BRIDGING THE GAPS
Write for a motorcycle magazine? Come on—childhood dreams, career goals, dream job? Think for a minute what it’s like to be the guys who must pack the pages of this publication to please the minds and spirits of all you incredible readers. Motorcycles are about as personal as music tastes, religion, and political preference. To please the masses is a daunting and monthly occurrence. One bike has too big of a wheel, this bike looks like all other bikes in its category, this bike can only be ridden for 43 miles at a time due to its tank size, etc. The endless criticism is peaking lately. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and explore that thought.
It’s a fact that we were not all lucky enough to enter this life with motorcycle lineage—generations of two-wheeled tradition, where family memories wreaked of bean oil premix and race gas, and plastic sinks with carburetors strewn about, a never-ending project mentality taught as a lifestyle. Those elements were the purest of Americana for many lifetime motorcyclists. As we grow older, it means more. As we grow older, we grow quieter on preference and larger than life on memories and attempt to pass it down to our children the way it was shown to us.
Let’s rewind 10 to 15 years. The motorcycle industry was introduced to a time period where excessive spending and lifestyle purchases were practically human nature. Raked out and 350mmtire equipped, the chopper craze brought on riders who were new to motorcycles altogether, and in a lot of instances, once it was gone, a lot of those riders would never be riders again. This was a time of monumental judging, bitterness, and separation, as very personal styles were explored and we all learned a valuable lesson: Just because it hasn’t been done before, does not mean that it needs to be.”
Present day we have experienced an incredible influx in American V-twin motorcycles, and the custom game is climbing to incredible heights currently. Big suspension, big engine, big brakes, wrapped up in show-worthy paint. That recipe right now is on point. That recipe has brought together and brought out so many new and talented young people, all while preserving some industry veterans and industry legends as well. The rise of performance-based and very rideable and usable bikes right now is a very real leap that is paramount to an industry recovering slowly from massive influx and drastic downturn. That’s the truth that the people behind the counters, behind the CNC machines, and on their feet next to a lift all day know and have lived, while now serving all of you.
So at this point you’re likely thinking, “Come on, Danny. What’s with this emotional roller coaster and time machine journey you’re taking me on here?” This is the point. When it’s easiest to join into the fun that is motorcycles, it’s wide open and vulnerable. It gets filled with new riders, who are welcomed with arms wide open, and with the power of social media, an uptick is opinions and separation occurs naturally. Lifetime motorcyclists will tell you they could have fun on anything with two wheels, or they have an appreciation for something in every category of vintage Harley-davidsons, performance-based baggers, club-style Dynas, and FXRS.
Remember this and don’t ever forget it. Motorcycles are freedom. The ride is possibly the only risk I will take daily, knowing my life is on the line and can separate my life from my wife and kids. That’s a real scenario and truth I face, but the supporting truth and reality is that there is nothing else on this planet that can give me that same feeling. There is nothing else in the world that carries the memories for me of my family heritage and the times I spent with my father. I can’t remember my graduation or my first kiss, but I could tell you every different place I rode dirt bikes with my pops, what he was riding, or what it was like the first time I rode on the freeway on a V-twin.
There’s history in all of these parts, history in all of these shops, and history being made in these pages. Let’s preserve them. Open your mind to experience everything that is motorcycles rather than focusing on just one. HB
“MOTORCYCLES ARE ABOUT AS PERSONAL AS MUSIC TASTES, RELIGION, AND POLITICAL PREFERENCE. TO PLEASE THE MASSES IS A DAUNTING AND MONTHLY OCCURRENCE.”