City of Seattle, Youth and Family Services Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) Pilot Project – CB750
MISSIONmoto was displaying our Breast Cancer Awareness show bike at a Car and Bike show at the Southwest Community center when we were approached by an SYVPI coordinator who asked if we would consider doing a project with at-risk youth funded out of the mayor’s office. At first, not knowing anything about the program, we were intimidated about what this would turn out to be… and if this would be the right thing for our ministry. About three years after the ministry was founded, we started a new program called HumbleRumbles. HumbleRumbles raises funds for youth programs: orphans, special needs kids, and at-risk youth. Under the HumbleRumbles program our giving is not tied to any theology stipulations- unlike our giving to missions efforts. We are a 501(c)3 public charity doing the work of Christ’s kingdom in a very unique way. HumbleRumbles is a cool way for us to act biblically and partner with secular organizations free of any religious stipulations. You just have to serve under-served youth who scripturally fall into the category of “the least among us.” When we know of a youth program, we put them on a list. When funds are available, we make a $300.00 payout. The money is generated from our stewardship model. Our all-volunteer crew receives donated motorcycles, scooters, parts bikes, tools, manuals, and gear and those items are fixed and sold to raise funds. It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well. Looking back, our fears about the partnership pilot with SYVPI program resulted in a lack of faith of what God is doing through the souls at MISSIONmoto. This program was actually a natural step in MISSIONmoto’s growth. However, we did not step boldly. It took a while to finally commit; in fact, God had to send four promptings for us to finally submit and then organize the project.
moto is always looking for vendors to help with the work of the ministry. These are individuals and organizations outside of our all-volunteer crew. We can provide a tax receipt for their donated time and services. Over the years we’ve been blessed with some great support- an attorney who works pro bono, a machinist who offers free labor, some area shops who offer free or substantially discounted parts and services and friends of the ministry who donate funds. We needed to rely on all these resources to help with the SYVPI CB750 project. We want to do more of these partnerships and we are now looking for someone to donate a commercial space so that we can expand operations and make a greater impact.
The ministry’s model is based on donations and volunteers. It’s a %100 reactive model with no way to plan. We don’t know what will get donated, what condition the items will be in, when it will show up, and then who will show up to work. We needed to plan out a project, so we decided to use a 1973 CB750 hanging around our garage that was owned by a couple of board members with the understanding that anything above the costs of the bike would go to missions. We needed a starting point from which to plan a pilot program/project around. The CB750 was the best thing on hand at the time. The other reason we decided on this bike is that we wanted to give the youth the experience of all the facets of restoration work- engine rebuilding and machining, frame off restoration, welding, metal fabrication, bodywork, custom paint, and electrical.
This was going to be a major project, so we canceled everything else going on in our garage giving this pilot partnership undivided attention to make it successful. We all agreed the best approach for the pilot would be to have the youth join a MISSIONmoto project where SYVPI would not be accountable for the any costs associated with the motorcycle. The youth would have a safe place to get exposure to the neat world of motorcycle customization and restoration. Our usual garage night fellowships are on Sunday evenings, so we had to add a Tuesday after school work session for the youth. After an orientation, eight at-risk middle school youth joined the program with an understanding they would responsibly show up, respect MISSIONmoto’s work expectations, and complete 10 work sessions (whether the bike was complete or not), and then get paid for their time per SYVPI’s program guidelines. SYVPI provided bus tickets and bought a stash of snacks too. We were nervous going into meet the youth for the first time in the orientation. Everything ended up falling into place, and then the work began.
TEAR DOWN AND WHEELS
The first day was upon us quickly. There was a lot of confusion finding the garage for the youth from the bus routes. It’s off an alley behind a house and we made the mistake of starting the project the day after the orientation which was a little too soon for everyone to get their bearings. It was a real squirrel derby! We sent runners around the block and back and forth up and down the alley and made multiple trips to the surrounding bus stops. All that planned to show up, ended up showing up after the delay. Will D. gave a quick overview of the tool boxes and garage. The youth had snacks (good ones thanks to the donated microwave by Dave D.) and we were ready to tear the bike down.
Eagerly the youth dove in armed with sockets and wrenches. For most of them it was the first time they used hand tools- and none of them had ever worked on a motorcycle. Being a frame off, everything needed to be taken off and all fluids drained. Many stock body parts would not be used again. We all had a great time. The time flew by. Before we knew it, it was time to sign out and distribute bus tickets.
The next session we focused on wheels. We dismantled the wheels for a good cleaning and polishing. We replaced all wheel bearings. We had to make our own tool by welding cut allen wrenches to an adjustable plumbing spanner wrench to get all the different sized bearings out. We also removed the brake rotor and marked and drilled out a simple pattern. The youth took turns on the drill press. It was really neat to see them gain confidence using tools and getting results.
There were many sessions of cleaning and polishing which is always a major part of the restoration process. Sometimes this got to be too much and interest in sanding, polishing and grinding metal quickly faded. I pulled out the mini bike one afternoon for a break from the monotony of polishing and sanding. We did some strafing runs up and down my alley until a neighbor complained…it was good fun and it was the first time many of them had ever been on a mini bike. There were times when the youth got to use air tools, angle grinders, torches, and cutting tools. They loved the air tools.
We needed to do some customizing to the frame before it went off for powder coating. The rear section was modified to accommodate a café seat and we cut off the section where the passenger footpegs were. We were very blessed that Daniel and his wife from www.LastatsCustoms.com donated the sandblasting and powder-coating as well as some other services. One of the highlights of the project was the youth taking turns with the angle grinder and air die grinders on the frame. Sparks shot over 10 feet across the garage.
The gas tank was in terrible shape leaking gas all over. Luckily a donor Steve Schiller from the www.cmausa.org gave us money to buy a new one on Ebay. The new/used tank off eBay still needed a lot of attention because nice ones were out of our price range. The inside needed lining and the outside needed a few hours of bodywork to get ready for primer. The youth learned how to use a stud welder and morgan knocker to pull dents out and got experience on how to mix and spread body filler. The reaction to how bondo smelled to them was priceless. A few youth said this was their favorite area- learning about body work.
Ian Halcott and www.Twinlinemotorcycles.com donated a café seat which needed some surface rust removal and additional body work. Mike D. gave a brief tutorial of welding and we did some patch work and welded in two tabs to mount the very cool 1970s Moto Guzzi police bike taillight. The youth then got a quick briefing on the use of hammer, dollies, and torch by Victor B. to help straighten the seat pan.
After many ours of bodywork/filler and sanding and then a high quality 2 stage primer filler coat, we put a neat 2-stage custom solvent urethane paint job on the seat, tank, and side covers. First to go on was black base coat. Second a mid-coat clear. We then sanded the mid-coat clear, taped out stripes, and then shot the silver base coat over it and finished it with a high quality final clear coat. All done with top notch 2 stage Dupont products. Turned out righteous!!!
Being that a major goal of the project was to give the youth exposure to everything related to a motorcycle restoration, we had them strip down the engine for a complete top end overhaul and we polished out many of the covers then prepped/painted those remaining. After being a little bit intimidated just being around the engine and torch, the youth had a lot of fun using the torch, PB blaster and impact driver to remove screws. Because of the risk of someone getting hurt, the MISSIONmoto crew removed the engine from the bike without the youth. We went through a detail discussion of how a 4-stroke engine operates and how a carburetor functions. This was all new stuff for the youth and they were very engrossed in learning. Then it was time to separate the valve head, take off the cylinders, and remove the pistons for inspection. At this point, I need to mention that had our engine plan; god had a different one. Our plan was not for the engine to be a feature of the build- just a quick cylinder hone, new rings, lap the valves, and then reassemble it with new gaskets. Our plan did not come to fruition. The engine was a trial, but luckily we had a saint to help us. MISSIONmoto is very blessed to have Morry at www.thewheelmaster.com donate all his time for inspection and machining work as well as offering parts to the ministry for about half off. We love you Morry! Here’s what he did:
- Because of the pitting on the cylinders walls, they are now bored 3 over (.75) standard size
- Brand new, old stock OEM pistons, rings, wrist pins to match our .75 overbore
- Sent the cam and cam followers out for specialized grind and polish to Delta Cam Co. This is very specialized work.
- Installed four new exhaust valves.
- Had new valve seats cut and lapped for all 8 valves
- Gasket surface areas were machined flat
- One valve head stud and one valve head screw hole stripped so they are tapped to a ¼ 20 w/ a 7/16 both head, then torqued to proper spec
- New oil filter, and new cover gaskets
- Almost all external hardware was replaced with stainless socket heads. One on the transmission cover needed tapped to a 1/4 20.
The electrical was an area the youth were least involved with. Mostly they dismantled and unplugged the old stuff. We did put on a new Dyna electronic ignition and coils as well as a new stock wiring harness and a new battery and starter relay.
Will D. did a good job going through the carbs and we jetted up two sizes on the mains to account for the air pods.
The pilot project ended with a community BBQ sponsored by SYVPI. The youth were very surprised at where the bike was at in the build process compared to their first day of tearing it down. It was awesome to stand around the bike and hear them point and tell their parents and others what they had accomplished. We learned more from the youth as a ministry and we really grew as a ministry from this pilot. We look forward to the next project or group of projects we put together in partnership with SYVPI.