I've decided to start this to try and document for myself and anyone who’s interested; my first steps into this obsession that is motorcycles. I'll be the first to admit that I'm jumping in a little late so here’s the back story:
When I was 18 I bought my first and one of my current cars:
...and I was hooked. The following years have been spent obsessing about all that is cars, trucks, bikes... anything that had an engine and wheels. It wasn't till college that I learned about old bikes though, the shop foremen at my school had what must've been a new (vintage looking) Triumph or Royal Enfield, at the time I didn't know anything about them so I can't place it now. Anyway I started to pick up classic bike rags and spent hours pouring over the ads in the back trying to figure out what I liked so much about those classics and picking out my favorites. At the time I was dreaming about a Buell Blast (and trying to ignore the fact that being a full time student, living in down town Seattle, on my parents bill wasn't going to afford me anything but the bus)
Fast forward a couple of years (to last year) and I'm living in Texas working full time and one of my friends who's been riding a Honda cruiser for a year or so (I still have yet to swing a leg over a running motorcycle) decides he's going to Daytona. Well, I'm always up for a little impromptu road trip so we pile into his truck and set off for Florida. (I wish I could post all the pictures I took out there but it would take forever to upload them all) Anyway, Daytona changed me a bit; before the trip I just wanted a stock bike to ride... now, it was going to have to be custom
(so much for a bike being a money saving idea)
Upon returning from Florida; down the street from where I work I keep passing by this kind of ratty looking standard with a for sale sign on it.
It sticks in the back of my mind and I bring it up to my friend, he asks me what I would do if I went over there and he was asking just $500 for it... I can't decide what I would do, so I go over and he wants $300 (or two I-pods as my friend puts it)... it's not running. The next day it's in the shop at work and we're trying to get it to run, so he can teach me how to ride it
The next weekend (still not running) I spend in my MSF class and I start to tear into the bike. Oil change (sure wish I could lay my car on it's side when I've got a stuck bolt) new plugs, battery, points, condenser, wires, strip seal and clear the tank, crop 12 inches out of the frame, mold a new carbon seat, fit new clubman bars. The main switch turns out to be pitted out and non functional, I replace it and the bike would now run if it wasn't torn apart all over my garage floor.
I finally get her all back together and manage a few short rides often walking back (one bad coil, one plugged cap vent) until she's riding relatively dependably:
the seat's not finished at this point.
I pick up a copy of Hells' Angels for inspiration/heritage, and start riding more often (I also get myself a helmet, and jacket to compliment the boots and gloves required by the MSF) I spend a lot of time at various Starbucks since there's always a couple within my dependability ring that I'm willing to ride a bike that may not be coming home under its own power. The pipes go black and the seat gets finished: