Hall of Fame Inductee – 2015
Eddie Trotta grew up in Connecticut as part of a biker family. His older brother was what Eddie describes as a “hard core biker,” and Eddie and his dad would rebuild his 1947 knuckle-head every winter to get it ready for spring. He loved all things motorcycle, and spent much of his high school class time drawing pictures of motorcycles. It didn’t earn him many points with teachers, and one even sarcastically told him “Boy, you’re really going to get somewhere drawing pictures of bikes all day.” Well, today – he’s proved that teacher wrong.
Besides motorcycles, Eddie had a love of music and a desire to be a rock star. So, he went to Berklee College of music in Boston to pursue that dream. He took a spring break trip to Florida that first year, but apparently forgot to return. He’s still in Florida.
Although he owned and rode motorcycles all his life, it wasn’t until 1991 that he opened his first motorcycle-related business. It was a biker bar in Fort Lauderdale called Thunder Road Saloon. During the two years he owned the bar, Eddie spent time building bikes to display there. So, when he received a good offer to sell, he decided to leave the bar behind, and spend his time building bikes. His plan was to keep things small and just mostly build bikes for fun. That’s not exactly how it worked out, though.
Since Thunder Cycle Design started in 1993, Eddie has built numerous custom bikes for customers and for causes. He’s been recognized as a pre-eminent custom designer and has received numerous honors. From 2001 to 2003, he was one of only four Camel Roadhouse Builders. In 2004, he joined the Hard Rock Roadhouse and was named V-Twin Magazine Bike Builder of the Year. He’s been on Discovery Channel’s “The Great Biker Build-Off” and has appeared on numerous other TV shows. He and his team were awarded the Biker Picaso Award at the Discovery Ultimate Chop Awards Show, and his designs have graced the covers of over 40 magazines.
Eddie is quick to point out that his business is a family business with his brother Artie still working with him. He also has team members who he regards as family even if there is no blood tie. He’s the proud father of Jill and grandfather to Carli.