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Vintage Rider
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420 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I also am curious about your shop, if you care to comment on that.

Looks like you have top flight facilities and tools. And yes,we are interested
I am envious of your shop as well! ;)
Previous quotes are from a thread I posted on a restoring a C110 Honda, which I responded to by saying I'd comment about my shop in a separate thread.
Here's a link to that thread.

http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?p=1617042#post1617042

As a member of quite a few different forums, I get asked many questions about my collection, such as how do you insure them, what's your favorite, which is the fastest etc. As well as the more negative comments, such as why do you need so many, you should let somebody else have them so they are ridden more, etc, etc. So I won't be surprised by any comments here either.
First a little more about me, than what I mentioned in my intro.
I grew up on a dairy farm in So Dak, where I was taught the value of a work ethic and the belief that you could make your own dreams come true with some hard work and accountability for your own decisions. No, I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth.:(
Even though times were tough as a teenager in the mid sixties, I still look back on those years as some of the "funnest" times in my life. After getting a ride on one of my older brothers friends Allstate scooter when I was 13 yr old, I was determined to never pedal again, borrowing Briggs and Stratton motors off of my Dad's lawn mowers, rototillers etc. and placing them into bicycle frames by welding crude mounts, just to get the thrill of powered riding.
I begged my dad for a motorcycle, because many of my friends were getting caught up in the "you meet the nicest people on a Honda" sales boom. He told me when I had my own money I could buy one. So I literally worked on my dad's farm for nothing, as well as hiring out for about 75 cents an hour to neighbors to come up with the money when I was 14. Purchased a bike from a mechanic neighbor and brought it home. My dad immediately told me I had to take it back because I was not old enough for it! That wasn't part of the agreement I thought we had. But anyway I only had it for less than a day.
After a rough 6 months, my dad finally gave in and let me buy a used Honda S65 and the fun began:biggrin:, As I enjoyed riding as well as touring just to get away from it all.

Here's a link to a road trip example from my youth.
http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=164898

I kept a bike in my possession from then until my first of 4 daughters was born. Seeing the need to be there for them rather than the alternative. (Yes I know motorcycles are dangerous) So I sold the bike I had at the time, a GT550 Suzuki, and went without a bike for the next 28 years.
Then after my youngest daughter graduated college, I jumped right back into what would become my retirement hobby. First finding the bikes I used to own, to getting all the bikes I used to sit on at the dealerships and dream about owning. And to finally owning every bike in the dealership brochures. I tell my wife I'm a collector, but she wonders about hoarding.:mad:
I just love the diversity of all the models, especially the different engineering and designs used. So having more than one of a certain type might bore me.
Even though I would be considered a collector, I'd also like to be known as a historian, because I spend a lot of time researching every bike I own. Also parts searching a lot.:coffeescreen:

So onto my shop. I had moved out into the country prior to retiring and wanted a place to work on my bikes separate from the house. I was trained as a mechanic early in life at a Diesel and Automotive trade school. However that career didn't last long, as I soon found out it wasn't much fun working on other peoples vehicles. I only moonlighted for extra cash as needed.
I now only work on my own bikes, because too many times before I've used my hobbies for extra money and soon those hobbies weren't fun anymore.
So I built my shop specifically for the purpose of housing and working on just my own collection.

Here's my work area. I have two lifts for performing anything from minor maintenance to full restorations.


A line of mostly Honda's


Some smaller '60s Japanese bikes.


A couple of '60s Suzuki's out front.


Of course the grand kids love to go for a ride when they can talk me into it.:)

Yes, you could say I'm enjoying my retirement:)

So there's some pics of my "cave". No way could I get everything into a few photo's but that's a portion, since some more are on display in other locations. Some days I'm content to just relax in there and have a cup of coffee while admiring the many different machines, like fine art.:smiley_drinkcoffee: Other day's like today I've completely dismantled, bagged and labeled an entire Honda S90 that I'll be sending out for media blasting and paint.
I'm only into finding survivors and doing original restorations. I do enjoy helping others with questions etc posted on forums, but lose interest if they are only trying to, IMHO, destroy by customizing a bike to suit their on taste.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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14,359 Posts
Holly crap that is a lineup of bikes. How do you keep track of the maintenance schedule?
 

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Six-String Jockey
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1,860 Posts
That is flat stunning. I'd love to request a photo of the GT550 you purchased to replace the one you had in your youth. Indy would appreciate a picture of his cousin.

Also, do you have a Z1 Kawasaki 900?
 

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Vintage Rider
Joined
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420 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Holly crap that is a lineup of bikes. How do you keep track of the maintenance schedule?
I was generally keeping only about 20 bikes that were ready to jump on and go, but even that got to be a lot of work. So the last couple of years I've only been using about 10. Maintaining batteries is the biggest chores, along with carburetor cleaning that always seems to be needed, even with the use of a fuel stabilizer. Pure gas is quite a drive for me to get. Each time I ride a bike, the tire pressure, oil level and condition, as well as chain tension is checked. Unfortunately sometimes I forget to check the gas level:frown: Fuel petcocks are always turned off prior to shutdown so I can lower the fuel level in the bowls.
As long as I don't forget to do that, rarely does gas get into the oil, requiring a change to prevent engine damage.

That is flat stunning. I'd love to request a photo of the GT550 you purchased to replace the one you had in your youth. Indy would appreciate a picture of his cousin.

Also, do you have a Z1 Kawasaki 900?
The GT550 I have now is a '75, while the one I rode earlier was a '73.
I did a lot of touring, two up with my wife, on the '73, but could never find a Green Lime Metallic one like I had. About 8 years ago, I saw one for sale and thought it might have been my original bike, but it sold before I could see it in person and verify it.

Here I am cleaning the bugs etc. off it in Cortez CO, on a trip to the 4 corners area. circa 1974.


And my wife packing it up for an all night ride across So Dak to Iowa, taken in the Badlands at sunset. circa 1974.


This is my current GT550, a '75 model in Orange metalflake. Gotta lose that sissy bar:biggrin:



I do not have a '73 Z1, as I'm currently focusing on '60s models, but would love to get one, as the prices of them are sky rocketing.
The best I can show you, for a '73 Kawasaki, is my H1-D 500 triple.
This is before I put the grab bar on it.
 

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Troublemaker
Joined
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2,517 Posts
It took two days to wipe the drool from my keyboard!

How many do you keep licensed and insured? That would be more than I could handle.

I do have a 74 Honda 360, and that is enough to keep me busy, seems it always has something that needs attention. Wish I could find some new stock mufflers for it that are in good shape, but still proud to own an old bike. I know the attention I draw when I stop for gas or something with one old bike, couldn't imagine the time it would take to get gas with your collection!
 
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