Yakking with Paul Yaffe at the Lone Star Rally
Saturday, November 6, 2010
We had the pleasure of meeting Paul Yaffe at the 2010 Lone Star Rally where we got the latest news on the Bagger Nation.
When you think of baggers, there’s one name that comes to mind first – Paul Yaffe
. Visionary, master engineer, artist, whatever title you want to give him, the man can transform a Harley-Davidson touring bike into a rolling work of art. Yaffe is the creative force behind Bagger Nation
, a massive parts and accessories catalog full of “big wheels, rake kits, Monkey Bars, stretched and slammed body work, pumping stereo components and racing exhaust.” But it’s more than just parts Yaffe sales. Bagger Nation is all about a lifestyle, and the lifestyle it promotes has a devout following.
Yaffe recently had the honor to build the Arizona Centennial Copper Chopper. The motorcycle was built to promote the 100th anniversary of Arizona’s statehood. The Copper Chopper will travel the state for 18 months along with an educational and Arizona history exhibit serving as an ambassador of motorcycle safety during various celebrations. The unveiling took place during the Arizona State Fair in conjunction with local radio station KSLX’s 1st Annual Bike Night and the Bret Michaels concert. According to Yaffe’s webpage, the Copper Chopper “is a piece of Arizona history generating a sense of pride amongst Arizonans and visitors for our independent spirit, ingenuity, love of the open road, and cultural/natural diversity.” Being a Phoenix resident, Yaffe was a natural choice for the project.
One look is all it takes to realize why they call this bike the Copper Chopper. Yaffe was recently commissioned to build the motorcycle in honor of the 100th anniversary of Arizona's statehood.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Yaffe in between talking shop with customers and signing autographs for fans at the 2010 Lone Star Rally where we asked him how Bagger Nation is doing. He answered with an enthusiastic “Unbelievable! We’ve been breaking sales records.” With all the negatives we’re accustomed to hearing over the past couple of years due to the economy, it was refreshing to hear somebody doing good for a change. It helps that the market he targets, baggers, has been riding a wave of popularity during that stint. When asked what his hot product is right now, he said definitely it’s his Monkey Bars, but even tanks and body kits are doing well, too. We continued the conversation by asking him if he had a favorite bike to work on as a base platform.
“The Road Glide,” Yaffe answered without hesitation. “I like the way they ride and look.”
When asked what he was working on right now, he stated that they’ve got about 50 projects in the shop, with about 30 of those being baggers, a handful are choppers and he’s got a few ground-up customs he’s building. He’s also working on five bikes for a buyer out of Dubai, proving there’s a demand for his work beyond U.S. shores.
After the Lone Star Rally, Yaffe is packing up and heading to Louisville, Kentucky for the Easyriders Bike Show where he will join the tour as it makes its way across the States.
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