Another Suicide Machine

Nov-Dec 2012 -2012 032 WPSome people like these custom choppers. They make nice sculpture. I like to look at them, but there is no situation I can think of that would make me want to swing a leg over one and take what I think of as a “regular ride”. For me, a regular ride would be somewhere between 60 and 400 miles long and last between one and nine hours, depending.

I might ride this machine a half mile down to the corner to buy a bottle of root beer, but even that would make me a bit uncomfortable due to the lack of a front brake (not even a tiny drum type) and the hardtail frame (ouch). It would be a slow, short, cautious “putt”. For those of you old enough to remember watching Easy Rider in a theater, there was a good reason why Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were riding so damn slow throughout the film, and it had little to do with the film process. 

Nov-Dec 2012 030 WPWhen I was at NoPork Motorsports recently I photographed another custom bike with my Yashica Mat 124 twin lens reflex camera, then ran out of film. I didn’t have a spare roll of 120 film in the saddlebag, so I wasn’t able to shoot the bike shown here, another bike using a S&S V-Twin engine.

I stopped at NoPork again a few days ago, since I had been hunting for a washing machine in the city of Corona, California. On the way home I rode through Norco, which is next door to Corona and on a route that also runs beside the Hidden Valley Wildlife preserve. I prefer avoiding the freeway when I can and the road past Hidden Valley is relatively little traveled. I had the Nikon N90s (N90x) with me, loaded with Kentmere 100. I grabbed these three frames and talked to Brian Erman for a few minutes, then continued the ride home.

Nov-Dec 2012 031 WPThis bike is even more of a potential hazard to the rider than the bike featured in Suicide Machine and it has a hardtail frame, so it will give a considerably rougher ride. But despite the negative safety and comfort issues, it does look quite good. It would look excellent as sculpture in my house if my living room was twice as big, which reminds me of what Chief Dan George said to Clint Eastwood in the film The Outlaw Josey Wales while holding up a piece of red hard rock candy; that it wasn’t for eating, just for looking through.

As always, click on a thumbnail photo to view the larger version.  

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