Toronto seems to operate like an enormous small town. If you're born and raised in the city there's nearly zero degrees of separation between people in their neighbourhood, industry, "scene" or interest group. Not "kissing cousins" close but it never feels like there's a disconnect between the people.
The chances are that if you're into pigeon racing or you sell hotdogs you'll know everyone else chasing that same dream. So in early 2008 there was a little ratty ironhead roller at the CNE spring show/swap. It was cool for sure and there were few of us at the time chasing that dream. So when we heard that it quietly sold to some guy that I hadn't heard of I clearly remember saying "Who's Honrio?!"....or "What's a Honrio?!"
Over time (after that ironhead ended up in Dice mag) I began to cross paths with Hon and his camera and attempted to get to know him. Through his humble and quiet demeanor I've been able to take away that he loves his family, art, and motorcycles. This guy gets stuff done, period.
I've cobbled together some content from our text conversations that could help explain the only man who has been capable of intimidating me with modesty alone.
A: If you could sum up the evolution of your motorcycle interest via the Throttle blog (throttlefmc.com)....what would you say?
H:Never a dull moment. First first discovery to now it's the one variable in my life that I keep close. It's constantly there with me and constantly changing. I looked over the blog as I'm moving it and it's really a diary for me, I can see what I was thinking bike-wise on any given day in the last six years!
I only have time for one interest outside of family and I've chosen bikes. I don't think you can ever stop learning.
A: That's a modest statement, dude. Bikes, blog, art, clothing, collaborations, photography, travel....you've immersed yourself beyond motorcycles.
H: I never looked at it that way. I have to admit, I'm more into the aesthetics of the bikes, that's what's drawn me in.
I've been wanting to do the 'brand' shirt thing since I was a kid. I finally found something I'm passionate about and fits too. I wanted to do it right, got some great artists to do the designs from our community.
A: That's awesome. You're a "doer" man.
H: It's really for me, and my soul! The 13-14 year old sitting on a wax curb in front of the parents house drooling over skate graphics. The kid inside is still the driving force for me!"
A: Ha ha. For sure. Don't grow up.
(This was followed by a rapid fire sneak peak at some of the T-shirt art, explaining the process, the artists names, and my oath not to share anything I'd just looked at prior to its debut on the revamped blog.)
H: I'm trying to continue to share my passion and bring some cool things to the table for everyone, for example the shirts by people like Keith Weesner, GRIMB, Adam Nickel as well as Ken Sugihara from Fustyworks. Guys I love and respect and think our community would also appreciate.
A:Ya, man. As an individual artist you also contributed to the other Soul Seekers events, eh?
H:It's been a pleasure to be involved in all the SS events, always glad to contribute.My photos were on both first and second year flyers, glad to help!
Somehow we got back on to the actual riding of motorcycles. I said something about enjoying riding my dirtbike slowly down fire roads half asleep.....Honrio's response was great and a testament to his modesty:
H:Yeah, I've been enjoying riding a lot more especially after getting the M license (Canadian version of a full motorcycle license) and riding the CBR125! You know me, I'm an honest guy, I don't have tall tales of riding, lol! I still consider myself very new and need more seat time! lol
A:What's with the #midnightrun hash tags on your instagram posts (@throttlefmc)?
H: Al, I love bikes but I love my family more. My girls come first. I got the pan, was hoping to get out a lot more with people to ride but the only time that has worked out for me is to ride alone at night, when people don't have to wait for me and when I can feel more free.
I'm at a toy and book warehouse sale with the kids. Chat later on!
Hon's quiet enthusiasm and ability to connect with people has given us all a window into our tiny little hot dog stand of a chopper scene here in Toronto. As a friend, I know he's appreciated for his priorities and manners. I swear a whole lot less when he's around.
Interview by Al McFeeters
You can see more of Hon's photography and such at http://www.throttlefmc.com/ and follow him on instagram at @throttlefmc