Michael Lichter’s “Motorcycles as Art” Returns to Sturgis 2021

“More Mettle” at the Buffalo Chip

Experience the creativity, spirit and personal expression of motorcycle history and the biker culture by visiting the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s “Motorcycles as Art” Exhibition curated annually by legendary motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter. It all happens this August during the Sturgis Rally.

This internationally renowned exhibit allows you to explore dozens of unique custom bikes paired with amazing artwork. Get an up-close look at the detailed work of some of the motorcycle industry’s most influential master bike builders and amazing moto artists during this free annual display at the Buffalo Chip Event Center in Sturgis, South Dakota.

World-famous motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter has curated motorcycle exhibits for over 20 years and the Buffalo Chip’s Motorcycles as Art Exhibit which takes place in its own special museum space at the Chip each year. Exhibits have featured themes ranging from custom baggers to long and lean choppers and everything in between. 

Last year, exhibit curator Michael Lichter invited the biggest names in motorcycle building to create and display a custom motorcycle of their own design in the style of their choosing for 2020’s “Heavy Mettle: Motorcycles and Art with Moxie.” All invited builders had completed at least 20 custom builds and been in business for at least 20 years. The exhibit also featured classic biker lifestyle photographs captured by Lichter over his 40 plus-year career as a photographer for Easyriders magazine.

For the 81st running of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2021, this year’s exhibit continues the tradition of melding killer custom motorcycles and incredible artwork with “More Mettle – Motorcycles and Art that Never Quit!” This year’s show will offer the latest custom builds by many of today’s most innovative bike builders. The exhibit is free and open to the public at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Event Center from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 through Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.

Michael Lichter explains the theme for this year’s show, saying, “In an ever-changing custom culture, many motorcycle builders come and go. Economic downturns and fickle twists and turns of motorized fads can yield a new crop of talent each year, only for those names to become forgotten by the onset of the next trend. Those with metal-lined backbone and character strong enough to buck trends have earned their legendary status and a fair amount of recognition.”

During the 81st anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, you’ll have the opportunity to see dozens of these builders display a motorcycle in the style of their choosing in the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s 2021 Motorcycles as Art exhibit. Event-goers will be able to get up close and personal with each bike on display throughout the hall showcased on elevated display pedestals and dramatic lighting. Every single motorcycle in this show was built specifically for the “More Mettle” Exhibit. That means, in many cases, you will be one of the first people in the world to lay eyes on them.

“The builders chosen to display bikes in this year’s ‘More Mettle’ show not only have the spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship, but the moxie it takes to become a legendary figure in an industry rife with heavy mettle characters,” Lichter told us. 

The list of invited bike builders this year includes:

Aaron Greene, Aaron Greene Customs
Arlin Fatland, Two Wheelers M/C Denver
Bill Dodge, Blings Cycles
Billy Lane, Choppers Inc.
Brian Klock, Klock Werks
Carl Olsen, Carl’s Cycle Supply
Cole Foster, Salinas Boys
Cory Ness, Arlen Ness Enterprises
Dan Bacon Carr, DC Choppers
Dave Perewitz, Perewitz Cycle Fabrication
Donnie Smith, Donnie Smith Custom Cycles
Fred Cuba, Fred’s Speed and Sport
Jerry Covington, Covingtons Customs
Jim Nasi, Jom Nasi Customs
John Shope, Dirty Bird Concepts
Kiwi Mike Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles
Mark & Paul Shadley, Shadley Bros
Matt Olsen, Carl’s Cycle Supply
Michael LaFountain, Raccia Motorcycles
Mondo Porras, Denver’s Choppers
Pat Patterson, Led Sled Customs
Paul Cox, Paul Cox Industries
Paul Wideman, Bare Knuckle Choppers
Paul Yaffe, Paul Yaffe Originals
Richard Pollock, Mule Motorcycles
Rick Fairless Strokers Dallas
Roland Sands, Roland Sands Design
Shinya Kimura, Cabot Engineering
Taber Nash, Nash Motorcycle Co.
Tim McNamer, Ballistic Cycles30
Tom Keefer, Franklin Church Choppers

If you are going to attend the Sturgis Rally this August, be sure to check out Mike’s incredible collection of motorcycles as art. His museum show has become one of the biggest and best traditions of the rally each year.

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