Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Form vs Function Rant

This rant is derived from my personal opinion of most custom motorcycles shows...

I'm all for artistic expression in the creation of ground up builds. In fact, I believe it is a critical aspect of developing ones style as a builder and craftsman.  But as a builder where do you draw the line between artistic form and engineered function?  It is my opinion that there is no line if the build is to be considered a motorcycle.  The artistic form of the build must absolutely follow the engineered function of a motorcycle... You have to build a bike first!!! If function is thrown out the window in lieu of artistic expression then we are simply visual artists constructing metal sculptures. If someone wants to construct a metal art piece that exaggerates the form of a motorcycle while departing from its function the way Pablo Picasso painted content while departing from visual form, then by all means misalign the wheels, build a frame with no downtubes, engrave every inch of metal, and leave the fluids out. Then, Stick it in an art gallery like MoMA (not a motorcycle show) and call it what it is. An impressionistic representation and an exaggeration in form... Go ahead and be an artist, but don't call yourself a builder if you cant build a bike that rides straight hands free at 100mph!!!!!!


  1. Good stuff Will. Well said. No get back to work on your Batman Bike!

  2. amen. and don't buy jeans with grease and tears already in them

  3. The first thing I did when I chopped my bike was ride it with no hands. If it didn't ride straight, I would have started over. Of course Standing on the seat and surfing it down a quarter mile track says a lot about the ridability of a 10 over front end with 5 inches up on the downtubes and 2 inches out under the tank. I think I will go for a ride on my art now.