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Do Not Disassemble

Many would hypothesize various threats to the human race.

From climate change to judgment day to Lindsay Lohan making a successful comeback. Various apocalyptic scenarios are on offer as to why homo sapiens are on the decline.

And all them are total bullshit.

I believe we as a species are threatened by our increasing lack of curiosity. Visit any hardware store, and stare at the racks of prefab ‘DIY’ kits that have replaced buckets of washers, nuts and bolts. Incentive not to repair, but to replace.

Leased cars, phone plans… The plethora of gadgets and flummery infesting our lives is increasingly ‘not user serviceable’ even if you do decide to buy it outright. And most folks don’t care. Wear it out and get a new shiny, they tell me.

Are we not gifted with opposable thumbs and WD-40?

I fear diminishing interest amongst so many to actually manufacture anything, let alone take it apart, is threatening our ability to effectively repair the very things we regard as necessity.

Doubt it? When I have to explain what a Viton O-ring is to a guy working at an auto-parts service counter, I know the end of days is upon us.

To this, I dedicate these words and images. The phrase above is embossed on the rim of a motorcycle I am in the process of rebuilding into something it was never, ever designed to be. I will ignore this message, and every other parenthetical phrase of the old saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

I say if it ain’t broke, break it. Break it real good.

Cafe Bob

Proof that I am insane, good with a wrench, and unemployed. This is me with a wheelbarrow of junk.

wheelbarrowandframe

The bones of Cafe Bob originated from a group of intelligent men who liked the idea of modifying an ’81 Honda CB750 into something interesting. For various reasons they stopped working on the project. I won’t get into the specifics, but underpinning them are things like careers, families and common sense.

Please don’t judge them harshly. Idiots like me are in the world to ensure this project won’t go to waste.

After a bit of negotiating, I travelled to a shed containing the abandoned project and began the forensics. As proof of the skills of the Founding Foolhardy (or the FF as I shall refer to them), there were some really good bits of junk to work with. Bead-blasted cases, several sets of decayed transmission gears, carefully organised bags of valve parts. Hundreds of items peacefully decaying in fast food containers and ziplock bags. Ready for expert hands to reassemble into a fine example of vehicular history.

Sadly, I’m hardly an expert. I am simply informed, and determined.

manualandpistons

Things piled up rapidly in my shed. After a few emails and calls to the FF, other transient parts were located.

Soon, I was revelling in a consolidated mass of looming disaster.

parts

There were strange inscriptions to decipher on some of the parts. In some cases, hinting at the origins of this wonderful pile of decrepitude…

$40forthelot

Yep. I’m in for it.

Tomorrow, I get into research and tools…

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