It's been far too long since I've spoken to my peeps. The business has gone through great and terrible times since last summer. And it's still in the woods as of yet.
First I would like to apologize to all my wonderful customers who have been so patient over the fall holiday season and beyond. The business had to make some unexpected adjustments right when business went unexpectedly through the roof.
Damn you all for patronizing my business...stop spending money!
Do I really need to explain the previous statement? However ya'll weren't getting your orders in a reasonable amount of time. That was my fault. I'm learning. Never imagined you freaks would actually by this stuff. But it makes me all warm and fuzzy knowing there's crazy people out there like me who love this and use it.
Anyway the biz is moving forward and going and growing through pain, love and gnashing of teeth. We've got some good stuff coming but I won't say what just yet. I had learned about getting ahead of myself last year and don't open my piehole until there's something actually on the site.
So more to come. Stay tuned kids...
So I have been teasing forever about new masks coming out and they are here and just about here. The Black Diamond Maul, Black Rider Edition is finally up and for sale for all you freaks that can't get enough black. But the big mystery mask is hot on it's heals. It's actually done but the production costs are being finalized so I can get a price together for y'all. Also as it turns out, updating a business website is a time consuming, soul sucking process for a guy who'd rather be on his bike. Some corporate CEO big shot I'm going to be....
Just an FYI I am in the process of building a facebook page for SSC. There will be a link to it on the website when it’s close to being done. I plan to have new product info and public surveys on what riders want from new designs in it. It’s a chance for SSC customers to connect with each other and give input on new designs. And of course it’s a way to market SSC through networking. But mostly it’s going to be a forum where I can ask questions and get input from y’all about what mask or features to offer next.
And to be fair it’s also a place where you can bitch up a storm if something isn’t the way you want it. It’s always nice to help happy customers but it’s a privilege to satisfy an unhappy customer.
So I teased you all about the NEW DESIGN coming out. And here we all sit wondering where it is.
For those of you who have started your own business you totally understand that NOTHING ever happens the way it’s supposed to and in the time frame that it should. We have been working on getting the new mask completed but it’s a little challenging when we are waiting on the parts that we ordered to arrive.
So I would like to apologize to everyone for teasing you and giving you nothing…yet.
Not that anybody really reads this but I was bored one night and thought I would throw this old story up for y’all to have a laugh at. It has nothing to do with crazy masks but everything to do with being a biker. Originally this was posted on the forum for Suzuki M109 riders, the bike that I ride. My bikes color is affectionately known as “burple” as it is called blue by the manufacturer but it lights up purple in the sun. So it’s big, it’s purple and has entirely too much power for a dumb ass like me to even stand within ten feet of it let alone riding the damn thing. And we M109 riders just call it…the 9. A lawyer would call it an attractive nuisance. It means something that is quite dangerous but very enticing to flirt with.
Read and enjoy.
Here is a little story about how I am an idiot and owning a 9 must lead to brain damage.
Last week I had to run a little errand. The weather was begging me to ride the battleship Burple 109. So I set out to enjoy a little cruise while knocking something off my honey-do list.
A few blocks from home I pull up behind a pickup truck. There is a large group of guys standing at the corner, next to a convenience store, presumably buying beer or what-not. One guy turns around, looks at my 9 and lets out a remark of astonishment. Then all the other eyes turn and you’d think a stripper was walking by. Then someone begs for a burn off. Everyone chimed in. I shook my head no as it’s a $300.00 tire and, just like being a celebrity, sometimes you just get a little tired of pleasing the fans.
They wouldn’t let up.
Somewhere in the back corners of my dormant adolescence something stirred. Something dark and menacing. Something seething with teen aged, hormonal angst. As I squinted my eyes to peer into the darkness I was unsettled to see a pair of pinpoints of light gazing right back at me. Then they sunk low and slowly bobbed back and forth. It was approaching. Just outside of the firelight cast by my conscious mind the predator stopped, frozen. I was being sized up. A low guttural rumble rolled across the space between us as the pinpoints suddenly gleamed. I was declared prey and there was no where to run. In one massive leap it sunk it sickle like claws into my mind and brought it down with careless effort. It was over. My inner child was going to feast.
I said ok and prepared to give them a show. I gripped my hand brake, grabbed the clutch and revved the dragon to life. Then I let go…..
There was a sudden shock as the beast bucked in anger and aggression. This wild animal had no intention of being caged. Like any fool who believes he can control a deadly creature I thought, “I can hold this”. But this day the dragons heart was fell and raging, the strength of his hind quarters uncontrollable. I found myself creeping forward. I never imagined it could have such power and traction.
But like any good rat on a sinking ship…..
I freaked…. the bike was going…. the truck was not….something had to give…. and it was me. I stumbled from danger like a wino chasing a half empty bottle of Night Train along the sidewalk as his shoes keep kicking it out of reach.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Well the force falls over on it’s side as it’s right front turn signal is snapped off by the bumper of the immovable object and then proceeds to land on the left front turn signal and snaps that one off too. But not before the force pounds it’s headlight bezel into the immovable objects bumper as well, just for good measure.
So there I stood over the fallen beast. It’s days at an end. The circle of life has come around as the Valkyries descend to escort the dragon to the happy hunting grounds. The onlookers rush to offer their condolences and apologies for their selfish requests.
It was totally “Spear and Magic Helmet”….. Elmer Fudd walks into the sunset with the dead bunny. Cue the string section and the water works. The audience offers to lift the great dragon upon their shoulders to bear it to it’s viking funeral.
What’s this….. The beast rights itself?!?! It’s only a flesh wound! NOT A SINGLE SCRATCH, NOT A SINGLE SOLITARY SCRATCH ON IT’S SIDE!!!!
Cue the choir!
Yes folks, just a couple of busted turn signals and a cracked headlight bezel. And as luck had it when I switch out my rear factory signals for the Kuryakyn silver bullets I never threw the old signal housings away. In three hours I switched out the guts from the front signals into the rear housings, reconnected the wiring and BINGO! BOOYAAA!! HOW YA LIKE DEM APPLES SISTER!!!
Back in business…. well except the the headlight bezel that’s on order. 100 shells for that piece of bling.
Of course I have learned my lesson. Never do a burn off right behind a pickup truck. Which is why I am an idiot. The fact that I have a 9 and am prone to childish acts of immature gratuity leads me to believe that I have brain damage which of course must be from the bike. I am a poor unsuspecting consumer. I wonder how much I could get in the settlement from Suzuki for the pain and suffering of owning a machine that is far too dangerous for the average moron to operate.
So one of the cool little features of website hosting business software is that it tells you where your traffic is coming from. Usually people come to SSC through internet search engines, like Google, because they saw an ad in a print magazine. But every now and then I get that gem of a forum link where I can go in as a guest and see what my peeps are saying about what I make for bikers.
When I started this project I knew that bikers would either love or hate this mask. Sure enough the reactions are strong. But then this isn’t for tee-totaling nannies now is it? And God Bless America we are free to like or dislike whatever the heck we want to.
So for those who love the Maul thanks and I’m glad you enjoy it. But for those who hate it I love you guys bunches. You’re telling me just what the next good thing is with you’re complaints.
Many motorcycle facemask manufacturers simply copy each other, trying to make something about their product “original” by making a scarier clown face or adding a useless do-dad that doesn’t really improve looks, performance or function in an appreciable way. The goal at SSC is to listen to you guys and make what you want, not what we can squeeze out by the tens of thousands a day at sweatshop factories around the world because it’s easier and more lucrative. Don’t get me wrong I want to make money just as much as the next guy but not by selling you what I’m willing to give you instead of what you want. After all, I RIDE. I am one of you.
Soooooooooooo in response to you doubters we have a new mask coming out soon.
What is it you ask? Well I wouldn’t be a good corporate American if I told you anything useful. But I will say that it DIRECTLY ASSAULTS the biggest issue with the naysayers. You’ll know it when you see it.
I’d first like to thank all my customers across the U.S., Hawaii and Canada. Especially you Canucks! I have been getting a small but steady stream of sales to our northern neighbors who ride all the time. Because lets face it, if you wait for sunny hot weather to ride in Canada your bike will collect a lot of dust. Ride on Canada!
And speaking of riding in stupidly cold weather. I just got back from a half day trip to the middle of my state to meet one of my customers in person to answer questions about his mask. No I am not this amazingly great guy who’d go to the ends of the earth for y’all. He was visiting from out of state to see family for Christmas and wanted to resolve harness adjustment questions that couldn’t be done via email or phone call and I was excited to meet one of my customers as all I ever get to see of you’s guys is your invoice number and shipping info. Though some of you have been so cool as to send in pics of your mask. Thanks.
However I digress.
I have been doing winter time testing of the Maul to see how it performs in the cold in an attempt to improve it’s year round utility. So I thought why not make a 140 mile round trip in the freezing cold to see a customer while wearing the mask. If your gonna test something to make it better for bikers then don’t futz around with it. Put it in the fire and see how it comes out. Only in this case I was putting it in the ice water. The ambient temperature all day here in Oregon was just above freezing. Now throw in the wind chill at 70+ mph! Or at least it would be very cold if I was actually doing 70+…which I wasn’t…because that’s against the law…and that would be wrong. But there are places on I-5 in Oregon where the legal speed limit is 70. So I was there…yes that’s it I was there. Er…um…yeah. Anyway, again I am off track.
Now maybe you’re one of those bikers who doesn’t like a lot of practical and bulky winter clothing messing up his Marlon Brando in The Wild One fashion statement. Yeah I’m one of those morons. Always gotta look good on the bike right? I’m an idiot I admit. But at least I looked good. That counts for something right? So now I can say that I am truly deserving of my ass-less chaps. Because I have no ass. I’m sure you can guess why…
Back to the point of all this. I have ridden with the Maul before in cold weather for short trips near home but never this far in temperatures that even your average Canadian biker would say “EFF THAT EH!” Super sub freezing wind chill…now that’s a test! I can say that despite me being fashionably under dressed, resulting in my manhood turning a vivid hue of over heated cheep chrome header pipes, my face was THE most comfortable part on my whole body. The rest of me was shivering, my toes turned to popsicles and my knees gone numb but my face was comfortable. Heck even my forehead under my helmet felt on the verge of an ice cream headache from the cold jet blasting of winter highway riding. But my nose, mouth and cheeks were good to go all day. So the Maul performed like a nuclear powered Russian ice breaker today, wringing Mr Winter by the neck and making him cry “UNCLE!” It even took his lunch money too…
So I would recommend that if you get or have a Maul go get yourself a balaclava and you will be good to go. If you don’t know what a balaclava is Google it on the internet, get one, wear it while you ride and then slap yourself silly for not having gotten one sooner.
And one afterthought. Why does everyone call them ass-less chaps? If they had an ass they would be PANTS!
Happy New Year and may you all be blessed with great riding and friends to share it with for 2010.
SOLID STATE COVERS