We’ve all heard about motorcycle accidents. The guy/gal gets creamed at an intersection, or a guy backing up runs into the bike. Stories like these are horrible and can often lead to a devastating accident that leaves the rider disabled or dead. We rarely, if ever, hear of anything good that comes out of an accident, but, this time, something did.
This article is about Gavin Smith’s first custom bike, which he named “Aftermath”, which you will soon learn why. I have written this as though he were telling the story, so, sit back and enjoy.
Aftermath: It was my first road bike I’ve ever owned. A 1993 Yamaha Virago 750 with 12k miles. I bought it for $1850 and I rode that bike everywhere putting 12k more on it the first summer I had it.
I drove it for a few years until I was in an accident. I was hit by a semi truck that merged on top of me. Long story short I was hurt but alive and my bike was totaled.
I actually rode the bike home from the accident, but it was in rough shape. The insurance company offered to let me buy the bike back for $75.
I knew the motor was still good so I said for $75 I’ll take it.
I wanted to build something, but wasn’t sure what. I could do a go cart, v twin quad, bobber. All kinds of ideas went through my head.
Note from Customs N Classics: Because I am not as educated on Bike terms, as I might be on car/truck terms, I felt it necessary to find out what was meant by the term, bobber. I did go to Wikipedia, (GASP, I know, but the sources for the information were pretty top notch), and copied their definition, so, anyone who is in my shoes would have an idea what the term meant.
(According to Wikipedia, the definition of a bobber is as follows; A bobber, originally called a ‘bob-job’ from the 1930s through 1990s, is a style of custom motorcycle. The typical construction includes stripping excess bodywork from a motorcycle; removing the front fender, and shortening the rear fender, which is “bobbed” (as in bob-tail), and all superfluous parts removed to reduce weight.)
I took down the bike to the frame and removed all the damaged and broken parts off the bike. Surprisingly the frame was unharmed with the exception of the back half that supports the passenger.
I cut the back portion off and reinforced the frame where I cut the back off.
After picking through a bunch of parts I had everything on my list but lights.
I found a pretty cool old Kawasaki tank and some handle bars from a bullet bike that attach to the fork tubes. I got all the replacement lights and a new Springer seat from eBay.
The build was quite easy actually. I just had to make new mounts for the seat, tank and headlight. I loosened the tree around the forks and slid the forks up 3 inches so I could attach the sport bike style handle bars. That lowered the bike and gave it a new aggressive looking stance.
I made some new side covers out of diamond page aluminum. And I made a new set of exhaust for it and was back riding again after a fresh paint job. I only spent 600$ total in parts and paint.
It turned out really cool. I didn’t go to a gas station without someone commenting on it, or asking “what kind of bike is that?!” I eventually sold it but still to this day there are times I wish I still had it.
Keeping the faith of fanatics who feel fired up for anything motorcycles. It’s all about the journey and the philosophy of riding on two wheels. Let’s bring alive the truly unique culture of motorcycling and never let the ride leave the fibers of our being.