Thursday, January 24, 2013


Sonny Boy had the best from the land of the rising son out to stripe anything everything you wanted done. Big E got some stripes laid down on his helmet and Nobu got some class added to the dash...

Monday, January 21, 2013


Found these in an old file of real photography film. West Coast Choppers used to host the "No Love" party, held the weekend before Glendale HD's "Love Ride." It was fun, then it wasn't.


 Copper bike.

Twitch. (Me, NOT Photoshop)

Friday, January 18, 2013


Think your routine is getting mundane...

Hunter S. Thompson's Daily Routine

In her book HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson, biographer E. Jean Carroll starts the first chapter with a detailed account of the excess of her subject. It's completely insane. Here's what Carroll reports as a sample daily routine for the gonzo journalist (note that it begins at 3pm):

3:00 p.m. rise
3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:45 cocaine
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:15 cocaine
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
4:30 cocaine
4:54 cocaine
5:05 cocaine
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margatoes, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jig­gers of Chivas)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
12:05-6:00 a.m. Chartreuse, cocaine, grass, Chivas, coffee, Heineken, clove cigarettes, grapefruit, Dunhills, orange juice, gin, continuous pornographic movies.
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
8:00 Halcyon
8:20 sleep
Source: Carroll, E. Jean (2011-10-04). HUNTER: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson (Kindle Locations 196-221).
In an appropriately weird twist, this biography is actually only partially available to purchase on the Kindle (where I grabbed the text above). You download the book for two bucks, start reading, and then, I kid you not, the book ends after the first chapter, saying: "The author is too lazy to go on converting HUNTER into an e-book. To read the rest of the book FREE—yes, free—go to" And indeed, going there does yield both PDF and RTF versions of the book, both of which are riddled with formatting errors. As Thompson said, "Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."
January 14, 2013 - 11:45am

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013


 Whether we'd like to admit it or not, whether we like it or not, with every build we give up a piece of "control" to outside forces. For some, it's an entire build and you're depending on a shop to make your dreams become reality. For the shop, maybe the fate of your build is depending on an independent painter or upholsterer. Even a self-contained shop may have to wait on certain suppliers. How about things like motors and tires? How about the right part that the wrong guy won't give up? How many shops do their own polishing, much less plating?

 Depending on anyone to help you accomplish anything can be a drag. I'm not talking about the help from the the wise old sage of all things moto. Those guys are the most valuable aspect in keeping what's old, new again. The bitching is about waiting on a company or individual to do what they said they would do, and actually doing it. I'm certainly NOT talking about the dick(s) who never had any intention of delivering as they gladly accepted your money. Let their fate lie in whatever means you find necessary.

 Unfortunately not everyone may come equipped with the work ethic you hoped you were buying into, although the hourly fee for their skill dictate otherwise- literally in some cases. Again, most have good intentions, but something always comes up. Always. "Prepare for it... in time AND in money!" said my local wise-man as I was falling down the hole to Wonderland.

 In some cases, you're paying as much to your painter as your girl paid for her tits. And unfortunately, the results are usually the same. She should've been smarter in who she choose to perform the work, and you should have to. Inspiration can cost a lot. Impulsiveness more. Fads...the most.

 Dictation blows. Moral and ethical lessons can blow me. Advice isn't always good. This is what I've learned, whether I like her it or not. I guess it's just experience that now leads me to become "dependent" on guys like Steve Hudlow of Hudlow Axle in Rossville, GA. The man is one of the best builder/fabricators on Earth and yet, in an interview he gave during a segment for the Spike Network's show Trucks, Steve gave this answer when asked how he feels about hand-fabricating an axle or part for someone else: "I'm used as a tool to help people build their own projects, and if I do it right, it's one less hassle you'll have on your project."

Friday, January 11, 2013


... of the week.


Check out some of the early covers for Easyriders.  Marketing the magazine was easy, huh?  I especially like the headlines. Don't be fooled, though. This ain't Maxim. These 'Ol Ladies would kick your ass just for thinking about them wrong. They knew.

Today's Easyriders is definitely NOT your old man's magazine. Bummer...?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


   Max says it's probably gonna be lame... so you have to go!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


 It's hard not to be influenced by movies. I actually think it's the props that become icons as much as the film or actors in them. There's always a hint or suggestion in design when walking around a lot of the bike and car shows. Sometimes you see a clone, sometimes the actual prop.

 I have a sneakin' suspension that Dean was influenced by a movie when modifying his last bike, a '55 Triumph TR5 Trophy. He added upright bars, straight pipes and an older 6T seat. He also reversed the P-pad. Take a look at Brando's Triumph in The Wild One. Then I thought of the irony that Deans' bike was called a Trophy.

 Photos: Phil Stern
 Fairmount farm.
J.D. Museum.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christ HD

 Nowadays a lot want you to believe they were doing this, when everyone was doing that. It's hard to believe anything without some proof. Ever see the Jason Jessee interview in Iron Horse from Jan '95? Proof. Check out Christian Hosoi on his Shovel from an ad promoting his new brand. Holmes was doing it in '90. Proof.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Knuck 22k

 I guess it's gone. Looks like the recession skid right past the "vintage chopper" scene. Glad to know the guys who now lift their historical noses past the fat tire pigs are now... hogs themselves.

 Scrolling through the chopper-dom of classifieds recently, I came across an add for someone selling a Knucklehead chopper. Yes, it was a beautiful bike, had all the "right" parts, and built by a respectable builder. I got it, I get it. But... 22k ?! "Fuck the world. Here it goes again." I grimaced. Is it supply? Demand? Or is it that egos are starting to dominate the trade again? I'm sure you can make an argument for all three issues of the over inflated market, but the topic will always be the same...

Greed Kills.

I don't begrudge anyone who is able to sell these bikes. Whether to a celebrity friend, a Red Wing Shoe distributor or to a Japanese conduit, if you can get it, do it. I guess. Shit, if someone were to give me 22k for "El Mas Chingon," I can't say I wouldn't sell it. I would! I'd also be losing about a third of what I have into my West Coast Choppers CFL, not to mention my labor costs. If I had tried to sell it when the TV show was still popular and 200mm tires were considered small, I may have even made money on the build. But it's not 2005. It's 8 years later, the trends and trendy builders have moved on and now the magic money genie has turned your old crusty 30hp motor into a bristling piece of high market gold.

 As I point a finger to the guys raising the unreachable roof on such a cool, pure thing, I realize four more are pointed at me, as it goes. I bought into the cool, pure thing. I paid big, too. And then I lost just as big. Do it because you have too. Do it by all means. But help someone willing to learn, learn. And if he wants to rebuild that Knucklehead, Pan or Shovel under your bench, that you know you will never get to, try to sell it to him for a price that's reasonable... not seasonal.

 Trend investor's tip: Sell your vintage motor HDs for as much as you can now. Use the money to buy up the Evos that guys can't sell for more than $3,500 right now. Buy a lot of them! When the vintage fad ends, the new Evo trend will make you a lot of money with your celebrity friends, Nike reps, and young Chinese entrepreneurs.

Friday, January 4, 2013