Benjamin Franklin Hardy Sr., Benny Hardy, Ben Hardy or just Brother Ben. No matter how you address him he is the late great motorcycle legend that is becoming respectfully known as a great motorcycle dealer, all knowing mechanic and superior bike builder. Even more famous for his two great creations that are world known... "The Easy Rider" movie motorcycles. King Benny, through his work has always been know as the go-to person for everyone black or white to ask about motorcycles (research by Onyx Rider will continue to find out where and how he learned everything about motorcycles). Then when Cliff Vaughs, another legendary rider and filmmaker, came to Brother Ben with film star and writer Dennis Hopper to make motorcycle history... and that is what he did. Harley Davidson wouldn't give Dennis motorcycles so Dennis and Cliff purchased old bikes which were the canvas for King Benny's masterpieces... The Captain America and Billy Bike.
His work and sales took place in a building at 1168 E. Florence Ave. near the corner of S. Central Blvd. when it was an industrial site for Good Year tires and other industries that were beginning.Here at "Hardy's Motorcycle Service" Ben was know as the first king of custom cycles... AND THIS WAS IN THE LATE 40's, 50's! Here everyone came to see what he would put out and get their bikes fixed and tuned. Now at this historical site is Father & Sons Rebuild Auto Parts, but the memories still reign on the legacy of his work can be seen in California through other builders and riders. Recently at the California African-American Museum the exhibit "Black Chrome" has showcased the work, contributions and lifestyle of African-Americans in the motorcycle culture and Benny was honored with a standing ovation when his daughter showed... Kevin, the Grandson of this legend, has explained his love and honor not only for Benny as a person, but as a innovator of the motorcycle world.