No announcement yet.

Why do people let bikes rot?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Why do people let bikes rot?

    What the hell is with this epidemic of 1970s and 1980s bikes that are just turning up in hibernation and nearly dead from rot?

    I went by this guy's house today because he had a 1978 CX500 for $200 and a "1978 Yamaha" for free.

    I showed up to check them out and the CX500 had brand new tires on it that still had the chicken strips, and they were hard and dry rotted. Ants had built a mound through the front wheel. The engine was seized at 9,400 miles from sitting. This is a bike that, with oil changes and valve adjustments, will run forever.

    The Yamaha, which looked like a Seca 650, had been stored on its side in the mud with all the spark plugs out of it. It was seized. This is another bike that will run forever.

    Why do people do this to motorcycles? There's nothing wrong with them, they stop riding them but keep them anyway, then the bikes rot to death waiting to be ridden.

    I have three motorcycles, and ride each of them at least once every couple days, and at least one of them daily.
    '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
    '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

    '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

    Maybe they were owned by wannabees, and maybe something happened that scared the crap out of them so they stopped riding. Or they didn't have the money to fix a problem. Obviously they were not worthy of owning them! Any bike can last forever if it is stored properly when not in use, and of course, not wrecked. I read about someone restoring an old indian pulled out of the mud of a farm field where it had been for decades... so there is always hope, just not for UJM bikes that were cranked out by the tens of thousands and that you can find reasonably intact runner versions of on ebay for next to nothing.
    '88 Hawk GT
    '89 Harley FXSTC
    2008 Yamaha V-Star 1300 tourer

    " performance ain't perfect, but its loud, and its fast..." -Widespread Panic


      when i was a young kid, i saw his dads kawasaki bike and loved it.
      i always loved motorcycles, even though i was only 4 or 5.
      he gave me a ride around the block with me on the tank... i never forgot it.
      couple years later, im older.. 10-11ish... too big for the tank, and i got a ride around the same block on the back this time....
      i'll never forget that either.
      then some personal stuff happened.. i was too young to understand, but from then on, his bike sat. and sat.
      we moved. everytime we moved, the bike moved with us... and then it sat some more.

      all i could think of was "how can you let it sit?! how can you let it rot like that?!!?!" i wondered that until i turned 15... that time, when we moved, the bike didnt come with us.

      but i was 15.. i bought my first car... a POS camaro.. i got into cars. all thru highschool, thats what i did..

      i turned 18. i could finally sign for that streetbike license ive wanted since i was 4.... i bought my first bike. a honda hawk.
      i didnt know what i was getting into.. i just saw that sexy slim tank from the rear 3/4 view.. that sexy single sided swingarm.. and that BLAT.. ooh, this was no inline 4... *drool*
      she had clipons and a twobrothers left exit exhaust... owned by the service manager himself.

      i rode the piss out of it.
      now, i considered myself a sane person. im exceptionally smart. im a "good boy"... but that bike made me a crazyman. i started out right.. MSF courses.. drove defensively... but ive always been addicted to speed...and the bike brought that out in me.... that and the freedom.. with this bike, i could fly. i could do anything.
      ive had more close calls then space to tell them here... i did crazy iron butt rides (1200+ miles in less then 12 hours. charleston,sc to dallas.)
      ive gone out with crazys who race on the twisty back roads as groups..

      i put 60,000 miles on my hawk. no, the hawk didnt have 60,000.. it had 90,000... i personally put 60,000 miles on my hawk.

      and it took its toll. its once perfect looks were wearing away as the miles tacked on.

      by now, im almost 20.. im living on my home, half the country away from my family. im broke. i cant afford my car, and its sold. the hawk is my only transportation.. i bearly notice since my hawk is usually my only transportation... i was a bike addict.. but it wouldnt last. it couldnt.
      she needed too much work.
      and i needed a car... so she sat, and i bought another camaro... not to replace her, but because i always wanted a camaro convertible and i found the rgith deal....
      the bike needed everything rebuilt... and i didnt have the money.

      i eventually had to move back to my home state. all i had was a camaro. so i packed what i could, and put the bike with the rest, in storage.

      a year passed. im in a camaro club now. modding my car when i can.. never forgot my hawk... id wince when i see a bike go by. wishing i was him... but, my hawk was 1200 miles away. my car was here. as in my highschool days, i was into cars...

      i went and retrieved my hawk. i tossed most of the other crap away. it was the hawk i wanted.

      but she was not as i remembered.. i had forgotten her blown fork seals, her engine drip, her lightly smoking, her rock chipped paint...
      i saw her for what she was, and it depressed me.

      still, i had a bike.
      i tried riding her... new fluids, ect... and took her to work one day.
      the chain snapped.
      ok, new chain, went over everything i could.
      fuel pump died.
      bypassed the pump to get home.
      couldnt get a new pump.
      she sat.
      i moved out of my parents house, but the hawk stayed there.

      one year... two years...

      she wasnt forgotten, but im big into cars now. i have more money in the rear axle of my camaro then what a hawk costs. almost everyone i know is car related.. i run a car message board for the now statewide club.
      my hawk was still not forgotten... but i realized.. she was rotting.
      she had became the bike my dad had... i loved her. i loved the freedom she represented... i could not let go.....but, i didnt have the garage, the money, the time.

      one more year passed. i moved into a house.
      money is tight. almost too tight. im paying for a house by myself.
      but i got it for the garage.
      the camaro.. its almost done. im becoming bored with it. its hard for me to admit to that, because ive spent over 20k over the years on her... i dont want to be cocky and say i know it all, but i can recite anything from the wiring pinouts, to the best ____ about thirdgen fbodies... and if i dont know, i know who does.
      they're boring me.
      the car itself, its fast. but its not as fun. i miss the days of flying thru the trees on two wheels... just jumping on the bike, not worrying about a million little things, and flying out into the countryside.. riding for 8 hours, just cause..... my car, my car cant do that.
      its faster then the hawk. its faster then a modern 600 if you want to go from a hwy roll.. its a drag car, and its not slow.

      but i need to move on.

      so today i went to my parents house on my lunch break, and loaded my hawk into the pickup....... it begins.

      (you can see it in the back of the S10 on the far side of the parking lot... its that red blurry thing)


        Yeah, welcome home, dude. Let us know, anything we can do to resurrect her.

        It's gonna be fun hearing about you breathing life back into that little moto.
        1988 "BlackHawk" project
        1989 "RallyHawk" is Chuck's now!
        1988 "The Gray" Tempest Gray Metallic stocker

        I can't tell you how peaceful it is. Shinya Kimura
        People who know ride Hawks. Riot


          mrdude what a story and i must say that does put it in perspective for the ones that dont understand how this could happen
          sounds like a love story between two people lol
          but im the same way my bike was beutiful when i got her but after about 40k or so miles of just brutal treatment i had to buy another bike before i started the task of a full rebuild i got a 2005 rc51 has my daily rider and after a year i want to sell that so i can buy a second hawk wile i restore my first one a second hawk would be cheaper than keeping the rc51 and i miss riding a hawk even though i got a new rc51 in the garage.
          am i crazy? no i just found the perfect bike and its hard to find another bike that matchs the hawkgt.

          also my budget is slim and if i could my hawk would be back on the road next month but i cant finace the build that fast.
          1988 & 1991 hawkgt, 2005 rc51


            Nice story Dude...
            Keep it coming!!!!
            So as you mentioned a lot about the Cammy what IS the spec?
            Whats she run in the 1/4??


              Originally Posted by brewsy
              Nice story Dude...
              Keep it coming!!!!
              So as you mentioned a lot about the Cammy what IS the spec?
              Whats she run in the 1/4??
              keep in mind, its had several stages... so thats more money there.
              91 camaro convertible
              motor started as 2002 LS1.. its now a modded genIII... i dont think you can call it an "ls1" anymore
              T56 trans
              moser 9" housing
              strange center
              detroit locker
              billet yolk
              alum daytona pinion support
              moser axles
              custom tubular front kmember (fits the ls1)
              tubular front LCAs
              spohn SFCs
              moroso trick springs
              lakewood drag struts
              cheepie 50/50 rear shocks
              jegster TQ arm, heavily modded.
              god... i just dont want to type it all.. i dont even want to think about it... basiclly everything has been changed. ive even changed the back of the gauges to modernize them...
              in the end, i have a car thats much faster then it looks, but its still just a car.
              she has a best run of 10.8.. but shes mostly a 10.9car in the fall/spring and a 11.0 car in the summer heat.
              she would go faster if i sprayed her.... but i was going to go forced induction.
              ive decided to ditch that, and move on to the hawk... i have a bunch of turbo stuff if anyone is interested.... intercooler, turbo, wastegate, mandrel bends (2.5", 3" and 3.5"), heh..... if anyone wants more info, PM me...

              anyway, my hawk is home.
              tomorrow, i have 50 things i need to do.... i probly wont get any of them done because i'll be screwing with the hawk.
              first things first.. i'll get the engine going... then, i need to start saving..... she needs new forks, new front tire and new front brakes. and when i do that, i'll want to upgrade.... so i need to save (or sell enough car crap) to buy the RC51 front forks, triple tree, a rim (havent decided, but it'll be a dual front brake, wider rim) brake calipers/rotors/lines/master cyl and im going to assume that due the larger dia of the forks... i'll need different clipons... i MAY be able to have my current ones bored out... but really, i'll probly clean them up and resell them here for cash to buy the proper RC51 ones.
              all that, and its just for the front end. lol
              im still trying to figure out the WHY of why the damn rear shocks cost so much... just as much R&D goes into other race shocks, but damn.. in anycase, i'll then be looking for the proper dampener to go with the new spring i'll need... im a large guy...230lbs... so ideally, i'll need something pretty stiff... the hawk doesnt use a linkage....

              the list i made at work is huge, and it doesnt even count the stuff i dont know about yet... or even the motor work. lol.

              ah well, im rambling now.. can you tell im excited?


                Wow. I want consistent and regular updates.

                You had me at; "I loaded my hawk into the pickup....... it begins. "

                "A Café Racer will ride all night through a fog storm in freeway traffic to put himself into what somebody told him was the ugliest and tightest decreasing-radius turn since Genghis Khan invented the corkscrew." - Hunter S. Thompson
                www.c a n y o n c h a s e r s . n e t