So I’ve got a question. Do all of us riding Mother Davidson’s finest shrink from a little work in the garage? I think that it is pretty well documented that I love to wrench on my bike and I know that plenty of other folks out there do, too.
So why do I see so many stock bikes while I’m riding?
I mean, you dropped $20,000 to ride a corporate cookie cutter with a few dealer-installed gizmos? Why? Think back to The Wild One in 1953 – a whole lot of guys that give the impression that they can fix any issue that arises and nowadays, we have riders that are worried about a summer rainstorm. Sheesh.
So if you’ve ever thought that you might just like to ride something that exudes a little more personality than your factory bike without calling up Jesse James or firing up the torch, then put on your thinking cap! You can build a bike in your garage. Period.
If I can find a complete wiring harness for a 41 year old bike on eBay in two days, then you can probably find a few bits that will let your newer bike reflect you. We already looked at how to make the seat more comfy, but 90% of the stuff that makes bikes more useful to individuals is nuts-and-bolts stuff that will magically show up at your door – with instructions on installation and, in many cases, enough YouTube videos to satisfy every question you could have.
Why not? Don’t give me that crap about resale value – your bike depreciated the minute you signed the note on it.
Money is an issue, of course, but realistically, there are tons of small things that you can do to make that bike a reflection of your personality. Even as mundane as pinstriping on the tank or a tiny bit on the frame.
How about instead of chrome, you tossed in a little rattle-can spray paint to that battery box? (especially if you have an older bike that has a funky looking box). No offense to chrome, but I have a lot of love for a hidden bit of color. Toss in some different color lights in the gauge package to give you a red or blue backlighting. Total cost? $4.00 and 10 minutes? The look Different and understated. The odds of you screwing it up? Slim.
All I’m asking is that we reach back into our heritage as tinkerers and strive to let some of that come out in how we express ourselves today as riders. If we all wanted to look alike, we’d simply drive a beige Ford Taurus or a Toyota Camry.