The 14th edition of the Born Free Motorcycle Show lived up to its reputation as one of the best outdoor bike shows in existence. Last year, we described Born Free as “unpretentious yet spectacular,” and organizers Grant Peterson and Mike Davis repeated that scene this year from June 24- 25 in the Santa Ana Mountains of Orange County, California.
Born Free boasted a long list of high- end invited builders mixed with less- established customizers who brought inspiring choppers, bobbers, baggers, and vintage iron that delighted the hordes of attendees who showed up for the weekend event. It was busiest on Saturday, when long lines awaited entry, but I rode in without delays on Sunday to park in the dusty lot outside the showground. Admission was $20; upgrading to the “Grass Pass” for $30 provided access to parking on the lawn inside the show.
As usual, the crowd was diverse, from crusty graybeards to hip Millennials and even a smattering of families with young kids. The atmosphere was casual, and the regular whiffs of weed revealed that some in the crowd were extra laid back.
All kinds of cool bikes were spread around the expansive grounds – many more than we have room for here. Take a look at some of our favorites, and stay tuned for follow-ups on a few special bikes that deserve extra attention.