I grew up in the 50s and 60s. We always had Popular Mechanics and Popular Science magazines around the house. Back then these magazines were full of articles about how to build things using materials from around the house and how to repair things. I can remember one article on building a metal lathe out of water pipe fittings. People had less money to spend then, they spent less time watching TV and playing video games. And many of them spent a good deal of time in their shop.
Fast forward to 2010, the economy is still in the tank, millions of people are unemployed and consumer credit is almost nonexistent. Thousands of people have lost their homes not to mention their motorcycles. Most people are very reluctant to go down to the local Honda shop and plunk down 20 grand for a new Goldwing . But there's plenty of inexpensive used motorcycles for sale, and even some free ones. This is an ideal time for someone who can scrape together a little bit of money and has a few basic mechanical skills to build a really decent motorcycle without having to kiss some bankers hinder.
This is basic grassroots hot rodding stuff. It's what I'm fairly good at. What I've never been any good at his writing. I'm dyslexic and can't spell or type worth a damn. One of the great new technologies to come along in recent years is voice recognition software. Now I can talk and let the computer type. Talking is something I'm way too good at so I'm going to try to combine the software and my experience with rebuilding machinery to post a complete build diary of a low-cost, relatively high performance motorcycle
I like to give my projects names, if nothing else it provides a shorthand for describing the project. Given the similarities between now and the 30s I looked at some depression era slang and came up with the name that I think is appropriate. During the depression, the last one, not this one, a lot of bars and ladies whose job it was to encourage the patrons to hang around and buy more drinks. They called them B-girl's, to me it sounds like a great name for motorcycle.
The B-girl will be a GL 1000 with a GL 1200 engine. Built a tight budget with retro styling. I hope you'll follow along as I build it. I'll do my best to provide a clear and accurate build diary and I would love to hear your comments as we go along. We will kick it all off tomorrow with a discussion about preparing the shop and thinking a little bit about the budget. Stay tuned!