Nathaniel Salzman

Chicago area designer, writer, maker and journalist.

Wrench Log

April 17, 2012

Wrench Log: The Strange Sensation of Being Done

I work in an industry where “done” can sometimes have a very subjective definition. So one of the things that I really appreciate about working on mechanical things like motorcycles is that “done” is a very objective thing. As Matthew Crawford puts it in Shop Class as Soulcraft, a motorcycle “either runs or it doesn’t.” – Read More –

April 12, 2012

Wrench Log: That feeling of pressure

There are really two kinds of motorcycle repair jobs. There’s the bolt-on-bolt-off stuff, then there are the in-depth repair procedures. For me, both are fun in their own way, but the bolt-on-bolt-off jobs are great for near instant gratification. After kicking off 2012 with an inaugural ride of my Honda GL1100, I was really jones’n – Read More –

April 7, 2012

For Sale: My 1981 Honda CB750 Custom

[Update: This bike has sold. Thanks for playing.] Well, we knew this day was coming. This project is officially done, so it’s time to move on to the next chapter. This bike threw a lot of curve balls at me, but I’m definitely better off for the experience. And really, that’s what buying this bike – Read More –

March 29, 2012

Writing, Riding and Wrenching: The 2011 Wrap Up

For me, 2011 was truly epic. It was long, arduous, fun, tedious, surprising, frustrating and a hell of a lot of fun. Looking back, I can’t believe how much happened in just a single year. With 2012 in full swing, I’m looking back on the 2011 that was, what I learned, what I experienced, and – Read More –

March 21, 2012

Wrench Log: All the king’s horses

For all Jeff’s instruction, there are still times when I feel out of my depth on a motorcycle project. In early July, after months of tearing into the my 1974 Honda CB450 Supersport, we finally had the machine back together. It was even running, though it wasn’t quite ready to ride.

March 13, 2012

Wrench Log: Elbow Deep

It’s no secret inside the walls of BlueCat Motors that my ambitions tend to far outpace both the time at hand and any sort of moderate good sense. I wanted one of everything that rolled through the door and three of some things. That, and I want to do it all myself. I want to – Read More –

February 16, 2012

The CB450 fires to life

Air. Fuel. Compression. Ignition. These are the building blocks of internal combustion. In the correct ratios, they’ll turn common gasoline into noise, heat and best of all, speed. Speed was exactly what I had in mind as Jeff and I continued resurrecting my 1974 Honda CB450 Supersport. I felt like I was running out of – Read More –

January 1, 2012

Wrench log: A horse of my own. Part three.

“Are you ready for a real bike?” Robb projected his question over the growl of The Mrs’ Honda CM400 as I pulled up to the open door at BlueCat Motors. Out front was my green Honda CB750.

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