During our honeymoon to Thailand my wife and I were presented the opportunity to rent a scooter to travel around the island. In the end we turned down the offer - I hadn't driven a motorized scooter before, and driving on the left side of the road presented another complexity that didn't seem to be worth the risk. As soon as we got back to the hotel, I signed up for a motorcycle safety course back in Texas for when we returned. I wouldn't be caught unprepared again.
My first time on the Suzuki Marauder I trained on that weekend had me hooked. I grew up riding bikes everywhere as a kid - I immediately felt at home "in the saddle". It wasn't until we moved to Greenville, SC I was able to finally pursue my dream of owning a motorcycle. In 2019 I found a well-maintained Yamaha V-star 650 cruiser for sale. When I purchased the bike it was stock in every way, and "classic" in all the wrong ways.
I've always been a tinkerer and I'm always looking for the next project. The motorcycle was no different - I had to turn it into something a bit more appealing. With thorough research, ordering parts from far and wide, and some custom fabricating, I converted the classic V-star into a bobber motorcycle - stripped of the extra bulk from the seats and fender. The finishing touch was to add a swing-arm saddle bag. I had extensive leatherworking experience as a teen, and digging through storage revealed a perfect shoulder of 8 oz leather, which was soon transformed into a hand-stitched accessory.
I'll keep tinkering on the bike as time goes on. Next up will be a custom seat - and I need to do something about that front end. One step at a time.