaking news you might expect, but this party was a bit different. There were no events for guys like them who appreciate custom vintage motorcycles of all makes. Sure, there were the big “factory” shows and corporate tradeshows, but nothing that really brought back the old-school flavor of a bunch of people hanging out and having a good time around vintage custom choppers, bobbers, and the like.
The first event was at a non-descript warehouse in Orange, California and advertised on blogs. The event got pretty good press and the blogs blew up for a second event. Born Free 2 was moved to Pacific Coast Cycles in Signal Hill, CA where they were able to block of the street for the event. People kept coming and coming and grew way too big and outgrew the facilities they had rented. Part of the big draw was the chance to win a 1950 Panhead that Mike/Grand and their friends built up. They knew if Born Free was to continue they had to find another venue.
A venture out to the canyons of east Orange County, they found Oak Canyon Ranch. A 17-acre private park. It was a lot of money to spend, and they questioned if they could pull it off and hold the event there. The Park is nestled between oak tree spotted foothills of the Santa Ana Mountain Range also known as Saddleback Mountain locally. It sits behind Irvine Lake a private fishing lake and reservoir. The Park features a stage, some old carnival rides, and a pond between two large flat picnic areas. Another interesting benefit of the event is the fact there is very little if any cell coverage. This really adds to the old-school feel of the event.
Born Free III was off the charts the best motorcycle event I have ever attended. It was free at the time and $25.00 got you a poster and ticket to win a bike. You were able to choose one of the two dozen bikes built specifically for the show by invited builders.
A few years ago the event added a second day and there is now an entry fee as well as a Ride-In fee if you like your bike in the show grounds. There have been vert ramp skating demonstrations, and my favorite The Wall of Death as added features among the live music acts.
The invited builders show still runs today as we approach Born Free 13. Although not part of the bike give-away, there are THREE bikes given away with the purchase of a ticket or two. This year they are also featuring, Lucha Libre Power Wrestling, and returning the Wall of Death!
This year is also the first year Burns Stainless is part of the event as a sponsor. We have a special prize for anyone who comes to our booth and mentions our blog or newsletter (while supplies last). We dig the show to get inspired by the innovation and artistry shown in the bikes. There is always something never seen or done presented at this event. Certainly we will watch for our megaphone mufflers, 2:1 collectors and our No Holds Barred (NhB) Header Kits.
Throw a leg over and head on out to Oak Canyon Ranch in June of each year for this incredible event. We look forward to seeing you! BornFreeShow.com