Image ©2003 Tom Zimberoff
An Inspirational Acquaintance Has Moved On
On 7 May 2018 Cyril Huze announced he would be retiring from his blog on 15 May due to health reasons and 5 days later on 20 May 2018 he left this world. 7 days a week for 12 years he posted at least 3 insightful custom motorcycle industry related pieces, never taking a break. I can only imagine how his last post must have felt, he new he would never return to do another, he surely needed his last few days on this earth to rest and reflect with his family and friends. He left with grace and much gratitude:
"My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who, during all my life, supported me to make my personal and professional dreams come true across two continents. Thank you so much and I wish many years of success to all of you." Cyril
I had corresponded online with him for 11 years and had always hoped to meet him but sadly our paths never crossed. He was a big supporter of the small shops, businesses and builders in the industry, including myself. Being one of my only vintage bike works fans, he ran some wonderful posts though years of my work on his blog - the largest custom online bike magazine in the world.
The picture above and notes below are from Tom Zimberoff's tribute on Cyril's obituary and being shared with his permission.
Cyril refused to categorize choppers by tire width, fender length, or paint job, frame geometry or suspension. “Chopperness,” he said, is an expression of an artist’s subjective choices about how to combine, or exclude, all of those factors, to create endless variations. His job as an artist was to define his own motorcycle; audiences were free to accept, reject it or ignore them.
His choppers have a feminine side, paradoxical for machines that often convey a puissance of masculinity. His credo was characterized by nuance—more Mingus than Metallica. It’s not that men feel less virile riding his choppers, for virility to a Frenchman is a product of elegance, not brutishness. You never saw skulls or flames on his work.
Cyril spent more time in art museums than reading motorcycle magazines. He didn’t want to copy. His creative process began with preliminary sketches from its four oblique perspectives: front and back, left and right. His ideas were always based on a fanciful theme, which influenced the name he gave each bike.He was a romantic.
When Cyril first came to America, as a tourist to Chicago in 1978, one of the first things he saw was a gum-chewing traffic cop wearing a blue helmet, sitting astride a Harley—a cinematic moment, thought Cyril. Years later he recounted how his job was to write the storyboard of a motorcycle dream, in the manner of a movie director.
When he was twenty-one and still in Paris, Cyril bought his first bike: a blue Electra Glide. He fell in love with it. Years later, he chucked a successful advertising career and emigrated to New York, to follow his dream of building custom motorcycles in America. He became a U.S. citizen and set up shop in Boca Raton. Cyril relied on his marketing skills to rummage through the minds of clients, and find the motorcycle of their dreams. He built what their imaginations revealed.
Godspeed Cyril, see you on the other side!