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Archive for February 9th, 2010

Lynn Ashcroft - Ashcroft Motorcycles

Ashcroft Motorcycles opened its doors in Salem, Oregon back in 1995.

The shop is owned by Lynn Ashcroft who builds full custom “hot rod” oriented motorcycles and custom automobiles.  Joe Miller manages the shop on a day to day basis with a staff that varies between 4 and 6 individuals.

Mr. Ashcroft is also known as the honorable  Judge Lynn E. Ashcroft. However, he resigned his position this week on the Marion County bench in a one-sentence letter to the governor and Supreme Court chief justice under allegations of official misconduct.

Mr. Ashcroft has a colorful background and a lot more information is available on the Oregon State Bar web site.  According to the Statesman Journal, Ashcroft left the bench for personal reasons and to avoid a public battle to defend himself.  All of this surrounds a 2008 case, where Ashcroft made an unsympathetic remark to a defendant, Heather Parks, after he denied her court-appointed counsel.

Besides being a ‘hot rodder’ and custom motorcycle builder, Mr. Ashcroft is a former Brigadier General and served both on active duty in the United States Army and in the National Guard as an Armor Cavalry Officer, Infantry unit commander and a Judge Advocate General officer.  He was the senior partner in a law firm (Ashcroft & Wiles LLP) with offices in Salem and Portland, Oregon.  The bikes mix traditional motorcycle and “rodding” designs and components incorporating modern technology and ideas. Ashcroft began customizing motorcycles after purchasing his first Harley-Davidson in 1992 and modifying it to fit his own style. He began coming up with his own designs and taught himself how to weld, machine, and build them.  The custom-designed motorcycles have drawn national attention — having been featured in magazines such as The Robb Report, MotorCycling, Stuff and Easy Rider.

A Pendleton native, Ashcroft has an affinity for designing cool motorcycles and is well respected for his customization work.  The motorcycle community is better served with him working full-time on bike building.  If he needs another thrill ride, maybe he’ll decide to become an activist and help take on some of the motorcycle legal battles such as biker profiling?

Photo courtesy of Ashcroft Motorcycles and Statesman Journal

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Nick Jonas - Harley Clothing and H-D/Ford

Targeting younger buyers.  It’s not a news flash!

Harley-Davidson has been executing a number of marketing efforts aimed at 20-somethings from whom Harley is an aspirational brand.  The H-D SVP and CMO, Mark-Hans Richer, has pitched the brand to the young-rebel-with-tats ethos through attitude-enhanced ads, social media efforts, and lifestyle programs around counterculture happenings.  And Mr. Richer should know.  He used to head up marketing for General Motors’ defunct Pontiac brand until he left in 2007 to take on the marketing helm at H-D.

The result?  Like magnets, teenagers everywhere are attracted to the motorcycle counterculture lifestyle.  As proof positive the above photo is 17-year-old Nick Jonas (of Jonas Brothers fame) who coordinated his clothing with a Harley-Davidson Special Edition Ford truck and a matching Harley-Davidson sweatshirt while he refuels his vehicle.  OMG!  Like the best band evah, like who knew that, like Nick pumping his own gas would be like such a hawt H-D fashion statement?!  Clearly a Jonas Brothers haircut is more devious that we first thought. Is this priceless H-D advertising for the younger generation or should youthful motorcycle fans across the nation be sickened?   I wonder if Harley marketing had a hand in the fashion wear for this almost 20-something motorcycle magnet.  Hey when you’ve got it, you got it!

In a conference room on West Juneau Avenue I can see it now.  A Jonas Brothers concept motorcycle.  A Jonas Brother movie, with H-D product placements where Nick as an orphaned teenager along with his hipster dog set out to save the planet on a Dark Custom when all the land is in ruins.  Harley will ask the Jonas Brothers to rename their next album and call it the Milwaukee Daydream.  Huh?  Is this what they mean by Harley-Davidson fandom?  Nick will probably have a couple of unanswered questions like “Where is Milwaukee?” and “What are motorcycles?”, but hey try and enjoy yourself and have fun with that choreographed in a self-important, “I’m so cool!” kind of thing you do.

Forty years ago, if you worked hard and saved your pennies, you too could live the life of the rich and famous, if only for a night, or a weekend.  Now the gulf between the worlds of the rich and the poor, between the haves and the have-nots, is so vast as to seem uncrossable, and the public is upset.  Not only right wing Tea Party members, but left wing Democrats.  How did we get such a raw deal?  It’s about jobs and foreclosures, stupid!  How did Obama and his minions get it so wrong?   But, I’ve digressed.

Back to Nick, his hair cut and this manufactured hipness script.  I’m not really the kind of person to get caught up in the latest trends or fashions.  Some days, I’ll wear a black t-shirt and then other days it’s a white one.  The media has trumped up the Jonas Brothers.  The industry said they were above criticism, because they were getting kids to come to their shows.  But can you name one Jonas Brothers hit?  I can’t.

Music or not, seeing Harley-Davidson with Nick Jonas stresses out my “Tolerability Index.”

Photo courtesy GSI Media and Just Jared

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