Sideburn magazine’s Gary Inman, a friend of mine, wrote a thought-provoking piece on Influx.co.uk (a multi-motor blogazine) called ‘Custom Bikes and Trophy Wives’. I’ll quote a few bits here, but if you’re at all involved with the alt.custom scene, it’s worth a read, and I’d love to hear your opinion. I confess to be deeply embedded in this world professionally, while never having been an owner/rider/builder of alt.customs themselves. Still, I count many of the most important players in this business as personal friends, so am well-placed to write about their world. Hence my ‘Custom and Style’ editorship at Cycle World…

Another iteration of the Ducati Scrambler, slightly more elaborate than the production version

Some thoughts from Gary: “The annexation of the most vibrant motorcycle sub-culture in decades didn’t take long…For marketing departments, desperate to find any growth in Northern hemisphere biking, it’s an easy sell. It’s all smart haircuts and expensive denim, an appreciation of art, architecture and photography, a willingness and the means to travel. The holy-bleeding-grail of target audience if you’re trying to shift ‘lifestyle’ products. And the bike manufacturers didn’t have to lift a finger for the scene to become so large they could no longer ignore its potential. What was an exciting niche is now a cliché. Inevitably. But – another question that only time has the answer to – is it a bad thing for ‘the scene’?…”

The Husqvarna cafe racer, built in 2016…

On that note, it might be worth re-reading my ‘Instafamous/Instabroke’ essay, or my very similar thoughts on the Industry poking fingers into the Custom scene, called ‘Awake, Leviathan’.

The new Ducati Scrambler is evidence the motorcycle industry is paying attention to custom builders
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