We were first introduced to Indian Larry while watching the first few episodes of the Great Biker Build Off – the first episode we watched featured Larry vs Billy Lane.
Larry struck me as a purist, a builder who built bikes because he loved doing that; he respected the art and stayed true to the old school of bike building. The episode showcased Larry’s skills and his respect for fellow bikers & builders, we religiously followed each and every episode featuring Larry up until his unfortunate death….
Larry DeSmedt (April 28, 1949 — August 30, 2004), better known as Indian Larry, was a skilled machinist, metal-sculptor and master motorcycle mechanic who has won countless custom shows. His resume includes movies, video, television and magazine spreads. His eccentric nature combined with a unique and colourful appeal gathered great interest from media, producing a fanatic fan base. His approach while building was retro and I quote “I’m a chopper builder. Old-time, old-school chopper builder. But I like the modern technology that’s involved. So the bikes run better, perform better. And we have more fun with them”. Paul Cox, Steg, and Frank were part of Larry’s crew at his shop, the famous “Gasoline Alley”.
Watching Larry work was like watching a sculptor working on his masterpiece. He meticulously drew out the bike on paper, debated with his mechanic to get the right engine, bent every pipe and metal work on the bike, selected the paint/theme, spoked the wheels (the only reason I am not getting mag wheels for my bike) and assembled the final product. The only thing he did not do was create the seat – Paul cox was the master behind all seats in Gasoline Alley.
Larry was a lone wolf, never a part of any biker gang or club, building and riding bikes was a way of life for him. If you have not seen the man in action, I suggest YouTubing him. There are some great build offs out there, and to all who have loved his work and admired Larry over the years –
IN GOD WE TRUST
VENGEANCE IS MINE
SAYETH THE LORD
To see more awesome pictures of Indian Larrry & his sensational work check out the phots section on the blog!Follow @badbikegang