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Old 02-26-2009, 03:50 AM   #1
kevinhog
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Cool Who are you passing your craft to?

I've been messing with this motorhead crap all my life. I'm 52 years old and have a lot of stuff I would like to pass on to someone. Some neighborhood kid who can't help himself but love this crap. I have a 27 year old son but he don't give a rats ass about this shit. There are all kinds of kids in my neighborhood but not a one has come around and expressed any interest in what I'm doing.
When I was a kid you couldn't keep me away, I was going to annoy you until you told me to get lost. I had several different guys garages I would loiter around at when I was a preteen and I learned all kinds of interesting stuff like; don't spin that Vertex when it's laying on the bench, or don't touch stuff when it just got welded or, you may not want to stand in front of that injector hat when we start this thing etc etc.
It seems rather unusual to me that I don't have at least one kid at the door asking if I can come out to play. I did a lot of time in guys shops getting instructed in the finer points of engine and car building. I still stop by some of those guys shops to this day and lend a hand. There is almost always something that a guy can use a hand with.
Talking with my garage geek buddies it seems there just ain't no kids available that want to carry on all these traditions of ours. There are plenty of riders but almost no mechanics or builders.
It seemed to me when I was a young man learning about all this stuff, it was almost a compitition to be the guy who got to clean the parts, or crawl under there and pull that rearend kid.
I have to do all the crappy stuff as well as the fun stuff cuz there ain't no kids around here that express any interest whatsoever in this whole internal combustion passion we all share here.
It ain't right I tell ya, I had to take a ton of crap from crusty old bastards who sent me on wild goose chases and had me up to my elbows in solvent. Who never forgot the time I snapped off that headbolt or left that rag under the carb (I still think he did it, should have seen the rags coming out the exhaust from that fresh smallblock.)
Those were the best times of my life. The camraderie and bonds of friendship made while working on motors was and still is priceless. I think it's a damn shame that the youth of america today have their heads stuck up their Ipods and Iphones and video games and all that crap. That's one of the reasons I admire Jessie damn James, he made it look cool again to get dirty and get busy working with your hands.
Creating something from a pile of parts that didn't exist before you got there is something I think all men should know about. There is a satisfaction in it that's akin to a right of passage, something I think is woefully missing in our modern society.
So anyway......Have you noticed the same thing or is this just a big city thing. Do you have youngsters you're passing this thing on to? Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm too crusty or got bad breath or something.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I'm 50 and my kid won't do anything but a math problem. He doesn't even want to drive a car muchless build a bike. WTF? My daughter will ride and will even hang at the shop but there her interest ends. There's some young men with potential that come in the shop. One fine young man I found on this site I hope is learning by coming to our shop. It's like a lot of things. You have to want it.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I wish my dad was into this he had a few bikes back in the 70's, I never even knew until last year. Thank god for the modern age where places like this exist with a whole host of minds to pick and tricks to pass on.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

its worldwide people not wanting to get their hands dirty, im only 31 but i have more luck finding people around 20s looking to sort their own shit out and save money rather than it being a passion/hobby, got a guy coming round now whos about 25 now learned to weld ok and can fix his bike when it breaks, its more a lack of tools / workspace for him now but he knew nothing when he first came by but is keen to learn and is a handy second set of hands when i need them

another forum i frequent over this side of the pond, there is a guy that is trying to find someone under 17 to GIVE a project bike to, needs completely building / fixing etc but all parts pretty much there, all he wants in return is the kid to do a weekly blog on the build progress and promise not to sell it for at least a year when its done - NO TAKERS SO FAR!!
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I'm 27 now but for the last few years i've spent my saturdays out at an old hot rodders shop. I started out just hangin out there and talking and listening to all the old stories but gradually moved on to helping him out with his stuff and working on my own projects with his tools and guidance. I've learnt so much from this old guy. He was a pretty well known Pinstriper out here in the late 60's and 70's, a skill he's recently agreed to teach me (well try too anyway)....
Congrats to all the older guys who are willing to take the time to teach...
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

Well, Im 41, and the kids only want video games and pussy. When I was a teen I had a RD400 and my share of pussy. I had to work before and after school for video games at the arcade. Hmmm. Pussy or video games? I stopped working at the arcade and bought the bike, to get some pussy. Now a boy has to know what he wants. Video games win out these days. Sad. We are not the same people we were 100 years ago, or twenty years ago. Big flushing sound to follow........
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I'm still looking for someone who's willing to pass their knowledge to me!! I'm in Gaithersburg, Maryland for anyone who is willing to let me hang out at the shop and learn/help out! PM me please!

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:08 AM   #8
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I agree and it's sad! Actually I'm just turned 50 and started bike building 5 years ago (although I was apprentice - served as an engineer at 16) So when I watched that Biker Buildoff - Billy Lane v Bourget - I decided on the spot to build a bike and although it took a couple years to actually get riding I did it - 4 years later I'm building frames, pipes, controls, tanks even.. But it was hard to get experience and gain confidence because NO ONE was around my neighborhood area to teach or encourage me. Fuck, all I got was local bozzo's taking the piss & dudes telling other dudes I bought the stuff on my first bike rather than making it myself! So I ended up changing my "friends" too in the process.. It is a process too though - this wonderful journey to knowledge in bike building - as Indian Larry said. I found encouragement from Larry's work and amazing personality when I couldn't get it first hand.. Hell, even Billy Lane replied to one of my emails!! So there it is - I would have loved to learn from an old hot rod builder or similar but it's a U.S. thing really, a U.S. scene and culture - both the metal and the art.. Lately my inspiration has been from Choppertown the DVD - and Rico's big personality. I met Kutty on one of my trips to the States in fact. Back here I have had the odd enquiry from a lad or two about helping me out - but I quickly sussed they were only interested in making a bit of money AND as you say - getting hands dirty or heaven forbid cut (which happens - let's face it..) never mind burnt - sh*t no it ain't happening. One more observation too, sadly - I really don't think the education system here is preparing kids (young adults then) for our type of work - be HONEST - you actually need to be sharp to design bikes - and have plenty of common sense at a minimum. It's a combination that is in short supply - and it's old school - a phrase I'm proud of cuz it's where we're at! Billy.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I pass along anything I can anytime I can.
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I'm 27 and super lucky as I bought my bike off a guy who cobbles together ratty old bikes out of two lock up garages in London. We have to roll everything outside to get to the tools, put a tarp up in the rain and run every electric tool from one plug. I love it. Only been riding since 2007 but learnt a ton more taking my old bike to pieces and putting it back together than I ever would if I'd bought a new one from a dealer. Of course I can't afford a new one but this way I'm learning, having a laugh and making something my own. I wouldn't even have heard of JJ if it wasn't for Ben and Matt telling me what's what. I'm learning as I go along but there's always someone there making sure I'm going in the right direction.

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Old 02-26-2009, 06:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I was at a job interview with a major steel company. It was a management, young MBA type position but one of the interviewers was a foreman and asked if I ever welded before. I said, "I have done some stuff." He said,"TIG, MIG or stick...?" I had no idea and I didn't get the job.

That was 5 years ago and now I enjoy working with metal and stuff. I actually had a lathe and welders at my old job and people willing to teach it but I declined! Now I'm paying to learn.

As a kid, my dad thought I was a sissy (read flaming homosexual) for not wanting to get my hands dirty to work on the station wagon. At the time I wanted to be a doctor and would sterilize everything. I've seen the error of my ways though. After failing med school and reality hits, I would have given anything to go back and spend more time with my dad and his station wagon.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat2002 View Post
I was at a job interview with a major steel company. It was a management, young MBA type position but one of the interviewers was a foreman and asked if I ever welded before. I said, "I have done some stuff." He said,"TIG, MIG or stick...?" I had no idea and I didn't get the job.

That was 5 years ago and now I enjoy working with metal and stuff. I actually had a lathe and welders at my old job and people willing to teach it but I declined! Now I'm paying to learn.

As a kid, my dad thought I was a sissy (read flaming homosexual) for not wanting to get my hands dirty to work on the station wagon. At the time I wanted to be a doctor and would sterilize everything. I've seen the error of my ways though. After failing med school and reality hits, I would have given anything to go back and spend more time with my dad and his station wagon.
Don't stress - you're not alone, I freaked my dad totally by leaving my apprenticed position after only 2 years at the company (G.E.C. Gas Turbines no less..) HE worked at.. Hmm. Needless to say that took many years for him to forget! All I wanted to do at 18/19 years old was play music and DJ etc. oh and get laid too.. I hated working on my car or getting my hands dirty or scratched up!! How times change.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

Its tough to find youngins these days who are willing to put in the time to learn a craft, they are so used to the instant gatification world we live in getting them to slow down a few gears and put in the time is almost impossible. Like Blue Collar Moto said, video games win out . When we were young we were out building tree forts, gocarts, minibikes, and racing BMX or skating, so we were constantly building and fixing. Fixing being the key word, thats where the knowledge and the beginning of deductive reasoning came into play. Which is what we all learn to use in trouble shooting. Without it you cant.. Video games and computers dont offer that chance. It is sad...

I'm sure as time goes on I'll pass it along in whole to someone who is willing to put the time in and learn. I do , every chance i get help anyone who asks me for advice in working leather. I never pass up the chance to get on the phone and walk someone through an issue......
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

A few months back while my wife was at work I took my son out to the garage to do some work on my old bonneville. He was knee deep in tools and later elbow deep into a Royal Enfield exhaust pipe...Literally! and wouldnt you know it when he pulled that sucker out it was pitch black and he went straight for the brow wipe. I paused and thought Daddys little man! He was only 18 months at this time. Now I cant go into the garage without him...his choice and my entertainment. Still getting the talking thing down, but he and I know a motorcycle is really called, in his own words "a Boom Boom".
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

My two sons like to work with me, but are in engineering school now, so are away most of the time. Sometimes I think that they are intimidated by the mysteries of it all and I have to keep telling them that I can do what I do because of all the mistakes I have made. The older one put a new rear tire on and pinched the tube. I could tell he was worried that I was going to do a Paul, Sr. on him, so I told him that the reason I knew what happened was that I have pinched a dozen tubes over the years. Hell, the only way you learn how to do it without pinching it is to screw it up, then think about how you can keep from doing it again.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones, my seventeen year old son likes all the stuff I like, bikes, guns and guitars. When he was six years old he learned to field strip a .45 auto and a M1 Garand. He helped me build my panhead and change my '65 Pontiac from an auto to a four speed. This weekend he wants to learn to weld. God I feel lucky.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:19 AM   #17
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I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones, my seventeen year old son likes all the stuff I like, bikes, guns and guitars. When he was six years old he learned to field strip a .45 auto and a M1 Garand. He helped me build my panhead and change my '65 Pontiac from an auto to a four speed. This weekend he wants to learn to weld. God I feel lucky.
I'd say you are... but it's all good!
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #18
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I like this subject.
Have you ever had an old dog? Your best friend, been around for years, part of the family. Poor dog gets older and older and lays around most of the time. You know it won't be long and you'll be digging a hole in the back yard all by yourself because you don't want no one to see you cry. I suggest you go out and get a puppy while that dog is still alive. The old dog won't like it at first but it won't be long and that dog will be up and playing. He'll be more active and will live longer than you thought. Where am I going with this? I 'd like a new pup in my shop. I'd love to pass on to some young pup what I have learned over the years. I'd be more than happy to teach my sons but they would rather have me give it to them or do it for them. Any young pups near East Alton, Illinois? Come on over I'll help you build or repair your first bike. Keep your pie hole shut long enough to listen and learn. Leave the video games at home. I won't put up with lies or thiefs. Show respect to others desires, ideas, and what they ride. And last of all don't try to play me for a fool. You see I've been there, done that, and own the tee shirt. If you can do these, then come on over.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:55 AM   #19
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Damn, I wish I lived in East Alton, Illinois.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:12 AM   #20
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Default Re: Who are you passing your craft too?

I dont know alot about anything, but I can fix shit when it breaks. I'm luck that my step son digs me and the things that I do enough to want to learn and help out. He always asks if he can help with his race bike (BMX, he's 13), but that i cant let go of yet. He'll be getting a YSR soon to ride to school, so he can wrench and bust that up all he wants. Im confident he can figure it out....
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