Hall of Fame Inductee – 2015
John Shope was born and raised in California, the son of a single mother. He dreamed of owning his own bike, and that dream came true when he was 10 years old and his mom gave him a new Honda Trail 50. He rode it up and down the street with a big smile on his face – but the smile turned to tears when someone backed out of a driveway right into John and his bike. Even then, he just fixed up the bent handlebars, got back on and continued to ride.
John actually started as an artist and sculptor before entering the custom bike business in the 80s, modifying, building and fabricating custom Harleys in his own garage. In 2006, John, his wife Sara, and their 6 month old son Colton moved from Oregon to Arizona where he opened his shop Sinister Industries, out of an RV garage located on his home property. The location made it possible for him to go to his shop in the middle of the night when a new idea came to him and still spend quality family time.
Since 2008 John has transformed Sinister Industries into a multimillion dollar Harley Davidson touring customization shop called John Shope’s Dirty Bird Concepts. John created a full line of aftermarket parts so Harley owners can spend a hundred here or there to customize their own bike instead of doing a much more expensive complete modification. John’s parts line and his dealer program have given new life to hundreds of motorcycle shops that were suffering under the weight of a dismal economy.
John continues to take chances on things that many in the industry would never attempt. He has built a full line of parts for Indian’s new Chief and Chief Classic which he introduced on “Biker Battleground Phoenix,” where he won the title “Biker Battleground Ultimate Build-off Grand Champion.” He continues to work with Indian Motorcycles by creating a full line of parts for the company’s newest model, the Scout.
John and his wife Sara continue to live in Arizona with their three boys – all of whom ride dirt bikes and hope to be just like their dad.