Classic Motorcycle Build

About Me

Hello, I'm Mark Trotta - welcome to my classic motorcycle site.

Mark Trotta classic motorcycle build

I've been riding and wrenching for 30+ years, and in that time, I've brought home numerous motorcycle projects. 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.

I didn't always have the skills and tools and equipment needed to build motorcycles - they were picked up along the way as I got deeper into projects.

classic motorcycle repair

What I Ride

My first motorcycle was a 1972 Harley-Davidson Sportster, which I bought wrecked in 1981. There was no internet then, all I had for guidance was a few motorhead buddies and the factory shop manual. But six months later, I was riding.

author Mark Trotta

After several riding seasons, I decided to convert the Sportster into a custom hardtail, so I needed to find another daily rider.

Ironhead Sportster with girder front forks

From 1983 to 1988, a Yamaha Seca Turbo was my commuter bike.

Mark Trotta riding motorcycle in snow

The Seca Turbo was a fun (and fast) bike. And as you can see from the picture above, it got me through all kinds of weather.

Yamaha Seca-Turbo and hardtail Sportster

During this time in my life, I chose not to own a car, and the two bikes were my sole transportation. I thought nothing of alternatively riding right-side shift and left-side shift bikes!


Triumph Trident

I bought this 1974 Triumph Trident as a basket case, non-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 classic motorcycle build

Before and After Triumph Trident Restoration.

history of 3 cylinder motorcycles


Road King FLHRI

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.

1997 Harley-Davidson Road King

After five years, I decided cruisers weren't for me and sold it.


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

Ironhead Sportster Project

Before and After 1976 Sportster Project.

Ironhead Sportster project

Vintage Trike Restoration

I found this Harley trike project on ebay in 2014. Purchase price included a frame, a disassembled motor, and boxes and boxes of parts.

Harley-Davidson Servi-car frame

Before and After Harley Servi-Car.

Harley-Davidson Servi-car project

Read: Harley Servi-car Restoration


BMW Oilhead

My daily rider from 2017 through 2022 was a BMW R1100R. It was surprisingly fast for a big bike, although I was never comfortable power-shifting through gears on a shaft-drive machine (but I did anyway).

BMW R1100R Review

In addition to replacing front and rear tires, routine oil changes and tune-up, other repairs included replacing the in-tank fuel filter, replacing the battery, replacing the starter, and replacing leaking fork seals.

I also had to replace the ignition switch due to a stuck key.

All this seemed like a lot of upkeep for the 2,000 miles a year that I rode it. I'm on a limited budget - putting time and money into something that I'll never get back didn't make sense. The Beemer was sold in 2022 and the search was on for a replacement bike.



After 40 years of riding, I found myself looking for a smaller, lighter bike - and one in reasonable condition that has bottomed out value-wise. After considering various vintage makes and models, I purchased a non-running Norton Commando.

1974 Norton Commando right side shift


Thank you for visiting my site!

You can contact me at: Mark @

Ride Safe.