Some Thoughts on Motorcycles and Media

Recent events have led me to take the time to write my opinions on motorcycles and the media. It seems that motorcycles are riding the swell of TV fame: everywhere I go people want to tell me about how cool Jesse James is, or how they never miss an episode of American Chopper. Well, that's great. We have some legitimate respect, even if no one wants to listen to me. For every compliment I get on WCC or OCC, I try to tell people about our great local builders. You know, the guys that we take our bikes to when we can afford the best.

While I enjoy the publicity and positive images that the new reality show are giving to motorcycling, I question the god-like status people give to the stars. These guys are special in that they are the first to attract positive media attention. They are not the first builders, and they are not necessarily the best at all aspects of a build.

Why is it so hard to get my point across? What do Jesse and Paulie do that Brock can't do, given the same requirements and budget?

I even try to point out that some of Jesse's talent is local: Mike Lavallee, of Killerpaint, has his shop about 1/2 mile up the street from me. It's right around the corner from the apartments where my ex lives. Mike's work is known for amazing depth of color and realism. His creations continue to win awards locally and nationally. He is good, but there are other talented painters in our region.

Trickpaint has won as many regional awards as Mike, and has his share of celebrity clients (including a few pro ball players). So has St. John Artworks. They just don't have as big of a PR tie as Mike and Jesse.

A lot of our smaller shop owners are also racers, and many are just good builders. Each year I see bikes all over the state that push limits. I don't have to go to Laughlin or Sturgis to see the latest in frames, tanks, fenders, wheels, tires, or seats. All I have to do is go to my local events.

Thanks for making motorcycles popular. Now go explore your back yard for local talent. You'd be suprised at who and what you might find. The pictures on Hogbytes may give you a clue or two for the Seattle area.

beryl     2004

Disclaimer: These pages express the personal opinions of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any corporation, organization, club, or group anywhere in this galaxy.