Last night was the season premiere of Cafe Racer TV, a half hour program dedicated to all things Cafe. The first season seemed to be a hit, not pleasing everyone, but doing as well as can be expected for a program involving subjective esthetics and fevered opinions about motorcycles. Unfortunately, last night, the first episode began with a segment highlighting a custom hot rod car builder named Bryan Fuller, taking a near pristine 1969 CB750 (highly sought after) and chopping the frame in half, in front of the original owner.
Instantly there were comments lighting up around the blogosphere, creating a fury about the nerve of a builder destroying a bike people would die for. It seems the common consensus was that with the amount of chopping this guy was doing, he could have used any rusted, abandoned bike, and still created what he was going for. I read some of the posts before watching the episode, and truly thought I would have a much more mellow reaction. I am no purist, by any stretch of the imagination, so I assumed that my attitude would be more forgiving.
Then I watched it… I have to say, I was more sad than pissed. Mostly due to the destruction was happening with the PO in the shop, looking on, as the cutting wheels came out, and the bike began to fall away. Also lamentable, was the fact that the way the show is edited, the completed build will not be seen until the next episode, so people were left wondering “why…oh why…” It turned out that even other builders were interviewed about Fuller’s decision, and all seemed to agree that chopping this particular bike, especially in front of the Previous Owner (PO), was a tragic move.
The segment rang as a cheap trick to me, and the producers must have known that the community at large would have something to say about it. That’s TV entertainment I guess. They did make a decent save, by following up the CB750 segment with one showcasing the talents of Dave Degens, the man behind Dresda Motorcycles, the legendary mechanic who has created some of the most amazing cafe and race bikes of the past 50 years, and continues to do so…