Michael Lichter has taken a slightly different direction for the theme of his curated celebration of the custom bike building art at the Buffalo Chip during this year's 80th Sturgis Rally in August.
The "Heavy Mettle" exhibit will feature legendary builders who have withstood the test of time - a celebration of business survival as much as anything else.
Many motorcycle builders come and go. Economic downturns can bring careers to a crashing close and the fickle twists and turns of moto fads can yield a new crop of talent each year, only for those names to also become forgotten by the onset of the next trend.
This year Michael is recognizing a handpicked selection of those whose metal-lined backbone and character are strong enough to buck trends and stay the course, have earned their legendary status and a fair amount of recognition. Some 38 of these builders have been invited to display a motorcycle in the style of their choosing in the Sturgis Buffalo Chip's 2020 Motorcycles as Art exhibit "Heavy Mettle: Motorcycles as Art with Moxie."
Without a theme to guide the builds themselves, the builders will build a machine specifically for this show that expresses their own personality, their own take on the custom building art and that showcases their own particular niche of custom motorcycle building - the niche that has made them a household name.
In a purpose-built 7,000 sq ft world-class gallery setting, "Heavy Mettle: Motorcycles as Art with Moxie" will feature the spectrum of history and possibilities inherent in custom motorcycling.
In order to secure an invitation to join this show, builders must have completed at least 20 custom builds and been in business for at least 20 years. Faced with the knowledge that half of all businesses fail in the first five years, these are motorcycle aficionados who have fought hard to become successful and are known well beyond the confines of the industry.
The full list of participants can be seen at www.buffalochip.com/EVENTS/Motorcycles-As-Art/Heavy-Mettle