Body and Machine

Dream On! an Update from Ultimate Biker Makeover winner Chris Gibbany

It has been exactly one year ago since my last update and it blows my mind to see how supportive the motorcycle industry continues to be and how things keep happening in my life propelling me further.  Even though I loved my time and the experiences I had with Gold Eagle, I decided after four years to resign as a Cool Rides Online Champ so I could pursue other opportunities.  After three years of hosting “Throwback Thursdays” at the local Kenda Drive-In, I worked tirelessly all winter to make this year bigger and better than ever by adding a “Trunk Sale”; car owners can bring what they can carry in their trunk or in their truck bed to try to sell their wares before the movie begins.  Each year I select car movies that have not been previously shown before and it is hard to believe that this is the fourth year of the event.

Last year I finally got my ’39 Knucklehead “Delirious” finished and have been having a BLAST riding it!  It is the best riding bike I have ever ridden.  My ’56 Panhead is currently being featured in magazines around the world and I
hope to get “Redemption”, my ’37 Knucklehead that I am building in the bike rags when finished while educating people about narcissistic abuse.  Last year I was contacted by Bree at World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD) and I was the first person she featured in her spotlight for raising awareness to narcissistic abuse in a unique way-  World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day (WNAAD) occurs on June 1st every year and she offers a FREE Survivor Empowerment Telesummit that anyone can sign up for-

Established in 2016, WNAAD is a growing global movement dedicated to raising the profile of narcissistic abuse, providing public pathology education, resources for survivors, and to effect policy change.  I had no idea this existed but am SO glad that it does!

Since I have devoted my entire life to my passion and love of vintage motorcycles and old hot rods, I find it only fitting to use my experience to motivate and empower anyone who is in this form of abusive relationship.  My life is a reflection of my priorities and of the choices that I make.  I am BLESSED for what I went through with all of these unhealthy relationships.  If it weren’t for my past experience, I couldn’t share my story to try to help others who are struggling with narcissistic vampires.

Although it usually takes me about six years to build a bike mainly due to limited funds, this bike shouldn’t take as long since I have sponsors; mainly companies that I have been supporting for years with my previous builds.  I want to thank the original sponsors of this build, Avon Tyres, Spectro Oils and Baker Drivetrain as they have been supporting what I do in the industry for quite some time.  I run the Safety Mileage MK II tire on both the front and rear of all of my bikes so Avon Tyres have come on board with a free set of tires; Baker Drivetrain provided me with the coveted N-1 that puts neutral on the bottom which I install in all of my four-speed transmissions and Spectro Oils is supplying premium oils and other lubricants that I run in all of my big-twins.

I have been blessed to continue to obtain sponsorship from some of the best companies in the business.  I use a lot of Lowbrow Customs parts so they have sent chopper parts, such as scissor springs, grips, bungs, etc. to help me out; Pingel makes the best fuel valves on the planet and they donated a designer petcock, and Star brite is stocking my garage full of cleaning products and everything I need to keep my old iron on the road.  I have always used Biltwell’s seat bracket on all of my bikes so they supplied one for this build and TC Bros sent me a taillight/license plate bracket that I have run on all of my bikes since I first built my ’81 Ironhead “Iron Man” in 2010.

I had been contemplating changing to a larger style of sunglasses and Epoch Eyewear stepped up to the plate supplying me with not only new sunglasses but the most awesome riding goggles ever; they actually fit UNDER helmets!  I run Paughco’s shotgun exhaust on all of my bikes and they are supplying me with the same set that I use on my ’39.  I only use S&S Cycle Super E carbs so they are sending me one for this build.  Another great company, JIMS USA gifted me with solid adjustable tappets, a kickstarter shaft and a 4-speed mainshaft gear puller while Beatnik from Easyriders has come on board as my art director.

Last December I entered The Greasy Dozen which is a grassroots builder collective presented by Old Bike Barn promoting garage built motorcycles.  Thirteen builders are chosen who are provided gift cards from some amazing sponsors.  The Greasy Dozen Run is a free event held each year in Columbus Ohio in honor of the builders’ efforts, the supporters and followers and includes a guided ride with an old-school campout.  This year the event is May 24-26.  Even though I didn’t get chosen, Bear at Old Bike Barn donated Biltwell Bonanza helmets for both my husband and I which is awesome since I always paint a helmet to match each of my bikes.

In addition to my sponsors, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys supports me indirectly as all of my money from writing articles on their blog allows me to buy parts for this build and as editor of Renegade Magazine, I get to write about the effects of narcissism in my bi-monthly column “Welcome to my World”.  I would like to give a special thanks to Sara and Garage-Girls for always letting me give updates on my projects!  Since I never had any support growing up, being able to build this bike with so many people and companies supporting me feels AMAZING!

I can’t wait to let the world see what MY “Redemption” looks like and I hope to continue to inspire others to “Dream On”!

Chris Gibbany

Old Iron Never Dies!

Shine with Spectro!

Kayla Yaakov 2-time AMA National Champion

Spectro Performance Oils is pleased to announce the newest product in their extensive line-up, Spectro Shine. Spectro Shine is a silicone-based spray on finish for motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, scooters, personal watercraft, cars, trucks and more! Shine gives your ride a showroom shine, every time! Spectro Shine works even better when used after cleaning your bike using Spectro Motorcycle Wash. Spectro calls it the “Wash and Shine” treatment. Spectro Shine is long lasting and forms a dirt and mud barrier, repelling the dirt and debris from roads as well as heavier mud deposits from off-road adventures.

Spectro Oils enlisted the help of multiple factory riders to help provide feedback on Spectro Shine. One of which was Kayla Yaakov, a young lady (pictured above) who has many credits to her name including two AMA National Championship Awards that she received at this year’s AMA Banquet. Said Kayla, “It works better than I could’ve imagined! I have to thank Spectro for keeping my bikes running strong and now also looking great.”

Spectro Shine comes in a large, easy to use aerosol can. With a great look, and a pleasing scent, this product is a must have for your shop. Spectro Shine is a versatile product that has many uses beyond keeping your bike looking new. “We are really excited to see how many uses people will find for this product” says Luke Calzone, Director of Marketing, “we have worked on perfecting this product for months and every day we were thinking of new ways to use it, and every time we came up with something new, it worked!”

Shine is an affordable way to keep your ride in tip top condition. You can buy Spectro Shine at your local dealer that carries Spectro as well as our online retailers. Please visit our website for more information and click on the “BUY NOW” button at the bottom of the product page to find an online retailer.

Spectro Oils would love to hear your Spectro Shine story, they ask that you please share any pictures, videos or unique uses with them so they can share with the world! Use their handle @SpectroOils on Facebook and Instagram and use hashtag #SpectroShine!

An Update from the 2018 Ultimate Biker Makeover Winner Karen Anderson!

2018 found us celebrating our 10th anniversary of the Ultimate Biker Makeover! Contestants (Girls and Guys) were asked to submit a 600 words or less essay – describing why they are most in need of a biker makeover along with a photo. Deadline for entries was June 22nd 2018. Submissions were narrowed down to the final four by selected judges from Garage-Girls. From there, the judges had to make the tough decision of who they felt most deserved the Ultimate Biker Makeover.  Karen’s story of powering through not only one type of cancer diagnosis and treatment, but 4 was pretty compelling. How does one get through a blow like that? We all just couldn’t get over how tough this must have been for Karen, but were happy to read that riding her motorcycle to chemo and radiation was what empowered her through it all.  This confirmed to us all that we needed to help this woman stay out riding on the road.  Riding was how she was surviving.

Karen has had some time for this all to sink in, her prizes showed up and she got straight to work installing them on her bike. We asked Karen to give us an update on her life since winning the Ultimate Biker Makeover, here is what she shared with us.

“On August 11th, I was standing in a public parking lot when I found my email telling me that I was selected as the winner of the GG Ultimate Biker Makeover.  I screamed, and laughed, and danced around like I was six years old, instead of going on 60!
Just 4 days later, Spectro Oils started the parade of prizes that showed up at my door with everything I needed for my fall tune up!
I had never installed a new fairing on a bike before, and I was so filled with satisfaction and accomplishment when I finished, that I was doing the happy dance in my open garage, all by myself! I am sure if the neighbors were watching, that they would have assumed I was even more eccentric than they originally thought.
I love the new look that my motorcycle has now. I had always hoped to add these finishing details, but never could allocate the funds. These prizes have really completed the vision I had for my bike in my dreams. My bike’s performance has improved with the new air cleaner: no more backfiring!  And installing the faring certainly helps keep the cold autumn wind off my chest!
I am so grateful and excited, to have been chosen as the winner of this year’s contest, that I tell anyone who will listen how awesome Garage Girls and your sponsors are! I am humbled by the extent of the prizes, and I am walking much taller in my new Harley Davidson boots, instead of my old, beat up hand-me downs!

I was a little embarrassed telling my own story to win a contest to only benefit myself. But the actual writing of my story, and having been considered “worthy”, has more than made up for my original reluctance! I would certainly encourage every woman to go for the chance to get “Hooked UP” by the Ultimate Biker Makeover. Along with the confidence that being chosen brings, getting down & dirty in your own garage, wrenching on your own bike, is so satisfactory! I love it when guys ask who did the work on my ride, and I simply smugly answer , ME!”

Congratulations again Karen, we are so happy to help keep you on the road riding and staying in the fight!  We couldn’t do this with out the support of our sponsors, Harley-Davidson Footwear, Spectro Oils, S&S Cycle Inc., Memphis Shades, Corbin Seats, Bare Knuckle Choppers, and Star Brite.

Photos by Mikel Benoit.


Corbin Classic Pillions for 2015-2018 Scout & Scout Sixty

Hey all you Indian Motorcycle Scout Riders, check this out from Corbin Seats!

An outstanding Classic style Solo seat for the nostalgically styled Indian Scout of course needs the complimentary pillion, you asked, we listened, and are proud to introduce what you have all been waiting for!

For your passenger we offer two pillion options that mount up easily to your Indian. Our standard pillion keeps a clean, low profile built up with our exclusive Comfort Cell foam to provide good mid-range comfort. Corbin’s Touring Pillion is built wider and thicker with a dished seating platform to provide maximum weight distribution and support. Both come upholstered to match your Corbin solo for a totally integrated look.  To see more visit Corbin

2018 Ultimate Biker Makeover Winner Announced!

We are so happy and proud to announce the Ultimate Biker Makeover winner for 2018; Karen Anderson.  Karen was selected out of over 74 entries to this years contest from the story and photo’s that were submitted.  This is the 10th year for our annual contest that is fueled by the goal of helping a fellow rider stay out riding on the road.

Contestants (Girls and Guys) were asked to submit a 600 words or less essay – describing why they are most in need of a biker makeover as well as a photo. Deadline for entries was June 22nd 2018. Submissions were narrowed down to the final four by selected judges from Garage-Girls. From there, the judges had to make the tough decision of who they felt most deserved the Ultimate Biker Makeover.  “Karen’s story of powering through not only one type of cancer diagnosis and treatment, but 4 was pretty compelling. How does one get through a blow like that? We all just couldn’t get over how tough this must have been for Karen, but were happy to read that riding her motorcycle to chemo and radiation was what empowered her through it all.  This confirmed to us all that we needed to help this woman stay out riding on the road.  Riding was how she was surviving.”  – Sara Liberte, owner of Garage-Girls

Karen will be getting hooked up with a bunch of prizes which include; A wardrobe of shoes from Harley-Davidson Footwear, a case of full synthetic oil from Spectro Oils, A new Corbin motorcycle seat, cleaning supplies from Star-Brite Solutions, and surprise gear from S&S Cycle, Memphis Shades, and Bare Knuckle Choppers. 

Rocks for Roses

Saturday July 21st a great group of Jeep Riders gathered at the Doe Valley OHV area in Windber, PA to show support for “Rocks for Roses” an organized Jeep trail ride with the goal of raising awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis.  Event organizer Katelyn Heinbaugh is a sweet young woman who along with her brother Billy, has been battling and continue to battle Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis.  As you can imagine, Katelyn and Billy have spent most of their lives in and out of the hospital and dealing with all this disease offers.

In comes the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with a main goal of driving research to make a difference for people living with Cystic Fibrosis. They are able to do this with drug development, clinical trials, and advocacy work. The foundation steps in and helps in every aspect of battling this disease, along with helping patients afford the massive medical bills.

Katelyn is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys trail riding with her fiancé Rain, so it was pretty natural for her to organize a Jeep trail ride that would support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Now in it’s 4th year, Katelyn was hoping to meet her goal of raising $5,000 from this years event.  We just got word she is at a little over $6,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  We are so happy to have ben able to show up and help support Rocks for Roses and we want to give a shout out to Star Brite (they are one of our sponsors for the Ultimate Biker Makeover).  Star Brite stepped up and sent us a ton of Garage products that Jeep riders would enjoy.  Katelyn was able to hand out awesome products like Extreme Clean, Salt Off, Corrosion Blocker, Snap and Zipper Lubricant, Water Spot Remover and the popular Liquid Electrical Tape. (We heard that was in big demand with this Jeep crew)   Thank you Star Brite for supporting Katelyn and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Let’s spread the word about Rocks for roses and help Katelyn double her goal for the 2019 Ride!





Star Brite-Shine Brite

By Chris Gibbany, past #ultimatebikermakeover winner

I am not easily impressed AND I have used a ton of products over the years but I am in LOVE with Star brite’s Xtreme Clean product.  One of the products that my husband and I use a lot of and have not had great results with is degreaser.  Between the both of us, we have 10 vehicles and 7 motorcycles!  Yikes!  Everything we have is vintage and my 1973 Rallye Challenger is the newest thing I own.  When I bought my ’68 Charger last year, I put the 4-speed in the carport because I didn’t want to deal with cleaning the years of oil and grease off of it.  One day after cleaning two oil pans with Xtreme Clean and getting unbelievable results with very little effort, I decided to tackle it.  OMG, my husband couldn’t believe the difference when he came home!

Xtreme Clean is non-caustic and non-acidic, with no harsh odor and it takes very little water to wash the product off.  The trigger on the bottle allows for an easily maintained two-finger squeeze and it can be sprayed upside down. The greatest thing about it is, of course, the amazing way it tackles grease and dirt.  Just spray it on, distribute with a brush, cloth or sponge and allow it to work for 15-20 seconds and then rinse off.  You can actually see the dirt lifting while you are waiting to rinse the product off!

Since the Xtreme Clean was so awesome, I decided to try a couple other Star brite products.  My ’56 Panhead was very dirty as I haven’t cleaned it since getting back from North Carolina last June.  I have NEVER actually washed the bike, just wiped it here and there. I don’t like to use up a lot of my time cleaning when I can be riding.

I first removed the rust from my Spartan springer with a MasterPro refinishing scuffing pad. I only worked on the frontend for about 30 minutes and the pad did a great job.  I then washed the entire bike with Xtreme Clean.  Once the bike was dry, I applied Star brite Ultimate Bike Guard to all of the metal, including the exhaust pipes, tank, fender, seat pan and other misc. chrome pieces. Bike guard is a detailer and protectant that you just wipe on and wipe off, plus it smells AWESOME!  It leaves a mirror-like shine and has protective polymers that repel UV rays, so it’s like sunscreen for my bike.

I then used Star brite Xtreme Protectant on the tires and it made them shine.  Since I only have a small piece of leather on my seat pan, I did not put the protectant there as I learned my lesson when I put it on the dirt bike seats; it made them super slippery!  I can’t wait to use this on the interior of my cars though.  It also smells really nice and has UV protection and is anti-static so it repels dirt.

After I got finished with that, I applied Star brite Corrosion Blocker to my springer.  The springer is raw and has to be protected and what I’ve been using doesn’t seem to last. The Corrosion Blocker actually bonds to the metal and forms a protective barrier that is clear. I try not to get caught out in rain, but sometimes it happens.  The Corrosion Blocker dries quickly and if you apply too much, just wipe off the excess.  It is like a clear coat for my springer. I can honestly say I couldn’t be happier with these Star brite products and my Panhead has never looked better!

Looking for a way to carry only what you need?

If you like hiking but are looking for a way to carry just your necessities, then you might want to consider Hill People Gear​. This chest rig pictured can be worn in conjunction with a back pack, or on its own. Perfect for phone, keys, knife or firearm. We have been seeing a bunch of motorcycle riders using these to keep important things in easy reach. Sara just got herself one at the Overland Expo and will report back on what she thinks of it.  Stay Tuned!

Sixth Annual FXR Show & Dyna Mixer Brings Friends Back to Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Aug. 5

Snap Fabrication’s Joe Mielke brings the custom culture charity event of the season back to the Buffalo Chip® CrossRoads to benefit LifeScape of South Dakota on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018

Talented fabricator Joe Mielke keeps the FXR love going strong as this is the sixth year for his FXR & Dyna Show.  Joe’s been doing this event pretty much as grass roots as you can, and he has had much success because, hell everyone loves FXR’s now.  Over 100 FXR and Dyna motorcycles are expected to show up to the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.  One of the coolest parts about this show, is instead of Joe making trophy’s he’s been able to gain support with some of the best manufacturers in the industry and is able to grace the winners with quality motorcycle parts and merchandise.  The garage builders really dig this part as it gives them a starting point to another build.

Entrants are encouraged to ride in their FXR or DYNA and enter for free. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., the show opens at 11 a.m. and awards are presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

“To many FXR riders, the FXR never went away, however, FXR fans both new and old are riding a new wave of popularity that continues to swell,” said Joe Mielke, show organizer. “The Buffalo Chip provides a great place for this event with all of their resources. We draw a lot of people who are there just to hang out and talk motorcycles. Come early and stay late for all the entertainment the Buffalo Chip has to offer. It’s a great fit.”

“This is a great show,” said Rod Woodruff, Sturgis Buffalo Chip President. “We love having the cool bikes and even more so the people who thought to build them all at the Chip for a big social event. The fact that they raise money for LifeScape is such a bonus. I’m looking forward to being part of it here on August 5.”

To add to the uniqueness of the show, those who have motorcycles in the show act as the judges by selecting their top three in each class. The general public also has an opportunity to vote for their favorite, with the top vote-getter receiving “The People’s Choice Award.”

During the show, a raffle is held with all proceeds donated directly to LifeScape of South Dakota, formerly known as Children’s Care Hospital and School of South Dakota. New this year, Paughco has donated a frame, tank and swingarm, the basis for an FXR project. Additional parts are being gathered to create a roller. The FXR roller will have its own dedicated raffle tickets.

Donations The show graciously accepts donations at any level. Those interested can contact Joe Mielke at

More information is available at

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month!

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Urges Car Drivers to Use Turn Signals Consistently During Motorcycle Awareness Month; Turn Signals as a Barometer of Safe Motoring:

There is a clear and present danger in today’s traffic environment: only about half of all car and truck drivers use turn signals.  Whether due to drivers being distracted or careless, motorist-to-motorist “communication” is at an all-time low.  A study conducted by Response Insurance found that 57 percent of drivers admitted they do not use their turn signal when changing lanes.  Their reasons:

They don’t have time (42%)

They’re too lazy to bother (23%)

Fear of forgetting to turn it off (17%)

Too busy changing lanes a lot to use it (12%)

Simply not important (11%)

No one else signals (8%)

Adds excitement to driving (7%)

(Note: total exceeds 100 percent since respondents could select multiple reasons. Study conducted in 2006.)

Similarly, a 2012 observational study published by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that 48 percent of drivers did not use their turn signals while changing lanes and 25 percent of drivers did not use signals when making turns at intersections. SAE estimated this neglect causes roughly two million crashes each year.  Along with this behavior, drivers also do not always look over their shoulders or glance at their mirrors before changing lanes.  These combined inactions threaten all roadway users, especially motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable to unexpected intrusions into their path of travel than car or truck drivers, since they lack the four-wheelers’ thousands of pounds of protective structure. “Using turn signals is one of the most basic rules of the road, as it connotes respect and cooperation, and is the primary method of vehicle-to-vehicle communication.  Drivers need to take driving seriously and pay attention to the traffic environment,” said Dr. Ray Ochs, vice president of training systems at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

To that end, Dr. Ochs said MSF is calling on car and truck drivers to make a renewed effort to consistently use their turn signals during Motorcycle Awareness Month this May, in the hope that this will become an ingrained habit.  Ochs added, “This could lead to more alert, more responsible, and safer motoring on American roads.”  Serious motorists know that safe driving is built upon a host of small acts – using signals, looking over one’s shoulder before changing lanes, maintaining an appropriate following distance, keeping right except to pass, alternating the merge when two lanes become one, using a speed appropriate for conditions, and more.Sustaining these small tasks helps support the higher-level tasks of driving, such as controlling the placement of the vehicle on the road and within the traffic mix, identifying risks, making split-second decisions and being able to execute the proper action (braking, swerving, etc.) in emergency situations, passing safely and correctly, and more.  As such, turn signal use can be thought of as a kind of barometer of safe, cooperative motoring.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests, and public information programs.  The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling.  visit to learn more