At its second year in its inception, the Golden Bolt Motorcycle Show has already brought an arsenal of talented and highly influential bike builders from all of the country. Setting the new standard for the “rideable” motorcycle competition. The House of Machines, Los Angeles once again hosted The Golden Bolt in its downtown LA venue. Only 27 invited builders pursued the cash prize of $30,000 to impress the high caliber panel of judges with bike innovation, performance and basically thinking outside of the box. There could only be one winner that takes it all.

Official Golden Bolt Poster by Gerhard Human (@thegerhard) & Kim Teri Smith (@kimterrismith)

So you ask, what is the Golden Bolt and who’s behind it all? Well, it started with Kevin Dunworth of Loaded Gun Customs. With his own long list of bike building accomplishments, Kevin wanted to go against the grain of a typical motorcycle show and elevate the degree of what’s considered to be show worthy bikes. Kevin teamed up with Drew Madacsi of The House of Machines founder to put a show together that quantifies a complete and operating motorcycle. “I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus here, but I’m sick of people showing up with a bike that has no pistons in it to a motorcycle show and calls themselves a bike builder is fucking crazy!?” – Kevin Dunworth.

“There is no Superbowl of motorcycle shows so why not make one close to it.” – Kevin Dunworth.

In 2018, the first year of the Golden Bolt emerged without fanfare but yet like a quiet storm. The news of this new show was passed around through word of mouth rather than the typical social media blast. There were very little marketing and exposure online but yet it seemed that all the right people knew about it. This was intentional on Kevin’s part and wanted to make the show more meaningful to everyone that attends the Golden Bolt. Its only fair since the builders themselves has taken the time and effort to manufacture a work of art. Some even have traveled from across the country to be there.

Last year’s organizers and judges. The Show feels more like an intimate family than anything else. It’s definitely refreshing and light-hearted.

On top of who’s who that’s been invited to the big show, Kevin invited an expert judging panel lead by Bob Kay who’s a respected figure in the V-twin and Custom Culture community. Miguel Galluzzi, which is the mastermind and designer of the Ducati Monster, Aprilia Dorsoduro, and Moto Guzzi V7 to name a few. Skratch is a pinstriping artist known amongst the car and moto world. He’s been a regular on the T.V. reality show Overhaulin. Robert Sabel or better known as @RoughchildMoto on Instagram recreates full restoration builds of old BMW. Kevin Dunworth really left nothing overlooked and with this team of judges.

Heidi Zumbrun trying her best to get a group shot right before we head out to the Roosevelt Hotel.

The show started Thursday with a closed group ride from DTLA through the busy streets of Hollywood and into the Roosevelt Hotel. The ride is part of the judging process where each builder needs to prove each bike operates. The energy and excitement built as we all realize we’re riding amongst accomplished talented builders riding their own machines. I mean, how often do you get that chance?? I was in the middle of the pack looking like the fanboy that I am seeing Max Hazan riding his new concoction and then Roland Sands to my left cruising through with his futuristic throwback of the BMW 1934 Concept 7.

Roland Sands Design did not hold back and decided to enter the contest last minute with the BMW R7 since a builder had to unexpectedly drop out.

Another cool observation was the eclectic group of invited builders that make up the class of 2019. We had such builders from all over the motorcycle genre. No two bikes looked alike. Here is a list of the builders:

Max Hazan, Xavier Muriel, Hugo Eccles, Rick Bray, Darrell Schneider, Brian Buttera, Niki Smart, Lock Baker, Colin Cornberg, Ava Wolff Bustamante, Jake Drummond, David Bunch, Adam Sheard, Christopher Moos. Oliver Jones, Nick Pensabene, Anthony Robinson, Dustin Kott, Michael Lafountain, Samuel Kao, William F. Gately, Ryan McQuiston, Jordan Dickinson Aaron Guardado, David Morales, Bryce Schmidt, Ricky Bongos, Roland Sands

Max Hazan (L) looking back at the pack as Samuel Kao (R) rides his Decepticon transformer bike.

Jake Drummond from Oshkosh, WI made it on the ride with this amazing 36lb ultra future-looking machine.

No two bikes looked alike. From choppers to caferacers, this show has it all.

A short stop at the Roosevelt Hotel. The Security staff at the hotel would not let us go further than the parking lot since they thought we came in too aggressive…with the bikes!?!?

Heidi Zumbrun is the principal photographer for the Golden Bolt US. Make sure to follow her on her Instagram: @HeidiZumbrun

The show was open to the public, August 23-24 at THoM, and concluded Saturday night with winner announcements. The show was free to attend and a great way to share your passion for motorcycles to others that don’t understand why. So invite your friends to the next one. We would love to have you.

Last year’s bike entry from Samuel Kao.

Last year’s winner, Max Hazan with Kevin Dunworth and Chip Foose.

Class of 2018 Group Picture

 The House of Machines was created to be the essential bricks-and-mortar meeting house for the community, THoM exists to serve a deceptively simple goal — bring together man, woman, and machine — and celebrate that union in all its expressions. All things motorcycles and riding, live music, craft cocktails and beer, bold coffee and classic apparel. Our beacons light LA, Cape Town (South Africa), Niseko (Japan) and soon Shanghai (China) — built around genuine people and authentic history.

@thegoldenbolt_us, @thehouseofmachines_la, @LosAngelesMoto, @MarkGamo,, #THOMGOLDENBOLT, #THEHOUSEOFMACHINES

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