I always find myself getting wrapped up in these motorcycle projects. Occasionally they turn out ok, but mostly they just cost money and time and at the end of it all you are left with a big pile of neither.
Thinking back, this propensity for projects must have started in my adolescence. Inevitably some beat to shit two-wheeled conveyance well beyond its last legs would breathe a final gasp while falling into my grubby little paws, and like a well-smitten john with his favorite lady of night, I would set about to "saving" the machine. As in the story of the hooker and the trick, it never ends well, Pretty Woman is a lie.
There exists a long, shameful list of vehicles that I have thrown good money after bad at and ended up selling at a huge loss just to get out from underneath.
- The 1978 Kawasaki Invader snowmobile that ate up at least $1,700 of my college money when I was 17: sold for $275 to my lowballing friend.
- The $2500 1979 Honda CB750F that I spent another $1,800 on turning into a cafe racer: sold on Ebay for the princely sum of $1,300.
- The Suzuki T500 road racer with special chassis, forks, wheels and engine, at least $20,000: parted out for only $5,000, because no one would buy it whole for $3,000.
- The 1982 Yamaha RD350LC "money pit" with a running tally of nearly $15,000: I still have it and they are going to bury me with it so I can get my money's worth out of the damn thing.
Some men spend money on booze and women, I spend it on motorcycles. That RD, however, purchased about 8 years ago was my breaking point. I vowed never to get that deep into something again. I had matured at least enough to recognize a bad relationship when I saw it, and I knew that some things are better abandoned than seen through to the bitter end.
And yet I can't resist the urge to tinker with things, or "make them better". As I stare at the pile of parts on the garage floor that have to be finessed, massaged and then finally probably hammered and cajoled into place, I realize this is the start of another project. Dammit.
A small sampling of my various projects over the last 25 or so years