Attitude

  • April 23, 2010 1:46 AM PDT
    I sometimes wonder what happened in the years of growing up that motivates people to do what they do or live how they live. Knowing what I have learned about the "self" through human aggression studies, it is very sad sometimes to see someone who has really been shortchanged by the experiences of their early life that made them who they are.

    There is a guy in my town who rides a custom chopper.  You see him torquing around town with his woman of the day on the back almost any day of the week.  When I first saw the bike it turned my head good and hard.  Very nice lines and an obvious crafstmans creation.  I'd hoped to catch him at one of the weekly bike nights we have here to talk with him and get a good look at the bike. 

    As the closing months of last riding season ticked along I started noticing more of his personality.  When at a stop light he would set and constantly rev the throaty beast just to get attention and look around to see who was looking at him.  Any takeoff I have ever witness has been a full throttle, front tire skimming the ground launch and he always is very aggressive in regards to other traffic.

    In the last few weeks he was riding behind my wife, tailgating extremely close, reving incessantly and even started yelling at her to "come on, get moving" as she turned onto a side street .  Yesterday a friend of our was talking about her sons bike and mention spray-tan, stoplight reving chopper boy.  He was parked at a watering hole for a bike night last week.  When this guy came walking by and stopped to admire his bike.  Turns out it is a West Coast Choppers model. Very nice.  So then the guy who owns it pipes up and says "You wish you could have this bike.  There's not another one like it in this town and never will be. Every other bike in this town is crap".........LOL.......

    Now I have owned many new bikes. Took pride in how I cared for them. Any old bike I have ever owned I took just as much pride in and never was ashamed of it cause at least I was riding.  I appreciate a work of art and respect the artist that can produce the kind of piece that this guy straddles.  We all love to look as cool as possible and the bike we ride projects how we want to be viewed. Along with that is the attiutude we project.  This guys attitude has totally destroyed any interest I had in that bike.  It isn't a work of art to me now.  If he sells it and a real biker (most on this site will know what that means) buys it, I will be appreciative and will again try to get in close and talk with the owner and look at the innovation and craftsmanship that Jesse James' shop is known for.

    But, as long as this douche is riding it.  I would never give him the satisfaction of thinking I am impressed by his ability to call himself the owner of this fine machine.  I'd be proud to own it.  To me it says something when you have that kind of scratch to procure a piece like his.  You used your skill and intellect to achieve a financial status that is impressive enough to allow these luxuries.  Usually it means you are someone to pay attention to. Maybe learn from.  But this guy.  The cut of this kind is what results in anti-biker ordinances and a general dislike for our machines. A broad generalization that we have to be conscience of everywhere we go. 

    My bike may not be a custom chopper. But there will never be another like it.  Everything about it's transformation was done by me. Zero labor dollars spent other than the cylinder boring and valve job that I have no equipment to do myself.  And what's more, it was done in my garage with my wife giving critique and turning wrenches with me.  My four kids ages 3-5-7-17 cleaning parts or masking off this or handing me that. Talking about our lives and watching them learn and seeing them play around me when they lose interest for the day.  Teaching them that the massive spread of parts would again roll down the street with only focus and attention to detail and drive.  The satin finish on the scuffed chrome was determined by our highly calibrated scientific wild -assed guesses.  The paint design was sketched out with the kids colored pencils on the dining room table and then walked out to the garage, hand laid, and then painted by our hands and skill in the paint booth we spent hours constructing.  This bike is something that will be remembered by my kids long after I'm gone.  Like the bike's in Dyna's "First Kick" thread about "Old Jack", this bike taught lessons to my kids and myself and was a magnet that's gravity was a focusing force for those lessons to transpire. 

    I'll probably never sell this bike.  It is a link to something sacred and most who look at it will understand that when I tell them I restored it myself with my family.  When I see the hand worked finish on my lifter guides I'll remember the break I took to give my carpal-tunnel a rest and watched my kids playing in the driveway.  I'll remember how my wife and daughter stood like surgical technicians handing me rags soaked in lacquer thinner when I severly gaffed up the crazer additive in the paint and had to remove it while it was still wet.  My 5yr old boy will always remember the extra work he caused when he acidently knocked over the freshly primered frame I had sitting in the middle of the garage floor.  no other bike could have this meaning.

    Please remember when setting at the next light that loud pipes save lives......but also wake sleeping babies in the car next to you, or just add to the din in the head of the person who just lost their job.  The way we act leaves impressions and we should be wary of causing a parent to forbid their child from enjoying the experience of being a biker because of irresponsible behavior they witnessed or the very arrogant nature of someone they run across. And, whether your bike was built by you and gave you the kind of experiences I mentioned or your bike was just bought, ready to give you those experiences we all love to ride for. Remember, it's just a bike.  Metal from the earth, forged and finished into a machine that burns a liquid from the earth to provide a ride.  The kind of ride is up to you.......if your a douche, don't expect me to think of you as anything but someone who straddles someone else's creation........and your ride will be meaningless in the end.
  • April 23, 2010 1:52 AM PDT
    Great story...and viewpoints DEFCON!!!!
  • April 23, 2010 1:57 AM PDT
    Good writing and topic, my area is filled with that type of Bikers, work out in the gym, wear sleeveless shirts, look cool as can be profiling about town looking at their reflections in the store fronts as they ride by. On occasion I have had the opportunity to witness them smash into something in front of them as they admired themself in the windows and can only laugh.

    From decades ago the Bad Boy Biker image has been kept alive by those today that claim to be "Old School", tis one thing to hear about the Good Old days from a drunk old timer telling camp fire storys, tis another to have seen it first hand.
  • April 23, 2010 2:12 AM PDT
      I don't intend to impress anyone with my bike.  It is mine to enjoy and equiped for that purpose.  I have "Driven the pipes" in my youth with the glass twins on a V8.  But after 30 years in ear ringing noisie ocupations I find quiet very nice and have heard comments from people to the effect that a good looking bike doesn't need to be loud.  The rocking thump stirs the soul but the ride is the cloud 9.  MHO
    • 467 posts
    April 23, 2010 2:34 AM PDT
    Awesome interpretation! Do you mind if I forward this on to my hubby? He is kind of a newbie and will appreciate this as this "type" of biker is what kept him back from buying his first bike until after he met me and I changed his tune! lol
  • April 23, 2010 3:07 AM PDT
    Well said!!
    • 126 posts
    April 23, 2010 3:10 AM PDT
    Very nicely said. I like my ride the way it is. It get dirty and wet becouse I ride it. It's not setting in the garage all the ime just for the nice weather. My bike is a little loud but I ride down my street as quitly as I can and try not to wake the people up from sleep. No need to be an a**.
  • April 23, 2010 3:36 AM PDT
    Very nicely said indeed my friend!! I see them all the time at the flats and other places I ride. I also wonder where there heads are at and why.
  • April 23, 2010 8:30 AM PDT
    like so many other things even bikers have sub cultures, some good some bad. It does seem like we have more than a few of the type you described in my area. I am sure that guy is also an ass in his car as he is on his bike.
    • 601 posts
    April 23, 2010 8:51 AM PDT
    I enjoy these types... I would usually pull loose a plug lead or something small and get a kick out of watching him scratching his head when his bike don't start.
  • April 23, 2010 9:35 AM PDT
    turn the fuel off! thats a kick
  • April 27, 2010 1:27 PM PDT
    Well said. It is people like yourself, that we need out there helping to improve our reputation. Many people have no idea the good people that are bikers and all of the charities that we are involved in. It only takes a handful of jerks to give us all a bad name, unfortunately.
    • 190 posts
    April 27, 2010 4:17 PM PDT
    Defcon, I agree completely, I have mostly loud pies, but mostly stock bike (V&H straight shots and stage 1 air filter kit), She's loud at high revs/idol (carbourated), other than that accesories like grips, levers and derby cover, will add some more soon. My bike is no custom chopper, but my baby to evolve as I see fit. I wonder every morning I start it to go to work if I woke up the 3 or 6mo old next door, but thier nana always tells me no. when I come home at night I run low revs and speed down my block, they can hear me but it doesnt bother anyone. I usually try not to be loud (unless some one deserves it). Even if I had a hottie to show off on the back, no reason to draw unnecessary attention to it, you'll hear me when I take off, but not in an asshole type of way.
    • 513 posts
    April 27, 2010 9:36 PM PDT
    It does not matter what type of bike or whether it is a custom or standard if the guy riding it is a dickhead then he will be that off it.

    My mother used to say "you can dress an idiot in a suit and he may look intelligent but he is still an idiot!"
    • 352 posts
    April 28, 2010 12:22 AM PDT
    all well said, and an excellent story Def.

    the bike I have now is loud no doubt about it, but I roll it out to the end of the driveway before I fire her up in the morning and I try to coast her in if I come in late at nite. There is no reason to be an inconsiderate a##, we have an ample supply of those in the world already.

    I have had the fun of building a few bikes over the years and look forward to the next project...as soon as I get all my son's belongings from my garage to his new house (a work in progress).

    Honestly, I wish I had the chance to build one while my son was younger to share the experience as Defcon has done. To this day, I remember the lessons learned from my father and I tearing into an engine as I rebuilt my first MC engine at 14 and then rewired the frame of an old Suzuki 150cc. That was the start of my love for wrenching my own bikes, race cars and assorted toys.

    My son and I have had several "opportunities" where we got to share lessons learned over the years; helping feed other people, community service, teaching survival, working on the monster truck - treasure the memories they keep you going and give them the foundation for the future.

    I can comfortably say, my son will do well in the world and will be a good person...not another thoughtless a##
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    • 18956 posts
    April 28, 2010 12:30 AM PDT
    As usual fascinating insight from Defcon. Great writing on a pet peeve of mine too.
  • April 28, 2010 3:17 AM PDT
    Amen brother!!!!

    I don't ride motorcycles to impress others, I ride motorcycles because I love riding them.
    My bike is bone stock, except I got rid of the "whip" antennas for "stubbies"
    Not for looks, to put a cover on it easier.
    • 568 posts
    April 28, 2010 3:39 AM PDT
    great read defcon, like the way ye're thinking, even if this time round was inspired by ab a**hole poseur!
    • 0 posts
    April 28, 2010 10:58 AM PDT
    Awesome story!
    • 6 posts
    April 28, 2010 11:32 AM PDT
    Absolutely 100% agree!!!! Defcon, you certainly have a way with words!
    • 513 posts
    April 28, 2010 8:51 PM PDT
    Flatlander wrote...
    Good writing and topic, my area is filled with that type of Bikers, work out in the gym, wear sleeveless shirts, look cool as can be profiling about town looking at their reflections in the store fronts as they ride by. On occasion I have had the opportunity to witness them smash into something in front of them as they admired themself in the windows and can only laugh.

    From decades ago the Bad Boy Biker image has been kept alive by those today that claim to be "Old School", tis one thing to hear about the Good Old days from a drunk old timer telling camp fire storys, tis another to have seen it first hand.


    The thing about the bad boy biker image cracks me up. These guys don't get it. When you ride your bike or indeed being a biker, you can choose to be a nice guy or a nasty piece of work. These guys who try to be bad boys all the time have missed the point. Being a biker you don't have to prove anything to anybody about how tough or hard you are because you are already by just being out there and doing it. These guys act like this because of their inherent insecurity and feel they have to show everybody just how "macho" they are. If you are a bad ass, you don't have to prove it to anybody.
    The trick is the balance of being a nice guy or gal until the situation deserves for you to not be a nice guy/gal.

    For example, I think we have all seen these particular types peacocking around the place acting all 1%erish until a group of the real deal appear and then they simply melt into the back ground. The best thing you can do is to just pull up beside him at the light and let your motor do the talking, while he is reving and pushing out his chest ....green and leave his ass for dust..................not that I would be promoting any sort of drag racing on a public street...don't ya know!!!

  • August 19, 2010 5:35 AM PDT
    yea, im the same way in my subdivision. i work from afternoon till midnight. when i leave, the cd player (hahahaha not pipes) its a gold wing, is low, and when i return after midnight, i turn it off before entering my sub. no reason to wake the people up, with stevie ray, or bb king, singing THE SKY IS CRYING!!!! yea you are right, an asshole is an asshole, no need for that crap!!!
    • 1066 posts
    August 19, 2010 8:25 AM PDT
    Folks you can believe one thing. The loudmouth on the WCC bike could never hold a candle to Brother Defcon, because that loudmouth has no class. I admire James in many ways, and he has the class that the posers could never have. They run their pipes, and run their mouths, because that's all they've got.
  • August 19, 2010 8:20 PM PDT
    Thanks Hollywood.....I think some just learn the lessons that teach respect early and some never learn it. Maybe they just didn't get the opportunity, or were too busy to realize they just had a learning opportunity. i know most of my lessons were from seeing pain i caused in others....and realizing life's too short to not leave a positive legacy...
    • 1509 posts
    August 19, 2010 9:52 PM PDT
    Yea baby. They call them RUBS. (Rich urban Biker snobs) arround here.
    I happen to work with a guy like this you can not carry on a conversation with him, the subject always evolves to. Talk about him his house his esclade his iron horse chopper or the matching trailer that has more miles than the bike.

    Poor soul only knows material things has no life no family divorced twice make 100k a year and sleeps on a wooden bench at work cause money and looks mean more than anything else.

    Say a prayer for theese people for they know not what they do.