Millennials create the next generation of motorcycles at the Buffalo Chip

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STURGIS, S.D. -

The next generation of custom builders and artists presented their handmade masterpieces at the mecca of motorcycles Sunday.

The Buffalo Chip held their free, annual Motorcycles as Art exhibit, and this year’s theme was titled Old Iron, Young Blood. The display highlighted old-school and modern choppers designed with a new-age flair.

Each bike was designed to reflect the attitudes and ideas of the next generation of builders, each builder was 35 years of age and younger, and all pieces were accompanied by two-dimensional art hangings.

All 37 builders were able to meet and network with industry leaders, and some were even publicly recognized for their hard work and innovation. The man behind it all, famous motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter, invited the youthful artists to reinvigorate the industry.

"The idea was really to look at this next generation, what they’re doing, because I feel they’ve been not looked at and not listened to enough,” Lichter said. “Everybody complains about sales in the motorcycle industry and changing of the motorcycle world and industry and, obviously, the economy in general. There is a very vibrant and vital culture coming up, and it’s stronger than it’s been in twenty years, and I’ve been doing this for forty years; I’ll say, the last twenty years, there was a vacuum for a while, and now it’s very, very strong."

This year’s showcase included artists from across the United States and local builders from South Dakota.

"It’s great to be involved with a bunch of younger people, and I’ve been doing this since I was 13,” Builder Zach Ness said. “So it’s great to be around, especially with more and more younger guys coming along, because it’s relatively more of an older industry. A ton of younger people involved in custom motorcycles, especially with the rally, keeping the tradition going, and being able to be a part of it and shine some light on what we do is always a great thing."

Each bike was built within months of the show's opening.

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