Classic Motorcycle Build

About Me

Hello, I'm Mark Trotta and I've been riding and wrenching for 30+ years. In that time, I've brought home numerous disassembled and basket-case cars and motorcycles, and because of this, two things have happened; I have become quite familiar with old iron, and I have pushed the limit of my patience far beyond what I thought it was.

Mark Trotta classic motorcycle repair

Most local repair shops shy away from working on vintage motorcycles, especially project bikes. This is what started me to do it myself. Over the years, through trial and error, I've picked up the skills and tools and equipment needed to repair and restore classic motorcycles.

classic motorcycle repair

What I Ride

My first motorcycle was a 1972 Harley-Davidson Sportster, which I bought wrecked in 1981. It was the only way I could afford the bike I wanted, but six months and $500 later, I was riding. I rode this bike for 13 years.

author Mark Trotta

During the winter of 1982, I decided to convert my '72 Sportster into a custom hardtail. This meant I needed to find another daily rider.

hardtail Sportster build

From 1983 to 1988, a Yamaha Seca Turbo was my commuter bike. As you can see from the picture below, it got me through all kinds of weather. It was also wicked fast.

author Mark Trotta riding motorcycle in winter weather

Triumph Trident

I bought this 1974 Triumph Trident as a basket case, not running and parts missing. With three cylinders, three carburetors, three sets of mechanical points, and something called a zener diode, this bike was a challenge!

DIY motorcycle build

Before and after Triumph Trident restoration

history of 3 cylinder motorcycles

Read: Triumph Trident Build

From 2005 to 2010, I rode a Harley-Davidson Road King. At the time, I was working at a Harley-Davidson dealer in the county below mine. It was a 70-mile commute, and the King was a good ride. After riding it for five years, I decided cruisers weren't for me and sold it.

1997 Harley-Davidson Road King

In 2012, I bought a basket-case 1976 Sportster.

Ironhead Sportster Project

Before and after - Ironhead Sportster project

Ironhead Sportster project

Vintage Trike Restoration

I found this 1961 Harley trike project on ebay. Purchase price included a frame, a disassembled motor, and boxes and boxes of parts.

Harley-Davidson Servi-car frame

Before and after - Servi-Car Build

Harley-Davidson Servi-car project

All Servi-cars were powered by the venerable Harley 45 flathead.

Harley-Davidson Servi-car

Read: Harley Servi-car Restoration

BMW Oilhead

My daily rider from 2017 through 2022 was a 1995 BMW R1100R. The R-series motorcycles are called "Oilheads" because the heads are oil-cooled, but the cylinders are still air-cooled like traditional flat-twin Beemers (Airheads). A smooth, reliable, comfortable machine, and when called upon, the 1100cc motor gets up and goes!

BMW R1100R Review

Read: BMW Oilhead Real World Review

Ironhead Sportster

In between working my day job and repairing other people's motorcycles, my latest project has been a 1965 XLCH Sportster.

Ironhead Sportster Project

1965 Sportster Production: 3,770 total units (2,815 XLCH models, 955 XLH models)

Financially, it would have been more profitable to part out a basket-case motorcycle such as this, but it's a very low production bike with matching case numbers and deserving of a quality restoration.

disassembled Sportster motor

Thank you for visiting my site!

You can contact me at: Mark @