Craig Thompson: The bike was originally purchased by a friend. It was totally stock as far as I could tell. She had plans to ride it but never did, so it sat in her studio for years before I convinced her to sell it to me. It had all the problems one would expect. There was gas left in the carbs and the tank had turned to shellac. Additionally, the battery was dead, the front brake assembly was gummed up, and many other problems.
CT: I like this particular bike because the tank is cool with the indents for the knees. It also has a really nice factory paint job that was abnormally nice for being a forty-five year old bike. It’s hard to find a tank this old in this condition.
CT: I drilled out the front rotor and based the hole arrangement on a rotor from one of my other bikes. The aftermarket exhausts were a bit scratched up, so my affordable solution was to remove around eight inches from the ends of the pipes. This increased the sound of the bike a bit, and I liked the look. I also added black paint to several areas of the bike. I feel the Japanese bikes from this period were crazy for chrome and clear coated polished aluminum.
CT: For me it’s a combination of things: The classic style, spoke wheels, simple design, and ease of repair. There is a sort of aesthetic restraint employed. With simplicity as a starting point, as I feel these bikes are, one is afforded much freedom to modify.
CT: Yes, for me it’s all about problem-solving. I love the challenge, whether it’s getting a photo of a difficult subject and making it shine or bringing an old and dead motorcycle back to life.
CT: Hard to say for sure, but electric bikes will become more prominent. I also think more energy will be put into making bikes even more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly.
CT: I currently have two 1974 Norton Commando 850s. They are both fully restored and in beautiful condition. I do ride them but not on long rides. I also have a fully restored 1990 BMW K75S, which is considered a sport/touring bike that’s great for long rides. It’s super comfortable but still has a sporty-like ride. My final and most recent purchase is a 2005 Ducati 800 Supersport. This is really an excellent bike in every way that’s plenty fast when I want it and just a pleasure to ride.