The Bare Bones

Front view of Bare Bones
John Holt, 38, is a self-taught metal bender who, 10 years ago, designed and built suits of armor that were sold at Sotheby's auction house in New York City. He also makes custom metal parts, including weights for tractors and decorative items for tables. So why would Holt want to create the Bone Bike, which tops a rider out at 90 miles an hour on an aluminum seat that (mercifully) has springs but that doesn't contain padding?

"I wanted something different", he said.

Skeleton Bike
The virtually all-handmade bike he built in the basement shop of his Boone County, Illinois, home looks like a human skeleton, but bigger. It would be 9 feet, 2 inches tall if it stood erect. The skeleton has a giant skull in front with one headlight in each eye socket, and 32 teeth in its awesome jaws. Unbelievably, this is the first motorcycle that Holt's built. It took him all of 22 months to do so, fashioning it after a plastic model of a skeleton he bought at a hobby shop.

A tombstone on the front of the “Bone Bike,� a tentative name, holds hydraulic fluid that flows through tubes in the removable spine. The fork on the motorcycle that holds the front wheel are the skeleton’s arms. The bike is practically all sheet metal, finished with a clear coat. And, although the seat isn't padded, Holt rode it to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota in August, where he won third place in a "Rat’s Hole" competition.

Now that the bike is complete, he’s showing it off in this weekend’s Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Fl. And in December, he’ll take the bike on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Essen Motor Show in Essen, Germany, where the bike will be viewed in the European equivalent of the Detroit Auto Show.

But, will he sell it? Maybe...if Jay Leno catches a drift of these bare bones at a hefty price...

Read more at "Spooky on Spokes."

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Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design

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