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CreepyJack13
08-01-2009, 8:46 PM
Any interesting or sentimental stories about how or why you bought or built your first or current ride? I'd like to read them. I'm not compiling for a book or anything, just thought it might be interesting.

My current (mostly) daily ride is a 1991 FXRS-SP, which I bought on July 10 of this year. See, back in '91 or '92, I was hanging around and sweeping up at a shop in West Los Angeles called V2, which was owned and operated by a guy named Sig Emerson.

Anyway, Sig sold off a perfectly restored '56 FL because he was sick of nursing it around. He showed up to the shop one day with it's replacement, an ex-cop FXR that he bought at a CHP used equipment auction, and I was horrified. ("Dude, that's a COP bike!! What the hell?") All he did to the bike, aside from paint it, was rake it a hair, lower it, put on a SuperTrapp 2:1 high exit pipe, install an S&S Super E and a hydraulic clutch, as well as PM brakes front and rear. That's about it. Didn't split the cases or rebuild the trans or install a cam. Nothing else.

We got it finished up late one night, and he took it around the block. He got back with tears streaming from his eyes to his ears. (I could actually hear the bike as he raced it around the LONG blocks at Pico and Sepulveda.) He told me that I had to take it around the block. So I did. That bike scared the crap out of me, and I never made it past third gear. It actually chirped the tires in every gear without my trying. I stopped and limped it back.

When I got back to the shop, Sig asked what was wrong, and I said there was nothing wrong with the bike at all. It was just WAY more than I expected.

Fast forward 17 years (and a couple of unfinished projects here and there), and I finally found an FXR for myself. I hadn't been really looking very hard for one, but this poor bike had been languishing on a dealer's used bike floor for almost a year, drowning in a sea of later model Sportsters and TCs until I liberated her almost a month ago.

Originally, I had wanted to build a duplicate of Sig's FXR, but after riding this bike a bit, my changes aren't going to be quite what I had originally envisioned, mostly because they just aren't necessary at the moment. Bars and paint, and not much else.

Anyway, there, I started it off.

americanjunky
08-02-2009, 12:25 AM
No big mystic experience at all for me, my pop had a couple of bikes when I was growing up, my first birthday I'm sitting on my Uncles brand new BSA. So the day I turned 17 (Michigan law). I went out and bought a bike, a pretty forgetable 85' Night Hawk 450, but now 21 years later I'm still on a bike almost daily.

CabritoLoco
08-02-2009, 9:52 AM
No special story I guess, just kind of a spiritual thing for me. maybe it is special, who knows.

anyway, last year, february, i had a pretty bad wreck, t-bone collision, only thing that saved my life was that i was in my wife's tahoe. broke the frame in 2 places, shoved the engine block and tranny 6 feet up under the truck. lucky to be alive, others not so lucky. survived that one.

june of last year, 3 friends die in an accident at work. freak deal, i was supposed to be there, but one of them calls me the shift before and talks me into a shift trade, which puts me at home in bed with the wife when things go bad. survived that one.
one of the friends lost was a lifelong biker, nickname was nighttrain wayne. we used to talk bikes on a constant basis, he had some solid theories about what a bike should look like, ride like, feel like. one of those guys with a lifelong wealth of knowledge and experience about what works and what is stupid. had over 300 bikes at his funeral, the bikes at his procession stretched for over 4 miles, it was pretty neat.

i had motorcycles when i was younger, dirt bikes mainly, dad had a '69 BMW that we fixed up enough that he rode it everyday until he had to sell it. always liked old bikes and things that need to be fixed.

fast forward to this summer, 1 year anniversary of accident at work. for some reason out of the blue that i can't explain i start cruisin' Ebay and craigslist for old iron. found a 74' ironhead on CL for $1500, call the guy, go look at it, next thing i realize i'm trailering this oil pukin' bastard to the house.

some people go to therapy and talk, i like to get my hands dirty and lose my mind in the project.

CreepyJack13
08-02-2009, 9:59 AM
Excellent stories, guys. These are exactly what I was after. Keep 'em coming!!

currysurr
08-02-2009, 1:52 PM
Nothing spiritual about mine either.

I grew up with dirtbikes and atv's in between riding bmx bikes. A few times every summer a large group of bikes would barrel down our road, we lived kind of far out in the country. You could hear them all coming for miles it seemed like. Each time I heard it I would run into the front yard to watch. Didn't know much about the motorcycle scene since I was so young, but something about it seemed awesome to me.

Graduated, kept riding bmx, traveling and doing whatever. Always talked about getting a bike, and kept talking and talking. Different GF's always told me not to but the thought was always there.

Fast forward a few more years and I am closing down my bmx/skate shop that just wasn't making any money and was a whole lot of work. A good friend had a bike he was selling fairly cheap. I jumped on it. I figured now was the time. It was a 1980 Honda Hawk. I hadn't been on a motorcycle in years and as soon as I sat on it I knew what I had to do. Rode that for a few months then from the same friend I bought my sporty.

My friends at the tattoo shop have some old shovelheads and a panhead, and I always admired their bike. Once I got my Sporty they started "coaching" me. Took it to Jesse Bassett and he proceeded to cut up the frame and start turning it into what it is today. Many more plans for the bike, and plans for more bikes in general.

I don't understand why I waited as long as I did.

CreepyJack13
08-02-2009, 4:51 PM
I don't understand why I waited as long as I did.

I'm on exactly the same page. The last bike I bought and rode on a regular basis was in 1991 or 1992. It was a 1980 Sportster (XLS, IIRC), and I bought it at a garage sale for $900. Rebuilt the carburetor at friend's place two
houses down from the garage sale, and rode it home. I have absolutely no idea why I waited so long to get back on, but I can guarantee that as long as I'm able, I won't be without another bike.

Paul
08-02-2009, 5:28 PM
My story is a deep and heartfelt one; a tale that to this day makes my eyes swell with tears, my chest fill with pride...

EDR 3 I watched all these fuckers with shovels bombing around with high-torque ease, and style that would have made Vidal Sassoon jealous.

So I bought one.

CreepyJack13
08-02-2009, 6:17 PM
Paul, I have to say that after I discovered the JJ, my envy of you guys on the EDR knew no bounds.

mad750
08-02-2009, 6:17 PM
I like chicks therefore I ride!!

My grandpa rode on the island and saw pics as a young kid and always thought it was the raddest thing. Papa was a gearhead and was taking apart cars just to put em' back together for fun and if my dad was in the garage, I would be right besides him... or else!! Rode my first motorized bike when I was 8 or 9 and been holding on for the ride ever since... plus I like chicks.

Halwade
08-02-2009, 6:46 PM
I'll pile on…

My mother's best friend's son was a motocross-obsessed 15-year-old, but I was only 10 at the time. Mom thought if I had a dirt bike like Donny, the two of us might get along better. 15-year-old kids aren't supposed to hang out with 10-year-olds no matter how dope their dirt bikes were, so Donny left me and my Montesa 25 trials bike in the dust. A Chapparal 80 and a Hodaka Dirt Squirt did nothing to elevate my station in Donny's eyes, and the two of us went our separate ways.

When I was 12 I got the BMX bug and quit all things motorized until the '90s. That's when my friend Kim Boyle conviced me and Billdozer to buy motocross bikes. Seven years and five MX machines later, Bill shipped off to Iraq and I twiddled my thumbs in an empty garage.

To kill time while Bill served our country, I bought a Flyrite Bobber rolling chassis and taught myself how to build a backstreet chopper in my garage. When Bill returned from Iraq, we joined forces with our friend Chris Collins to start Biltwell Inc. This leap of faith included hosting a little motorcycle ride to Bill's old stomping grounds in Baja, Mexico. We shook down my first build on what would become the El Diablo Run in the fall of 2005, and threw our first of three EDR's in the spring of 2006.

Bill is the rider in our posse, and I am the grease monkey. I've built four bikes in five years, but I probably haven't put more than 2,000 miles on all of them combined. My reliable rider is a BMW G650 X Challenge enduro bike, and my current project and plaything is a '72 CB450 Street tracker.

I'm not sure if that's the kind of story you were looking for, but your thread seemed like as good a place as any to float my bio for the edification of ChopCult members.

ChopCult is Bill's and my latest wild hair, and I'm stoked to see so many people enjoying it. Thanks for letting me hijack your thread...

McGoo

CreepyJack13
08-02-2009, 6:57 PM
No apology necessary, McGoo, for there was no hijack. That's exactly the kind of story that I was looking for. Totally inspirational.

currysurr
08-02-2009, 11:26 PM
Mcgoo, I actually have met you a few times, years ago, road fools at Section 8 in Youngstown, and I think in Binghamton when I worked for FBM at one of our contests. I'm psyched to see you guys are having such an influence on the motorcycle world now.

Its funny how many older bmx dudes re around the motorcycle world.

jason43
08-06-2009, 10:10 AM
My dad had bikes the whole time I was growing up, he had a 67 spotster that was bored out and he told me that the day I could start it, I could take it out. When I was 10 I'd be in the garage for hours trying to get that kickstarter to move (and never succeeded)... he ended up selling it, buying a Heritage, and I joined the Army.

Got out in 2001, and went back to school, had kids, got married... used to take my dad and uncles bikes out.

Finally got some money the wife would let me spend and picked up my sporty from a guy I work with who had it sitting on his porch for 5 years for $2000. Stripped everything off it and rode it around for the first summer and collected parts. Then over the winter, I got a led sled rear, cut the bike in half and got to work in a shed with one of my best friends who was also chopping his first bike(xs650). Half the time it was sub-zero, then we got a wood stove from someone, but we'd cough out soot for days after we worked out there. It was shitty, but we had a good time and learned a lot. Two bikes chopped in a 10x15 shed... Looking forward to stripping it back down and painting and finishing everything this winter, but for now I'm just riding.

mplsdave
08-06-2009, 10:30 AM
i didnt grow up around bikes, although i had an uncle in indiana that took me for a ride on his honda 500 when i was maybe 7 that is still in the family and then years later took me for a ride on his ultraglide... boring, sorry.

a little less than a year ago a friend of mine had bought a bike for his girlfriend who cheated on him and moved out, so he had a bike with no use for it, and sold it to me on the cheap. bikes have since become somewhat of an obsession or sick addiction for me. i think i owned the bike for a whole hour before i had it down to bare frame designing and planning a build for it.

NHMike
08-06-2009, 12:17 PM
Let's see, where to begin. The only person in my family to be a "biker" was my grandfather and I never saw him on one as he stopped riding before I was born. I didn't really think I wanted a bike until I was in the Navy. I had signed on when I was 17 and when I was 18 I left for Bootcamp. After that and a stint in the Med I came "home" to Norfolk, Virginia. I, as were most of the other guys, were kids. While I was buying cars, some of the other guys bought bikes. Fortunately for me, I realized I would have likely killed myself with the purchase of one so I refrained. After my service was complete I moved back home to Ma. with my now X-wife and we had a few kids. During this time I was really wanting a bike, but, being 22/23 with 3 kids there isn't a whole lot of extra dough around to be able to buy one. A few of my buds had bikes and whenever they'd visit I'd ri[ thier bikes up and down the street, and damn did I want my own. Well, a few years later the X-wife and I decide to sell our house that she's living in. It netted me some extra dough and with that, a motorcycle was in order!!

Unfortunately for me I had absolutely NO vision of wat I would've wanted in a bike. I knew only 2 things. I wanted it to already have an aftermarket exhaust and that I wanted it to have drag bars. With the budget I had I looked around and found the Vulcan. It ran great, had what I wanted so I grabbed it up.

Rode it for about a month before it go WAY too cold to ride anymore. It went in the shed and I went on a trip for work. The entire time I'm working I'm thinking about the stuff I wanted to do to it. Change the rear taillights and do a side-mounted plate. At the time it had a bobbed fender with the OEM light mounted underneath. Happened across some '59 Caddy lights and wondered if they'd fit under there. I got home and crafted up a mount, put them on and was loving it!! It was the first time I had really made anything for any of my vehicles with my own hands. it's been a non-stop thing now ever since. Every winter I do something to her and have her ready for the spring. A few years ago it was paint and the taillights. This past winter it was ripping a bunch of stuff off, including the rear fender, re-locating the battery and electronics and a bunch of other crap. THIS winter I'll be hardtailing her and within a week I'll be putting on a new tank and headlight.

My dream is an Old School HD, kick start only, rigid blahblahblah. And I'll get one eventually, when the time, and more importantly the money, is right. With any luck I'll find that basket case I'll be searching for over the winter and begin working on that dream. But for now I'll just keep the rubber side down and keep going where the front end takes me.

nglshbiker
08-09-2009, 3:09 AM
When I was about 8 or 9 we were headed to church and 3 bikes went flying past us they were very skinny bikes with tall sissy bars and ape hangers - I wanted to build my Triumph the same way which i pretty much did

i never had much money when i was living in NY so i coldnt afford to buy a bike - when i worked for a beer/soda delivery co we used to go into these bodegas around Long Island - they sold issues of Iron Horse so i picked up every issue i could get my hands on

When i moved to TN i got a pretty good job that has afforded me the opportunity to build my Triumph and now im building an Evo chop

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 2:51 PM
Great stories, all. Any more?

OK, when I was a kid, there used to be packs of 1% types riding all over the freeways in SoCal, so any time me and my mom went anywhere, I was totally pressed up against the glass of the passenger door, staring at these badasses and their machines. It was the '70s, after all.

xharleyx
08-28-2009, 2:58 PM
my story is definitely not a fun one. My real name is Harley, I've been around bikes my whole life. One day a few summers back I got a knock on the door that changed my life forever. my grandmother said my mom and dad had been in an accident on their bike. A pill'd out fuck head pulled out directly in front of them on the highway, and I lost my mother that day. Somehow my dad pulled through. Long story short, my mom was a very good planner and left me some money. I used some of it to put my down payment on my bike I have now. I don't think I could ever get rid of it. It reminds me of her every time I look at it.

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 4:33 PM
Not fun, but definitely heartfelt. My condolences...

Motorradfahrer
08-28-2009, 4:39 PM
My dad always had bikes and as a kid I loved riding with him wherever he went. However when I became a teenager I decided that since my dad loved motorcycles, motorcycles must be stupid. Yeah, stupid teenager. Flash forward to 2004 (I know, took me forever) I went to Michigan to visit my family. My dad rented a Harley and went out riding with two of my uncles and an aunt (they all had their own Harleys). Every day I'd see them ride off and when they came home it looked like they had the best time of their lives. That gave me the bug. So when my dad and I got back to So Cal I told him that I wanted to get a motorcycle. He pointed to his old Honda 305 and said "Jump on it and learn." So I ran up and down the street a few times with the biggest grin on my face. Cool thing about that is that old 305 is the same bike that he learned to ride on when he was a kid. I called up two buddies and told them: "Motorcycles are cool. Let's all get bikes." They both agreed, we all took the MSF, and bought bikes (the only bummer was that I had to sell my Dart to get some dough together for my bike).
As far as my bike goes, it's nothing special but I do love my Sportster. Places like the JJ, XLforum, and Chop Cult have been great resources from which I am learning a lot.

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 4:50 PM
Great story, and awesome that your dad was involved in at least some small way.

I hear ya about selling stuff. I sold off a bunch of guns so that I could get my bike. The cool thing is that now I've decided to streamline my life and get rid of everything that I've been collecting for years, and concentrate only on the projects that really speak to me. ('56 F100 panel truck. '31 Ford coupe, '69 XLCH, and my girlfriend's '69 T100). Anyone need an engine or a supercharger?

StuB
08-28-2009, 4:54 PM
As the dust settles on my divorce, my bike is still with me. The house just barely dodged foreclosure before being sold. The wife vanished up to the Pacific North-west. Her boyfriend is back in prison. Finances as well as the court might necessitate that the bike be sold. In the mean time I'm gonna ride it like I stole it and be grateful for every mile I put on it.

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 5:00 PM
Sucks to hear, Stu. Still, you have the time now, and it sounds like you're planning to use it wisely.

I had to sell my second bike in the early '90s because of rough economic times like the ones we're now experiencing. It's always a drag, but there will be another if you have to let this one go.

Wow, did I just make a super gnarly zen type statement?

Gent
08-28-2009, 5:08 PM
My old man rode all during his early years, up until I was learning to ride a bicycle so I'd say I was about 4 or 5 he sold his last harley. Before that he had BSA's, Indians, Triumphs, Harleys pretty much anything with two wheels and a motor he loved it.

He always wanted the bikes back, but he put food on the table before woring about doing what he liked to do.

When I was about 13 I started riding my friends dirtbike in the feild behind our house and I wanted one. So I raced Moto for a few years then blew out both of my knees and sold my bike to get my first car because I was tired of being in crutches at school. LOL.

Streetbikes have always been something I wanted to get into, my favorite movie growing up (I'm only 27) was Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. LOL. NE way in about 2005 After my first son was born I bought another dirtbike and started racing again.

Later that year I developed a heart problem, but at the time it wasn't that bad I would just have to take a couple weekends off from riding here and there. But my condition progressively got worse as time went on. So last October I'm laying in the hospital bed after an angiogram and my doctor is telling me that my heart function is slightly reduced and extreme cardiovascular workouts can make this worse. He suggested that I not ride anymore. So I thought long and hard about it, and decided that I would sell my moto scooter and do something I've been wanting to do for a long time, build and oldschool chopper or bobber.

So that's what I did, and now after finishing it I just want to build more.

My ultimate goal would be to build an old panhead or shovelhead and surprise my dad with it, so we could finally ride together. He is having a really tough time of it right now financially and I can't think of anything better than to be able to show up at his door with my bike and his strapped to the trailer and say "let's go for a ride"

Motorradfahrer
08-28-2009, 5:09 PM
I hear ya about selling stuff. I sold off a bunch of guns so that I could get my bike.

Yeah, selling stuff is no fun but I don't regret it at all.

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 5:14 PM
My old man rode all during his early years, up until I was learning to ride a bicycle so I'd say I was about 4 or 5 he sold his last harley. Before that he had BSA's, Indians, Triumphs, Harleys pretty much anything with two wheels and a motor he loved it.

He always wanted the bikes back, but he put food on the table before woring about doing what he liked to do.

When I was about 13 I started riding my friends dirtbike in the feild behind our house and I wanted one. So I raced Moto for a few years then blew out both of my knees and sold my bike to get my first car because I was tired of being in crutches at school. LOL.

Streetbikes have always been something I wanted to get into, my favorite movie growing up (I'm only 27) was Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. LOL. NE way in about 2005 After my first son was born I bought another dirtbike and started racing again.

Later that year I developed a heart problem, but at the time it wasn't that bad I would just have to take a couple weekends off from riding here and there. But my condition progressively got worse as time went on. So last October I'm laying in the hospital bed after an angiogram and my doctor is telling me that my heart function is slightly reduced and extreme cardiovascular workouts can make this worse. He suggested that I not ride anymore. So I thought long and hard about it, and decided that I would sell my moto scooter and do something I've been wanting to do for a long time, build and oldschool chopper or bobber.

So that's what I did, and now after finishing it I just want to build more.

My ultimate goal would be to build an old panhead or shovelhead and surprise my dad with it, so we could finally ride together. He is having a really tough time of it right now financially and I can't think of anything better than to be able to show up at his door with my bike and his strapped to the trailer and say "let's go for a ride"

That's a GREAT story.

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 5:16 PM
Yeah, selling stuff is no fun but I don't regret it at all.

Neither do I, homie. In fact, I'm actually looking forward to getting rid of all the stuff that takes up so much effing room in my house, garage, shed, my mom's driveway, etc. It'll feel great to have done with all of that stuff...

opposed
08-28-2009, 5:19 PM
Nothing special about the bike build, but kinda neat quick story about the gas tank.
Soo, in '79 my mother(a life long rider) worked at small bike shop that did british bikes and some old metric choppers. I was 2 years old at the time and she'd take me to work with her, mostly I just sat in the chair at the front counter. One day this old chopper comes in wrecked and the only really salvagable part was the gas tank. So it sat on the floor and apparently I used to sit on it and play with it after they cleaned it up. Fast forward until Dec.'08, I'm buying parts from this old timer that I usually get cool old parts from, and we get to talkin'. He owned the shop that my mom worked at in the 70s. Now he just sells parts out of his home. He knew that I was building an old Honda chop and the next day he brings in this great old GME coffin tank and says" you and the tank have met before, here ya go." It was the same tank that came in on the wrecked chop 30 years before, he'd put it in a box and there it sat. Its on the bike now.

CreepyJack13
08-28-2009, 5:53 PM
Nothing special about the bike build, but kinda neat quick story about the gas tank.
Soo, in '79 my mother(a life long rider) worked at small bike shop that did british bikes and some old metric choppers. I was 2 years old at the time and she'd take me to work with her, mostly I just sat in the chair at the front counter. One day this old chopper comes in wrecked and the only really salvagable part was the gas tank. So it sat on the floor and apparently I used to sit on it and play with it after they cleaned it up. Fast forward until Dec.'08, I'm buying parts from this old timer that I usually get cool old parts from, and we get to talkin'. He owned the shop that my mom worked at in the 70s. Now he just sells parts out of his home. He knew that I was building an old Honda chop and the next day he brings in this great old GME coffin tank and says" you and the tank have met before, here ya go." It was the same tank that came in on the wrecked chop 30 years before, he'd put it in a box and there it sat. Its on the bike now.

That's totally uber RAD!!!