Saturday, April 15, 2006

New Bikes

Today, dad and I went back to the house I discovered on Tuesday. The old lady was really nice to us, but I could really tell there was a feud going on between Zach and her. She called him some pretty dirty words for an old lady. She complained that he's nosy and tries to get involved in everything. Which is true, but Zach's still a nice guy.

When we got there, the lady told us that she'd had someone from her motorcycle club tell her the values of the bikes. He'd recommended that the DKW's should go for $200 for the 3 of them, which turned out to be 2 DKW's and a basket cast Kawasaki. It was just a frame and part of an engine, so they probably assumed it was the same bike as those on either side of it. So we bought those three bikes. The Kawasaki is going to be stripped of all usable parts to be sold on eBay, but I think we can get two running motocross bikes out of the DKWs.

The BSA 441 Victor was, as I said, not for sale. However, Zach though the lady had given it to him, but there was no way the lady was going to do that. "Excuse my language, but that piece of shit thinks that just because he cleaned it up, I'm going to give it to him." initially she said that it was her son's, but as we were getting the DKWs out to the truck, she asked us if we wanted it, I think just to spite Zach. Zach, was understandably disappointed, but I think he'd rather us have it than her son, and I think she'd rather us have it than Zach, so the two played off each other in out favor. So we got the BSA for $800. I bit more than we'd anticipated, but dad's always wanted one, and and it was probably an okay deal. It looks kind of bad in the picture above, but new paint and a new seat cover, and it'll look great. And why didn't everyone make aluminum tanks? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Barn full of bikes

That's what every collector dreams of. A barn full of whatever they're collecting. Well, I found it today. I just got a new front tire put on my CL350, and was out testing it out, when I noticed a guy walking back from the mail box into his yard full of motorcycles. The bike that caught my attention was an old Sears bike that I thought was a Honda 150 Benly. I made a quick u-turn and went back to talk to the guy.

"You know what that is? It's a Sears."

"Oh", I said, slightly dissapointed. I told him that I have a couple hondas that I'm working on resoring. Riding one right now in fact.

"Turn off your engine, I'll show you around."

I got off my bike and he showed me a couple piles of bikes in the yard. I talked to him about the bikes that I have, and he explained to me that the owner of these bikes use to race motocross in the '60s and '70s. He died a couple years ago, and he'd been kind of taking care of the place for the widow since then. I told him what I was looking for. Something a bit older that the mid seventies bikes that were out in the yard, thinking that I'd seen all there was to see.

"Come back here, let me show you something. Now I haven't shown anyone else these bikes." In another shed, further back on the property were a couple other bikes. Three DKWs, one nearly complete, one missing some engine parts, and one missing the engine altogether. I started to lift the cover off the fourth bike in the shed.

"That one's mine." He hesitated for a second, then pulled the cover of to reval a nearly complete BSA. "I've been cleaning this one up a bit. Before you couldn't even tell this tank was yellow. The engine kicks over and everything. Good compression. But this one's not for sale. This is the one bike that I got her to give to me."

We stand in the shed and talk about those bikes for a while, then he brings me into the shop. There is stuff everywhere. Chainsaws, outboard motors, lawmowers, all in various stages of disassembly. Scattered amongst the clutter, one bike catches my eye. There's a '60s road racer towards the back of the shop. Closer inspection reveils that it's a CB92R, from what I know, an extremely rare bike. It's missing the motor, which is probably around the shop somewhere, but it has a nice tank, restorable seat, and road racing fairing. If I can find the engine, it will make a very nice restoration project. Even if I can't, it would be a good thing to pick up. There is also a fairly complete Maico buried in there.

By this time, the old lady has noticed that I've been traipsing around her yard. As I've looking through the piles, I've heard all about her. How she'll ask me where I live, that the Kawasaki on the front porch was purchased by her husband for $500 9 days before he died, even though he only paid $300, and how someday, she's going to have the people from the local motorcycle club come out and put prices on the bikes. Zach introduces me to her, and she tells me about her husband, and that they've been members of the motorcycle club for 45 years, and that her husband purchased the Kawasaki for $500 nine days before he died. I tell her a little about my interests, and ask for her number. Zach coached me as to when to come.

"Come back this weekend. If you wait more than a week, she'll forget who you are. And schedule it at noon on Saturday. If you come during one of her TV programs, she wont even talk to you. You'll be luck if you get her to give you her number though"

So I asked if I could contact her and come back with dad this Saturday.

"Sure that would be fine"

Ha! I ask if I could have her phone number.

"Oh, Okay, where do you live?"

My answer seems acceptable to her, and she writes her name and number, on a notepad that she got for free from some prescription drug company. I guess that's what you get in exchange for the handfuls of pills you'll take when you get old.

Zach says that what I've just accomplished has never been done before. We talk for a while longer as the sky darkens and begins to rain. I learn that he lives in the van parked on the property. He was living at a place not to far from where we are until one day the owner came up to him and asked, "Are you Zach? Gotta move out." Being jobless and now homeless, he was offered a place to stay by the old man. As he got sicker, he sort of became the caretaker, keeping the grass from getting too out of hand, and increasingly, caring for the old man himself. He's still living there, waking at 2 am when he hears his name being called from the house. It becomes clear that the BSA is infact for sale. He needs the money. He'd like to get it running, but just doesn't have the know how to do it. He'd like to even see it run. I think I'll make an offer on it, and ride it over to show him once I get it going again.