About 10 years ago, I decided it was the right time to sew some wild oats and ditch the moped for a motorcycle. Not only that, but I wanted one that had some soul. Something you couldn’t just buy off the showroom floor. At that point, I didn’t know I was purchasing a decade-long class in patience, persistence, and electrical troubleshooting.
When I found the perfect bike, it was in rough shape. The previous owner’s garage-built chopper supposedly ran but was unfinished and completely torn apart. It was exactly what we wanted, the bare bones to build a masterpiece from. I say “we” because I also dragged my dad into this project. What started as a sketch on a bar napkin quickly turned this project from a fix to a complete re-build.
If you come from a family of perfectionists, starting from scratch means that it will NEVER be good enough. Every piece that is created can be re-created, re-imagined, and re-built. Over the years, we’ve replaced and updated (often multiple times) almost every single part until there were only a few parts left from the original bike. Let’s just say, it’s spent more time in the garage than out on the road.
Today, when it’s running well, and I get a chance to rip down back roads, I look back and think, wow, what a waste of time and money. I could have just gone out and bought a brand-new motorcycle and spent far more time out riding and enjoying it. Instead, I still have a far from perfect motorcycle that only runs well about half the time. However, I think that’s the goal. Great moments in life are rarely ever about the result. The value is in the chase. The hours spent in the garage, swearing at carburetors, and drinking bourbon with my dad are irreplaceable.
Will I ever have the perfect motorcycle? I hope not.