Classic Motorcycle Build

About This Site

Vintage bikes take you away from the clutter of today's technology and back to a time of mechanical simplicity. If you enjoy reading about, working on, or just plain riding classic motorcycles, this site was written for you. Classic Motorcycle Build is the place to come for vintage and classic bike history and information.

please ride safely

Imagine riding down the road on your classic bike, knowing that nearly every piece was assembled by you. It warms your soul. There is no greater satisfaction than riding a motorcycle you built yourself.

About Me

I've been riding and wrenching for 40+ years, and in that time I've brought home numerous disassembled and basket-case motorcycles. 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.

author Mark Trotta

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've owned and enjoyed many different types of bikes, and have commuted many years on motorcycles. In 1983, I bought a Yamaha Seca Turbo to be my daily rider while I was building my Hardtail Sportster. As you can see from the picture below, it got me through all kinds of weather.

author Mark Trotta riding motorcycle in winter weather

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 35-mile each-way 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 2010, I was looking for another bike, but without having the money to buy a complete running motorcycle of any quality, my only choice was to find a good project bike.

Ironhead Sportster project

I bought a basket-case 1976 Sportster, then spent the next two years getting it together and running. I rode it for another two years then sold it in 2014.

Current Street Bike

Presently I'm riding a 1995 BMW R1100R. The cylinders are air-cooled like traditional flat-twin Beemers, but the cylinder heads are oil-cooled, hence the nickname "oilhead". It's reliable, comfortable, easy to maintain, and when called upon, gets up and goes!

BMW R1100R

Current Project

I bought this project trike on ebay. When completed, this 1961 Harley Servi-car will be a fun collectable classic to be driven in parades and running errands around town. What's more nostalgic than a flathead-powered three-wheeler?

Harley-Davidson Servi-car restoration

Ride Safe And Live

When I was in my early twenties, I could care less about motorcycle safety. What changed that was an accident that a friend of mine had. His name was Palmer, and he was an experienced motorcyclist. He didn't own a car and rode all year round. Today we call them bad-weather bikers.

Palmer was an older and more experienced rider than I was, but that didn't help the day an old woman pulled out in front of him. She claimed she didn't see him. His helmet probably saved his life.

He was still unconscious when they got him to the hospital. When he finally came to, they told him he may never walk again. Little did they know how stubborn he was. Well, he's still alive and well, and walks with a bad limp, but was never able to ride a motorcycle again. The day after Palmer's accident, I stopped wearing my $20 helmet and bought a real one. A quality proper fitting helmet is a necessary piece of motorcycle gear.

author Mark Trotta

Thank You

This website is made possible with the support of readers like you. When you use the links on these pages to purchase tools and gear,  the small commissions from those sales allow me to keep this site going. Thank you in advance for your help.