When you decide to take on a project sometimes the idea of that finished project just isn’t right. This is something I’ve noticed after what I’ve done with the last 4-6 motorcycles I’ve purchased, sold, purchased, sold, and, well..you get the idea. There is always more to be desired and really for me sometimes the chase is more exciting than the time spent sitting in the garage just looking at a bike. Wondering, “What have I done? Why did I buy this? What am I going to do with it now?”
That for me was the previous ’73 CL350 cafe racer built bike. Sure – the deal was great, but I’m about a foot taller than I should be to ride the bike and already have a street bike that I enjoy. I didn’t get that true excitement when I saw the bike just sitting quietly by itself. This is what lead me back to my roots. Literally dirt and roots. Trail riding.
I began my love of all things dirt and moto when I was around 10 years old and my dad showed up at the house one day with a Honda TRX80 4-wheeler. I immediately hopped on and made a trail in the woods by our house.
That trail turned into a jump. That jump turned into about 4 years of racing quads. I always felt the idea of free riding through the woods and not being held to a specific track was just so much better. The freedom to explore and discover.
I’ve been through a number of different dirt bikes, racing quads, and street bikes since I was a kid and the fun part is trading/selling them for something new and exciting. The newest acquisition (makes it sound much fancier than craigslist buy) is a 1998 XR400R trail bike, which is a twin to the one my brother-in-law just picked up and has been raving about. I wanted to get back to the true joy of just going out into the woods, blasting around the trails all day and then hopefully coming back and telling tales of all the fun of that day.
I picked the bike up in Austin, MN, and while I was bummed I didn’t get time to visit the Spam Museum, the bike deal was locked, loaded, and on its way back to the cities. I spent the next few days ordering up all the parts I needed to bring it back to life. Tires, oil, grips, brake light parts and some license plates to ride between trails up North once my brother-in-law could get it all sorted out.
We spent two evening and a Saturday getting all the parts in line, and I have to say, if you’re ever thinking about changing tires on a bike – don’t. What should have been a simple, “We can do this” turned into a quiet stare off into the middle distance.
We eventually succeeded, but it was raining so hard by the time it was all back together that I didn’t even get a chance to really ride the bike. With a bunch of fresh parts I’m chomping at the bit to get out to the trails and hopefully feel like a kid again. If you’re thinking about getting out there again like the good ole days, don’t wait…the woods are calling. I mean, doesn’t that look like some fun?