Finch Career Profile
Ron Finch has been building custom motorcycles since 1965, when he opened Finch’s Custom Styled Cycles. His unique style and design in metal sculpture is unparalleled in creativity.
His work has been featured in hundreds of magazines and has inspired such headlines as “Michigan’s Mysterious Motorcycle Madman” (Ed Roth 1968), “The Fabulous Finch” (Cycle Guide 1969), “The King of French” (Custom Chopper 1973),”Finch Effect”(Bike Bible 1976), “King of Custom” (American Iron 1991), “Mad About Metal” (Supercycle 1995), “Michigan Magician” (Easyriders, Japan 1998), and “ Ron Finch is Nuts” (Easyriders 2004), “Finch Fest” (Easyriders 2007), “Got Finch?”(Tailgate 2008) and “Ron Finch Gets Finicky” (Barnett’s Magazine Oct. 2008).
In April of 2005, competing with the top builders of today at the Biker Build-Off Finale in Las Vegas, Ron was awarded the “Biker Blacksmith” Award for extreme metal fabrication. He was recognized in Daytona Beach in March of 2006 at the V-Twin Biker’s Ball with the Lifetime Achievement Award! As he gratefully accepted the award, he assured the crowd that his life’s work was not finished and that he has plans to do much more!
The artistry of Ron Finch is not limited to metal sculpture; it is also expressed in paint. Over the years he has mastered the use of many new techniques and the ever-changing chemistry of paint! He often accentuates a Finch paint job with the application of multi-colored pinstriping before the final clear coat is applied. Currently, Ron was awarded the 2008 House of Kolor Prestigious Painter Award for the paint on his latest creation, “Finicky”.
In recent years Finch has found time to pursue another avenue of art. His new venture is called METALife, and it allows him to bring metal to life in plants, creatures, and abstract furniture.
In August of 2008, Finch was invited to display twelve custom motorcycles in the Milwaukee Art Museum during the celebration of Harley Davidson’s 105th Anniversary. His METALife sculptures were sold in the museum store and in their outdoor tent.
From September 2008 to February 2009 Ron’s historic 1969 Panhead chopper, named “Odin’s Axle” is exhibited in the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. The exhibit includes a collection of motorcycles featured in the books titled “Art of the Chopper I and II” by Tom Zimberoff.
Finch was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the International Master Bike Builders Association during the 70th Anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, South Dakota in August of 2010.
One year later, in September 2011, Ron was invited to display two custom motorcycles and two METALife creatures in the Mesa Art Center in Mesa, Arizona. The exhibit was called “Radical Rides and Rock & Roll” featuring only six other motorcycles, related art, and a memorable display of custom painted guitars.
Ron’s vision of a towering custom V-Twin chopper came to life in September of 2012, when he displayed “Chopper@LARGE” at an art exhibit called “Art Prize” in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The sculpture measures 21 feet in length and 13 feet tall and is meticulously detailed to affectionately represent a functioning custom chopper! The finishing touch is a “Finch Custom Paint Job”, which catapulted his entry into the Top 100 out of 1,517 entries!
Ron’s entire career has been dedicated to motorcycles. His customs have been appreciated by art lovers in prestigious museums and art galleries and in shows throughout the U.S. and in Germany, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Labeled as “too extreme” by some, the work of Ron Finch
appropriately proclaims the freedom and individualism that is so often associated with the motorcycle lifestyle.
Written by: Ruth Finch Pen Name: R.H. Swan