Gdogg’s interview series putting members of Custom Fighters that you should know in the spotlight!
I have heard the story from Miller about the birth of CF. However the masses probably don’t know how this whole mess came about. Care to share with us how it happened?
It all started when I bought my second 929 CBR. This one was to be my stunt bike, as the one I already had was about the nicest full fairing around (IMO). So I bought this crashed 929 off a friend and stripped the broken plastic off the bike, and began to set the bike up for making wheelies and crashing. Once I had it stripped, the big frame became so much more prominent to me, seeing the engine exposed under the frame, everything was right there to see. Over the next couple weeks of rebuilding the bike I started thinking that I liked how my stunt bike looked better than my full faired, AND it was much more comfortable to ride with the dirtbike bars.
I started searching around forums for nice stunt bikes and found a few here and there, but nothing that was actually clean or nice. Then I came across a couple posts from a fellow from the netherlands….a stunter from a group called Plan B. He posted a pic of what I still think is the most beautiful 900RR fighter I’ve ever seen. Then the digging ensued. I was bit by the bug and had to have more.
Miller (ab420) was/is a bit more computer saavy than I, so I asked him to teach me some better search techniques for the internet, and before you knew it, I was translating page after page of German, Dutch, Spanish etc and saving it on my computer for reference. I was creating files and files of folders of pictures broken down by manufacturer. It was about all I ever talked about. Constantly scheming how I could transform my bike and why I would do this or that, and how to make it something very different than I’d seen before.
Well after a couple months of me being completely consumed by this and talking about nothing else, my good friend Chris had a good suggestion.
“Either do something with this or shut the fuck up about it man!”
So we began talking about what exactly we could do. I figured that I couldn’t be the only American that was interested in this Streetfighter “craze”, could I? I couldn’t find any type of enthusiast site or forum related to fighters, but I knew that other people would appreciate having the info that I was spending months accumulating. AB suggested we do a forum, that way I could post up all my findings, and even better, other people could add to my findings with their own.
When you started CF did you think it would turn into this?
I didn’t really know what it would turn into. I just wanted to create a place to share information with other people who were interested in the same thing as me. I had been (still am) so fed up with the state of streetbike “customization” that I was just hoping that if we put the info out there for people to see, they might start stepping away from creating bike after bike of the same damn thing-oozing in chrome, anti-function mods and excessive paintwork. I wanted to see people customize bikes to be actual bikes, not some big gay fucking display of dollar signs.
I have personally seen and touched (fondled) your bikes. They are works of art. How do you choose which one you are going to ride on any given day?
My bikes are just so different. It’s inline-4 vs Twin. It’s compact aggressive setup vs comfy relaxed upright ride. It’s black vs white. Either bike is absolutely amazing to me. The V-Strom is so utterly one-of-a-kind that I can’t not love it. The deep snappy bark that exits the short angled pipes makes my hair stand on end. The carbon fiber bodywork has people asking questions and kids wiping their fingers across it. The single sided swingarm with the car wheel on it makes people scratch their heads and ask “is that a car wheel back there?!” When you ride it, there is a constant pursuit of that exhaust note, which keeps me endlessly on the gas….often causing the front wheel to take flight. The down low snappy torque has me wanting to burn tires off at every chance. There is nothing tame about this bike, it is my hooligan machine and when it comes out, hell is raised! This is a bike the grim reaper should ride, he could blast up and scare your soul out of your body with a big smokey burnout!
The 929 however is my baby. It is my first bike I ever owned. It is a well balanced, smooth machine. When I ride that bike I am in constant pursuit of corners, and when I can’t find corners its got the front wheel in the air. I feel so in-tune with that bike, so comfortable, that I think there are no thoughts in my mind when I ride it. This bike appears to be a bit more stock than the V-strom and definitely draws less attention. I feel like only Honda-philes are drawn to the bike as it is a conglomeration of parts from three different model RR’s and an RC51 RVT. . . as well as a few suzuki parts.
So I guess the decision comes down to whether I want to ride or if I want to hoon around town acting a fool. And if you’re still wondering…the 929 gets more miles.
I would venture to say that most of the CF membership don’t know who you are beyond the guy who has a yellow name or the one that everyone says send a message to when shit is f’d up. Who is 929_adam?
Who am I? Geez, I’m a lot of things I suppose. I’m most certainly a gear-head. . . but more on the rider/driver side than a wrench. I do enjoy working on my machines, but my skillset is currently not where I would like it to be in order to build things the way I want, and my time is lacking for me to get that knowledge. I’ve always been an avid fan of spirited driving or riding and feel like I’m better at it then your average bear. I grew up on bikes and around cars, and it seems to me that they will always be a big part of my life. It is something that I enjoy. Everything about them. Mechanically- machines are amazing. Aesthetically- they are beautiful. Spiritually- they move you. I’ve definitely been bit by the bug since I was a child.
On a non-motorcycle note, I’m into art and design. I like to write and take pictures. Photography is fun for me because it gives me an opportunity to show people things the way that I see them. It lets me expose things that are beautiful or interesting to me in a way that other people can quickly see without having to exactly know what it is all about. Writing is an extension of that as well. I seem to have a different outlook on things I suppose, and I like to share it with people who are interested in others views.
As a person…I’m cynical, as described by my mother. I learned to question things and not believe things as truth without fact when I was young. I suppose as a result I’ve been learning things, the hard way, ever since. Why take the easy way and listen to someone wiser than myself when I could go and make the mistake and learn for myself directly?! I’m easy going and accepting of others but I also have my convictions. Got to be able to pick your battles correct? I’ve never been much of an activist per say but the older I get the more I feel like I should be helping people to see the light….or the dark, guess it depends on your point of view (on my point of view).
You work at a stealership as the parts guy. How hard is it for you to not tell every customer with a thrashed bike to go the fighter route?
When I first got into streetbikes, I thought that motorcyclists were all a different breed. I thought we were an elevated, enlightened group of people who were physically, socially, and consciously aware. After 6 years at the dealership, I do not think that is the case at all. There are all types of people who ride bikes, some who I wish would ride their bikes off cliffs, and some of which are nice and interesting people. I do tell people about fighters, but at this point, I’ve learned to tell who I’m talking to before I start so that I’m not wasting my breath. Some people will never grasp the concepts of 1) having something that is truly unique 2) working on your own machines and 3) realizing that there is so much more to modifying a bike than bolt-ons. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t convert people to the fighter side here and there, but I don’t go out there and try to tell every bro who’s crashed that he should build a fighter either, believe me, this forum would not be what it is if that was the approach.
What about CF amazes you most?
Growth and understanding. When the forum was in its infancy, I spent about ALL of my goddamned time here, and then some. My goal was to provide a positive and helpful place for people to learn about fighters and have a non-judgemental place for them to go on the journey of building their own fighters as I wished to do with my own. Seeing people carry on that positive vibe, welcoming noobs, helping beginners, encouraging new-ideas, correcting mis-conceptions or poorly thought out ideas and sharing their own works of mechanical amazingness. It really makes me happy to see a forum that can be so positive.
On the same thought what irritates you most?
Those people who act the opposite of my above statement. I wish people were more humble and open to things. Usually turns out that the people who aren’t helpful or encouraging are the ones who know the least and are just following the herd with old/current ideas. NEW THINKING is okay, just make sure you think thoroughly.
Do you have any builds that you follow regularly? If so who?
Oh my god, there are so many. For at least two years now I’ve been reading Smoker’s build thread before I go to bed every night, I know that once he’s posted his nightly post it is late in Cali time, so I should get my ass to sleep. Truckinduc, the child prodigy, is a boy I think of like a little brother. He is very young and enthusiastic, but he’s got an extensive knowledge and desire to learn like someone older. Keep an eye on that boy and all his projects, for christ’s sakes he’s built an LS650 in 2 forms that all of us would love to own. R3voltn1 came to the forum with a hot-rod background and built something I would have told you I would hate until he turned it out of his shop. His 929 with the big front end is such a sexy looking machine that reminds me of an old school car. Cabbie, I found on the blades forum putting a GSXR tail on his FF honda and I said, Cabbie your fucking work is incredible, would you mind sharing with us over on CF. Now he’s turning out some absolutely stunning fighters and making it look so easy. Motohorho appeals to the side of me that digs the raw look of machines. His bike is a no frills, all power, all fuck-off let’s ride kind of bike and it is right up my alley with the anti-bling campaign. Amazing. Similarly, Jaybuilt with his bare-bones custom frame H1 Kawi! Meatpop and Candyman with their, original and very different ideas on bikes and bike parts. Yantosh and flint for their beautiful machine work. Outlaw6660 and ShowYoMoto for the sick bodywork they create. Stig and his beautiful welding of aloo… I could go on all goddamned day with builds/builders that I love to follow but I have to stop somewhere…..maybe by mentioning one that I wish would update us more often – Newman. Where you at buddy?!
You have met many of the members of CF. Do any stand out for you that you are glad you met?
The thing about this community that makes it so great is the people. I’ve never been around such an amazing, and varied group of people. From kids, barely 19 building bikes on shoe-string budgets, to dudes my age that have been building bikes since they can remember, and even guys my father’s age that have seen motorcycles come such a long way and hold fighters in this regard as the best thing to happen to motorcycles since fuel injection! We have women that are not just members girl-friends, but riders, contributors, and even mothers to the site. I honestly don’t know of a bigger more tight knit group of people that haven’t met anywhere.
But to answer your question of course there are a number that stand out, I don’t want to start listing them as I would hate to leave someone out as just about all of them have opened up and talked with me as if we were friends all along. I have developed some very good friends thanks to Customfighters, an amazingly supportive and friendly group at that. I can honestly say that I have a friend on almost all the continents (I haven’t learned to speak polar bear or penguin yet so Antarctica is out), and in so many countries it’s amazing. At risk of leaving some people out, please don’t be offended, I’ll name a couple that aren’t with us anymore.
Gavin Butts – Greencheezeeta- being one of the most memorable. His open honesty, his witty sense of humor, his never ending thirst for mechanical improvement, and his sly way of talking, had me rolling every time we spoke on the phone. He was one of the most encouraging people around and I think all that ever dealt with him respected him. Miss you buddy.
Sven- This gentle giant of American streetfighters was a transplant from Germany. He brought to us the proper German way of doing things very systematically and efficiently. He built bikes in a way that could be likened to surgery, and if you weren’t using a real sport bike for your fighter, you were shunned! Haha, being a bit German myself, I understand the one-wayness and kind of miss it, but at least he was here for a while to show us the proper way to systematically breakdown and re-build a bike!
BB-Dasler- This crazy old man was about the funniest guy around. I always had a vision of the mad-hatter under that helmet of his. His watch stuck on 4:20 and his mind the same, his posts would sometimes go in circles and zig-zags in others. A very smart guy with a lot lot lot of time around bikes, his imput was always inciteful and always welcome.
Again, I could go on all day as there are so many amazing people involved with CF.
Are there any members you want to meet yet and haven’t?
All the members that I haven’t yet met. Especially the one’s that aren’t in America, I’m dying to go on a world tour to meet all my fellow foreign fighterers! Make room on your couches, and send out the invites, I’ll be there!