BSH 331 has just landed on the planet with one of the finest covers for a long time. Inside, things get even better with, following on from last month's issue, another fabulous BSA (they're like buses...), a family-built CB650, a radical Suzuki GSX1400 and a supercharged trike. Add to that coverage of the Hot Rod Hayride, Speed Weekend on Ice, Grand National Roadster Show, the Chop 'n' Rod Show and Rock & Bike Fest, and there's plenty to get you entertained.
This is a small world, and the custom world even smaller. The old adage runs that there’s seven degrees of separation between each person on the planet but, in our scene, that’s probably closer to two or three. So why is it that people still think that they will get away with half-truths, fabrications and complete lies … and that no-one will notice?
I’ve just watched an interview on Youtube with one of the entrants of the recent AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in Sturgis. The said entrant – I won’t name him because, you know, I really don’t want to give him any publicity whatsoever – swerves around the direct question of ‘How did you build the bike?’ for the simple reason that he didn’t build it. With a talent that should see him standing for Parliament rather than on a South Dakota stage, he leaves the viewer with the impression that, while, yes, he did buy the frame from a third party, the rest of the bike was down to his own imagination and skill. I first saw that particular motorcycle around three years ago; it looked almost exactly as it does today (I have photos to prove it), and it would be more than eighteen months before ‘Mr Bike Builder’ would buy it off eBay.
Do these folk think that people’s recollections are so short that we won’t notice? That if they can talk a good line, then we will believe them? That it’s right to tacitly claim someone else’s work as their own? (Incidentally, could you tell us exactly how the rear brake was set up, Mr New Owner? Oh sure, you could, as you did it yourself…) More than anything, I dislike the assumption that we are all so stupid as to swallow glib explanations. This is, after all, a small world. And one in which memories are long.
The winner of the 2011 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building is Ken Taba of Tavax Engineering. Runner up was our very own Larry Houghton with the 'Son of a Gun; BSA - way to go, Larry!! - and, in third place, Satya Kraus with 'Bolide'. We'll bring you more results shortly.
One of my (many) heroes of the Hotrod Hayride was Pete Vivian, an extremely tall gentleman who crammed himself into a beautiful wooden '32 sedan and hurtled (well, sailed stately as a galleon, to be precise) down the Soapbox Derby course to overall victory this year. Pete is a remarkably talented craftsman in wood, and makes all manner of stuff, including these super cool soapboxes of which I am very jealous. However, we like to think that his triumph this year was helped along by the aerodynamic qualities of the BSH sticker on the rear of the '32...