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Talent, Humility, Faith

By Pat Jansen

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When it comes to the motorcycle industry success is equated to wealth, talent displayed through social media exposure and legacy by the empire you were able to build through one’s business acumen. If this is true then several people integral to the fabric of our custom motorcycle world don’t exist. But, if success can also be equated to ones network of friends, talent displayed through bikes on the road and the reverence inspired in other talented builders and legacy born out of one’s character then my friend Bill Dodge has secured his place as a legend and icon in our industry.

Of course, Bill Dodge of Bling Cycles in Daytona Beach, Florida would aggressively spurn any titles or positions thrust on him in any form of praise.He takes great pride in his work but he does so with humility most of us will never have known. Nonetheless, Bill Dodge is a premier motorcycle craftsman, a trend setting designer and a mentor that has spawned more than one extraordinary builder.
Bill was born in Compton and still has that tough take not shit attitude.His path into the custom motorcycle world is one of great cultural lineage but also one that he doesn’t rely on for his own reputation.Bill is a self-made man whose life isn’t unlike the Badlands of South Dakota.While it is full of beauty and character it is the result of struggle and perseverance.His ups have a corresponding down; with almost every triumph there is an accompanying defeat.In that way Bill Dodge is really just very much like most of us. He is an everyman (with mad fucking skills).

Bill could have thrown in the towel many times but has instead miraculously found the intestinal fortitude to move forward becoming ever humbler.Some might attribute this to the street grit he acquired growing up in the tough neighborhoods of Compton.Others might want to believe that he has some wealthy benefactor that swoops in and softens the blows.But anyone who really knows Bill Dodge understands that Bill’s resoluteness, his stoutheartedness is a result of an ever deepening faith in Jesus Christ.Whoa!Don’t go there Pat.People will cringe.Keep it motorcycles.No.This is the absolute truth.Bill Dodge believes in Jesus Christ and prays his way through difficulty.I know this because Bill has prayed me through difficulty.He brings wise counsel to others in the industry through the teachings of his Christian faith.He is not over the top.He’s still a helluva lot of fun to be around. And he throws one hell of a party!

I highlight all of these things about Bill Dodge’s talent, humility and faith to share with you the news that as Hurricane Irma leaves our minds and we begin to forget its impact through the media Bill will remember the storm every day for the rest of his life. His life is once again like the Badlands being eroded by water only this time it is also literal.
Bling Cycles on Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Florida got over 3 feet of flood water.With flood insurance running around $2000 a month that wasn’t a realistic option.But Bill has lost virtually everything in his professional life.He single handedly pushed 23 motorcycles above the water.His customer bikes and builds were saved.But every memento, every remembrance of a life in the motorcycle industry, every silly but precious friendly note are gone.All of the parts collected over the years, the swap meet scores, the bones of any good shop gone.His own motorcycles are in need of serious overhaul. The tools of his trade including his grandfather’s big aluminum drill, gone.

Bill Dodge has given and given and given to the motorcycle industry, friends and strangers without ever expecting anything in return.All Bill has ever wanted out of his time in our community was to give others encouragement, build things of practical beauty and celebrate the success of others.If our community is a fabric people like Bill Dodge are the hem. They are what hold us together and give us dimension.Now is a time when Bill Dodge is relying again on his faith and he will not only survive but thrive. If you are inclined to be a part of Bill’s recovery following Hurricane Irma follow the directives below.
“Love one another with brotherly affection as members of one family, giving precedence and showing honor to one another.”Romans 12:10

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”Proverbs 17:17

The Horse Backstreet Choppers Magazine ( has a benefit t-shirt (collection of stuff actually) and all proceeds go to Bill Dodge’s recovery from the hurricane.Thank you.

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