Indian Larry (Lawrence DeSmedt; April 28, 1949 – August 30, 2004) – a god of fire and steel, sophist of old school and a selfless stunt rider, a lifestyle biker. He’s an artist, an outlaw, a king of amazing customs, a legend.
Larry was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York in 1949. He had an interest for mechanics since he was a boy, liked Lincoln logs and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth plastic models. Though, father didn’t like Larry’s hobby, he wanted his son to follow his footsteps and became a carpenter.
But it wasn’t Larry’s destiny, because he approved himself in other matters. His first motorbike Larry made of his sister’s three-wheel bicycle, by installing handlebar and motor from grass-mower.
When he was a teenager, Larry became utterly absorbed in counterculture of 1960s and became a fan of artist Von Dutch – a pioneer and recognized classic of pinstriping, who is considered a legend by right. By the way, he’s the author of extremely popular custom-symbol – flying eyeball. Nowadays, when interest to old school is high, manual technique of pinstriping is highly evaluated among experts.
Larry moved to California and started to work for artist and motorcycle builder Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.
When he was young, Larry had legal troubles: he drank alcohol and took drugs, he even got to jail for attempt to rob a bank. After he was freed, Larry moved to New York, where, as he said, he hit rock bottom. SO, few years passed.
But one day Larry decided that he can’t live like that and started developing his motorcycles. His first custom work was bike for Gasoline Alley in 1991.
His old school bikes were worldwide renowned and won various awards in different contests. And his bike «Grease Monkey» was called a chopper of the year, and it won the contest Biker Build-Off held by Discovery channel. After that Larry won twice. He left this life unbeaten. After his tragic death, on Biker Build-Off, the best bike-builders made a bike in his style with his question trade mark.
Indian Larry was also a great stunt performer and actor, he played in such movies as: Quiz Show, Muscle Machine, My Mother’s Dream, and 200 Cigarettes.
August 28, 2004 Larry performed stunt in North Carolina. He did it so many times, and people always called him an encore. He couldn’t refuse. So, he did his famous stunt standing on a seat on high speed. In the end of a line Larry fell…He was delivered to local hospital, where he died on 30th if August from head injury. When he performed the stunt, he was without helmet…
Indian Larry left this world in 2004, but his trend and motorcycle building subculture is forever in motorcycle history, including Chopper Culture. His life was unique even for many bikers. His motorbikes were unique as well. He built them in his workshop in Brooklyn, NY.