Bentley: Lemoore motorcycle shop vies on Twitter-driven TV show

June 10, 2014 

Rick Bray needs your help. His RKB Kustom Speed in Lemoore is one of three motorcycle shops that will be featured Monday on the new Discovery Channel series "#BikerLive."

Each week, "#BikerLive" features three teams of the nation's best bike builders who are given five weeks and $15,000 to construct their dream bikes to go head-to-head for the title of "America's Baddest Bike."

Here's where you can help Bray and his team. Each week's winner is determined immediately through Twitter. Voting starts at the open of the episode when audiences learn specific hashtags to tweet out their votes. The winner is announced at the end of the show.

RKB Kustom Speed will go against two other San Joaquin Valley shops, TPJ Customs of Acampo and Binford's Custom Cycles of Manteca.

There is no prize for being picked the best bike of the night except for bragging rights. Teams do get to keep the bikes they have built from the ground up.

"I would do the show again because of all the exposure. This kind of thing doesn't happen here," Bray says.

Cameras were in Bray's shop two days a week to record the process.

"It was a lot of work to cram into the short work time that really ended up being 41/2 weeks to build the bike," Bray says. By comparison, "I'm working on another bike for a show in Vegas and I have been working on it for six months."

He says that being part of a cable series was a little overwhelming at first, but the hardest part was the amount of work the team had to turn down during the build.

Bray says he has built bikes for less when he didn't charge for labor. And, there's a lot of labor that goes into each project. For the TV show, the team used parts from other bikes to build an engine and transmission.

Bray says the strength of his team is in its attention to details.

Brothers Rick and Randall Bray started building race cars together 10 years ago and opened their shop four years ago. The shop was voted "Artistry In Iron" Champions at the 2013 Las Vegas Bikefest, a title they look to defend this year.

Other members of the team include Fresno's Rob Solomon and Lemoore's Dave Hill.

The program that will air at 10 p.m. Monday on Discovery is shown on a tape for most of the West Coast — and the voting will be over. If you are a Comcast subscriber, the program will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. on the Velocity Channel (a sister channel to Discovery), Channel 754 on Comcast.

Transmitter woes

Fans of "Flying Home," the locally produced series hosted by Ronnie Paul, have had a hard time the past few weeks watching the program that airs on local low-power television station KSDI (Channel 33.2). That's because there have been transmitting problems at Cocola Broadcasting where the show originates.

"KSDI has been operating at reduced power for the last few weeks," says Gary Cocola, owner Cocola Broadcasting. "We have received many calls, primarily from folks who are unable to see Channel 33.2 on Saturday nights for the Ronnie Paul show. We hope to have the station back to full power by the end of the week."

Paul's show airs 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays.

Many local TV watchers see KSDI programming using antenna. Those are the viewers affected by the technical problems. The signal continues to be fed to Comcast, which broadcasts KSDI on cable channel 200.

Paul has been hosting "Flying Home" since December 2005. It's a mix of talk about old TV shows with the broadcast of series such as "The Jack Benny Show" and "I Love Lucy." Paul's set is so crammed with photos, toys and other items related to TV, it makes me think that must be what the inside of my brain looks like.

Paul's show is a perfect fit with the Family Channel programming on the station. The lineup includes "I Spy," "My Little Margie," "Route 66," "The Soupy Sales Show" and "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Cocola suggests that those who watch KSDI via antenna do a re-scan of their TVs to make sure they are seeing all of the local over-the-air channels that are available in this market.

By the numbers

In case you missed it, locally trained California Chrome's attempt to become the latest Triple Crown winner was a huge broadcast success for NBC.

California Chrome's efforts to make horse racing history at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday averaged 20.6 million viewers. Only one other Belmont Stakes broadcast has drawn more viewers for the network. That was Smarty Jones' Triple Crown attempt in 2004 that attracted 21.9 million viewers.

The Tony Awards — which featured the historic sixth acting win for Fresno's Audra McDonald — didn't get as much attention. The broadcast came in third behind ABC's broadcast of the "NBA Finals Game 2" and NBC's "Miss USA" pageant coverage. On the East Coast, the Tony Awards had to compete head-to-head-to-head with the other big events. It was shown on tape on the West Coast.

Early ratings show the Tony Awards attracted 7 million viewers, down slightly from last year.

Other news

Sort of retired: In May, Doug Collins ended his 26 years of forecasting local weather on TV and radio, most recently for "ABC30 Action News AM Live." He no longer is talking about weather conditions on TV, but Collins hasn't completely left the broadcast world. You can still hear him each morning on KMJ (AM 580).

Officially, Collins has retired from the local news/talk radio station. He is just continuing to work at KMJ until his replacement can be found.

Fresno?: Nic Pizzolatto, creator of the marvelous HBO series "True Detective," dropped a few hints on the NPR program "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" as to what would happen in the cable show's second season. The big clue was that it will be set in California but not in a major city such as Los Angeles.

In the running: "Broken at Love," the online series created by Sanger native Karolina Sivas, has been selected to be part of the Miami Web Series Film Festival taking place in October.

In April, Sivas was named the Best Lead Actress in the soap opera category at the International Los Angeles Web Series Festival. She also won for Best Writing.

Former "Days of Our Lives" and "Loving" actress Pamela Bowen was named Best Supporting Actress for her work in the series.

"Broken At Love" is the story of college senior Vivienne "Vivie" Taylor (Sivas), who gets to meet her celebrity crush, professional tennis player Holden Gregory. It can be seen on YouTube.

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at www.fresnobeehive.com.

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