Arlen Ness SmoothnessIf Ettore Bugatti had been diverted away from car design and into motorcycles this is almost certainly what he would have built. This remarkable art deco motorcycle was designed and built by master bike builder Arlen Ness, surprisingly there isn’t much information available on this jaw-dropping two-wheeler, the Arlen Ness website is down and emails to the company have gone unanswered, Wikipedia hasn’t been much help and Google throws up relatively useless links when searching for “Arlen Ness Smoothness” and other variations thereof.

What we do know is that Arlen Ness is currently based in Dublin, California and they have a bike museum featuring 40+ bikes, including the Smoothness and a number of other remarkable customs including a jet-powered bike creatively named “Mach Ness”. Arlen and his son also appeared on an episode of “The Great Biker Build Off” in 2004, a competition which is son Cory went on to win.

Micheal Lichter wrote a book about Arlen back in 2005 that features the Smoothness bike as well as some of the more famous builds to come out of his workshop, it’s available on Amazon here. The photo’s above and below are the work of Micheal and feature heavily throughout the book.

If you know more about this bike shoot us an email (, we’d love to update with further information about it. In the meantime hit the link to Arlen’s website here, hopefully it’ll go back up.












Arlen NessImages via Lichter Photo

If you like this style of motorcycle check out the beautiful Henderson custom via BikeExif