Rolling Thunder Run, Washington D.C. Photo by Cristiano Del Riccio


Veterans and service members know that the biking community has always been with them. Biker clubs and organizations have always supported our troops by raising funds, attending ceremonies, attending funerals and, when needed, protecting the funerals of fallen warriors from protesters. Many of these clubs, organizations, and events from across the across the country are listed here. In addition, since so many service members and veterans ride motorcycles, many of them with their bikes are posted here as well.

In 2012 five custom bike builders from around the country we’re asked to build a tribute bike to lead the rally at the 25th anniversary of Rolling Thunder. Each one of these bikes represented a branch of the service and was to honor our veterans and military men and women. These custom bike builders are continuing their support by participating in this project.

Military Tribute Bikes at Rolling Thunder
Photo by and Courtesy of M. Stemp/IronTraderNews,

Jay Allan---Army Tribute Bike

Jay Allen with his Korean War veteran buddy sitting on Jay’s Army tribute bike.
Photo by and Courtesy of M. Stemp/IronTraderNews,

Jay Allen, creator of the legendary Broken Spoke Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota, Laconia, New Hampshire and Daytona, Florida and his Jay Allen’s Road Show facilitated the entire tribute bike build.

Jay brought in custom bike builders Dar Holdsworth --Navy, Brigitte Bourget-- Marines, Mike “Kiwi” Tomas-- Coast Guard and Billy Lane—Air Force. Along with host Jay Allen—Army, they came together to pay tribute to Rolling Thunder. None of the elite builders knew what the other was creating so every bike was unique.

Mike “Kiwi” Tomas--- Coast Guard Tribute Bike

Photo Courtesy of Mike “Kiwi” Tomas

SEMPER PARATUS (Always Ready).
Mike “Kiwi” Tomas (pictured above) drove this this original 1945 Indian Chief across country traveling 4000 miles to be at the 2012 Rolling Thunder. Leaving from the San Diego Coast Guard base this bike endured the Mojave Desert, scaled the mountains of New Mexico, galloped across the Texas prairie, cruised the Nachez Trace Parkway, climbed the Blue Ridge Mountains, conquered the North Carolina Tail of the Dragon and slid to a stop at the Atlantic Ocean in plenty of time to make the Memorial Day weekend Rolling Thunder event.

Kiwi Indian was founded by New Zealander Mike Tomas after he settled in the US and decided to turn his long-time interest in original flathead V-twin engine powered Indian motorcycles into a business. What began as a small garage based set-up, with Mike remaking small parts to restore his own bikes, has now developed into an international business producing complete re-engineered versions of the Classic motorcycle designs.  

Kiwi Indian Motorcycles, Riverside, CA


Billy Lane working on the rear fender brackets for the tail light wire of his Air Force
custom S&S Knucklehead motorcycle. Photo Courtesy of Michael Lichter

Billy Lane’s Air Force Tribute Bike
Photo Courtesy of Michael Lichter

Billy Lane, a Florida native, built his first custom motorcycle from a box of parts, and soon thereafter founded Choppers Inc., in 1988. Now widely recognized for his creativity in chopper design and innovation, Billy Lane is considered a leader in the motorcycle industry. Along with the USAF Tribute Bike and numerous awards, some of Billy’s other notable achievements were the creation of his “hubless” chopper, regular cover features in books and magazines, as well as frequent invitations to appear on the Discovery Channel‘s “Biker-Build-off”.

In 2012, Billy’s USAF bike was one of 5 original tribute bikes to lead the rally at Rolling Thunder’s 25th Anniversary. It was carefully hand-built to honor the men and woman of the United States Air Force and to commemorate Rolling Thunder’s tireless work on behalf of veterans affairs and the POW-MIA recovery effort. Weighing in at a lean 385 pounds (including fluids and fuel), Billy designed the bike to represent speed, precision, readiness, and strength.

Choppers Inc. Melbourne, FLA

Brigitte Bourget--- Marine Tribute Bike

Brigitte Bourget’s Marine Tribute Bike at Rolling Thunder
Photo by and Courtesy of M. Stemp/IronTraderNews,

Bourget’s Bike Works Phoenix AZ.

Dar Holdsworth--- Navy Tribute Bike

Dar Holdsworth’s Navy tribute Bike at Rolling Thunder
Photo by and Courtesy of M. Stemp /Iron Trader News,
Brass Balls Cycles Oklahoma City,


Rolling Thunder’s mission is to educate, facilitate, and never forget by means of a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War. Rolling Thunder has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country. The Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run is an annual ride and gathering that first started in 1988. Riders from around the nation, and even around the world rally in the Pentagon parking lots and begin the run through the streets of Washington, D.C. Afterward, it is an opportunity to meet old and new friends, pay respect at the memorials and participate in the Memorial Day events.


The Ride of the Patriots is an exciting four-day event spanning the entire Memorial Day weekend. All activities for the weekend are at or begin at Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, Virginia. The Patriot Harley-Davidson parking lot is designated for bikes only from Friday morning until after the departure of the Ride on Sunday Morning.

The Ride of the Patriots just completed its sixteenth year in 2014. It started with an informal group of a few hundred motorcycles taking the 20-mile trip through Northern Virginia to the Pentagon in Washington DC where they met nearly a half-million fellow bikers attending the national Rolling Thunder event.

The Ride of the Patriots has become a major event in its on right with now more than 3,500 bikers from across the country meeting at Patriot Harley Davidson. The ride takes place along a closed parade route in honor of the armed services hours before the larger rally roars into the District.


The Mission of the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run Organization is to show our brave servicemen and women and their families that we support them and to honor fallen heroes. The Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run event, every 3rd Saturday in June, is lined with Americans waving American flags and paying tribute. Tens of thousands of participants make their way to Marseilles to be involved in this celebration of freedom.


The motto "Soldiers Helping Soldiers" is a testimony to the ride's beginnings when a few soldiers of the 155 Brigade Combat Team of Mississippi, while still deployed in Iraq, put together the logistics for the first ever Dixie Thunder Run in 2006. In the beginning the Dixie Thunder Run was a motorcycle ride to benefit deployed soldier's families of Mississippi. As it spread by word of mouth, soldiers and supporters have joined over the past six years to make the Dixie Thunder Run the largest organized motorcycle ride in the state of Mississippi.


“The Patriot Guard Riders is an organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First responders and Honorably Discharged Veterans.”
The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security including Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and Honorably Discharged Veterans. Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen America heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and     their communities.
2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions     created by any protester or group of protesters

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

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