My First Bike:
I never owned it, never rode it, never turned a wrench to get it running. I only ever heard it run in person once.
But I helped build it, made some super-custom one-off parts which will forever be part of the frameof what is known as the OCC Eragon Bike.
As of this writing, my own personal collection of old Hondas sit coldly in storage in or, outside under tarps, behind the shop. The one promising bike is inside, awaiting the next infusion of cash and applied torque and pressure from tools which might just bring it to life once again.
The others may donate parts, or merely continue to rust and decay. Paint fading, rubber drying and cracking, alloy turning slowly to fine white dust, the inhalation of new life staved off forever…until some shredding maceration machine renders the parts back into the raw materials for future machines, tools, decorations.
Right now though, they are dreams.
Shadows of dreams they were to those who built them, a means to an end in the form of a job, a future. That which paid the bills, provided the daily grind, supporting as many dreams as perhaps crushing.
To those who bought them, putting those inaugural miles on the odometer, commuting, travelling, or just in play.
For me the dreams of fixing them up, to be the one to breathe that rejuvenating breath of life into the carbs, to pass into cylinders, kindled to that new life with bright fat sparks provided with perfectly adjusted points and a fresh battery.
In the form not of a chopper, rather something subdued…not sedated certainly, just no abundant chrome, no raked out forks nor open pipes, no radical paint job…
More an urban commando, a cafe-bobber-standard-commuter…
Go. Stop. Turn.
Minimalism at its…
Essential basic transportation. Easy to park. Good on gas. Fun to ride. Electric?
Bike as poem.
Commuting as art.
Until then, the ‘insufficient funds’ are the are the time and experience as much as the cash needed to continue. That, and an implied need for perfection, the sensibility of doing it right the first time which results solely in procrastination.
Here I am behind the Scenes…before even the “finished project” pictures were taken in the American Chopper production area at OCC, getting my “proof I was there” pictures.
My work was used to support the rear fender “shield” with the copper edging. I tapered four pieces of half-inch stock, leaving an isolated end which would be drilled to accept mounting hardware. I then counter-twisted the shafts (cheating, with a torch…), and bent a gentle curve into the result while hot with a wooden mallet.
I really like how the paint came out! The beauty of iron is difficult to bring out with paint. Often it is best to maintain the look with waxes and oils right after brushing, but of course, most objects are painted…this is a really nice job, bringing out the highlights in the twist.
These are some design sketches I made before we settled on simpler being better…
More designs available, but you’ll understand if I want to make them…get in touch!