Lock the welder

My rant

Well, since both Leo and Dale ranted today, I may as well say a few words myself. I have been working in the "chopper" biz for 8 years now. Not an eternity, but a decent amount of time, and certainly long enough to form a few opinions about what I have seen. The main observation is that this is a business about the love of the motorcycle and the love of being free, not about getting rich or even making what some people would call a "decent living". When you spend 5 months building a bike and have to sell it for the same price as a piece of shit soft tail it can hurt, but whats important to realize is that this is your art, and it will be out there in the world representing you for years, regardless of how much money you made on it. This business is also about living an honest life. What I mean is that we are making things with our hands and then trying to sell them. We are not out there trying to sue people to make money, or sitting on our asses counting the hours waiting to get to some retirement package. There are no retirement packages, benefits, co-workers, lunch breaks, vacations, company outings or payraises- there is just you and you lathe. If you get lazy and don't build...no money. If the customer doesn't like what you built..no money. If the customer decides to sue your ass because he got drunk and rode into a parked car, he will probably win. Our shops are freezing in the winter and hot in the summer. Our tools will rip your fingers off if you lose focus for a split second. So if it is so grim, why do we do it? The answer is because we are creative people and this is all we know how to do. The only thing I have ever been good at in my life is building things-period. I am not ashamed to say that, in fact, I am proud to say it. When I build something I feel as if I have created a life, and I feel fulfilled. Now, A lot of you out there will think to yourselves "that's not true, the last shop I went to the guy was a total dick. He didn't care about being creative!". You are right! There are tons of people in this biz for the wrong reasons. And a lot of them are total dicks! There are several other shops in my town and yes, they are mostly dicks! Some are cool enough but are shitty mechanics. Believe me, I have tried to work with most of them. I had one engine builder I used to use that put sand in 4 motors of mine over the course of a few years. All the motors were destroyed and it cost me almost 30,000 dollars! I still have not financially recovered from that. If you go to a small shop instead of a big dealership, thank you! you are trying to support us and I sincerely appreciate it. However, if you happen to meet a dick don't write us all off because of him! Just try another shop, and keep doing so until you connect with someone you like. Remember, there's no-one out there patrolling the bike shops to see if they are any good! It is up to you to find your shop. Just remember, we are out there amongst the idiots and scumbags and we want to build for you! ok, I'm headed back to the lathe. -Lock