Reality Check

How many times have you wanted something but couldn’t quite bring everything together to make it happen? Somehow, some way the timing was just, off. It could be either not enough funds or not enough time. Or maybe it’s something as random as the planets are not in alignment. Whatever it is, the gears just aren’t meshing. I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and he told me he finally has the money to do what he wanted and actually has the time, but now that these two have come into alignment, his body isn’t cooperating. He’s got Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s a shyte thing, getting old…

On another occasion I had a bright young fellow, who was still in college, drive an hour and a half to come into the shop. He was well dressed and had obviously put some thought and money into his “look”. He came in to follow up to an email he had written to us regarding a project he was working on. He paid some dude a small pile of money to do a bunch of work on a cafe bike he had. He had seen several great looking café builds on Pintrest and figured he could pay someone to build one for him. It makes sense, we do it all the time. He got the completed bike back from the builder and was less than pleased with the final product and was hoping we could get the train wreck that was sitting sheepishly in the back of his truck, back on track. What he had was champagne taste and a beer budget and the bike reflected this. In his defense, the bike was pretty rough and none of the paint appeared to be chemical resistant. It looked as if the builder threw a few café parts on it, did some really sloppy welding with a Harbor Freight wire feed welder and after a quick rattle can paint job, stood 20 feet away from it and said “awesome, I’m done”. Clearly what he thought he was going to get and what he got were two completely different things.

Another example of this for me, is having to rely on vendors to be able to deliver our product or complete a task. On three occasions this past month we have had vendors not live up to the promise they’ve made regarding delivery which puts us in a crappy situation of having to back peddle. What makes matters worse is they all kept saying they will get to it. On multiple occasions each would apologize and tell me they will have it finished next week. So I tell my client we need just a little more time. I drives me crazy and makes me want to be able to do these things in house. I absolutely hate having to make excuses and explain to a client why their bike isn’t finished, most people are understanding and making a phone call to communicate the situation helps but I never enjoy it. It’s absolutely shocking to me that these vendors are able to keep their doors open with such awful delivery and communication skills. Needless to say we have found other vendors for the services these dip shits provide.

The crazy thing is, at some point we must to be able to have hope for things to go our way. Without hope we would never be able to begin anything. Can you imagine starting a task thinking it will never work out? Henry Ford wrote “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” I like this quote. I say, expectation can be a good thing as long as the only person you hold in the light is yourself. The moment you project expectations outward you are opening the door for some sort of B.S. and possibly failure. Unless communication is crystal clear about what your expectations are chances are under delivery will usually be the final result. The trouble with this kind of communication is it makes most people really uncomfortable. What we have to remember is we cannot do it all alone. We have to be able to rely on others for growth. The trick is finding the right people and trusting that they will do what they say they will.

I say don’t under deliver, stand for something, set the bar high and don’t settle for anything less than what you expect.

In the Shop Today

We have been working on our ability to take our restoration of carburetors to the next level when doing a carb service and a I think we have it worked out. Take a look at the carb bridge from a CB750K we just finished. They came to us really fury with nearly all the factory finish corroded to the bare metal. We re-plated the bridge and all the surrounding parts with the appropriate color chromate giving these carbs a brand new appearance. It’s not cheap, but if you are doing a serious restoration, you’ll be really pleased with the results. Just take a look at the before and after photos.

We Just Got a New Project Bike

The back story…

I’m at SoMoto bike night at Baxter Village in Fort Mill, SC with Blair B. showing the BBCB550 we had recently finished. Blair and I had just arrived, he was on his CB550 and I was on the ’86 FZ600. The ride in was great, the weather was perfect and Blair’s bike looked and sounded absolutely amazing moving down the road. We need to photograph that bike in motion.

As soon as we pulled up Blair was mobbed with questions about his bike. It was cool to see Blair glowing as he went over all the details of the Motogadget M-Unit, taking the seat cowl off to show the Unit and the beautiful wiring Jesse did. I watched for a bit then went inside Grapevine Wine Shop to buy us a couple beers. By the time I had our drinks, Blair came in saying there was a guy who wanted to do a restoration on an old Kawasaki and he would introduce me.

The guys name is Tim Arnold and he had an ’81 GPZ550. After telling me about it and what he thought it might need, I suggested a restoration which might run in the neighborhood of 5K. He said he’d rather sell it. He had it listed on facebook and was tired of lowball offers asking him to deliver it for free. I suggested he donate it to Gaston Motorcycle Werks and we could do a build on it. Without hesitation he said yes. Here is the bike as we picked it up, it was pretty rough. We will have a photo gallery in the next post.

Here is a shot of the direction we are going. The seat will not have the bump.

We Won, Big Time!


Every once in a while everything comes together and just works. It’s pretty rare, but this past weekend was one of these times and it was huge for us.

Over the last 17 months and pushing 300 hours, Jesse and I poured our hearts into a build, a very special custom build on a CB550 for a client of ours. We finished it in time to be able to bring it to Cyclemania 2018, an annual motorcycle event in Charlotte, NC. Our client entered it in the Japanese classic/ modified class. Motorcycles from all over NC were entered and there were many truly amazing entries. In all just over 100 bikes entered the various categories. Bikes that we would be proud to say we built. Our bike got first place in it’s category. And to our complete surprise and amazement, it was also was voted as best in show over all these incredible bikes!

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to all the people who took the time to vote for our baby. We could not have won this prestigious award nor could we do the work we do without your support. We want to thank you for letting us work on your bikes, we are truly blessed and will work hard to continue on our path as a special place to bring your motorcycle for service, repair and customization.