Back in the fall of 2007, I begged, borrowed, stole, horsetraded and all but sold my soul to acquire something that in many peoples' estimation is in the top five contention for the Holy Grail of motorcycles... a postwar girder front Indian Chief. It had been taken meticulously to the point of final tin work, paint and final assembly by my good friend Terry at Terry's Customs in Latham, IL. He was ready to make some room and I was ready to ride an Indian. I sold my 71 FLH, a 70 Moto Guzzi Ambassador, a 69 Triumph hardtail project, a Velorex 562 as well as a garage full of other stuff to have a crack at the Chief.
Once I got it home, I got right after making plans to finish the restoration. That next summer, I got all of the tin tweaked and painted. Jason in Arlington did a beautiful job laying down the color. I chose to go with Black. I toyed with lots of other options. I thought red, but you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a red chief. I seriously considered the seafoam blue option but I just couldn't pull the trigger on that. Once the tin was back from the paint shop, I knew I did the right thing.
After the sheetmetal (less tanks) was reinstalled, the project just kinda floundered. A busy summer combined with several weeks away for continuing ed for work and too many other projects kept me away from the bike.
While all of this has been going on, I bought and traded off a rigid sporty project, a Triumph Speed triple, a Guzzi Ambo with a sidehack and another 71 Ambassador (which I wisely hung onto).
I have a bad habit of volunteering with little or no prodding from friends and neighbors to tackle their old car and motorcycle fix-it projects, effectively keeping me from my own stuff. This summer that project has been a petrified 78 Honda twinstar that needs everything that my neighbor's kid wants to use to commute to school. How can you say no to a kid that wants to have his own bike to ride?
I'm hoping that by getting this story up to read to myself, it will give me the motivation to say, "Man, if that bike were in MY garage, I would so have that S.O.B. on the road!" Hopefully, now that the goose seems ready to take to Davenport for the AMCA meet on Labor Day, I can concentrate on the chief and get the silly thing on the road before fall settles in too hard!