Throughout my education and professional career I’ve spent a lot of time sitting and stressing out at my desk in front of a screen. In short the last two decades have turned me into an office chair acrobat, adroit at navigating my office without ever standing up. I began to wonder whatever happened to the kid who used to lovingly build up his mountain bikes from scratch and then got into motorcycles straightaway. Sure, I was still riding, but I had become the kind of rider who sullenly brought the bike to the shop the second the brakes began to cry. That kid inside of me was dying to get out and spin a wrench, to make something go.
I had to ask myself, “Why the hell is this hunger coming back into my life?” But the answers did not come easy. Like movies on your eyelids I watched myself as a carefree teenager, wrenching on my 50cc Honda Monkey mini-bike in any spare moment. The Monkey was my all in one, one in all distraction and ticket to the nearby city. The bike consumed me so much that I even completely forgot a date with a very pretty girl in my class who to this day has not uttered a word to me since.
Today I am 47 and I’ve come to the realization that more than a few years have gone by without nearly enough passion. When I dig deeper I am always drawn back to these thoughts about my youth. I had endless ideas and a boundless desire to realize them. My passion for the Monkey ran unrestrained by difficulties such as low cash flow. If money was in short supply, creativity was not.
As I slowly rode down memory lane it dawned on me: why not start all over again but this time start fresh from the place when I last felt true inner peace. Would holding a wrench again release these sought after emotions like listening to an old favorite song?
It didn’t take long for me to start searching the internet for a new Monkey. With this re-animated passion bubbling up I threw caution aside, made three phone calls, a bank transfer, and the Monkey was on its way to me. You might be tempted to think, “oh the sad sack re-living his childhood with a mini-bike” but you’d be wrong.
When the bike arrived I was nearly at a loss with what to do with my office hands, rusty from years of neglect. It was hard at first to re-activate the old skills and learn new ones at the same time. Just like when I was 16 I had to start all over again and get everything back little by little over the course of a year.
I began tirelessly researching parts and ideas, building the bike within the CAD program of my mind. And like a never ending Christmas, the packages of parts and goodies piled up at my door. When I could not order what I had dreamt, I set out to make it myself or find someone who could.
I was consumed. In my fever I bought yet another bike before I had finished the first. This time I went big and bought one I had always wanted, a BMW R80RT. The bikerati know that there are more ways to mod a single series BMW than there are variations in fingerprints and I was in deep. Parts would go from package to trash can and I almost sold the bikes off.
But one night, after a few beers, I placed the bikes side by side in the shop and was overcome by a sense of calm. I decided then and there the two machines would be a big brother, little brother extension of my custom bike vision and the “Mo-tomato” was born.
From that moment on old patterns of satisfaction were revived and those once neglected neural pathways began firing on all cylinders again. If a part didn’t work it became an opportunity instead of a failure. I began to forget all the trivialities of the day to day, just like when I was a kid, except this time I have a fantastic partner to support me in my endeavors.
I realized I had found what I had been looking for all along, my INNER PEACE! It did not matter if I was riding, wrenching, cleaning or simply gazing at the bikes, it felt all right. I had successfully wired my contemporary self with my past and life just got better and better.
This new feeling, or friend if you will, gave rise to my new mantra, “for your inner peace”. What was once a quest became a flow that channeled directly into the builds. Each Motomato is imbued with this inner peace to be released by the driver via engine selection, ergonomics, styling cues, and even the exhaust note.
From now on I am dedicated to this “tomato cultivation”. I have finally found the “real tomato”. The „plastic maggot“ (Honda CX500) is already in pieces and awaiting its transformation into a Motamato. Like its siblings, it will be bolted together from front to rear with my new mantra. The one thing I am absolutely sure of now is that for the first time in along time I truly love what I do. Tough way…. but it’s worth it!