A Documentary Film by Scott Di Lalla and Zack Coffman
Yesterday afternoon The Harbortown Bobber DVD arrived.
I had planned to watch this motorcycle movie together with my brother and a couple of friends. You know: beer, softdrinks, peanuts, chips, comments flying back and forth, replay that scene, small party, etc.
However, I had already watched the trailer on YouTube and had high hopes, so when I found the DVD in the mailbox I couldn't resist sticking it in the player to have a sneak 5 minute preview.
Once I started the DVD player, I simply couldn't get away from the Harbortown Bobber. Like a magnet she kept me tied to my seat. Some two and a half hours later - without any beer or peanuts or anything - I had seen the movie and all special features. And I had this satisfied and peaceful feeling.
It's no secret that here at Bobber Republic we are a bit tired of those outrageous custom chopper TV series and biker build offs where you typically see either a lot of shouting or arrogance, or both, and where money seems to play no role whatsoever. Where supermechanics find themselves a theme, just take that stretched custom frame off the shelf, combine it with that flashy brand spanking new Harley clone high-capacity-but-no-soul super engine, and start hammering away to beat some stupid deadline to create that same image of a super chopper that they already created in the previous episode and the one before and before and before...
Mind you, I have also seen some true classic bikes and quite a few very interesting people on Discovery, but I guess I was in for something new.
The Harbortown Bobber
Scott, after the maiden cruise: "That's pretty bad-ass. It's fast, it's a hardtail, you're hanging on for dear life on that thing, it just flies!"
The Harbortown Bobber is a documentary film made by Scott Di Lalla and Zack Coffman about the building of Scott's 1969 Triumph Custom Bobber. Set against the background of the San Pedro harbor area in Los Angeles, California, the Bobber is named the "Harbortown Bobber".
This film takes you into the hart and soul of a motorcycle.
The plot is simple though beautiful. These guys basically do the same thing that thousands of backyard builders do. You get yourself an old bike, restore the main parts to their original shape, and in the process make some modifications and create a custom motorcycle that you can truly call your own.
How It Began
Scott bought a project which consisted of a 1971 Triumph 650 T120 in a 1969 Triumph TR6e frame with a bolt-on hardtail. Around the same time Scott also bought a Triumph Cafe Racer, and he and his friend Zack Coffman decided that it would be a good idea to document the restoration and rebuilding of these bikes on film. (Hey, these guys live close to Hollywood, what else could we expect! ;o)
So the Triumph motors were taken out of the frames sent to their friend Jeff "Meatball" Tulinius of the Hell on Wheels bike shop in Anaheim, and the Cafe Racer became the movie "Brittown". For the roller the guys wanted to showcase a few good builders they knew, and that became the "Harbortown Bobber" movie.
Build of the Harbortown Bobber: J-Bird & Irish Rich
This documentary film shows the whole process of building the Harbortown Bobber. From the beginning to the end, from how she was bought to the premiere of the film.
First, the bike goes to J-Bird who, together with Johnathan and Jeremiah, does a great job at modifying and refitting the fuel tank so it will sit at the right angle and in the right position on the frame. You also see them making the "cocktail shaker" oil tank.
The frame is then brought to Irish Rich and his partner Steve at Shamrock Fabrication for a thorough restoration.
And there's no hurry. To the contrary, these people take their time to explain why they do things and how they do things. For example, Irish Rich takes his time to show us how he removes brackets from the frame that a previous owner had welded on.
And when Rich starts to close some holes in the frame, he choses to do so by using MIG welding since that's the welding equipment that most backyard builders have available, and he wants to show us how to do it.
Enter Earl Kane
After checking the blacksmith shop of with Dennis Goodson, the story goes on to Triumph Guru Earl Kane of Cycle Art by Earl who together with J-Bird fabricates a set of very well designed brackets to fix the oil tank.
Earl and Scott then continue to assemble the Harbortown Bobber. Earl makes the license plate bracket and an Oldschool Spades design kick stand that fits the late 1960's image of the bike. Earl also shows how to make his own style chain tensioner that looks real cool and that just about any backyard guy can make with no more than a drill.
Earl also takes us to see Cindy, daughter of "Wild Bill" Cotton, at Century Motorcycles who keeps her dad's ashes in a beautiful Vincent fuel tank mounted on the wall, and who has the last factury made Vincent Lightning in her bedroom!
The story then takes us through various fabrication works like the seatpan and the rear fender, meeting Todd of Todds Cycle and leather specialist Gilbert Gonzalez, down to the point in time where Scott is ready for kicking his bike for the first time and takes her for a maiden cruise up and down the street.
The soundtrack of this film is fantastic - great biker music by bands like the Lords of Altamont and The Untamed. And the story is interlaced with beautiful shots of Scott, Zack and their friends cruising down the California highways. Sheer bliss.
All in all, the Harbortown Bobber movie tells us the story of real people building the real thing. Our thing.
Hart and Soul of a Bike?
The Harbortown Bobber movie shows how an old engine and frame are given a new life, and are turned into something that is beautiful to the eye and is ready to function. The build of this machine was done by people who are not only very skilled, but who also have a true love and passion for the machine and the lifestyle it represents.
The Harbortown Bobber is one of those bikes that is not just a bike.
She breathes that love and passion that was blown into her by her creators.
The Harbortown Bobber on YouTube
The Harbortown Bobber DVD
The Harbortown Bobber
From the directors of the award-winning motorcycle movies "Choppertown: the Sinners" and "Brittown" comes a new motorcycle fabrication documentary.
Two years in the making, The Harbortown Bobber follows the ground-up build of Scott DiLalla's 1969 Bobber as various back yard masters put their hands on it creating a unique custom motorcycle and telling their own personal stories as they work.
Featuring: Irish Rich, Earl Kane, J-Bird, Jonathan Smith, Todd's Cycles, U.S. Customs, Dennis Goodson and the music of The Lords of Altamont.