I never liked motorcycles.
Not 100% correct, as I do remember liking a yellow yamaha 900 Diversion, specially the naked version. But that was it. never gave any motorcycle a second look.
I also never had (close) contact with motorcycles, except that time a friend of mine took me to a 1 km ride on his XT300, and when I put my feet down on the road on every twist and turn that we did. Talk about being a lousy pillion!
It was only when I got to 35 years and my first kid got big enough, that I saw a BMW R 1200 C cruising by, and was totally struck by it.
Don’t know if it was the chrome, the high bars or the low seat, but I started looking at motorcycle prices thing was clear: I Would drive a killing machine, but I would first learn how to.
Took the mandatory A1 lessons in a school right in front of work, and started to look for motorcycles. It was the start of the “Cafe Racer” revivalism so WrenchMonkees, Cafe Racer Dreams, and DEUS were big sources of ideas.
My first impulse was to start small. Based on CRD “just4girs” amazing job, I started looking for a SR 250.
Portugal was never a good place to own a motorcycle. They were always considered luxury goods, so high taxes prevented people to use it as a regular commuter, and low margins veered the manufacturers away, so except of the street fighters of the 80’s, and the crotch rockets plastic-filled Racers, there was not many motorcycles around.
Going with a Suziki Inazuma was the second option, and I really fancied the motorcycle, and some of the transformations made, and I even went to see one, from a new friend at the 351CafeRacerForum, the central place for all the Cafe Racer scene in Portugal (+351 is the international dial in).
It didn’t start, and that tape in the odometer did not inspire a lot of goodwill :).
By then I had established that I wanted a retro looking bike. I would not compromise on this. Doing a project with a more available machine would come out expensive, and would not give me the pleasure of having a loveable machine from the start. It had to look the part. Royal Einfield were scarse, slow, and with not that good record, Triumph Bonnevilles were expensive, and not that frequent on the second hand market.
It was then I saw a WrenchMonkees W650, and I got hooked on the engine design. That Bevel drive made all the difference. Started talking to Pedro Oliveira from Ton-up Garage and he sent me the link to this movie:
W650 coming up! It was the begining of a beautifull friendship!