Hello Scrambler

arun-hello-scrambler***Note*** Sean MacDonald of Cycle World, formerly of Jalopnik, asked me to write an article for the MotoCorsa (Portland, OR) custom Ducati Scrambler build.  He published it as a Q&A to showcase the shop’s sense of humor and it went over very well with his readership!

Here is the original published page: http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/youve-never-seen-a-custom-bike-like-this-hello-kitty-th-1756050313


First thing first: Why?

Because motorcycling is inherently a spirited lifestyle which tends to draw in the outlaw, color-out-of-the-borders, free spirit side of those of us who pay our dues by riding in the hectic world of day-to-day commuting. Yes, it’s a choice for most of us but no part of it dictates that it ought to be a boring one.  While we understand the innately attractive draw of the shiny black paint atop mounds of chrome powered by super-turbo-nitro shot fire breathing engines, we also completely get the desire to stand the fuck out.

That’s our specialty: standing out.

Why pink? Because fuck you; that’s why.  Have you seen the visceral reactions the bike gets from everyone, both good and bad?  It’s mouth-watering.  We’ve seen people give it the thumbs up and seen people flip it the bird.  Good! We like it that way! Your matching Klim gear mounted on top of the latest ADV-SUV asphalt guzzler gets lost in a sea of knobby tires while our beloved Hello Scrambler stands out like a pink beacon of hope that there’s still a chance you can be a rebel on a motorcycle.

Arun Sharma, the leader of this motley crew at MotoCorsa had the idea of a pink bike, first.  It got shit-canned as soon as it was suggested, too.  That’s how neck-deep most of us were in the shiny/carbon fiber/titanium/black paint mindset.

“Let’s do plaid surfaces with organic sustainable paints and rubber made out of reused rubbers that were once recycled” or so the suggestion polls went in the initial meetings.  The idea of making a bike look as Pacific Northwestern as possible was tossed around for a week or two.  Then it seemed boring.

“Let’s do a hill climber! That’ll do it!” “Let’s do a side-car rig!” and so it went on and on, in circles. Arun stood by, watching the hurricane of brainstorms clash and smash our heads back and forth until it came full circle back to the pink bike.  There was a bit of worry about the motorcycling community pulling a full on Frankenstein story, regaled with pitchforks and fires ready to burn us down the ground for defacing the very dream of motorcycling, by painting a Ducati pink!

There were many late night after work hours which were contributed by the boys and girls of the parts and service department along with their better half partners who contributed to every single detail.  Ultimately, we wanted the Scrambler to look like it was designed by a committee board of a major toy manufacturer that wanted it to be sales-ready at the local Toys R Us and we hit that nail right on the head.  A customer walked in with his 2 year old little girl and she lit up and ran to it and just HAD to climb up on the thing.  She loved the loud squeeze horn on the handlebar and the training wheels on the back and everything she came into contact with on the bike.

I think there’s a long line of CorsaCrew who want to ride the thing.  We all have aspirations of grandeur on the bike.  One wants to do a rolling burnout.  One wants to wheelie it up and down the fashionable NW 23rd St in Portland’s shopping district.  One wants to ship it out to Florida, this coming March, and take it to Daytona Bike Week.

Mostly, we all want to be around it because it gets such strong reactions from every single pair of eyes that lay on it. It’s an ice and mold breaker and, in typical MotoCorsa and Arun fashion, it blew everyone’s idea of what a motorcycle ought to look and behave like out of the water and that’s exactly what we were trying to achieve.  So, while everyone else touts high-power, low weight machines that dazzles the wanna-be cool guys out there, we are making the true believers giggle and the non-believers shake their heads in ridicule – and isn’t that exactly what motorcycling has always been about?  Nonconformity!

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