Bobbie Gilmore Crew Chief – RRHD Battle of the Kings
How long have you been building bikes? Less than 1 year
What got you into building motorcycles initially?
Honestly, this competition! Although my background ties deep into the Harley lifestyle, my parents opened up a dealership when I was two years old and I have been emerged with all things Harley since, building bikes is nothing that I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of until now! I can hear the sneers now,” So why the heck are you qualified to be Crew Chief girl!?” Well, as it is true that I have no true mechanical background, I have been submerged in Harley-Davidson literally my whole life. I grew up playing with my Ninja Turtles on the Parts room floor, riding my 50 cc Y-Zinger through every twist and turn on the property, and hearing the behind the scenes H-D jargon and way of life from the tender age of two til now, and I am in my thirties! My grandparents ride Harley, my parents ride Harley, my Aunt & Uncles ride Harley, & of course I myself RIDE HARLEY! Both sides of my family tree RIDE HARLEY and we as a family all whole-heartedly believe Harley-Davidson is #1 in every aspect from quality to performance and everything in between. All that being said, ok you love Harley, but why are you qualified to be Crew Chief? Not only do I have a die-hard passion for all things Harley but I graduated from Full Sail University with a degree in design which will allow me to document our journey and keep the creativity flowing! Which is the name of the game with BOTK this year! I am not only coming up with ideas, mocking them up in Photoshop, and keeping our team on task for our deadline, I am also using my Canon camera to document along the way, as well as having the skills to market to social media channels as we complete our build. I also put together a PowerPoint presentation that I gave to the trade school that we have paired with to not only inform them about BOTK but also to get them fired up! This is one hell of an opportunity and on top of that...it’s CRAZY FUN! Getting to build a custom motorcycle with a $7500 budget, having the opportunity to win National/possibly WORLD recognition for something you personally had a hand in!? The students having the opportunity to win $2,000 worth of Snap-On tools AND THE SKIES THE LIMIT!? Are you kidding!? This is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Tell us some interesting information about yourself. Don't be shy. Now's the time to brag. Also, outside of building motorcycles, what is your passion?
My number one passion is RIDING! And I have my dad to thank for that. My dad is the coolest guy ever in my book, he was a real James Dean type in high school rockin’ the classy white T and the rolled cuff in his Levi’s as he roared down the road on his first Sporty. He was a rebel and a football star who fell in love with a quite beauty who played the clarinet in the marching band. Funny story, the first time my dad picked my mom up to take her out for a date he had a sissy bar on his motorcycle…he soon realized she wasn’t going to hold tightly onto him, so the next time he came around you can believe he had taken that completely off the motorcycle! Sly dog! One not so fateful morning he was riding his motorcycle to school when a pick-up truck backed out in front on him and put my dad in a full body cast. If not for my mom he wouldn’t have passed his remaining classes seeing as he only had the movement of the tips of his fingers! Despite this catastrophic wreck and the advice of everyone around him to find a new passion and leave these “death traps” behind in his youth, he followed through with his dream and scrounged, saved, and worked day after day after day into day working more hours than he slept until he was able to open up his very own franchised Harley-Davidson dealership. My Grandpa, who I could not be prouder to be named after, taught my dad and brother everything there was to know about engines and about what it is to be a good person in this world. My brother is now a Master Technician and my father runs our dealership with honesty at the heart. Their diehard passion for the Harley life despite all obstacles has absolutely influenced my life. It is so true what they say how life seen through a pair of handlebars is hands down the very best way to experience the road! Oh man, just thinking about being out on the open road with my short shots roaring and my fire for life growing with every rotation of the tires and every twist of the throttle! Even as I write this, just the thought, gets me FIRED THE F UP! I actually put passenger pegs onto my bike just so I could get my best friend into riding! I couldn’t stand the fact that she was missing out on what I knew was such an amazing feeling! She rode with me for about a month as she listened to my shift and felt us lean through the corners before she got the bug, took the riding class, & bought her own bike! Since she has upgraded her Street 500 to an Iron and rides EVERYDAY! I told her before she got her Iron when her riding skills were green as green could be, that I am happy to go everywhere and nowhere until she is comfortable and confident. I will make circles, I will go the same way we’ve gone a hundred times already, I will literally go anywhere because to me, just being on my motorcycle makes me the happiest person in the world! And that is exactly what we did. Before the years end, she logged more than 5,000 miles and has become not only a very proud H.O.G. member, but also one of our greatest ambassadors for our local chapter! I myself am also a very proud H.O.G. Life Member and believe with every fiber of my being that Harley-Davidson improves our way of life. Just ask U.C.L.A’s psychology department! As they have now proven so! This year’s slogan could not ring any more true...LIVE FREE[ER]....for to live a life without riding a Harley is not living at all, it is simply existing! Which might as well be a life without freedom! As the old adage goes, “LIVE TO RIDE, RIDE TO LIVE...HARLEY-DAVIDSON” (which I can actually hear the old Harley-Davidson pinball machines voice say this in my head as I type) still remains as true today as it did when Harley came up with it many decades ago! One of my absolute favorite memories of my life came from a couple of summers ago, “Back at the Track” in Las Vegas where I was able to ride not only all of the new Softail line but also the direct competitors’ models in succession. There was a moment, a sublime moment of life validation, where it was made quite apparent to me as the motorcycles proved that not only is Harley the best because that is what I was always taught but because it truly is the superior product! Oh what a wonderful feeling now KNOWING that what I have been bred to believe reigns true when an ‘apples to apples comparison’ is made! If I have sparked your curiosity, here is a link to my experience out in Vegas. http://rrhd.com/news/10898/harley-vs-the-world-harley-davidson-presents-back-to-the-track-a-las-vegas-motor-speedway-experience Riding is my all-time favorite passion with music, travel, & design at a close second. I travel and follow my favorite band, PHISH, as much as my work schedule will allow and sell merch with my personalized designs at the shows on what we all so lovingly call, Shakedown Street. At the moment, I have a Phish + Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer tribute design that I sell as my side hustle at Shakedown and on Etsy. Check us out at ForAllMyPhriends! I love living life to the fullest! Every day is a blessing and I plan on riding my way to the very best life possible! THAT is my passion!
If you had to put your approach to bike building into one of these groupings, which one would you say best represents why you build? (select one) Self-expression or Heritage or Innovation.
Explain why you choose that group
Why chose Self-Expression? That is what is so great & unique about riding a Harley! The possibilities to customize and make your motorcycle your own are endless! We ride to be free and to express our individuality! How amazing is it that at events such as Daytona or Sturgis that in a sea of bikes we can still pick out ours because no two bikes are exactly the same. Not if you have even the slightest bit of desire to be different or stand out. If you have the desire, a Harley can be that...whatever “that” is.
What is the name of your custom bike?
Explain the reason behind your bike name
We chose S.B.H.T. to abbreviate what our build will become a Street Bob Hard Tail because in the world that we live in today we don’t have time to say, share, & hashtag a mouthful of a name like Street Bob Hard Tail! We want to see our build take off on social media and this just makes it that much easier!!
What is the name of Build Crew Member #2?
How long has Build Crew Member #2 been building bikes?
More than 10 years
Tell us some interesting information about Build Crew Member #2. Why was this person chosen to be on your Build Crew? Don't be shy. Now's the time to brag. Also, outside of building motorcycles, what is their passion?
Sean was chosen for our build not only for his experience with building bikes in the past but for his creativity and love of the art of customization. Outside of building bikes, Sean's biggest passion is music. In his words," I've been the front man of a traveling punk rock band called It Hurts To Be Dead for the last 9 years. (We don't suck)." Sean agrees that ultimately self-expression is what drives any project that he has ever put work into. He will deviate from common themes or practicality just to find his own aesthetic. "I've never been one to allow the ideas of purists to impose on my art or on my motorcycles."
What is the name of Build Crew Member #3?
How long has Build Crew Member #3 been building bikes?
Less than 1 year
Tell us some interesting information about Build Crew Member #3. Why was this person chosen to be on your Build Crew? Don't be shy. Now's the time to brag. Outside of building motorcycles, what is their passion?
Ruben was chosen for our team for many reasons. At the top of the list are his technical and mechanical abilities, his ability to think outside of the box to solve problems, and in my opinion one of the best attitudes of any one I have ever met. Ruben is the guy that will work through lunch or stay late to help a traveler AND keep the biggest smile on his face as he does whatever is needed of him to help the shop because he truly loves what he does. He told me that his favorite thing about what he does is seeing the joy on someone’s face that comes directly from something he worked on or created. Outside of working on motorcycles Ruben's passions include working on Hot-Rod's, old school cars...anything with a motor he's in! GO FAST OR GO HOME! That pretty much sums Ruben up in a nutshell! Riding is Rubens passion beyond working on cars and bikes, and that is BEYOND apparent to anyone he meets as he squeals his tires to a halt and burns out as he takes off with the biggest grin known to man - every single time!
What is the name of Build Crew Member #4?
How long has Build Crew Member #4 been building bikes?
1 - 3 years
Tell us some interesting information about Build Crew Member #4. Why was this person chosen to be on your Build Crew? Don't be shy. Now's the time to brag. Outside of building motorcycles, what is their passion?
Jon was chosen for our team for his methodical way of thinking and his "nose to the grindstone" work ethic. When asked about his passions outside of working on motorcycles, there isn't much else! He said his passion with motorcycles stems from his family. He currently rides a Heritage that was passed down from his Grandpa's brother, Gordon, who was an avid RRHD supporter and daily motorcycle rider. Jon said his favorite thing about building motorcycles is the creativity paired with a way of thinking of new ideas to have fun with the build and come out with something completely different that will no doubt catch the attention of others!
Are there any other additional students on your Build Crew? List their names.
The Career Education Center of Wichita Falls! I have presented a PowerPoint presentation to get the students not only informed but fired up, the auto mechanic classes, paint & body, and welding have visited the dealership for a tour to see the build as well as see real world application for mechanics in the work place. Later this week the marketing department is coming in so that I can show them the build, as well as demonstrate what all parts can and will be customized and to show them what I do as the head of our marketing and design here at RRHD. So no we do not have a list of names exactly but we are absolutely involving the students every step of the way. We also have a VIP Reveal Party planned to bring the bike to their school, with the Jump Start, and Swag bags with cool RRHD gear and a voucher for the Riding Academy as suggested in the BOTK literature! We are beyond stoked for the opportunity to get our name out there along with helping the youth of our local community! Get kids fired up about Harley AND hopefully get some new blood in the process!
Do you have another story about another bike build? (not this current build) It’s ok if only one person from the Build Crew built another bike and has a story to tell.
Sean would like to add, "Customization has always been a big part of my fascination with motorcycles. My first build was a custom bobber that was initially inspired by the trend of the chopped up bikes with white wall tires that had risen to popularity in the early 2000's when I graduated high school. That was a cheap bike that I had purchased years ago and now is almost impossible to recognize...in a good way! That was the first bike in a long line of budget builds that I have done. Some were cooler than others...trial and error got me to some pretty cool builds over the years!
Name of vocational/trade school you're engaged with. Please include city and state.
Career Education Center of Wichita Falls
What is your plan to engage your Trade/Vocational School?
Well as I have already mentioned, we are trying to get the entire school involved! We have given a PowerPoint to the school, the auto mechanics, paint & body, and welding classes have all visited RRHD for inspiration on the build and to see real world application of mechanics in the work place. The marketing class is coming out on Friday of this week to see our build, get more informed ideas, and to see what I do in real world application for marketing and design here at RRHD. We also have a VIP Reveal Party planned for the students at their school where we will bring the Jump Start and have swag bags for the kids. And now we have the ear bud promotion we are about to delve into - very cool idea! We are doing what we can to involve them as much as we possibly can! Get the young people stoked which should be easy to do...this is one kick-ass project to say the least!!
What are you most proud of in working with a Trade/Vocational School?
I would say getting recognition and attention for this school, not only because it is a new addition to Wichita Falls but because it was created to give students that may not fit the a-typical college mold a direction in life that will allow them to be successful. RRHD truly believes in giving back to the community and we demonstrate that throughout the year with such events as our Saturday Cook Outs where we provide the food and a different charity cooks and takes home 100% of the donations every weekend. This competition is even cooler in many respects because it is aimed directly at the youth. Let's face it our future rests in the hands of these kids and that could be quite scary! But what if we give them a little nudge in the right direction, which may or may not be the college route, and help them see there are many options out there to become successful. We hope that with bringing them out to our shop, involving them in this amazing opportunity, and sharing our passion we can help influence these kids in a positive way that could possibly put them on a path in life they didn't realize existed that will give them great success both in regards to making a living but also in simply living! As I said before living without riding a Harley is not much of a life...if I could get even one kid to discover the passion that is riding Harley that would change their life forever! Or if using what we accomplish in their portfolio to help get them into a school after high school...any and all of these possibilities are there and waiting we just have to continue to get involved and make opportunities we can be proud of as this competition is completed!
-- I would also like to add that the competition only allowed for 4 BOTK official team representatives but we could not have come up with this build without the unending input and skills that came from both Jason Gilmore & Alyssa Price. These two were very much a part of our team and deserve just as much credit as Bobbie, Sean, Ruben, & Jon!
Written by: Bobbie Gilmore