I picked up a new project bike recently a 1976 Honda CB550four. It’s a beauty, just imported from California so it’s chrome and metal work haven’t experienced much moisture in 30 odd years. The original back tyre is bald and looks like someones had some fun doing burnouts, so that means either the engine is strong, or its cooked, but thats the beauty of a project you never know which way it’ll go or what you’ll find.
I’ve been deliberating how to go with this build then I found this article from 1976 that documents the style I’m going for on the exact same bike. ‘The Gentlemans Express’, little show, all go, the full articles here via Chin on the Tank if you’re interested in the oily bits.
This new addition got me thinking about the nature of projects and I’ve almost always had something going on in the background of real life, be that fixing up old bikes or surfboards to putting on club nights or exhibitions. A project is very therapeutic because its a distraction from the day to day banality, no agenda and no one telling what to do or how to do it. Not wanting to get all ‘Why don’t you’ but if you don’t have something on then maybe give it a go. Many of you reading here will be surfers so a great one to have a crack at is to build your own hand plan for those tiny, clean summer days at the beach. Theres a video below from Kordoroy to get you started.
If you don’t have the space or tools commandeer your parents, in-laws or friendly neighbours sheds. These old folks are also a good source of advice, wisdom and never ending cups of tea so take full advantage and get busy. Although its not all about being busy, some of the most enjoyable project moments are when you’re sitting in a garden chair with tools laid to rest, just drinking a beer, shooting the shit with a like minded soul. Bill, a friend of mine at Ministry of Bikes hosts MNIPN (Monday Night is Project Night) and these guys do just this every Monday night. See a video below of them fixing bikes, drinking beer and throwing disco balls at each other and if that doesn’t inspire you then nothing will.