So I’ve spent hours upon days upon weeks upon months… and even a few years dreaming of building my very own motorcycle. It all started approximately a decade ago when I acquired my first motor vehicle, a lowly early model Ford Laser. That thing taught me how to drive manual transmission and how to use the road with no power steering. It may have been a boring car, but at the time I loved driving it as I knew no better! Teenage driving habits led me to learning a lot about how to handle driving recklessly, and with time I mastered that particular car…
… It wasn’t enough. All too soon after I began obsessing about more powerful vehicles and fueled this passion with watching endless motorsports on the television and Internet. Playing video games where I could buy, modify, race and tune the rides I figured I would someday come to own. I surrounded myself in an automotive lifestyle – talking to friends with similar passions and driving anything I was given a chance to drive.
It was around 2006 that I started flirting with the notion of becoming a mechanic. I could think of no better life than to work on cars – bringing mistreated cars back to life and giving stock cars an aftermarket rebirth. Unfortunately/fortunately (who knows) my prior and current education meant I was already on the road to completing a tertiary education at university – my dreams of getting paid to do something I knew I’d love were set aside. A year or so passed and my passion continued to grow, my life was changing in many ways – girls, work, friends and more. One thing that remained the same was that during my countless hours of obsessing over building my own project car, I kept coming to the same conclusions – I didn’t have enough money or space (at the parent’s place) to undertake a project of this magnitude, no matter how committed I was. The pain of not having nearly enough money to buy a project car or the space began to grind away at my happiness living with my parents. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are fantastic – it’s just approaching the age of 20 meant I was starting to hit my head on that proverbial ceiling.
After spending several years ruining relationships with girlfriends – talking about cars all the time I came to the realisation that I needed an outlet for this hobby. Constantly dreaming wasn’t doing me any good at all, so I started to look elsewhere.
It wasn’t long before I discovered motorcycles. It felt good to invest time in learning about this “new” form of motor vehicle, it came as a pleasant distraction and before I knew it, I had quite a good understanding of all major manufacturers and their product offerings. Then suddenly it happened… “The average 600cc motorcycle can reach 0-100km/h in under 3 seconds”… My mind was blown. Surely this couldn’t be correct – this two wheeled motor vehicle, and not nearly the largest ones on offer could accelerate at a similar speed to the world’s greatest supercars?! Surely not. My research continued and I found myself surprised at every turn – motorcycles were incredible!
It was at this point that my desire to purchase a motorcycle of my own began. I wanted (needed) to have one of my own. I had to experience this power for myself. I convinced myself that it was worth my mother kicking me out of the house to get my motorcycle learner’s permit, and so I did. Sure enough, my mother stopped speaking to me for the most part of a month (I ended up living at my girlfriend of the time’s place). With that I purchased my first motorcycle on credit (a brand new black 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R).
The feeling of riding was incredible. Like nothing else.
The joys I got from driving were compounded in every possible way when riding. The motor vehicle I was sitting on was simply an extension of my body and the speed…. whoa the speed! Corners became like icing on the cake and the freedom was like I had never felt. Filtering through traffic, parking wherever I wanted and running the motorcycle on the smell of an oily rag were just a few things that helped to assert my new-found love. Before long, my passion for motorcycles eclipsed my obsession with cars.
Years passed, and I acquired my full motorcycle licence, it was soon after that I purchased my first “big boys bike”, a 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 in black and gold. To this day I own this motorcycle and the power it yields never ever ceases to amaze me. I rode approximately 3000kms last October between Sydney and Phillip Island during the 2012 MotoGP – the R1 never missed a beat. Around the same time, I met a friend who decided he wanted to buy my Kawasaki Ninja 250R, and so I sold her to a good home.
A couple of months later I moved out of home (25 years of age, it was about time!) and got my own place with a few close mates. Funnily enough, my old Kawasaki Ninja 250R was living under the same roof again. The best part of the new residence was the garage space – suddenly I had more than enough room to work on a project of my own! But something had changed in my way of thinking between that point and when I had initially dreamed of starting my own project. I still desperately wanted to start a project… But now I wanted the project to be a motorcycle, not a car.
Soon after I took the plunge and purchased my very own project motorcycle – a 1976 Honda CB750F SuperSport.
And so I began my first project…