Monday, January 31, 2011

New FMA Shirts!

Got a few new sweet designs for you FMA fans on tees, girls tees, sweat shirts, and hoodies along with a reissue of one of our early Burner shirts.

setup day

Sunday, January 30, 2011

FMA's TOP 3 Bikes from the GNRS

So, we just got home from three days at the 2011 Grand National Roadster Show. It has always been a great car show, hit and miss on bikes ( for lack of proper promotion) but there are always some neat surprises there on two wheels.
Our Top Favorites were our good friend and FMA blogger Jeff Leighton's FULL-SHOW '38 Knucklehead with paint by our own Harpoon, but not just any paint job! Fully metallflaked and VEILED, and some Murano pearl...whoa. Poon will fill you in on the paint details i'm sure. it's a one way ticket to crazy town for sure! lots of time, planing, and work went into this REAL bike...notthing out there like it that i know of...

The dudes from SPEEDMETAL in Denver brought out a KILLER dual linkert carbed (with FMA stacks!) '47 Knuckle in a VL frame. B-A-D. the color the parts, the whole deal was pretty sweet!
Stoked to have finally met the whole crew with Dave Barker, good dudes, can't wait to see this bike and their others at Born-Free 3!

Last But not Least, straight from Atwater Village, Johnny High on Life himself's top notch out of the box generator Shovel "the Centerfold". A real hot rod Harley! Nice work babe!

THere's some other good sleds too like the three from Foundry that included 2 knuckleheads(!), Rene's gen SHovel, Joe's Knuckle, we'll post more soon plus stay tuned for full features in STreet CHopper soon..

Thursday, January 27, 2011

grand national roadster show

the big one is this weekend. its my favorite indoor show around. last year we got a booth just to have a place to hang out with Grants sho n go shovel. its a lot of fun and we are doing it again. stop in and say hello. we'll be hanging out with the cycles. I am extra stoked to see the chevy i spent a good deal of my life painting last year in the show and Jeff will be entering his aforementioned Knucklehead in the show, with the most far out paintjob i have done, ever-its the first veiled paintjob anyone in this country has seen in the last 40years. stay tuned for some after show pix of each plus all of the other great machines in the show. Next weekend is Alonzo's birthday. would someone please buy the cheap birthday boy a show ticket?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mucho Trabaho (???) I no speaka de good spanish...

Thanks for all the support from all sides lately folks. Poon and i have been burning the candle at both ends the last few weeks getting the new shop ready, paint jobs finished, t-shirts printed, etc, and have both been swamped at our "real jobs" too, but tomorrow we load in and setup for the Grand National Roadster show and will be on our keesters there from Friday to Sunday (forced relaxation???). Our own Jeff Leighton will have his full show knucklehead in there which will be worth the price of admission! Plus we have some new designs that will debut there...
The bad side to all this is that if you have ordered something recently it probably wont go out until begining of next week...sorry! hope it's worth the wait!
We'll also have the Born-Free Knucklehead in our booth so you can see the progress and pick up posters and tickets.
Anyway.................i just want a nap..........

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Speaking of...

Handmade! Our friends at Falcon Motorcycles have launched a new web store and have had a neat blog going for a while, check them out HERE.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Skill, Craft, Pride, Cost, and the decline of the minds of youth and America

So we don't have the time to preach much here and it's not really our thing, but i saw a comment elsewhere that prometed me to get riled up a bit about people's (mostly American's) lack of valuing hardwork and skilled labor. I know everyone is not a millionaire and can't afford to buy the best of the best all the time or even hardly ever, but does that mean you have to poo-poo a nice well made product?
As a small biz owner (FMA) that does our best to make and sell the best American Made product we can, my ears perk when someone verbally shuns/or discredits a nice product in favor of a cheap, massed produced alternative. It's one thing to just not buy it but to make a stink about the more expensive item made with pride in small quantites that will far outlast the cheap alternative is beyond me. For the record this wasn't born from anything to do with FMA.
I know it is big biz to make a ton of stuff for cheap in a third world country and fill the shelves at walmart and sell it at a low price, but do you want to be forced to buy everything only at walmart or an equivelant? sure it serves it's purpose, but come on!  While in Japan this last time i became more aware of their goods and the general public's style and put-togetherness, not to mention those that were/are "into" something.
There is an abundance of quality handmade goods in Japan from leather, to jewelry, to cloths, that are all killer! Sure it all costs a decent price, but people (even the general public) over there see the value in that item and spend the money for it. It was weird to see people on the train with like a really nice cast key hook hanging from there handtooled belt next to another handtooled wallet. I knew each item probably cost $300 each too! But these things are "for life" items and will be around far longer than some Hanna Montana wallet from the aforementioned discount store.
Let me be clear that i don't have money to blow on crazy expensive stuff, but something like a wallet i would send some coin on because i will use it for the next 15+ years.
This sort of idea comes into play a lot in America in fab/bike/hot rod shops. I worked in many and we would get tire kickers that would want killer one-off, tig welded, fab work done for assembly line mig welded prices. They couldn't comprehend the combination of the amount of work, tools, and skill and then put a price on it. Would they want to do their job for a much discounted rate? no, so why should someone that has a skill making something with their hands not be able to charge what it should be worth without someone (who has probably made nothing of value with their hands) complaining about the price when they wouldn't be a customer anyway? Don't like it, don't buy it no matter if it is metalwork, a pair of pants, custom boots, an oil painting, etc...
i just heard today on NPR that the government is possibly cutting funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS. Great, hopefully america will eventually die from diabeties and obesity, as they sit in front of American Idol and learn nothing. We don't need to teach people about art, music, and culture because thats boring, huh? Football and TMZ is more important. I know i am getting off track here, but i come from a family of musicians, artists, and craftsmen and think all of these things are important to building people's minds. I also noticed in Japan a lack of sweat pants, flip flops, and anything related to being "white trash" or anything that shares that same mentality, what a concept. (insert your smart allec remark about why i should move there if i don't like it here).

I think we should do more to help and protect small buisness, skilled crafts, music, the arts. I learned to weld because i couldn't afford to pay someone to do it for me. Poverty is not much of an excuse in my book because i have made a lot out of little to work with and feel as if there isn't enough time in life to to, make, see, and experiance all the things i want (that i know of at this time!). I studied photograghy because i couldn't draw, my brother got all that skill and one of my sisters is getting her masters in photography! Amazing, i love it! even though i have shot dozens of covers and had stuff in books and magazines world wide, she is blowing me out of the water!
Create, build, organize, just do something besides complain or gossip.
Be passionate about something, no matter what is cool or not cool for that matter. Do it because you love it, they way you want it.   Not satified with something, do it better or at least try!
Who cares what we do in SoCal, who cares what the midwest is doing, east coast, etc, surround yourself with people you can learn from. Learning is one of the coolest things EVER and you can do it everyday! And for those that know it all, it's what you learn after you know it all that really counts.

I know i am way off on a tangent on top of a soapbox, but i guess i needed to get it out. I am not even going to edit or spell check this thing, hope it makes some sense...Talk is cheap, do something.

what are you doing? what would you like to do? 
as mentioned, i like welding and working with metal, here are some examples:


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

coming soon...........the cyclelodge

onward and hopefully upward! we've made mention of a new venture and growth with FMA which came as a united force between us and Mike Davis of Born Loser and of course is the other half of Born-Free. We are in the process of remodeling a space in the city of Orange that will serve as a retail outlet for FMA and Born Loser and play host to other motorcycle oddities in the form of parts new and old, art, knickknacks, brickbrak, cloths, etc...and be a space for us all to work on our own projects a bit more ernestly. It has been dubbed hte Cyclelodge and no, we are not going into the bike building biz...stay tuned for more details....If you have anything you'd like to donate to hang in the shop let us know, plus we are looking for some equipment like a decent and good sized air compressor, etc...


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I am proud to call James White a close friend, one of my best. We met at a Del Taco in Bakersfield in '98 or '99. I was alone in my chopped 1950 Ford sedan which i drove through the night from Salt Lake to go to the Hot Rod Reunion when i was 18 or 19. I ate my dinner solo while James, Jimmy Shine, Pumper Jeff, and Big Dummy started asking me questions. Back then even in California it wasn't a common site to see a car like mine, especially from out of state.
Anyway, fast forward a couple of year and i move to So Cal, a couple more i move to texas, one more and i'm back to SoCal working with Jimmy at Boyds, then i go back to Texas, get divorced, and am headed back to SoCal and Jimmy calls and says he heard i'm coming back and that he started his own shop called Circle City Hot Rods and wanted me to come work for him. For sure !! That's what i moved to califonia to do anyway, build hot rods! I even lived with Jimmy and Michelle for a time on Everett, thanks guys! The Whites were(still are) my close family.
Jimmy and i worked together for a few more years, moved into a bigger shop, built some neat cars the best we could, then Rob Fortier lures me away to magazine biz...been in that world now for almost 6 years. how the time flies. Jimmy and i are still lunch buddies whenever possible because "GUYS GOTTA EAT!" and now we are neighbors again with the Cyclelodge just less than a block away.
CCHR is still cranking out the best cars built with the most love. Jimmy has a good crew over there and an even BIGGER shop now. He even has an iPhone and a BLOG! no way! WAY! check it out HERE! Love you James (Amy is even a little jeaolous!)

We were on the cover of Street Rodder with a couple of cars we built

Some of you may remember the video the Dutchman shot many years ago...that's me in the begining smiling as they pull away. "Jimmy White's Hemi Coupe is my favorite band"

James "I just wanna weld" White

up early

Been getting up earlier just to get a jump on the catching minutes before sunrise.

And because there is so much happening...

The Fun never STOPS!

yet another busy weekend is near! This friday the Beautiful Buzzards are playing the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, be there early.

Then Saturday is the Utility/Born-Free First Ride which was rained out at the beining of the month, so starting at noon is the make-up show in Upland, CA. Free shirts, good weather, nice ride, what more do you want?

Then after the First Ride you can ride to Duarte for the Dice Magazine release party! Again at the Route 66 Roadhouse tavern.
It has been T-sirt riding weather here in SoCal lately, soak it up!

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am almost a day late and a dollar short with this post, but I cant forget it. A lot of you may have had the day of of work thanks to the governments recognition, But do you really take time to reflect? There is a lot of great things that we love about America's past, then there are a great many things that have us hold our heads in shame. This man, this great man, dedicated his life, and gave it, so that we may lift those heads of ours up.

the wanderer had this to say

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome Jeff Leighton to the FMA blog-a-tron

Hey there in the great interweb, harpoon and I are proud to welcome our good friend Jeff Leighton to contribute to the FMA blog. Jeff is a plumber from the San Fernando Valley and is no stranger to old bikes. He's built quite a few early HDs now and is partial to Big Twin Flatheads, you've probably seen em on the web or in print by now. He's building a Full-Show Knucklehead that poon is painting and has a generator Shovel in the works...oh and a dual carb knuckle race bke headed for Bonneville this year. Yeah, he's got it going on! Welcome Jeff!
Here's a Scott Pomier pic of Jeff and his last flathead recently featured in Street Chopper

Jeff's extended I-beam knuckle last summer before tear down.

An Epic Day

(EDITOR's NOTE: Welcome Jeff Leighton to theFMA blog!!!)
This past December i was lucky enough to travel to Japan for the Mooneyes Yokohama Custom show with some of the nicest people i know and that im honored to get to call my friends. A small group of us stayed a few extra days and did some traveling around and got to spend some time with some amazing people. One day of the trip sticks out in my mind more then anything else. Hereare a few pictures from that day

It started with our friend Naao picking me and Harpoon up at our hotel to drive from Osaka to Nagoya. Harpoon and I thought we were going to just get on the road but Naao had some other plans. We became Naao's models for the next hour or so
Enjoying some Coke

In front of the Famous Osaka runner. We never could figure out why this was famous but Naao said it was
Harpoon and I doing our best impression of the Osaka runner, who was all ready for Christmas
Making this hall look really small

Here we are standing in front of this amazing place where you can fish inside for prices, think skee ball but with fishing instead

After we ate we go into the car and drove to Nagoya were we got to hang out with Yoshiki and the Vice crew
Yoshiki and his store Vice
We took turns riding around in Masato's toyota powered Hot Rod as we toured Nagoya
Grant R. , QP and I trying to take in everything in Yoshiki's amazing garage
And then we ended up here, We ate huge amounts of amazing food, and had a night that im sure no one who was there will forget.
Thank you Harpoon,Grant, Amy, Grant, and Will for having me along for a great trip. And thanks to Naao, Yoshiki, Masato, Terry, Crazy Tony, Japanese Harpoon, Tokirou, Mox, and the rest of the Vice crew for one of the best days of my life

Jackson Pollack

Jackson Pollack, at one time the most important painter living in America, has taken up residence in my Veiling gun. Hard to believe, yes I know but when you see Jeff Leightons Knucklehead at the GNRS later this month you will dig what I am saying.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CV stacks

we got em for CV's now!! CLICK HERE

and we got a few more copies of Gabe Griffin's book Asphalt Gods about the Heathens

New digs

We have decided to make the leap from running a business in the kitchen to actually having a nice retail space/shop space to work on our own stuff. Taking the plunge with us is our good buddy and chocolate dipped cone aficionado Mike Davis of Born Loser/Born-Free fame.
We have been busy painting and such trying o get the place ready for the public so you can come see FMA parts and apparel as well as all the fine Born Loser products in person, plus various items of our favorite niche brands. The shop is in the beautiful and industrious city of Orange, California, forever home to Jimmy White who would prefer to never drive beyond the city's boundaries. We'll keep you posted.
Here is a spy shot of the BL himself giving my paint skills a hard look before he makes me redo it...

Monday, January 10, 2011

There are worse jobs out there. While i don't really work for Street Chopper if you get down to brass tacks (it's the same company i work for and i'm already salary on a different magazine...) i have helped Jeff Holt turn it around since he got control of it over two years ago now. SHot a lot of great bikes, writen about many friends and their bikes, and i just got done writing a feature on a neat bike that i didn't shoot, but know the owner. Tim O'keefe shot Bill Mize's "new" '48 pan for us and i wrote the feature. Coming in the next issue of Street Chopper...which is now BiMonthly!
Bill on said bike, video by Tim O'Keefe:

Bill Mize from Timothy W O'Keefe on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Nagoya was one of the most fun spots on our trip to Japan last month. Great people (Thank you Yoshiki and the Vice Crew!, Masato, Duas Caras, Risky Buisness, Sparetime, and friends), a super cool town that is said to be the internal combustion capital of Japan which did not disappoint. Amongst all of this i was able to celebrate my birthday three separate nights in three different cities each as a surprise thanks to my good friends--thank you.

Even when there is the possibility that language could be a barrier, relaxation, good humor, and common interests shine through and you can hang out for hours all enjoying the moment. Saw a few things at dinner table in a restaurant i never thought I'd see (thanks to Crazy Tony!) possibly laughed harder than i ever have too. wish we could have stayed there longer...

yoshiki's home garage-chopper heaven

mom & pops

Drooling at Langliz

Nagoya's famous chicken wing spot

the other Grant AKA Gunny avoiding toxic fumes from a brief wild fire

Japanse birthday cakes are sooo good, but what would you expect?