Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hey sup, my name is Dennis but everyone calls me D.Ho. Born and live in Sac and have family in the Bay, SoCal, Hawaii, and France. I work as a water resources engineer by day and also working on finishing up my Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering. Most of my free time during the week is spent at Pipeworks. It’s a badass rock climbing gym where I expend my energy, hang out with friends, and get a great workout at the same time. On the weekends I am either out in the mountains climbing boulders or carving up the windy roads.
I’ve been very fortunate in that I have been able to travel and experience other cities, states, and countries. Yet, I always found Sacramento to be the best fit for my life. Beautiful coastal scenery, vast landscapes, relaxed rural towns and bus-body cities are all within a few hours’ drive. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I really like to stay active.
Describe your first experience on two wheels
My passion for two wheels began when I got my first BMX bike. I was all about riding street…thrashing rails and charging wall rides on the daily. I rode for 15 years before I felt like my body couldn’t take it anymore and picked up rock climbing to stay in shape.
I moved on from the BMX bike, but I needed something to fill the void that it left behind. Ever since I was young I was drawn to motorcycles. Nobody I knew actually rode at the time but I remember seeing people blasting around on the freeway and mountains and thinking “I could get into that”. One weekend, some plans to go kayaking fell through and I had some money burning a hole in my pocket. I said “fuck it” and brought my buddy to buy a bike with me. I needed him because I still had not learned how to ride and I wanted to be able to get it home lol. It was a complete impulse buy. My very first ride was that day. I was so happy to be able to ride a bike again and felt right at home on a motorcycle. I was hooked!
They say riding a motorcycle is dangerous, why do you ride? How did your family react?
I do very well in social settings and in the company of other people, but I am an introvert at the core and needed a way to be alone and be selfish with my time. I ride to be free from other people’s expectations of me and to experience life from a different perspective.
My mom works at the ER so naturally she highly disapproved of motorcycles. All my life I’ve been attracted to “high risk” sports/hobbies so I don’t think she was surprised at all when she saw my bike for the first time. What actually happened was that she saw I bought a cruiser and said “Oh, well that’s nice!”.
How many bikes have you gone through and what was your favorite?
I have only been riding for a little over two years and I’m still on my first bike. It has been changing so much over time and each mod makes me love it more. I feel like the best thing that I did for it was to keep the monoshock. This bike is built entirely around my style of riding and the variety of terrain I encounter.
Do you prefer to ride solo or in groups?
I used to prefer to ride solo since I get to be selfish with my time, pace, and destination. I have done some bigger group rides (Gentlemen’s Ride, local meet up rides) and have had a blast because during those moments when it feels like everyone around you is just feeling the same vibe. The sweet spot for weekend rides is a small group of 3.
Born Free 7 with the LNSPLT crew was my biggest and longest group ride. That feeling of instant comaraderie can’t be matched by any other culture and I feel so fortunate to have met such a great group of guys to travel with.
Out of all bikes, why Honda Shadow?
I was drawn to sport/standard bikes at first. I was SURE that I wanted an FZ09. I researched and stared at different bikes until I came across sites like Pipeburn, Bike Exif, and Chop Cult. I knew that I needed to have a bike that I could customize and stand apart from the crowd. Earlier I told you about my impulse buy. I have to admit that I had no idea what I was getting at the time and had no clue what people were doing with them. So really, I think I just got lucky lol.
Most Honda Shadow owners chop their bikes into bobbers, why did you build it the way it is?
I don’t know how to classify my bike and that’s kind of the fun of it. Seeing all the sick bobber builds gave me the itch to chop and I wanted to do it my way. I have pretty eclectic tastes so I was inspired by a lot of bobber, cafe, and tracker builds.
I wanted to blend the style of a cafe, rawness of the bobbers, and functionality of the trackers. Who knows if I’ve achieved any of that yet but as always, it’s a work in progress.
Have you gotten any close calls?
In regards to traffic, I can honestly say that I haven’t had any close calls. I developed some really good traffic reading skills from my many years of riding bmx with no brakes. I learned to see trouble coming a mile away and so far that has kept me out of trouble on the road.
I have made some rookie mistakes and almost ran off the road but NBD. The times that I have laid my bike down were on rough dirt and gravel roads. It was always because I was trying to do too much for my own good.
What’s next for your bike?
I’m waiting on some parts to get in so that I can clean up the wiring up in front. I’ve been playing around with different fork oil levels to dial in my damping with the stock springs. I feel like I’ll be swapping those out for Progressives relatively soon and throw on a fork brace. I don’t want to make any wild claims right now but I am really looking at my options for some more power. If I can get a hold of a Nt650 motor that would be a pretty straightforward swap! Huge IF.
Any tips for new riders?
Do a ton of research on the type of bike you want. Think about what you want to get out of riding or modding and be patient. Be honest with your abilities and ride with experienced friends to learn. Stay humble, address your bad habits, and strive for improvement.
Until next time LNSPLTRS!
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Jonathan, born and raised in San Jose, CA. I just turned 30 and I’m one of the oldest guys in the group; I’m still young at heart though. I’ve done a lot of things through my life’s journey up to this point. One of my proudest achievements was as a high school wrestling coach I was fortunate enough to coach my little sister. She went winless her freshmen year; less than 3 years later I was in her corner as she wrestled in the Finals at Nationals. It’s an indescribable feeling to see those you care about succeed. I also did some amateur bodybuilding during my late teens, which taught me a lot about dedication, determination, and sacrifice. These are things I’m grateful to have learned early on in life.
Is this your first bike? if not, what and when did you start riding?
My first bike was actually a Yamaha R6. A buddy of mine was looking to upgrade to an R1 and sold it to me for a player’s price. I never got into being a hardcore rider and used the bike more as a commuter. Less than a year after I got the bike I popped it up on accident and totaled it. I walked away from the accident. As soon as I got home I was on craigslist looking for another bike. That was 8 years ago and I’ve been riding ever since.
Out of all the motorcycles to choose from, why did you specifically choose a Honda Shadow?
My good friend Mikey Nguyen told me about his Honda Shadow bobber and how he rode with a bunch of guys. Initially, I didn’t think much of it, because I didn’t really know what a bobber was. One night he brought it to the gym and I thought it looked ridiculous (in a good way). As I stood there admiring the bike, a couple of older guys came out of the gym and started to do the same. I knew there was something unique about it. He told me he built it and it wasn’t really that costly. Mikey mentioned how all of the guys rode Honda Shadows, but you would never know, because everyone added their own personal touches. I was really intrigued how the same bike could look so drastically different. A few months later I found my life becoming really monotonous. I needed a new hobby, something different, so I called him up, told him I was thinking about building one. A few weeks later he went with me to look at a bike down in Morgan Hill. The guy I bought it from said a few other people had already been down to buy the bike and were ready to give him the cash without even looking at it. He mentioned how he didn’t want to sell it to them because he knew they were just going to chop it down. I pretended like I didn’t know what he meant. I told him it was my first cruiser and I wanted to buy the bike so I could get used to the feel before I upgraded. I wasn’t really trying to scam the guy, but that’s sort of how it played out haha. He even knocked off a few hundred dollars for me.
What went through your head when you went down for the first time?
I popped up the front tire on my first R6 and couldn’t sit the bike back down, primarily because I wasn’t trying to do a wheelie so I wasn’t prepared. When changing gears the bike slipped into neutral and then back down into first with the throttle open. I just let go of my bike. I remember everything kind of changed into slow motion. One second I was staring up at the beautiful blue sky, the next I was upside down. I could see my bike in front of me turning and flipping, fairings shattering, and pieces flying in every direction. Luckily I was able to walk away and I was back on craigslist that night, looking for another bike. I haven’t gone down on my bobber, however, while going southbound on 87 , at about 70 mph, my chain snapped and smacked me in my back. I thought I had been shot. Fortunately it was pretty cold that day and I was layered up. I had an imprint of the chain bruised into my skin, but it went away in about a week. I’ve also been through three license plate brackets and about six taillights on my bobber. You kind of expect issues to arise when you are on your bobber though.
Between your sports bike and your bobber, which bike would you prefer?
Without a doubt the Honda Shadow. It’s not the fastest thing, but that allows me to enjoy my surroundings. Plus, there is something really rewarding about riding a bike that you built. Most people don’t understand that unless they’ve done the same. My dad has a 2015 Harley Street Glide and always offers up his bike for my rides. I’ve turned it down every time.
Do you enjoy riding by yourself or with a group? Why?
Definitely with a group. I ride solo all the time. Sometimes I ride to work or the gym or just to clear my head. Everyone is always busy and has their individual stuff going on, so when we get a chance to get together it’s rare. I truly appreciate that time together. The comradery and brotherhood is special
The funny thing is I’m actually not a big fan of the color orange, but I’m a HUGE San Francisco Giants fan. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember. My dad used to take us to games out at Candlestick every year. I remember he would change the grades on my sister’s report card, because if you got a certain GPA you could get in for free. I try to go to as many games as I can nowadays, usually 10-20 every season. At the end of June I finished the original build and the tank was raw metal, gathering rust. Everyone asked me if I was going to paint it. I wanted to paint it black, but a lot of the guys already had black themed bikes, so I told myself that if the SF Giants made it to the playoffs I’d do an orange and black scheme. The Giants went 10-16 during the month of June so I never thought they would make the playoffs, let alone win the World Series haha. After I had the tank, oil tank, and headlight painted orange I wasn’t happy with the overall appearance. I felt it was missing something. It needed more orange and it needed more black. So I added the orange chain, orange grips, painted the chrome on the head light black, the chrome tips on the exhaust black, added orange reflector tape on the wheels, and wrapped the exhaust orange. I think there is a good balance of both colors now.
What do you enjoy most about riding your bobber?
To be honest it isn’t so much about riding as it is the things that have come along with it. At the beginning I had no idea that I would be a part of something so positive. I thought I would buy the bike and Mikey would help me chop it down and then that would be the end of my journey. Since I’ve built my bike I’ve met so many cool people that have been a positive part of my life. Guys that barely knew me would drop what they were doing to help me. And I’m not talking about just help with the bike. I’ve called on them multiple times for that and they’ve never failed me. Since building my bike I’ve seen over a half a dozen guys build their bikes and I can relate to the process. But I’m really talking about times that had nothing to do with motorcycles. They were there for me when a close cousin of mine passed away, there for me during the holidays when I wasn’t able to spend time with my family, and there for me during the celebration of my 30th birthday. I could go on and on. At the end of the day it has very little to do with riding, and much to do with the selfless and genuine relationships developed in our LNSPLTBVLD family.
What are your future plans for the bike?
My bike is a work in progress, as are most bobbers. I’d eventually like to go suicide with mid-pegs. I don’t have a garage so big projects like that usually revolve around the free time of other LNSPLTBLVD guys. I’m not sure if I’d ever sell it since it is my first build, but I’d definitely like to build another one sometime soon.
Did you name your bike? If so, what did you name it and why?
I did name her. Initially I didn’t because I knew the identify of the bike would change. Even when the SF Giants won the world series and I began to change it from raw rusted metal to orange and black I had trouble deciding on a name that would fit. I wanted a feminine name that could also double as something that was significant and powerful. I had built this bike and it was something I was proud of. I felt like I was doing a disservice to my bike leaving it without a name. I would pass by it everyday, sitting there at the top of my driveway, nameless. Well, I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, KNBR to be specific, and I heard this word over and over again…that word was DYNASTY. I thought that it was a perfect fit! The word itself embodies something powerful. Something long lasting. The SF Giants (black and orange) theme fit perfectly. And thus Dynasty was born.
Any tips for newbies?
Surround yourself by positive people and remember it’s okay to make mistakes. The LNSPLTBLVD/Legion Cycle guys have been extremely supportive and helpful. When I first started building my bike in May 2014 my knowledge of motorcycles was very limited. I made sure to ask a lot of questions along the way. I remember building my bike in Mikey’s garage and guys I had never met would come over to check it out. They ended up helping me out with a lot of things. A year ago I didn’t know what a carburetor was or what it really did. Now I can remove mine from my bike in less than 10 minutes. It’s definitely a learning process. Troubleshooting comes pretty natural to me, so taking things apart and putting them back together is the way I learn things. That is essentially the first majority of a build. Once you do that you’ll know how your bike works.
Born Free 6, the event I’ve been waiting for all year.
Test ride before our trip down the coast
Last minute clutch job on Dizzy Dat’s bike
The Prez and Yeezus
Ready to go!
Stripper T was the only one that showed up on time
An hour later…
What started out as a “Who’s down for some cruising” never ended that way.
Dat met up at my house and we had no destination in mind except to fill up before our cruise. While filling up, YK gave us the bat signal to meet up with him. I knew then that we aint gonna be cruising no more.
There are no words to describe the feeling of the summer breeze hitting yo face while you blast down the high way pissing off drivers with your chopped pipes. We met up with YK at gas station down the street from his house so that we wont wake his kid and upset his neighbors.
Yk led the pack and took us on a Narnia ride. Aint no cruising when you ride with the Prez. We rode for over an hour on unfamiliar roads and somehow ended up in Fremont Auto Mall. It was around 11:30 pm at the time and the only place that was still open was a Boba place so we got some milk teas and drank them like gangstas.
This ride was the first long ride with my newest setup. It was a very rough ride if you can’t already tell. Fuck it.
Some pictures for the blog
Filling up for the ride home
Felt nice riding with the OG’s again
Until next time LNSPLTRS