With a simple push of a switch my bike fired to life filling the small workspace with thundering exhaust from the short drag pipes.
In that brief moment my bike is finished.
It is a runner. Years of hard work, years of saving all came down to that one moment. There have been ups and down like with any builds.
I’m like most backyard builders; I’m not flush with cash able to buy things at a drop of a hat. It has meant the bike has had to wait while life went on with birthday presents, house and car repairs, and the occasional trip to SoCal to check in at the BikerNet intergalactic headquarters.
The bike still has a few gremlins to exorcist namely a starter jackshaft that only engages the ring gear once every twenty tries after that first start and the handlebar kill switch doesn’t kill. I’m sure there will be a few more that will pop up when I take the bike down from the lift but for now I am happy to say the bike is finished.
I had planned to do an Evel Kniel/Captain American inspired bike named “Am I Evil” but the bike has picked its own name preferring to be called Snow White.
Bike building isn’t like you see on TV. Even the TV builds are not like they are on TV. Parts don’t come in on time, things
don’t line up properly. Parts that are to come with mounting hardware and mounts don’t. It is a matter of rolling with the punches and keeping your head above water.
Deadlines get pushed from spring to fall to next year. I had hoped to have Snow White finished for our riding club’s poker run in May, which came and went and became a goal on St Victor Boogie weekend in June. With zero miles and a finicky starter she probably won’t be making it to the ball.
It is the last thousand dollars that are the hardest. It is easy to collect parts over months and slowly tinker away at a bike but the day comes when the bike is on the lift, painted, mostly assembled that money becomes an issue.
You are so close to finishing but yet so far. The last thousand. The road is calling; it’s been months, maybe even years since you rode. Everything is there on the surface.
It is the little things that are needed, longer bolts for the signal lights and mirrors, enough oil to do break-in oil changes, a relay here, separating clamps for this line and that.
People give you a hard time that the bike will never be finished and you start to think that they are right.
I decided to bite the bullet and put that last thousand on the credit card but as of my last statement that thousand seemed to have doubled. It has me worried - worrying will disappear when I finally head out onto the road and feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin.
Then it will have been worth it.
-bad Uncle Monkey