Today we had two additions to our Indian Larry exhibit. The Chain of Mystery built for Discovery’s Biker Build Off and The Grease Monkey which was his personal riding/stunt bike.The Grease Monkey is the bike that really put Larry on the map and defined the Indian Larry style of custom motorcycle. The Grease Monkey was his first bike to be featured in Easyriders Magazine (issue no. 303, September 1998). The article began, “Behold the Chopper -it is form and function, pure unfettered brawn, yet torrid and sexual.” The bike was called “a statement in art, a living sculpture which screams passionate rebellion.” Grease monkey is all that. The bike won the Editor’s Choice Award that year at the prestigious Easyriders Invitational Bike show in Columbus, Ohio and was photographed by Michael Lichter. It was also the first bike of Larry’s that Michael Shot. This bike held the prestigious position as Larry’s personal ride. Larry was featured on Motorcycle Mania II program cover on it.
The Panhead engine was transplanted from his previous build, “Voodoo Chili”, into “Grease Monkey” circa 1996. This bike features a modified Paughco frame, 4-speed transmission, and Ceriani front end. Both the frame and jockey shifter are nickel-plated. As with all Indian Larry’s bikes, the oil filter is mounted behind the transmission to hang near the rear tire. The leather seat is hand-tooled by Paul Cox.
The design of the paint feature red metal flake and pearl white flames on the gas tank. “Indian Larry” name and logo with two Maltese crosses in gold leaf appear on the top of the tank. Larry was fond of choosing mediums and design elements that were popular in the 1960s among the Kustom Kulture Kings like his idol, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. The name of the bike, “Grease Monkey”, is airbrushed on the chain belt.
”Grease Monkey” is on loan to Motorcyclepedia from Indian Larry’s wife, Andrea “Bambi” Cambridge
Larry pulled out all the stops for his third and final Biker Build-Off chopper. This time he was pitted against old-school master Mondo Porras of Denver’s Choppers in Henderson, Nevada. The Indian Larry team started by welding together heavy chain to make the frame. No one thought the chain frame would would hold together but it came through, in spades. Amazingly detailed engraving on the bike by C.J. Allen and intricate paint by Robert Pradke blew everyone’s mind. Larry died on the very day that the votes were being cast at the Liquid Steel Motorcycle Show in Concord, North Carolina.
The combination Panhead front cylinder and Shovelhead rear engine are paired with an S&S L carburetor in front and an S&S B carburetor in the rear. The brake rotor is laser cut with what are referred to as “question crosses”. CJ Allen, who engraved many of Larry’s builds, was the hand behind the engraving on all parts, including the Panhead rocker box cover adorned with Indian Larry’s signature question marks. A white and red spiral Jockey shift knob sits atop the lever. Paul Cox hand-tooled the American cowhide leather seat with the well-known illustration of Indian Larry as the “Grease Monkey”.
The frame, gas tank, and fender are all powder coated in “starburst violet”, which Larry described as being “definitely Munster Koach”. Robert Pradke painted the graphics, including the “Indian Larry” logo in gold leaf, the psychedelic question marks, and the flames outlined in green. Pradke also applied the clear coat.
Lettering on top of the tank near the seat reads, “God Help Me!!”, and the chain belt was airbrushed by Pradke with the name of the bike. Larry commented, “You don’t see bikes like this that often. That’s what I shoot for – something that’s just mind-bending”.
”Chain of Mystery” is on loan to Motorcyclepedia from Indian Larry’s wife, Andrea “Bambi” Cambridge