Rumbling Down The Lost Highway

Article and Photos By: Markus Cuff

Originally Published In The January 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Only in its second year, the southern California shindig that melds motorcycle culture with top shelf music was a rip-roaring success this past August. Over 20,000 folks made the trek to The San Manuel Amphitheater in sizzling heat. The venue sits about one hour east of Los Angeles. People came from over 30 states this year. One dedicated group of Oregon riders made the 1000 mile run to the festival in one 24 hour blast. Festival grounds featured two large and well-appointed stages for performances and awards. The amphitheater and a temporary second stage allowed for simultaneous shows and a roster packed with talent. Included this year were: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brantley Gilbert, Tony Joe White, Eagles Of Death Metal, Social Distortion, Foghat, and more.

Three main basic categories dominated the contests: Choppers, Dynas and FXRs, and Baggers. If you thought big wheeled, extravagantly festooned baggers had gone out of fashion you only had to look around at some of the rows of showboat machines to be convinced otherwise. Entertainment entrepreneurs John Oakes and John Reese produce the event in conjunction with music outfit Live Nation. Oakes goes way back in the motorcycle world, starting with dirt bikes as a youngster. He also has worked events for Harley-Davidson, Indian, Sturgis, Rock Star Energy Drink, and many music festivals.

Perhaps the most eagerly attended part of the day– besides the music acts — was the Roland Sands and Indian Motorcycle sponsored Supper Hooligans flat track racing. There were spills, thrills, and the turf flew as Roland and the guys– and one gal, Leticia Cline off the Iron Lilies– tore around the oval. “RIDE FAST TAKE CHANCES” was the motto here. Biltwell, GEICO, Sailor Jerry Rum, Quaid Harley-Davidson of Loma Linda, Pabst Blue Ribbon, RSD, Russ Brown Insurance, House Of Kolor and many others signed on for sponsorships and booths. Riders are able to camp Friday, Saturday and ride out Sunday, making this more than just a one-day affair. Be sure to watch the Lost Highway social media pages in the coming months for next summer’s roster of bands and sponsors, and the date.


With the suspension of Love Ride, two large and simpatico motorcycle shows dominate the outdoor events calendars for the motorcycle community in southern California: Born Free, and Lost Highway. They share a good portion of the same audience and philosophy, though Lost Highway offers a heavier emphasis on music and therefore caters to a wider demographic. The stars did not disappoint, the machines were terrific eye candy, and we eagerly anticipate next summer’s gathering of the tribe out on the Lost Highway.

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