April 2

I introduced you to Brasshopper a couple of days ago her on North Dakota 365.  Here is a more complete introduction to this artistic creation.

Just like I mentioned yesterday, artists are not in the museums and galleries, they’re here in the real world, and you and I can find them in their natural environment, not some stuffy stilted atmosphere like a museum.  Wes and Kevin are two artists who created Brasshopper, a combination bobber or bar hopper with no chrome but lotsa brass.  Thus “Brasshopper.”  I went to Dickinson to Patriot Custom Cycles to meet Wes and Kevin on assignment for Gasoline Magazine that wanted a story on the art work Brasshopper.  Not only was I introduced to a bike I’d spotted at the Ray Ramblers Bike Show in Minot, I was introduced to some of the finest people who North Dakota can produce, Wes, his wife Lisa and Kevin whom I’ve known for a few years through my involvement with ABATE.

Wes is a retired Army vet who moved from Minot to Dickinson to set up his shop. Over the winter, he and Kevin milled from scratch the pieces that make Brasshopper so unique, each of the brass pieces were made in their shop. The other components skillfully selected and merged in to a final work of art.

Their wives Lavonne and Lisa sat back through the winter while these two artisans crafted their creation.  Lisa was kind enough to pose with Brasshopper for the magazine shoot, adding a “soft” touch.

For the story, I climbed in to a Patriot Custom Cycle pickup truck that Kevin drove and we headed out west of Dickinson on old Highway 10 to shoot the ride.  Wes admitted he didn’t want to part with Brasshopper — it’s a great ride. And though it is for sale, the last I heard, he still has brasshopper.

(You can read more about Brasshopper in my motorcycle blog called 2wheels2lanes1camera, or in Gasoline Magazine July 2010 issue, or on the website Kickstands Up kickstandsupnd.com)


March 14


Spring in North Dakota means showing off your winter’s work.  Well, in most cases. Sometimes people want to keep wearing their long baggy clothes to hide what they’ve been working on.

Not true for Wes and Kevin. All winter these two had been creating from scratch their barhopper bobber with brass trim rather than chrome. They called it Brasshopper and it is winning bike show contests across the state.  Though I’d known Kevin for some time, Wes and I had become acquainted just the year before. I knew him then as a top-notch customer servicing mechanic with Patriot Custom Cycles in Dickinson.  It wasn’t until this bike show in Minot I saw his artistic creative talents with Brasshopper.

It’s such a remarkable piece of work I wrote an article for it for Gasoline Magazine. It’s also on my other blog, 2wheels2lanes1camera.

Chrome is the rule with this bike, a Sucker Punch Sally creation.

Bike shows dwindle down to nothing by May and June, but they’ll be back next spring.