Restoration is Hard

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve embarked on a brave journey. A journey that will surely take me to the top of frustration mountain and shove me right off the edge. I’m restoring a 26 year old motorcycle that hasn’t been ridden in years and has been left exposed to the elements for all that time.

I’m learning a lot about the art of restoration as I go through this bike. Every day is a roller coaster ride of emotion as I flip from excitement, when I think of what this bike may look like when it’s all done, to complete despair when I realize how much work needs to be put into it and how much it will cost.

Today I cleaned two more carburetors (out of four) and that felt really good. I have just one more to go and then I can actually try and start this beast and see if she runs. I think just knowing that the internals actually function will give me a real emotional boost. If she fails to work properly, well… then I need to break the engine apart, dig even deeper, and learn a whole new set of skills to get her running, but that’s both exciting and discouraging at the same time. It’s so much work, and parts are getting rare for this model.

This is the excitement of restoration. I have no training as a mechanic, but with the help of the internet I’m learning fast and it’s been incredibly rewarding. Honestly, there’s nothing like taking something that is complete crap…. I mean real crap…. dirty, rusty, nasty, abused, neglected, forgotten crap… and cleaning and polishing and working it until it’s beautiful and meaningful and cherished again. The feeling of looking at a shining piece of metal that was just a few hours ago a rusted piece of scrap is bizarrely pleasing.

Anyway, I’m only in the beginning stages of this bike restoration, but already I feel energized and excited about what this dirty, rusty piece of crap will become someday down the road. I’m determined to make her a beautiful, road worthy, piece of art. Stay tuned.

Posted in Art