My Two Cents
As I write this column toward the end of October, I’ve been watching a lot of the Discovery Channel since it’s been re-airing the original Biker Build-Off (BBO) episodes in their entirety. It’s been fun reminiscing to the early 2000s when the show aired, reflecting on a time when the motorcycle industry boom was in full swing; motorcycle sales were good, rally attendance was huge, and bikers were living the good life.
When the first BBO episode aired in 2002 featuring the dark, mysterious Billy Lane against wild and fantastical bike builder Roger Bourget, chopper enthusiasts flocked in droves to see what the two gentlemen with opposite styles would create. The series became a hit as a result with a five-year run and more than 40 episodes pinning the crème de la crème of metal sculptors up against each other vying for bragging rights of the coveted Biker Build-Off champion for each episode. The BBO series eventually tapered off and fell by the wayside in 2007. I’m not sure as to the reason behind the show’s demise, but maybe it jumped the shark. Maybe it exhausted the search for the next up-and-coming bike builders (multiple repeat builders featured throughout the years). Either way, I’m guessing that ratings were down, so Discovery pulled the plug. Or maybe it was because Discovery wanted to focus more on its other brainchild, American Chopper. Maybe Discovery felt the demented and kooky Teutuls’ antics and constant drama were more entertaining. We obviously know what happened there, American Chopper became a giant success. However, I’m much more interested in watching some friendly competition between builders than watching a family unravel before the viewing public while building irrelevant bikes for white-collar corporations that will never be ridden.
But in the spirit of competition, American Chopper will be airing two build-off episodes live from Las Vegas where the Teutuls (Sr. and Jr.) go up against West Coast Choppers founder Jesse James on December 5 and 6 on the Discovery Channel. Even though those two episodes will have already aired by the time you read this, my hope is that some kind of bike-building competition show resurfaces as a result. It was, and is, good for this industry.
Bye for now…