Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home Grown: Dealership Edition

Well it’s been a while since the last installment of “Home Grown”, mostly because of my own laziness but hell it’s just a blog right? This time I’m bringing you a different prospective than in past installments. Enter Davin W.; you probably know him better as motoguru of Blood Falcon fame. What you may or may not know is he’s currently Service Manager/Lead Tech for Triumph Detroit. This time around I wanted to get his point of view, as he’s “around” the chopper “scene” (I hate that term) yet a factory mechanic who rides mostly stock bikes (currently). On the topic of riding I’m sure he logs way more miles than I do and probably most people I know.

Pleasantries aside let’s get this party started.
1)      How long have you been riding motorcycles?
 My pops came home from work one day with an PW50. I was 4 at the time, and I've been riding ever since. I'd save all of my money to buy bike parts and gas for the races every weekend.  We lived on 200 acres, so we had it all.  I came home the day after I turned 16 with an '87 GSXR 750 that I bought from a neighbor and my mom just shook her head. Been on the streets ever since. So I guess thats 26 years on the dirt, and 14 on the street.

   So you hang out on chopper sites and with people who are into that sort of thing correct?
Yeah, I hang out on a few forums and stuff like that with like minded folks... 

What is it you see going on with that group? Likes dislikes?
 I see a lot of good shit out there. Not all of it is my thing per sé, but to each their own. That's what I love about my crew and the rest of the people I surround myself with. We all have our own style and tastes, but in the end we're all here for the same reason. We love motorcycles. Other than that, I like good brakes on my own bikes, but the look of a spool is tough to beat. Ya feel me? 

 What are you riding right now? And how did you come to pick that bike?
My current daily rider is a '99 Triumph Legend. It's a "mild cafe" I guess? I work on bikes for a living, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is work on my own. I ride more than anyone else I know, so it's tough to find time to play with my bike in between all of the other shit I get into. I bought this bike from a customer a few years back after he picked up a new ride. I paid next to nothing for it, and it's been nothing but good to me! 

4)      Dream bike? Why?
Man, that's a tough one! The '95 Speed Triple I recently sold was my so called "dream bike" since I first saw one back in the day.  I've always been a fan of street fighters and cafe racers. I used to want a Ducati 916 until a couple friends picked them up and I realized how much of a nightmare they are. Other than that I don't even know... I'd like a pan, but I don't dream about it. I've been thinking hard about an FXR lately... They seem to be a rider's bike if that makes any sense.  

5)     I seem to recall you having a fairly heavily modified (Honda?) tell us about that sled.
You must be referring to the Anal Intruder. A friend of mine called me up one day and said she had a bike in her garage that she wanted gone. She had no idea what it was. It ended up being a bone stock '86 Intruder 700 (aka the ugliest fucking bike in the world). Well, I took it to the shop and spent the winter tinkering with it. I got the bike for free, and spent about $100 on various stuff and things, and it came out looking like this.

I traded it to a friend of mine for a bicycle and a pair of shoes soon after...

There you have it boys and girls, neat bikes can be inexpensive and not look like ass.

6)      Have a home shop space? Describe it for us.
I do. It's a one car garage filled to the brim with bike, parts, shit, and all the neighborhoods wildlife. The 10lbs of shit in a 5lb bag thing fits it pretty well. I've got my 5 bikes in there, a lift, air compressor, toolbox, grinder, and drill press. Working in there pisses me off more than anything, so I try to do as much at work as possible and use the home shop for storage. 

7)      Form or function?
A little bit of both, but I'd have to say I'm more of a function kind of guy. I like to ride as many miles as can in the shortest amount of time so anything that’s just there to look cool and gets in the way of storage, gadgets, or places to tie down my tent really has no place on my ride. 

8)      As a dealer tech you have to have access to some pretty cool tools. Anything you could or could not do without?
I could do without all of them! Most of the time when I have to pull one of my special tools off the wall I'm doing something I'd rather not be, so I'm probably in a bad mood because I'm not making money and the job I'm working on sucks ass. The tools do make the suck ass jobs easier, but I'd trade them all for a lathe, band saw, and TIG any day of the week. 

9)      Last/best mc adventure.
The best one so far would have to be back in '98 when me, my buddy, and his dad took off  and headed west. I had a Ninja ZX-6R, my buddy had a Ducati Monster, and his dad was riding a Road King. We spent 3 weeks swapping bikes riding around with no where to be and no set plan. It was amazing! We live in a beautiful country, and sadly, most of the people that live in it will never see more that 25% of it. I hope to one day have a real job that’s pays me like an adult so I can jump on one of my bikes and spend a month or two just riding...

   10)   What other bikes do you currently own? 
 I've got a 2005 Suzuki DR-Z 400SM that's set up for ghetto-crossing. I bought it when I was living in Florida. I wanted something cheap, fun, and not a sport bike. I take that thing downtown from time to time to rip up and down stairs, jump off of loading docks, wheelie across parking lots, and wreak havoc on the cities pigeon population. For fun factor and bang for the buck it can't be beat. I've also got a couple XS 650's in "project" stage, a '73 Honda CL360 Scrambler, and the worlds fastest Go-Ped. 

11)     Any plans to build a chop in the future? What’s the “plan” if so?
I always have plans, but they never seem to come to be. I buy bikes and either sell them cuz I can't afford to/don't have access to the right tools to work on them and I'm sick of looking at them, or spend every waking minute riding the snot out of them and can't afford to work on them cuz all of my funds went to buying gas. My plan for my Speed Triple was to ride it a few hundred miles a season and keep it forever... I ended up putting 12,000 miles on it and selling it within a year. I had big plans for my Ironhead as well. Go figure. I love to find an nice FXR and do something along the lines of what Kim Boyle or Jeff Wright would do. I really dig the work those dudes do, and if I was able to get the ideas in my head to become reality, it would look like something like what they've done.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?

Yeah, go to college and graduate. Get a job doing something you can deal with and save the things your passionate about for when there's free time. 

Excellent! Many thanks to Motoguru for taking the time to do this. Ain’t no Falcon like a Detroit Falcon!

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