Here’s the story so far:
Around July 18th or 19th I overheard my friend and colleague Mike talking to his wife on the phone about a motorcycle they were trying to sell. It seemed they weren’t having much luck. I asked Mike what the bike was? He replied that I probably wouldn’t be interested as it was just a dusty old 81 Honda. He showed me a picture and I immediately began to salivate.
I didn’t know much about this bike, I just knew that it looked similar to the cb750k that I owned a couple of years back, when I lived in Utah. Mike told me that his father had purchased the bike brand new in 81. For some reason Mikes father quit riding and parked the bike under his carport some 12 years ago. Mike said he didn’t even know if it would run; I told him I was willing to take the risk, especially for the price he was asking.
After wrangling for a couple of days with my wife, Anne, over the prospect of buying another old bike, Mike and I made the exchange of money and title. on July 21st. Mike dropped the bike off that weekend. I knew that I had gotten a really good deal. Even if the bike didn’t run, I knew I could easily part it out and make my money and then some. (but I hoped and prayed that it would run.)
Much to my delight and surprise, I changed the oil and filter, added a new battery and plugs and the old girl fired right up. I later told Mike that I had stolen the bike from him!
Since my writing seems to have been supplanted by my building this motorcycle, I’ve decided to start blogging about the motorcycle build.
A couple of months back I acquired a 1981 Honda cb900 custom. I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out this bike is a bit of a rarity. Honda only made the cb900 custom for two years-81 and 82. I’m very lucky to have gotten my hands on one.
Much to the dismay of my new found friends on the cb900/cb1000 custom forum, I’ve decided to morph this bike into a sort of brat style urban scrambler. The metamorphosis is still in its early stages, but I will update periodically as the build progresses.
This is what the bike looked like when I picked it up July 30th.
This is its current state:
And this is my goal:
Lewis Hooper stared intently into the abyss that he perceived his life to be. His soul yearned to be extraordinary, bigger than life itself. He ravenously devoured books in hope that some grander purpose could be found within their pages. Hooper wrote poetry, prose, and songs that he would earnestly play on his acoustic guitar. This was an attempt to exorcise his inner demons. He often clambered to the mountaintops just to get a glimpse of the impossible. He was a man in constant motion. In his 40 short years, Hooper had seen and lived in more places than most folks would ever see in the space of three lifetimes.
During his stint in the Rockies, Hooper had spent his spring and summer months riding his 1978 Honda to one of a hundred mountain trailheads. He would then run the ragged single-track trails for hours. There was an inner peace in those surroundings that could clear his thoughts and temporarily calm his focus. Throughout the harsher winter months when the trails were covered with snow, he had spent his time sliding down the side of a mountain. He bitterly hated the cold but the rush of adrenaline from those black diamond slopes would always whip his focus back into shape.
Hooper should have been the happiest man alive. His trouble however, was that he just couldn’t settle into this easily captured state of bliss. Deep within his soul was a perpetual fear of stagnation. Triumph for Hooper was always alluded to but never quite attained. His perception was that he had never succeeded in any of his endeavors. Perhaps the problem was more that his definition of success had just never been articulated. He could envision his ends but the means he could never grasp. His span of attention was just too short.
The act of running generally does not require definition. It is simply the rapid forward movement of muscle, tissue, bones and blood. It is not this movement that requires definition; it is rather the intent behind the movement that seeks clarification. In search of this elusive answer Hooper often asks of himself: are you running toward something or are you running away?