Archive for the ‘Fighting Spirit’ Category
Being considered the forum E-mom (to my utmost honor), I’ve been asked many times, “What makes CF so special? What’s the difference from other forums & why are you so loyal?”
I try to explain it along these lines: I came to Custom Fighters in September 2009. It’s the first forum I’d ever been on, or joined. I have since joined several others, believing they were probably much like CF. They aren’t…not even close. Because they aren’t special to me, but CF is, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to put my finger on what DOES make CF different. Every time I believe I’ve figured it all out, I find there is more. My perceptions of the forum keep changing as time passes, but not my belief in the ‘constants’ that keep us all bound together as ‘the Custom Fighter family’.
Nearly all of us have our own personal families, who love & care about us & what happens in our lives & want only the best for us, and we feel the same way about them. However, each person in every family is busy with their own interests & their own personal lives they must attend to & their own agenda to pursue, be it work, children, spouse, education, etc. So, each family ‘cares’ to whatever extent that they can, usually with little extra left over. What sets CF apart, in my honest opinion, is the level of ‘caring’ we show each other, no matter what the circumstances. I believe this caring we share comes from a deeper level & a common bond which surpasses our individual ‘self’, to include all who are drawn to CF & who find themselves returning again & again to this forum ‘home’ & ‘family’.
I call this bond ‘the life intensity’ bond. All of us here seem to be aware of our own mortality, & of our own impending & hopefully, ‘eventual’ death & how short our stay on this earth really is, yet the only true fear we share is the fear of a mundane life…. the routine existence of the masses. We hunger & strive for a greater experience, expression & creativity of life & the need to share that hunger with others of the same nature as us. The common denominator of that expression here on CF is through the bikes, but it goes even beyond that.
Any of us with an idea, a thought, a need, or anything we’d like to share, can come to our forum 24/7 & someone is always here who will care & want to hear what we have to say. Maybe you need someone to just listen & understand, or you want a lively discussion about news topics, politicians, bikes, games, music, or anything else you can think of, or you can’t sleep & just want a little human contact. You’ll always find a friend here. You’ll find encouragement, sympathy, understanding, excitement when you’re excited, fun when you need fun, laughter, silliness & seriousness when needed & a good rant once in awhile to round it all out.
But I think what impresses me the most about CF, is the level of care we show each other when a need arises. There is an IMMEDIATE response when anything happens, or one of us asks for help. Whether it’s in the form of advice about something or some situation, or we need bike parts, riding gear, photo-shop help, art-work, forum problems, problems with another member, family problems, a place to stay, an accident or an illness which calls for prayers, good vibes, positive thoughts & donations…. we’re there. No matter what it is, we stand beside each other & we lift each other up. This kind of loyalty comes from a deeper bond than is the ‘norm’ for mainstream mankind. It can’t be found, or developed with time…it just ‘is’. I am reminded daily just how fortunate I am to be a part of this huge family of strangely intense & I believe’, more advanced’ human beings who I call my adopted children. (Or ‘brothers’ if you’re too old to be my kid…) =)
When I am through telling people what I believe makes Custom Fighters so special, they usually look at me like I must be a bit ‘off’ & they can’t figure it out…at all. Then I realize that all the rich facets of CF & the people who call her ‘home’, can’t be put into mere words, but must be experienced first hand for themselves. That’s usually my queue to smile & change the subject, because if it didn’t ring any bells when I was explaining about CFs’ differences, I know they aren’t part of this journey the rest of us are taking together & I’m saddened for them.
“My recommendation is you don’t get back on the bike for a few weeks”
Those were the words that echoed from the doctor’s mouth as he spoke to my good friend Greg at the hospital where Greg had arrived a short time ago via an air ambulance affectionately known in the Southern Wisconsin area as MEDflight. While racing his CR250 at Aztalan Raceway in Lake Mills Wisconsin, Greg had misjudged his approach to a nasty tabletop to step down that sent riders plummeting down the equivalent to what seemed like forever, but was actually about 30 feet. He subsequently over jumped it to flat much like Honda factory rider Doug Henry had done at Budds Creek Maryland. The landing and brutal dismount rendered Greg unconscious for some time and when he awoke, unaware of his surroundings and what had happened, he began to fight with EMT’s which they took as possible head trauma. So, off to University Hospital via the sky.
After receiving attention by some of the finest doctor’s in the Midwest, Greg was found to have rung his bell quite well and had a mild concussion to accompany all the bruises and swelling that are part of any motorcrossers daily grind.
“That guy doesn’t know me very well”
Recently the good folks at Bell offered up two lids to be given away to the most deserving of all those who entered the contest. After pouring over the streams of incoming stories about why everyone felt they needed to win, we eventually decided on the two lucky winners. We asked them to provide us some pictures and a small message. Luckily for us, one is a photographer, since the other is deployed with just a “camera” phone lol. Surprisingly enough both of the winners chose the same helmet! I guess the RSD design is a hit! Congrats to the both of you, and thanks to Bell Helmets! Big props go out to Bell Helmets for helping to keep our streetfighting brothers and sisters safe on their day to day battles.
Play along with me, because I guarantee this is going someplace. I find solace and a certain amount of nostalgic tingling whenever I get the chance to take in a swap meet or salvage yard. I like to think in my head that I am the Indiana Jones of motorcycling on that particular day and no person on earth can stop me from acquiring the Crystal Skully, or at least the Yamaha DT tank that I really want for my latest project. If chopping up perfectly good stuff is wrong, then i don’t want to be right.
How many different bikes other than the original donor were cannibalized to make your current machine?
(a) None – 0 points
(b) 1 or 2 bikes – 10 points
(c) Between 3 and 5 – 20 points
(d) More than 5 bikes – 50 points
The time has come for yet another CF winter buildoff, so we thought we would take the time to look back at our most recent winner and owner of the amazing carbon clad creation you see.
I took a moment to ask Knifemaker what makes him tick and the thought process that went into his Winter Build Off Winning Bike.
Lance A. Lewsader: What was your inspiration behind this build?
Chris (Knifemaker): I actually stumbled across a picture of a Honda VT1000 Hawk Concept and absolutely loved it.
I really wanted to build a V-Twin bike, as all my other bikes have been twins, but when the F2 fell in my lap for $500 I couldnt pass it up especially after seeing Fathead03’s F2 build-off thread. It challenged what I thought of as far as custom fabrication goes, and I really wanted to give it a try.
LL: How many hours would you say you have in this build?
Chris: It is really hard for me to gauge hours, but I have been working on the bike since last June. I would say 1000+ hours of work would be conservative. Especially if you include all the machine time, fabricating, carbon fiber work, mechanical work, and finishing.
Lets begin this by summarizing the ‘Crud. It’s a bike gathering that is the official, unofficial ‘cafe gathering started quite some years ago by a small unofficial group of riders known as “The Slimey Crud”, of which world renowned author and journalist Peter Egan is a founding member. It’s basically evolved into a gathering of exotic Italian machines, others are from the land of the rising sun, and made purely from unobtanium (thanks for the word Craig) and worth a life to most riders. It’s an incredible experience to be smack dab in the middle of. I can’t imagine anything more interesting than meeting up at one location on the first Sunday in May and again in October, checking out some bikes, forging a trail to location number two and seeing what is there as some don’t go to one, but will end up at the other, some don’t find the second location, hell, some just don’t know!
From the official Slimy Crud website –
“There are no big ad campaigns, no corporate sponsors, no official website, no local or regional newspaper or TV promotions, not even the usual obligatory one-size-promotes-all beer banners with the name of the event emblazoned on a huge blank white spot.”
“The Crud Run meanders across the scenic Wisconsin River valley from Pine Bluff in Dane county to Leland in Sauk County. The distance between the villages is less than 30 miles in a straight line, but the road mileage can vary from about 70 to, well, who knows? No specific route is prescribed, so the best way to go depends entirely on your imagination.”
Two Wheeled Stimulus (not that kind you perverts)
The price of oil is thru the roof because a suit in his air conditioned office blames any and all blips on the natural disaster radar for a need to raise prices and compensate. Grocery bills are climbing and climbing because it takes longer to truck food around irradiated areas rather than drive thru them, and the new Air Jordan’s cost more than a Chilean miner makes in 12 months. This whole global economy thing makes my head spin, and unfortunately motorcyclists land right smack dab in the middle of it all. While the big three motor companies in Detroit are receiving US federal money to get them out of trouble the Japanese based “big 4” motorcycle manufacturers don’t get the same concessions. Multiple teams pulled their efforts from superbike racing due to funding issues, Suzuki has reduced sales of sport bikes to the US, and most manufacturers saw downturns of 30-40% since this global shitstorm began.
It’s a safe bet that many other motorcyclists you encounter are “brand loyal” to their current mount. Kawasaki guys bleed green, Honda guys proudly display their wings, Yamaha guys don’t think blue is a sad color at all, and even Moto Guzzi guys are proud of………..I don’t really know what they have to be proud of, but they are. But call it elitism, or boasting if you want, but nobody is a more fevered and adamant fan of their brand then the Ducatisti. They are after all riding what equates to the Ferrari of the two wheeled world and have a long and storied racing lineage to recant.
Every so often in the street fighter community someone brings a new and interesting flavor to the scene and surprises everyone with some stunning build photo’s and a mindful tip of the hat in the direction of the fightering masses. Enter desmoBibu from Romania. A cheerful bloke with a desire for the Ducati’s. When he isn’t turning a wrench, he is thinking about it.
I contacted Bibu and got the inside perspective on his beautiful GTV cafe and the ideals behind his current crop of SuperSport goodness. At the very least I can say I am impressed with the level of dedication motorcycle builders have, the world over, we all speak the same language when it relates to chassis codes and torque specs.
“She’s a real looker” the old man croaked at me. I raised my helmet cloaked head up from my task at hand of topping off the gas tank in my 1000 to spy a white haired man in a dusty old Dakar jacket that looked as though it had circumnavigated the globe on Steve McQueen’s back. “Thanks” I shouted out thru my visor opening before quickly turning my focus back to my now close to brimming fuel cell. As I finished up, replaced the pumps handle and removed my helmet, the old man crouched down and seemed to lose himself as he scoured the surface of my fighter with a glint in his eye similar to that of a 12 year old boy that just found his dad’s stash of Playboy magazines. “Good lord, what is this
thing?” he croaked, smiling up at me with his bug splattered teeth. I gave him a quick rundown of a majority of the components that she was built with, making sure to hit on all the high points all the while I scanned the parking lot wondering where the old boy had materialized from. He continued to poke and prod me with questions about speed, horsepower, who had done my paint, and he was even keen enough to ask why a nitrous switch and no bottle. “Cheeky bastard” I thought to myself while cracking a small smile back at him. He knew his stuff and was obviously a fanatic of two wheeled wizardry just like me, so I knew that today’s ride could wait awhile. The roads will always be there, but I never pass up a chance to chew some fat with an old timer of our beloved sport.