Meet Arlen Ness

Arlen Ness Enterprises

Arlen Ness bought his first Harley in 1967 with money he won as a semi-professional bowler. Armed with no more than a spray gun and a dream, Ness stripped down his Harley Knucklehead in his own garage and gave it a paint job of his own creation. After many an appraising eye set sight on his work, Ness entered the bike into a custom show where it received first place. Ness was off after that, spending nights in the garage working on a growing list of customers’ bikes. It wasn’t long before he rented his first store on East 14th Street in San Leandro, CA. While still working at his full time job, Ness worked the store in evenings. With his wife Bev doing the books, and his two kids (Sherri and Cory) in tow, he took a big step out onto thin air when he left his job and went out on his own full time. Ness’ refusal to imitate others, his sense of style and his willingness to take risks is still seen today in their slogan: “Always innovative, never imitate.” In March 2003, Arlen Ness and approximately 70 handpicked employees opened the new World Headquarters in Dublin, CA. This 68,000 sq. foot building has a sales showroom, parts development, apparel store, service department, shipping and receiving warehouse, photo studio, museum of Arlen’s famous builds, production area for the new line of Ness Motorcycles, and Arlen’s and Cory’s workshop where you can actually see the masters working their motorcycle magic.

Arlen Ness has been a strong supporter of the Legends Ride and regular face at the event since its inception. He passed away March 22, 2019. Although he will be greatly missed at future events, his spirit will live on through countless bikes you’ll encounter on this ride.