While I missed all my favorite Socal fleas, I did happen to be in town for BORN FREE — an outdoor motorcycle show in Silverado Canyon. Lots of choppers and bobbers (most of which I don’t care for) but definitely some nice vintage gems, tastefully done brat/bobbers, a handful of cafe’s and definitely the show highlight for me — all three Falcon bikes. I know there’s a ton of hype around the company which has just barely built only three bikes, but they really are beautiful machines in person. My favorite is definitely the KESTREL.
Such amazingly clean lines and incredibly tasteful choices every step of the way. Hats off.
I actually ended up enjoying myself more than I thought and surprisingly, didn’t have to inch my way through too many drunk, smelly, middle-aged dudes spilling out of their Harley shirts, sporting leathery tattoos and some specimen or another of tough-guy facial hair.
Above is ex pro skater Max Schaaf’s build.
(First image borrowed from my buddy TRISTAN)
This is the state of my bike at the moment. I’m in the middle of tearing down/rebuilding my bike with a little help (Ok…a lot of help) from a couple friends who are much more adept at auto work than me. We’ve got it stripped down to the frame and got it cleaned up quite a bit by hacking off unneeded tabs and filling unneeded holes. The plan is to clean and rebuild the engine (where necessary) and build the bike back up as sort of a cafe/brat style bike, while taking inspiration from older british bikes. There’s not a lot on this bike that will be left untouched or unmodified. It should have a really clean and classic look when we’re done with it. Can’t wait to get it up and running, but then again, I’m really enjoying the process. This is how I’ll be spending most of my free time while I’m back in OC. Fun stuff. I’ve been snapping some pics on my phone as we’ve been working and so here’s the tear down process at various stages:
The bike when I brought it home. It had crash bars and a sissy bar (not seen in picture) and some weird electronic ignition unit mounted off the triple clamp. Not that appealing looking. It wasn’t running.
The bike cleaned up a bit and running. Pretty much bone stock at this point.
The bike before we started it tearing it down. Only a couple small cosmetic modifications — Drag bars and bar end mirrors.
Pressure washed, seat, battery/battery pan, toolbox, and rear fender assembly removed. Ready to start hacking the frame.
Frame hacked and cleaned up in various places, various holes welded and filled. Exhausts removed.
Pressure washing the exhausts. These will be sent out to be rechromed along with some other parts.
Gauges and mirrors removed. Tank mocked up for knee dents.
Headlight, tank and some other stuff removed.
Everything else removed. Down to only frame.
Paint stripped with Aircraft Remover (stuff is gnarly). From here, the frame will be sanded to complete removal of paint, body filler will be applied to clean up various places. That oughta get it fully prepped for paint. To be continued…
Sorry about the lack of posts but I’ve been on a general hiatus from the internet due to me having a lot going on right now…one of which is my somewhat newly acquired ’72 CB350 which I’ve been working on endlessly and riding here and there. I got it non-operational and after lots of late nights, big frustrations, soiled denim, acid eaten shirts, a million kick starts, tons of reading and even more learning, I’ve got her up and running fairly well. There’s still lots of room for improvement (it’s a 40 year old bike with nearly all stock parts and not a lot of maintenance) but I’m happy with it for the time being. I will eventually do a full tear-down/rebuild, but I need to ride it around and enjoy it for a bit.
These bikes look great stock and are an obvious candidate for a killer cafe racer. I’m not really sure where I’m going to go with it at the moment, but I’m thinking probably something between a cafe and a brat. We’ll see. Anyhow, vintage motorcycles have been my growing obsession over the last year or so, mostly due to influence from several friends who ride/fix them up and sites like Southsiders (who I just found out linked this site :)). It’s a nearly primal instinct in a man to be attracted to motorcycles, and once you get on one and furthermore, get your hands dirty and start working on them, the lure is undeniable. Since I’m drawn to pretty much all things vintage, vintage motorcycles have grown to be a pretty serious obsession of mine. Now I just need to learn some welding and fabrication skills (anyone wanna teach me?) Can’t wait for my next one!
P.S. I’m thinking of going back and documenting some of the work I’ve done on the bike here in case anyone is interested. I for one have benefited a whole lot from people doing the same.