As a bike rider myself, there is no experience that compares to wheeling down the highway on a sunny day along a beach with the wind on your face and the freedom that only a motorcycle can give. Riding a bike is an escape from the mundane misery of the things you have to do and helps get away from the reminder of how different life is when compared to how you want life to be. The only thing that makes the experience more exhilarating is knowing the steel horse you ride is an extension of yourself, restored to perfection, and perfectly tuned. There is a lot to consider when you are going to restore a motorcycle, and the choices you make will define the experience.
The Old and the New
Restoration of a motorcycle can mean many things depending on who you are and what you intend to do. Is your bike a new bike that you are recovering from an accident, or an old bike that needs some serious attention? Are you going to rehab the paint, electric and mechanical parts or strictly one section of the motorcycle? These are only a few examples, and they do not cover the entire range of possibilities.
If you are restoring a wrecked bike, the age has a lot to do with your options. Replacement parts are expensive if you want to get original equipment manufactured parts. The advantage of older bikes is the availability of used parts that may be in good enough condition to meet your needs. If the bike you are restoring is old and exotic the costs of restoration may be unexpectedly expensive and drag out the process unless you are sitting on enormous amounts of cash.
If you are restoring a newer model and need parts galore, the options are going to be dictated by circulation. If the motorcycle is less than five years old, you can expect to buy a lot of new parts. The wise move is to find another wrecked bike before your purchase and make sure your investment is well protected. Newer, exotic bikes have specialty motors, transmissions, electrical systems and coolant systems that are not as easily tweaked and peaked for prime performance. The good news is that there are industries built around the concept of modifications that offer body kits and specialized upgrades to possibly turn a good bike into an amazing and memorable adventure.
The simple truth about a bike is that when you arrive at your destination, you want to feel good getting off your bike. What biker hides their bike in between two big vans in the back of the parking lot when they dismount their steed? Whether you are restoring an old bike or a new one, you have to make a decision on how you are going to make it your own. Bike owners share in a comradery that transcends explanation. The look, the head nod, and the passing remark are more than a silent expression, it is a symbol of respect. Imagine getting off your bike and getting giggles?! Who wants that?
Personalizing your bike is done in many ways. Believe it or not, there are only a few parts of your motorcycle that you cannot paint, chrome, or otherwise improve the appearance of. The key to good personalization is in knowing yourself. Some people need a flashy bike while others want a loud roaring machine. Even still, there are others who simply want a bike to get from point A to point B with no more than the silent passing approval of other bikers. The only certainty is that regardless of the extent that you express your flavor, you have to live with it when it is done.
Ever drive down the highway in your car to get passed by a motorcycle exceeding the legal speed limit by outrageous speeds? We all have, and we remember thinking how crazy that driver was. For some people, this is a critical component of the riding experience, it emphasizes the freedom offered on a bike. While roaring at these speeds is not recommended at all, there are places that it is acceptable. There are biking events all over the country at different times of the year. Speed is not the only performance variable.
If you are going to go across country to a bike rally, you are going to want a degree of comfort. The speediest bikes are not the most comfortable necessarily. Try going over speed bumps at 70 mph over and again for a thousand miles hunched over the fuselage staring over your handle bars. You will experience cramps and soreness like you have not experienced before. Evaluate how you intend to use the bike and retune it accordingly.
There are no words of wisdom to point you in a direction that only you can go. That being said, not everyone is a mechanic. At Linear Automotive, they specialize in paint and repairs/restoration and can help you get your bike from the heap to the steep, and you can be on your roaring way in no time. There is only one separation from you and your fantasy bike, the desire to see it fulfilled. When you have made up your mind and commit to the experience the help is available for getting you there. At the end of the day, just ride!
As indicated previously, there is nothing in this world for Ray Donato like mounting a bike and speeding off into the distance. As such, he never misses the opportunity to write something for his fellow bikers regarding how to keep their machine in good shape. If you wish to learn more about Ray you can visit on Google+.