Answer: When I do it, I think about the history of American motorcycle design, how the original designs were developed, how the new designs are designed. In particular, I think of the way this American motorcycle was created to perform well on the racetrack and to be as competitive as possible.
Q: Where did you get your knowledge about motorcycles?
A: I’ve always been interested in motorcycles since I was a child. When I went to California a lot of my friends were riding motorcycles. That led me to the American Motorcycle Museum. When I was a teenager, I went there to read a lot of motorcycle magazines. The Museum had one of the first display car sections in the US. Back then, there was only a handful of Japanese cars in San Francisco, so we thought the cars were neat, but not as cool as some American cars.
I was a teenager then, and my friends and I started gathering old motorcycles and putting together a library of motorcycles I can’t find in any American museum. My collection is probably the best motorcycle collection in the country. It’s not only from my garage, but from other people and people around the world. We had a couple of great collectors who were interested in collecting motorcycles and helped us out a lot. When we had our annual collection sale, there were a lot of classic American motorcycles that sold for upwards of a million dollars. This was the start of all that. Then I started collecting Japanese motorcycles back in the ’60s and ’70s.
Q: How does your collection compare to other American collections?
A: There was a very big difference between me and any other collector back in the 1960s and ’70s, when I got involved in collecting motorcycles. Then, American motorcycle collecting was very different than it is today. You couldn’t be an amateur collector at all, because there were no auctions.
The only way to sell your motorcycles was to find a buyer who was willing to pay more money than what you had for them, so if the buyers were people who were interested in buying the motorcycles out of their garage, it was a very expensive proposition. But the fact that Japanese dealers could also collect motorcycles became a huge advantage in the early ’70s. I think it was at that time that interest in Japanese motorcycles really began spreading in the US.
Q: How do you get your American motorcycles now?
A: We had two dealers that sold motorcycles to me before I could get