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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

Name's Chuck, and I'm over in Guam on a work assignment.

Guam?

212 sq mile island in the Pacific, +14 hrs ahead and nearly 9000 miles away from the East Coast of the United States.

US territory.

Been a bike enthusiast for over 40 years. Going through motorcycle withdrawal here, so I broke down and bought a bike. Not just any bike - but the nastiest, grossest bike I've ever owned (and that's saying quite a bit).

1986 Shadow VT500C. 12K miles on the clock. Ran good, looked horrible.



I've had it an entire week now, and it's starting to look a little better:



It's about 50% done; will do some very mild customization and call it good.

If you wish to follow detailed progress - or - learn more about Guam and points east, there's a daily blog for these sorts of things:

Guam and Beyond

The bike is generally referred to as The Pig. Something to do with being covered in mud dauber wasp nests, I guess - found ten so far, including one which fell into the engine as I pulled the cam covers off. Long story; won't bore you with it here, as it's on the blog site.

Trust you'll find it interesting.

Chuck.
 

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welcome bud
 

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keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hafa Adai! I love Guam. Spent some time there, beautiful untouched beaches (at least on the base), great food, and cool laid back Chamorros. Would love to go back.
Hafa Adai!

It is pretty nice here. I'm in an apartment complex right on Tumon Bay with a beach overlook near Mata'pang Beach. it's endless summer here - highs to about 88, lows down to 75. No seasons, just a little more wind in what mainlanders call winter, and more rain in the summer and early fall months.

Like your bike - been studying customs for some time trying to figure out where to take this one. I can't go far with it, as resources are pretty limited here on-island. I found a tire on the shelf of the Yamaha store, for example...$229.00.

Great riding roads - as long as they're dry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Welcome. I think your bike looks fine. I don't understand what you don't like about it.
Thanks!

Two reasons:

The pictures kind of lie.

What I need to do is start a build/restoration thread so's y'all can see what it looked like when it showed up at my doorstep. Tropical marine climates have lots of heat, UV radiation and salt in the air; the three conspire to rot plastic, cook clear coat and corrode alloy and chrome. I'll post close-ups of the crud as soon as I'm cleared to post in the main area.

The result is an island bike ages 4X faster than than a mainland bike. I have to spend 2 hrs a week keeping my Key West bikes fresh and corrosion-free. On Guam, locals just give up and let them rot.

The bike is quite a curiosity, as there are only a handful of bikes on-island that are more than ten years old. The bike shop people all want to see it, as it's an antique in their eyes! Strangely enough, it's the newest bike in my stable.

The second reason is I've never been fond of this era of metric cruisers. Culturally, the designers didn't 'get' it in the mid 80's, they were forever trying to add too-dads and gee-gaws (like the angular dashboard with a ton of idiot lights) or whipping up some sort of plastic shroud thingie to hide essential bits, as if a naked headset and triple tree are obscene. To top it off, to get the cruiser 'look' the bike gets a rake and a set of buckhorns which make low speed handling impossible along with finding a riding position to properly work the bike.

It's a halfway bike - a bike designed by guys who didn't fully understand what a cruiser was, so styling cues and ergonomics are halfway between a standard and a cruiser.

I bought it not because I lusted after it, or needed a 'trainer' bike to get back in the saddle, I bought it as I like to work on bikes and it needed help. Finally - it was the cheapest bike on-island this year. To illustrate this, there's a 2006 Suzuki 500 cruiser corroded all to hell and back at the bike shop; they want $4500 for it, rust and all.

Getting a bike from the mainland to here costs about $1300 after land transport, shipping and crating - so bikes all carry a surcharge to this effect.

So - I've backed into a Honda Shadow out of the need to wrench on something while hangin' out in Guam.
 

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Hafa Adai!

It is pretty nice here. I'm in an apartment complex right on Tumon Bay with a beach overlook near Mata'pang Beach. it's endless summer here - highs to about 88, lows down to 75. No seasons, just a little more wind in what mainlanders call winter, and more rain in the summer and early fall months.

Like your bike - been studying customs for some time trying to figure out where to take this one. I can't go far with it, as resources are pretty limited here on-island. I found a tire on the shelf of the Yamaha store, for example...$229.00.

Great riding roads - as long as they're dry!
Yeah, I couldn't imagine trying to restore/repair a bike on the island. Unless people have lived there they have no clue how limited & isolated Guam really is. Everything is hard to find there...well, except for Spam.

The last time I was there the island experienced the gnarliest freakin' monsoon ever. The devastation was really sad. Scary sh!t.

Have you visited any of the other islands in Micronesia?

I would love to see your "build" thread. I'm sure I could learn something from it. The one thing about this bike is that it's really easy to work on. As for handling, I like it, but I have some apes on the way so I'm really interested to see how much it'll change after that. The rear fender set up I can't stand at all, but I really don't want to throw more money or time into this bike - I'd really love to make it into a rigid. However, I'm waiting to find a cool old Triumph to chop up and bob out instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, I couldn't imagine trying to restore/repair a bike on the island. Unless people have lived there they have no clue how limited & isolated Guam really is. Everything is hard to find there...well, except for Spam.

The last time I was there the island experienced the gnarliest freakin' monsoon ever. The devastation was really sad. Scary sh!t.

Have you visited any of the other islands in Micronesia?

I would love to see your "build" thread. I'm sure I could learn something from it. The one thing about this bike is that it's really easy to work on. As for handling, I like it, but I have some apes on the way so I'm really interested to see how much it'll change after that. The rear fender set up I can't stand at all, but I really don't want to throw more money or time into this bike - I'd really love to make it into a rigid. However, I'm waiting to find a cool old Triumph to chop up and bob out instead.
thanks!

if you check out the blog - the travels are there. Been to Saipan, will hit Tinian eventually, maybe Palau.

Build thread's up in General Discussion - flat bars made a HUGE difference in bike feel.

I don't like the rear fender either, but the boss likes her sissy pads.

as for a proper hooligan bike - I already have one.



It's on the other side of the world, tho - which is why this one is pinch hitting. I've other bikes besides; just need something to wrench on in the interim.
 

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thanks!

if you check out the blog - the travels are there. Been to Saipan, will hit Tinian eventually, maybe Palau.

Build thread's up in General Discussion - flat bars made a HUGE difference in bike feel.

I don't like the rear fender either, but the boss likes her sissy pads.

as for a proper hooligan bike - I already have one.



It's on the other side of the world, tho - which is why this one is pinch hitting. I've other bikes besides; just need something to wrench on in the interim.
Cool blog. And that "hooligan" bike is amazing! It'd drive me crazy not being able to ride that. I'll check out the build thread - although I like the progression on your blog as well. Thanks.
 
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