Long time no blog... return of the blog?

7 comments / Posted on by Kirk Chapman

Long time no blog... return of the blog?

It’s been a year… since I even written anything.  A lot can happen in a year.   There is a saying about falling off a horse and getting back on it.   And I guess in some ways I fell off life.   And I’m trying to get back on it.  This will be a long blog post and that’s just a quick warning for those who don’t feel like reading a bunch of bullshit to pull the ripcord now.   Or as the legendary flight attendant did, grab a couple mini bottles, give the cabin the bird, deploy the emergency slide and hit the tarmac in good fashion.   Pick up a copy of “The Shallows” on the walk home.

For those who feel like reading some personal details of the last year, please don’t be easily offended.  It goes from selling a part of me in 2015 to a motorcycle crash two weeks ago.


Sometime I will talk about more than a year ago but Im afraid of trailing off into some type of “stream of consciousness” and missing the point entirely.   Almost exactly a year ago we sold our building.  Which on the surface seems like something worth celebrating.  And it was.   Believe me!!!  I opened a bottle of Pappy 23yr for the occasion, mixed it with ginger ale, and drank the night away!  But seriously I just opened it and drank it with a cube of ice with a few close friends.   We didn’t move right away, but continued to lease the space for six months – until Jan 1 2016

The unforeseen problem with selling the building was that it was so much more than a shop.   It had been my home (literally) and it had been my garage.  It was both my work space and haven.   The building was a brick warehouse built in the 40’s.    Tucked away amongst the shitshow that is Greenville SC.   Downtown, yet hidden and quiet.    When I sold it I didn’t have another place lined up.   So what occurred was saying goodbye to wrenching on bikes, having a place to go, wrenching while listening to jazz, or pop punk, or classic rock.   That part of my life was on hold. I didn’t expect the impact quite frankly.  I have since bought new buildings and will keep you updated. But for the past 8 months I have lacked any real ability to do what I love… what I set out for 9MC

Nonetheless, the other areas of my life stayed in full swing.  In November of 2015 I made my way to Arunachal Pradesh.   It’s a pretty rad place. I was in Tawang which amounted to 4 days of riding in a car each way through the Himalayan range.  Meeting with some kids that are in other blog posts.   But a hell of an adventure. It requires special permission and I traveled with a friend and confidant who is a retired Indian army colonel.   If there was a place that should be ridden, this is it.


And I will have a dedicated post for that as well.   Because it was a trip that will not be forgotten.   And worth reading about. I returned with pneumonia and a fresh look at the world.

December came and went without much notice.   In January my friend Bradley found a couple buildings on Craigslist.   That’s right… I said craigslist.   Two buildings that were built in the 1920’s.  They are next to each other and one is 2000sq ft and the other is 2500sq ft.   And you will hear a lot more about that.  But as a tease here they are in all their glory.  


Basically two giant pieces of shit – and I couldn’t be more stoked about them!!! I have updated pictures too that I will post.  It’s a huge project.

They are in a great area and more than anything I cannot wait to have a shop again.   From Jan until Jun this was my main focus.   They needed to be cleaned up and then rezoned.   The rezoning process is 3 months by itself.   And I had no clue what it was about or even what to expect.  Additionally I am contracting myself so it’s difficult and overwhelming.    Coupled with continuing to build 9MC it has really taken all of my time and has left little to no time for anything extracurricular.

I did go to the funeral of a guy my age who lived across the street and has 3 kids under the age of 10.   And I think that’s worth writing about too.

Lastly, bringing us up to speed, I have certainly experienced some interpersonal relationship failures. That’s like corporate lingo for saying I was laid off vs I was fired.   Point is, some things that have dragged out for a decade have finally come to a close. 

And that brings us to two weeks ago.   With no place to go, and failures abounding around me, a guy ran a stop sign and I ended up breaking a bunch facial bones. My nose, my cheek, my sinuses, my teeth.  My wrist and knee are pretty effed.   But I am alive.  And I would like to credit Davida’s 92 helmet for that.   It was a sad day for a 1975 850 T-3 


And I will write about that too.   But my point is that I have finally pulled my head out of my ass and its time to get back on the horse.  I’m alive.  And that’s enough. And since I know motorcycles I know there’s more than one of you out there that probably a ride on your bike is the only time you feel like the world is rebalanced.  Or that when you are alone it’s the only time you aren’t at odds with the world or yourself.  And frankly I guess I am saying that I get it.

So hang in there.   This probably isn’t the roughest year we’ve had.   And I am confident it wasn’t the best. I’ll entertain you at least with my own misery and laughter over the past year and I hope that maybe we can see some humor or gain some insight in life about it.  

And until the dust settles or is kicked up again.   Thanks for all of your support and business and friendships with 9MC and me personally



  • Posted on by Charlie


    I must say I’m greatly relieved that neither of my beloved 850-T’s was the victim of the careless idiot who ran the red light. Your injuries notwithstanding, that was a more positive outcome than it might have been, from my selfish perspective. I invested so much blood, sweat, tears, aggravation and love into recovering those bikes from their sad and neglected trash-heap status. No, they weren’t perfect, but they were my own brand of imperfection. I hope you will continue to enjoy them, and drive as carefully as I (usually) try to. I learned some 50-odd years ago that “defensive driving” is the only way to ride a motorcycle – ‘cause the cars sure as hell aren’t going to be watching out for your well-being.

    Regarding the exhaust on the olive-drab bike, whatever you do, don’t lose that magnificent BUB system. They are almost impossible to obtain anymore, and make one of the best and easiest performance enhancements for the old mules. And they sound great…..

    Continue your recovery. Don’t overdo it, but don’t let your skills or enthusiasm atrophy. Best of luck in your endeavors. Charlie

  • Posted on by 9MC

    Paul – please do stop by. Glad those ear pieces made it to you!

    William – Yes! I hope you are well. Look forward to the next time

    Tom – All good. Im alive

    Guy – The GT1000 has found a happy home in Colorado

    Charlie – believe it or not it wasn’t one of those two. Which are happily being worked on in my temp shop. The green one I am in the middle fabricating an exhaust for

  • Posted on by Charlie

    Kirk – I checked into your website to follow-up on the afterlife of my 850-T’s you picked up from me in Tennessee. Sadly, it seems like one of them bit the dust – even worse, you were aboard. I wonder if it was the green “army” bike or the black one. Either way, I couldn’t bear to see it.

    I hope you’ll recover fully and get back to your passion. Better yet, fix the old T up again, if it can be resuscitated. Believe me, I’ve brought some pretty rough pieces of junk back to life – all it takes is patience, perseverance and sometimes a little (or lot of) dough.

    Good luck. If you need any old Guzzi mechanical tips, let me know.


  • Posted on by Guy

    hey Kirk,
    Sorry to hear of your accident, and sorry we couldn’t coordinate schedules a few weeks ago regarding the GT1000.
    Hope you heal quickly – physically, emotionally – and continue to do great things.
    Cheers and keep strong b

  • Posted on by Tom Mills

    Wow! Sorry about the wreck. I’ll come by and check on you. Good luck.

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