As one of the original reality shows that revolve around the pawn industry, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't seen at least one episode of the wildly popular Pawn Stars staring owner Rick Harrison. Turns out that Rick is not only a master negotiator, but also an avid rider and bike collector.
Chris Richardson from LA Speed Shop is somewhat a celebrity himself in the custom bike circles. He has built some of the best-looking, riding, and authentic custom motorcycles ever to grace this and other magazines. So how did a custom guru and reality TV star come together? Chris explains, "About four years ago, Tres Noir sunglasses were coming in do a photoshoot at my shop in East LA. As I was closing the shop up to take a shower before the shoot, Corey and Rick pulled up early. From there we just kind of hit it off. We ended up hanging out, riding, and became friends. It's been four or five years now."
This 1967 Triumph is just another shining example of Chris's work. Every detail was taken into account and he even managed to surprise Rick with a few little additions. Chris explains, "We were hanging out with everybody up in Vegas when Rick approached me to build him a Triumph. He wanted something kind of chopperish but bobberish; somewhere in between with a '60s feel to it, but not all the way. He just wanted something different than what he saw other people riding around on. He also wanted something easy to kick over because he had busted his ankle and didn't want to put too much stress kicking a big twin over. That's basically where it started. His only instructions were to, 'Build me something cool like you like.' Pretty simple. A lot of my customers let me do my thing. I usually start with a roller. I get the roller to sit the way I like it to sit. Then I go with where the bike leads me and how it feels. I go with the flow of it. I don't particularly have a style in mind, I just kind of roll as I go."
One extra special feature that seems peculiar is the built-in cigarette lighter. When asked why he would put a lighter on a bike, Chris said with a smile, "Every time we go hang out, he's always smoking and never has a lighter. Since I used to do vintage cars, I had a cigarette lighter from a '55 Chevy. Since I cut the backboard support out of the frame, I had a hole I had to fill with something. It fit perfectly. Now he has a lighter wherever he goes with his motorcycle."
Like any good TV show, the "reveal" couldn't have gone better for Chris. "I was supposed to drag the bike up to Sturgis, but I had other bikes to do and couldn't make it, so I ran it up to Vegas to drop off. When he saw the bike, he was amazed and loved it. For someone like him to be surprised seems pretty hard, but I did it I guess. He was happy with everything all around."