Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Factory Custom a contradiction in terms. No factory has ever produced anything "custom".

Thank you. That is all. You may carry on now.

No, wait. I'm editing. That's not all. Here's my inspiration: the term "custom chopper". By its very definition, a chopper is "custom". Saying "custom chopper" is redundant - it can't be anything else. It's a bike that's been modified from the way the factory produced it. The same goes for bobbers and café racers. A bike that was churned out from an assembly line is a production vehicle.  I don't care how many people call the Honda Fury a chopper, they will be wrong. What was chopped from it? The same with Harley Davidson's Street Bob. Nothing got "bobbed" off of it - it came from the factory that way. I would also include the Triumph Thruxton "café racer". They are all production vehicles (quite fine quality, I'm sure) which took styling cues from motorcycle customizers. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this; my own motorcycle is sort of based on a street fighter, but it's really close to stock. Thus, I don't refer to it as a street fighter or as any kind of  "custom".

Look at the following photo:

The bike on the left is a chopper, built from an older Triumph. (Pre-1973, because the shifter is on the right). The bike on the right is a late model Triumph Thruxton - a factory version of a café racer. It has a lot of items on it that are required by law to be included by manufacturers that a bike builder would remove in the customizing process.

Okay, I got pushed up onto the soapbox by hearing the term "custom chopper". I'm done. Stepping down from the soapbox now.

Now you may carry on with your day...

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure what category my streetbob would fit into. It's definitely NOT anywhere near what it looked like when it came from the factory. It's been bobbed...and brother, when I say bobbed..I mean bobbed. There's nothing about this thing that is stock. Everything from the wheels and tires to the name it, it's been changed to be a bobber. You see a streetbob from the factory and you know it's a streetbob, well, most of us in the bike world anyway. I still have bikers ride up to me and ask what the hell is that? I know it's a Harley, but which one? It's rare, there are none like it...well, I have a friend who has one close but it's still more stock than mine is. I don't know that it's a bobber, but it's beyond the shadow of a doubt a custom bike...somewhere to the tune of about 10 grand above and beyond stock. it didn't take long for me to realize how much money you can put into a bike when you want to make it unique. That's not mentioning the time invested. So yeah..I think I'll call it a StreetBob Custom and leave it at that.
    Gypsy pa-bon