There's a post over in another forum about gasoline and the post features a chooper that seems to have brought alot of "custom bike" hate.
I won't speak for others in this forum, but I know as a child, bikes like Harley choppers, Honda "DIY" Choppers, basket-case rebuilds, patched together Yamahas, Nortons (learned on it, rode it into a corn field), Police HD and Kawasaki's, and Triumphs. all influenced me to ride from age 14 on. I had an uncle who was Red/White, and I loved the suicide choppers they rode. I was lucky that as a Navy brat, I saw many, many home built bikes and builders who taught me so much about maintaning and customizing. And these men and women also introduced me to racing, the European and American tracks, and fast bikes. Yes, met lots of idiots
along the way, but aren't bad influences just as important as the good ones? I wouldn't give one bad ride I've ever had for a year of good work days.
Fact is, I'm a better rider because I learned from others. My time on a HD Sportster made me never want to ride a "hard tail" again; Old Indians taught me the value of bags and floorboards; that lesson on a Norton would lead me to find a Royal Enfield in Missouri, one of my favorite all-time bikes; and yes, my uncle (who left the Angels and became a brake and Signalman, and retired fireman) has been a life long model of a gentle, strong man, who embraces his past, good and bad.
I know others on this forum grew up amung these fatal beauties, would love to hear your stories.....