|Members Duane Taylor||Up|
|Taylor Classic Cycles|
[Webmaster's note] This is a story I'm proud to be able to share — I'm the one writing it.
First off I want to say this story is not an endorsement of one of our Vendors; just my personal feelings regarding an opportunity I had. I'm sure the photo's you'll see here will speak volumes.
Personal vacation time put me within a 25 minute drive of Taylor Classic Cycles and Duane Taylor was gracious enough to invite me in for a visit of his shop, followed by lunch and then a visit to the "speedometer restoration area" in his home. To say I was blown away would be a gross understatement. Not only by what I experienced but by the kindness he showed to my 81 year old aunt who tagged along for the ‘adventure'…..and it was an adventure.
When we arrived at his shop I looked for a sign and there wasn't one. Just a non-descript building, nicely kept, amongst a row of the same at a small airport in Salem, Oregon. I wouldn't have known I was at the right place if he hadn't told me his truck was parked in the lot and described it. He and I have exchanged a number of emails through the years but I'd never met him and had no idea what he looked like. I knocked on a number of doors before I chose the side one. He opened it and I said "Duane?". He smiled and closed it.
I thought I'd found the wrong door until my aunt began to laugh. Duane opened the door a second time and I realised he'd pulled a good one on us by the big smile on his face and the sly look in his eyes. He invited us in and immediately made us feel at home. I looked around and slowly began to understand I'd just entered a world few would ever see let alone understand….and I understood.
I'm a machinist by trade and everything I call "me" started to hum. Within minutes I was mesmerized. Hummer parts were everywhere, in various stages of completion. Too much for my brain to handle. After making my aunt comfortable Duane began the ‘tour' of his shop.
As he pointed out each step of his processes and the equipment he used I stumbled more and more. I'm a damned good machinist but his applications far exceed anything I could ever conceive. I do not say this lightly. Duane has found ways to recreate the work of punch presses and brakes incorporating basic hydraulic tooling….and with a hydraulic power-pak he moves from machine to machine! What amazed me most was his attention to details.
He takes an original part, deconstructs it to its basics and then recreates it. He didn't say it but I'll say it for him "If they made it so can I". This is what I saw. He's even modified a few H-D designs to make the reproductions better (I'll never tell…and the AMCA judges will never see….Go Duane!)
Duane Taylor is a humble warrior. He knows the talent he has, offers it to the world and takes personal satisfaction in knowing what he does makes a difference. He is far beyond just motorcycles but has chosen to share his love for them with us. To really understand what I mean you'll have to Google him. I'm not going to give you the links….but you should go there. I'll never forget what he told me afterwards in an email "I hate to see people throw out the time sheet just because they reach 65 or whatever. I still work because I can and like to". He hopes this will give someone a little incentive. He's 81 years old.....working on 82.
Duane, thanks for a life-changing experience.
– Brent Dugan, December 2010
Click on the pictures
|Last updated: January 31, 2011||Up|