Many bikes come and go at LaFore's custom motorcycle shop in Lakewood, but one is there to stay. The shop's owner, Mike LaFore, pictured here, would never sell it.
The engine on the bike was built by Christian, Mike's son; in 1999, Christian was killed when he collided with a car while riding a different bike he'd put together for the family business. And its frame was built by his son Jace, short for Jason, who died in much the same way five years later.
The woman driving the car that took Christian's life was never charged in connection with the accident. The man who was driving the truck that collided with Jace was sentenced to the maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for careless driving resulting in death. The sentence is a rarity in such cases.
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Nowadays, Denver drivers may see cars or trucks rolling around with one or two different bumper stickers inspired by Mike's sons. One reads, "Save a Life/Be Aware/Motorcycles are Everywhere/In Honor of Christian LaFore." The other says, "Before You Turn Left/Look Twice/You Could Save a Life/In Honor of Jason M. LaFore." Mike and his wife Chris printed up a couple hundred of these stickers and dished them out to friends and family members who'd requested them. The demand was so high that a second batch is in the works.
In the meantime, Mike is looking down the road. "We're busy, we just keep goin'. You gotta keep goin," he says. "We make it a point to keep busy. You've got to. We're in the pleasure business."
To read Westword's January 2005 feature article about Mike, Christian and Jason, click here. -- Luke Turf