January 2019 by Nicholas Acosta

Winter is in full swing here in Canada, which means so is building season. Recently celebrated my first year anniversary of this moto building thing two weeks ago at the North American Motorcycle Supershow. Last year I brought my almost finished first build, a 1974 Honda CB750K4 I named La Poderosa, and even though I didn’t enter it in the builders competition for that show (something I still regret until today), I’ll never forget the amount of interest that bike generated. In a convention FULL of custom modern style choppers, it was nice to see that many people loved other styles of building equally, and the amount of motorcycle media coverage it generated after, especially the BikeExif article, still blows me away and inspires me to push further this year.

I’ve recently been getting more and more requests for smaller repair jobs, like engine and carburetor rebuilds so I’m glad more people are starting to realize that they don’t always need to spend large amounts of money for a brand new custom bike, but can keep their old machines running with out ups here and there. Of course they don’t look as good as brand new build, but daily runners never do, instead showing off their reliability instead of being a garage queen.

I also received a request to have one of my motorcycles published in a magazine, can’t say which one and from where (cough cough somewhere in Europe), but the fact that my motorcycle will have a two page spread is a dream come true. I honestly never expected anything like this to happen a year ago, being a college student working in my converted garage and just trying to figure out what to do once I graduate (I graduate this April), but I’m glad to see that building motorcycles are clearly going to a major part of my life for the foreseeable future. The two custom builds that are currently in the garage are truly the best ones I’ve made so far, pushing myself to new levels with each style, and I just know it’s going to generate even more media attention than my first custom.

In the meantime, it’s back to schoolwork for me, and slowly but surely wrenching away until the snow clears and springtime comes.

Watch out for “Left Turners”

Nick.

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Customer Build - Joe's 1972 Honda CB750 K2 by Nicholas Acosta

I met Joe while on a ride with the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group up in Picton, Ontario. I immediately noticed his motorcycle as it was the only Honda CB750 that I’ve seen all week, and in such amazing condition. He was looking for someone who can work on his engine since it needed a tune up, so one of my peers suggested he approach me for the job. The cylinder head was weeping oil, a clear sign that oil was passing through the rubber pucks hidden underneath the camshaft, and to top it off he was no longer getting any compression in one of his cylinders. After tearing the whole top end apart, the pistons were placed in the ultrasonic cleaner, new rings were installed, gaskets, and the rest of the head was rebuilt. It’s really a pleasure to see how well maintained his motorcycle is, as there’s too many examples of abused and chopped up classic Japanese motorcycles out there, and having the chance to ride his motorcycle was an absolute pleasure

Joe, aka the “Gator Man’ with his 1972 Honda CB750 K2

Joe, aka the “Gator Man’ with his 1972 Honda CB750 K2

Customer Build - Chester's 1973 Honda CB750 K3 by Nicholas Acosta

After bouncing from “builder” to “builder”, Chester bumped into me through a random Kijiji ad where I was selling some old Honda parts. He told me his bike was sitting for a long time, and now it wont even start. He was luckily not too far from me, so I grabbed my tools, hopped in the car and went straight to his place. After messing around with the bike a bit I managed to get it running, but it still needed a lot of work. Chester was committed to getting his motorcycle back on the road, and eventually fully restoring the motorcycle, so he hired me to give his engine some much needed love.

The engine had to be fully built from the ground up, with new bearings, gaskets, oil seals, piston rings, honed cylinders, resurfacing, etc, etc, etc! To top it off, his engine cases we’re repainted and covers polished to make it really pop. I was extremely glad to see his reaction once he had his motorcycle back and was able to ride it around again, and we have plenty more planned to continue his restoration project

Chester and his 1973 Honda CB750 K3

Chester and his 1973 Honda CB750 K3

El Viajero - 1993 Harley Sportster 883 Project by Nicholas Acosta

Recently I picked up a 1993 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 as a new personal project. I’ve always loved the look of old Harleys and classic styled choppers, and I also need to challenge myself with new engine configurations that I can learn to hot rod out. I have a lot planned for this bike and build, and unfortunately also a lot to fix. A hairline crack in the head where the engine mount is, a mysterious leak I presume is coming from one of the oil tank lines, and horrendous front suspension, there’s plenty of work to be done before I can even think about cutting it up and making it into a hot rod chopper. Sportsters get a lot of flak, always considered a “Girls Bike” to much of the Harley crowd, in reality it’s probably their most successful model ever, and also their lightest, with the most reliable engine and a tight rake to match. Even though budget is always a concern, I’m excited to jump into the world of hardtails, and have this bike ready and riding by next season. If executed right, I know this is a machine I will be enjoying for years and years to come. Hopefully it’ll be ready for the January Supershow in Toronto, and if not it Definitely will be for the Oil and Ale Spring opener party in Kitchener Waterloo, as well as the Toronto Motorcycle Spring show. Fingers Crossed.

To better days and faster bikes, watch out for the “Left Turners”

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