Bikernet Bike Build: BETSY’S REVIVAL STORY Part 2

     Oncethat trailer gate hit the driveway back at home I could see tired ol’Betsy begging for another chance at life! As I walked aroundthe trailer she lay resting after the 1500 mile journey back. Iassessed the impending task of making this Ol’ girl right again.
“Rode hard and put up wet,” I said to myself thinkingof all the journeys and adventures she served Scooter Tramp Scotty through.As I took in every line every worn out part of this soul servingmachine I tried to imagine all the places she saw, all thelandscapes, the women who made passenger, the endless white lines stretched for over half-a-million miles. The nomadicvessel of freedom that is this motorcycle I now have the honor ofsorting out to make whole again.
     Ilugged the broken pieces of this ’88 Electra Glide into the garageone by one. With an enthusiastic fire burning inside that I’vebecome a master at harnessing, I went straight to rearranging the shop foraccommodation of the new project. The work bench was clearedand the sorting of parts began, one-by-one. The bike “formallyknown as” Betsy quickly became a shell of her former self.The quest to get to her skeleton was my frantic goal, because there iswhere the worst lie waited to be healed. The evening faded to nightquickly and sleep was beckoning.

Tomorrow would be a new daybut with it came the disruptive chore of work so Betsy would laywaiting for my 6:30 return from the daily grind.
    Ipulled in to the house with anxious anticipation to strip her down tothat rusted and broken frame.As all parts lay categorized on the bench, I was left staring at 20years of grease and road grime thicker than the remaining paint theMoCo laid down 29 years prior. Before I could send this frameto repair, I had to get the layers of gunk off.
Thoughtsimmediately flooded my mind of just how many states and how manycountries this dirt belongs to! As I started scraping andcompiling clump by clump into the jar my imagination raced again intothe tapestry of visions stretching from Panama to Alaska where thistrusty companion carried her rider faithfully. I was holding inmy hand crust of the earth scooped up by Scooter Tramp Scotty’s gypsyjourneys traversing the entire North American continent for twodecades. WOW!
    Nowof course you know all of this has been documented in picturesthrough social media and through that incredible juggernaut I wasable to reach. I announced toFacebook land my intentions with Betsy and the response wasoverwhelming. This resurrection would only be possible withhelp of the great people who reached out to aid in thisreconstruction.
With the frame in real bad shape, it became my first and most important part of the restoration. An unsuspecting buddy reached out to me.Little did I know, he had been following the unfolding of theRevival of Betsy. Mr. Steve Brownell of Brownell Metal Studio, who has been a great friend of mine for a number of years extendedhis professional welding expertise. You see Steve has been inmetal manipulation for over 30 years doing high-end architectural andstructural work for some of Virginia’s finest establishments. Amaster welder and fabricator in every type of metal from brass,stainless, bronze, aluminum and steel, his craftsmanship is upperechelon in the industry.

     Bringingthis exhausted carcass to his hands of healing was a no brainer.I asked Steve, “Can you fix her road ravaged frame, brother?”He smiled ear to ear responding, “Of course I can.””I’ll have her back together better than the day sherolled off the assembly line.” My confidence in thisrevival mirrored the words from Steve’s mouth at that moment. Iknew this was the beginning of Betsy’s second coming!
     Stevewasted no time in tackling the task. Explaining to me how he had been followingScotty’s adventure, as many have, he was piqued by the ScooterTramp’s offbeat lifestyle and was excited to be a part of Betsy’srebirth. First line of business was tobead blast every square inch of the frame to expose any unseen rot or cracks laying camouflaged beneath the patina’d paint. Steve went towork uncovering what would soon become a little more than a brokenframe rail.
With three portions of the frame cracked and thebottom section of the frame rails looking like Swiss cheese, Stevecut out the cancered sections and replaced those portions withupgraded stainless steel meticulously melding the two metals togetherin one seamless blend of strength and integrity that won’t see rustagain at least in those portions. Hand shaping a few new panelsto replace and reinforce the swingarm junctures and a kickstand mountready for another twenty years of parking lot profiling, restorativefabrication COMPLETE!
Mr. Brownell even offered, as an addedbonus, to give her a two coats of primer, a fresh coat or three ofpaint, and shine her up with plenty of clear. She will onceagain be the prettiest girl at the ball or rally. I only sawthe process in pictures as you are now, but all I can sayis..AMAZING! Putting thirty plus years of quality experiencebreathing new life into a piece of true biker Americana, SteveBrownell, executed flawlessly.
     Igot the call about a week after drop off– the surgery was asuccess. The following morning I anxiously drove out toBrownell Metal Art Studio anticipating the unveiling of Betsy 2.0.Upon arrival I had that knot in my stomach as if meeting a girl forthe first time..fucking was like the morning ofChristmas as a child all over again.
As I walked into the shopSteve met me upon entering with a shit eating grin, I knew it wasgoing to good. I said to him, “I see things went well.”
He replied, “Piece of cake.”
We walked over to theother half of the shop and lying in the middle of the floor restingon a piece of cardboard as to preserve the fresh paint from beingdamaged, sat the old girl. At first glance, I searched for arusted worn out hunk of metal until my gaze fell upon the gleam ofthe newly painted frame sparkling under the shop lights.
HOLYSHIT!..I couldn’t believe what I was seeing I had to double take.As I walked over to inspect Steve’s handy work I looked back at himreciprocating the same “shit eating” grin. I wasfloored. Having to remind myself that this is indeed the samerusted wore out tubes of iron I dropped off a week earlier. Wetook our time and carefully loaded the fresh chassis into the truckmaking sure all was secure and photos were taken.

      Ahuge expression of gratitude goes out to my friend Steve Brownell forselflessly donating his time and materials to bring this GypsyMachine back from the dead. As a fellow biker himself Stevereiterated to me a manta I hear and have used time and again, “That’swhat we do, brother.” With a new lease on life I closedthe tailgate behind the NEW girl, gave Steve a big appreciative hug,then drove off waving as I watched Steve and the crew in the rearview sending us on our way to future adventures yet to come.

     Onthe ride back home I glanced behind me whispering, as if that framewas my girlfriend, in no time she will feel whole again.
“She’s a cheating Bitch,” Scotty.
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