Editor’s Note: Indian Larry was the legendary machinist, metal-sculptor and motorcycle mechanical genius out of New York who built a style of bike that was a cross between a classic chopper and a hot-rod racebike. He won dozens of custom bike show competitions, and raced and performed in movies and television productions. This guest blog post is written for J&P Cycles by James Simonelli of BAKER Drivetrain, who is a frequent contributor to IronWorks Magazine. Here’s his take on Indian Larry.
I took this picture of Indian Larry back in June of 2003 at the Laconia Rally in Laconia, NH. Larry was a pretty cool guy, and he was really gaining in popularity, receiving his well-deserved place in the spotlight. They were filming a Hugh King live Biker Buildoff show between Larry and Paul Yaffe.
I was worked with Larry a lot at that time, helping him out with motor stuff for special projects. Larry never got a big head, and he was never too proud to stop whatever he was doing to give a fan an autograph or just shoot the shit, no matter what his schedule was. Me and Opee (John Olson) got to hang out with him a lot that weekend. I invited him to take a test ride on my 140-inch 170-horsepower Superglide and at first he said he was reluctant because it had shocks and wasn’t really his style. But he finally agreed and split for about 20 minutes, coming back with an ear-to-ear grin like a kid in a candy store. Later that day, I watched him autograph a girl’s hoo ha on a picnic table with a Sharpie marker. Yeah, those pens really will actually write on anything! That was my favorite Indian Larry moment. We miss you Larry, you were one of the greatest. Rest in Peace, Bro.
Any other Indian Larry fans out there? Tell us about your experience with this bike-building legend by leaving a comment below