Baller On A Budget

Editor’s Note

Recently I’ve been on the hunt for several hidden treasures to add to my motorsport collection. Searching Craigslist several times a day is the equivalent to taking a smoke break for me. I enjoy looking, pondering, and occasionally finding the awesome “too good to be true” deal pop up. It gets my blood pumpin’ every time, even if 99 percent of the time I know I’ll never be able to pull the trigger.

On the four-wheel side of my brain, I’ve recently become infatuated with ’59-60 Chevrolet Impalas. I (along with everyone else) have been on the hunt for one; only to find I have diamond dreams on a cubic zirconia budget. Even if I found one I could afford, I would probably only be happy with the barn find for a short while, before I added something new to the wish list.

On the two-wheeled hunt, there are a few bikes that I’m on the prowl for. With the popularity for Sportsters growing out of control, I’m always looking for the “divorce, new baby, or wife says it’s got to go” fire sale. The great deals pop up and are gone in hours. The market-value bikes stay for weeks and face stiff competition. The overpriced smoke dreams just tell me the seller has no clue and is trying to pass their financial blunders on to another sucker.

I make no qualms about it, I love Honda CB chops. To me they are undervalued time capsules, full of ’70s cool, and if they had different motors would be four times the price. The CB chops are like the fat chick at the bar. If you squint your eyes real tight, they are still fun to ride. I’m far from saying that Knuckle and Shovel choppers aren’t as cool, but they fall in line with my eyes-bigger-than-my-wallet aspirations (similar to the ’59-60 Impalas).

Finally, there is my bagger search. I’m not looking for a big-buck, big-wheel, big-baller bagger. Those are way too far out of my reach and I realize that. Currently, I’m building an ’89 FLHS Electra Glide Sport. These bikes are the predecessor to the Road King and are powered by an ’ol faithful, non-trendy Evo powerplant. In stock form they may not be the most handsome of bikes, but if you’re going to rip and replace most of the stock stuff on a full build anyway, these are awesome bases to begin with.

I have worked with a lot of models over the last 10 years. When you tell people that the girl of their dreams is actually a real person with real problems, they look at you like you have two heads. How could someone so good looking be anything but perfection in every way? That’s far from saying every model is crazy, but every model really is, at the end of the day, a person with problems, much like the $100,000 special-construction bikes share many of the same problems as the $1,000 backyard builds.

So what’s the trend that goes with all of this? I would love to own the most desirable, expensive, sought-after cars and bikes in my collection. But like most of you, I’m a workin’ stiff that needs to make my dollar stretch as far as possible. Buying only the “trendy” stuff is like buying the hot girl at the bar a drink. Sure, you might get lucky once, but more than likely you’ll end up with nothing but an expensive bill. Ever wonder why the high-priced collector items are better suited for looking at rather than riding?

For me, I’ll take my homebuilt hot rod, hot bike, and hot “ride-or-die” wife any day over the overpriced, hot-at-the-moment pipe dream any day. That doesn’t mean I still won’t look though.

Buying only the “trendy” stuff is like buying the hot girl at the bar a drink. Sure, you might get lucky once, but more than likely you’ll end up with nothing but an expensive bill.”