Article By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The February 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Season’s Greetings! Yeah, I know by the time you get this, it will all be over with. Just think of it as holding on to the joy of the Holiday spirit. First, if you participated in any way in the Cycle Source Reader’s Poll for the Best of 2019, from the bottom of my heart, I am truly humbled to be recognized by you as well as my peers. The distinct honor has reignited a drive in me to learn more, share more and work harder to hone my skills. I thank you, not only because of the fact that I was chosen as your pick for 2019 Builder Of The Year, to which I’m so extremely honored and grateful that I can’t possibly properly express my gratitude for the recognition; but because I’m so thankful that you, along with the other readers of this rag, took the time to engage in keeping something alive that is dying by the year! Our culture.
Many of you don’t know all the ins and outs of this industry or don’t realize that all of the massive changes the motorcycle world is undergoing are eating away at what we love. It’s sad to think that the culture our Chop Fathers worked their balls off to create is losing ground to shit that has nothing to do with “the culture” they started. Yes, I know some of you are saying “Well, X change is inevitable” and while I do agree, I wonder at what cost that change will come. Like so many things in this world that we love if we don’t stand our ground and fight for them, then we have no one to blame but ourselves. When the traditions fall by the wayside and the brotherhood that made us fall in love with this scene fade away and die, all we can do is look to ourselves and one another.
An old-timer recently told me that he can’t get into the “new stuff” because it has no soul, to which I replied “But what about new technology?” he said, “Boy, there’s nothing that sounds like a Panhead, the new stuff sounds kinda like it, but it will NEVER have the soul that a Pan does.” I rode away thinking about his words and had an epiphany. Why do you think that all the vintage bikes, cars, clothes, guitars, drums, etc. are so damn expensive now? I’ll tell you why, because anyone who knows anything about those things know that they will never be made the same way again. They don’t make things the way they used, one at a time by the hands of a blue collar guy or gal doing what they loved. They are rolling off the assembly line by the thousands, assembled mostly by robotics. Now don’t me wrong, there is a place for all the riders and their perspective chosen bikes, we need that diversity now a days. My point is that there are enough old enthusiasts and new guys and gals to keep the life and culture alive. But not if we don’t take action. We need to embrace the old and the new, we need to welcome young riders and heck recruit them into our ranks. It’s our job to reach out to the kids and teach them why this community is so great. It’s our job to keep filling the funnel of the core rider. Remember all the big companies didn’t start out as big companies, they all started in a shed or someone’s garage. That’s where the soul comes from. To cap off this lil rant, thank you for supporting this magazine and all the people involved in it. Thank you for keeping the wheels of this motorcycle thing we do spinning. Thank you for inspiring us to share our passion.
The 2020 season will be before you know it, and there are so many things to look forward to at the start of the new decade. I’ll have my newest build in St. Louis at Cycle Showcase Feb 1-2. What a great way to kick off the 2020 circuit. I’m excited to report that the Black Smoke Sinners will be playing at multiple events starting with Daytona Bike Week. If you want to catch us out on the road, be sure to give us a follow. I hope you closed out 2019 with all that you wished for and that you remember that the real things in life that matter are doing and spending time with the things and people we love. So, be kind to one another and God Bless. See ya on the road. X.