Interview: Jeff Decker

Jeff Decker
Jeff Decker is a historian and artist famed for his bronze sculptures of vintage motorcycles. He grew up surrounded by the car culture of southern California in the 60s; today he’s based in the Hippodrome Studio in Utah, and he’s passionate about “anything mechanical that started out well-made and has endured decades without ever being molested”.

What was the first motorcycle you bought with your own money? From before I could walk there were mini bikes, just around, for the using. The first bike I felt real ownership for was a nice shiny new Honda 50 we stole from a local rich kid. It was only a few hours, but I owned it nonetheless. I crashed it, and to this day have a lovely crescent moon scar from the exhaust pipe lying on my right leg as I laughed and cried, while pinned under the bike, as the rich kid was punching me! First proper purchase would have been a Silver Pigeon or Honda Dream, some junk that a high school boy could afford.

What do you think is the most beautiful production motorcycle ever built? Production bikes tend to be dogs. The prototypes and factory racers were always the beauties. Iver Johnson (below) made a few stunners in the teens that used tons of proprietary parts that were lovely, including their own carbs and parts that most other factories sourced out. It was in an elegant grey livery and overall nice stance and proportion. K models weren’t too ugly stock…

Iver-Johnson motorcycle
What motorcycle do you despise? Show winners at modern custom bike shows. These crazy over-thought, over-built, gross contraptions that hardly function as a motorcycle.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A quiet place with a good book… in a room full of Cyclones, Crocker, Koslows, Honda factory multis, factory MVs, all in as-raced condition. And a Britton, a Moto Guzzi V8 (below), and of course world peace.

Moto Guzzi V8
Electric motorcycles: Yes or No? Yes. But I won’t buy one.

What is your favorite journey? Heavy. Life, I suppose. Traveling with my family and friends through life. The Cannonball. Trips to Italy and Japan. Starting a sculpture and finishing it. That is a pretty open question.

Which ‘everyday’ modern bikes do you think will become future classics? The equivalent of the Honda CB750 or Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, if you like? I should pay more attention—I really don’t know or care. Perhaps a Ducati 998S (below).

Ducati 998s
Who are your real-life motorcycling heroes? Maldwyn Jones (below), Jim Davis, Leslie Parkhurst, Otto Walker, Shrimp Burns, Ralph Hepburn, Ray Weishaar, Joe Petrali, Dick Mann, Cal Rayborn, Mike Hailwood, Kenny Roberts, Barry Sheen, Sonny Barger, Cole Foster, John Sawahski, Willie G. Davidson. Lots of folks, racers mainly.

Maldwyn Jones
Are you optimistic for the future of motorcycling? I focus more on the past: the future of motorcycling has always seemed boring and bleak. The most interesting blips in our motorcycling future will be revivals.

What is your current state of mind? I’d need therapy or heavy meds to be able focus on a current state… sorry.

Jeff Decker
Visit Jeff Decker’s website and click ‘Artwork’ to see his exquisite fine art bronzes.

  • MARKO

    Is it me or does this guy seem like a HUGE elitist douchebag? He stole his first bike? I’m glad the kid beat his ass for taking it.

  • FEDERICO

    THE MAN IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE FIELD.

    IN S.AMERICA THIS IS KNOWN AS “CRACK”

  • Mark

    “the future of motorcycling has always seemed boring and bleak”

    Attitudes like this sure make it hard to accomplish anything worthwhile with regard to motorcycling…

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    re an earlier discussion of ‘artistic influence” when I see mr. Decker’s work I
    always think what an artistic debt he owes to Mr. Frederick Remington.

    If Decker had been born 150 yrs ago, he’d be doing bronze cowboys on runnning horses. If Remington had been born 150 years later he might
    have done bronze hillclimbers..

  • http://www.worlddesigncouncil.com David

    Self indulgent tosser – thanks for putting these interviews online – although I can appreciate the guy’s art (as backward looking as it is), I sure wouldn’t want to know him as part of the motorcycling fraternity.

  • Griffin

    I’ve loved the interviews so far, until this one. Seems to me, he has nothing to do with motorcycle culture other than bronze sculptures of them…which makes him an artist not a motorcyclist.

    It won’t disappoint me if you just delete this post.

    “Which ‘everyday’ modern bikes do you think will become future classics? The equivalent of the Honda CB750 or Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, if you like? I should pay more attention—I really don’t know or care. Perhaps a Ducati 998S (below).”

    Get rid of this guy, please.

  • jimmy

    check out the vincent he did

  • Kerry

    You guys who complain about attitude and ego. With what you don’t know about Jeff Decker you could fill a book.

  • Mule

    Kerry, If you’re a friend, perhaps you could shed some light on what isn’t known?

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    If he’s not a motorcyclist, he’s gotta be the only non-motorcyclist in creation that owns (and rides i guess) both a chopped Crocker and a chopped Vincent.

    Given that, and the fact that he sculpts 1920’s hillclimbers, I can’t see asking
    him about “future classics.” it’s something that’s just not on his radar.

  • BLD

    I got a text from my Brother this morning telling me that Jeff Decker is featured on Exif today. That made my Friday even better. What an incredible guy Jeff is and I’m glad people like Kerry will speak to that.
    Every answer Jeff gave in this interview speaks to his appreciation for Motorcycling. The only way the word “douche” should be used in the same sentence as Jeff’s name is to describe the guy that dislikes him. His art captures everything we love about Motorcycling and the rich history surrounding it. He is spot on by saying that nothing about the future of motorcycling excites him. When you have Paul Jr. tack welding missiles on the side of a cookie cutter frame and calling it “innovation”, what’s to be excited about?
    Everyone follow me here for a second and search back through the last 20 posts on BikeExif. Each one has some type of homage to the history of Motorcycling. Looking back to the roots and history of Motorcycling is what makes it so appealing. You will prove Jeff right when the next bike that you get all excited about here on Exif gets its inspiration from a champion of yesteryear. Jeff Decker gets it.

  • http://waynedahlberg.com Wayne Dahlberg

    It speaks volumes about the cynical commenter who hasn’t heard of Jeff before today.

  • http://artcentermc.com Mike

    I like his cynicism. How he feels and replies to these questions can speak volumes about his character and beliefs. From Jeffs point of view, we could be a bunch of shit talking computer jockeys who wished we knew as much about motorcycling history as he does. That said, His character spoken through this interview aligns pretty well with what I’d expect from a quintessential badass on a motorcycle. Shit, who hasnt stolen something they were passionate about as a kid?

  • Mule

    Ok, I’m ready for the the things that could fill a book.

    Also, who is John Sawahski? Dick Mann and Hailwood are definitely on my hero short list and Maldwyn Jones was a major wildman for sure. Not a hero, but a racer who survived the hairiest period of American racing and a true innovator. Ok, he’s on the list too!

    “Production bikes tend to be dogs.” Huh? Not sure about that one Jeff.

    What’s a Koslow?

  • http://www.hermajestysthunder.com Her Majesty’s Thunder

    I interviewed Jeff a while back for a feature and found Jeff to be a warm, intriguing, family guy who is the real deal in the world if motorcycling culture. He’s a gifted artist who is honest and a genuine gentleman. He doesn’t aspire to a position in history, he makes it.

  • bob

    Mr. Decker lives in a very small safe world. Without question he can be defined as an elitist, but I would argue he displays signs or narcissistic personality disorder.
    He freely throws around his critiques, negative mostly, of the motorcycle world outside of his own narrow view. Interestingly, we don’t often hear honest critques of his sculpture. There are a few reasons for that. One, his work is folk in nature and the general audience for his works are the motorcycle world he often shows distain for. Two, the serious art world would never include his work in any serious shows. His sculptures are esoteric, egocentric works that never do justice to the subject matter he is so deperatly trying to capture.
    His efforts to be an iconoclast or whatever, fall flat. His ego, as evident in his over exposure in this tiny world, is larger than anything he has built or ever hopes to build.

    These giants of the motorcycle world would be much better served with someone more interested in the history and less interested in themselves.

  • Jack Straw from Wichita

    A passionate man who’s doing exactly what he wants with his life, which is something everyone can aspire to. Looks a bit like Gary Oldman, in that first photo anyway.

  • Jack Straw from Wichita

    I was looking for more info about his sculpture/workshop and found this pretty cool video on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQGuDslF9Uo

  • John T.

    @ Bob

    Throughout history, there has been only one characteristic that defines a successful artist, and that is the sale of his or her work. Jeff Decker’s work sells very well. Also, when you use big college words like esoteric and egocentric, you may consider explaining how those words relate to his person or his art. Proofreading the spelling in your post would also lend some credibility to your statements.

  • http://www.jeffdeckerstudio.com jeff decker

    I misspelled John’s sir name, should be Sawazhki. Now you guys can look him up & see how neat he really is & why I noted him as a personal hero. A long time friend, who has inspired me from the moment I met him. He is a founding member of AHRMA with a lust for motorcycling like no other. He literally introduced me to Dick Mann & Hoppy Hopkins & to Litos & Monarchs. He is a working class stiff who at one time managed to amass hundreds of bikes relevant to early motocross history. He speaks his mind honestly & even without a trust fund he’s been called ‘elitist’ by total strangers. Sometimes guys with less bikes or teeth than him, have called him a ‘self indulgent tosser’, oh, this is getting a bit autobiographical, but I must admit, I try to glean all I can from my heroes.
    Being psycho-analyzed by someone who reads a few of my written words is a bit presumptuous, but people who actually know have said far harsher things, so all is fair.
    As for my art, like myself, they both deserve critic. It is true, modern art critics could care less about what I do. I am not even close to a great sculptor or artist in general, but motorcycling history does truly move me, & has been the only honest source of inspiration I have ever had.

  • Buzz

    Thank you Mr. Decker for addressing some of our posts. I “got out” of art at an early age for my disdain over the money changing hands. If a person is naturally talented, I thought in my naivete, why would they want to charge for it? But the reality of this world is that our valuations of any object are directly related to how much someone is willing to pay for it.
    I am excited by the future of motorcycling, just to share, because of people like Eric Buell, Stewart Garner, David Bell, and others in the industry who are really pushing the technology to suit there ideas. Buell has always looked at things differently, but I probably will never buy an HD engined example. Garner is using his enormous wealth to bring Norton back, with Kenny Dreer’s vision, but practical manufacturing. David Bell is one of the reasons BMW still makes motorcycles.

    But I understand why a Crocker appeals to you more than these. Just for asking, what do you think of Falcon Motorcycles? Or Nesbitt’s design of the Wraith?
    Michaelangelo always referred to himself as a sculptor, not a painter, but his painting has been more widely seen. What other media do you think might be a good vehicle for your studies? Thanks again for actually reading and responding.

  • http://sakeracers.blogspot.com/ christos s.

    in the “perfect happiness” answer….
    u said/wrote “Britton”!!

    is that right… or u meant Britten??
    (John’s perfect homemade V2 from NewZealand)

    :)))

  • KIK

    waste of space better filled by a motorcycle or something related to motorcycling,..what BIKEEXIF fails to understand is that not all its readers are young hip artsy fartsy “artists”, some of its readers are seasoned motorcyclists whose main passion is the motorcycle we have seen trends come and go and their respective characters go with them,… if interviews are a must, then they should be on a link or something,.. it irritates me to open the computer and find some “artist” looking back at meinstead of a motorcycle.

    • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris

      KIK: It sounds like Bike EXIF is not the right website for you. There are plenty others out there.

  • http://www.jeffdeckerstudio.com jeff decker

    That is the second sir name I misspelled!
    Thanks Christos, you are right, I meant Britten.
    I’d like to blame the So. Cal. public school system or spell check, but it just me being lazy.

    Buzz, as per your question, I think Ian & Amaryllis are just beginning their journey & couldn’t be off to a better start. Their 2 of 10 is great. Looking forward to their Vincent project… which reminds me, I need to put a 20″ Boranni in the mail to those guys asap!

    & last but not least, I posted pictures of a Koslow on my blog.

  • http://sakeracers.blogspot.com/ christos s.

    i’ve seen the koslow on the blog, lately!

    by the name, i would have said he’s an actor of the mute cinema!
    but now i know!
    hehe

    anyway… guys… WTF!!!

    i just read the comments after posting mine..
    and 9 out of 10 r just stupid complaining shit!

    :))

    since u know nothing about this man (mr jeff) and u probably ride your cbr/gsxr/zzr/rrrrrrrr on the reds… let it be!

    i see him as a part of the kustom kulture!
    anybody of u up here commenting negative, do like the falcon bikes? shinya’s art? diggers? cafe’ racers? did u know about john britten?
    hmmmmmm… i dont think so!

    :)

    so long..

    PS: u r welcome Mr Jeff!

    greetings from Greece

  • http://www.occhiolungo.wordpress.com Pete @ Occhiolungo

    Great answers Jeff! I didn’t expect anything less than what you wrote. Some of those questions don’t have nice pretty answers when viewed from where you and I are sitting. “The future of antique motorcycling” might be a better question to ask.

    Yes, the future of motorcycling can be seen as bleak, when the press and the riders get overly excited by the latest revision of a plastic rocket with ‘major updates to the kickstand’ while they bemoan that it only has 220hp. The early bikes have so much to offer the enthusiast that spends a minute studying them.

    Enjoy your journey, I look forward to next time that our paths cross.

  • http://N/A Mark Greer

    I would like to say that every time I open the internet this is the website I head to first, I see that there is a lot of critics who comment on here about bikes, and interviews on here. I would like to say that I appreciate everything that appears on this site, i am only 21 and only ride a Suzuki Bandit S 07 but whether you ride bikes, photograph them, paint them or like this guy sculpt them, the most important factor to be considered is the enjoyment. Why be so negative about a persons work or thoughts? You wont like everything which you see but you don’t have to go running it down, just find the good or else f— off.

    KESS

  • Barry Brown

    Jeff doesn’t owe any artistic debt to anyone. negative comments here from sidewalk commandos and would be art critics originate from pure jealousy. The man is doing his following his own chosen path , something few of us aspire to and even fewer accomplish. His hillclimber in front of the Harley Museum is inspired.

  • bob

    I’m poor when it comes to computers and spell check, my apologies.

    John T, art and commerce are two very different things. Brittney Spears sold a lot of records; does that make her work meaningful or good?

    At the end of the day, I admire any man that thrust themselves in the middle of any sub culture or world and makes not excuses for their views. You have to respect that, and I do. The issues I have are when a person confuses their passion with authority and thrust their ego so far in the forefront that it out shines their work and undermines the hard work of others that may have as much or more passion. His reply regarding Ian’s work is evident of this. Humble and respect are difficult things for him. If it isn’t about him, he tends to be passive and behaves like a polo player on Palm Beach after the peasant fetches is water.

    I personally do not think he is worthy of the status that he and others thrust out there. But, I am no one, so it doesn’t matter. I just do not buy the hype, period. When you have money, means, and friends, you can make most anyone believe most anything. Not me though.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Out side of this small world, no one knows or cares about Mr. Decker and his work, even when he takes pictures with Jesse James.

    He’s manages to convince a lot of people he is important and that they should spend thousands on his work. As Mr. Baily said ” A sucker is born ever second.” Mr. Decker is a master at finding the suckers.

  • Mule

    This interview series has been pretty interesting so far and the motorcycle world has more than it’s share of “Characters”.

    I use the following example describing flattrack racing to people but it fits here I think.

    “Flattrack racing requires riders to very assertive, headstrong, aggressive, forceful, etc. But I think it’s not just flattrack racers, it’s motorcyclists in general. To be competitive with other racers, or merely to survive in traffic, it requires a take charge personality or attitude. Some of our motorcycle heros are better at being diplomatic and p.c. when the situation calls for it and others tend to stay in character all the time. But put a bunch of this personality type together and there can be trouble or misunderstandings. Can’t really hold it against them and being offended by it shows that perhaps you don’t understand the breed of which you are one.”

    By Me 10-30-2010.

    I think I can understand exactly where Jeff’s head is at. He’s in his own world and it’s takes up all his energy or brain-space to get the job done (his artwork). His work requires a mountain of minute detail work. My opinion was that doing an interview actually interferred with his work concentration. On another day in a different situation, the answers perhaps would have been longer and easier to digest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blindly supporting him and I wouldn’t know him if he sat next to me on the bus. Just throwing out a “Maybe it’s like this?”

  • http://sakeracers.blogspot.com/ christos s.

    @jack

    nice video indeed!
    i had already seen it!
    i hope the rest of the guys here clicked the link and watched the video too!
    it could help them calm down a lil… and not see all negative about mr decker!

    and btw… that crocker is so perfect!
    what’s the size of the wheels??
    19 front?
    17/18 rear?

    :D

    and @mark greer:

    great reply mark!
    u r just 21 and u seem to have understood more about bikes/bikers than the most of us here!

    ;)

    bravo

  • http://www.worlddesigncouncil.com David

    Well. it’s been an interesting and involved series of discussions here and it proves at least one thing, that the group of people who view this site as part of their community have a wide range of insights that they are willing to articulate and express – brilliant!
    I’d have to say that the opinion expressed by Mule is hopefully spot on and perhaps Jeff was just having a bad day at the office and came across as a grumpy curmudgeon (and no, the ‘badass’ excuse just doesn’t cut it.) – the simple fact is that the interview, as seen in isolation, came across as arrogant and ignorant and cetainly wasn’t a welcome inclusion in my semi-daily diet of celebrating two wheeled ingenuity, engineering, passion and art from all corners of our little planet – however, it is heartening to see so many of Jeff’s friends leap to his defence, and rightly so, even though his website doesn’t give many clues as to the true nature of the man (a beautiful piece of work but a little too considered and brooding for my taste), the youtube piece as promoted by Jack Straw (above) was certainly enlightening and provided a stark contrast to the unfortunate interview.
    I have often wondered as to the difficulties posed by being interviewed and how much it would take to get the true spirit of self across – the written word and edited down electronic media can be a harsh mistress as the inability to display nuance and emotion can push an intended message badly out of kilter.
    As for myself, I would love to see Jeff interviewed again but this time given the opportunity to express himself more to the full, he is obviously an insightful, engaging personality with a keen sense of humour who has something of real value to share.
    In closing, Jeff, love yer work, truly wonderful and passionate.

  • http://www.worlddesigncouncil.com David

    Oh, but while I’m thinking about it, a little response to Christos from above…

    “did u know about john britten?
    hmmmmmm… i dont think so!”

    I was fortunate enough to share a pit paddock on several occassions with John Britten way back in the ‘racing’ days of my spotty youth – this at a windswept little racetrack called Ruapuna on the outskirts of Christchurch (New Zealand) – we’d look on with intrigue as he’d turn up with yet another eccentric piece of engineering attached to his uncomplaining Ducati (this was in the days before he decided to build his own engine of course).
    If only we’d known then what we know now – we’d wrap him in cotton wool and never let his genius expire (if possible). Not only did he follow his dream to the hilt – he was a humble and generous person who took pleasure in helping all those around him – no trace of arrogance at all, just a genuine interest in the world and not only forward thinking but deeply lateral at the same time. Just imagine what could have been achieved had he been given some serious resources to work with (still, that kind of corporate involvement may have seriously diluted the passionate search for answers to his questions).
    This was the reason that I took exception to Jeff’s statement in his interview…

    “Are you optimistic for the future of motorcycling? I focus more on the past: the future of motorcycling has always seemed boring and bleak. The most interesting blips in our motorcycling future will be revivals”.

    All around the world there are many just like John Britten who are pushing boundaries, whether it be new forms of motive power, hub centre steering, metallurgy or goodness knows what incredible answers there are to questions that we’ve not even thought of yet. To state that the future is bleak is to rob these minds of the support and encouragement they so richly deserve.
    I’m confident that if Jeff will reflect on that statement now and perhaps modify it to be a little more accepting of the glittering brilliance that exists within the diversity of our two-wheeled global village.

  • Al

    I hadn’t been particularly interested in this guy’s work before reading this, and to be honest im still not, but I will admit that he is a talented artist. However…

    Why is he limiting his form to recreating whats already been done? Why just stick with the old board trackers and hill climbers? maybe Jeff could sculpt an original prototype (something that he appears to think are always the “beauties”) rather than recreate what already existed? It appears he has taste (vintage bikes, choppers, art etc) so maybe he could actually create something interesting that no-one else has thought of before? I think this is partly why people think he is overblown – because people think the size of his ego does not match his creativity. He is talented for sure – but what he is doing is not groundbreaking at all – and i bet he has cash up the wahzoo for doing it. (good for him – its his living)

    If all Jeff does is recreate the past in sculpture form – then fine – he is an artist/sculpter andif it makes him happy, great.

    Just dont confuse this with actually “contributing” to motorcycle culture. He can take all the “cool” elements of motorcycling from the past, and fuse them into his artworks, but he certainly does not give much back. His inspirations: The old racers with balls of steel, the bikers and criminals that gave motorcycling its “rebellious” image – Jeff takes these things and sells it to make money.

    “Are you optimistic for the future of motorcycling? I focus more on the past: the future of motorcycling has always seemed boring and bleak. The most interesting blips in our motorcycling future will be revivals”

    So if Jeff lived in the era that he appears to focus on, when motorcycling was new, original, pushing boundaries – would he have liked it? Would he have preferred a horse?

    Retro is cool – but the future isnt great for those who are stuck in the past…

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    The pictures in this series of interviews are great. Whoever is taking them, nice work!

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    *obviously not speaking to the vintage/manufacturer pics included as well!

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Re Decker’s art: for the past maybe 150 years the emphasis in art-and anything else for that matter- has been on novelty and “originality.’ We’ve forgotten that a lot of great art was “classical” i.e. inspired by the traditions of the past and dedicated to continuing them. This is really where Mr. Decker is coming from. There’s no point in asking why he isn’t designing, customizing,
    building innovative sportsbikes. Or making sculptures of ‘em either.

    Once somebody realizes this they can see why a Decker hillclimber looks
    a whole lot like a Remington statue of a cowboy lassoing a bronco. The idea’s the same;capturing a moment of action in bronze, with a high sense
    of drama etc. and to try to do it as realistically as possible. And using technique and technology that are hundreds and hundreds of years old.

    If sombody 150 years ago could see a Decker, they’d certainly “get it’ –they’d just not know what the hell the machine was that the rider was riding.
    If Remington was around now, he might be doing 1920’s hillclimbers…but
    maybe he’d be sculpting Travis Pastrana doing stunts :-)

    Dissing Decker for doing what he does makes as much sense as dissing Michaelangelo for doing stuff in marble that looks a lot like stuff the Greeks and Romans used to do “back in the day.”

  • Mule

    @davidabl,
    I get what you are saying and I’m not in the group that has “dissed” Decker, but I have to say that your over-simplification of the “past maybe 150 years the emphasis in art”, kinda sends the message that you’re not an art major. Ergo, I would leave the heavy art analysys to people that actually have studied art or perhaps fellow artists/sculpors that have credibility in the art.

    Art is a murky world and a lot of people that have studied it or done it don’t even speak in absolutes, so an opinion is immediately suspect when someone does. Most art critics are only taken seriously when they are complimentary and then only by the artist being complimented or studio owners and brokers. But like I say, I understand what you were trying to say.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Not an art history major, but have been paying attention for most of my life.
    Sure It’s an oversimpliofication (and this’s a MC site afterall) but it’s commonlyheld that the emphasis on innovation over tradition seems to have really gotten rolling with the Impressionist “Salon de Réfusees” Paris 1863…”about150 years ago.” My point just was that a guy like Decker who’s a “classical artist’ isn’t gonna be as well understood today by people used to “modern art’ as he would been in an earlier era. They’re probably going to think he’s just a “craftsman’ because his sculptures don’t look like the latest big new thing..It’s kind of what i thought when i first saw a couple at one of those CycleWorld bike shows..

  • Bill Scannell

    First, dig this site and a few others in the maker scene.I am enjoying the revival of hand-built and re-engineered bikes that seem to be showing up from all over the world. I started riding when repair and modify were essential motorcycle skills and that was just in the late 60’s. The creative process of bike building or sorting out a race bike is something unique and personal and a good thing. Very different from selecting.

    Not important if I agree with interview subject or style of a particular bike. I get something out of taking it all in because there is a certain editorial quality here that I appreciate. The standards are pretty high.

    The comments are something else, “really love that bike except it would be perfect if the …..”. Meaningless critique, build your own the way you want it. Now the interview subject’s lives and opinions are open to the same endless perspective. Ironic, we in the moto “subculture” have become so judgmental.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com/2010/07/alt hoyt

    JDecker’s answer about the future being in revivals is good. There were so many ideas 100 years ago that can be revisited with today’s metallurgy & machining advances.

    Otherwise, the future of motorcycling has been boring from certain perspectives…

    1993 CBR900RR had 124 hp & weighed 408 lbs;
    2009 BMW 1000RR has 193 hp & weighs 403 lbs.

    This is a 55% increase in hp, while the weight has only been reduced 1.2% in 16 years. Some of that progress is impressive until you consider the bulk of riders can’t get close to exploiting that increase in power (even with electronic help). So, what’s the point?

    More riders would be able to exploit a slower bike but one that is much lighter.

    Future?
    changes to front suspension systems are able to cut gvw by 22 pounds as witnessed by James Parker’s RADD front-end.

    Norton’s idea about a small rotary-electric hybrid is not boring.

  • Mattro

    bikeexif – where the self-conscious pretentious and fetishist elitists meet hard line Luddites and shallow, defensive consumerists! never, ever disable comments. ever.

  • Buzz

    To disable the comments is to give in to the terrorist demand. I am a functioning schizophrenic. I work, I pay bills, taxes, I ride safely. I look at the world with the mind the Creator gave me and can not comply with uniformity of thought. In the US, our First Amendment Right of Free Speech is so we can discuss Politics and Religion and unpopular ideas with out the fear of being incarcerated. It has been hijacked so people can look at porn and tell each other to F-Off. Next time you tell people to shut the F up, make sure you thank a Marine and the Founding Fathers cause you know that’s what they were worried about. You don’t have to read it, or reply to it you know….

  • Eric Moser

    Geez, quick to lash out aren’t we? He did just participate in the Cannonball on a 1914 HD, magneto gremlins, and a bum knee. How many have checked that one off the list?

    I just completed a redesign on the front end of my 96′ Trident 900 after seeing Decker’s Crocker and studying the details, to give it my own twist.

    Thanks for sharing the interviews and bikes, etc.

    The comments should stay, but overlook the dramatic sweet boys posting on here.

  • http://www.saintmotorbikes.com Bozi

    Jeff Decker is a gift. A well spoken, gentleman, who is a church goer, an a Family man. He make art that is timeless & cast bronze & metal.

    He has built a beautiful Crocker & Vincent to his taste, with out losing the vibe, only making them cleaner.

    Have you badd asses really looked at his work, bikes, or metal?

    Yes, I see shinya post on here that gets blasted as well.

    Ive not Met Mr Decker, but would love to. Honest, hardworking people that are a bit of center are sorely needed. We have sheep.

    There are all kinds of folks, & taste, its opening your mind past your little cliche, which will always change.

    Its fine to not like whats somebody is doing, but why blast them, it only shows ignorance.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Bozi, If you want to meet Mr. Decker just keep an eye out for him at classic bike events..he goes to lots of them.

  • http://bigsid.com Matthew Biberman

    The literary critic Camillie Paglia once said Picasso would still be a great artist even if he gunned down 100 grandmothers. Jeff might be pugnacious and pithy in his answers but for that he hardly deserves to be written off as self-centered or a person of gloom and doom. I have hung out with him twice over the years and he always comes across as a breath of fresh air. He is talented, generous and truly free wheeling. I teach Shakespeare and the taste makers back then thought we would all be reading sermons in Latin today. I wouldn’t write off the lasting appeal of Jeff Decker’s work just yet. Plus I gave him his first ride on a Vincent!

  • Atlasstoneworks

    No Marko..Its you…

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Matthew, I get the impression that Ms Paglia has a lot of odd ideas. Picasso would be no better or worse an artist if he’d killed anybody..like Caravaggio. And just as Charles Manson would still be a mediocre songwriter even if his people HADN’T killed anybody. Somebody’s personal life has little to do with the valueof their achievements.
    Not saying that there’s anything wrong with either Mr.Decker’s life OR his achievements…

  • Heppi

    Dear Editor,

    Alternative titles for this interview could be: “I Love Myself A Lot” or “Can Someone Please Make Me Famous?”

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Both things are true in this case, as well they should be….

  • Aaron McElroy

    I think Al is right on (his post is in the last 3/4). And who wants to take bets that “davidabl” is either Jeff or somehow related to him? A little too obvious Mr. Artiste.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris

    I can see the IP address used by “davidabl” and it definitely isn’t Jeff.

    It is, however, perfectly possible that other people do share Jeff’s perspective, and might feel inclined to defend him.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Aaron,I can’t say i really know him at all. I’ve seen him at various events and photographed him there(the first time I didn’t know who he was.) Obviously I’ve seen some of his bikes and bronzes in person. I’d like to think that i know just enough about art history-and about bikes- to put his work in some kind of
    perspective.

  • k landers

    Mr Decker,

    I consider myself a motorcycle entusiast, as I have an almost abnormal passion for many types and a hillclimber, as I have ridden several including the the summit, the old widowmaker at the age of 16, on a 350 pursang that I still own.also ran a small bultaco shop in the early 70’s. yes, purpose built machines. I started calling the group of machines, a collection, in an effort to make me feel, more normal. Now at the age of 53, I realize, I will never change. Like people help me feel, less twisted, with my obsessive fascination. Recently my youngest son led me, along with my eldest son, to visit a shop in St louis Mo. called Kickstart Cafe, I felt really normal after that visit. I loved the Triumph engine coffee table and airplane hanging from the ceiling with a huge log chain. Stop in If you ever have a chance they have a web site. A cat named Mitch, opened it up special for just a few of us and served us fantastic coffee. Owned by Mike. I have two sons that I have infected with this “condition” and they too, now have “collections” I have always been drawn to purpose built machines. I have a soft spot for Hill Bikes. So I am biased, but I know cool when I see it. and your Climber sculp. and that Croker rod, are definitely the best in show. Only a fool would disagree. May I have your permision to be the second cycle sculptor in the free world ?

    Sincerly Sinner wanabe

    K Landers