Renew your subscription
Home // Feature Story
Steve Murray

Safety Crusader

Javen Guzon may look like he’s straight out of ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ but he cares about his fellow bikers. That’s why he and wife Narsi are putting on a rally focusing on safety Aug. 9 at Aloha Stadium

With his large arms, tribal tattoos and enough skull rings to outfit the entire Sons of Anarchy cast, Javen Guzon projects an intimidating figure. That image gets a boost when he puts on his cuts, climbs aboard his custom chopper and joins his brothers from Kanaka Hekili motorcycle club for a ride around Oahu. As is often the case, however, appearance doesn’t match reality.

Though he can pull off the look of a 1 percenter (an outlaw biker), the 44-year-old solar power marketing and sales consultant is committed to safe riding. In his two years with the MC, and the three decades as a rider of powerful two-wheeled sports machines, Guzon has seen his share of close calls and questionable decisions made by both vehicle operators and motorcycle riders. Because of this, there was no way his upcoming motorcycle rally would be just about motorcycles.

“I didn’t want to put the event on just to have a big party,” he says.

The Hawaii Motorcycle Rally and Bike Show, Aug. 9 and 10 at Aloha Stadium, features custom bikes, cars, live music, food, a beer tent, bikini babes, a skills test, appearances by two History Channel gear heads and enough safety information and displays to make any insurance carrier happy. To paraphrase the organizer, it’s going to be Sturgis with a message. (If you don’t know Sturgis, Google it.)

“Some of our club members have been run off the road by motorists or have gotten into accidents — that inspired me,” Guzon says. “I wanted to give back to the motorcycle industry in Hawaii, and because I ride, and because my wife rides with me, I want the whole thing to be safe.”

Narsi, his wife, is more than just a riding companion. She’s the practical side of the business, without whom the rally would not happen — at least not within any reasonable budget. Javen, by his own admission and in an attempt to make the rally as big as possible, would spend before thinking about how it affects the bottom line. That’s Narsi’s job.

“I had all these great ideas about what I wanted to do for the event, but the reality is we didn’t have the budget to do these things,” says Javen.

Such disagreements over spending aren’t new for the couple. They’ve just learned to deal with them better. Three years ago they staged an MMA expo that while being successful, strained their relationship.

“It almost put us to the point of getting divorced,” admits Javen.

Today, the disagreements are limited to semi-heated debates over who has the quickest car — Narsi’s Nissan Z or Javen’s Dodge Charger SXT. Smart money has the Japanese import.

The Mililani residents have committed between $60,000 and $70,000 for the two-day event. Some funds came from their own savings while waiting for sponsorships to arrive. Thanks to a big donation by Cycle City and other local businesses, they should recoup any losses. They won’t get paid, but at least they won’t be in debt.

One big draw Javen is counting on, besides the bikes and cars, is appearances by Counting Cars stars Danny “The Count” Koker and Kevin Mack. The pair will sign autographs, act as hosts for some of the events and provide their own insight into motorcycle safety. There also will be an after party featuring the pair at The FIX Sports Lounge and Nightclub for those unable to attend the rally, or for those who want to keep it going. As far as Javen is concerned, there is no one better to represent the rally than Koker and Mack.

“When you hear him (Koker) speak, it just draws you to him. He’s a real nice, down-to-earth guy who makes you feel comfortable right off the bat.”

The Guzons are in the motorcycle rally business for the long haul. They are in the process of creating a nonprofit to continue sponsoring rallies, and their mission to improve safety through education, enforcement and out-reach. Their target audience is everyone on the road, including motorcycles, cars and moped riders who are likely to become the next generation of motorcycle riders.

A single-day pass to the rally costs $20 with two-day passes going for $35. Gates open at noon both days with events going on until 9 p.m. The rally is also a benefit for Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation (PSHF). Attendees are asked to bring school supplies to the rally, which then will be donated to PSHF.

Go to hawaiimotorcyclerally.com for more information.

smurray@midweek.com

MidWeek Newsletter
2013-2014 Ilima Awards
EVENTS CALENDAR
Community