Born Free Cycles, you know the name, and I’m telling you, it’s a gem of a shop. You’ll find it tucked away just beside a bridge and behind a tire shop in my little hometown of Burbank, CA. Burbank is a town known for its love of car and motorcycle culture, which is why Alex and Karri Lopez decided it would make a great location for their shop. They met while working at a local Harley Davidson dealer, she was in sales and he was in service, a perfect love story! In 2011 they both felt limited in their managerial roles at the dealership and decided to take the risk and venture out to open a Harley aftermarket shop of their own!
Karri and Alex each wear many hats, Karri handles the office work while Alex runs all the day to day operations, but they both really truly love the customer interactions and getting to know them and their machines. All of their technicians are passionate graduates of MMI and LA Trade Tech, they specialize in everything Harley; offering parts, custom builds, motor rebuilds, and of course, routine maintenance. The shop utilizes the same digital diagnostics of an HD dealership with an even wider range of available parts since they aren’t married to the brand. The shop has regulars from all over So Cal including as far out as Fresno and San Diego.
Burbank also happens to be a town known for its studios, so it was only a matter of time before the studios came knocking on the doors of Born Free Cycles. The shop and even some of the team have been featured in numerous shows. Word of mouth led the Sons of Anarchy team to the shop and they began working with the on-screen bikes as well as building a personal bike for one of the shows’ main characters. The shop is also predominately featured in seasons 7-11 on the very popular, and a personal favorite show, Shameless. Karri tells me, ‘It’s always exciting to see our shop on TV. Sometimes we even get to be a part of the scene, but the coolest part is we know we can always look back and remember what the shop looked like at the time.’
The shop is very involved with the community, hosting numerous events throughout the year. Their most popular is a series of classes they have been hosting annually alongside Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® called the ‘Summer Class Series’. Each class is a free hands-on tutorial, with their most favored being the oil changing session. This year they were able to take it outside and teach a safe socially distanced detailing class, where the participants could learn on their own bikes. Each student rides away so much more knowledgeable about their ride and they make it a point that everyone feels comfortable enough to ask questions and learn from one another experiences! The shop is most proud of their Holiday Toy drive, they have been doing it since the very begging and have collected hundreds of toys for the neediest children in their community, this will be their 10th year. Karri also wanted me to let you know that you are all invited to visit some and attend their events!
You can keep up with the shop here.