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I know this guy was a huge inspiration for me personally. A legend in the motorcycle community. God speed Sir...
 

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Dam. Didn’t know he was close to passing. I met him a couple times at the Ness shop, it’s only a tank away from where I live. Never really cared for their style of customs but he made an impact in the world for sure. RIP
 

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Wow. Kinda like Jake above, I always had mixed feelings about his style but his work was the stuff of legends in the motorcycle world. He definitely created the Ness "look", like it or not. RIP.
 

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Well he did create the best side covers for FXRs haha.
Well. Since you mention it. I bought a set of Ness FXR side covers some years ago. Had them painted to match the bike........before test fitting them. They had those bolt hole locations molded into them. No need, right? I'll just drill the holes after paint.

Paid for the painting then discovered that the bolt locations were off by as much as 1/2 inch, meaning way off of the thread locations underneath. Couldn't return them because they had been painted. I know that plenty of them are out there in use so I guess I got (un)lucky.

Oh well. Lesson learned. And I've since become a fan of the original side covers, anyway.
 

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Yes custom stuff especially the way out there stuff isn't for everybody. He was definitely an innovator in his field. Ness, Barris and Big daddy Roth ruled the far out custom game years before any others.
 

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custom means you can make it fit,,, if you really want to

If ya bought it , or there's more than 1 like it , it ain't custom.


But back in the real days of customs , Arlen was a visionary. A guy I came up around had a genuine Ness custom bike from the 60s. He bought it in California. A '40's Knuck bottom end with dual carb Shovelheads in a true custom or highly modified and nickel or chrome frame with longggggggggggggggg girder/springer front end.
 
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