By bad Uncle Monkey
We are crafty types. Many of us build parts for our bikes, turning them on lathes, cutting, welding, whatever it takes to get the job done. We are use to spinning wrenches on our machines and around the home to keep everything running. We build something out of nothing for the simple pleasure of building something whether it is a bar stool with wheels and a motor or a riding lawn mower made from old scrap iron.
I wasn’t surprised when my son’s friend, Shawn, spotted an old bicycle leaning against the garage and asked if he could have it. The West Coast “chopper” inspired bike was a gift from my dad to his grandson. My son rode it for a couple of summers but parked it once his friends got licences to drive.
Shawn explained that his dad rode Harleys and he wanted something to tinker with. So with a nod the bike disappeared into his workshop. Shawn is young and still learning but he is determined.
He disassembled the bike and went about mounting a small cc motor into the frame. With hard work and dedication he built a small scooter of a bike reminiscent of the first motorcycles built from bicycles.
street legal to bop around town on. It’s not pretty; it’s not a hundred thousand custom build chopper. It is what it is - a fun little project to help him learn about tools, bikes and motors.
Shawn has been bite by the building bug and wants to build a couple low-rider bicycles, maybe another chopper scooter, but ultimately real chopper motorcycles. He loves it and has made it
I’m waiting for my Softail to come back from paint and Shawn has asked if he could help me put it together. I’ve told him I’ll help out as much as I can with advice and parts filling the gaps where his dad can’t. I welcome the interest and hope he will be around when the parts finally arrive on my worktable.
This last weekend was the annual Moose Jaw Swap Meet and Shawn buzzed his way down with his little bike to check out the scene and maybe find some parts he could use.
I was disappointed to hear negative comments towards Shawn and his bike from people there. They said his bike was loud and crude, a joke of a bike. It is sad to hear this from the very people who should be the first ones supporting someone who is starting out.
Shawn is learn something the old fashion way. Trial and error, watching others doing, rolling up his sleeves and finding a way. His bike was never meant to be a mass production bike; it was a life lesson as to what he could do with his own hands, his own imagination, his own spirit. He is starting down a path with no idea where it will take him in this life. After all isn’t that William Harley and the Davidson boys did?
-bad Uncle Monkey