Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Motorcycles and Startups: Wild Rides

Between having two young kids at home and all the cold and snow we’ve had this winter, it had been far too long since I fired up a bike and felt the wind in my face. This past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to get out on my motorcycle for the first time this year. When I left the house the temperature was in the mid-fifties, which seemed nice and warm sitting still, but on country roads at 50+ mph it was on the refreshing side!

While I was riding around for a few hours, I was reminded of all of the things I like about motorcycles. I’ve also been thinking lately about how much I enjoy working for startup companies. Surprisingly, the two have a lot in common:

Roads less traveled 

Motorcycle on a road less traveled
Ted Simon summed it up well when he said, “Hooray for the motorcycle! It seduces you into getting off the freeways and onto smaller roads and doing things the harder way and being aware of the countryside.”
My motorcycle takes me on roads I wouldn’t otherwise travel. When I’ve got a free afternoon, it’s fun to hop on the bike and try to find some undiscovered routes. When I turn down a new road, I don’t know where I’ll end up.  Sometimes, it’s a dead end.  Sometimes it takes me right back where I started.  But sometimes, I find a great road with smooth pavement, little traffic, and lots of curves. Other times I find a beautiful scenic overlook or a tucked away pit beef stand with the best sandwiches in the area.

Similarly, the roads ahead of a startup company are largely unknown. When new products are launched or different methods are tested, the outcome is often uncertain. Sometimes the new ideas don’t work.  Sometimes new products fail spectacularly! But sometimes, the road leads to a discovery that changes the face of the industry.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So bummed

What is it with people selling motorcycles without titles?  The owner of the CL350 I was trying to buy refused to take a deposit or lower his price while he "tried" to track down the title from the previous owner.  Looks like he sold it to someone else yesterday.  Bummer.

Oh well, I'll continue to scour craigslist for the next project candidate.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honda CL350 Cafe Racers

Lately it seems like I’ve been running across numerous pictures of sweet little Honda CL 350s and CL 360s that the owners have either restored, or completely redone.

Woody’s CL350 Brat Tracker

More pictures can be found here, and the full build story can be found here.

MotoFiaccone 1969 Honda CL350

More pictures can be found here.


Joshua Hoffmans’s CL350 Cafe Racer

Picture found on BIKEEXIF here.

Rocket Garage Honda CL350 Cafe Racer

More pictures and information can be found here.

Rocket Garage Honda CL360

More information and pictures can be found here.

Guy Bolton’s Honda CL360 Custom

More pictures and info here.
I’ve been jonesing for a new bike project, and this popped up on craigslist in my area a few days ago for a good price.  If the owner can track down the title, I’m hoping to pick it up in the next few days:
honda_cl350_scrambler_2 honda_cl350_scrambler_1
Who knows when it last ran, and it’s missing some parts, but it should be a good challenge.  I just love the look of those high pipes with the perforated heat shields. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.