Interview: Justin Kell


Justin Kell runs Glory Sales and Service in LA. It’s the kind of store many of us would probably love to own, with a strange mixture of 1950s home furnishings and vintage British and American motorcycles. On any given day you can buy a 1960s Triumph flat track racer, a set of 1930s salt and pepper shakers, or maybe a stuffed boar’s head. Justin has spent most of his life surrounded by motorcycles—not only riding them, but also restoring and selling them.

What was the first motorcycle you bought with your own money? That would be the 1979 Yamaha MX80 [below] that I got when I was around nine or ten years old. I had my money saved up from birthdays and Christmas and what not, and bought it for $300 from a kid on my baseball team. I terrorized the neighborhood on that bike. There were crashes that would cripple a grown man. (I sure do miss being a fearless ten-year-old.) As I grew older and moved onto street bikes, there were a few Japanese 500s. The first classic that I ever bought was a 1969 Moto Guzzi V7. I loved that bike.

Yamaha MX80
What do you think is the most beautiful production motorcycle ever built? This is a tricky question. Motorcycles are like women. There are times in your life that you find yourself drawn to speed or danger. There are times when all you want is sleek and sexy. These days, I often find myself appreciating stability, comfort and reliability. I do have a soft spot for Vincent singles, and I’ve spent many hours admiring the lines of a Gold Star [below]. As far as modern bikes go, the Ducati Hypermotard gives me the horn for sure, and I secretly find BMW’s GSs as sexy as German can be.

BSA Gold Star brochure
What motorcycle do you despise? Any machine with the word “Kustom” attached to it.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness to me would be finding a balance in life, allowing me to support my family without feeling the need to work seven days a week. I’m always afraid that I will look up one day and find out that I missed my children grow up. I think that we’ve all been swept up in the chase for more stuff. The idea that one more possession will make you happy has certainly been burned into our every waking moment. It’s hard not to fall into the consumerism trap and the quest to have the newest and shiniest.

My life is not simple. I do, however, realize how cool a life I have. To be able to transform your passion into a way to make a living is really a dream come true.

I think that as I get older, my priorities are changing and I realize that you do not need a million dollars in the bank to be happy. I’m sure that it helps, and I’d certainly like to experience that, but to have a family and live an honest life is much more valuable to the world. I see a lot of nasty stuff in both the motorcycle and fashion business. The pisser is that people who operate without any moral compass generally make shitloads of money, and there seems to be no recourse for their actions. It’s tough to watch, but at the same time, if you can look at yourself in the mirror and know that you haven’t moved forward by fucking people over, you’re the richest man in the world.

I should mention that some days, my idea of perfect happiness is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Electric motorcycles: Yes or No? Yes. The future is unwritten.

What is your favorite journey? MOTO MELEE.

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 think that the Ducati Monster [below] could be in the running. I suppose that a Triumph Bonneville could be. I’m not really sure about this one. It also depends on where you live in this world. I’m in Los Angeles. In this town, motorcycles are fashion accessories, not transportation. This drastically changes what is considered a “classic”. Think about a Rotax single: you’re hard-pressed to find a more durable motor. An F650GS BMW is one of the best city / commuter bikes that I have ever ridden. It’s also very “uncool”. Looks and style seem to dictate what is the current hot classic. In LA, I have to look at 20-year-old wankers with mustaches and stupid sunglasses. These are the guys that have made classics out of heavy 750 Hondas. If I can understand why fashion is what it is, I can say I know something about predicting future classics. I can say without hesitation that I do not know anything.

Ducati Monster S4RS Tricolore
Who are your real-life motorcycling heroes? The guys developing new motor technology. It’s a bit much to still be using turn-of-the-last-century technology to power motorcycles. Don’t get me wrong: I love vintage motorcycles more than anything, but I’m really interested in seeing what comes next.

Are you optimistic for the future of motorcycling? I am. I’m quite ready to see some new ideas and styles.

What is your current state of mind? It’s been a wordy and introspective summer. I’m ready for the fall and winter. I’m looking forward to change. I’m looking forward to growth, and I’m looking forward to new chapters.

Portrait image by Coop. MX80 by Rjeep72. BSA brochure via MotArt.

  • http://chinonthetank.com ed

    When he says; “These are the guys that have made classics out of heavy 750 Hondas”…

    … thats a pretty retarded thing to say. Fashion has maybe .1% to do with the cb750 or other cycles becoming a classic.

    sorry, lame.

    -ed
    chinonthetank.com

  • http://www.motobuillder.com Sam

    I have to agree with Ed. I’m not sure what that comment means. It’s more accurate to say bad asses like Carpy are who keep these bikes legendary. Not douche bags with molestaches and skinny jeans.

  • Mule

    Justin sounds like an honest guy on his way upward. If he thinks lamos on CB750′s do not a classic make, then that’s how he feels and he’s being honest. This is an interview with a guy thats just speakin’ his mind and I respect that much more than some D-bag trying to please everyone and be politically correct.

    I don’t know the guy, but I’d like to see his shop.
    Personally, I think the Monster is the ugliest bike to ever come out of Italy, but this is his interview, not mine. CB750′s? Carpy builds some nice ones and he probably doesn’t like Monsters either. :-)

  • http://zuma.livejournal.com Zuma

    Justin Kell was the motorcycle wrangler and trainer for the Quentin Tarantino/Larry Bishop film ‘Hell Ride’. Before that, I’d never heard of him.

    I was delighted to see this post on him. Mainly because (inmyhumbleopinion) he’s one of the few bike people I know of that get less ink than they they deserve, but also because he’s atypical of the types that *do* get plenty of ink.

  • Sean

    In my opinion (not that anyone cares) very few Japanese bikes can ever become classics. They have largely been plastic junk. They exhibit little design/engineering skill and they have always made way too many of them so that everyone can afford to have one. Most asian branded models do not display love for the creation of a fantastic machine but rather a simple business venture made to pump out lots of crap to generate revenue.

    Classics to me are the bikes that someone put their whole heart into every aspect of the engineering and design (see Ducati, Vincent, Brough Superior, pre 1940 Indian, MV Agusta, Britten and so on) and made very few for the few people who actually appreciate excellence and can afford to enjoy it. I’m not saying that only the expensive or rare bikes will be classics. I am saying that only the bikes that someone can be truly passionate about will be. So if you sit in your garage and marvel at the beauty of your 750 Honda, then good for you. I’m glad you know that pleasure.

    I enjoyed Justin’s interview. He seems to be an honest man making an honest living doing what he loves. I also think he knows what he is talking about. I think we can all be envious of his career and respect his well educated opinion.

  • Fred

    Hahah ” In LA, I have to look at 20-year-old wankers with mustaches and stupid sunglasses. These are the guys that have made classics out of heavy 750 Hondas.” The same shit in San Francisco too. The bike may have been classic potential without the hipsters but they drove into the mainstream. And man do they suck; the hipsters that is.

  • Stephen Pate

    First off… let me say without reservation that the Honda CB750 is one of, if not possibly the most over-rated (and boring) motorcycles ever produced. Don’t bother arguing the point with me. To date, I have not seen a single custom / kustom one worth wiping a dead dog’s asshole on. While I am on the subject… the owner/editor of Cafe Racer should be ashamed of whoring out motorcycles into yet another ridiculous retro-trend where ‘everyone is a designer’ of motorcycles. Keep in mind, Mike Seate comes from the Chopper, then Bobber world.. where he whored that shit out too… he’ll latch onto whatever he thinks will make him a dime apparently. Funny… the guys at his magazine can’t even build a *decent*, let alone respectable “cafe” machine to save their lives, apparently.

    The crowd that is busy turning cb750s into what they *think* are “cafe racers” should be congratulated… since they are insuring that there are less and less original versions of that machines on the road. They will ultimately drive the prices of unmolested examples of this “Dixie-Cup” of the motorcycling world to stratospheric highs where they will be collected by obsessive compulsives with personality disorders, ensuring that people actually interested in motorcycles that matter will have to endure their hipster ‘motorcycle as lifestyle accessory’ owner’s less and less…. (how’s *that* for a run-on sentence)!?!

    As far as Justin goes… when I first met him, I expected the typical lazy L.A. douche-bag that I encountered every-single-time I went to work out there. Much to my surprise, he’s anything but. I mean… you know, he ‘might’ be a douche-bag… but he’s ‘my kind’ of douche-bag… the kind that is a straight shooter, says what he means, knows what he’s talking about and works his ass off. Wanna know why he gets the attention he gets? There’s your answer…. luck favors the prepared, and Justin works harder than 9 outta 10 people in our business. Period. Talent helps too, naturally. Personally, I hope that he (and I, now that I think of it) can find a little more balance in life and not work 20+ hour days 6 to 7 days a week. We’ll see how that goes!?! I respect the guy a great deal, and more so the more I get to know him.

    OH… did I mention how much the Honda cb750 sucks?
    I mean… at *least* build something out of the 500/4! At least *it* doesn’t sound and handle like my grandmother’s broken dishwasher. It’s about as relevant and useful to the history of motorcycling as a Hello Kitty Vibrator. The Japanese during that period built some good motors, don’t get me wrong… but the chassis were absolutely crap on the majority of the machines. Fact… not opinion.

    As far as Carpy goes… nice guy… very nice guy. But, if you think that his machines are ‘bad ass’ and that he’s doing something really relevant with those Hondas beyond a basic styling exercise… you need to get better educated on your motorcycles. Big, big, BIG time.

    XOXO

    Stephen Pate | Restoration Werks

  • Jameson

    I don’t see why people can’t just be happy folks are into bikes and stop with the ridiculous name calling. So a person uses their motorcycle for a fashion accessory, they’re still furthering the hobby in some form and doing what they enjoy. Everyone has their own cup of tea, there’s no reason to be negative about it.

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

    Stephen, tell us what you really think! ;) good stuff in your note and in Justin’s interview. I’m glad that you each have the opportunity to speak your mind, and that there are folks who listen. I’d have to think pretty hard to answer that same set of questions, and I doubt anybody here would like my answers…

    see ya on the road.
    Pete

  • Trav

    Right on, Jameson!

    It’s just typical human psychology, though. I’m sure it’d be alot of fun to be 20 and ride around with my buddies on old hondas while our mustaches flap in the breeze… So, ya know… harumph harumph! I can not abide such idiocracy! I paid way too much money for my nineteen hundred and a few excelicycle deluxe super rare edition complete with the dust from the day God created the earth in the cervices… how can they possibly lump the self-glorification that is MY motorcycle in with such indiscriminate filth as a hispter-hauling CB-750′s?!! Harumph!

    PS- mustaches are always cool. Don’t be mad at everyone else that you don’t see it anymore!

    Sorry, I guess I did the opposite of stopping with the ridiculous name calling.. but it’s just funny! Ah well..

  • Terry

    His place ain’t for the faint of heart. 150 bucks for a leather keychain ? 800 bucks for a helmet just like the one I had in 1978 ? I wonder who buys his products, certainly no one I know.

  • http://artcentermc.com mike

    Triumphs, ducati, bsa, blah, blah, blah. Passion? The hell is the point of a bike you cant afford to ride nor fix? You wanna see true design? You wanna see true engineering? Look at the bikes that still run to this day. See why people can still ride them. That “shoddy” engineering is what lets them be able to repair it and ride it 40 years later. We are humans and as humans we create things for ourselves. What good is a product that is “passionate” but cannot serve us 40 years later? lighten up.

    Id love to own a triumph. Now find me one I can afford.

  • al

    i don’t understand – doesn’t just justin kell @ Glory Sales sell the sunglasses that these 20 year old “wankers” wear?. He’s probably surrounded by them because they are in his shop buying his stock. Seems quite self defeatist to me. Do your reckon there is some wanker in Japan who is the equivalent of Justin lamenting the rise of brat style and how they are wrecking SR400′s?

  • David Kirkland

    Whatever happened to that bad ass Vincent drag bike that Justin was getting ready for Bonneville?

    I don’t care if he sells sunglasses, furniture & t-shirts. He like, loves and builds motorcycles, just like the rest of us.

    In this day and age, we have “racism” against motorcycles? Does it really matter?

  • Mule

    Stephen Pate…Wow! You are an angry young man with much to be bitter about. Let you count the ways.

    Seriously though, I have to comment on one point you made. “The Japanese during that period built some good motors, don’t get me wrong…but the chassis were absolutely crap on the majority of machines. Fact…not opinion.”

    Was that crap by today’s standards or by 60′s, 70′s or 80′s standards? Or was it just anything from Japan? Having lived, ridden and worked in shops during an era when bikes were still evolving, it was a great time to be a motorcyclist. Bikes were improving by leaps and bounds year after year. Everyone was still learning. It’s easy to have 20-20 hindsight and point out every flaw through the years, just like you can buy and read 637 books on the fall of the Britsh motorcycle empire, AFTER the fact. It’s common knowledge now. Or every mistake Harley, BMW, Aprillia, KTM, etc has made years later.

    The Japanese made massive breakthroughs with in-line motors, carburetion, electronics, comfort, weight savings, horsepower and oh yea, did I mention horsepower. Has a European bike ever been the horsepower leader in the last 40 years?

    Just because some new riders that happen to be really trendy have picked the CB750 to be seen on, I don’t think the bikes automatically become junk. The trendy riders will move about through the markets and may pick Moto Guzzis or Ducatis next. Who knows? Just pray they don’t pick a bike you love or you’ll be one of THEM. That would be very embarassing.

  • Sportster Cafe

    I think the problem is, a lot of the people commenting on how junky the CB750 is, were not even born when it was launched! It was incredible, fast, electrics worked, didn’t leak oil, and you could ride any where with out having to break out your spanners. Yes they had to work on handling, but they still have race pedigree, remember Daytona 1970 and Dick Bugsy Mann? And remember, a year latter, Triumph and BSA came out with their infamous OIF bikes which killed both makes! I will admit I have owned more Triumph’s then any other make, and Brit Iron in general, but I would still take an early CB750 any day! Oh, and if Honda can not be a classic, where does that leave the number one motorcycle company in the world during the 50s, BSA?

  • Thiago

    Who cares if hipsters are riding modified cb750s. The cool thing is that they are riding and enjoying. When I drive in NYC whenever I can’t ride my dearly beloved Triumph, it sure would be nice to see someone riding something else besides a harley or a rice burner.

  • Stephen Pate

    @ Pete – Haha! You know me… I like to stir it up a bit. The cb750 wasn’t *that* bad…. it just was far from their best. I’d like to hear your answers! Your one of the few people out there really qualified / entitled to give them!

    @ Mule – Jesus man… thank you *so* much for the “angry young man”… I wish I was still young. I turned 40 this month and am perfecting my grumpy old man routine early. I give 3 shows a day on my front porch… screaming at any passer by that, ‘all motorcycles are *shite*’, or… ‘take off that ridiculous scarf and sunglasses you damn 20-something hipster shitsock’, and of course… my favorite, ‘I’ll sick my dog on you you little punks’.
    My wiener-dog Stanley is fierce. Fear him.
    By the way… I agree with pretty much everything you said. I hope you ‘don’t care’ if I agree or not… but I do anyway. So ‘there’. How you like them apples, Sonny?
    p.s. By the way… yes, several euro machines have led in power… and handling over the last 40 years. It’s not always about *horsepower*, as you probably know… it’s about useable power and the chassis to harness it. One small example (in the last 40 years) that is current and therefore memorable, is the recently manufactured MV that was the fastest production machine available.

    @ David – the drag bike. Ex Max Kelly machine. Lot’s of chrome and polished stuff… blah blah blah. Lot’s of good stuff inside it…. factory Lightning parts!! I took it apart with him last summer about this time. I think we are supposed to put it back together soon… but we’ve both been too busy yelling at guys on cb750s with mustaches and making passes at one another while denying our homosexual leanings. Justin’s the cute one… so he gonna be ‘bottom’ should it come to that. My sad little dream is, I put it back together… then back it up to the house of Wes Siler who has the ‘Hell For PLeather’ blog and run it at full chat with those open race pipes for hours and hours, days and days on end until he stops writing his ridiculous drivel. I mean… a Vincent *has* to be good for something, right? Why not fighting evil douche-rag “journalists”?

    @Al – No, I don’t think he stocks those sunglasses.

    @ Terry – Holy shit… you had a Ruby helmet in 1978?!? You better call those guys and tell ‘em about your ’78 miracle helmet. Yeah, lot’s of people buy the stuff he stocks, and the stuff he makes too. GO figure. People like good shit. What idiots.

    I would rather walk, carrying a Vincent spoke, than ride a cb750.
    Just sayin’.
    Hahaha!

  • Kyle Pereira

    What’s this world coming to when a man can’t voice his opinion in his OWN bloody interview? Why must everything one says please everyone around? It’s his interview, so let him speak. He’s not shoving anything down your throats, now is he? When it’s your turn to be interviewed, if that ever happens that is, you can have your say.

    I ride Japanese bikes but my heart belongs to British metal. But what matters is the fact that you ride and not what you ride. The motorcycling world would be a much better place if ‘bikers’ actually put miles on their bikes rather than hammering away on keyboards.

  • Crazy Sheep

    He shouldn’t criticize young wankers who show-off in LA, because that stupid hipsters are the only who can afford his products. And he transforms motorbikes in trend business. He even sells laptops bags!

    I’d never thought, but comparing to that posh people, I’m a Rat Biker!

  • PeteP

    Wow. So many interesting opinions here. Glad you all participated.

    Stephen, I don’t get the hate for Wes. We all have different tastes.

    You probably wouldn’t appreciate what’s in MY garage, either, but I do my own work on them all. They are mine.

  • Stephen Pate

    @Pete P – I don’t *hate* Wes…. just dislike his actions and his ‘snark-for-snarks-sake’ style. I could point to you in the direction of specifically *why* I dislike his actions… but that would just generate more traffic for him. I have good reason if for no other than he really seems to disrespect or at least likes to attack anyone actually doing anything, like building motorcycles to a high standard. He has no real sense of history or knowledge of anything made more than 10-20 years ago… he’s a car guy, pretending to be a bike guy. But.. enough of all that, right?! I probably *would* appreciate what is in your garage, actually! My cb750 comments are half real opinion / half tongue-in-cheek. There’s *nothing* wrong with Japanese machines, at all.

  • Aaron Burke

    A congrats to Chris for creating this series of interviews. Look forward to more.

  • http://www.popmag.com.au Rick

    I’ve been to Glory on Hollywood Blvd and thought it was a cool shop. I thought it was more ‘bike culture’ than an actual motorbike shop. Very expensive. Vintage leather jackets for hundreds of dollars. I remember they had a lot of Barbour stuff too. A and a Playboy covergirls book that I wish I had bought.

    I’ve worked in retail and know how annoying the public can be so I can understand the ’20-year-old wankers and their 750′s’ comment. However it does seem a bit misguided given who his customer is. Hell, I’m 26, restoring a CB400F, wear tight jeans and sunglasses. I might grow a mustache (if I could). Yet I’ve been slowly restoring my bike from the frame up in my garage for almost 2 years. I’ve been out talking to the old bike guys, learning what to do and not to do, spending money buying parts from all the guys. Yes, I chopped my fender and bought some clubmans. I’ve really enjoying it.

    I look up to guys like Justin and Carpy and Benji and all the craftsman in the ‘scene’. Their bikes are fantastic. However to read that people like myself are not welcome because we got into motorcycles that we saw you all ride and thought looked fun just seems kinda’ lame.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read and just another reason why I love Bike EXIF.

    Rick.

  • Kyle Pereira

    I might wear tight jeans (if the weather would permit) and I might sport a pencil thin mustache now and then and I ride Japanese bikes but thrive on British metal. He might have a thing to say about me, but quite frankly, that’s his opinion and he’s welcome to it. I don’t get my jollies listening to what people have to say about the motorcycles I own, most of them way older than myself. I ride for the sake of it, I fettle for the love of it and I can’t see myself doing anything else. If I did stop to hear what people have to say about me or the machine I’m on, I wouldn’t make it past my block, let alone the city. And come on, don’t tell me none of you guys have never had an opinion about somebody or some machine that won’t go down easy with guys who are into that kind of stuff. It’s an opinion and not a fact. Once you ge that, you’ll realise that there’s not much to get rattled up about after all.

  • http://www.mybikersworld.com/ My Bikers World

    What I like most about him, that he is not just concentrated on the things around him, but also looking forward. The development of new technologies is really the part of the future, and the motorcycle is an essential part of high-tech inventions.

  • Jim

    We can differ on what contemporary motorcycles will be future classics, but the Hinckley Triumph Bonneville? A retro design intended to pull at the heartstrings of baby boomers. Weird

  • dobbs

    Everybody loves to hate on Harley riders, but say something about the douchey kind of guy that just might read this blog, and all of a sudden it’s controversial.

    The problem isn’t that the CB750 sucks (it does in the right kinda way), or that hipsters shouldn’t ride them, but that fashion has turned what should be a mediocre/inexpensive/reliable bike into an overpriced piece of “vintage history” or a dime-a-dozen cafe racer.

    By the way, the next CB750 WILL be the SV650. No doubt in my mind. They too will be worthless and then “rediscovered” and finding an unmolested carb’d model will be the “sand cast” of mid 21st century.

    —–d

  • jason

    Mule, I always appreciate your comments on here, especially because you’re a real craftsman, making impeccable work, in your own unique niche.

    stephen pate – you come across in this as nothing more than a colossal asshole that backtracks on his shittalking as soon as you catch a whiff of negative reaction. you’d rather walk with a vincent spoke? please. no real fan of motorcycles would ever spit out such ridiculous hyperbole.

    the argument about an italian/brit/whatever mechanic somehow putting more heart into a bike that a japanese engineer is nothing short of retarded. the difference seems to be that japanese engineers often had a far superior manufacturing/distribution/business machine behind them. i cant speak to italian bikes, never owned one. but there’s a reason everyone upgrades the ignition on a triumph twin. if that’s putting 100% of your heart into it, no thanks. i’d rather you put 100% of your goddamned brain into it, and make something that works all the time.

    finally, younger guys ride/customize/chop.cafe/whatever cb’s and similar simply because thats what they can afford. your average 26 year old is probably not at the point of being able to afford decent british iron, and is probably savvy enough to realize if he could, he’d have to keep pumping money into it, or at least buy a lot of expensive, hard to find parts and tools. entry level bike? ok. but i’d rather see 1000 guys go by having fun on cb750s than one pretentious ass go by on a vincent.

    nothing against vincents, theyre pure class. the point is riding bikes, not arguing about them.

  • http://www.restorationwerks.com Stephen Pate

    @ Jason Whoever :

    You’re absolutely right. I *am* a colossal asshole!
    I never ride either. I really don’t know anything about motorcycles to begin with. I’m not even sure how to spell Vincent (had to look it up just now).
    I’m not a ‘real fan of motorcycles’ at all. In fact, I hate them… they don’t occupy one minute of my life. I just have no time for them. Their a bunch of pointless crap. All of them.

    I am not backtracking on my shit talking. I said exactly what I meant. My hyperbole was not about Vincents and their spokes… but more what I was saying about the CB750, in fact (The Dixie Cup / Hello Kitty Vibrator of motorcycling, etc etc). The quote you so object to is often repeated to me by my mentor, legendary Vincent tuner, Big Sid. I’m sure you’re much much further along in your motorcycles than he is… so I’ll tell him you object. I’m sure he’ll care deeply and stop joking around about it right away.

    I would prefer seeing one real motorcyclist riding, than a 1000 guys having fun on their Hondas. Of course… I know how seeing 1000 men on Hondas must ‘excite you so’… and I’ll gladly let you have that little fantasy of yours, uninterrupted. Maybe they’ll even have tight jeans and mustaches… and you’ll get a ride?!

    Eeeee!!! Exciting!!!

    Love,
    The Colossal Asshole

  • jason

    you’re an excellent motorcycle mechanic and restorer. you’ve done great work. you’ve got a famous mentor. whatever.

    it’s a shame that you’re a total asshole. really casts a pallor on what you do.

    in addition, you’re a homophobe. There’s just no excuse for those type of comments. I hope any future clients you have see these comments. Great way to publicize your business, idiot.

  • Pamberjack

    @Sean “In my opinion (not that anyone cares) very few Japanese bikes can ever become classics. They have largely been plastic junk. They exhibit little design/engineering skill and they have always made way too many of them so that everyone can afford to have one. Most asian branded models do not display love for the creation of a fantastic machine”

    Wow. Where to start with a comment like that. I could write an essay on the misconceptions contained in that statement.

    In case you missed it, the Japanese re-invented the motorcycle in the 60s, using their “little design/engineering skills” to make bikes like the “plastic junk” Honda CB750 which was so far ahead of the competition at the time, Cycle magazine called it “the most sophisticated production bike ever”.

    How big was the impact that Japanese bikes made? It’s taken BMW from 1969 until THIS VERY YEAR to come up with the S1000RR – a bike that finally has managed to trump the Japanese domination of the sports bike market.

    I’d call you a troll, but I genuinely think you BELIEVE the crap you are spouting. My sympathies – it must be hard to like motorbikes and be that naive about their origins and history…

  • Stephen Pate

    @ Jason Whoever, Again.

    No… I’m not a great restorer/mechanic/whatever. Hardly. I’m still learning and probably always will be. Also, not at all a homophobe. Not even remotely close…so you couldn’t be more off-base there. But… you know… “nice try” on your part. It was a ‘cute’ attempt.

    As far as ‘a**hole’… that isn’t up to me to comment. I could think of worse things though. I guess you are assuming I actually care what you think? Right?

    If you don’t see the “humor” in what I am saying… than maybe it’s *you* that needs to lighten things up a bit. Unless your mother is, in fact, a CB750…. my insults should hold little weight. If she is, well then I sincerely apologize for being so insensitive. Wait….does this mean that you’re a CB360…. cause I f*ckin’ LOVE *you*… you’re *great*… it’s your mother that’s the over-rated ‘ride’ I am railing on about.

    Look…. it’s all opinions about disposable motorcycles, and only that. Like ‘em? Fine. Don’t? Great…. take a hike. See ya. I could care less either way… I’m not really looking to be ‘liked’ and for that matter… I sure as hell am not looking for more business. But, it’s again ‘cute’ how hard you tried.

    I sincerely wish you the best and am so sorry that I got your vagina all in a twist.

  • madvillan

    hello fellow enthusiasts

    Ive been following bike exif for a little while and after reading this fairly unremarkable interview(i was really just looking for pictures of motorcycles which i didn’t find!?) followed by a truly exhausting blah blah session, ive come to a few conclusions that trouble me a bit. And i think you should be concerned too. i get the sneaking feeling that these bitter old sages, this justin fellow included, are forcing vintage motorcycle culture(in the most generic sense) into the realm of bullshit macho subculture instead of nurturing the new generation.

    The way i see it, all these old dudes think they know what is authentic because they have an inmate relationship with phil vincent’s g-spot and what they say is disingenuous, is. Should the cb750 not be considered a classic because its not “british iron”? I think its pretty remarkable that no less that three japanese companies we’re able to build bikes that gave the anglo-saxon world a run for its money only 20 years after we regrettably dropped atomic bombs on their tiny island. pretty fucked up right. So I say who cares, history writes the rules and you nor i have any say in any outcome. I just really hope bike exit doesn’t do any more interviews with clothing store owners without showing a single shop photo of a bike because their story will fail in comparison, every time.

    as far as this pate person i feel sorry for you in a deep way, but soon too i will be a rich lame obsolete shop owner with a sappy story about the first time my triumph tickled my taint. for now i cannon be bothered what people think of other people.

    have a good weekend all!!!

  • Stephen Pate

    @Pamberjack :

    I might be ‘trolling’ more than him with my half-joking cb750 comments….. but hey… gotta stop for a second and comment….

    The Japanese absolutely did NOT “reinvent” the motorcycle in the 60′s.

    Wait a minute… I have to catch my breath… laughing too hard…. hold on…. OK… can breathe a little bit again. Wait……… nope…. still laughing to hard at that one.

    OK… I’m ‘back’.

    OK… so as far as what Cycle magazine said…. so what? Seriously! They, like a lot of journalists, were hugely swayed by numerous things… one of them being massive advertising dollars coming from Honda as everyone else was doing less and less…. they were struggling a bit like they are now. As I am sure you know… just because someone says something in writing, sure does *not* make it “so”. (I would include my own comments as well, of course).

    The Japanese, in the 60′s… were STILL copying British machines… over and over again. Pick up a book… you’ll see clearly. I admit, after producing many many awful machines, they finally got a couple right. I would not call the cb750 one of them. What they *did* do, is bring a bunch of technology reserved for more exotic machines (discs, 4cyl, etc), to a low cost, mass production offering. THAT… they did. Unequivocally. No argument… they were (and are) brilliant at that. No question. Soon after, in the 70′s, they really DID start changing things by bringing technology developed for racing to the same mass produced affordable machines. In the process… they also developed a ton of innovative ideas. BUT….many of them, from chassis design to cast wheels… were designed and developed by……wait for it….. waaaaaait… the f’en British!!! Don’t think so? Start doing your homework and look up the Harris Brothers…. and Peter Williams for a start. That will keep you busy for a while, and you’ll really enjoy it if you don;t know about it already. Both of those examples, well studied, will change your mind about what the Japanese have ‘actually’ done during the 60′s, 70′s and even 80′s when it comes to their innovative offerings.

    I understand that, for most people… this is merely a hobby, and they are not interested in investing the time it takes to really *know* anything about this. Understand that. NO problem with that, at all. But… let’s not start stroking off the japanese and quoting ‘journalists’ blindly. I mean…. I’m all for stroking off the Japanese… whenever possible. I mean… you know, they’re so polite and grateful. Makes the hand cramps almost worth it.

    As far as your BMW comment….

    Hold on…Wait a minute… I have to catch my breath… laughing too hard…. hold on…. OK… can breathe a little bit again.
    Whew. Man… thanks for that. I needed that.

    OK… so… I don’t even know where to start with you on that subject.
    My suggestion… start reading about the history of racing.
    Also… you need to take into account the other areas where BMW has excelled beyond that Japanese. It was never their agenda to beat them racing. In the 30′s, 40′s, 50′s and 60′s… where they still were winning regularly… their build quality was still a solid light year ahead of the Japanese. Have you ever had something like a mid-60′s /2 apart on the bench next to something from the mid 70′s from Japan? There is no contest… the BMW’s build quality in incomparable. Also… most of those BMWs are STILL in service, unlike a lot of the Japanese machines built then. Numbers more than support this, not just my opinion…. which has little value to begin with, admittedly. Also… BMW continues to support all their machines, unlike the Japanese. So, parts are available for the future the BMWs… one reason they are still on the road, they were not meant to be disposable. The Japanese absolutely DO design obsolescence into their products.

    BMW has always been ‘able’ to develop a faster machine… and they did make many fast ones… but their corporate design philosophy is geared towards something else. I don’t think they ever found a need to build some ‘go-fast’ bike like the Japanese did. They kinda got racing out of their system…. having won so much in the past. The Japanese were really just getting started internationally then… and had that hyperactive teenager will to race. And I do not fault them for it… glad they did!

    Shiiiiiit… just thinking, offhand…. that in early and mid 1970s… Laverdas were faster and had far better overall build quality than most the Japanese machines… it’s just that here in the US, we never heard about them much… and they were obscenely expensive compared to any Japanese machine. Admittedly. Kinda of like the MVs or the Benelli 6, etc.

    Since you are claiming Sean’s ignorance of history…. I suggest, very respectfully, that you re-examine your own knowledge in as well. I have to read allll the time to keep up…. and don’t claim to know much about anything.

    This has been fun. In all seriousness. It’s interesting to see what people are thinking about this stuff.

  • madvillan

    hello fellow enthusiasts

    Ive been following bike exif for a little while and after reading this fairly unremarkable interview(i was really just looking for pictures of motorcycles which i didn’t find!?) followed by a truly exhausting blah blah session, ive come to a few conclusions that trouble me a bit. And i think you should be concerned too. i get the sneaking feeling that these bitter old sages, this justin fellow included, are forcing vintage motorcycle culture(in the most generic sense) into the realm of bullshit macho subculture instead of nurturing the new generation.

    The way i see it, all these old dudes think they know what is authentic because they have an inmate relationship with phil vincent’s g-spot and what they say is disingenuous, is. Should the cb750 not be considered a classic because its not “british iron”? I think its pretty remarkable that no less that three japanese companies we’re able to build bikes that gave the anglo-saxon world a run for its money only 20 years after we regrettably dropped atomic bombs on their tiny island. pretty messed up right. So I say who cares, history writes the rules and you nor i have any say in any outcome. I just really hope bike exit doesn’t do any more interviews with clothing store owners without showing a single shop photo because they’re story fails in comparison.

    as far as this pate person i feel sorry for you in a deep way, but soon too i will be a rich lame obsolete shop owner with a sappy story about the first time my triumph tickled my taint. for now i cannon be bothered what people think of other people .

    have a good weekend all!!!

  • http://www.motofuji.net Barron

    How can you say my F650 GS is “uncool”!? She’s a beauty…. ok well.. not really. Ugly duckling I suppose. Maybe I should get a second bike?

  • Stephen Pate

    @madvillan :

    My god… that was funny. Whew!!!!!!
    I’m gonna have to steal the ‘phil irving’s g-spot’ and ‘triumph tickled my taint’ lines. Brilliant. Seriously. Brav-O!

    Yeah… I’m not sure what this ‘new generation’ you speak of is. Where is it? What are “you kids” doing? Nothing that I can see other than building up a bunch of “custom’ bullshittery, and pretending to know what the hell you’re doing! Now… get off my f*cking porch or I’ll sick my dog on you.

    But seriously…. where are “you”… this mysterious “new generation”? What are you doing that “we” old folks should be paying attention to? So far…. you’re *worse* than the Harley riders out there. At *least* there is a segment of the retarded Harley culture that rides their machines cross country regularly. Just cause you own a motorcycle, sure as hell does not make you a motorcyclist.

    And as far as Justin and I being ‘old sages’… what are you… a f*cking sperm?
    We’re both ‘kids’ in this game, comparatively.

    I do agree…. the interview is a bit lacking. There is a lot going on with Justin that isn’t even asked about here. The machines he builds for movies being one of the more fascinating subjects.

    And I don’t give 2-shits about “british iron”… whatever the hell that is.
    I dig on Italian machines mostly.
    I make my living with other machines, and love them too… just not what I am ‘crazy’ about.

    You wrote… “no less that three japanese companies we’re able to build bikes that gave the anglo-saxon world a run for its money only 20 years after we regrettably dropped atomic bombs on their tiny island”.

    OK “kid”… what were those machines in 1965?
    (they were bombed in 1945… just in case your school books aren’t handy, or you suck at math, not *just* history). You wanna dance with the old men, Sonny… you better bring some knowledge. Name the bikes. Shit… just name ONE.

    Haha!
    No…. Seriously. Let’s hear it, stud. What was this mythical unicorn of a motorcycle you speak of?
    I can only think of ONE that *might* qualify… and it sure as hell was not giving anyone a “run for thier money”.

    I sincerely thank you for your ‘condolences’. It’s so nice to be felt sorry for.
    I’m going to go suffer away working on restoring motorcycles while you fold shirts at Abercrombie. Meanwhile, let’s see what you’re building right now that anyone should be interested in.

    Seriously…. those ‘irving & taint’ lines were massively brilliant. I thank you for that.

  • pete

    Another west coast wanker selling to the trendy hipster masses

  • madvillian

    oh my god you’re so frustrating! i am smiling however… in a way i really respect you for taking a stance, but you’re doing exactly what i just described and your totally missing the irony! you’re turning old hunks of metal into some sort of macho know-it-all game. and you even called it a game! blaze orange italian motorcycle are like 1000 points. siht man you definitely won double points for mentioning that old trick up the sleeve… but what do you know about the old imz ural M35s? really, i never realized old motorcycles could be so unwelcoming.

    and what i mean by the new generation, are all the nieve newcomers some of whom will continue your tireless work(im speaking with total sincerity here by the way). they might be young or old but they will be ucking up a lot of siht before they get it right. Im talking hipsters, corporate collared shirt guys, fat dudes with abe lincoln beards, blond girls, new jersey shore bros whoever. i dont know who itll be next. i just really wish you could remember the time you were naive to it all, which im sure you were, and cut us all a little slack!

    and yes, i am practically sperm. everywhere i go i seem to be the youngest, especially when motorcycles are involved.

    …and ok 25 years, 30 years whatever. i don’t really care actually, its all just stuff and clearly you have way more invested in this than i do. i just don’t understand where all the judgment is coming from. you seem like you know enough about you’re field to be confident enough not feel the need to blindly judge others.

  • madvillian

    has anyone yet mentioned how functional the mustache is when wearing a helmet? it makes total sense when you’er in a state that helmet laws.

    im not condoning, im just say’en

  • http://www.restorationwerks.com Stephen Pate

    @ Pete (2nd one) : I don’t think the trendy hipster masses shop at Glory, honestly… and for some reason you guys don’t seem to realize he has a service garage as well. But… “OK then”.

    @madvillian : Ha! No no… no ‘macho know it all game’… not at all. It’s not about that what-so-ever… and I don’t really like that whole pomposity. However… if someone comes across with some bold statement, I feel they should be prepared to back it up. I am… whether I am right or wrong about it… with mine. I’m not “right” all the time… not even close… and I am FAR from knowing it all. I DO like engaging debate about such things… and all is said in fun. Unfortunately… some people think motorcycles are like religion or politics… and take it all WAY too seriously. I called it a “game” as general parlance for “business”.

    The Cossack! Ural…. a staple of Eastern European civilization. Somehow… they are all over the place there…. they’re pretty damn resourceful in Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, etc… and *will* keep that stuff running come hell or high water (literally). God bless ‘em! I love their sidecars, especially one with the driven wheel. So fun.

    New generation… new-comers. I don’t see them yet, frankly.
    Wellllllll…. I seriously doubt that this next generation of people are going to give a crap about all this stuff… Vincents, Broughs, Laverdas… the ‘exotica’, etc. It’s the mid-30′s to mid-40′s guys that are going to carry that stuff forward next… and I would not be surprised to see a lot of interest die out in the next 20 years. Sad but true. There is about to be a HUGE shift in the ownership of a lot of this stuff… combined with one of the largest transfers of wealth in US history as the baby-boomers pass-on and their kids inherit. It will be very very interesting to see what happens in the next 5 to 10 years because of all that. My fear is that the majority will look at all this stuff as “investments” and never ride it… the worst thing for the motorcycles. I can’t stand when people do that. The only really good decision I can say I made when I started doing this as a ‘job’ was to not customers who do not actively *ride* their bikes…. and that is very limiting for a customer base. There are not many guys willing to ‘risk it’ hauling ass, using their machine as intended on a half million dollar motorcycle, etc. Pretty ‘rare air’. Kinda limits my potential… but in turn… I really love what I do and the customers I have. Could not ask for anything better in that regard.

    There really is NO “judgement”… except for on the historical significance and real world usability of the Honda CB750. Motorcycles, I can judge… people, I can’t. It’s *just* messing around… nothing more really. I find this all interesting.

  • Stephen Pate

    @ Madvillian : By the way… I think that the only Japanese machine in 1965 that was a real signal of things to come was the Honda 305 variations. Love those bikes…. as did Massimo Laverda… so much he outright copied the look for his 650 twin that would become the 750gt, 750s… and later the Laverda SFC. He also had a BMW r69s and a Vincent Black Shadow…. all of which he ‘borrowed’ ideas from. The center stand off the BMW was copied for use on the twin and triple…etc.

    My girl has a Honda Dream 305…. and would love to have a matching scrambler for me for around town! Great machines… and gorgeous.

  • Sorrytryagain

    Stephan Pate, If your are what the bike scene is about, I am trading my bike in for roller-blades.

  • Stephen Pate

    @Sorrytryagain : Oh, you mean the fixed gear “bike scene”? I’m not aware of any other “bike scene”. Sorry. Have fun on your skates!

    ;-)

  • Pamberjack

    @Stephen Pate

    Ok – let me just surmise your long-winded ramblings into something more intelligible.

    1. “The Honda CB750 was an average bike made famous by marketing dollars and ripped-off ideas.”

    Sure. That’s why it’s in the AMA hall of fame. Who’s wrong – you, or the world’s journalists, Wikipedia and the AMA?

    2. “BWMs have great build quality.”

    Genius. Take you long to figure that one out?

    3. “70s Laverdas were faster and had far better overall build quality than most the Japanese machines.”

    1970s Laverdas were delicate, oil-dripping prima donnas. Great build quality stands for nothing when the bike falls apart and fails to start.

    4. “I don’t claim to know much about anything.”

    What? You don’t? Sorry – I mistook your numerous, lengthy responses as you expressing an intelligent opinion. I’ll ignore anything you say from now on.

    P.S. Your abuse of the ellipsis is as extraordinary as it is mind-numbingly repetitive. Here’s the wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipsis. Please, for the sake of the English language, read it.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris

    I’m closing the comments on this post. It’s getting tedious.