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ROAD WARRIOR



"I RIDE AN FXR AND I VOTE"

by FLYNCH












Well let’s hope this is better late than never. Sorry guys but remodeling the house (and designing a second story room addition that will feature a …gasp…forth bedroom…took precedence over writing which brings me to first topic…. why Magazines still have an advantage over the Internet but…”

Oh sure I was going to write the Midwestern survival guide and why a FXR is the perfect survivalist vehicle, but TEOTWAWKI isn’t happening for a few more months so I got time later for that. (Hint: Handling is just a by-product of the DaVinci inspired engineering…)

I have plans to take on the bike as a personality versus the bike as a piece of inanimate piece of metal.

I have taken notes on the politics of local made versus globally made and when TEOTWAWKI happens, what politics will be in play. (Hey you have seen who the GOP are dragging out for the next election…. Michael Stipe is starting to look like Nostradamus.)

I got to thinking about why I still buy magazines while being disgusted with the cost of magazines at Barnes and Noble and the disappearing substance while thumbing quickly thru most of the motorcycle magazines. I subscribe to some magazines that provides information that is evolving and that only a budget that a magazine has can help the technology exist and grow. Magazines such as Diesel Power magazine.

We are experiencing an alternative fuel revolution and no publicly funded research facility has given the world what the Midwestern farmers and truck pullers have as far as bang for your buck regarding economy and horsepower technological break thru’s with the ability to burn multiple oil based fuels. While the media likes to focus on Yellow fuels, (used vegetable oil…which is always spun without all the information about what a losing proposition it is,) It is Diesel Power magazine which reports on the technologies and test the products available on the market as well report on how older diesels can benefit from what we have learned from modern diesels. (And why older diesels were considered unreliable or worse and why they weren’t.) This is useful information worth paying for if you haul large things, (like we do,) and prefer good economy and performance. Why Hot Rod and Car Craft continue to ignore this cheap and easy horsepower is beyond me…a Duramax powered car can easily 800hp with a 1000 pounds of torque with a stock bottom end and get 25 mpg reliably. This is worth paying for. (I still subscribe to Hot Rod and Car Craft and will as long as they employ David Frieburger.) I subscribe to Grassroots Motorsports because they do not believe in disposable vehicles…well not unless you dispose of them in an entertaining artful manner!

I however am fickle when it comes to motorcycle magazines. I love(d) Cycle World before they fired David Edwards but hated the non-stop new bike marketing tool that it had become. I wanted more adventure traveling stories. Which is why I always pick up Road Runner magazine but it is a bit white toast and honey for me. I never buy Motorcyclist magazine because they have a sport bike elitist attitude, which as a person who has spent some time on a sport bike can tell you, they are no where near the perfect vehicle as a mode of transportation. Sport bikes are like trying to spread mayonnaise with a steak knife, sure you can, but why?

And I usually buy The Horse. One of Ralph’s latest editorials struck a nerve. It was the one where he rated the Editors of custom Harley magazines and placed David Snow in fifth. Fifth behind Keith Ball and Frank Kaiser? Granted I like Keith, I can call him anytime and chat with him, and I don’t like David Snow, but David did not follow the trends of his advertisers, he held stead fast to the tradition of chopped Harley’s, no matter his real life experience with building them, (In the hallway of a small…small Brooklyn flat none the less.) But that’s Okay, Ralph has been a successful editor now of The Horse for many years and he has earned his right to give his opinion. AND I was glad he gave his opinion, that is what I expect from magazines, especially hard fast custom Harley magazines.

Granted there is something to be said about being able to roll a magazine up, stuffing it in your lunch box and reading it at work; sharing it with your buddies in the break room in a way no computer screen will be able to. The real advantage magazines have over the Internet is opinions and the risk they take from having them. When someone on the internet post a strong opinion on their blog, say like Ben Bird does on a daily basis on AttackChoppers.blogspot.com, he is not risking losing an advertiser or a customer base which don’t like to be challenged about their “lifestyle.”

Magazines take that financial risk, or they should. There is too much pandering to advertisers these days. Writers take few chances, relying on writing what their target audience wants to hear and cliché’s and stereotypes, knowing that their advertisers are expecting this pandering to their target customer base. I fully understand the business aspect of a magazine, I am a capitalist and understand giving the customer what they pay and ask for. But in the custom Harley magazine world, it is a tradition to challenge and inspire the readership to not accept the status quo and to broaden their mental horizons, no matter the advertisers opinion. It was Lou Kimzey who took on Harley Davidson first, knowing that they were his best advertiser and the mothership. It is now classic folk history of the meeting between the Harley executives and Lou Kimzey, which proved how in touch with reality Lou Kimzey was and how out of touch a major corporation and advertiser was. It inspired the readership of Easyrider to step outside the so called lifestyle and be them selves, not a clichéd version of a Dave Man painting…though the idea did fly over most the readers heads, quite a few educated readers got it, including a poetry reading kid from Little Rock who would later take similar chances that inspired us to the point to where we are this very moment.

I don’t know maybe I am asking for too much, but I can tell you this much, I know how much I have spent on magazines over the years and how few I buy now and what standards I set and the new Apple Ipad is looking better and better every second. Magazines take note. I ride an FXR and I vote.