Why fabricate something when your existing setup works fine? Many don’t seem to grasp that. It’s the same kind of people who thinks “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” is a good advice. I am the opposite kind. Why? Because I can. It’s as simple as that.
For example, I’ve replaced a lot of parts on my bike that I did not really have to replace, but I did it anyways. Has it always been useful? Hardly. In some cases I doubt that it has had any effect and possibly even made things worse. But that doesn’t matter. Not only does it give me a chance to figure out how this subsystem works and how it connects to the greater whole, but it also gives me great satisfaction to know that I’ve done this and that myself. Not some unknown mechanic but I myself has accomplished this.
That’s why I’m trying to design a headlight fairing. See, a while back I got three of the more spotlight-like headlights from a guy who didn’t need’em. Ever since I’ve tried to come up with a concept that works and develop the necessary skills to fabricate it. In two weeks I am taking a TIG-welding crash course and hopefully I’ll be able to fabricate it during that weekend. They don’t have an English wheel, nor air hammers or anything like that so I guess I’ll have to make do with whatever they got, and I’m sure that the combined headlight fairing/mount/instrument panel will be ugly as hell, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that someone asks me if I’ve made it myself I will be able to nod instead of shake my head. So today I took an hour and started mocking stuff up on some piece of cardboard that I found while cleaning. It’s going to be a square looking piece, like they imagined robots in the 60’s but hey, I wouldn’t be able to make better things anyways, right?
Trying to come up with ideas isn’t that easy though. I’ve watched like a million bike building shows and scoured like the entire net looking for those rad mounts. And I have a few ideas but certainly not the skills I need for those projects. After all, you have to learn how to walk before you run.
One of my favorite builders is Roland Sands. I know there are people who doesn’t like his style but man, to me that guy is a genius. It doesn’t matter which bike or which style, he still comes up with the most beautiful results. I also identify with his almost manic passion about bikes, the way he loses himself when he talks about, rides or works on his bikes. ‘Cause that’s the way I feel too although I haven’t been in this game for more than two years now. It also helps that his company produces some amazing videos too, I guess.
Another favorite of mine is Billy Lane, at least from what I could tell by watching some old Biker build offs on YouTube. The guy has a totally different approach than Roland Sands but seems to be a good guy (I am aware of the conviction though) and I like his “let’s try this and go by gut instinct”-attitude. An attitude that comes with great experience and deep knowledge. One day I hope I’ll be like either one of them. Or maybe a combination. That’ll be the day…