Families and riders stopped by Santa Clarita Harley-Davidson on Saturday for some food, beer, good company and a screening of the documentary “Being Evel,” which takes a look at the life of motorcyclist and daredevil Robert “Evel” Knievel.
Marketing director Jesse Mancillas had heard about the 2015 documentary, which was produced by actor and stunt performer Johnny Knoxville. Mancillas showed it to co-owner and actor Robert Patrick, who was also a big fan of Knievel’s.
“I grew up in the early 80s and the tail end of the 70s, and I remember Evel Knievel being on television, doing his jumps,” Mancillas said. “My brothers, for Halloween, would get dressed up in matching Evel Knievel outfits. Even at a young age, it’s just cool.”
Chairs were set up next to the store and shop, with tents lined up past the shop’s gate. Visitors could grab a hot dog or cheeseburger, order a can of 805 beer and check out motorcycle parts from NAMZ Custom Cycle Products, Inc.
Mark Fossler, national sales manager of NAMZ Custom Cycle Products,Inc., said displaying and promoting new equipment used for motorcycles was “all part of the American Dream.”
“I enjoy the culture, I’ve been in the industry for 30 years,” he said. “You have the passion and knowledge and you get to talk to people.”
Ahead of the screening at 8:30 p.m., guests watched vintage footage and clips about Knievel and his career.
“I was an Evel fan since childhood,” Fossler said. “When I was a kid, he was a hero. I still ride like Evel – the man, the myth, the legend. I was crashing my peddle bikes wanting to be like Evel.”
Mancillas described this and other events hosted by Santa Clarita Harley-Davidson as serving as the “original social network,” building relationships and connecting to the community over the past 100 years.
As well as connect with the community, general manager Daniel Vartanian said Saturday’s event was a way for people to learn about the upcoming motorcycle training courses, done in partnership with Top Gun Motorcycle Training. Courses would implement the Jumpstart Riding Experience simulator behind the shop, classes and practice riding on the top level of College of the Canyons’ latest parking structure.
“We’re proud to be able to – starting at the end of July – offer Harley Davidson riding academy here in Santa Clarita, which is a first,” he said. There isn’t very many in Los Angeles County.”
Further announcements about registration will be released within the next two weeks, Vartanian said.
Santa Clarita Harley-Davidson is located on 21130 Centre Pointe Parkway. To learn more, go to santaclaritaharley.com.