12 months ago, a friend teed up an arrangement for me where I was loaned a Harley Davidson for 12 months. “What kind of deal is that!” you ask (exclamation point intended). Well it belongs to a dairy farmer who is finding that very demanding times in his industry have meant that he really has had no time to ride it and it had been sitting in a shed on his farm (that overlooks the Great Ocean Rd) rusting for a couple of years. It had really deteriorated to a point where it was not all that attractive to look at and was not worth any where near what it should have been if he decided to sell it.
My friend suggested that he let me take it and clean it up again making it more pleasurable for him to ride and worth a higher resale value should he choose to go that way. Being an obviously generous young man, he asked if I would be willing to do that in exchange for having his bike for 12 months…I would have done it for 2!
The answer to that being obvious, I collected his bike on a trailer just before Easter last year and brought it home to commence the clean up. It was quite bad and required some effort before even riding it on the road for the first time. I gave it a good wash, fitted a battery and had a roadworthy test conducted, got it registered and that’s when the hard work began.
Every single piece of chrome on the whole bike was very rusty. The dash, the handle bars, the wheel spokes and rim, the seat bolts, the headlight…every single piece!
I took to that Harley with my Dremel fitted with polishing wheels, with Glitz rust remover, with WD40, with microfibre cloths and with a number of Harley Davidson cleaning products. It took many, many hours of scrubbing and polishing, but I got that Harley looking pretty amazing. And I had the great privilege of a good many hours riding it too. We did a number of day trips to Apollo Bay, The Otways, The Grampians and other places. I took it regularly to my favorite thinking haunt in Timboon and had many pleasurable “mental escapes” on it.
Was it worth it? The look on the owner’s face when I handed it back to him, made it totally worthwhile! He was speechless at how clean and shiny it had become. It had been transformed from a wreck to a pride and joy and I got 12 months worth of reward just in those first few moments of seeing his face when he first saw his newly restored Harley.
Big thanks to Angus for providing me with such a cool project to keep me out of trouble for a year and for the opportunity to make a farmer’s day when I returned it.