Son Mai has been MIA recently since he went back to San Francisco for school and for weeks, Lnspltblvd has been neglected. Even though I hate writing crap, I felt that it was time to kick start this thing back to life. Not that we know anything about kick starts cause our bikes have stupid buttons that do everything.
Some of you may remember me from an article I wrote a few months back titled “The Elements“. If the phrase “dick => fan” doesn’t jog your memory then chances are you haven’t read it. And without further a due, let me take you on a journey thoughtfully named “I didn’t choose the bobber life, the bobber life chose me.”
Everyone’s been posting up their bikes, their builds, and their bobbers recently and i guess it’s finally time to tell my story. It all started on a shitty day last December when I went over to my buddy Dat’s house to do something I don’t remember, so it probably wasn’t important anyhow. I saw his bike and was instantly hooked on the rat-rod theme he had going on. (@Dat: calm down I just think it’s aight.) At the time I couldn’t give a rats ass about bikes being a broker than broke college student. Then when he told me how much he spent on his build, I was in.
Finding Mrs. Right:
A week later Dat hooked me up with our friend Young, aka YK, aka The Prez, aka The Guy who helped me build my bike. They told me what bike I should be looking for and the search begins. Each and everyday I prowl Craigslist like the Roxbury Brothers in a nightclub. I find one, back tags. Find another, got sold. Find another one, back tags. Chances of me finding a bike started looking slimmer than Miley Cyrus.
Then one day, BAM! 1995 Honda Shadow 600vlx – $2000 (Gilroy). The motorcycle was 25 minutes away from home which wasn’t bad, but the guy could only show it after work that day and it was January. Nights were cold as hell and the ride home was going to suck rhino balls. Screw it, I couldn’t let this one go and went for it. Bike looked great and I took it out for a test ride. 3 minutes later I turn back to the guy’s house and get off. My hands were frozen and there was no way I was riding this thing back home. Left a deposit and picked up the bike the next day. Couldn’t be happier. Got a great bike and and even better deal.
I get the bike home and ride it around for a week stock. After scanning through photos on Google and our FB group, it hits me that my bike looks like shit. Not only do I have a huge sofa for a seat, but these turn signals, purple tank, and dumbo sized mirrors make me look like an old man. I’ve seriously seen scooters and vespas that are cooler than stock shadows. (No offense to Vespa owners, don’t kill me)
I tell Dat and Young I need to chop this sucker up quick and YK sends me a shopping list. I click through eBay like a maniac for the next few days and three weeks later I get all my goodies together for the build.
Now came the hard part. The actual chop, I never built a bike before let alone cut one up. The guys showed me what I needed to ditch, where to cut, what to grind, where to try and lay a weld (which looked like shit), and which bolts to turn.
A month later I end up with a box full if misc parts Honda should never ever put on another motorcycle and a bike that looks like Frankenstein had a baby.
Couple days later the guys setup a group ride through some hills I’ve been on before. I rush to finish all the nick knacks and paint the frame for the ride.
The guys kept telling me during the build about riding rigid. I kept thinking ehh, I’ve been on a sport bike, this shits slow as hell. How bad could it be right?
So we meet up and I get to meet the rest of the club if you can even call it that cause we’re probably the most unorthodox group of riders in the world. We gear up, pump gas, and take off.
After being on the freeway for five minutes. I think I said “Oh Shit!” in my helmet 10 times. Bumps are no joke. Then came the hills. What usually would be an easy sweeping turn on a sport bike made me cringe every time I leaned. I learned real fast that you can’t lean these things that far. I scraped my first peg and almost shat myself. A few moments later I scrape the frame and swingarm. I see sparks and this makes me slow down to a crawl. It was like learning how to ride all over again…
I love how all our bikes are always changing. There’s always something you can do to alter the way it looks or how she runs. Even with 40+ bikes in the group now, I can honestly say that no two bikes are identical. Each man has put his own twist and style on their bobber.
What started for me as a hobby has now become an addiction. I find myself late at night looking at pictures of bikes to get ideas or scanning through eBay and other sites to find new mods I can buy. I’ve been told that my Instagram deals with nothing but motorcycles and San Jose Bobbers. Some tell me that the club is taking over my life. What do I tell these people?
“I didn’t choose the bobber life, the bobber life chose me.”