Follow me on my project as I purchase a Yamaha XS650, get it running and registered and then chop it into what hopefully is a sweet scoot that I can get out on and tear up the roads.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The beginning of my project

I have been searching for something for about 6 months now. I didn't know if I wanted it to be a new vehicle, a used vehicle or a project to work on. At first I was just thinking about different options that where available to me.

I currently have a BMW E30 318IS that I own and am doing some basic work and mods on. As much as I love the car I just do not see it as being a long term project beyond cleaning it up aesthetically and mechanically. I also have owned my Honda CBR250RR sports bike since January 2007.

I love riding the bike, be it the commute to work or a blast up Springbrook and Tambo on a cool morning, it is involving, enjoyable and as most things are, even better when you do it with some mates. For 2 years now I have been talking about upgrading my bike and license to something bigger and with more poke that the asthmatic 250, but so far nothing has really motivated me to do so.

Sure the latest crop of crotch rockets from Japan are all absolute speed demons and to boot they all look alright too, but the difference between all of those models is negligible. They are pretty much the same thing in a different colour with a different badge. Did I want to purchase a new bike and try and get my kicks that way?

Well no. As much fun as I could have doing that, I already know that purchasing a new bike is just not going to fill in that something that I have been looking for. Neither is another car.

Sure I have a few projects that I could finish, but they just are not capturing my attention at the moment.

After several weeks trawling the web and finding some very cool hobbies and projects that people have put together in their garages, I realised that I wanted to do something with a bike. A bike is reasonably easy to work on. They don't take up heaps of room which is great, I already know that I love riding them and that I didn't want to just run down to a bike store and pick one off the lot and tick a few boxes to individualise it. \

I want to make something that is my own.

One of the problems with sports bikes, is the fact that there is very little to do besides tune it up and bolt on a lot of mass produced add-ons, unless you go for the street fighter look. I love a cut down bike like the street fighter, but I wanted to go back to where that began. The Bobbers and Choppers of yesteryear.

Guys used to take their bikes, whatever the make, and cut it down to remove anything that was not essential. They would shave off as much weight as possible, change things around to suit both their riding and their personality. They often did all the work themselves and with mates on their nights off and weekends and then ride to work again the next day.

I don't want any of the chromed up bling machines that so many people think of when you mention the words custom, bike and chopper.

I want to take from that old school mentality and get a bike, cut it down into something light, agile and something that is mine.

So a chopper it is.

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