Hogfever Wales
The online Harley community for South Wales

CAN CHOPPERS INC SURVIVE WITHOUT BILLY LANE?

Loss Loss Situation

I first met Billy Lane over 5 years ago when I travelled to the East Coast of Florida to a sleepy little town with a strip of white sand called Melbourne.

His shop, Choppers Inc was on the boil. His hardtail chops with their junkyard ornaments and hand made tanks had got him the attention of the guys and his tattooed bod and trademark dreads had gotten him a lot of attention from the girls.

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Bra's and bikes at the old shop

Several stints on Biker Build-Off saw his name and reputation as a hard riding hard partying ‘real biker’ jump off the chart and people were more than willing to throw 50+ grand at him just to build them a chop. The day I turned up, the place was full of people. The bikers were buying everything from custom made oil bungs to his signature Sha Sha boots, whilst their old ladies just stood around watching him bend sissy bars by hand and waiting patiently for him to autograph their boobs. His star was on the ascendance and everyone wanted to hitch a ride.

Life was good. The guy was at the top of his game and undoubtedly enjoying the ride but when we escaped out the back and sat on the bed of his hotrod truck to talk, one of my questions was about the fickle nature of stardom.

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5 minutes peace out the back

‘Fame is a weird thing,’ he told me at the time, ‘yes, there are so many things I want to see and do, but for the moment I’m surfing this wave, I’m popular right here and now and you just never know when its going to end.’

Prophetic glance of the future, or was the guy just showing his human, paranoid side? Whatever the reason,  those words have come back to haunt him. On September 4th 2006, Billy Lane was involved in a car accident on the A1A highway not far from his shop, when his Dodge pick-up collided head on with a Yamaha scooter. Lane and his passenger, Erin Derrick veered off the road, flipped upside down and hit a telegraph pole. The rider, Gerald Morelock, was killed on impact.

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Lane's Dodge

Since then Lane’s world has quite obviously changed dramatically. His corporate sponsors have run for the hills, blogs across the US get swamped whenever his name is mentioned and the local community of Melbourne where he has worked and lived for the past ten years regularly make their anti-Lane vehemence known on the local newspapers website.

In the intervening time, countless words have been written about him and what he’s alleged to have said and done. For the most part, the motorcycle press has tried to report just the facts and stay away from the ensuing moral storm, but some of the sleazier US newspapers have led a trial by media with such headlines as ‘Chopper King Kills Fellow Biker.’

Which is why, 5 years since my last visit, I travelled back to Choppers Inc in Melbourne to make up my own mind.

Gone is the glass-fronted shop with the fancy trucks and bikes parked outside and the party atmosphere inside. Choppers Inc is now in an unmarked garage buried in the middle of an industrial estate on the other side of town, you don’t find it unless you’ve been invited. There are no staff or hangers-on, Billy Lanes mother, Marianne, now keeps the paperwork in order and an old friend Phil Z is the only other worker.

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Phil Z

Gone also are Lane’s trademark dreads and booze habit, whether this is some psychological desire to distance himself from the man he was is not clear, but there is no doubt that the incidents of 2004 have left an indelible mark.

‘I don’t know what the f**k happened that day,’ says Phil Z, ‘we’d been riding around in the sun and when we left the bar, we all split up to head home, but Billy must have swung by the shop and picked up the truck, I don’t know why he did, he’s probably asked himself that same question a thousand times since.

‘But regardless of that, he’s not the fucking monster the press are making him out to be,’ he adds, ‘You know he has to ride past the very spot twice a day and it tears him up.’

On the surface, trial by media may seem justified as according to the press, Lane was drunk at the wheel and drove straight into Gerald Morelock, killing him instantly. But as with everything in life, there is more to the story.

According to the police, Lane was in a no overtaking zone and twice the legal alcohol limit when the accident occurred. But according to Lane, he started overtaking a line of slow moving traffic before the unbroken lines started. His attorney Greg Eisenmenger also maintains that the alcohol sample given after the accident may have been contaminated by the police and is therefore unreliable.

billy_laneAn autopsy on the deceased also recorded alcohol levels above the legal limit and that he apparently,  had turned onto the A1A highway from a side road mere moments before the collision. But whatever happened, the basics facts remain the same. One mans life has ended and another’s will never be the same again.

In 2007, the Morelock family filed a wrongful death suit against Lane and Daimler/ Chrysler, for supplying Lane with a promotional vehicle knowing that his licence had been suspended. They won an undisclosed amount in an out-of-court settlement. Passenger Erin Derrick’s civil suit against Lane (which she didn’t file until over a year after the accident) for allegedly suffering permanent injuries that left her unable to work, is still to be settled.

By January 2009 the case still hadn’t gone to trial, but with a new date set for February, I wondered how Billy Lane had been coping with the undoubted stress.

Still in between court appearances, it was left to Phil Z to act as official spokesperson.

‘As you can see, he has said goodbye to the circus,’ says Phil looking around the quiet workshop. ‘Oh he’s still a chopper freak to the core alright, but he’s gone back to his roots and thrown himself into building real world bobbers.’

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Bike, plane, farm, the versatile Henderson

Apparently, he’s also become engrossed in board trackers, with several ongoing projects in the shop and a complete bike built for Sucker Punch Sally’s. ‘Rumour is,’ says Phil ‘there’s going to be a board track revival, its going to be the next big thing and don’t be surprised to see some kind of race series that features them, some time soon.’

‘The thing is,’ he continues, ‘everyone and their dog started doing choppers, so we’ve gone old school, but I mean real old school, I’m talking Stone Age man.’

Getting away from the huge cubic inch monster motors, Billy and Phil have tracked down some amazing and obscure old engines and frames to get the builds as original as possible.

A 1928 Harley JD sat on the bench housed in a newly built frame and finished with cycle parts from the same era. Next to it was a 1912 Waverly, fitted with a front end from a 1917 Cleveland. Whilst on the floor awaiting attention was a rarity indeed, a Thor single cylinder engine which was only made between 1903-1916 . 

‘This 1921 Henderson engine,’ says Phil pointing towards yet another piece of American motorcycle history, ‘started out life in a bike frame, then it powered a plane, you can tell by the deepened oil sump,’ he says. ‘When we found it, it was powering machinery on a farm.’

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Ultra rare- Excelsior and Thor engines

But with lots of projects half finished and only Billy wielding the spanners, I had to ask the obvious question. ‘We just don’t know what’s going to happen to the workshop after Feb (his next court date) and right now, I don’t think Billy does either.

‘We don’t do the clothing lines now and we fell out with the people that were making the boots, but we’ve got a new line of custom parts that are selling well. But as you can see, Billy’s the only mechanic so we may have to close the doors, I just don’t know. That’s why he’s heading to California, he’s just going riding for 2 weeks to clear his head and try and get things into perspective.’

The trip obviously did the trick as Billy came back with a plan and a more philosophical attitude towards the whole thing. And as the court date loomed it looked like the State of Florida versus William Lane, which had been delayed and set back for the last two years, finally looked like it was going ahead.

The initial accident and subsequent hearings had caused a lot of interest in the state and local press, with the local Melbourne paper Florida Today, covering the case avidly. Although the articles appeared to be comparatively objective, it was the comments on the newspapers blog site that caused concern.

It accused the state of ‘dealing with him lightly’ due to his ‘celebrity status’, it called for him to ‘burn in hell.’ It said he was known locally for his ‘bar hopping’ and that he was ‘getting away with murder.’ One blogger even went as far as suggesting that Lane had his blood sample tampered with whist it was at the lab. 

It should be noted however , that Melbourne is predominantly a quiet, conservative, church-going town and that the numerous tactical stalls by Billy Lane’s legal team had won him no fans locally. But as the new court date fast approached it finally looked like he was going to get his day in court.

It was now late February, Billy was back from California and working flat out on his Daytona show bike. The break seems to have cleared his head and although more than happy to talk about the bike, with the court case so close, he lets Phil once more, be his official mouthpiece while he carries on working.

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Harley JD engine with BSA gearbox

 Its pretty much decided and his legal team are hoping they’ll let him enter a plea of no contest,’ says Phil, ‘that way the judge gives a sentence based on the case rather than being held to a set penalty.’ ‘So will that mean he’ll get away with a smaller sentence?’ I ask ‘cant say,’ replies Phil, ‘he could still be looking at 10 years in the state pen.’

‘Ok, his lawyers have been kicking for touch,’ he admits, and that may have been the best deal for him, but he’s had enough now, he wants it over with so that everyone concerned can have closure and he can get on with his life regardless of the outcome.’

‘He’s in that frame of mind now,’ continues Phil, ‘he just needs it sorting. Its taken its toll on him psychologically as well as physically and he’s tired of them messing with it.

So has he made any decisions about the business? I ask. ‘Choppers Inc will continue,’ says Phil, ‘run by me regardless of what happens, we’ll do 4 shows a year carrying on the Choppers Inc name. Talking of which,’ he adds, ‘did I tell ya, we were asked recently to display our bikes at a big show here in Florida but when a certain whisky company heard about it, they threatened to cancel their sponsorship of the event so we had no choice but to pull out. Nice huh, they weren’t saying that a few years ago.’

With the court date days away a further twist appears, this time from the State Prosecutor Tom Brown. In light of Lanes attorney questioning the validity of the blood sample, Brown now adds a further charge of vehicular homicide to the original charge. This now means that if the alcohol level evidence is weak, they only have to prove that he was driving recklessly, to prove their case.

It’s a tactic aimed squarely at making Lane’s legal team go for a plea bargain rather than a long drawn out courtroom drama, which they do. Greg Eisenmenger announces that a plea agreement has been reached and that Lane will either plead guilty, or no contest at his next hearing.

This was seen by the local bloggers as the ultimate cop out and yet another attempt by Billy Lane of trying to wriggle out of it. Admittedly, this move has the potential of reducing what would have probably been a compulsory 15 years behind jail to a shorter period, but the prosecution had stated previously that they wouldn’t bargain for anything less than a ten year stretch.

It should also be pointed out however that this move was only made possible after much behind the scene wrangling between both sides but more importantly, could not have gone ahead without consultation and agreement by the Morelock family.

Byron Morelock, the victim’s brother, said at the time that he was not opposed to a plea deal. ‘Revenge is nothing. I’ve got to take myself out of the picture,’ he said. ‘I just know my brother would want something positive out of this thing. Gerry was a sweet guy and he never wanted to hurt anybody, even when someone would hurt him,  he’d say ‘Don’t worry about it.’ The Morelock family have since met with Billy Lane in a behind the scenes meeting in an attempt to salvage something positive from the tragedy.

It is now April the 7th 2009, over two and a half years since the accident and Billy Lane is in court once more but this time it’s the end game, this is when his legal people will announce to Judge Robert Burger his plea.

But once again the proceedings grind to a halt. Apparently, the exact wording in documents held by defence and prosecutor differs slightly. Greg Eisenmenger gives a statement afterwards, ‘the state and I both walked in with written versions of the plea and there was a different interpretation of the wording, so both of us are kind of hung up right now on.

‘How the plea is written or structured can have impact on legal issues down the road, so we want to make sure that’s right.”

Those technicalities weren’t apparently ironed out overnight and when everyone appeared in court the next day, Judge Burger ordered them to take another week for both sides to sort themselves out.  The date for sentencing was fixed for May 29th but through various delays on both sides dragged on still further until August.

Finally on the morning of August 14th 2009, almost 3 years after the accident, Billy Lane stood before Judge Robert Burger ready to accept his fate and thankfully, did the only thing left he could do that might salvage some dignity. He put his hands up totally. ‘I ride by the spot where I killed him every day  and I think about what happened and I look up to the sky, pray to God for his soul and for his family,’ he told the court ‘I made the single most irresponsible decision in my life and it cost another man his life.’

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Lane led away after sentencing

Lane’s lawyer went through the motions of asking that he not be given a custodial sentence stating that with the Morelock families consent they would rather he turned his attention to preaching the dangers of dui (driving under the influence) to others.

But after a 20 minute recess, Judge Burger returned to hand out the 6 year sentence with a further 3 years probation, a lifetime ban from driving and ordered him to be randomly tested for drug and alcohol on his release. Lane was then handcuffed and taken to the Avon County work camp to serve his time.

So why write this now? Well, after 3 long years the final chapter of this sorry story has just been written. As Florida law dictates, the accused is given leave to appeal against their sentence and at the end of October, Lane’s Lawyer did just that. The hearing lasted just long enough to observe the formalities before the judge turned it down.

Personal Comment

There is no doubt that this case has caused a tremendous amount of controversy with opinions covering both ends of the spectrum. I can’t speak for Joe Public, who tend to let themselves be swept along by manipulative headlines and believe that anyone on two wheels is a menace, but in a so called fair society even they must have their say. But it is in the pages of bike magazines and sites such as this where the man should be judged by his peers.

Billy Lane is undoubtedly a victim of his own celebrity, we’ve all seen pictures of him burning out the back wheel of his chop whilst necking a bottle of JD. It was who he was, it was what people liked about him, its why people bought his gear and women wanted their breasts autographed by him. But he f****d up in the worst way imaginable, that I’m afraid is part of the human condition and for that he must pay.

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some pictures are worth a 1000 words

Those that supported him when his star was rising and are now nowhere to be seen are hypocrites, obviously fame junkies just out for themselves. Those that have mindlessly defended his actions without taking into account the grief stricken family Gerry Morelock left behind, are equally as blind and pathetic.

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Gerrald Morelock

There are no winners in this, not Gerald Morelock’s family or for that matter Lanes, but hopefully there will also be some reading this who like me, will stop and consider the number of times they’ve got behind the wheel or handlebars after a few beers and will now think twice about it. Have the balls to at least say, ‘there but for the grace of God go I,’ and have the sense to do something about it.

Blogs posted after Lanes various court appearances

 

 

 

‘The judges in Brevard County are true perverts of justice we support you Mr. Lane’        

 

 

‘some drunken scumbag biker kills an innocent man outright and you say, we support you Mr. lane? would you support him if hed killed your father or brother. it’s a fact that white trash has no brain or morals. if this guy is not guilty no one is. he should spend at least 20 years in jail. Spay and neuter your white trash, please.’

 

‘The Billy Lane “case” makes our judicial system seem like a bunch of gypsies sitting around the campfire, each trying to gain advantage over the others. In more blunt terms, this is a perversion of true justice.’

 

120 Responses to “CAN CHOPPERS INC SURVIVE WITHOUT BILLY LANE?”

  1. Hi Just read this
    Billy Lane has turned his prison time into a positive by helping other inmates learn how to weld and working on fixing the vehicles of the Avon Park Work Camp

    • If something positive can come out of such a crap situation then that can only be good. People who go inside with a skill should put it to use instead of festering in a cell. However, if the Billmeister doesnt cool it with the D n D when he eventually walks, he might as well take an embalming course whilst he’s in there too.
      Mal

  2. I don’t understand why people have to bash Billy. I don’t know very many people on this planet that have made mistakes in their lives. His mistake was to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after having some drinks. I bet many of the people bashing him have done the same thing. The only difference here is the ending result of his choice. I can guarantee that he had no intention of hitting that biker. Lets face the facts here people, it was a mistake that resulted in a horrible end. If it was you I bet you would be singing a different tune.

    • Read the piece dude, I’m not bashing him, im just telling it like it is (or rather was)- and like anyone who dares to call himself a writer, ive tried to be as unbiased as possible and present both sides of the story. You need to read the last paragraph.
      Thanks for dropping by though, comments are always welcome.
      Mal

    • I completely agree! I think Billy is a man of vision,honor and integrity.Everybody makes mistakes in their lives at one time or another.That does not give people the right to judge others(or their actions). I pray for those who judge people without looking into a mirror and judging theirselves!!!

  3. Once Billy has served his time, I think he should take up another profession, say teaching people right from wrong.

    Like: why can’t i have a drink everyday, like u do dad

  4. Jesus said “He who is without sin shall cast the first stone.
    I build bikes, I drink, and i’ve drank, and i’ve driven, we all did.
    It’s a shame, I’m shamed.
    Billy being so well known will help in the cause against drunk drivers more so than most people because of the circle he was in.
    Let him heal.

  5. I want to wish Billy all the best,I am sure he is very sorry for what happened,we do not live in a perfect world ,things happen that we all wish at times had not.You must live life forward but at the same time not forget who we are ,Billy isnt trying to forget what happened and he is paying the price for his mistake. Take Care

  6. [...] CAN CHOPPERS INC SURVIVE WITHOUT BILLY LANE? В« Hogfever Wales Jan 12, 2011 … Billy Lane is undoubtedly a victim of his own celebrity, we've all seen pictures of him burning out … [...]

  7. I met him in person one time in a bar, he was so beligerent. I hope he gets his ass reamed in prison

  8. What a dirt bag. He should NEVER breath a free breath again in my opinion. I would lock him up for life. I hope they rape him everyday in the shower. I have no respect or pity for this loser. 100% preventable He should have never been driving.

    • MAN YOUR A DUMB ASS!!! RAPE HIM EVERYDAY IN THE SHOWER?! FOR A MISTAKE! PEOPLE LIKE YOU SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT AND SHOT!

    • what if it was you mr. perfect. Your a dumbfuck

    • Sounds like you have a problem and want to take it out on Billy! Remember he is paying for what he did wrong and he admits he was wrong so he is the bigger man here and everything is done for a reason we dont understand them when it happenes but good is usually the outcome and i will be praying for Billy

    • Well Pete: Sounds like YOU are perfect with no sin’s, & would like all to believe this. Most of us have done things we are not proud of & could likely have placed us in jail if caught. Billy intended no harm – man’d up, & is paying the price. I pray for the Morlock family & Billy, but I dispise you for wanting pain & suffuring inflicted on any one. That kind of thinking belongs in jail.

  9. Crazy shit billy was an artist

  10. As you mentioned, there are no winners in this situation. There are, believe it or not, that still have respect for Mr. Lane. It is my hope that he comes back to building and that Choppers Inc. somehow survives this long period without it’s leader. Many of us have made mistakes, most of us have been very lucky that those mistakes did not have the same results but they could easy have. From a bike builder’s perspecitve, Mr. Lane is still unique and interestingly creative, I hope to see him back in business.

  11. every body makes mistakes he did his time let him try to put his life back together if he does it again HANG HIM!!!!

  12. He did the crime and now he is doing the time! Nuff Said…….

    I feel for the victims family as well as for Billy and his family.

  13. This is just so sad, there aren’t many days I don’t think of Billy and all the people who love him. It had to happen for some reason, we may never know what that reason was, but you have to believe in it!

  14. I like you a lot I want you to buid me a bobber someday if you would let me know when you can build me a bike cause your a great bike builder and are awesome.!!!!! My name is cole please let me know in my mind your a great guy and I love your bikes and I want you to start building again your a stud have a good one see you around buddy my number is 515-240-8587.

  15. Hi, ,so are choppers inc still making bikes/frames for sale?. I live in Palm Desert California, mum and dad live in Mid Wales!. Thanks, Patrick Campbell

  16. Billy Lane . The Bike Fraternity awaits your release. With Godfathers of old school Chop like Indian Larry gone we await your return .

  17. i think that we all should drop a note to Billy so he knows that we care and surpot him.

    Reed Allen
    lareed.ar@gmail.com

  18. I have known Billy for many years and can say without question that he truly is an amazing man. He was always high speed at the shop and was in and out of town so often that keeping up with his schedule became almost impossible. He was a HUGE people person and never turned anyone away. He never let his celebrity status go to his head and treated everybody like they were a good friend. He is a master at the art of Choppers and an absolutely unique Engineer. It amazed me when I read the remarks in the Florida Today blogs and I put my opinion in as well about the idiots bashing him. Here is the bottom line. If you don’t know Billy then you don’t have an opinion so SHUT THE F*@k UP!! If you do know him, Then get your asses on here and defend him!!! I’m fed up with society judging folks that they ASSUME are scum bags simply because they ride a loud motorcycle or have long hair and tats. I do not live to please others and I could care less if society likes me or not! This tragic event was nothing more than an ACCIDENT!! It wasn’t a deliberate homicide it was a bit of poor judgement and an ACCIDENT! We are all sorry for what happened and no matter what is said or done, we can’t rewind and do over!! Billy told me several times after the incident that he wished he had died that night because he would trade places without question if he could. He immediately QUIT DRINKING and began speaking out about driving under the influence. I Pray that when he has served his time, he will return to Melbourne and reopen the shop but in the mean time, I will support my friend and defend his name and honor above all! Boys and girls we all get kicked in the balls at one time or another but if your still breathing after the worst of the worst passes and you honestly LEARN something by your mistake, Then the kick was worth the education you got from it! BILLY LANE IS A GOOD MAN AND ALWAYS WILL BE!!! GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIEND! Your friend forever Chris Eisen.

    • Reading these posts just get my blood rushing. I can’t believe what fucking idiots people are. I don’t know Billy at all but I do know about drinking and driving although I haven’t had a drink in 28yrs but when I was drinking I drove. By the grace of god I never killed anybody but I hurt a friend in one of my many accidents. I felt horrible. I could only imagine how Billy must feel. Im not saying that is ok to drink and drive it is the most irresponsible thing a person can do. I wish I could say I never did it but I did. When people drink it impares our judgment and that’s a very dangerous thing. Its easy to throw stones but I choose not to! Billy you do what your doing god has a plan he always does!
      Lisa Dedrick

      • well im sure he’ll do the right thing when he eventually gets out and pushes the dont drink n drive thing- People listen to those that have learned the hard way.
        Mal

    • Chris, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t know Billy personally or you, obviously because I am in Ohio not Florida, but no one in this world is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes and unfortunate, tragic ones as well. Only one is allowed to judge others and he walks among us. We should not be so quick to judge. I think everything you’ve said shows not only your support and friendship of Billy but also the type of person you are as well, someone who says it like it is and if you don’t like it thats too bad. I like it…reminds me of my dad! Stay cool…

    • Hi Chris,I don`t always get to a point wherein I`ll leave a comment,but this IS different!If all of us who have ever taken too many drinks,and thought we were “in control”,and then proceeded to get behind the wheel,or the handlebars,would have been pulled over,and got what we deserved at that moment,the jails would have gotten filled,and for the most part,would still be filled!!! I was a hypocrit more times than I can remember!! “Judge not,lest you be judged”!He made a “bad choice”,and I dare say that he will never ,ever forget it,and maybe not ever get over it!Let`s all remember,and to those of you that just “WON`T EVER FORGIVE BILLY”,that forgiveness is for us,not for him!I`ll explain:yes,we should forgive Billy,because it is the right thing to do,but when we C HOOSE not to forgive anyone,it will eat us alive,from the inside out! This is how people get ulcers,high blood pressure,CANCERS,in all sorts of places,and a host of all around bad things!Don`t want to take my word for it? Go see your physician,if you dare.Fiorgive and forget! If the family of the gentleman who was killed can forgive Billy,then can we do at least as much?If we choose not to,God help us all! Try it,and you will see how much better you can sleep! Try praying for Billy,and in time,you will experience healing in areas of your own life.By doing so,you may even begin to “acknowledge God before men on earth,and if you know your Bible a little bit,Jesus says,”if you will acknowledge me before men on earth,I will acknowledge you before my Father which art in heaven.But if you choose not to,He will not acknowledge you before His Father.Sounds like a “no-brainer”! Have a blessed day,and remember,that the grace and mercy you extend to Billy,might be needed in your life someday,when you least expect it! Mauy the goodn Lord continue to lead,guide,and direct you,in all you say and do!

      • wise words and very interesting- Its good to see that some god fearing people can see a light at the end of this particular tunnel. I say ‘some god fearing people’ as when i was in Melbourne when this all kicked off, their was an awful lot of seriously whacked out comments of hellfire and brimstone comming from the local bible bashers. !
        Mal

  19. He wrote there..not their?? Did i miss something?

    • D.W. We all gona die sometime or another. Why is everyone so afraid of that. To all the people who bash Billy stop being a pu$$y and realize when the man calls your name u going too. Then answer for the time u took part in taking years off a mans life for something that has nothing to do with u. Fuck u . and Billy Lane is a bad mother fucker

      • whether you believe you’ll go upstairs, downstairs or come back as a gnu- at some point you have to pay for your deeds. And if youre real lucky you’ll have friends to see you through it.
        Mal

  20. Billy I met you once at the Easyrider show in Columbus. Brother your a genuine article free spirit, biker to the core. Fences aren’t easy to mend, it takes strength. Be strong brother, sort it out and do some good.

  21. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone pays for them one way or another. Billy has to live with the fact that his screw up accidently killed someone. I feel bad for the deceased family, but I also feel sorry for Billy. I hope Billy you keep up building bikes, if that is your passion. You build the sickest bikes and I wish I could afford one.

  22. i think the article was well written and informative. billy is a intelligent guy that scewed up and i’m sure that he regrets his choices everyday. i know i’ve made bad choices and just been lucky or blessed enough to not end someones life. the last paragraph should make us all think. i wish the best for billy when he gets out. god bless.

  23. People suck thats all there is to it…EVERY ONE quickly forgets that Morelock was drunk too.NO JUSTICE CAN BE FAIR..Humans suck they love a hanging or stoning or beheading..They gather in droves for it always have..Read the bible..I have been on both sides of this incident in my life and there is no winning just forgiveness and loss..Whats done is done..Life sucks that way…Quit throwing F******G stones.As a matter of fact the right thing to do would be give the man back his licensee or let him out of jail….Two sentences is bull sh*t..!!!

  24. I truely am sorry for both families in this tragedy. Being a biker myself I know how easy it is to get caught up in the bar scene an drinking an riding. I’m not saying its right but it happens everday. This is in noway meant to disrespect anyone but I’ve always supported Billy Lane (Choppers Inc ) an always will.

  25. Billy Lane is no more of a criminal than any other normal person on this earth is or would claim to be. He has paid his dues even if the population of Melbourne and Florida will never see it that way.
    If I had the money and could afford it I would get a Choppers Inc. motorcycle , I’ve always wanted a Billy Lane built motorcycle.
    If I was rich I’d help Billy restart Choppers Inc. to full strength again and relocate if he desired. But sometimes dreams are just that,dreams.
    It’s people like HOGFEVER WALES that take the time ,see the truth and write this article who realize whats happening in reality that give others the chance they deserve.
    I’d stand up for Billy Lane any day , let anyone who wants to cut him down to do it to my face!
    JIM LYNCH

  26. I met Billy once,great guy! i drove from pennsylvania to florida to see his shop, told him it was a road trip i just had to make. ithink he thought i was a star struck fool but instead he and i hit it off , just being myself let me get close to him and after a hour or soo i was gonna roll out and he said just hang out for awhile so i did. Billy will stick to his roots and build these awsome bikes, choppers inc i feel will make a massive comeback. Cause in my mind Billy Lane and Jesse James are where this craze started,the godfathers of chop! Good luck Billy, P.A LOVES YOU AND WE ARE ALL BEHIND YOU 100%

  27. I stumbled across this artical and it is a very well done piece. Billy is like the picaso of the bike world and when you are the best of the best there is always people jumping on the bandwagon. When this fame ride takes off you cant see the forest for the trees and you hang on. But you get lost easily in who you are. Billy is an awsome man and role model. I have a tattoo on the back of my bicep that is his autograph and im proud to display it for anyone. We all fall short of the grace of god thats why we are human. We make mistakes and we have to pay for it. So to all billy’s true friends and fans, lets continue to show this man love to help him rebuild his life and career. And finaly to the ones who dont know him or was just along for the ride, GO F&@k yourself!!!!! Oh and have a nice day;)

  28. ive met billy lane when i visited the states for bike week some years ago.we had a chat ,great bloke,its a terrible thing that happened on that day.its something that cannot be reversed.i just know mr lane would,if he could,do just that.a man died because of a very bad decision made by billy.HE KNOWS THAT.he,s paying a price for it too.i agree that you cant just let the man walk free.billy knows he f–ked up. it could have been most any of us driving that dodge.ive drank my fill and drove/rode aswell.im no angel.i dont these days,probably as ive got older, and value my license.i really wouldnt have banned the man for LIFE.he,s serving a sentence,isnt that enough?? he,s going to live with that mans death forever anyway.
    my thoughts go out to BOTH famillies,its a tragedy on both sides.theres lessons to be learnt here.DONT DRINK AND DRIVE…SIMPLE AS THAT. well.thats my bit said..oh!mr lanes so called friends?? you turned your back on a gifted man…YOU AINT A FRIEND..you keep walking..
    MAL across the pond.

  29. I dont know billy lane, and never heard of him until i saw a post on facebook that had a group for him, but after reading the story and fomments, i can say without a doubt that billy was given a much stiffer sentence for being a celebrity.
    Everyone has had a beer, or glass of wine or two, or a shot and got behind the wheel. If you say you dont youre a fn liar.
    People like to jump on the bandwagon and condem someone but never look at themselves. Accoeding to the story, The guy on the scooter was drinking too and over the limit.
    Point is, 6 years is a long time, loss of license permanently?! nobody gets that, nobody. Its time the hypocrites stopped running and ruining this country. The person name calling above is probably the same person that goes to church on sundag, makes fun of the poor peoples clothes, prays forgiveness and goes home beating their kid and cheating on their spouse.

  30. Well if you would read the article carefully it said that Gerry morelocks alcohol level was above the legal limit as well, so before you judge just one person maybe you should read a little closer you dumb mother fucker. As it is a tragedy there are other celebrity’s that get a slap on the wrist for stupider shit. This is something that lane will have to live with for the rest of his life and I believe that is more punishment than having to spend 20 year’s behind bars

  31. After reading this you have to think. It is stated both drivers were drinking! Also if it was any other celebrity he would not get the same punishment. I do not agree with what Billy did. But he does not seam to be the only one at fault. I do agree with him feeling bad for what he did to cause this unfortunate event. I can say this because I have been hit by an individual driving a truck and me on my motorcycle. He ran a red light and broad sided me at over 40 mph. He is getting away with it. But Billy can influence people in a positive way if directed and given a chance to. Building a handful of bikes in prison is the first tool. Auction them off for the family and the cost of his stay in prison. The only thing I think is extreme is the indefinite suspension of his license! That is just a set up for failure. Everyone needs their license. They should make it mandatory for a car breathalyzer on his motor vehicles. But let the guy drive and ride in some way. Would they do the same suspension fro everyone else?
    They need to turn Celebrities like Billy into a positive tool for corrects or adjusting their wrong doings. Something good for all could come out of this!
    Big business also needs to start running out on the people they support when things go wrong. That Whiskey company that chased Choppers Inc. out of the bike show should support Billy they way he supported them. Use him in anti drunk driving and drink responsible commercials. It could only help them in hundreds of ways!
    And I fully agree with Jim Lynch

  32. Billy and Co,
    We wish you all the best in the future,you are a visionary in the chopper world!
    You havent done anything worse than any of us,just poor timing!

    All the best to you and your Mom and the boys! Your Number one Canadian Fan!

    Norm Bomford.

  33. billy i just read all this i am so sorry that all this happened to you. you will over come all this. i think all bikers have done shit like you we just been lucky so far. because of you i changed my ways, i hope your doin good and look forward to the end of this chapter in your life.

  34. A terrible thing happened that day. its time to stand up and pay attention…..drinking and driving….sooner or later you will pay the price.no winners here.

  35. you’re going be ok billy, when i heard about about the accident, two things came to mined. the day u had the biker build off with that so called christain bike builder. i’m a christain and believe me, that bike builder didnot act like one and his wife either. amen cycles, i believe was the builders name. i know
    u didn’t like him. he could have ministered to u just by not acting like a fool
    and your life might have changed. the other thing was when u said some thing about being the same age, at the time, that jesus christ was when he died on the cross. i believe that amen cycle fool provoked

  36. i cant get the top blogs out of my mind, calling us all white trash bikers. the man man made a mistake as have we all. (not just us bikers!) billy is paying his dues, both in his mental, phisical and most of all spiratual self. not to mention lashings for every drunkdriver out there rite now. and if the family of the man who lost his life can forgive and hope for positive out of such a tragedy. who are you to spread such hate and negativity. (haters will hate!) billy! your doing the best you can with what has been put at your feet, peolple love to kick a man while hes down! David McCall!

  37. Just got done reading is:

    After a week at Bike Week
    There no angles out there
    I’ve neen there & done that.
    ( married twice , lose of a business)
    Live is real & sometimes real Hard
    People point the fingers ,
    But life marches on, (go’s on)
    Get up brush your self off, and get on with it
    It’s going to be couple long hard years
    But be strong You’ll get though it
    Before long years have gone by…
    Keep your head down when you need to
    and get on with it.
    Make the best of it.. Make something positive out of it…
    Remeber there is people behind you if you need them….. Hope you do well , and slowly do what you want to do in life… God speed… Keep the bike coming…..thanks

  38. Life deals crazy cards sometimes! All have opinions and what was done right or wrong is done. Billy could curl up in the fetal position and suck his thumb but he’s not. Teaching others skills and and building equipment from junk for the prison maintenance shop. I believe he is remorseful and will put his incident and skills to good use when he is released! I’m sure he won’t get caught up in all the hangers on and BS. Hopefully just fabricating from junk masterpieces in iron.

    Just one man’s opinion!
    Dawg

  39. Billy keep your head up ! apon your release chapter two begins. you know negatve people always thrash the positive people. mistake are made that’s nothing new.now can’t wait till your back on the scene so we can all see how real chopper’s are built your biggest fan.

  40. i feel for the morelock famalies loss, but i feel not a day goes by billy doesn’t think of the loss also. seems he is trying to turn things around for his own sake and help others trying to mend .

  41. God bless all involved. No winners…

  42. Billy…. I stand behind you. I think your a bad ass bike builder when you get out go back to doing what you do best . I have a son that was killed by a girl briving on a suppended licens and lied to the cops for two hours and didnt get no jail time I stand behind you

  43. I miss my friend Jerry Morelock. We had been friends since 1974. Billy Lane got off easy!

  44. Its to bad that this all has happened to both Familys, reading the statements writen here, looks as if both men had been drinking, slow traffic and fast heads just didn’t help anything here. The person who had said , “white trash” in his commit, had nothing to do with anything. Besides, to whom was he refering to? Guess we could say” don’t say anything, Dumbass, if u don’t. Really have a point to make”! You must like seeing your writings on line? Bet you commit on a lot of things you know nothing about. How good or bad had nothing to do with the whole deal. People are people, things happen for good and for bad everyday. These two family’s look like they are tring their best to make this deal turn out to be something that will help someone else think before they drink and drive. That is what you could have made a point. But no, you had to talk down to the person or persons who both made a bad desicion to drive after drinking. Time will tell how this will “drive” the people to do something good out of this. They both have lost everything, the family living without their loved one, and Billy living with! There are no winners ! Its no time to talk down to anyone, Jackass! I’m sure that you have got away with something that you and only you know about. So, keep you mouth shut if u can’t say anything good about the whole thing, the familys are doing a lot better than you are, without. Someone just tring to get a rise out of them.

    without a son,brother,father or friend: the other dealing with the fact that they had a hand in starting the whole thing for everyone after the fact. Its sad for both in different ways. Yes, Billy Lane is still breathing and Mr

    • you make a good point Cuz. Unfortunately the internet is both good and bad, good that it allowed me to post the Choppers Inc story in the fist place, but bad because it leaves you wide open to everyone who wants to take a dig. I really like Billy Lane, but i promised myself i would post all comments on here as in my country as in yours, my grandad fought in the war to preserve the freedom of speach evern for arseholes.
      Mal

  45. Easy , Billy didn’t get in that truck with the intent to kill that poor man. Tragic but drunk or sober it happens all the time. So happens billy was drink when it happened to him. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE AMERICA , OR YOU TO WILL BE LABELED TRASH !. RIDE SAFE BEWARE BIKERS ARE EVERYWHERE. PS IM NOT EVEN WHITE AND THAT COMMENT MADE ME ANNOYED

  46. MY BROTHER WAS ON HIS BIKE GOING TO WORK . GOT HIT BY THREE CARS NO ONE STOPPED HE WAS IN PIECES . NO INVESTIGATION NOTHING. BILLY MAKE PEACE WITH GOD FUCK EVERYONE ELSEI

  47. Anyway billy maybe one day I can stop by your shop ? And say hi. I’m up in NYC 3 harleys but you know how that is u can never have enough bikes

  48. I met Billy many years ago on accident. I was installing Direct TV at how parents house. I had no idea who they were or that he was their son.I was nice and hooked his parents up with a very nice system and did the install and as I was doing the install Billy came over and I found out who’s house I was actually in. Billy surprised the HELL out of me. He was not like I expected him to be at all. He was so down to earth and nice and treated me just like everyone else. He offered to build me a bike for FREE and yes i do mean FREE. Of course i did not take him up on it as I was just doing my job. But he felt that because I was so nice to his parents and hooked them up well beyond what was a normal installation. Even though I had no idea who they were. That I deserved a free motorcycle. I will never forget meeting him and spending time with him at his shop or at his parents house. I have had dinner at his parents house and would recommend to anyone bashing him here to actually spend time getting to this special man before they run their mouth anymore. What he did was a mistake. He knows it and thinks about it everyday of his life. So get off your own high horse and show him the respect he deserves as a human being and a man who is paying for his mistake.

    Your Friend Billy Now and Always
    Darrin Murphy

    • You didnt accept a free bike from Billy Lane? What are you some kind of tree huggin, stem nipp’in faggot? It would have cost him literally NOTHING with all the corperate sponser ship he HAD. He probably felt sorry for you and was willing to try and make you at least a human. I bet you have a fat assed wife too! make Plus not accepting was an INSULT to him. No wonder your just pulling low voltage wire for a living. You deserve a shank in your cold stupid heart!….. And with that I bid YOU a good day sir.

      • So let me get this straight, some guy says he was offered a FREE bike from BL for doing a sat installation at his folks home and for that YOU think he should be STABBED in the chest. I think you BOTH need medication pal.

  49. Drunken scumbag biker???? The guy that got killed was over the limit and riding a motorized vehicle at the time you dumb fuck. Maybe if he hadnt drank and drove it wouldn’t have happened either don’t point fingers unless you were there you scumbag cunt… Your probly some yuppie white piece of shit u think ur better than bikers, I hope u get ravaged by a pack of bikers

  50. yes his shop can survive, all it takes is the bike community out there to keep it going. i met billy at the world of wheels show in boston some years ago, he answered my questions to problems i had building my bike and today that bike sits in my garage thanks to him and the way he took a half hour out of his day to help a stranger. he helped me and the day he gets out out i would be more than willing to open my home to him and help him out. yes he did kill someone while driving drunk but he is paying the time the court’s have imposed upon him. i am sure not a day goes by that he does not relive that night in his mind and that along he has to live with. remember when one does good no one remembers but when someone does bad no one forgets. billy, you will always be a friend to me and yes your shop will rise up to be on top again, good luck

    • Billy,have no fear,you will build bikes again!And if you keep your nose real clean,I would venture to say,”that someday you will indeed get your driving priviledges restored! You,and you alone will have to submit your “entire” life to theL Lord Jesus! Just cutdown on those old friends,and do not drink! We are praying for you! sincerely,Agent Orange

  51. There are no winners here,especially in a case like this one!It does not help matters when some of us “act like we have never done anything immoral,illegal,or just downrite wrong! Whatever happened to “forgiveness”?Hey,Mike Brown,how about you?!When someone get`s caught messing up,we love to jump on the bandwagon,and act “like we ain`t never done anyrthing like trhis before”!Come on people,let`s quit all the hating!Even the other family has forgiven Billy,so shouldn`t we do as much??I will quote some of the Lord`s prayer:…forgive us our sins,as we forgive those who sin against us…..I think you get the picture now! As long as we harbor unforgiveness against others,we will be the ones who stay “sick’! Even when Jesus was on the cross,He said,”Father,forgive them,for they know not what they do”!! That is the greatest example of them all!

  52. How dare you say those things about Billy. You don’t personally know him like we do.. You don’t know what kind of person he is. Bully did not deserve 6 years in prison. He has suffered enough. Do you not realize how bad it hurts him to have to live with what he did everyday. That is punishment enough. The victims family didn’t even want billy to serve time .. They asked the judge not to sentence him to prison. So before you say cruel things, get your facts straight. We love and support you Billy and can’t wait to see you again!

    • Ive had the pleasure of meeting Billy a couple of times too and i have to say, i thought he was a genuine geezer that i knew id have a laugh with in the pub- but…and its a big but…he fkd up and he knows it. He isnt whining about having to do the penance and hopefully fate will judge him more on what he does when he gets out.

  53. Everybody makes mistakes, to err is human, its what we do, it is only the fool who does not learn from those mistakes, it is unfortunate that someone perished in this case, no one can judge this man without first stepping in his shoes and to experience what he was going through, this man is a true pioneer in motorcycle building, he’s pushed the envelope in motorcycle building and has inspired millions, his inedelible mark on American motorcycle culture and the world over will live in the fabric of history forever, whether you love him or hate him you must first identify with him. He’s just a man that made a mistake. He deserves a chance to make it right, make it right for Gerry, and to inspire others who are on the track the he was once on to make a change before its too late. Support him in an effort to support our brothers and sisters for the betterment of society. Support him so that others will live to see another day and the people that are victims of circumstances such as these do not pass in vain. Everything happens for a reason.

  54. first of all im sorry that billy is having to deal with all this I had know idea,just this past year I was arrested for a serious battery charge never been arrested before but because im 6″8 250 and tattoos my lawyer says its a possiblity I could do prison time im 29 worked my entire life and now I cant find work but,ive started building bobbers that I trade here and there its truely therapy I love it thats all I think about because im scared of what lies ahead of me ,,,,,,god bless,,, best of luck to billy and choppers inc

    • Its an unfortunate fact whether you go looking for it or try and avoid it, but life just happens, for good and bad mate- Lets know how you get on with the court case and keep spinning the spanners
      Mal

  55. Billy its fair to say that you know your own sins and its not for us to speculate on things that are of not our own doing, however, it is for us to get behind you and support you. Your standing maybe dinted but not broken and if we know one thing, you know for sure it is how to fix dints!!! Like a phoneix you too will rise again and Choppers Inc will thrive once more.

  56. billy you made a mistake.and paying the price for it,but you will come back .heart felt sorrow for the family and for billy
    ,dave g uk

  57. There isn`t one of us “out here”,that hasn`t made at least one very,very bad choice,
    so,let`s be very careful not to throw stones,into our future!!

  58. I believe we will all die and fade away.

    My opinion of Mr. Lane has never wavered. He is a good man who made a horrible mistake. Sometimes in life we all have to go through certain things to move forward and live. Like many who have made a mistake or two in life, I patiently await his release.

    “judge not, lest ye shall not be judged”

    A friend,
    Thomas Holland
    Micco, FL

  59. To all that read this,…….go on thrown them stones,they,don’t hurt as much, as to what people say, or write. Or the bullshit that Billy Lane has had to live with Remembering every day that he took a life,unlike a tatoo,you don’t like any more ,to whitch you can remove with a certin a mount of pain and money …………..You CAN NOT change what life bring to yer doorsteeep by yer choice or by fate,what makes a person, a person is how we deal with with life altering events,no matter how much money, or pain one (or)others have to endor, You can’t make it go away……..life sucks,shit happens and the choices we make sometimes are not in the best intrest of ourselfs or others,BUT thats life!!!!! I’m glade to see that EVERONE,has bones in the closet,I myself have done a lot that i can’t,(and wish I could) change.
    “when it’s sunny so called friends, are always a round,when it’s storming and cold out….. only a true friend,will bethere with a warm cup of coffee, an a jacket, holding the umberalla for you,……..
    GOOD LUCK,Billy Lane,hope that you can over come the bullshit from single minded people………………..

  60. Well,like I`ve said before:if all of us who have had too much to drive,would have gotten caught,there would still be alot of us,in the “greybar hotel”!And some of us will get there even after they have left some cruel comments!We all make mistakes,some worse than others,and some not so bad;but,bad choices all the same! I can almost guarentee you all,that Billy will never take another drink,or anything else that will be considered illegal! If the family of the gentleman that was killed can forgive Billy,then how much more should we be able to forgive,also?!When we fail to forgive anyone,it only hurts us,not the other person! Read your bible,becauseit`s all in there.Check out the Lord`s prayer:…give us this day,our daily bread,and FORGIVE us our debts,as we forgive our debtors!”Now that you all have read this,you are without excuse!I believe that Billy will get thru this,and will be a better man,on the other side of it all.We must all pray for him,and never stop praying!Then,when we all see how much he has changed,we will feel pretty good,because we all will have had a chance in his recovery!may the Lord bless you all,real good! sincerely,with prayers and love, Agent Orange

  61. As far as the amout of time billy got was correct by Florida Law. He got no more, no less than any other man would of gotten, white trash or not.

  62. Met billy at a smokeout. I wish his family well. An hope he’s doing ok…

  63. I was just watching biker build off and thought of Billy Lane and thought damn I loved him but wtf happened to him so I googled it and was shocked I had no idea any of this went on. It’s sad that everyone can call bikers scumbags…. Etc and b/c Billy was famous it’s the end of the world! It’s tragic that a man lost his life, he was also under the influence but that doesn’t seem to be mentioned very much, does that mean he was a drunken scumbag biker too? Bad things happen to good people. Sounds like Billy has tried to turn this into a positive to make people understand the dangers or DUI! God only knows why, and there is always a reason, we may not understand.

  64. I don’t know why people keep calling that wreck accident?
    When you drink until you are drunk and get into a vehicle and drive knowing you are impaired, it is no accident.

  65. Have been writing to billy. Met him on several occasions at carolina hd with click baldwin then again at myrtle beach at the broken spoke and also at easyriders..charlotte.
    I really think he was caugh up in a situation that we all have been in( not the wreck) but partying too much…dont see billy as a bad guy just had bad luck…!

  66. billy i was your friend then as i am now we all do wrong in our life god bless you

  67. I’m sure he’s sitting in that cell thinking to himself everyday,, Why ? Why was I so stupid… If I could only have made a better decision… Well he’ll have to think that thought for the rest of his life..People like him never mean to kill anyone, but he to has to realize that once you’ve taken a life cause of your actions,, you have to pay the price.. Never ride again or drive.. And they’ll never give him his license ever again..Get used to the bus stop and rides from friends pal…I love riding myself, but everything that happened to him after the fact, he doesn’t deserve any pity from anyone… He’s a man and he now knows what he has to do after geting released.. Hopefully, he’ll make it right for himself next time around..

    • Mike
      Firstly and most importantly, everyone is entitled to their opinion, which is why i allow both positive and negative comments on here. Secondly, yes thats part of the whole prison thing, the time to contemplate what youve done and go some way to making amends for it, but in cases like this and knowing that the guy is basically a decent fella, regardless of what side of the bars he is, its never going to leave him. Lastly, without pity, we’re just beasts in a field.
      Mal – HFW

  68. I actually had to present this posting, “CAN CHOPPERS INC SURVIVE WITHOUT BILLY LANE?
    Hogfever Wales” along with my own pals on facebook.
    I personallybasically desired to spread ur very good writing!
    Many thanks, Dave

  69. I have loved his show and wish him the very best. I have no clue what he is going thru but may god bless him and the family of the man that life was taken. He has so much to give to bike world. Kimo from Hawaii

  70. shit happens people make mistakes and bad choices come home and build more bikes

  71. What happened that night was an ‘accident’.. not an ‘on purpose’..Billy owned up and accepted his sentence given to him by the courts..I hope when all is said and done he is where HE needs to be…hopfully building bikes right here in Florida. Great article!

  72. I support Mr. Lane I know of so many cases on a personal level, where no one has recieved a sentence anything close to his, while the other offenders had multiple previous dui offenses on their records. This is proof that the within that counties judicial system, the scales of justice are not blind to prejudice.
    God’s speed to you Mr. Lane if you see this, there are people out there that are not blind to your injustice. I have had two family members suffer at the hands of someone who made a very poor decision to drink and drive, not one of their offenders suffered any sentence remotely close to yours.

  73. the first person who commented called Billy a drunken white trash bikerand made a comment about spaying or neutering your white trash. Really makes me wonder if he is ever been punched in the mouth by a drunken white trash biker the likes of myself.this person does not remind me of saying anything a bikerwould say

    • More than likely he is some disgruntled moped enthusiast who read a couple of headlines , chose to ignore that the moped rider was over the legal limit of B.A.L. (which very well may have played a role in this situation) and wanted to jump on the “Billy bash bandwagon” . This is a tragedy , so let’s keep the mud slinging to a minimum and your pathetic little attempts to sound intelligent also .

      • And after reading some of the previous comments to see if mine will be approved for posting to the public …. fuck everyone on the Billy bash bandwagon . This is the same thing they did to Jesus . Maybe you should read a Bible and after you’ve finished , stick it right up your faggot ass . I hope you get raped in public or shot and nobody tries to save you . I sure wouldn’t . I FULLY SUPPORT BILLY LANE . HE WAS A MESSIAH TO THE BIKE WORLD AND A PLEASURE TO MEET .

      • And now, in writing this latest rant, you’ve lowered yourself down to the same level as the guy who called him ‘white trash and called for his neutering. Answer someone like that with a well thought out response and it shows up a stupid comment for what it is. Answer it with another rant and all you do is turn it into some brain dead pissing contest. And on the subject of Jesus, Billy Lane and the bible, I really like Billy Lane, I said as much in the article but jesus didn’t have a skinful of communion wine and drive his chariot into a guy on a donkey coming the other way.

  74. I’ve met Billy a couple of times,once at his shop and at bike week.I just decided to read this story on him,And the only thing that really sucks for Billy is that he has to think about how he took that guys life,and probably wasn’t even aware of what happened.The only reason I’m writing this comment is to let Billy know I personally still think your the best custom bike builder out there.It might not matter what I say,but I just had to say it.FTW,and never mind the punctuation that’s why I don’t write alot.

  75. Few things that I find typical in this article. Yea, Billy F’ed up. So did Gerrald, sounds to me like he didn’t have a license either. Two wrongs don’t make a right BUT for the family to sue both Chrysler and Billy for wrongful death just makes them look greedy. Then for Erin to sue Billy a year later? Three years for the trial to be over? What happened to the right to a speedy trial? It’s typical of the DA to pad more charges when the original charge is shown to be weak. After all, they have all the power back you into a corner to get the outcome they want. I’m not sticking up for Billy by any means. He was drinking and driving. Someone lost their life. He should be in jail but at the same time it sounds like his “Celebrity Status” just set him up. I have seen more than one person do the exact same thing and walk away with a one year suspended license and community service.

    • But that’s the catch 22 isn’t it- some would say that he was hit heavier because of his celebrity status, whilst others would say, ‘yeah, but the man earned a good living from being in the public spotlight and as such has a responsibility to his fans not to be so irresponsible. I’m playing devils advocate here, but the only thing that is beyond question, is that there were no winners in this. Regarding belated suing, as long as there are legal vultures seeing even the remotest chance of a fat payday, America will remain litigation crazy and unfortunately the UK is going the same way.

  76. Billy lane has made a costly mistake.somebody’s life has ended from his decision to drive drunk.my prayers are with the morelock family as with the lanes.there are no words that can make any thing different or justify what happened.justice is not served by being behind bars.I think peoples sentenced should pertain to thier crime.everyone makes mistakes.Hopefully Billy puts this in the past & learns from his mistakes.& follows his true passion building bad ass bikes…..hang in there billy

  77. Truth be told, I really don’t care about all this shit, I just want the Old Style of the iron cross tail light back…. that shit was sick!

  78. I’m a little confused. I a new to this whole incident, but remember Billy Lane as the custom builder from a few yrs back. I saw his name in my yahoo news feed today so have spent the last hour reading all this.
    My heart goes out to all involved. It was clearly a tragedy for both families.
    Here is my question though….I couldn’t find a my space page for Ms. Derrick, whom I have no respect for. As a rider myself, let’s be real, if you get on the back of a bike or in a car/truck with someone you know has been drinking, that is on you!
    Seems she had no problem suing Mr. Lane but has this facebook page which seems to display them as a couple. ? Really?
    Whats up with that?
    Here it is…

    https://www.facebook.com/erin.derrick.3?fref=ts

    • Hi Alisa
      Yeah, I’m confused myself. I followed your link and did indeed see Ms Derrick’s facebook page which as you say, featured quite a few pics of them together. Nice to see that sentimentality didn’t get in the way of a good pay day. If we’re being realistic though, America is litigation crazy and she’d have had ambulance chasers lining up at her hospital bed. When the dollar signs start rolling everything goes out the window. Sad but true.

  79. Billy, sorry for your situation, responsibility and acceptance of ones actions after the mistake is what becomes important. Looking back accomplishes nothing, but accepting, learning and sharing the aftermath is healing for the soul. Faith, Family and Friendship will make your release a positive outcome of a terrible situation. Really praying for you to continue your passion of bike building, your creativity is amazing. I only spent a short time with you at a Phoenix bike show, but your support of our shop meant a great deal to all of us. We Will meet again after your release, God Bless and Good Luck Always. GRJ (Choppers for Ever)

  80. Don’t know Mr Lane but from what i have seen of him on the net and tv programs he seemed like a nice guy and a talented engineer/bike builder.He does not appear to be a residivist; we don’t hear of a long criminal history, so we can assume this was a tragic error on Mr Lanes part. We all, despite what some people like to portray, make mistakes. The ‘white trash” person I also don’t know but they seem like a hater. Usually such ” good citizens” (insert good Christian perhaps) turn out to be not quite as good as they make out. We had one here in New Zealand in parliament (government), as the leader of a Christian party, turned out to be pedophile. The person who discussed forgiveness was right on the money. Forgiveness allows the cancer of hate (both figuratively and literally) to dissipate. The only only thing we shouldn’t tolerate is intolerance. Mr Lane “fessed up” it appears the victim’s family have come to terms with the situation, society is getting it’s “pound of flesh” (although some would like a few pounds more). The haters need to get over this sorry state of affairs. I wish the best for the victim’s family and for Billy Lane and I hope he has the opportunity to continue to give enjoyment to himself other like minded people.

  81. You people are a huge joke. Put on your clown suits and parade!! This fuckin guy screwed up but he was famous and a biker you will not let it go. Fuck you! There is a lot of people out there making the same mistake but do you trash them? Anyone that wants to trash talk lets do a investigation on your past or your family, now you shut up I bet. Unless you are perfect fuck off and if you think you are let’s see the proof. I bet you are just as bad of a person hiding behind walls and prob them walls of a church or that idea. Maybe learn people are not perfect and shit happens. Not always a good thing but it is gods way of saying something and now learn to pay attention and figure out what it is. If you are any kind of Christian you will know this and remember to forgive and pray for those who need help to find The Lord Not sit back and kick a person when they are down. Please reply to this if you think you are a perfect person and walk on water. Thx. Lakota

    • When I wrote this article I tried to present this particularly tragic turn of events in as fair a light as possible. I also promised myself that I would publish comments whether good, bad or indifferent so that I could not be accused of doctoring the results (that after all, is the governments job). Thankfully however in cases like this I do get to add my 2 bobs worth so ”Lakota Jones” this is for you.
      I’m afraid your comment is little more than an illiterate rant pal and I cant actually get whether youre for or against. If youre a fan of Billy Lane, you do him no favours, if you are a hater than you merely confirm that the man is being unfairly judged. And as usual, rants are usually accompanied by misquotes from whatever religious bestseller you favour, whether its the bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Asatru or the Constitution. No I’m not perfect and the last time I walked on water….I got wet.
      All the best and may your god of peace and forgiveness go with you.
      Mal

  82. Everybody is guilty of something irresponsible…the key point is whether that person is sorry or not and cares about what theyve done is worth stopping or continuing to do. The ones that hate lane for what he did or the ones that support him…neither one of you were there. Put yourself in both mens shoes. The truth is both men had drank to much to be driving…it was just a roll of the dice. Billys judgement was fair considering he was a first time offender and he wasnt fighting the charge by giving a plea of innocent. He knew what he had done and his own guilt is punishment enough. He has to live the rest of his life knowing he is responsible for killing someone living the life he once was leading. They were both men that were loved by many. The judge gave him a fair punishment. As a bike lover myself…to know i killed someone doing what i enjoy everyday…riding a motorcycle…basically turning me into the very drivers all us bikers loath…then being told that ill never ride a motorcycle again….and sit in a 4 wall cell rehashing that night over and over again….losing friends, fans. And left with guilt for the restbof your life. For the honest person, thats quite a punishment.

    Good luck billy stay on straight and narrow

    All support to family of Gerry. Sorry he left us so early.


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