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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
F*ck old guys. I have not posted but I have read plenty here. I've observed that the old guys are pretty sh!tty to the new guys. A kid buys a Seca or a CX500 and aspires to learn about motorcycles and old guys sh!t on his dreams of being a “builder”. Sure, maybe this aspiration was brought on by watching some stupid TV show and the kid's tool box is his mom's butter knife and a pair of pliers. But he's a kid that has chosen an interest in what we love — riding, maintaining and customizing motorcycles. Let's encourage him to be part of our tradition.

That said, I appreciate the frustration with folks over-utilizing the angle grinder, brown ebay seats and zip tied fairings. While the sarcasm on here has made me spit my beer/coffee (depending on time of day), sometimes I feel it is misdirected. The number of motorcyclists is decreasing. The number of motorcyclists that maintain their own machines is down to a tiny minority. I know there is great value in a young man who has gained knowledge through his own mechanical project. Encourage him. Maybe dissuade him from cutting the subframe on his dad's vintage 900SS...but encourage him.

Special thanks to Geeto67 (the saltiest dog of them all). I came here because I bought a GL500 that I planned to cafe because I had seen some cool builds and I like the engine configuration. His advice to another member boasting of his find - “Open dumpster, insert motorcycle.” Haha! It took me some time to understand why...but I did. Sold it and bought an '80 R100 that I will customize but keep whole.

Young guys — There is good advice here. Don't be discouraged. Find a bike you like and make it your own.

Signed,

An old guy s-l1600.jpg
 

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Well there then, hopefully you feel better and we can all breath a sigh of relief. Boxers are cool. Have a great day
 

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Young guys - if you are being thrown shit at, throw back double.
Big friendships in my life always came after biggest fights :D
 

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There is a frustration in watching someone take a decent motorcycle and make it junk. Modifying motorcycles is as old as motorcycles, when we were young most did some re &re mods to improve the bike. What we see today, in a large portion of the back yard mechanic population, is people with no skills or knowledge cutting and welding frames, removing suspension travel, putting on tires that are too big for the rims or not roadworthy, putting on horrible lighting, clip ons with knobby tires. One thread now is a guy who obviously does not understand anything about rear suspension but feels qualified to cut it apart and fabricate a new one, he's doing this because he likes the look better.

The problem I feel is they don't want to learn about bikes, they want to be told the hack job they are planning is going to be wonderful. It really stems from the younger generations belief that all that glitters IS gold.
 

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First I'm 32 and I don't know how old you all are but I don't care, I feel young :D

Second, I rather tell somebody that what he's doing is dangerous or stupid than saying him it's nice and then let him risk his bones with a badly modified motorcycle :)
 

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The problem I feel is they don't want to learn about bikes, they want to be told the hack job they are planning is going to be wonderful. It really stems from the younger generations belief that all that glitters IS gold.
While I agree with this statement, I feel that an explanation is needed. I think it's safe to say that the cause of this infatuation is due to the internet making it easy for people to share information. The problem is a picture is much more satisfying to look at than reading a project log. You wind up (over successive project generations) distilling a very complex and well thought out race bike/replica into it's core visual components.
Throw in the dunning-krueger effect (where the less you know about a subject, the more confident you are in undertaking it) and you wind up with today's hipster-bait motorcycles.

I think rather than a generation problem it's a technology problem.
 

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Well I'm only 37 so I am offended sir!! I shall retire to my safe space and read me some PipeBurn
 
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I don't know if it is an "old guy"/ "Young Guy" problem so much as it is "experience" and "ego" problem.

I am 41 and I think I was 27 when I joined this forum. However, At that time I had been riding since I was 15, and had a fantastic real life network of way more experienced racers, riders, and fabricators to rely on. In the real world i have helped many get their license and even helped build real world communities that thrive.

So what do I mean about experience and ego? well from my own personal experience, Most people who are experienced want to share what they are doing with others and grow the hobby. However, that sharing comes with an expectation that the in-experienced will listen, ask questions, and be engaged and in some form recognize (even when questioning that knowledge) that there is value in knowledge.

Again from my own experience there are those that come into this inexperienced and generally fall into to categories: those who are goal focused and those who are ego driven. Those who are goal focused know generally where they want to be, recognize that criticism isn't personal, will ask a ton of questions, and generally do well here. The biggest point of friction is where they are unwilling to alter their goal slightly.

those who are ego driven look at this project as some form of romantic part of their ID. It is fulfilling a life goal, they think it is cool, they want to connect with something, etc...and as such they take everything personally and have a very bad time here because they "researched" it on the net and for the most part are unhappy that this romanticized notion they had about motorbikes is not right. Often they have unrealistic expectations, made incorrect assumption, and have all the drive and strength of conviction of a nun, which isn't going to be compatible with the tear your down and build you back up with knowledge philosophy that this place borrows from academia.

It's not black and while, everyone exists within the spectrum with these as the poles. I find it interesting that the internet tends to make the interactions worse because of the different expectations it sets from real life. It cheapens knowledge because access to it is so free, it levels the playing field to the point where the in-experienced think their opinions have the same value as the experienced, and it removes courtesy through providing some anonymity.

I am glad you figured things out, and I hope you are having a good time in the hobby. Remember, the internet isn't a motorbike and there is no substitute for the experience of actually riding. Be safe!
 

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"It cheapens knowledge because access to it is so free, it levels the playing field to the point where the in-experienced think their opinions have the same value as the experienced,...".Geeto

While I agree the internet is the delivery system for the poison Geeto's statement too me identifies the disease. The general assumption by many is that the thousands of hours of experience and skill, that true masters of the craft have developed, count for nothing. Any dipshit can go out buy a grinder and a cheap welder and engineer/build a motorcycle with no understanding of any system on a motorcycle, let alone how the engineers have got them to work together for 100k. The vast majority of inspirations for these builds, that are seen here, would not be saleable in Ontario and many the MTO would pull out from under the builders and plate them "Unfit".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate the commentary. The best advice for the inexperienced is "do no harm". The coolest looking bike is worthless if it can't be thrown into a corner with confidence. Buy a bike that can accept a seat you like without modification to the frame/subframe. Fix your leaking fork seals before spending money on doodads and trinkets. Changing the look of a bike to suit your taste is cool; making it go faster, stop and handle better is way cooler. If your first "build" involves an angle grinder, you are probably taking the wrong road. Removing fenders, adding aftermarket lighting tanks and seats can all be undone. I enjoy seeing new interpretations of classic bikes.
 

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Interesting thread, some of you guys have expressed shared thoughts much better than I would have.


Geeto mentioned value in knowledge. That's a biggie for me. (I had long rambling comments on this stuff but deleted them since I haven't got time to tidy them up right now)

So many newbs want answers but don't care about the whys or why nots. Beliefs are as valid as facts to some people and that's what I find disturbing. Just because you don't understand why it's a bad idea does not negate the fact that it's a bad idea.

"the less you know about a subject, the more confident you are in undertaking it" I'm convinced most of those self proclaimed experts in ANY field are so confident of themselves because they have a very poor understanding of how much they don't know. One of the biggest lessons learned in getting an engineering degree should be a better awareness of how much you don't know. Some people seem downright proud of being ignorant. It's a badge of honor. That scares me...
 

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I should have added that this end of the hobby, custom motorcycles, requires you to have balance of goal and ID focus, but in the right measures and areas. Approaching it from as a learning experience to enrich your life will give you the drive to finish but being flexible enough to keep realigning your methods and goals to get you to the end experience you want. And that's the thing you have to remember - these inanimate objects are here to deliver an experience first and fore most - be it a learning one, or a traveling one. A bike is no good if it isn't enriching your life and perspective and it can't do that statically.

Now, can we talk about why I hate the "built not Bought" mantra? I get the enthusiasm behind it, this idea that the work is the craft, and that the people who really want to "build" something want to enrich their lives by managing a fairly medium scale project to completion. But I don't like that it requires shitting on the other element of this hobby - the cost aspect. Somehow the people who "bought" are inferior is bullshit. This is an expensive hobby and the greatest things that come out of it are because people wrote checks. Erik Buell was able to make stunning production motorcycles with features that custom bike guys would emulate for decades because Harley wrote the checks, and Harley was only able to write the checks because customers wrote the checks for those bikes. The great motorcycle customizers all have customers who act as patrons to their art, just as the Italian masters had patrons like the church and the Medici family. You did something innovative and low buck? great!!!!, you paid frame crafters to make you a custom frame and then had so and so build you an engine? great too.

you don't need to shit on one aspect of the hobby to appreciate other aspects of it. Which is why newbies who burst in the door here with "built not bought" make my skin itch.

Geeto's not salty he's succinct.
I suck what now?
 

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man, i wouldn't piss on one of those old air head shit boxes if it was on fire. don't get the desire for them.
What's your experience with them?

I bought one and it was kind of a meh bike for me, but the more I own it the more I have come to appreciate it a lot. It's insanely simple to work on, every part is available from BMW, it's a very maintenance friendly motorcycle, and the look is growing on me. they aren't fast, but not slow (probably about as fast as my old DOHC cb750), but the low center of gravity and low speed handling is really where the bike shines. They aren't racers, but they aren't harleys, and it has a certain charm.
 

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My question, what constitutes an "old guy"? I mean i'm only 37, but I can honestly say I have been riding motorcycles/mopeds/dirtbikes/etc... since I was 11. So for 70% of my life has been on two wheels, does that make me an old guy? Or does the fact that I had a drivers lic. when cell phones still weighed approximately 1.23 metric tons, make me an old guy?
 
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