Thursday, March 1, 2012


I thought it would be cool to show some pictures of some of my early bikes because, well, they sucked and are funny to look back at.  My first real road bike was a Yamaha XS-400 Special, which was the first vehicle I purchased when I turned 16 in 1990.  It was fully loaded down with a gigantic seat, little fairing, the whole nine. Even that far back, I knew that all the shit hanging off of it was lame, so I stripped it down to just the bare essentials for riding and nothing else.  It was a spartan, ugly bike.  I thought the norton cafe racers I saw around town were cool, so I spray-canned the tins a glossy yellow color that I thought was the shit, and put some little superbars on the bike.  That lasted for maybe one summer before I decided to paint it black again and start to make it into a "chopper".  I put on those apes, made a super crappy seat out of seat foam and a piece of plywood, and was so stoked.  I rode that thing everywhere.

In retrospect, wow, what a hunk of shit.  My favorite touch is the duct-taped battery holder, sweet.  Funny thing is, I still have that entire bike, albeit in pieces in my shed.  Someday I will put it back together as something a little nicer.

I moved to New York City for school in 1997.  I had no bike other than my Yamaha, which was stored back in Minnesota.  I joined ebay in 1999, and while I was trolling on there, I came across a funky little Triumph Bonneville chopper.  It was a 1968 in a rigid frame, just a cobbled-together pile of junk.  I was hyped on it and bought it, and had it shipped to my parent's place in Maryland.  I would ride it when I went down to visit them but didn't bring it to Manhattan because I had nowhere to park it.  I moved back to Minnesota in 2002 and brought it back with me.  As soon as I had a garage, I was redoing that bike to make it better.  I ended up with this:

I have a ton of funny stories about building this bike, but suffice it to say that I got the frame and springer front end from that joker Casey Tallon (anyone that has been in the chopper game for a minute will remember that name).  They were total junk, but I used them anyway.  For its time (2002), it was a pretty neat looking chopper, although those whitewalls bum me out every time I look at this picture.  I only rode this for half a summer, figured out it was a pile of junk, and sold off all of the parts piecemeal.

I'll keep going through my old bikes here on the blog, its fun to look back at these deathtraps.

1 comment:

  1. The Wretched 400 in the flesh !!! From little things cool things come.