Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two wheeled mind.

On the beach at Daytona.

Lately I've had motorcycles on the brain. Maybe it's the warm weather. Maybe it's the fact I'm within striking distance of finally getting my customization/restoration of a beater Yamaha back on the road. Maybe it's the fact that my daily driver has a built-in child seat and is making me feel old. But whatever the case, I'm down to the point of not thinking function and I'm right smack dab in the land of form.

Vincent Black Shadow

This is the sort of thing that can lead to long hours of daydreaming in front of the computer on quiet afternoons. Leafing through parts catalogs, reading bulletin boards and pondering the advantages of stainless steel v/s aluminum.

1949 Moto Major 350

Of course one can get carried away and have to be reminded that I don't have a tool and die shop, sheets of expensive alloy and unlimited time and funds at hand...

Norton Manx

Fortunately, my design ethic tends toward the stripped down café racer style, where the approach isn't to pile on more, but to remove everything that doesn't actively propel the bike forward, which creates a stirring form on its own.

What time I could spend this weekend not being dragged down by a vicious stomach bug was spent slowly polishing the aluminum on my bike back to its former glory and looking longingly at the naked seat pan and planning my next trip to the beach...

This bike may be the biggest vehicular project I've ever taken on, and at two years in, it's starting to feel like it's come under control, instead of being a wild mishmash of repair manuals, faq printouts and packing lists from mail-order houses. I haven't had the heart yet to add up my investment, but I'm starting to feel like I'm on the good side of the price v/s smiles equation.

Now if only it wasn't sitting still...

All photos from the excellent BikeEXIF.