B.B. King Bike

Custom Painting was done by a Chicago land Painter, "Mike" the owner of M-N-K Custom Works in Southwest Suburban Mokena, Illinois. The shop is currently taking new customers, for all kinds of Custom Painting Projects (708) 478-8570

Riding with the King!

Custom-built bike to benefit charities

A few years ago, Eric Clapton remade a John Hiatt song, Riding with the King, with B.B. King paying homage to the blues legend.

Well, soon a benevolent biker with money to burn will be able to ride a King-themed, custom made, long and low, super street motorcycle of his own. Or to invert King's biggest hit, you could say the thrill is back - at least for somebody.

Marty Behan and his team at Snake Alley Customs in Port Barrington built the stylish ride in question. It will be part of a silent auction prior to the B.B. King Blues Festival on Thursday at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago to raise money for the Children's Brittle Bone Foundation and Special Olympics Illinois.

Behan has been customizing cars for about 30 years and building bikes since 1996. He is co-owner of Snake Alley with Bostonian John Weeden, who like Behan, was known for his involvement with souped-up cars as well as custom bikes.

King signed the bike's gas tank at an August 11th concert, during the music festival that is part of the huge annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D.

By Mike Danahey, Staff Writer


BB King Custom Bike

Snake Alley Customs
Located in Lake Barrington, Ill.,

Built the 100-plus horsepower bike, designing and fabricating many of the parts from scratch. A hand-painted portrait of King is on the gas tank. The B.B. King Theme is used throughout a complete Custom paint job done by local Painter Mike Ellul, owner of M-N-K Custom Works, in Mokena, Illinois. Tiny guitars on the wheels and Snake Alley Customs' signature chrome grenade are only a few of the details that make the machine a work of art.

The project took about two-and-a-half months to complete. While the King is Behan's first theme bike, his work is of such quality that the very first motorcycle he made was featured on the cover of "Easy Rider" magazine. He makes about 15 custom bikes a year. Prices start at about $65,000. Prior to choppers, Behan was famous for his work on street machines and muscle cars, particularly Cobras.

Behan also is creating a Stock-Trader-Themed bike for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which will be auctioned off for charity later in the year, after making an appearance in the trading pit.

David Wescot, a shareholder and business advisor to Snake Alley, is President of the Wescot Group, a futures and options clearing firm at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Wescot is a second-term member of the CME's board of directors and board member of its parent company, CME Holdings. Wescot and his wife own and manage Port Barrington Marina, which are next door to the bike business.

Snake Alley has authorization from U.S. Branches to make Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force-themed bikes. Various parts of the models are made to resemble weaponry and other military hardware. They include replica dog tags and Snake Alley's signature World War II pineapple hand grenade taillights.

Behan's son, Chris, recently returned home from an eight-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Marines. To honor him and other veterans, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the military bikes will go to the USO.

Snake Alley Customs is located at 99 Kazimour Drive, Port Barrington. For more information visit www.snakealleycustome.com or phone (847) 381-2500

The Children's Brittle Bone Foundation is a Chicago-based nonprofit that raises money for research on osteogenesis imperfecta, better known as brittle bone disease. Special Olympics Illinois provides sports training and competition without cost to almost 20,000 developmentally disabled children and adults.

This custom bike is being raffled off and the proceeds will help support the Kevin Matthews-Clause Foundation. Get your raffle tickets this Saturday. Tickets will be sold on www.kevhead.com This custom bike was built by Snake Alley Customs in Barrington.

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It's a Hot thing right now, especially since the TV show "American Chopper", Behan said.

American Chopper is a cable hit for the Discovery Channel. The reality show features Paul Teutul, his sons, and their family business, "Orange County Choppers".

 

 
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The guitar is made of stainless steel and weighs about 20 pounds. It took 25-welds-per-inch - or 10,000 welds total - to hold it together, said Behan. The paint job is the work of Behan's Buddy. Mike, "The Painter" Ellul, who runs M-N-K Custom Works in Mokena, IL. 60448. The Faux Lucille has real guitar parts attached to it. The bike is designed so that the guitar can be taken off and used as a decorative piece. "I used this for the model", said Behan, showing a Lucille-themed lapel pin.