"John Deere" is arguably the most consistently popular theme for both kustom bicycle builders and kustom motorcycle creators. The iconic green and yellow livery says "American farm tractor" to an even greater extent than golden yellow says "bulldozer". Deere actually has a long history with bicycles; and their farm equipment stores were a main source of bikes for rural youth in the late 19th century. Their "Deere Leader", "Deere Roadster", and "Moline Special" were so popular that the company realized $150,000 in 1895, just from bicycle sales. Deere had discontinued bike sales by 1900, but resumed again during the next "bike craze" decade- the '70s.
"The frame, fork, handlebars, chainguard, seatpost and headbadge are original. The frame, fork, chainguard and wheels are powdercoated.The seatpost, bars and gooseneck are spray painted. A giant tractor-like rear tire and a skinny smooth front tire add to authentic feel, as does the farm vehicle-style warning reflector on the rear."
From 1973- 75, Deere stores sold a full line of
bikes in children's and adults' styles. Curiously,
only these 3-speed models came in Deere's classic green and yellow color scheme.
Current John Deere-styled cruiser by Aaron Bethlenfalvy for Nirve Sports. Its distinctive Deere-logo yellow saddle soon began showing up on eBay, "grey-marketed" by the Asian factory which made them for Nirve.
Kustom 1957 Monark by
"Here is my fun low-budget theme bike made to look like a John Deere tractor. It started life as a 1957 Monark boy's Speed Chief shy of a few original parts.
I crowned it with a custom. Schwinn mag sprocket; the 26" original wheelset is very nice chrome, sporting Paragon whitewalls.
The steering wheel handlebar sports a John Deere spinner knob, a bell, mirror and radio. A new bent springer fork and a Nirve John Deere logo seat top it off."
A Google Image Search shows the wide popularity of the "John Deere" theme, and the diverse takes on the concept. Many of the creations below are by anonymous builders whose bikes only showed up in the search because "John Deere Bike" was how they labelled their images on various photo sites.
To the right is the most startling result of our image search. This is from a site called "Liberal Redneck", which had no information on it, or contact information to allow us to ask the creator about it. We can only say with confidence that it probably isn't an original "Moline Special" from 1895, or whenever; but it certainly is "special".
Above Left and Right: A pair of Deere-themed tandems. The plate on the one above says "MY OTHER VEHICLE IS A JOHN DEERE TRACTOR!"
Above: I guess this machine is technically a Deere-themed quadricycle.
Right: A Deere-themed faired recumbent delta trike.
John Lamp, one of The Florida Freak Bike Militia's most prolific creators, took the prize at their recent "Hillbilly Nite" cruise, with this truly amazing creation (above). A nice studio portrait of John and his machine, from The Palm Beach News, may be seen here.