Why do we do it?? torture? Personal satisfaction? What?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by lrutt, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. lrutt

    lrutt SILENCE.....i kill you

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,724
    Location:
    Deltona, FL
    I have a lot of bikes, no doubt. It's not about just having things. The majority of these bikes I've fixed up, many brought back from the dead. Including the most current which is a work in progress, my 71 Yamaha RT1B.

    Last night as I'm putting the freshly painted swingarm in the freshly painted frame. Greasing up the new bronze bushings in the swignarm, Mounting up the freshlly cleaned and polished shocks, putting in the freshly overhauled motor, I'm just thinking about how increadibly satisfying it is.

    How satisfying to take a pile o crap that hasn't run in years, and transform it back to a thing of beauty. That is the ultimate satisfaction. Not to say I have xx bikes, but to admire the 42 year old paint that I spent countless hours touching up and rejuvinating so it looks amazing, to pickup that freshly machined cylinder from the shop, paint it up nice, and slide it down over that brand new piston. To hear that sound of new rings sliding in that freshly honed cylinder. to take a set of forks that were completely frozen and would not budge, and rebuild them to polished working masterpieces. And the ultimate joy, to have it all together and start it back up after it's extended slumber. to ride it and experience all that was good and bad with an old enduro from 42 years ago. And in my case. to relive my youth on the same kind of bike I had when I was in high school.

    There is so much personal satisfaction in this hobby. I can spend hours just looking at these old beauties let alone get them out for a ride. I truly think that is what is wrong with so many in our society. Everyone should have a hobby that can provide them with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, to challenge the individual and to develop new skills. Has to be more than just what you do at work, but something you really truly love and enjoy.

    That is why I do what I do. and why I'll have to expand my shop before I die since I don't plan on quitting any time soon. I'd go nuts if I couldn't practice my hobby.

    I'm sure I can't be the only one.
    #1
  2. fyr

    fyr iRoast Coffee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,305
    Location:
    Bytowne, Canuckistan
    I think it is a noble exercise. Keeping great bikes on the road.. Alive and running. Along with that comes the knowledge and expertise that can be shared..
    I shudder at the thought of bringing in a 20 year old bike to a shop ie: airhead, and getting blank stares..
    I am on a bike "fixin" hiatus... Its more of a time thing... Im lucky enough to still own a bike with family life in full swing, so my bike has to be turn key and go.
    However when free time does return, there is nothing like a late night shop session with some amazing tunes, some liquid refreshments and old machine being brought back from the bin...
    #2
  3. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,285
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    We do it for the babes.
    #3
  4. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,614
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    We give new life to the rusting hulks and other beasts discarded by the careless mob. We see the splendor that could be. We see the beaming child that will roam the highways and backroads of the WORLD! We give LIFE! We are GOD!

    Just kidding, we are sadomasochists. The only thing the World gives us is a suspicious stare.
    #4
  5. cam14

    cam14 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Texas
    Speaking from my personal experience, I gain a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I did it. It does not matter if I’m on the track in my car or on the trails on my motorcycle, or winning the race or just a participant, I’m the guy who build the car or motorcycle and no one to blame but me if something goes wrong. And if everything goes right, I’m the one who made it right. Guess that sounds egocentric but do not make any less true, at least for me.

    Guess that is why this fourm has a strong appeal to me, like minded people.
    #5
  6. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,502
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    +1

    Starting with an old bare frame, a rusted engine, a tangle of wires, and boxes of misc. junk, and eventually making it into a "living" entity brings forth a satisfaction like nothing else.:clap
    #6
  7. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,763
    Location:
    Beautiful Revelstoke BC
    :thumb
    #7
  8. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,755
    Location:
    NorCal
    I just can't pass up an orphaned non running vehicle. It's an illness. Unfortunately, my finances dictate to the amount I can put into any of them. I like when you can take a pile of neglected junk and actually use it for it's intended purpose. That is satisfying.
    #8
  9. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,653
    Location:
    El Segundo, CA
    +1
    #9
  10. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    46,984
    Location:
    Harrys place
    good post and well put. I'm always amazed at the restorations of old scrap heap bike's to pristine jewels. I wish I could do it. My drug is the camera. Not a picture of me but one I took of some people you described, and I've never even met them.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,371
    Location:
    Central CT
    I call it the sense of "garage accomplishment".
    I don't need to complete a restoration to get it. Just completion of a mechanical task or two in the garage does it, and it sure feels good!

    Very nice post, OP. :thumb
    #11
  12. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,502
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA
    What?
    Sometimes a small source of additional income for me.
    I'm a seasonal construction worker so have some time off in the Winter months.
    I'm constantly "on the hunt" for older, dead bargain bikes. Over the past 20 odd years I've resurrected around 50 motorcycles. Most of them developed fuel system issues from sitting and were fairly simple fixes.
    But a guy has to be cautious not to get into a money pit if a profit is to be made.
    Get lucky on occasion. This 1979 Suzuki GS850G (18k or so miles) was a $350.00 find. Only had carb. intake manifold vacuum leak issues that the owner couldn't figure it out and he wanted it to go away.
    It was a filthy mess but with a day of intense cleaning I think it came out pretty good. It went to a new owner and was a nice runner.

    [​IMG]


    There are at least a dozen cool older bikes, I've got running and passed to new owners, that I wished I could have kept.

    Hope to gather up at least two bikes this summer for next winters projects.
    #12
  13. Suncountry

    Suncountry Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Central Washington
    I look at it as more of a disease, I just can't help my self. I see an old bucket of bolts and just have to rescue it.:D I am currently on a break, my kids college expenses are using up my fun money.
    #13
  14. cam14

    cam14 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Texas
    That is a great pic, love the look in his eyes. Not sure how old that guy is but sure he is older than me and hope I still have that much fire when I'm his age. I'm pushing 50 so I'm on the right track :)
    #14
  15. nsu max

    nsu max Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    397
    In my case I just like fixing old motorcycles up. I find true satisfaction taking an old unwanted bike and breathing new life in it.
    #15
  16. Gham

    Gham Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,404
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    All the above,when I stop somewhere old motorcycle guys always come up and check my bikes out too.They (or a buddy) either had one or rode one and usually are the most interested and thoughtful in their comments.

    I was sitting up at the bar having a beer and a guy walked up to the bartender and asked "who owns that old Honda out front?I want to meet that guy".I introduced myself and we talked for awhile,he was a nice guy and could still recall most every performance figure from 1982:lol3.

    Older machines always get my attention too,I seek out owners or hang around until they show up.It's either in you or it's not,love for old bikes is hard to fake.
    #16
  17. lrutt

    lrutt SILENCE.....i kill you

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,724
    Location:
    Deltona, FL
    True dat. Some people are only infatuated with the latest and greatest. Just worried about tech and 1/4 miles times etc.

    I have my RT1 about 98% together now. Just need to wetsand and polish the original paint on the tank to try and get it back to an acceptable look. Was able to salvage the original tank badges wtih a bit of boiling water to press them back to shape, then spray paint the back side to get the black contrast looking good. Could have dropped $70 for new ones but they are chinese and just look TOO good if you know what I mean.

    When at all possible, I will rejuvinate the original parts, even if they are not perfect. After all, they are original and the bike is 42 years old so IMO it needs to show some battle scars.

    And while I am totally committed to working on these old things, I always hold true to never putting more money in them than they are worth. I'll make them mechanically sound, will do all my own paint (no PC), and no re-chroming. And I will not 'over restore' them. Typically use rattle cans for frames, motors, and some body parts. I'll shoot acrylic enamels for tin work (typically what they were originally).

    Kills me to see a guy at a show wtih a 68 bonnie telling me how my fuel lines are not correct for the bike. So my bike has no tits on the tires, a greasy chain, and some dirt under the fenders cause it gets ridden, while his is spotless and tits all over the tires :(. Probably doesn't even have oil in it????

    Oh well, I guess he's just more dedicated to this than I am :)
    #17
  18. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,917
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I am never impressed by what someone owns, but I am impressed by what they do.
    Build/restore/maintain a bike or car or house or boat and you get my respect.
    Way too many people think that having something is great, its not, making something, fixing it, improving it is what really gives satisfaction and pride.

    If I had time, money and space, I would have a huge collection of old bikes and spend lots of time working on them.
    #18
  19. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,755
    Location:
    NorCal
  20. nachtflug

    nachtflug infidel

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    46,984
    Location:
    Harrys place
    that one's pretty tough to beat but at least that is a hot bike. someone on adv did similar work to a Yamaha 175. talk about a less than inspiring bike but he tweaked it a little and it rocks.
    #20