I've known Kickstand for some time now, and have always admired the work he puts out at his shop in Belton, Missouri. Kickstand is best known for cruising around town on his big bright orange radical chopper he calls 'Big Orange.' Now, as it turns out, there's a new girl in town, which is a beautiful live green Harley-Davidson Shovelhead affectionately known as 'Ms. Karma.'
The first time I was introduced to Ms. Karma was at the 1st Annual Mid-Missouri Bike Rally in Urich, Missouri this past August. I've always been a big fan of old Shovels and Pans, so I told Kickstand that once his bike was finished I'd like to shoot Ms. Karma for the magazine. A few months later I received a call from Kickstand telling me the bike was almost finished and to come check it out. I made the short drive down to Hellraisers Fabrication and was blown away by how great the bike turned out.
After checking out the bike and the numerous other projects Kickstand has going on at his shop we scheduled a time and location to shoot his new bike for the cover of our March 2010 issue, and the rest is history. During the shoot I asked Kickstand if I could also interview him for this month's Readers and Their Rides article, and he was happy to provide us with the following information.
CC: Kickstand, what is your occupation?
Kickstand: I'm the owner of Hellraisers Fabrication in Belton, Missouri.
CC: Do you have hobbies other than motorcycling?
Kickstand: Yes. I use to be build bikes, but now I build them for a living, so my hobby has changed to just riding them because that's all I have time for now.
CC: Why do you ride?
Kickstand: It gives me time to distinguish myself and set myself aside from everything in life.
CC: How long have you been riding?
Kickstand: I've been riding since I was 4-years-old.
CC: What was your first bike?
Kickstand: My first bike was a Suzuki 50 dirt bike.
CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Kickstand: I've owned 14 bikes.
CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
Kickstand: I currently own 5 ½ bikes.
CC: What do you like most about your Shovelhead?
Kickstand: The fact that she was given to me by my fiancée Zippy, who is the love of my life.
CC: What is your dream bike?
Kickstand: A bike that rides like no other, with the brightness and brilliance of a bike unlike any other, that can be ridden across the country and back.
CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Kickstand: All of them.
CC: Do you have a least memorable riding experience?
Kickstand: Yes, it was having a blowout on the rear of my 10 1/2 foot long chopper while passing a car into oncoming traffic going uphill.
CC: What motorcycle rallies and events have you attended, and which is your favorite?
Kickstand: To many to list, but I've been to all the great ones. The ABATE Rally at Lake Perry, Kansas and Bikes, Blues and BBQ in Fayetteville, Arkansas are my favorites.
CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Kickstand: I like riding in the middle of the pack so I can see all the bikes in front of me, but I somehow always end up in the front of the pack.
CC: Who is your closest riding buddy?
Kickstand: Larry Bennett, a brother and father figure who we call LB.
CC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Kickstand: Yes, I invite everyone to come by the shop and see 'Where Dreams Become Reality.'
CC: Thank you for the interview Kickstand, and for letting us shoot Ms. Karma for our March 2010 cover.
For a little more background on Ms. Karma check out our article entitled 1973 Custom Harley-Davison Shovelhead & Cover Model Hannah, and to view all the specs for Ms. Karma, take a look at our specs page.
For more information about Hellraisers Fabrication and to see photos of the shop and Kickstand's bike build check out the Business Review article we published in our January 2010 issue.
Interview by Mike Schweder
Photos by Michael Blomberg with Main Street Photography (816) 830-6363