Teardown

The anxiety begins.

The start

The start

Im going to get this out of the way right now, motorcycles have a shitload of parts to them. More than you could ever imagine, and if you plan on tearing down a motorcycle you should have the following things:

  1. Patience
  2. Expertise
  3. Organization skills

I don't excel in any of these categories. 

I'm renting out space in my friend's shop for the build, and it's too crowded. Currently there are five bikes in a two-car garage, once you factor in all the lifts and tools you're limited even further. This is where a lot of my frustration comes from. I wish I had more space to organize the four thousand parts coming off the Bandit. I've resorted to labeling sandwich bags, chucking it on the 3x5 foot table and watching it sink into the ocean of other plastic bags.

Shit table

Shit table

It's been very easy for me to get overwhelmed during the process. I have to remind myself to be patient and continue doing one thing at a time. I'll have days where I'm thinking about too many things: what colors I should paint the bike, parts I have to order, should I replace the exhaust?... I end up spending four hours in the shop and getting one hour of work done. Up until now patience has been an issue of a moment at hand; with this project it's been on a much larger timescale. I can't paint the engine right now or drain and replace the fork springs, I have to wait until March or whenever those pieces fall into the timeline. Forget about the tires and the wheels, I haven't stripped the frame, drained fluids or even bought new pads for the brakes ( I don't even know how to install the brake pads ). Being patient (something non-mechanical) has been the biggest learning processes for me...I was not expecting that.

The reality of the project didn't really hit me until I removed the engine and placed it up on the bench. I looked back at the bike and saw the skeleton of what once was and thought "I'm just getting started here". There was a sense of accomplishment followed by this fear of the unknown. What the hell am I going to do with this bike?

Engine removed

Engine removed

The teardown is not even close to complete and I've already learned more about mechanics and engineering in vehicles than I could have imagined. I'm really trying to find a true appreciation of how amazing bikes are. The people who design and build these machines are brilliant and the custom motorcycle builders across the world are truly skilled and talented individuals. I'm simply happy to start having something in common with them.