Jason at OddBike has always put out quality articles, but I found myself constantly nodding my head while reading his most recent editorial, one about the concept of authenticity and what that means in the motorcycling industry, for big companies and individuals building out of their garages.
“Our current industry has managed to combine the wistful longings of senile buyers, the muddled self-images of materialistic self-entitled brats, and the myth of honest labour into a cocktail that has given birth to the second coming of the café racer. Every wrench-spinning hack and their grandma has taken to the shed to build a cobbled together monstrosity as the custom scene has exploded into an orgy of candy-flaked, header-wrapped, Firestone-tired homages to…who knows what, they were too busy selling T-shirts and moustache wax to decide.”
Also in his article is this:
The problem with our industry as a whole is that we have become too preoccupied with defining what is and isn’t worthy of our attention. In the meantime we’ve lost sight of the innovation that’s been brewing right beneath our noses. No, not those hipster dipshits wearing bubble visors and concocting new and creative ways to cut up their subframes. They are a mere distraction, a trend/fad that has been latched upon by the media and profiteers looking to cash in on what should otherwise be a pursuit of progress tempered with passion. You won’t find meaning in half-baked tributes to Steve McQueen or glossy photoshoots of models failing to look rugged in the saddle of some rolling throwback to a past that never existed. True authenticity, in my mind, is the quest for purity in design and unchecked innovation in the face of daunting conservatism. The people who should be conquering this industry are working in isolation and anonymity. It’s a damned shame that you’ve likely heard about Wrenchmonkees or Classified Moto but don’t know who Tony Foale is.
The last line struck a chord with me, as I feel the same way about Tony Foale. Before I took off for France, I started a conversation with him that will end up in one of my interview posts – look for it in the next couple of days. Hope you enjoy Jason’s post!