Checkered Past: British Customs Honors the Notorious Checkers Motorcycle Club in their Legends Series

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British Customs honors the infamous Checkers Motorcycle Club in their Legends Series of motorcycle greats.

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"Rubbin' is racin'," said "Fast" Eddie Mulder, legendary racer and member of the Checkers MC.

To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been.

The legends of motorcycling are fading, and the face of motorcycling is changing as they drift into the past. Motorcycling is losing the grit and personality it once had as the people who created the motorcycle lifestyle become lost to us. This is largely due to a lack of digitization, as the only remaining records of these figures ever having existed or these defining events ever having happened are in forgotten and yellowing archives.

But there is someone trying to keep these mass disappearances from happening. British Customs, a lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts, has been seeking out the legends who are still with us, interviewing them, and digitizing their archives. British Customs is publishing all these materials on their blog as they are completed or uploaded to create an authoritative database documenting the heritage of motorcycling. They’re also delving into the remaining legends’ networks to find other figures who should be shared with today’s motorcycle community.

These legends don’t only extend to racers, but cover the personalities, events, locations, designers, tuners, machines, and innovators that collectively created the rich heritage of motorcycling.

British Customs is calling this the Legends Series. The Legends Series is about bringing the past into the present and inspiring riders of all generations by sharing these great stories and accomplishments with them. Riders are also able to get their own piece of history by installing any of the parts British Customs has released that were designed with input from some of the legends, such as the Drag Pipes, Slash Cut TT Exhaust System, Pro Builder Series Mule Motorcycles parts, and the Stainless Steel Collection.

This week, British Customs published highly researched and curated content on the Checkers Motorcycle Club, one of the most infamous and winning motorcycle clubs in the history of motorcycling.

The Checkers MC was a star-studded motorcycle racing club, whose roster contained such names as Eddie Mulder, Bob Ewing, J.N. Roberts, Clark Gable, Gene Romero, and Bill Saltzman among scores of others. They were known as good-humored tricksters who would pull such stunts as putting dynamite in the race flagpole, parachuting racers down onto the start line from unseen airplanes, burn donuts around every official during a race, and too many others to count, while always winning the race by staggering margins.

The motorcycles the members of the Checkers MC rode on, as did every other racer, stuntman, daredevil, and even the common rider, were all street bikes that had been stripped down and modified for any purpose wanted. In step with this, British Customs published a series of style guides to help riders inspired to transform any Triumph Modern Classic including the iconic Bonneville, Thruxton, Scrambler, and other into a tracker, cafe racer, dirt bike, desert sled, bobber, resto-mod, and other styles.

Each week, British Customs will publish at least two pieces on the iconic figures, events, machines, tuners, locations, and racers who established the motorcycle lifestyle and heritage that riders carry with them today.

Anyone interested in using or viewing the archival images and documents British Customs is digitizing is encouraged to contact them.

About British Customs:
British Customs is a Southern California-based lifestyle brand and designer of aftermarket motorcycle parts. They are known for making the highest quality factory-spec bolt-on parts that only require common tools and minimal technical knowledge to install. With any of their parts upgrades, the average rider can completely customize his or her motorcycle in a weekend.

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David Bumpus
Triton Communications
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David Bumpus

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