All posts by kmargs

Seat Inspriations

Was just checking out some of my seat-replacement options and came across a lot of people building their own seats on the cheap! I certainly don’t want to drop $200+ on a seat, but it might be worth it to save my bum.

I am not really looking to do a cafe racer with my bike. But I love the idea of being able to build my own seat. And now that he’s put it in my mind, I’d like to avoid what Charlie likes to call “poop butt” (that protruding back fairing).

Commenters on the video have a great point in that the battery won’t be hidden, which somewhat defeats the purpose of that particular design.

Any good ideas on where to get cheap, classic-looking seats? I’m looking for something brown that is good for urban riding AND can be used on longer 3-hour rides.


Under the Sea

Yesterday, Charlie and I spent a few quality hours with my boxes, frame, and the factory service manual for the KZ650. That shit was so dirty that I kept the bandage on my semi-healed second-degree burn (it looks way better today when I took this picture than it did yesterday). I have been kayaking in a ship graveyard, which is a tetanus paradise, but I was having NONE of this dust and grime.


At the end of the day, we were left with a sea of parts, but it seems that mostly everything is there. I am going to need new sprockets, a new front disk, a new break cylinder and lever, and new exhaust pipes.

The guy said everything was there, but clearly that was a farce! God knows what you have done, sir, and I will be avenged!!!! Have fun in hell, jerk:


That’s alright. I know a guy in Baltimore who has some exhaust pipes he can sell me for $60. It’s nice to have no degrees of separation.

That all being said, here’s a completely underwhelming picture of the insanity I will be enduring for the next several months. I’m sure we could turn this into a cute I SPY  book, but there are lights, a wiring harness, seat, break/clutch things, wheels, pegs, forks, shocks. Not pictured are my neat jars of ball bearings and my hell-tins of random bolts and washers.

The thing that gets us is the unopened air filter that is already wrecked simply from being too old. People are full of shit: age is defined by time and not state of mind…my air filter proves it!

Pandora’s Boxes

145 miles, 2 and a half hours, $16 in tolls, and one burrito bowl later, Charlie and I found ourselves in an oddly quaint and suburban town in New Jersey.


I remarked that Main Street reminded me of a gold rush town from home. I hoped there was a homemade fudge store, a kitchen supply shop, and a “general store.” Unfortunately, this is as close as I will get to a gold rush town this year.

We pulled up to the house I was directed to just as the bike’s owner rolled up. Timing is everything.

Dave opened the garage, and there was a frame, tank, and forks staring us in the face. He had several bike parts, and got this particular one from a gentleman who was going to restore it 20 years ago.

Turns out this bike had been apart for that long!

For the better part of my existence, this bike has been in pieces, just waiting to be restored to its former glory. What better candidate than a woman who wants big-kid Legos?

He and Charlie went through the boxes and miscellaneous parts. Everything seems to be in good condition, since it was all kept indoors for 20 years. A few things were missing, and we were able to bring the price down to accommodate that. All-in-all, once the parts are organized, I will be able to clean thoroughly, and have a nice bike to put together.

There are four incredibly unorganized boxes that I am absolutely dreading having to sift through. I wonder if there’s an app for that.

So now, it is in our extra room. Pandora’s boxes are just waiting to be opened and sifted through.

I will surely lose my mind.

100$ Bill

“…it’s so obvious. I’m so obvious. God. Why do I always make myself a target? I should have driven. I’m going to get mugged again…only this time they’re going to like what they get. This is so obvious.”

It’s amazing how self-conscious and paranoid you get when you have a few hundred dollars in cash on you. I tried to minimize my “target-ness” by nixing the purse. Instead, I carried my wallet, personal phone, work phone, and iPod (which holds my spare key to the house). Might have well taken the purse…I was practically begging to be ripped off with bulging pockets and a phone and iPod in hand.

Whatever. I was a badass on my way to get cash to drop on a motorcycle…I even scoffed at some little bitch-man riding a vintage bike no better than a scooter.

God. I’m already a snob about it!

I had half the cash on me already in 20 dollar bills. My little pocket-sized yellow Target wallet was bursting. If you know anything about women’s pants, you know that our pockets serve no real function…They’re barely deep enough to fit my fingers past my second knuckle. My wallet was so conspicuous it might as well have been advertising its hiding place. “Is that your wallet, or are you just happy to see me?”

I swear to God every single person who crossed my path was a mortal enemy. They knew my secret, and they wanted what I had! Feigning calm indifference, I strutted along with a high chin and long stride, looking just past them through my VonZipps. My ruse worked time and time again. Damn I was good. Lucky them, because I know Krav Maga.

Three blocks down; ten to go!

As I approached the bank on Pennsylvania in SouthEast close to the Capitol building, I noticed more people looking my way. It was like “Inception” …you know, the scene where Ellen Page realizes all the people in Leonardo DiCaprio’s dream are looking at her with distrust and hostility. Only this time, it was with the thirst for all the green pieces of paper just under my lace tank top.

Ariadne: Why are they all looking at me?
Cobb: Because my subconscious feels that someone else is creating this world. The more you change things, the quicker the projections start to converge on you.

Before they all converged, I was able to make it to safety…aka, Wells Fargo. SANCTUARY!

The line was purgatory. Not quite the agonizing hell I endured outside, nor had I achieved my goal. It pretty much did take an eternity. No hyperbole this time. There is nothing slower than waiting for other customers to finish their transactions so the teller can call you up with a sickeningly sweet greeting.I noticed the jar of dum-dums on the counter with a sign that read, “We value our customers.” I snickered. Why not Smarties?

Anyway. I get up to the counter and tell the bank teller that I want to trade in a bunch of the cash in my wallet for big bills, and I also want to take out additional money in large bills. She handed me the exact amount in those awesome fake-looking $100 bills. That shit is crazy looking, by the way.

So I fold up my hundred dollar bills, adjusted on those VonZipps, and walked out with all the faux confidence I could muster. “Faux is a French word. Got an x in it, but you don’t need to pronounce the x. How do you like that for prestigious?”

I decided to let my boyfriend know I had gotten the cash I needed, and at great peril in the wilderness of Capitol Hill, I pulled out my phone to gchat him.

Me: It’s weird having all of the cash on me.
Him: Hahah. You baller, you. You should have seen how nervous I was when I bought my Suzuki for 3500 cash.

Suddenly I felt childish. I had a measly $500 on me ready to purchase a 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 in boxes.

Whatever. The dramatization is better than reality. That’s why Hollywood exists. Would you rather watch the Scots trudge through fields and forests and prepare to fight King Edward for independence, or would rather watch Mel Gibson paint his face blue, deliver an inspiring speech for the ages, and immediately get down to killing bitches?That’s what I thought.

So that is how this project and epic quest began. I will be building a vintage motorcycle from just a frame, engine and boxes of hardly-organized parts.

(Below is my theme song for this post)