On July 24, 2008, The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum will open “Awesome-Ness,” a new exhibit honoring master motorcycle designer and builder Arlen Ness.
An icon in the motorcycling industry, and 1992 inductee into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Ness will join prominent colleagues and friends at the Museum in Pickerington, Ohio for the opening.
According to The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum…
The fifth in a series of Legends exhibits at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, “Awesome-Ness” will feature machines and memorabilia from Ness’ personal collection. Curated by photographer Michael Lichter, the exhibit will do more than simply display Ness’ significant creations; it will delve into the stories behind his influential career. Lichter, author of “Arlen Ness: The King of Choppers,” will use his unique perspective on Ness to provide visitors an in-depth look at the celebrated customizer.
“Awesome-Ness” will feature 11 of Ness’ significant creations, including “Untouchable,” the 1947 Knucklehead that launched Ness’ career. Additionally, the exhibit will spotlight “Two Bad,” his 2,000cc twin-engine Sportster; “Ness-Tique,” a modern custom inspired by a 1903 Harley-Davidson depicted on a Cartier trophy he won at a Harley-Davidson ride-in show; “Red Flame Chopper,” a straightforward, high bar bike inspired by his first Knucklehead; “Top Banana,” winner of top honors on the Discovery Channel’s “Biker Build Off”; “Overhead Cam Sportster,” a one-off 1200cc with sportbike styling that Ness keeps in his office; and “Mach Ness,” his helicopter turbine-powered bike.
More than four decades of groundbreaking designs have earned Arlen Ness his status as an authentic legend. He began his career in the 1960s, with the customization of a 1947 Harley Knucklehead. After entering the Knucklehead in local motorcycle shows, Ness’ work was noticed by the press, as well as by potential customers. Soon he was able to start a business custom painting bikes. Not long after, Ness began selling custom parts and created a catalog to keep up with customer demand. As business boomed, Ness continued to create custom motorcycles, with a stretched and lowered style and high-performance engines becoming hallmarks of his designs.