Sunday, July 01, 2007 Takes the Biker Community to Web 2.0!

Bobby Royal Here,

If you are a biker or just love motorcycles, you can now be with the "in crowd" of the next generation of biker related content. The nice thing about it, you don't have to whip out your wallet to be a part of the scene - heck, you can go broke at a bike rally but not here.

This is how I found out about it.

A good friend of mine and industry mentor called me awhile ago asking about what I thought about his new idea. Of course, I was happy to express my thoughts. He told me that he was tired of visiting video sites and digging through piles of biker videos that only would show wheelies, crashes and some person starting his or her bike at home in their garage.

I agreed, content is lacking, he firmly believed that the biker community was searching for something with meaningful content. Again I agreed. He asked what if we were able to fully utilize web 2.0 technology to create a site for serious bikers?

I asked what do you mean? He replied, an easy way to upload videos that show good content. A place where bikers could go and get meaningful content through various means offered by Web 2.0 technology like video, audio and easily downloadable documents.

I replied, "if you can make it happen - I'm all over it". Well needless to say - he made it happen! is the talk of the town. Well, folks like Mundo from Denver Choppers and the guys over at Big Bear Choppers and my good friend Eric Gorges of Voodoo Choppers were the first to jump on board.

But, when it comes to good content, industry experts such as Ron Fournier and companies like George's Garage came along for the ride as well.

If you have got your ticket, now is the time to climb on board!

Go to and check it out for yourself - hey you will be sure to see my video and here my audio interviews as well.

Before I go any further, let me explain web 2.0. But, let me be real with you, I ain't no technical guy when it comes to the web. All I know is that I want meaningful, biker information in a variety of ways.

Well, that's it, web 2.0 is a means to deliver meaning information in a variety of ways - audio, video and of course, in written format. If you got something to say or show the biker community is the place to do it!

Talk to you soon!


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Wednesday, December 07, 2005


What is a Custom Chopper Builder Anyway?

Given all of the after market parts and motorcycle kits sold, it seems anyone can be called a bike builder if they have the bucks. Has today's market created an environment where you can buy the title "bike builder"?

It is amazing how many "Johnny-come-lately" people are out in biker community bragging about their custom build. When you talk to them about their bike, they can't give specifics beyond telling where they bought the parts to create a bike. Some people have gone as far to open a shop only to be out of business within the first six months. Believe me, I am not out to disrespect anyone who purchased a kit or who thumb through catalogs to purchase parts. But I am here to raise the question - what defines a bike builder?

Ironically, I have talked to people who work in the back room of motorcycle dealerships and independent shops. Day in and day out, they assemble bikes and install parts and yet, they don't consider themselves a "bike builder". When I ask about how they define a bike builder, it is a far cry from what the market says. They refer to a bike builder as someone who can fabricate what they ride. Of course, this begs the question "how much fabrication must be done to earn the title - bike builder?"

There is however a filtering process in the biker community thanks to Russell Mitchell's show Build or Bust. I am amused by the ego people have when entering the show only to be humbled by the assembly process. Could you imagine what would happen if these people actually had to bend metal to create the fender or gas tank? Clearly, the show reminds us of the huge difference between a true bike builder and someone who can assemble a bike from parts. Now you need to also keep in mind the time restraints that is placed on the person 30 days which in my opinion is actually 12 -15 days of actual assembly when you consider the time needed for paint, custom seats (if not purchased from a catalog) and parts delivery. Plus on average, they are getting eight hours in a day minus the heckling from the cast of characters on the show. At the end of the day, this show is a gentle reminder that there is more to bike building than meets the eye.

A couple of months ago, I had the good fortune to spend a couple of days with someone who actually won a bike from the show. He gave me great insight about the show. Then, he began urging me to apply to get onto the show. He gave me every reason why I should. But, repeatedly I said no. Mainly, my response was not in fear of assembling the bike. It just isn't the path I want to take when it comes to bike building.

While my buddies bought parts and kits and spent the summers riding and bragging. I spent money on a motorcycle technician course, welding classes and machine shop. Yep, learning everything I can about bending metal and a motorcycle. They laughed and asked why bother with all of the stuff on the market? I replied, I would rather be called a lousy bike builder than a great assembler of bike parts! I would love to spend three grand on motorcycle parts rather than a new TIG welder. But, one of the two will earn me more respect and provide for my family.

After all of the burns and cuts on my hands and the mountain of twisted hot metal I have been through, I sometimes question myself - is it really worth it in today's market were my skills are viewed as a dying art? Then the answer hits me - yes, it is worth it. For one, I love what I do and second, who cares if it is a art to be lost. All of the bike builders that we are fans of today were doing it before it was popular and will be doing it when the next trend comes along. The real question is which camp do you want to be part of? The camp of the latest trend or the camp of those who walked a tried and true path. The latter has a wide open door but, will require something from you, a large sacrifice that many people won't make. The immediate benefit is that you create something all your own. To me, that is a custom chopper. Also, in return, you will gain something that isn't provided by the other camp - respect for what you do as a bike builder.

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