AM­BAS­SADORS

Hot Bike - - Fuel & Fire - JEFF G. HOLT EDI­TOR IN CHIEF JEF­FREY.HOLT@BONNIERCORP.COM @JEFFGHOLT #JEFFGHOLT

How many times have you been asked about your motorcycle? Whether that bike of yours has been crazily cus­tom­ized so much that most folks can’t even tell what year or model it is, or if it is rel­a­tively box stock with a shiny new paint scheme, men, women, boys, and girls of all ages like to talk to us about our V-twin ma­chines.

I am sure most of you can at­test that at just about every gas stop, diner, dive bar, or con­ve­nience store we have plenty of ques­tions to an­swer re­gard­ing what’s been done to our rides to make them so at­trac­tive to Joe and Jane Pub­lic. How many times have you been by a gas pump or on a barstool chat­ting about your bike to some­body whose fam­ily mem­ber has had a Har­ley or In­dian? And stop me if you have heard this one be­fore: “My dad used to have a bike just like that, but it was red with a dif­fer­ent mo­tor.”

Yes, this is funny stuff, but it also holds a lot of weight when it comes to be­ing bik­ers and cus­tom motorcycle en­thu­si­asts like we are. All of these on-thes­pot Q&A ses­sions we have with the non-rid­ing pub­lic makes us all brand am­bas­sadors at a small level. We all know the ins and outs of our bikes and what was fab­ri­cated and mod­i­fied on them. We (usu­ally) gladly tell the wide-eyed folks ask­ing us ques­tions re­gard­ing the hows and whys of how the bike came to its present state. We are ex­perts on the brand of bike we ride and the rea­son­ing be­hind why we ride the par­tic­u­lar model we do.

Folks like us are just good ol’ red-blooded Amer­i­can V-twin motorcycle fa­nat­ics. And you all know this state­ment is true. This cus­tom motorcycle thing is more than a hobby. It’s more than a piece of twowheeled trans­porta­tion, and it’s much more than a life­style. We seem to al­ways know more about the bikes we buy off the show­room floor than the per­son sell­ing it to us. Hell, some­times we even know the parts used to up­grade our mo­tor­cy­cles bet­ter than the com­pa­nies who man­u­fac­tured them in the first place.

With all of this said, like it or not I feel we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to rep­re­sent our­selves as in­de­pen­dent brand emis­saries for who and what we feel are the best com­pa­nies in the motorcycle busi­ness. Knowl­edge is power, my broth­ers and sis­ters, and so is teach­ing folks that we aren’t just a bunch of tat­tooclad dirt bags but re­ally have a vast knowl­edge of the bikes we choose to ride and why. It’s a thank­less job but one I feel we do al­ready at every stop sign and on every cor­ner.

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