View Full Version : just came up from the basement

01-08-2007, 09:40 PM
just came up from "down under".....was looking at the 46 chief i restored a few years ago and had some thoughts. upon looking at the bike initally i was pretty proud of what i had done with my restoration(unsupervised &unimformed)then i realized,upon looking at the clean lines of this bike, i had passed (mabey)some desire for a young lad down the road the "what a machine "syndrome that i had when i was 11 years old.i guess what im trying to say is it isnt about "you or me" and what i have got , or have done, its about the absolute beauty of the machine. we may be the care takers but hopefully our kids will ride them.i would hope that everyone who is fortunate enough to have a few these machines will keep this in mind when a young person looks at your bike with adoration,knowing that they could never afford one..............ever.........and "take them to the basement"

01-09-2007, 07:45 AM
I do that too. I'll sit down in my shop with a gin and tonic and look at one of my bikes. My wife wonders how I can sit and stare at an inanimate object for so long, (it ain't natural !). I'm sure the gin has something to do with it but I think it's like reading a book. Old motorcycles not only have beautiful lines but there is also the history, and the whole element of industrial arts. Style was in every component because they were designed and built in a day when craftsmanship was ingrained in the manufacturing process. Today the accountant has taken the place of the craftsman so we see efficiency. We live in an age of pragmatic Mr. Spocks who have taken the beauty out of common day to day objects. Not only are things ugly and cheap, but it's all made in China. I'm getting off base.

Old motorcycles are time machines. This isn't just some hollow cliche either. Real old bike entusiasts live in the past because you have to understand the environment these motorcycles came from to fully appreciate them. That's why so many people don't get it. They know they're worth a lot of money and that's the intrinsic value of an old motorcycle, but to us, it's the history, beauty, and that pound of flesh that we put into them that makes them priceless.

Barring that planet earth gets hit by a meteor, there is no doubt in my mind that our old motorycles will be lusted after for many generations to come. Beauty is beauty, a 4 cylinder Hen or Indian is always going to be a bike to die for. Our old American bikes are always going to get somebodys blood boiling. This passion will outlive all of us. Phew !

01-09-2007, 08:39 AM
I think we all understand just sitting and looking at the our iron. Be it the garage (south) or the basement (north). I also go to the garage alot to sit and read about old motorcycles and to just get away from the reality of life. We do have one advantage over our northern brothers, we can sit and reflect for a while and then get up a go for a ride almost any time of the year.

01-09-2007, 09:29 AM
I think it is the purposeful art and craftsmanship in the designs of every component that captures our awe. Think about it ?? The use of fins in several components was for heat dissapation. Mud guard styling was for water and debre deflection. Many mounting features were multi-task. Most plating was for protection. The engineering itself was transformed into a masterpiece of art and beauty. What was believed to be beauty at the time was, mud guard trim and tips, chrome, paint schemes, white wall tires, leather schemes on seats and saddlebags. Though exceptionally beautiful also, these options could not match the class act design art that the machines themselves were. Todays machines lack such design art. Streamlining is incorporated into all of them. Technology has had a huge affect on engineering that such design art is no longer there or necessary. Yeah.....for me it is the awe and wonder of how the funtional design of every single part and component, assembled together into one working machine, transformed those engineering feats of mechanics into such a beautiful artistic masterpiece. Paps

01-09-2007, 10:46 AM
Ya'll are making me feel better about myself.......often wondered if i was the only one who set in the garage on a rainy saturday and "pondered"..........OK i think i know why they did that.....but how did they do that???? Typically one more scotch and water will make things much clearer up to the point of ......don't care why they did that nor have a clue as to how......but it sure is amazing! All of this precedes a BIG SMILE.
Ain' t life grand !

01-09-2007, 03:35 PM
I agree with everything that has been stated here about our love of these old machines and their design. I would like to add that while I sit looking at these old bikes I can't help but dream of the storys they would tell if able.

Where have they been over the years?
How many men have enjoyed their company?
Do those men ever wonder where there bikes are now?
How many close calls have they seen?
How many young kids got there first ride on the back of them?
How many races did they win or lose in their lifetime.

The list of questions goes on and on. I'll just bet their all glad to have such good homes and care takers now.-Steve

Tom Lovejoy
01-10-2007, 12:53 AM
Something I often think about when I am in my garage. Is how different our country was when our machines were new. living in L.A. with all the traffic and I have a hard time trying to imagine the country not covered with cement and super freeways covering the land. The roads they covered and the times, I dont know how as many survived as did. Trying to imagine the country as it was then is a treat for me, Tom.

01-10-2007, 02:16 PM
I think we all romance the history with our machines. I really enjoy getting off the interstate and riding from town to town at 50mph. We are fortunate here in the north west to have many secondary/tursh hwys that allow this. Many twisty mountain roads. Many small towns with gas linking together. Lots of wide open spaces without the population density seen in many other parts of the country.

I'm 39yrs old. It sadens me when I consider that in 20-30yrs there will be very few people on the road to meet and hear there stories about these old bikes. The memories, etc. Make a record, share some photos if you can.

Just another old bike? I'd like to meet some young guys 18-25 that are interested in this stuff. Few and far between.

01-10-2007, 02:46 PM
I started my son with working on and riding a couple of older brit bikes he is now 18 and really enjoys them. This summer he will be getting used to my old flathead as well. Two days ago about 30 degrees out he decided that we should go for a ride, so this we did and what a ride it was. These are the times we will remember in the future and hopefully we can share with his kids when he has them someday. We will be sitting in the garage looking at the bikes talking about that day for a long time creating our own history adding onto the past history of these older works of art.

01-10-2007, 03:46 PM
rwrun, you are very blessed, take advantage of every moment ! Had two young men in my shop a while back, walked in, looked down a row of vintage bikes and said......these are nice mister, got any "choppers"??? They left in a hurry to watch cable t.v.. Guess i need to build one to get some youth to hang around. Thinking about hoarding up all of the "crotch rocket" parts i can find. Probably a good investment.