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Chopper Daddy Dave Nichols Joins Born To Ride

Published on June 10, 2020 under Born To Ride
Chopper Daddy Dave Nichols Joins Born To Ride

Get ready for a Wild Ride!

In the vast motorcycle industry, only a few individuals have names that everybody who rides knows and respects. Industry icons such as Willie G. Davidson, Arlen Ness and Dave Perewitz have ignited our passion for the road. Evel Knievel, Peter Fonda and Jesse James became famous for their connection with two wheels in various media. In the motorcycle publishing world some of the fathers of biker culture include Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Keith Ball, and Dave Nichols. It is with great pride that we announce that former Easyriders editor Dave Nichols is joining Born To Ride to help us step into the next decade of exciting growth in the motorcycle world. We asked Dave to sum up his feelings on where he’s been in the biker lifestyle and industry and where things are going. Here’s what he had to say.

My sister’s husband rode a Harley panhead and I fell in love with motorcycles the first time his riding club came over to the house. I was probably only ten years old and grew up in southern Florida. You could hear that dirty thunder coming for miles. At least a dozen big twins roared up the road and slowed to a rumbling stop. All that gleaming chrome backing up to the curb in perfect precision. I watched as the men and women got off those Harleys and noticed how they trusted each other, how they laughed easily together. They were a family; a brotherhood and sisterhood who had each other’s backs. THAT MOMENT CHANGED MY LIFE AND I KNEW THAT I WANTED TO BE A PART OF THAT MOTORCYCLE FAMILY. I had to have a bike and in Florida you could ride all year. My father noticed my interest in all things with two-wheels and took me to a bike shop when I was fifteen to look at the used scooters.

I remember going into Rizzo’s Italian Deli and finding Easyriders on the tiny magazine rack. Apparently Rizzo didn’t know there were topless girls in that magazine and he let me buy them. I didn’t learn much about girls by reading Easyriders but I did learn a little bit more about custom motorcycles and the biker culture. I raised money for my bike fund by cutting neighbors’ lawns and my dad kicked in half the dough. My first bike was a single cylinder Honda 65. It wasn’t much to look at but it got me in the wind. Thanks dad. As we celebrate Father’s Day, I want to thank all the biker dads out there who have been an inspiration to us all. How else were we gonna learn the biker code, right? In my own life, I managed to pass on that same venerable code down to my son William Garrett. Yes, my son’s name is Willie G., such is my dedication to the Motor Company and a life lived in the wind.

That first motorbike led me to own many others over the years including my favorite, a 16-over springer, rigid panhead chopper by Mondo of Denver’s Choppers. My passion for the biker lifestyle led me to write for Casey Exton’s Outlaw Biker and then Joe Teresi’s Easyriders magazine where I worked my way up and was the editor-in-chief of the “biker’s bible” for over 25 years. I also rode herd over 13 various motorcycle, hot rod and tattoo periodicals. It was a wild ride!

I took the little publishing company and turned it into a major media enterprise with both print and digital publications, worked with television producers to create the first Motorcycle Mania show with Jesse James and supplied all the custom bike builders for The Discovery Chanel’s Great Biker Build-off series. This led to me acting as the host and producer of V-Twin TV on the SPEED Channel.

In the early 2000s, Motorbooks asked me to write books about custom bikes and the amazing builders who were featured on those Discovery shows. Ace motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter and I came out with ‘Top Chops’ and that led to a book about ‘Indian Larry’. Then I wrote a trilogy about the history of the outlaw biker culture called ‘One Percenter’; ‘The One Percenter Code’; and ‘One Percenter Revolution’.

“I am so proud and excited for the future of this company and the things that Dave Nichols brings to the table. He is legendary in so many ways and we want all of you to come along for this ride as we launch the next 25 years of Born to Ride! “ – Ron Galletti

At the same time, our Easyriders Bike Shows and Motorcycle Rodeos offered riders across the country a great way to get out and enjoy the lifestyle we love. We rode that motorized high for many years… until Jane Root came along. Ms. Root was the new programmer at Discovery Networks and she wanted the channel to get back to its roots (pun intended). She wanted to get rid of the very shows that put Discovery on the map. She wanted to get rid of all the “testosterone TV” that included the Teutul’s American Chopper series, Motorcycle Mania, Monster Garage and the Great Biker Build-off. Suddenly, there were no more motorcycle-related TV shows left on Discovery and the custom chopper market dried up. Within a few years, aftermarket chopper companies such as American Ironhorse and Big Dog were history too. At the same time, the Internet was pulling people away from paper magazines and towards free entertainment online. Easyriders sales went into a nose dive and the owner of the company, Joe Teresi, had no idea how to pull his aging publishing firm out of the tail spin. Plus, Joe was 79 years old and was tired. He just wanted out. But who would buy a publishing company in the age of the Internet? Then a year ago, the company was sold to a Canadian concern that wanted the brand name for high fashion jeans. These were people who knew absolutely nothing about motorcycles or the biker lifestyle. All the editorial staff was canned, yours truly included.

“Having Dave join us and take our brand to the next level and give bikers more to do, see and experience is thrilling. “ Deb Galletti

Just a few weeks later, Ron Galletti touched base with me and we talked about expanding the Born To Ride brand. I met Ron many years ago. He even interviewed me for his Born To Ride TV show. I knew his heart was in the right place. Here is a man who has lived the biker lifestyle his whole life; a man who knows what his readers want and delivers it to them each and every month. Now I am proud to announce that I am joining this motley crew of motorized misfits and we have plans… big plans! Sure, Born To Ride is well known in Florida and the southeast, but the time has come to share the love and bring this fine magazine, radio show and television series to riders everywhere.

Where are we going? Well, I believe that as soon as this “quarantine” is over, bikers everywhere are going to want to ride and party their asses off! We at Born To Ride intend to help you do just that! We are talking about bringing you killer custom bike shows, live concerts, and even biker cruises where you can store your bike in the ship and ride through exotic ports of call. If that isn’t enough, we have plans for something that is going to blow your wheels off! All I can say is, Born To Ride will offer bikers a home for our family like no other. Watch right here in Born To Ride for details on all the cool stuff that will be roaring your way in the near future.

BUT KNOW THIS: Born To Ride is all about YOU and we are dedicated to giving riders what they want. Born To Ride is all about what it has always and will always be about, namely you. All of us at Born To Ride live to ride and still feel the excitement of that passion to throw a leg over a scoot and roar off down the road. Motorcycle oil runs in our veins and the sweet freedom found on two wheels stirs our souls.

We hope you’ll join us for the ride of a lifetime.

—Dave Nichols