by Sherri Kukla
The guy-in-the-garage assured me he had our budget in mind when he decided to refurbish his Honda rather than buy a new one.
Was I wrong in assuming this would cost less than a new bike?
He got the idea when he saw a classified ad for some used gold Talon wheels.
He sold me on the idea of handing over several hundred dollars in cash by convincing me this was saving us thousands of dollars.
Was I wrong to believe this?
As he was warming his truck up, he quoted me prices for new Talon wheels, causing me to rest assured that this was indeed a deal.
I don’t remember him mentioning he wasn’t positive these wheels would fit his bike.
Several hours later he returned like a warrior coming home with the spoils of victory. Several minutes later his victory was spoiled when he realized that, while the rear wheel would fit on his bike, the front wheel was another story.
Not to worry though. He knew a guy who would buy the front wheel and he’d use the money to put toward a brand new wheel and hub to match the rear.
Since it was going to take some time to get the new hub and wheel in, this seemed like a good time to tear the rest of the bike down.
I knew about the powder coating on the frame, but all the rest of the parts I found out about as I made my rounds delivering our magazine.
Nearly every shop I went into said: “We’ve got your parts in.”
I was lighting the debit card on fire picking up all these parts that were saving me money.
Each time I’d bring home a batch of parts, he’d look a little sheepish and I’d ask: “Is this all of them?”
Yes,” he’d say, never looking directly at me.
Was I wrong to believe him?
Standing in the garage a few days later, I spotted some packages on top of the freezer. I may have been mistaken, but they looked a lot like motorcycle parts.
He was busy working on the bike. “What are all those things on top of the freezer?”
“Oh, just a few new plastics for the bike when I get it all back together,” he finally said.
“Is that the last of the new stuff?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said sincerely. “Except for the seat cover.”
I just looked at him. “And maybe one or two more items.” Still no eye contact.
When the call came to pick up the front wheel I went to get it, so he would be surprised when he got home from work that day. Little did I know how surprised.
As soon as they handed it to me, I got a sick feeling in my stomach. “That doesn’t look like the gold on the other wheel,” I said, hoping there was some mistake.
“Talon changed the color of gold they use,” they said.
Even I agreed it would not look right to have two different shades of gold on a newly refurbished bike. The only decent thing to do was to order a new rear wheel.
Finally the day came when he took the bike out for its debut off road ride, which convinced me the project was indeed complete.
I got this uneasy feeling, however, a few days later when I found him at his desk studying a motorcycle brochure.
“Oh, I’m just reading about this bike,” he said. “I’m not buying one.” He sounded convincing.
Was I wrong to believe him?
Sherri Kukla is the editor and co-publisher of S&S Off Road Magazine. She along with her husband, the guy-inthe-garage, are also the founders and directors of Thundering Trails off road camp for inner city kids in Southern California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.ssorm.com.