Is Black Overtaking Chrome?

Is blacking out your ride a young person's game?

Jon McDevitt Road King
Jon's '09 Road KingStaff

For as long as I can remember, chrome has been king in the motorcycle world. I mean chrome everything, buyers would snatch up anything they could for their bike if it was chrome. I personally have never liked chrome, nothing about it appeals to me. The flashiness, the upkeep, the price, just for me, all bad things. I think you can be more eye catching in more subtle ways than, "hey look at m e, i'm shiny!"

With the wave of youngsters flooding into the American V-Twin market we are seeing more people that feel the same way as I do about dipping your bike in chrome. Harley-Davidson picked up on this and started the Dark Custom Series just for the new wave of Harley riders, as they see it. The old dog legends are getting up there in age, not able to ride anymore or sadly passing away. So with that generation slowly fading out does the classic chrome styling fade away with them?

As I said the new riders and younger kids are already leaning towards blacking out their new bikes instead of piling on chrome on top of chrome. So will this trend stick around for as long as chrome has? When us young folks are up there in age getting ready to kick the bucket or trade our hogs in for a motorized wheelchair, will some young punk be writing this same article asking if the "murdered out" look goes with us?

If we do continue on this path and see chrome fall by the wayside, what would be nipping at the heels of the black powder coat? I honestly don't know what would replace that. I assume if enough time had passed history would repeat itself and back to chrome we would go.

Well I can safely say in my lifetime of buying, riding, and building bikes chrome will never be something I look for, want or add to any of my bikes, but I'm just a stubborn, hard-headed bastard.