Our old friend Mitch Payton
of Pro Circuit
motocross fame posed this question to me nearly a decade ago, but it bears repeating today. At the time Mitch was referring to the stylistic shift that was occurring before our eyes in the custom motorcycle scene. Because Mitch is a dirt-bike guy to the core, his disdain for senseless decoration and theme bikery is even more deeply rooted than my own.
Two million-dollar MX stars had just ridden their big-twin trophy bikes into the PC parking lot. Factory Yamaha rider "KW" was on a Yamaha Royal Star; his friend Factory Honda Rider "EL" was on a Harley V-Rod. Mitch eyeballed both bikes and exclaimed…
"What is the world coming to when Japanese bikes look American…
… and American bikes look Japanese?"
If Mitch were into choppers, I'd see his conundrum and raise him a riddle:
"Why are there so many respectable old Harleys that look like this…
… and so few old Japanese street machines that look like this?
Mitch is too busy winning SX and MX championships to notice, but brother, the times they are a changin'. Kim Boyle's
sweet little SR500 was a top-three finisher at last year's Chop Meet and last week's Biltwell Bash. Our friend Tattoo Eric raises more hell on his XS650 chop before noon than most Choad King riders raise in a lifetime. Old Evo Sporties are quickly becoming the new Shovelheads for the next generation of chopper freaks. Motorcycles are cool, and everyone seems to know it.
To everyone with the self-confidence to ride whatever they like without concern for what the masses think, we salute you.