September 18, 2011

Competition Entry #9

Today's entry is from Curt in the US with a great build. The engine is particularly beautiful in my opinion. Curt also has a blog called Project Thumper, where you can read the whole build thread.

I have been into motorcycles since a very young age when my father sat me on the seat of a bright red Indian 30 dirt bike. I was 4 years of age – it was 1974. Motorcycles have always been a part of my life, but since that day they have been in my blood. Over the years I have owned a few different bikes, mostly Ducati, most recently a 999 Biposto. Over the last few years though, I found myself riding less and less. I loved spending time in the garage tinkering with my bikes, building small pieces such as custom aluminum fender eliminator kits and such. 

So recently I decided to sell my beloved Ducati and explore something I had always wanted to do. Build a custom cafe. So began the search. After countless hours pouring over images of bikes on the Internet, it finally hit me. My very first street bike given to me by my father at the age of 16 was a black 1978 Yamaha SR500. 

For a couple of years, I rode the wheels off of that thing until one day after a very wet trip from Spokane to my hometown in Montana, the bike just quit. She never ran again. Ironically, my father still has the bike, but after talking we decided it was too far in disrepair for my first attempt at restoring a bike. 

So, I started looking for one locally. Just my luck, with the new interest in in the world in classic cafe bikes, the SR500 has become sort of a sought after bike and a bit of cult classic. I couldn’t find one anywhere. Finally after several weeks of searching, one popped up on craigslist and wouldn’t you know it, it was a black 1978 SR500. 

It had to be fate - but it was in Canada. I immediately called the guy and he still had it. So the next day I rented a uhaul trailer and off to Canada I went. And so the journey began. I aptly named her Eleanor!

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