Wednesday, August 15, 2012

555 -- The Characters: Tank

Tank:  also known as Dumb Dumb or Don Rubio
Carpenter, backcountry guide, capoeirista
Also very ready to hit the road.  Being in one place for 4 months seems crazy after the S.America trip and the canyon life before that.

 I bought this '71 CB500 from Elgin in East Knoxville for $100.  God only knows how long it had been stashed in this old shed.  That's all of it, though he found the carburators elsewhere in a pile...
 I blew most of my monetary wad on a springer front end, $170.  I don't know what I'm doing, so I at least wanted one stylish thing on the bike if nothing else. 

 I'm not sure what critters have been living in the bike, but they seemed to have moved out.   It took several scoops of the dust pan to sweep up the pile of rust and dirt that fell from the exhaust pipes upon removal.  I fear what may be in the engine.  I've yet to look.

 The first mock-up to figure out a basic design.
Getting some tubing cut, Mikey tacks it in place so I can try my hand at welding.  I've never touched a welder before. 
From there, I ended up doing all the welds except the gas tank.  I found that I really enjoy it, which brings me to why I love the 555.  We have taken on a huge project with whatever skills, resources, and knowledge we have, whether it be a little or a lot.  Then, we put it all to the test to create a vehicle to carry us to a distant place.  Within this project, there is a huge amount to learn and so many problems to solve.  There is a growing feeling that nothing is impossible.  It is amazing and almost primal to see the combined skill of a group of people working hard to accomplish a big goal. 

Not having a car, I manage to get my bits and pieces to where the need to go. 
 The engine is not the only thing I need to worry about.  These are the brakes. 
 Another aspect of creation is the invention of solutions throughout the process.  Mikey holds a cardboard cutout of a piece that will soon become the main feature of my bike.  I did not intend nor foresee this.  Once I took the bike apart, moved shops, and set it up again, I realized I didn't like how it sat.  I wanted to lower the frame.  In this way, the bike is building itself out of neccessity, and is a direct result of my own self exploration; that is, figuring out how nuts and bolts work and fixing things I've screwed up along the way.  In the end, who knows, but one has to start somewhere to get anywhere.
Outlaw Mike's idea of placing the electrics into a box is brilliant, especially with how many problems I've had with wet electrical coils on every bike I've had.  The work on these bikes has taken about a month of whenever we can get to it, some have yet to start.  There is one more month to go and the momentum and excitement are growing.  The frenzy is mounting.