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Motorcycles As Art?

Buzz Kanter Columns Harley Magazine Blog This Months Column

Motorcycles As Art?

Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter
Shifting Gears with Buzz Kanter


SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

I really enjoy the growing number of talented
photographers in the motorcycle industry

I can’t be the only one who views motorcycles as a wide-open form of rolling art. Sure, a great motorcycle is designed to carry you from one place to another. But aren’t they so much more than that? I love this line I saw on a T-shirt: “A car moves the body, but a motorcycle moves the soul.” My requirements of a motorcycle include dependability, functionality, and form. If it’s not dependable enough to get from Point A to Point B, it’s not for me. I need it to function well and not be a problem to operate. And I want a bike to look good, whether it’s parked or going down the road.

I consider moto photographers special people, as it’s their job to find and record these rolling sculptures so we can then share them in print and online. I really enjoy the work of the growing number of talented photographers in the motorcycle industry. Often working long hours for little compensation or fame, these men and women have a keen eye for design, angle, and light.

And they have to have real passion for motorcycling. You’ll recognize the names: Jim Dohms, Don Kates, Michael Lichter, Dino Petrocelli, Pam Proctor, Don Rogers, and Mark Velasquez.

One of the pioneers in motorcycle photography as art has to be Michael Lichter. Combining a keen eye, nonstop energy, and the knack for being at the right place at the right time, Michael has been recording and documenting the motorcycle lifestyle for decades. In addition, he loves to promote the culture. Every year he partners up with Woody at The Chip in Sturgis to curate a show combining handcrafted motorcycles and more traditional motorcycle-related art during the Sturgis Rally.

This year’s show is called Passion Built—Garage to Gallery. The free show is hosted at the Buffalo Chip Event Center near the East Gate. It will be open August 4-10. Described as a “one-time collection of professional-quality custom motorcycles built by passionate non-pros who are driving this industry,” I expect it will be as impressive and interesting as all the others in the past. I know it’s a long time out, but if you plan to be at this year’s Sturgis Rally & Races, this is a must-see event.

Expansion into video
I like to think our team has a pretty good handle on the print motorcycle media. We pack in a lot of material publishing this magazine every four weeks (13 issues a year) and our all-tech and DIY American Iron Garage (bimonthly) plus our annual American Iron Salute. So, you might ask, what is American Iron doing in the digital space? Glad you asked. In addition to our AIMag.com web page and American Iron Magazine Facebook page, we launched something online that you might enjoy.

In mid-February, we created the American Iron Videos Facebook page. Basically, it is a fun and free way to share your family-friendly videos related to American motor-cycles. Right from the first day many of you shared some great videos. Events, rides, tech and how-to, cool customs, classic bikes, and more. In full color with sound—something we can’t do in print.

I feel our team does a great job sharing the kind of editorial you want and expect. And we are always looking for ways to improve. So, I see this expansion into the new Facebook page as an innovative way for all of us to share our experiences and stories with others. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.


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