Last weekend we shot Matt's "progress report" interview and discussed his project bike and where things are at now that we're about half-way to the spring crud deadline (since we began production on the film).
I have to say that Matt's bike looks a lot better than mine does right now, and for all practical purposes he's a lot closer to being road-worthy than I am.
Shooting that interview definitely motivated me to get back in the garage, as does the unseasonably warm weather we're currently experiencing here. The next thing I need to do, re-assemble the carbs, I can do in the comfort of my basement workshop so the only thing standing in the way there is finding the time. After that it's back to the garage to re-attach the carbs, re-plumb the fuel lines and try again to get the motor to start. Really not that much to do before attempting to fire it up again if you think about it.
After last weekend I can definitely say, like most things that require discipline, fixing a motorcycle is definitely easier when you have a friend doing the same. Fixing a motorcycle isn't all that hard, there is a financial cost to it but if you do all the labor yourself (and fabricate/substitute the less common parts) it's not terribly expensive. Technical skill is required, but most of this you can acquire by reading and through trial-and-error. Bill pointed out that the best way to learn these skills is by doing the work yourself, making mistakes and then trying again until you get it. If you look at the lost time and money of this process, it's still cheaper than going to school and there is little chance of falling asleep working on your own bike.
There is a part of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance where the narrator discusses "gumption", and says something like "without gumption the motorcycle may never be fixed, but with gumption the motorcycle cannot resist being fixed" (sometime I'll look up the exact quote) but I think the point is that the only thing that will stop a project such as this is the mechanic's choice to give up. If you can avoid this, the motorcycle will run again…