Monday, January 31, 2011

Home Grown Round II

 This week Joel Hauenstein of Image1 Art

How long have you been riding motorcycles? Not very long, grew up around hot rods and such, got into two wheeled stuff about 5 years ago.
Why choppers? Cause stock sucks, and I just can’t leave well enough alone. For me it’s not all about ‘choppers’ necessarily, its more about making that thing interesting to me on a visual and functional level. Stock bikes serve their purpose or being a means of transportation, but in most cases leave a lot to be desired in terms of style and soul. They are mass produced, restricted, and regulated by ‘the man’ so to speak these days, I like quite a few ‘stock’ bikes, but really none that have been produced since 1974. ‘Choppers’ fit my way of thinking, they are all about the essentials and the freedom to make it as you see fit. I’m actually far more interested in subtle modifications to ‘stock’ parts than I am in outlandish ‘chopper’ goodies.
Dream bike? The next one. why? I don’t know that I really have a ‘dream bike’ per say. I have too many ideas and varied taste to say definitively that one really is the end all for me. Its always about the next one, and chasing that dragon so to speak, guess its just the addict in me. If I was pinned to say one thing, I’d prolly have to say a U model harley, something about those big ole flatheads that does it for me.
How did you end up with this bike? 72TR6 in a 68 Frame. It was/is my first bike actually. Picked it up as a roller/baskets form in all of its 70’s glory, cleaned it up and got it running, and it decided to throw a rod through the case… 3 years, hundreds of hours, a bunch of money and a few other bikes later, its back and ready to chuck more rods at me.
Describe your shop space? It’s a barn, my dad’s by definition. Its prolly the nicest shop I will ever work in/out of. Its full of tools, treasures and junk. We have a gnarly early 1900’s line drive drill press, a horizontal mill, vertical mill, 6 ft enco lathe, and a small craftsman hobby lathe as far as machines go. Press, sheet metal brake, torch rig, welder, and a bunch of other junk. Dad is a tool geek, so there are all kinds of specialty type tools available. Oh yea, its got radiant heat in the floor, I’m sooooooo spoiled, but its also the only way to make snow-hio tolerable in the winter. I basically have a corner that is my designated junk pile, but my ‘work area’ moves all over depending on what farm equipment is taking up ‘my’ shop space lol.
What’s your favorite tool you currently have? That’s a tough one really, my gut response would be my eyeballs, but I suppose they are not technically a ‘tool’, but they are def. the most important/most used. I use a little bit of everything, but always find myself gravitating toward hand tools… hacksaws, files, etc. I don’t plan/measure enough to ‘properly’ use most precision tools, so there is a lot of hand work, and I feel more connected to the work that way, and a little sweat does the body good.
What tool would you like to have the most? A better band saw, ours is pretty old/weak/worn. It would be nice to be able to make quick accurate/square cuts. There are a bunch of tools I’d ‘like’ to have, but I really can’t think of anything that I ‘need’. Tubing bender would be nice.
Last/best mc adventure? New Years Day ride out bar hopping in the cold. Put on about 80 miles, beers were drank, bull was shot, times were good.
Form of function? BOTH! It depends on the bike really I guess, yeah I know they are all ‘meant to be ridden….’ but the fact is, that many aren’t. Function is purely at the riders/builder’s discretion. If the bike is meant to be ridden, then some of the form will have to follow accordingly. Being an artist, I always struggle with this paradox to a degree. Most of the time, my ideas are based in form, and I then try to find a way to make it function ( at least as well as the part it replaces, if not better). Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and the idea gets scrapped or modified in the name of function. Not being too proud to throw an idea away is very important. I really appreciate the ‘all business’ approach to building, but still feel like there is PLENTY of room for pleasing aesthetics in any case.
Will you ever consider riding a bagger Why or why not? Already have… its transportation, I will ride/drive whatever gets me from A to B, I don’t care if I look cute in the process.
When it comes to building or customizing bikes, what’s the most important lesson you've learned? Patience. There is no such thing as a one day, or one week, or even in most cases a one month build. There is always shit that comes up in life that takes you away from your projects, and problems that pop up, and parts that get delayed, and things that need reworked. Dad always told me when estimating the amount of time required to complete something, you should ‘double it and add ten’. I fully understand the wisdom in this saying now. That same principle applies to the cost of the project. It’s hard to slow down sometimes, but it really helps to take a few days off now and then to regroup and gain a fresh perspective on the project at hand. You will notice all the small things that you ‘good enough-ed’ during that last hustle. I think that alone is a major difference between a ‘good’ build and a ‘1 month build’.


Sackman said...

Great write up! Joel is definately a class act. I'll ride with him anytime he'll let me!

Anonymous said...

Great Gentleman here, definitely pure class!

Look forward to meeting them again!

nicholai said...

Lovin these post Juan

Juan Carlos said...

Anonymous:who are you?

Nick more coming

Image1 said...

thanks fellas!