For the past 11 years, Michael Lichter’s Motorcycles as Art exhibit has been a star attraction at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. The annual collection of custom motorcycles, moto-themed artwork, memorabilia, and photographs is world-class. Displaying the motorcycles on elevated pedestals under theater lights allows people to inspect the craftsmanship more intimately than most other exhibits. Lichter's exhibit is a scene, a gathering place for craftsmen, fabricators, builders, riders, racers, industry leaders and celebs combined with a constant stream of Chipsters. Be it Willie G or Dee Snider, you never know who’ll pop into the gallery on any given day during the rally.

While every show is special, the lineup Lichter has assembled for the 2020 “Heavy Mettle – Motorcycles and Art with Moxie” show is an honor roll of custom builders.

“Builders in the 2020 show are so passionate that when money ran thin, they still stayed in the game. They had the mettle to withstand adversity and the tests of time,” said curator Lichter.

With a little luck you can find builders with their bikes and coerce them to give you some details about the build. 

Every craftsman in “Heavy Mettle - Motorcycles and Art with Moxie” has built 20 or more bikes for 20 or more years and is still in business today. Cumulatively, the 30+ builders in the 2020 Motorcycles as Art show bring roughly “1,000 years of experience” to the table, so you know it's going to be something special. This group didn’t read the history books on motorcycle culture. They wrote them.

It’s a special year for the famed photographer and show curator as well. It will be Lichter’s 20th overall exhibit in Sturgis. It’ll be his 4oth year of shooting the rally. It’s also the rally’s 80th anniversary. All of those numbers aligning helped Lichter decide on the 20/20 theme of this year’s Motorcycles as Art display.

The Motorcycles as Art exhibit is always even more special when Michael Lichter displays his work. 

By definition, Lichter himself falls into this group. He’s documented half of the Sturgis Rally’s 80-year history through his lenses, from the rowdy City Park days to the famed shot of Kid Rock on the Chip’s Wolfman Jack Stage with lightning striking against an angry purple sky in the background. Lichter’s photographs capture the true essence of the rally and many of the Heavy Mettle builders have been his subjects over the years.

Knowing the competitive nature of this year’s class of builders, you know they’re going to want to impress their contemporaries, so expect to see the unexpected. This year's going to be special. Check it for free out all week long inside the Buffalo Chip Event Center near the East Gate.

Motorcycles as Art 2020 Builders  (Preliminary list, subject to change)

Arlin Fatland, 2 Wheelers MC - Denver, CO

Bill Dodge, Bling’s Cycles – Daytona Beach, FL

Billy Lane, Choppers Inc. – Daytona Beach, FL

Brian Klock, Klock Werks Kustom Cycles – Mitchell, SD

Carl Olsen, Carl’s Cycle Supply – Aberdeen, SD

Chica Chikazawa, Chica Custom Cycles – Phelan, CA

Cole Foster, Salinas Boyz - Salinas, CA

Cory Ness, Arlen Ness Enterprises – Dublin, CA

Dave Perewitz, Perewitz Cycle Fab – Halifax, MA

Don Hotop, Don’s Speed and Custom – Fort Madison, IA

Donnie Smith, Donnie Smith Custom Cycles – Coon Rapids, MN

Eddie Trotta, Eddie Trotta Designs - Fort Lauderdale, FLA

Fred Cuba, Fred’s Speed and Sport - Hastings, NEB

Fred Kodlin, Fred Kodlin Motorcycles – Borken, Hessen, Germany

Jeff Cochran, SpeedKing Racing – West Harrison, IN

Jerry Covington, Covington’s Customs – Woodward, OK

Jim Nasi, Jim Nasi Customs – Phoenix, AZ

Kaichiroh Kuroso, Cherry’s Company – Tokyo, Japan

Ken Nagai, Ken’s Factory – Nagoya, Japan

Kiwi Mike Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles – Riverside, CA

Lou Falcigno, C&L Hog Shop – Fort Pierce, FLA

Mondo Porras, Denvers Choppers – Reno, NV

Pat Patterson, LED Sled Customs – Dayton, OH

Paul Cox, Paul Cox Industries – Port Jervis, NY

Paul Wideman, Bare Knuckle Choppers - Hawk Point, MO

Paul Yaffe, Paul Yaffe Originals – Phoenix, AZ

Richard Pollock, Mule Motorcycles – Poway, CA

Rick Fairless, Strokers Dallas – Dallas, TX

Roland Sands, Rolands Sands Design – Los Alamitos, CA

Ron Finch, Finch’s Custom Cycles – Pontiac, MI

Russell Mitchell, Exile Cycles – San Fernando, CA

Shinya Kimura, Chabott Engineering – Azusa, CA

Steg Vonheintz, Psycho Cycles Inc. – New York City, NY

Steve “Carpy” Carpenter, Carpy’s Café Racers – Anaheim, CA

Sugar Bear, Sugar Bear Choppers - Springville, CA

Tomoaki Matsumura, Shiun Craft Works – Kobe, Japan