The second coming of Discovery Channel’s yearly popularity contest went off again and in a déjà vu moment, Paul Junior Designs came out on top. After watching both nights of this circus, I’ve had a bit of time to reflect and I’ve come to the realization that the whole thing was disingenuous on many levels.
The show had almost nothing to do with actually building motorcycles (something we’re very fond of). There was very little in the show about the fabrication involved in building any of the bikes. Instead it centered on trying to build drama around the builder’s relationships with each other. They wasted a ton of time on … Continue Reading
Editor’s Note:The following does not represent the views of J&P Cycles or its employees.
Just about this same time last year we were playing this same record. We watched as Paul Jr. was triumphant over his old man, Paul Sr. (OCC) and Jesse James. I wrote about this travesty and stirred up quite a bit of dust. Now on the heels of Senior and Junior’s long-running American Chopper show being canceled, they are back at it again. This time it’s a four way affair with the addition of the Gas Monkey Garage guys. It all goes down Dec. 10 and 11. We’ll see if America recognizes some actual … Continue Reading
I have been a little reluctant to fully embrace the Sr. vs. Jr. phenomenon. I have been very fortunate to have met a number of talented builders, who in my opinion, could build circles around the Orange County/PJ Designs crew.
I’ve made no secret here on the J&P Blog about my opinion of “custom bike building” and how this segment of the industry has turned into a joke over the past few years. I have little use for super shiny themed “choppas,” built on reality television shows by folks with thin skin, getting their underwear twisted up when someone doesn’t care for their “design”.
And I’m no fan of these so-called production customs, which sounds like an oxymoron to me — with the emphasis on moron.
What I do have an incredible amount of love for is real ingenuity. I like functional bikes that are designed to ride. And I … Continue Reading
In today’s environment of reality show bike builders that are always up against some fictional deadline or in a screaming match over who’s late for work, it can be hard to focus on what custom bike building is about.
And in the midst of all of this is Denny Berg, chief fabricator at Cobra Special Projects division. For 18 years, he’s been turning out some of the slickest customs in the industry. I caught up with Denny at this year’s Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (see video above), where Cobra rolled out a fleet of its custom bikes to celebrate 20 years of the special project division. We talked … Continue Reading
If loving motorcycles — and Harley’s in particular — is a hereditary trait, I guess you could say I came by my infatuation honestly. My dad was a mechanic and I grew up surrounded by disassembled machines, frames hanging from the garage ceiling and the intoxicating aroma of half-filled oil pans. My dad had bikes around our property before I was born, and he actually dabbled with open wheel racing with the United States Auto Club.
Dad never owned a bike when I was growing up, but back in the early ’70s, at the impressionable age of 14, he helped me pick out a 1968 Montgomery Wards Riverside 250 Street … Continue Reading
The café racer got its start in Europe in the early 1960s, making its way across the pond later in that decade, and eventually catching on with a few factories in the U.S. Even Harley-Davidson gave it a shot in 1977 with the XLCR. But the AMF-built bike was pretty much ignored in showrooms and quickly vanished from the H-D lineup. Unlike the Beatles and Stones, the café racer trend in America was short-lived.
Then a new craze smacked America upside the head in the late ’80s and early ’90s with bikers morphing their motorcycles into grossly overpriced machines where functionality took a back seat to the largest back tire … Continue Reading
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be following along with Steve Johnson, president and COO of Tucker Rocky and Bikers Choice, as he takes his 2010 Road Glide to S&S Cycle for the royal treatment. S&S will be doing a four-stage build and documenting each step on video — complete with before and after dyno runs, walking you through each installation right down to tool selection.
Joining Steve Johnson in this first video is George Smith, executive chairman and CEO of S&S. Smith’s suggestion to viewers is to take your time on this upgrade. “Get up to speed at your own speed”.
For as long as we can remember, J&P Cycles and the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building have been joined at the hip, and this year in Sturgis promises to be no different. J&P Cycles is always proud to be an Official Partner of the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, where gifted motorcycle designers from around the world display their unique builds during this, the granddaddy of all motorcycle rallies.
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