Looking Back, Moving Forward

Editor's Note

I love to customize motorcycles. For me, stock is just a starting point for which to add your own personal style to make it your own. As I am writing this, I have not one but two bikes being built for different magazines. The two bikes are completely different from each other yet both represent a part of my personality. My personal style is hard to pin down or placed inside any certain box. I tend to dress like a cholo, drink like a fish, and have a mind from the gutter. My garage is filled with sportbikes, mini bikes, slammed Lincolns, and muscle cars, and my den looks like a tattoo shop mixed with baby pictures. It seems I have the ability to almost mesh everywhere, yet not exactly fit anywhere. My bikes reflect that same style.

The first bike being built is a 1978 Honda CB750 chopper being resurrected for the pages of our sister mag Street Chopper. I bought this bike off Craigslist from a new rider that was in over his head. Luckily he had taken the time to get the bike registered before turning over the keys to me. This bike is a throwback to the '70s including relic parts and a throwback paintjob. I've always loved this particular style of chopper with its big wide motors sticking out the sides of the bike for the world to see. For me, a chopper is a big F-U to the world, and the fact mine has a metric motor is like raising both hands in a single finger salute. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a knucklehead buried inside that frame, but you have to start small and work your way up.

The second is a 1989 H-D FLHS. That too is an oddball of a bike, but I started with a solid, and more importantly titled, frame and motor. This bike will look nothing like its former self, instead taking on a Lowrider West Coast feel complete with wire wheels, extended bags, and a horn that goes "woooooooooooo." Despite being a completely different style, the paint is taking on a similar feel full of flake, pearls, and patterns that have been honed since the '70s.

One crucial part that is often overlooked when starting a custom build is the good people at your local DMV. The coolest custom in the world is nothing more that a space taker in a garage if it can't be ridden on the road. It amazes me that one person can have so much power when it comes to custom bikes. If that single individual working the counter decides to make your life hell, they can with the click of a keystroke Crazy, huh?

I'm excited for the next issues of Hot Bike to hit the stands. We have been working non-stop behind the scenes to bring to you not only what we think is hot, but what you the readers have been asking for. Be sure to expect MORE bikes, MORE real world tech, and MORE ladies. V-twins were born to be the outcast of the motorcycling world and we plan on returning the pages of the magazine to its former roots. The best is yet to come.

JZ