The Stinger and I are featured with our bikes in the “Custom Dojo” section of the Jan. 2006 issue of Mr. Bike.
(I’m on the bottom left with my Softail, Stinger’s on the bottom right with his Zephyr.)
Not the most flattering pictures, but the bikes look cool, which is what’s important, right?
This is far from the first time we’ve been in Japanese biker mags, and far from the biggest feature we’ve been in. What’s unusal about this time is that it had nothing to do with this site. A reporter from Mr. Bike had come to the Club SPLENDOR Hirayu Camp knowing that there would be plenty of custom bikes to take pictures of, and getting gaijin was just an exta bonus. The others on that page are friends from SPLENDOR, including the Stinger’s lovely wife Yuka.
Having this site has brought us a lot of attention over the years, from TV appearances both on Japanese TV and on BBC cable’s “Mary Anne’s Bikes”, to several magazine articles about us, and we even ended up writing an essay for the Japanese Harley mag Vibes. The shots we use on our top page and our about page were from a photoshoot for a Vibes article.
The best thing has been getting mail from bikers all over the world. Just yesterday I got an email from a guy in Brazil politely requesting that I ship him some official Gaijin Bikers in Japan decals (which don’t exist, of course. Is there really a market for Gaijin Bikers merch?) There are also strange things like when some guy linked to us a few weeks ago with only the cryptic comment “Hmmm…” I can only assume he was relating us to his previous post about “dasai gaijin” and calling us deeply uncool, but I can’t really get angry at a guy who’s been touched by the noodly appendage.
It’s also always nice to go to rallies and have bikers we’ve never met treat us like longtime friends because they feel like they know us from the site.
It’s a lot more attention than we deserve for simply living our chosen lifestyle in a country we love, but it’s damn good for the ego.