Editorial

PEOPLE WHO DON'T RIDE CUSTOM BIKES' PERCEPTIONS OF THEM ARE INTERESTING, ARENT THEY? INFURIATING SOMETIMES, IDIOTIC SOMETIMES, PERCEPTIVE OCCASIONALLY, BUT ALWAYS INTERESTING.

I go on an Internet forum that's populated mainly by sports bike riding 11 -types because, well, they're quite witty and they make me laugh. Most of the time, the custom bike world is so far removed from them that if; almost like we're from different planets. They quite like bobbers (altho jgh I suspect that a lot of them wouldn't actually recognise one if it was parked in front of then), they look down on streetfighters as 'just another crashed sports bike', they don't understand trikes in the slightest and they have simply no conception of what a rat is but, like most folk, their hearts are in the right place even if, sometimes, their brains aren't.

But it'snotjustthem-afairfewfolkwhogoto rallies orcustomsiows ask very similarquestions or make very similar comments too. I've lost trackof the number of times over theyears that I've heard someone say aboutachopper,'I bet that'snot very comfortable'or'lwouldn'twanttogorounda racetrack on that". Well, duh! <puts tongue below lowerlipandscrewsupface> Of course, it's not verycomfortablejfsahardtail. And of course you wouldn't want to take it around a racetrack - iftga ten inchoverforksand less ground clearance than yer average gartersnake, it'dDeafuckingnightmare! It wasn't built to go on a racetrack - it's acustom bike, it was built to lookcool, no less, no more, that's it

It does seem that it's quite difficult to get it through to these people that custom bikesaren't about handling or speed or Uggage capacity or practicality or any of the other things folk buy 'normal' bikes for - custom bikes are about looking good. You build one because you wantyour bike to lookacertain way and ifyou havetosacrifice some of its practicality to get it to look as you want it to, well, that's just somethhgyou do,isn't it? Yes, it may make it a little harder to ride (I prefer 'more involving to ride' than 'harder to', meself), but that's no bad :hing - it just givesyou agreater sense of achievement thatyou've no: only built the bike of your dreams, butyou're man (or woman... he said in a'Lifeof Br ian'stylee) enough to r ide ittoo.

Besides which,folk are often just plain wrong. I ride two bikes that have over-size knosbly rear tyres on their front wheels and if I had squid for every time IVe been told,'bet that doesn't handle ... ho ho', well, I'd never have to worry about buying tyres for'em everagain. No, :hey don't handle like, say, FireBlades,but then they're not FireBlades,are they? Tney're big, old, heavy beasts with cut down f ramesand old suspension and, remember, knobbly tyres - of course they don't handle. They still ride well enough for me to have done 1600+ miles in a week on them so they're not quite the ill-handling, shopping trolleyesque nails you might think but, no, they don't'handle' as the sports bike crowd expect them to. That wasn't what they were built for... but doyou <now what? They make me smi e every tine I ride them and that is what they were built for. Later. NIK

www.ioo-biker.co.uk | issue 1361100% Biker 17 RaJaasa: StoàMap & faniarme). IMapÉte feff^lD

The Wheelie School

THE WHEELIE SCHOOL, BASED IN BOVINGDON IN HERTFORDSHIRE, WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW THAT THEY'RE NOW OPEN WEEKENDS AND BANK HOLIDAYS, AS WELL AS THROUGH THE WEEK AS USUAL.

Set up tenyears ago by Paul Gower, ex-lead rider for:he HyingGunnersdisplay team, magazine stunt rider and World Stunt Chanpionshipscontestan:, the Wheelie School teaches you to wheelie safely and in control and doesnt rely ongadgets or gimmicks - it reaches proper machine control. You learn in asafe,controlled environment on one of their specially-designed bikesand all the instaictors are pro riders or Equitystunt men so /ou get top instruction from sorre of the best people in the business.

The price has also been dropped toa mere £135 per rider - without adoubtthe cheapest in the country by a long shot. I^s open all year round and you can even buy Christmas vouchers for 2011.

Checkout the website at w ww.thewheelieschool.co.uk for more information.

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