hobo: Noun, -one who walks along the highway, perhaps, taking whatever is around and available (source: Brian Klock Dictionary).
The idea for the Hobo came not only from Dan Cheeseman’s love of bicycles, but also from an urge to create something outrageous, a show-stopper.
“I wanted a bike that looked like it didn’t run or wouldn’t start. Something that appeared like you couldn’t possibly ride it,” Dan said.
And that’s exactly what he did. The Hobo, Dan says, is a throwback to 60’s show cars, purpose-built to show, something that stopped the crowd and incited phrases like “Holy ****.”
“Dan was picking up whatever he could scrounge together,” Brian said. “The more stuff he picked up, the more ridiculous this bike became.”
This nomadic vision for the motorcycle led Dan and Brian to pick up parts all over the country. Over fifteen years ago, at the World’s Largest Truck Stop off of I-80 in Iowa, Dan “fell in love” with a little lantern coach light. He had to have it as the taillight for the Hobo. It had an incandescent single stage bulb, and because it needed an LED, he looked to Joe Tschetter in Mitchell to build an LED board.
The amount of one-off, hand fabricated parts and pieces on the custom is simply staggering (Top Ten Ridiculous parts coming soon!!). But it was little details like the lantern light that got attention, and the Hobo certainly did what it was built to do. The “Anti-Common Sense Version” motorcycle, as Brian calls it, was an eyeful at shows, never disappointing the crowd. It even granted Dan his first trip out of the country! This came after Brian took the Hobo to Daytona for the Rat’s Hole Show.
“If you could win the Rat’s Hole Show, that was the championship,” Brian said. “The Hobo was the perfect eye candy. People ogled that bike all day!”
At the end of the show, five bikes were chosen to go to the Essen Motor Show, a massive vehicle and motorsports exhibition in Essen, Germany. It was an all-expense paid trip, and Dan spent a little over two weeks there, soaking in the rewards of months of tireless fabrication.
When he returned to the states, he proudly displayed the show dvd of the entire exhibit. Featured on the case of the DVD was the Hobo. The bike became a phenomenon.
“People loved to see this bike,” Brian Klock said. “It is and was completely different than anything anyone else had ever done.”
It landed on the cover of the March 2004 edition of Iron Works magazine (thank you, Marilyn Stemp). Back then, there were only around 12 chances to get a cover. To be photographed and featured for a cover back then, the guys felt a big win. Social media didn’t exist, neither did cell phones for quick snap and share photos to post in an instant- the only way to share it and get the bike out there, was to get it in a magazine!
The Hobo continues to inspire perpetuating unique builds all over the country. The bike is currently owned by Lance (Fathead’s House of Fluids) in Lead, SD.
Top Ten Most Ridiculous Parts on the Hobo
10. Gene Slater Finger Throttle
9. Non-Water Proof. Non-DOT Trucker Carriage Light
8. Semi-Vented, non-vented fuel vapor bomb fuel tank
7. Super Dooper Comfy Seat
6. Worthless Headlight
5. Skirt-Blower Exhaust
4. Open Chain Primary
3. PTO shaft backbone and down tube with hooks
2. Welded Chain Center “support”
1. 8, or 10, or 12 feet tall Hand Shifter with Hand Clutch