Welcome to the next of hopefully many to come from my friend Mike Dock: Mechanist, Folklorist, Generalist, Pugilist and recreational Phlebotomist.
|by Mike "VonYinzer" Dock|
So, I’m back for round two. Our Great and Pulsating Leader has graciously accepted another installment of my ramblings that I think I shall call “Barstool Philosophy.” I’m pretty excited to keep working on this series of diatribes for you fine people. Hopefully as it continues it gets better. If you good people out in reality have anything you would like for me to discuss, please let us know. If you jerks out there have anything shitty to say, also let us know. Please include your address and next of kin with complaints.
I kid, of course. My job here is to give you all another reason to keep signing in, and I really want to do that as well as I can. I'll admit from the beginning that I am no trained writer, nor am I interested in discussing most of the crap that it seems the guys and gals who focus on motorbikes, hot rods, beer, and whatnot in their ramblings seem to care so much about. Which, brings me to my first real topic…
Hey motorcycle, classic car, music, and similarly themed magazine editorial staffers; FUCK OFF. Honestly. The arrogance and self serving bile many of you seem to thrive on pushing is just sad. There is a certain motorcycle magazine that I believe is the only real rag out there that covers the kind of home built and underground bikes most of us are into. Well, it used to be. It seems that the majority of their recent editorials and even articles are only written to extol the virtues of their staff. Lots of “they just wish they were us” and “we did it first and best.” I don’t disagree with that, but shut the fuck up about it. That’s the exact mentality that sunk your competition when you came on the scene. In the beginning you focused on the bikes, the builders, and the shit we cared about. Now it’s articles about “budget builds” that easily top the $10k mark, and are only that cheap because their built by pros with full machine shops and piles of parts at their fingertips. Or we get blatant ads for your buddies companies thinly veiled as articles. C’mon people, get back to what matters. The machines and the kats that are out here in the real world making them happen. I’m not saying that you should never cover a radical custom that was built by a master as that stuff helps to fuel our fires in the garage, but let’s get back to our roots. Bring it back to the underground where the real people live. Whew… That felt nice. Ha-ha.
Next up on the block; I got me a new motor scooter. She’s a pretty nice 1973 Yamaha TX650. I was in serious need of a daily beater and my main man Justin found her for $400 in Maryland. Clean title, starts on the first kick, all the wires end up where they’re supposed to and all the lights come on. Pretty damn good deal with the prices vintage bikes (and especially the TX/XSs), are commanding these days. Anyhow, that’s enough gloating. I’ll get to the point.
When I first got the bike, I had grand dreams of what I would do to it over the shit-box of a winter we have here in South-West PA. There were visions of candy paint, Tokyo 'BratStyle' frame mods, vintage MX tanks, and so forth. After getting her home though, I can’t bring myself to do it. I know I will someday, but right now I have been without proper two-wheeled transport for so long I think I’ve gotten gun-shy about cutting anything up. I can still see the finished project in my head. I have still gone through the planning aspect of the build. I just don’t know if I can cut her up…
That said, Im going to make her as pretty and cool (in my book) as I can without tearing her down. Maybe a bit of tracker flair? Maybe a little café style? Who knows? One thing I am sure of, is that The Grand Poombah and Exhalted Schwang here at Homage will be getting an order for some neat-o dress up bits soon, so keep an eye out for some beautiful hand-made pieces like nothing else on the road showing up in these here pages. No matter what happens to the TX, it’ll happen the way I want it to, which leads me to the next bit of rusty slag left on the floor for your enjoyment.
STOP BUILDING BIKES BASED ON WHAT PEOPLE OTHER THAN YOU THINK IS BITCHIN!!!
Please people, the best part of this culture is the creativity. It’s the drive to build that machine that YOU alone have imagined and will enjoy. Sure I have my influences, like anyone of us do. I’ll be the first to admit that the bikes our Japanese brothers and sisters have been building over the past 20 years or so rest high on my mental mantle place of badassery. The stuff the So-Cal boys were turning out in the 50s and 60s get my shorts tight. Hell, the stuff coming out of Norway, Sweden, and the rest of the Viking lands as of late is stunning as well, and don’t get me started on the 40s through 60s era East and West coast Kustom and Hotrod kats were putting out. Hell, if it was legal to marry a machine the present owner of the Hirohita Merc better lock that beautiful creature up!
But what I and so many other see nowadays is people building for fashion, not from the soul. That’s a bummer. If I have one more flannel shirt and Vans wearing twenty year old kid tell me that his “customized” EVO Sporty is “what it’s all about” or “based on the true kings of custom bikes like Jesse James” (both real comments I have heard, and no disrespect meant to Jesse, but c’mon…) I may lose it. I don’t care what you wear. I don’t care what beer you drink. I don’t care who you’re fucking. I don’t care what you ride. But, come at me as if you’re some kind of badass because you bought every article of clothing you saw a dude wearing in the last issue of Greasy Kulture, and had the local HD dealership “build” your catalogue “custom” and I may not be the nicest guy you meet that week. Sorry, but theres enough fake shit in the cesspool as is. Don’t need to pile anymore in.
Now, I’m not trying to be a dick here. If you didn’t know me, you would probably think I was one of those guys at first glance. And really, the difference in negligible except for the fact that I refuse to subscribe to the “what’s cool now” mentality. I have looked like this, and been interested in this shit since before it was HDs newest marketing campaign, and will continue to be after they design the next one. Does that make me “cool” or “original?” Hell NO. I’m a fucking nerd. I love superhero movies, and hanging out with my wife while watching crappy TV shows, and I personally own two cats. Yes, two cats. I listen to shitty 80s music, and have no shame in telling you all that I think my Grandmother may the coolest person I know. The main difference between guys like myself, and the aforementioned fellas, is that I make it a point everyday to stay true to who I am inside.
I think being a good person, and focusing on what makes you and others close to you happy is what it’s all about. And that shows in the machines we create. Look at the Honda CB360 being built by our friend Troy.
(note: click the link below the pic for WAY more)
His focus isn’t on what he looks like or what random strangers will think. It’s on the bike, and the world he lives in. Not some magazines idea of what’s cool or some punk kids opinion. He keeps his house in order, and in turn his mind is free of bullshit. In the end, the motorcycle becomes part of him and vice versa. That’s the part I think so many people miss about this crazy ass life. It’s not something you can dive into, gold card in one hand and the latest Dark Customs book in the other and expect to be part of anything meaningful. You have to earn your stripes like anywhere else in the known universe. Be you a café guy, or a chopper builder, or just a guy who digs bikes to the point that it’s more than a hobby. You need to really focus on what matters before you can become a real creator. A machine like the ones we love that is created by a man with no soul is no better than something that rolled off of the showroom floor at your local dealer. And if that’s all we wanted to throw a leg over or slide into the drivers’ seat of, we wouldn’t be in the garage trying to find our idea of the perfect bike or car now would we?
Find your own center, and be your own man. It’s the only way to achieve what you set out to. And for the kats that really only care about the fashion, and glory… Well, you’ll always be able to spot them from a mile away. Which in my opinion is about ten miles too close.
Thanks again for reading ladies and germs. And again, if you folks have anything to say in response, hit up The Master and Commander here on the email tip. Now in the immortal words of Mr. Natural, “Be like two fried eggs, and keep the sunny side up.”
(I kinda feel like I should meditate on my chakras now or maybe cock-punch a hipster....Oh what the Hell it's Friday, hipster it is!)