You’ll Need To Win The Lotto To Afford This Custom Bike

101452267-LJ-Gold_01_R1_RGB.530x298Lauge Jensen, the Denmark-based maker of customized motorcycles, recently sold what is believed to be the most expensive bike (of current production) ever.

“Goldfinger” recently sold to an unnamed buyer for $850,000.  The bike is gold plated, and covered with 250 diamonds totaling 7 carats.  The seat is crocodile skin and all the parts were individually “gold plated” by hand.

Lauge Jensen the man behind the excess says he’s working on a new bike that will easily top $1 million dollars in value.  “It’s going to have a lot of stones and diamonds,” he said. “We’re talking pretty wild stuff.  It’s a piece of jewelry on two wheels.”

We’re betting you won’t find this bike parked on Main Street in Daytona this week or Sturgis this summer.

Million Dollar Custom Bikes? I Ain’t Buying It

it's worth a millionAs editor of this esteemed fish wrapper, it’s my job to stay abreast on the trends in the motorcycle industry, and, believe me, staying abreast is a full time job with me, and one I thoroughly enjoy.

The only thing I like better is a well placed double entendre.

But, enough about me.

I wanna discuss the time I wasted…er.. spent recently watching Sturgis Motorcycle Mania on the Travel Channel.

To be fair, the production value of the episodes was and is outstanding. Produced by Big Fish Entertainment (Bethesda Maryland) the camera work and post production editing are as good as any I’ve ever seen, and frankly much better than anything I’ve been involved with.

But I guess what’s eating my cheese is the ridiculous hyperbole the producers insert into the story line as artificial drama in whatever event they’re taping.

A case in point was their coverage of one of the bike shows. To hype the importance of this show, and create artificial tension between the participants, the narrator says that the value of the winning bike could reach as much as “1 MILLION DOLLARS!”

It was at this point when I paused the DVR, went into my garage and retrieved my bullshit flag. It was obvious I was going to need it a lot during the next 45 minutes.

Admittedly I’m not the foremost authority on custom motorcycles, but even with my head stuck up my proverbial arse most of the time, I think I would’ve heard about builders spending less than $30k in parts and fabrication building show bikes, turning around and earning a cool million when they win this bike show.

With stakes that high the builders would be hiring 24 hour security guards and installing wireless cameras to watch their bikes when they sleep.

This wasn’t the only “contest” on the show that was hyped way beyond the realm of believability.

I suppose the target audience of these type shows isn’t middle aged motorcycle magazine editors.

I suspect these shows are aimed more toward the non-motorcycle riding viewer. Or at least the viewer who has heard the legend of Sturgis and fantasizes that one day he or she will have the funds to participate in what has become known as the “Greatest Motorcycle Show on Earth!”

My apologies to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus people for that blatant tag line rip-off.

But, truth be told the “Sturgis Experience” for lack of a better term is, for those who have yet to attend, the pinnacle of the motorcycle life.

The phrase “This year, I’m going to Sturgis” is to bikers what the phrase “This year, I’m going to Vegas” is to hard core gamblers.

Those motorcycle riders who live as much for the lifestyle as the ride, see Sturgis as the one “must do” destinations before they die.

It’s a desire I completely understand.

There are very few opportunities for working stiffs such as you and I to participate in “epic adventures.”

That’s part of the mystique of the Black Hills Rally. Even if you’re not interested in the gratuitous nudity, the easy to find debauchery, or the simply weird beyond biker weird, travelling to Sturgis promises so much more.

Endless miles of breathtaking scenery. Endless miles of prairies, bisected with mountains wrapped with ribbons of blacktop that are as close to motorcycle riding heaven as you’re likely to see this side of dirt.

Add to it the distance involved just to get there and you have the perfect recipe for a bucket list adventure worthy of wintertime daydreams, without all the made up drama.

Now that I think about it, the biggest prize in Sturgis isn’t winning some bike show, or burnout contest, and there’s not drama involved. The most valuable prize is the experience.

And, as we all know, it’s the things we do, not the things we have, that nourish our soul the most, no drama needed.

Until next time, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled

Justin Brings Cowboy Style To Motorcycle Riding

by: Scott Cochran, Editor

Whenever I start out to write a product review I like to do a little research on the company.  As most of you know, Justin Boots are headquartered in Fort Worth Texas.  Founded by H.J. Joe Justin in Gainsville Texas (now a suburb of Dallas/Ft. Worth) the company started to grow it’s mail order business in 1897 when Joe’s wife, Annie developed a kit that allowed customers to self-measure their own feet.  The Justins distributed the kits far and wide to the ranches and dusty cow-towns in the southwest.  In 1925 the company moved to Ft. Worth and by 1947, sales reached $1 million dollars!

The name Justin became synonymous with quality boots and in 1968. merged with Acme Brick Company to diversify into the building supply market changing it’s name to Justin Industries.   In 1990, Justin Industries bought out Tony Lama Boots.  With the housing boom in the US, profits in the brick division soared and attracted attention from Warren Buffett.  In 2000, Buffett wrote a check for $600 million dollars and Justin Industries joined GEICO, DAiry Queen and See’s Candy as a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

The popularity of Western boots has faded some in recent years, but within the motorcycle culture there remains a core group of riders who love the look and feel of these boots, but honestly, I’m not one of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I like “cowboy” boots, and own a few pairs, but I don’t ride with them.

When PR group from Justin Boots invited me to try a pair for free I figured I didn’t have anything to lose.  I’d owned a pair a few years ago, but since those were not waterproof, I’d never used them for riding.

To make my choice, I surfed over to justinboots.com.  Before checking the style of boots I would get, I read up a bit on boot making and learned that it takes more than 100 steps and 16 square feet of leather to produce a pair of Justin boots. If you’re interested, visit the site and watch the short video on boot construction.  You’ll be amazed at how much “hand craftsmanship” remains in a Justin boot.

I was disappointed the site doesn’t have a “motorcycle” specific  link, (an obvious oversight and one I hope is corrected soon) so I headed into the work boot section, and clicked the “steel toe” subcategory. (I figured having a little extra protection for my piggies is a good thing.)

With 80 different boots in this section alone, choosing a style is a little overwhelming.  Undaunted, I settled on a boot from the Stampede collection,  Style # WK4692, black oiled steel toe, pull on boot.

Part of what sold me on this model was Justin’s new J-Flex Flexible Comfort System built into the sole of the boots. We’ve all had the experience of buying a new pair of boots and suffering through the first few weeks or even months of stiffness while “breaking” in the boots.

With the J-Flex system, of leather-covered cushioned insole and the triple density insole board, I’d been promised the boots would be as comfortable as a well-worn pair right out of the box.  And the uppers on the WK4692 are guaranteed  waterproof.  It was a claim I’d wind up validating several times during the month-long test.

With my style selected, I sent the PR group my size and sat back and waited.  As it worked out, I had scheduled a long weekend ride on a test bike and the boots arrived just in time to combine the two tests.   I was hoping the new J-Flex comfort system was more than just hype because I’d be spending 12 hours a day in these boots and having sore feet is unwelcome distraction during a new motorcycle test.

On the day of departure, I broke out the new Justin boots, slipped them on and proceeded to load the bike for the long weekend test.  My plan was to evaluate the boots while packing the bike.  If they were the least bit uncomfortable, I’d switch out to one of my other riding boots and postpone the test.

In 15 minutes I completely forgot about the boots until I made my first fuel stop.  I was so impressed with the comfort, I took a few minutes to jot down my thoughts.

The most comfortable boot out of the box I’ve ever worn. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear someone else had worn these boots for a couple of months before me, but there’s no mistaking that new boot smell. No noticeable heel slippage, but should have gotten a half-size smaller for summer wear, but will work great with thick winter socks.  Rounded toe looks more like a motorcycle boot than “cowboy boot.”  Biggest negative is the weight, as these boots are heavier than what I normally like to wear. (probably thanks to the steel toe)

The biggest plus for the boots is how it sheds water, on and off the bike.  During heavy rain and 70 mph riding, I didn’t detect any seepage.  Just to be sure I stood in ankle deep puddle for over a minute and my socks stayed completely dry.  The biggest complaint I have (other than the weight) is the lack of insulation in the boot.  These are definitely warm weather only boots.  When the temperature falls below 50, these boots seem to conduct the cold a little too much for comfort.  At $119.00 (on Amazon) these boots are not cheap, but should give you several years of riding comfort.