Below is and email conversation Billy had with Dave Ekin's brother to Bud Ekin's who was stuntman for motorcycles in TCB


Dave Ekins is an American off-road racing pioneer having set the first Tijuana to La Paz timed-run in under-40 hours aboard a Honda CL72 Scrambler in 1962. He is the brother of motorcycle dealer and stuntman, the late Bud Ekins.

Ref: Wikipedia

1 -----Original Message----- From: Billy To: Bud & Dave Ekins Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2012

Dave,

I may have contacted you about this before... but I am a Huge Then Came Bronson fan. Bud was the stunt coordinator for the show. Bud of course did the customizing of the bikes used for the show, and did most of the stunt riding. Myself and my Fellow Bronsonites would like to know if any of the bikes use in the show survived, and if any are still around. From what I can figure out, there were 3 Sportsters used to film the pilot and another 6 used to film the series, and then there were a few stunt bikes, including the CZ-250 for the opening beach scenes, hill climb and a 350-Sprint used in the episode with Kennan Wynn riding his Rudge Ulster. Thank you. Billy

2 -----Original Message----- From: Dave Ekins To: Billy Sent: Monday, February 6, 2012

Dear Billy,

Thanks for your email. I really like your term "Bronsonites" ! My brother, Bud Ekins, asked myself and Jack Krizman to build two Harley Davidson Sportsters for the film company and two Harley Davidson ERS 350's. These were used in the series, "Then Came Bronson". The CZ-250 was Bud's own bike and he did his own modifications. This bike was used for the hill climb scene as the other bikes couldn't make it up the hill. The sportster was used in the opening beach scenes. The Rudge Ulster was from Bud's collection. Unfortunately, we have no idea what happened to those particular bikes. Sorry... Dave

3 -----Original Message----- From: Billy To: Dave Ekins Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012

Dave,

Sorry to be a pest but I thought you would like to see a couple pix of my Bronson Replica bikes. Thank you again and please see the two attached pictures. They are of my Sportster, my 350 Sprint which I converted to look like the stunt bike, the 1/8 scale model, and a Sportster bicycle that I customized to look like the Bronson Sportster. Thank you again, Billy

4 -----Original Message----- From: Dave Ekins To: Billy Sent: Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hi Billy,

Thanks for sending the pictures. I really think the bikes look great: Like the scale model you did too. For some reason Bud preferred the 21 inch front wheel. I say this because the H-D 350s we built for the show had 21 inchers up front. Nice job on the bikes! Dave

5 -----Original Message----- From: Billy To: Dave Ekins Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012

Dave,

this is Billy again...

My Buddies who are Then Came Bronson fans are still trying to piece together history of the show and of the bikes.. In our discussions, I put forth what I think is correct. But you would know better than anyone. So we would appreciate any help you could give. Could you please read the following email that I sent to the guys and make any corrections that you can think of. And if you have anything to add we would really appreciate it. We really want to get the history correct. Thank you very much in advance... Billy

Here's what I sent..... As near as I can figure from the TV guide and Motorcycle Magazine articles that I have read and the Email that I got from Dave Ekins, Here's what I think. There were three bikes purchased by Bud through his contacts...(Possibly Salinas Harley Davidson..which was owed by a friend of Buds.... Bud was a Triumph and CZ dealer...and possibly other brands) because Triumph wouldn't pony up any bikes....(that's a story of it's own)... Bud and his brother Dave modified the bikes for the movie and also supplied and modified the CZ that was used in the beach scenes and the Hill Climb in the Pilot Movie.... Then when the TV Series was picked up Harley Davidson supplied an additional six Sportsters and two Sprints....Dave Ekins told me that he remembers doing the modifications on the bikes.... I can't confirm but I think Harley also supplied the Rapido that was used in the Mating Dance for Tendergrass episode... The rest of the bikes were either Bud's or from a Prop company....... So that's a total of nine Sportsters and two Sprints and 1 CZ-250..... along with lots of spare tanks and fenders that Jerry Culwell painted to keep the bikes looking good for the TV Episodes. I think Jerry said there were 6 spare sets..???

Two of the Sportsters were modified by Dave and Bud to allow the camera man to ride along... One with a seat on the front fender, and one with a sidecar. The three main bikes in the TV series can be Identified by their sequential tag numbers.... The other three (of 6) would have been camera bikes and spare.. It's possible one of those is what tumbled down the hill in The Forest Primeval, or the one that was reportedly dropped from a crane for the sound effects...

One mystery to me is whether the original 3 that Bud purchased for the Pilot Movie were also used for filming the TV Series?... I would think that they would be but who knows? Maybe they went on tour as show bikes to Promote the series...????

Do you guys agree with my thinking here? Billy

6 -----Original Message----- From: Dave Ekins To: Billy Sent: Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hi Billy:

My take is a little different from yours. Myself and Jack Krizman (Filtron Air Filters) were partners in Product Testing. This is the facility where we tested Spark Arresters, air filters, etc. One of our customers happened to be Harley-Davidson. H-D was on board from the beginning with the Along Came Bronson series. Bud outlined the modifications we were to do on the (only) two V-twins. Later we were given the O.K. to make a look-a-like sportster using a 350 H-D ERS (Aeramacchi). The 350 H-D couldn't get up the hill so Bud modified a CZ moto-cross bike for the hill climb, (in Saddleback Park) This series ended simply; Michael Parks did not want to continue. Walter Davidson was extremely disappointed. As were many-many others.

Dave Ekins


Editor's Note: The Filming Location Schedule which was given to Bronson's Garage by Birney Jarvis , indicates on page 14 , the hill climb was at La Cienega Hill in Culver City, CA. which is not far from Hollywood.

Saddleback Mountain, Orange County, California


The prototype for open riding parks across the country, Saddleback is possibly the most famous and photographed track in the sport. Often called the "mecca" of Moto Cross, more national stars emerged from Saddleback than any other track in the country. One little known story is that the original MX track was far from the location of the track that most people knew. The first track was laid out in 1967 by Joel Robert. The location was further down the hill near the city of Irvine. Those that rode the first track state it was far superior to the more famous track. Noise complaints from the town forced park operator (Joe Parkhurst) to move the track. Saddleback Park closed in July 1984. There are many legends and stories as to why the park stopped operations. Disputes between the leaseholder and the property owner, the giant Irvine Company initially closed the park. Over the years there have been many efforts to reopen the track both from within the MX industry, and by private individuals. The Irvine Company was, at one time, supposed to have had over 300 million in unsettled liability lawsuits pending, making a reopening very unlikely. (REf:http://www.socalxrs.com/tracks.htm