As you build a bike it starts to tell a story:
Motorcycles have been in my life since birth. My Dad has always had at least one and normally 2+ bikes in the shed. So it was natural for me to be into the biker culture. It was 1980 when I first started do trips, My dad would strap me on the back of his FLH and tear out cross country till he hit the west coast and then head north. Where to sleep when riding a motorcycle cross country was fun. I loved those days and dreamed about the day I would build my own bike. Fast forward and it’s 2008 I am married with 2 kids and travel for a living. I spend most of my days on the road covering motorcycle events. This is not the most convenient time to start a child hood dream but this is the time that the planet aligned, opportunity showed it self. I was in Denver at a friends house discussing bike and dreams when I started talking about my dream bike. The bike I had wanted since I was 6. It just so happen that he had a project that he needs to get rid of so he could fix his daily drive. So as the story goes two brothers helped each other out and a child hood dream was born.
Here is the bike as I bought it. It had some good parts and was in good mechanical shape, great project material. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted it to be. I need something that I can throw down the miles with. Remember my Dad was a Iron butt type and I have his blood. So to keep with this theme I sought out components that would hold up under a heavy hand. I got the hard tail kit from TC and the chop was on. The first step was the biggest, cut the bike in half. From there it got easier.
I now have a new respect to the work that goes into engine detail. One of the most thought provoking details on the bike was to try and make the stock brake caliper work and still look clean. I like the look of a drum spoke, but like the function of a disc, and a disc is what I had. It wasn’t long till I had a roller. My favorite part of this build was the exhaust. I searched the web over to find a exhaust that I liked, and could never find the look I wanted. Wasn’t long till I bumped into Blacksmith Billy he hadbuilt some nice systems and thought he could help. The help he gave wasn’t what I expected. “Why don’t you build them your self?” he said. Well I really didn’t think I could but he thought it would be good if I would just try, and if It failed then I wasn’t out much. That is the kind of encouragement I need. So it was off to pipe school for me. What was amazing was how the exhaust took on a life of it’s on. It was like the bike and the tubing knew best and I just followed along. Thanks Billy that was a blast for me.
As you build a bike it starts to tell a story, a story of victory and challenge; the challenge to find that right part, the victory of overcoming a difficult part to build. A story that tells of the places you’ve been to get a part. Like the red seat from a Denver swap meet. A story of friends, which you have made along the way, like Billy. New Parts you have had to make such as my forward controls; that I spent more time staring at then I did building them. A garage built chopper is so much more than it seems. It is a living thing that can tell a story. I look forward to hearing your story.
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