Monday, January 30, 2012

#95 Soft Focus Lens (February 2010)

One often-repeated phrase of the last few years was, “I’ll be glad when the fad is over!” This Coming of the Reckoning was supposedly going to bring us a slew of reasonably priced motorcycles for us to chop up as the monied yuppies lost interest and dumped their former “investments” on the market.
Everybody looked forward to the Harley-Davidson® comeuppance as demand dropped off for their models and there was no longer a six month waiting list, and shop managers would be forced to abandon their previous insistence of not selling you the bike without a mandatory plethora of bolt-on Taiwanese chrome.
Well, it happened! There are deals a-plenty out there. It’s no longer nearly as much in vogue to buy a big fat tire stretched-out monstrosity to illuminate with neon as one cruises around the streets of Daytona twice a year. HD® inventory is pretty high. I don’t see where you couldn’t just walk in and buy the model of your choice right now... except for one thing: the reason that brought about this downturn to start
with is the general dip in the economy. Sure, there are deals out there, but hardly anyone has the money to pick them up! You can buy the HD® of your choice... if you have the money, and nobody does! There are exceptions, of course; some people’s incomes are not affected by the economic downturns.
People in Government come to mind. Everything is rosy in governmentville; hell, they’re spending money at a record pace now. What the hell, they print the stuff too, right? That tactic didn’t work so well for post war Germany, but I’m
sure everything will be fine.
The things that DO concern me is the fuzziness I’m detecting on the old chopperscope here. There seems to be a leaning towards “acceptance” for the bagger rider, a “they’re not so bad” feeling toward the Softail® frame setup and a general feeling of compromise towards the “rest” of the motorcycling world.
Oh, we’ve been feeling the ‘pinch’ over here at The Horse, some advertisers
are running low with their ad budgets, heck some are on the verge of going out of business, things are tough all over. Fortunately for us, rack sales are still very strong, so we feel like we’re doing something right.
Which brings me to my point here: although you may see compromise in other magazines as far as content, focus and quality, we here at The Horse will never be a “one mag fits all” setup.
Yes, we’ll make exceptions every now and then, like the Tom Johnson piece in this issue about his Softail®. It’s an interesting piece, doesn’t matter who you are or how choppercentric your world is. We’ll also print interesting road tales from people who didn’t do the trip on a chopper; some things are universal when it comes to riding. Our focus now and always will be to inspire the garage builder to get out there and start chopping.

We don’t care who made the original driveline; it doesn’t matter; just DO it for f@*ks sake. And yes, we’ll have bikes from established builders in the mag.
These guys are real artists that can also inspire the young and seasoned chopper
builder/jockey alike. What you see here is what you’re going to be getting in the
future. If that’s not for you, then tough shit. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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