Review - Penton: The John Penton Story
I was anxious to see this movie to find out if it was anything like the John Penton that I knew throughout the years. I met John when I was the editor of Dirt Bike magazine. We spent a lot of time on the phone, and when I finally got to meet him I was impressed. The man had a grip! It was like shaking hands with a 400-pound gorilla. He showed me all around Lorain, Ohio, and I even got to see the first Penton motorcycle that was ever brought to the states. John had stored it in a barn.
I asked him why he decided to make his own motorcycle. He said it was because no one was making what he thought would be the best, so he took it upon himself to create what he thought was needed. This was the man who started life as a farmer, became a fantastic racer and decided to become a builder of bikes.
I rode an enduro in Ohio with John and he supplied me with a 175 Penton Jackpiner for the event. Before the enduro started, we had to go down and get a sound check on the bikes. The sound check was about five miles away and we headed on down the twisty blacktop road to get there. It started pouring rain and I could barely keep my motorcycle on the road. John hit the curves like a road racer and pretty soon he was so far ahead that he was out of sight. I couldnít comprehend how anyone could go that fast on a rain-soaked blacktop road.
I went to Lorrain a few times to see John. Instead of being in his office like a CEO, the secretary pointed me out back, were John was spraying fiberglass on one of his trailers. He was out there working like a madman, hands filthy and covered with dust. Typically, John was not afraid of hard work, and to this day you can see him doing something physical around his place.
This movie captures the spirit of John Penton and the rugged determination that was the man. He did things that most people only dreamed about and did it expecting to have it work out that way.
The John Penton story is over 2 1/2 hours long, but the time is over before you know it. What the man has accomplished is truly amazing. Go see this movie in a theater near you, or if you canít, you can get a DVD or Blu-Ray copy from Pipeline Digital Media.
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Fullerton, CA 92832