The old saw about shiny stuff certainly holds weight, but for pure chopper euphoria, nothing pops like good old-fashioned chrome. Flakes, flames, mattes, scallops and myriad other fads and fashions come and go like lazy friends on moving day, but chrome always manages to keep its seat at the head of the class.
What exactly holds the key to chrome's allure? From a fiscal perspective, today's tab for a full rack of triple-dipped gizmos can exceed the price of a good engine rebuild, and trumps powdercoating every time. No, if money were a factor, we'd all be riding rattle-canned CB750s.
Is it because chrome is practical? Practical for cotton-fisted OCD dirtophobes, perhaps, but if you prefer to ride your bike instead of merely polishing it, even chrome can be a bear to shine.
My guess is, our modern obsession with chrome stems from the finish's cost during chopperdom's Golden Age. I don't know this for sure, but I'd bet chrome was cheap in the 1960s. The Nixon Administration didn't launch the EPA intil 1970. Before then, chromers from Sacto to San Diego dipped rusty bike bits with impunity and poured the effluvia down the storm drain. This toxic soup did a number on California's coastline, but who cares? When your choices are curb appeal or a boat full of mutant tuna, any self-respecting chopper freak will choose DMF every time.
Thanks to Foundry Moto for letting us shoot their shiny shovel at Phoenix HQ.