Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DIY Bike Mods

I'm going to propose that that there should be a new community education program offered by community colleges or recreation departments. It could be called something like "DIY Motorbike Customizing" or "Motorcycle Modification Class 101". Face it, most dudes have no design skills whatsoever and should not be allowed to customize their own motorcycles from their stock form. Maybe there should be some kind of extra license that you need to get from the DMV before you can actually purchase aftermarket parts for your bike. In order to get this license, you'd have to at least take a 1 hour class at your local library or something. How many times have you gazed at some bike parked there, or showed up at your local bike hang out, only to see some sorry looking motorcycle that would be perfectly fine and attractive, had it not been utterly abused by its owner who has no concept of taste or design. Seeing it resting there, is so sad. You want to rescue it from its abusive parent. These bikes looks like bastard children. They look like kids who had to get their hair cut by their dads last minute. They look like houses whose owners spend way, way too much time upgrading their house after a sunday shopping splurge at Home Depot. Completely mis-matched crap from the on sale rack.

I didn't see the bike myself, but a colleague told me about a guy who had the freakin' gall to mount one of those cheap ass power flow car exhausts you can buy at Kragen to his motorcycle. Then there's the "Sticker Fast" jokers. These are the dudes who believe Motorcycle Customization in its purist form consists of applying a few free stickers to a bike, placed strategically in special go-fast zones, sorta like race bikes seen at some race track or another.

With so much cheap-ass billet or chromed product available, it's really amazing that more freakish 2 wheeled monstrosities aren't parked in front of your favorite Bucks on any sunday. Some day, the small little section of the Indy Dealer Show reserved for "the Chinese" might just be the majority of the show. Some day, high end Italian aftermarket stuff, might just cost triple what it costs now. Some day, Japanese motorcycles might just be as exclusive as European bikes and Chinese bikes will be the new rice rockets. The Chinese bike owners will be saying "oh, you have a Honda? Wow, I heard you have to get that serviced like every 20000 miles and it costs a lot. Sure looks cool though."

In a lot of ways, bike modification for the masses has become a lot like knitting, or Bathroom decoration. "Will these spring caps match my forks?" "I need to make sure that the red on these preload adjusters is the same kind of red on my swingarm spools. If it's not the same kind of red, there's going to be a problem." Or, we could talk about matching up 'carbon weaves'.

This is from full grown men, who typically can't ride for skat.

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