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(Mike Lucia/ Archives), Arlen Ness outside his Dublin, Calif. custom motorcycle business on April 7, 2008. “He’s considered the godfather of custom motorcycles,” Lovell said about Ness. I found the photo above and many of his other bikes at this site: https://luxefair.com/lifestyle/motorcycle/the-most-beautiful-motorcycles-arlen-ness/. 5 restaurants in Pasadena closed for failing to comply with coronavirus rules, Geologists assess debris flow risk in Santa Cruz Mountains, Marin drug company develops coronavirus nasal spray, Marin fundraiser supports Coast Miwok cultural center. (Jim Stevens/Tri-Valley Herald Archives), Custom motorcycle designer Arlen Ness in his motorcycle museum at the new Arlen Ness headquarters in Dublin, CA., Thursday, November 13, 2003. Arlen Ness was a prolific figure in the world of American cruiser motorcycle customization, dating back to 1970 when he began tweaking his own Harley-Davidson Knucklehead in his California garage. That first Knucklehead ended up being part of a California lifestyle exhibit at the Oakland Museum. “Arlen once said that, ‘Motorcycling has been a great ride … my whole life since I’ve been motorcycling has been wonderful. “On Friday nights, we’d cruise East 14th Street (in Oakland and San Leandro). Very saddened to hear of the passing of the great motorcycle designer, Arlen Ness today. #RIPArlenNess, — Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) March 24, 2019. “A true gentleman.”. “This bike was the first custom I ever did, because I only had one bike,” Ness once said. He kept riding hard over the next two years, but finally succumbed to the disease March 22 at age 79. I’ve met so many nice people. The motorcycle pioneer’s work was showcased in numerous other collections and publications, plus was featured on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”. (Mike Lucia/ Staff Archives), Arlen Ness sits next to the "Hulkster" a Custom Harley Davidson that he built for Hulk Hogan, the pro-wrestler. (Yuki Saito-Miller/ Staff Archives), CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile device. Arlen Ness family is mourning the loss of his brother Kevin Ness. Every bike he created was literally a work of art. It is with heavy hearts that we announce Arlen Ness the visionary, loving husband, father, grandfather and leader of our family passed away last night March 22, 2019. Since the early 1970s the business has continued on through three generations of Ness. Arlen Ness, a designer whose wildly colorful customized motorcycles are sought after by riders and museums alike, died March 22 in the East Bay … That original Knucklehead is still in the ANM collection. Arlen Ness Motorcycles, the company that he founded, shared the news of his passing on their official Facebook page. The motorcycle world and other fans, including country music star Travis Tritt, took to social media to mourn and pay tribute to Ness. HAYWARD — They called him the king of custom motorcycles. His son Cory and grandson Zach are also noted custom motorcycle builders who run the Dublin operation. were building look alike choppers, I stumbled upon Arlen Ness’s works - at the SEMA show if I’m not mistaken....Anyway, it was amazing...His art deco bikes were astounding. Since then he’s become one of the best known custom builders in the scene, known to some as The King of Custom Motorcycles. Ness received a patent for the Big Shot, a method of altering the motorcycle’s fuel injection system, and thereby enhancing a motorcycle’s performance. Her previous roles at the Mercury News include Lowell Thomas award-winning editor of the Travel section, Alameda County bureau chief and Getting Ahead editor. Arlen Ness died on March 22, 2019 at the age of 79. Arlen Darryl Ness was born in Moorhead, Minnesota on July 12, 1939 to Elaine and Ervin Ness, and moved to San Lorenzo, California when he was in the sixth grade. Kevin J Ness, brother to the famous motorcycle customizer Arlen Ness has succumbed to his injuries after being involved in a crash on the I-80 … Arlen Ness was an artist ! The motorcycle sits in his museum in his motorcycle store in San Leandro. Ness grew up in San Lorenzo and San Leandro and customized bikes at home before he set up shop on East 14th Street in San Leandro. If you want to describe a Ness bike, you have to say, that motorcycle looks like it’s going 90, standing still, and you aren’t exaggerating ! According to Nevada Highway Patrolman Chuck Allen, a motorcyclist riding a 2008 Victory Vision was thrown from his bike after … In addition to building custom one-off motorcycles for clients, Arlen Ness Motorcyles also builds custom parts for Harley, Indian, and Victory brand motorcycles. Iconic American motorcycle customiser Arlen Ness has died, aged 79, surrounded by his family in California. Other bike builders are hammer mechanics by comparison. That first 1947 Knucklehead, called Untouchable, is a great story. (Doug Duran/ Times), Arlen Ness stands admist his mortorcycles he has designed over the years in 2004. All Access Digital offer for just 99 cents! Arlen Ness, ‘king of custom motorcycles,’…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Live updates: 49ers lead Rams 14-3 at SoFi Stadium, Arlen Ness, ‘king of custom motorcycles,’ dies at 79. There was a place where all the guys with bikes would hang out. As a young man, Ness earned money as a semipro bowler, parlaying $300 of winnings into his first motorcycle purchase, a 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, according to Bay Area News Group archives. Ness is survived by his wife of 59 years, Beverly, and his children and grandchildren. His achievements included helping found the Hamsters Motorcycle Club, made of riders who want to counter the popular image of custom bikers as outlaws and criminals, according to Buck Lovell, a longtime motorcycle magazine editor. The family said a memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date. Ness was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1992. Arlen Darryl Ness was born in Moorhead, Minnesota on July 12, 1939 to Elaine and Ervin Ness, and moved to San Lorenzo, California when he was in the sixth grade. Linda Zavoral is a Features reporter and editor who writes about restaurants, libations, travel and the arts for the Eat Drink Play and Eye/Timeout sections. Deepest sympathy and condolences to his family. Never quite sticking with the standard, Ness went above and beyond with his builds, creating some truly unique bikes. But there was more to Arlen Ness and his favorite machine. According to Nevada Highway Patrolman Chuck Allen, a motorcyclist riding a 2008 Victory Vision was thrown from his bike after being struck by a vehicle; the rider was identified as Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Ultimate Motorcycling website said a memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date. … We can go almost anyplace and stay with friends. Get Morning Report and other email newsletters. I’d go by that place 20 times a night just to look at the bikes. The Ness model had a gorgeous custom Black Cherry Fade paint scheme, billet wheels, seven Ness accessories, and loads of chrome components. He was 79. Instead of patches, Hamsters wear yellow T-shirts. That was what you did back then. Ness is survived by his son Cory, grandson Zach (both in the family business), and his wife of 59 years, Beverly. 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