Additional: Silver, Pewter, and Purple


I as soon as purchased a motorbike by a web based public sale. It was in very good situation and wanted nothing however an oil change. To my eye, it was one of many ugliest paint jobs ever perpetrated on a motorcar and, maybe for that purpose, I used to be the one bidder and acquired it for a value that was a lot lower than any comparable mannequin. I couldn’t resist.

Thoughts you, it was well-done, costly work with silver, pewter, and purple geometric panels clearcoated on a burgundy base. The rectangle theme was on all vertical surfaces, from the entrance fender to the tank and the facet and high instances. Each time I checked out it, my mouth would pucker like I used to be sucking on a lemon, and I’d get an involuntary shudder all through my physique or recoil in horror.

For each motorbike, there’s a purchaser, together with Jack Armstrong’s $50 million Cosmic Starship Harley-Davidson V-Rod.

I loved the bike, however needed to sneak up on it with my eyes semi-closed and get within the saddle whereas making an attempt to keep away from really taking a look at it. The feng shui in my storage was nearly obliterated by this terrible testimony to another person’s unhealthy style. I toyed with many various concepts about what to do with it and methods to masks the grotesque paintings, however, ultimately, I did nothing.

Over the following couple of years, I not often rode it, and eventually put it up on the market to ship it again from whence it got here. Earlier than I listed it, I requested my spouse if she thought it was a good suggestion to repaint the bike to assist maximize my return. Helen’s recommendation is commonly glorious, and principally proper, although I’m the one who is meant to be the motorbike professional.

With out lacking a beat, she answered with one thing to the impact of, “Don’t hassle, simply promote it. Somebody will prefer it.” I listened and put the bike on a seven-day public sale. The value climbed slowly all through the week, and because the 12-hour-to-auction-end approached, the time at which I’d nonetheless cancel the sale, I wasn’t proud of the bid however allowed it to proceed.

Little did I do know, however a lot to my delight, the bidding would warmth up and magically bounce one other $1000 within the final hour. The ultimate bid was a few thousand {dollars} above ebook, and far more than I had paid or anticipated to obtain. To my shock, however not hers, when the customer from Utah referred to as me to make preparations for the switch, the very first thing Bob mentioned to me was, “I’m so completely happy I received. I really like that paint job.” I used to be, unusually for me, speechless.

One man’s ardour is one other man’s poison—or vice versa.

There’s a lesson to be realized right here, I believe. It’s not simply “don’t paint your car as a result of somebody, someplace, will prefer it.” To my thoughts, there’s a deeper which means.

I sense that it augers into our deep-seated notions of artwork and romance. Perhaps it’s the concept that this or that piece will full us as human beings. Maybe it’s the pleasing feeling that the design will convey out our innermost emotions of pleasure and well-being—one thing akin to the hope that this merchandise will make the customer extra enticing and really feel extra profitable.

Perhaps it was Bob’s notion of artwork and the way these silver, pewter, and purple geometric components touched his soul. My takeaway from the entire expertise is that whether or not it’s a bike, design, art-related, or something in-between, somebody, someplace, will prefer it.

This can be the explanation we see so many new bikes with odd design components, bizarre radiator wings, and wild traces. Designers, be extra assured in your product. Any person, someplace, is sure to love it. If not, I’ll offer you Bob’s telephone quantity.

This column initially appeared within the November/December 2015 situation of Final Motorcycling journal.



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