June Softly

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Indian Larry FOREVER

Indian Larry

"Indian" Larry Desmedt (April 28, 1949 - August 30, 2004) was a noted bike builder, stuntman, and innovator in the world of custom motorcycles.

Indian Larry

Indian Larry was born Larry Desmedt in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. He became interested in motorcycles at an early age, and became a fan of artist Kenny Howard (aka Von Dutch). He later moved to California to apprentice under legendary hot rod builder and pop artist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

Indian Larry

Desmedt founded the Gasoline Alley custom motorcycle shop in New York City in 1991. His "old school" choppers quickly won renown in the motorcycling world. No one ever came close to the character and quality or the public appeal of Indian Larry.

Indian Larry  "Grease Monkey"

See 'tat' in above photo

 Indian Larry is credited with re-popularizing the stripped down, tall handlebar, foot clutched, jockey shifted, no front brake or fender, small gas tank, open piped, kickstart only, stock rake choppers that prevailed in the 60s, before long front ends became popular.

Indian Larry by photographer Bobby Seeger Jr.

Indian Larry by photographer Bob Seeger Jr.

Indian Larry photography by Bob Seeger Jr.




CHOPPERS HEAVY METAL ART  Mike SeateMichael Lichter 
When a motorcycle has been built from the ground up, stripped of anything not needed for speed, power, and striking looks, and draped in rich colors and chrome, it has been transformed into a chopper. What was once considered an outlaw ride has now become a luxury item and a mainstream obsession. Choppers: Heavy Metal Art, author and biker Mike Seate explores the many styles of choppers and bobbers and the builders behind them. The book is divided into several sections based on style or type of chopper, with each section devoted to the builders who follow a similar style and philosophy.  Some Featured Builders Include: - Matt Burris- Larry Curick- Arlin Fatland- Roger Goldammer- Jesse James- Kendall Johnson- Brian Klock- Billy Lane- Indian Larry- Donny Loos- Rick Fairless- Russell Marlowe- Arlen Ness- Corey Ness- Mike Pugliese - Kim Suter- Paul Yaffe- Hank Young.

CHOPPER SHAMAN ~book   written by Dave Nichols, Bambi & Michael Lichter

Dave Nichols is the editor in chief of Easyriders and V-Twin magazines and has been instrumental in getting chopper builders on television. He is an avid rider and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of custom bike builders in the entire motorcycle industry.   Better known by her stage name, Bambi the Mermaid, Andrea Cambridge is a performer at Coney Island, where she met and married Indian Larry in the late 1990s.   Since the early 1980s, Michael Lichter has been photographing custom motorcycles, often hanging from the beds of pickup trucks during rainstorms, photographing packs of bikers in places like Daytona Beach and Sturgis, South Dakota for the pages of Easyriders magazine. He has written and photographed a number of books. 




Indian Larry doing a six speed burnout at the first Great Biker Build Off

Indian Larry vs Billy Lane The Great Biker Build Off 2003

Indian Larry vs Paul Yaffe The Great Biker Build Off 2003

Indian Larry vs Mondo The Great Biker Build Off 2005


Indian Larry the Final Moments Tribute by Discovery Channel

Charlie Brechtel Tribute to Indian Larry

Buckcherry Tribute to Indian Larry

Indian Larry played a convict on TV for three seasons on HBO's "Oz"


The Horse Backstreet Choppers Magazine
The Horse Backstreet Choppers Magazine

The Horse Backstreet Choppers Magazine

Hardcore Choppers



American Iron Magazine

American Iron Magazine

Barnett's Harley-Davidson Magazine El Paso, TX

Kustom ~ Hot-Rod, Chopper & Kustom Kulture

Daily Record

Biker Spot

Kopteri ~ Finland Biker Magazine

Wild ~ France


Larry Desmedt ~ 1979 by photographer  ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE

Indian Larry ~ Timothy White photography

TIMOTHY WHITE ~ See GREAT shot of Indian Larry in headdress HERE


NYC Indian Larry Motorcycles block party... great banners created from original photos by Clay Patrick McBride... Read More

DonV : Who is the one person that influenced you the most?
Larry:  Ed Roth was my biggest influence! I met him in the 60's,when I went to California as a starry eyed kid to try to work for him. But unfortunately he told me "you have no California experience kid"! So he sent me off to work for a great car painter and friend of his, Larry Watson. I worked for Larry doing prep work and finally returned to New York still in pursuit of my dream.  Read More

Question: Visual balance is pretty straight forward, but in striving for functional balance where do you draw the line?
Indian Larry: Draw the line? I’ve been trying to draw that line for the past 30 years. Where’s the cut-off point? Hell, I don’t’ know. The chopper is a constant struggle between the balance of the functional and the visual. But if it’s doing the job, then it’s still functional. You need certain geometry. You’re not going to have an 80-degree rake and still expect the bike to function the way you want. So if it’s not functioning correctly then visually it doesn’t matter. It that’s what you are after, the pure visual , then you’re after sculpture, not building a motorcycle. Functional balance is the epitome of aesthetics. It has to function; it’s just that simple.  Read More

Chain of Mystery

Larry envisioned a cross between a top-fuel dragster and a roadracer. He would never sacrifice performance for visual effect, but had no disdain for decoration. He was big on candy and metalflake paint. Read More

Indian Larry Commemorative Issue ~ by The Cycle Source Magazine

It takes more than nice pictures spread on glossy paper and a few anecdotes to really understand an artist, any of them. And it’s especially true when you assign yourself the task of making the public at large understand why Indian Larry DeSmed became much more than a celebrated builder, an inspiration and a custom culture icon for the generations to come. Read More

Indian Larry

Indian Larry

Indian Larry

Indian Larry, Motorcycle Builder and Stunt Rider, Dies at 55

NYTimes > Obituaries

Published: September 1, 2004

Larry Desmedt, a New York-based custom motorcycle builder and biker better known nationally as Indian Larry, died on Monday in Charlotte, N.C., of injuries he suffered doing a stunt on Saturday at an appearance there. He was 55 and lived in the East Village. 

His death was announced by Timothy White, a photographer and friend. He said Mr. Desmedt had gone to Charlotte for the filming of    Read More

Indian Larry FOREVER

Visit official Indian Larry Website
Visit official Indian Larry Facebook

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