Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chopper Fest etc.

Random thoughts about the Chopper Fest, the Jack Off Journal, Old Timers ,Young Guns, and Bikes.

These musings are in response to reading the JJ. They are just my opinions and reactions from reading the posts. You might want to go and check the post yourself. All photos were grabbed from that site.

I almost never visit The Jack Off Journal but, because I didn't go to the DMCF, I figured there would be pictures posted of what I missed. I'm not member and after reading some of the other threads and about the show, it reminded me why, for the most part, I hate forums. Who needs a bunch of tit for tat B.S. between strangers, coupled with lot's of misinformation. Then there's that senior members thing.

About the show: Judging at shows always sucks. Also keep in mind that the name David Mann Chopper Fest, is mostly a marketing tool. "The Shop" used to just have a swap meet in December and a Antique show and swap in June. The first year of the Fest was the same year David Mann died and it was a tribute to him. My guess is that they wanted to make the December event bigger and since Choppers (thanks to TV), were back in style, it all fell in place.

In regards to what's in the show and how it's judged: I prefer true old school chops and bobs and I too would like to only see them featured in the show but remember, as the years progressed, the bikes Dave portrayed reflected the changing styles of the bikes featured in Easyriders. Also, the turn out wouldn't be as great.

As for Dave's art, one year I never even saw where it was displayed. Last year I found them poorly displayed in a building in the back of the Fairgrounds.

I'm not as totally jazzed with the pictures from the show as many of the JJ readers. Maybe it's my mood today or because I've seen a lot of the bikes before. Yeah some are sort of cool and others I can totally appreciate the craftsmanship but, I'm also really picky about what I like. Therefore, I always find it hard to completely like the way any one bike is done up.


Bobbers are supposed to be Bad Ass not Metrosexual.

The clean Bobber (above), that everybody seems to be drooling over is an example of what I mean. I saw it at El Camino and didn't like it much. It's pretty and a really nicely built bike but, does anybody else think it's a tad too fancy and bright? The color the fender trim and color coordination? Would you'd ever see a bobber like this in the 50's? Paint it all black (including the bars and headlight), take off the stainless trim and it would kick ass.

Then there's those the red wheeled white wall primer bikes (I hate'm), you see today. Seems everybody is forgetting history. Nobody ever built bikes like that until recently.

It pisses me off the way the term bobber is tossed about today. I need to do a post on that subject.


Another Metrosexual Bobber. Nice craftsmanship but... save the white walls and color coordination for a dresser. I spy a god awful red wheel with white wall in the distance.


This is more like it, but I'd still lose the green stuff. That's just me again.


Crappy, Slow, Built To Pose. Dumb shirt/Lousy art. When you were born don't mean shit. Cool dudes and "A" holes come in all ages.

On the subject of Young Guns vs. Old Guys:

For perspective, I'm 53 and have been into the bike scene since before I was old enough to ride. Does that make me an old guy? My guess is that many old timers have lost touch with the old style because they've kept moving on with the trends to the point where there's a disconnect.

It cracks me up that builders like Perewitz is now building "Bobbers". That's actually an incorrect use of the term as he's really just building an early style chopper. Maybe I'm wrong or not quite old enough but, I never remember him building that style of bike. All the old bikes I saw were pretty much those low stretched pointy bikes that some call Diggers. He admits the "bobbers" he's building now are simple to build and selling better than his usual customs.


Here's an example of a couple of things: differing taste and the way things change. It's a very cool bike and one of the ones I liked from the CF post but, I personally prefer primary covers on 60's style bikes.

It's also an example of a new take on an old style: The mid controls are done in a newer way. Same could be said for the pipes. I lean to a more a traditional approach to both.

These days, I seem to be more aligned with what the younger guys are building. I'm glad that they appreciate, keep alive, and embrace the old ways but, like what happens in fashion, it's a new take on an old style. For example: If you check the old magazines you'll find that almost nobody only custom painted the tanks and fenders on black framed bikes. They usually painted and molded the frames to match. The new way is not as costly and more practical.


Here's an example of custom paint, done only on the tank and fender. Nice bike but the front end being from a late model is too modern for me. I warned you, I'm picky!


One of the best bikes posted from the show, but again it begins to lose me at the front end. I would have liked it so much more if it had an earlier Sportster front end. I'd also lose the double lights. Picky, picky, picky!

Really the bottom line: Variety is the spice of life, you can't please everyone, to each their own, like what you want, and it's all for fun.We should be building bikes to suit ourselves anyway.

If I pissed anyone off, oh well... Screw you guys, I'm out'ta here.

3 comments:

ohitson said...

Love it.

Anonymous said...

i'm right w/you on the sporty front ends . but the ones you call metro bikes ! those guys have been builing choppers since the sixties! they have old mags to prove it . I give them a little more credit ,but I due enjoy your honesty!

Chris K said...

Thanks for the comments. I don't mean to be too critical or mean to disrespect anyone. The Metrosexual term was mostly used to joke, entertain, and provoke thought. I do give them credit for building clean well crafted bikes. I just don't agree 100% with their aesthetic choices. Even bikes I don't particularly like can be fun to look at. I've been buying magazines since 68 (still have them), and you never saw bikes like that back then.