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Article By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The July 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Greetings friends! Well, spring is officially here, and I don’t know about ya’ll, but here in Texas, the weatherman is getting paid to be wrong damn near every day. I’ve always heard “Don’t like the weather, stick around a moment, it’s bound to change’’ and sure enough one second it’s 90° and the next it’s 40°. That wasn’t enough to, stop this year’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show from going off without a hitch. Due to the rapid growth and popularity of Austin based custom motorcycle show, they moved downtown to the old Austin American Statesman facility right on Congress Ave next to the world famous “Bat Bridge.” Handbuilt is an inviteonly show, so for you to have a bike on the show floor, you must be something right. This year’s lineup was filled with some heavyweights, to say the least. Bikes from Will Ramsey of Faith Forgotten Choppers, newcomer Brian Buttera of Buttera Metal Worx, Kyle Shorey of Shade Tree Fabrications, Josh Allison of Cry Baby Cycles, and Lock Baker of Eastern Fabrications were all on display to name a few.
There were motorbikes from all around the globe present representing many different styles as well as a few vintage bikes to even out the field. The greatest part of it all was seeing old friends and finally meeting some new ones after months of social media conversations. Seeing the labor of love these builders spend countless hours spent creating their masterpieces on social media sites is one thing but having them right in front of you so you can take in the little details is quite another. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes along and takes it to a whole new level. I guess that’s the process of inspiration and creativity at work. One feeding off another during a discussion about a build or a certain way to do or try something new. I love standing in a circle of enthusiasts, listening to them talk so passionately about the art of creation. If you listen long enough, you’re bound to learn something, well at least that’s my hope when I attend these things.
Speaking of trying new things, I was recently told by a wise man whom I consider a mentor and friend, to “Stop paying for things and invest in yourself,” so that’s what I did. I recently purchased a buffing and polishing set up.All the things I would need to acquire a professional looking polish job. Over the years I’ve paid for quite a number of parts to be polished and then got the bill and was blown away. Well, now I know why. It’s a lot of f#@king work! And the mess is insane. Within minutes of starting to polish my first test piece, there was shit everywhere. My face looked as though I had just stepped out of a coal mine and I was covered with fuzz and stringy things from the wheels. I thought to myself “Oh Xavier, what have you done…’’ I stood there thinking of the better things I could have spent that money on, but then I made some calls and got some great pointers and went back to it. Within 10 minutes I was beginning to see the fruits of my labor, and I was off to the races with much excitement and fervor. My Father always used to say, “Exhaust all resources, before you pay someone to do it.” This, like all other life lessons, showed me that patience is crucial and that prep is everything. So, I can proudly say that my Motorcycles as Art will sport all my polishing. To many out there, it’s a given for them, but like I said If I can continue to learn something new, then I’m all the better for it. Stay tuned next month for an update on my build for Michael Lichter’s “Passion Built” exhibit. As always, Be Kind to One Another, God Bless… X.