It seems that the most common question people ask of my after hearing about Little Project is “Why?”. The bit that follows is not always the same. “Why bother with such a little insignificant bike?”, “Why do you want to spend all of your spare cash on this?” and “Why are you doing it?”.
Admittedly, Little Project is not a superbike. There’s no “Harley Davidson” emblazoned across the tank and if it ever goes above 55mph it will be because it is on the back of a pick-up truck. It is not a bike that you hear people idly day-dreaming about, I am fairly certain that I have never heard anyone wistfully sigh “I’d love a Honda CT125”.
I would like to say that it is about recycling, taking a green view towards transport. Frankly, that would be codswallop.
Just to wander off on a tangent. I wondered on the origins of codswallop. Arguments relate relatively to a degoratory term for a weak beer (take note USA, that’ll be you) to something relating to a thump in the scrotum, with the “cod” implying codpiece. I hope that life is better, still not knowing the root of this word.
Back to Little Project. It was there and it spoke to me. I wouldn’t care to say that it was neglected, more forgotten about. Like the peeling piece of wallpaper that you will get round to sticking down one day, except that Little Project is 230lbs of rusty metal. Some of you will get the “spoke to me”. Mostly, it relates to abandoned kittens (I already have one of those) or puppies. Little Project just popped up and came into being at the right time and the right place with the right people around being available to help get the poor thing into my shed.
Wandering off again. February in South West London is bloody cold. If Little Project really wanted to be helpful then a genie would pop out of the petrol tank (I actually have that bit) and provide some form of heating in the bitterly cold shed.
In summary, there’s a motorcycle for which I paid nothing. In perfect condition with a really keen buyer, it would probably be worth £1000. The cost to restore it to something like concours condition is going to be £1500 (even if I can locate the parts – Ross at Tiaro Motorcycle Wreckers, Queensland, Australia, so much depends on you). My reward is seeing the bike come back to life. I could spend the money on some sporting events, a gig or two, cigarettes and whiskey and wild, wild women, but all of that would be fleeting. Little Project will probably take up 12 months of my evenings but perhaps one day there will be somebody who looks at the completed Little Project and says “not bad”. That will make it worth it.