I built a motorcycle, I bought a van and then I left...I left my job, my friends, my fiancée, my dogs and every other thing that brought me comfort.
I left Wisconsin full of energy. I had left my job and loaded my bike and all my gear in the back of the van and said my goodbyes...I had started my journey.
Growing up, I was never really a motorcycle guy. I had never driven one, never contemplated owning one; I never even sat on one until I was 24 (stupid me). I always thought they were dangerous and the likelihood of owning a motorcycle with my parent’s approval was blasphemy.
Last november I was scouring Craigslist for a used sports bike, with the hopes of spending my free hours during the frozen Chicago winter taking it apart, customizing it and building my first bike. I was specifically looking for a bike with plenty of power, something that was fun to ride but still highly functional…
It’s been a long process trying to figure out how Bandit should look after the build. There are a lot of things to consider: composition, fairings, exhaust, wheels, seat, handlebars, materials, gauges and color across the board.
When life handed me a crazy man’s custom bike, I made my own lemonade. You already know about my search for the perfect Bandit, there was a stop along that road which gave me a chance to ride the scariest machine I’ve ever been on.
A friend and I recently took a little road trip from Illinois to Atlanta to deliver a custom bike he’d been working on. It was an excellent trip. We met some good people, ate the best sushi we’d ever had and even got to bring back a BMW airhead for our next project, but that wasn’t all.
I’ve been making mental notes of all the things I’ve done wrong on my first custom project and I want you to learn from my mistakes. Write these down, memorize them, print them and tape them on your wall because they are true and they will happen to you.