Over the past weekend, I pulled my motorcycle out of its multi-year outdoor / indoor hibernation, and it was not a pretty site. The once shiny motorcycle was corroded, rusty, and covered in dirt and debris. It was down right neglected. The sad truth is that this isn’t the first time that this bike was in such rough shape. I guess I shouldn’t have treated it like I did.
Throughout my entire youth I had worked on and ridden dirt bikes, so I had a fairly good idea of how to ride (and crash) on two wheels. It was some of the most fun that I have ever had, but ultimately, four wheeled vehicles were really where my heart was at. The feeling of sliding two rear tires down the
street closed course, is just unmatched. However, about 9 years ago, all of my friends had bought motorcycles, and I didn’t want to be left out of the fun. It was peer pressure I guess. At the time, I didn’t know which kind of bike I wanted, but I knew it had to be custom and unique, because stock is boring. After some research, a bizarre series of events, and a fair share of good luck, I ended up purchasing a basket case motorcycle project off eBay. It was missing the gas tank, seat, rear cowl, subframe, exhaust system, and misc other stuff. Unlike my family and friends, I could see the hidden potential for greatness behind all of those missing parts. After all, it was a 1988 Honda Hawk GT NT650, which was a unique bike in stock form. Once customized, it could really be spectacular. For those of you that are unfamiliar, this bike is somewhat rare and odd in a variety of ways. It was designed with a V-twin engine, single sided swing arm, and a very short wheelbase. They were only made between 1988 and 1991, but many riders believe that they were way ahead of their time.
The first step in the resurrection process was attaining & building parts that it was missing. Over the course of a few weeks, I acquired the necessities, and built the rest out of fiberglass, steel, aluminum, and spare ’64 Chevy Impala parts. I spent many long, cold, wintery, nights working on my soon-to-be dream bike, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute. It was genuinely relaxing. Eventually the Viper yellow paint went on with the white pearl stripes and I had completed my bike project, for the time being at least. This is what it looked like.
I then rode it periodically over the next few years, added a few new things, life took place, and it was stored in a variety of terrible places, including uncovered outside. Yesterday when the bike came out of its latest storage, it was disturbing, disheartening, and discouraging. So much of my hard work had been severely damaged, including all of the polished aluminum parts, and many of the painted steel pieces.
I know, I know. It is devastating. If I had realized that it looked like this, I would have jumped in long ago. Let’s look at the upside though. It is now in the garage, and being completely cleaned, and updated with my latest ideas. I’m thinking my less “stuff”, and much more aluminum. It would be awesome to come up with an inverted fork front end for it with dual disc brakes, but as always, I’m building on budget, so that may need to wait until my lottery numbers work out.
Until then, progress continues…..
Got ideas? Thoughts? Cheap inverted fork front end? Opinions? Share them with me!