Hall of Famer was well-known custom motorcycle builder and entrepreneur
PICKERINGTON, OH – March 25, 2019 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The American Motorcyclist Association offers its condolences to the family and friends of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Arlen Ness, who passed away on March 22 at age 79.
He is best known for his innovative and wild custom motorcycle designs and custom parts business, and often was called “The King of Custom Motorcycles.”
Ness grew up in Oakland, Calif., and started as a custom hot-rod car builder before making the transition in the late 1960s to customizing motorcycles. Ness’ first custom motorcycle build — a 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead he bought for $300 and known as “Untouchable” — was a hit when he entered it into its first show.
The attention Ness garnered from that first bike prompted him to open a motorcycle painting business. Soon after that, he branched into custom parts that he made and sold at his shop and through catalogs and shipped nationwide.
Ness’ custom bikes were known for their low-slung, stretched-out look. His trendsetting designs have been studied and copied by other bike builders and factory engineers. He was among the first people in the motorcycle industry to recognize the value of CNC machining technology to the production of aftermarket motorcycle parts.
In 2008, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame honored Ness’ contributions to motorcycling with “Awesome-Ness,” an exhibit that featured memorabilia and motorcycles, including “Untouchable” and 10 other custom motorcycles from Ness’ personal collection.
Early this decade, Ness worked with Victory Motorcycles on the Arlen Ness Vision, a hot-rod version of the Victory Vision touring bike.
Ness was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1992.
For more information about Ness and his contributions to motorcycling, visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame website at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
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Source: American Motorcyclist Association