Rebuilding the Indian

Rebuilding the Indian An absolutely charming and original book that will take its place alongside Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as not only a classic work on bikes but also as a touchstone for those looking fo

  • Title: Rebuilding the Indian
  • Author: Fred Haefele
  • ISBN: 9781573220996
  • Page: 190
  • Format: Paperback
  • An absolutely charming and original book that will take its place alongside Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as not only a classic work on bikes, but also as a touchstone for those looking for meaning in life.Maybe he s losing his mind Maybe he s having a midlife crisis Or maybe he s simply fulfilling a lifelong dream despite its near impossibility Fred HaefeleAn absolutely charming and original book that will take its place alongside Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as not only a classic work on bikes, but also as a touchstone for those looking for meaning in life.Maybe he s losing his mind Maybe he s having a midlife crisis Or maybe he s simply fulfilling a lifelong dream despite its near impossibility Fred Haefele a writer who can t get his novel published, an arborist who has sporadic work that s murder on his aging muscles, and an expectant father for the first time in than twenty years impulsively tackles the restoration of a 1941 Indian Chief motorcycle.This daunting project starts with a massive leap of faith the purchase of a basket case a 5,000 heap of indeterminate old Indian parts in a cardboard box From this grab bag, Haefele will slowly but surely resurrect one of the most beautiful machines ever built With limited mechanical skills, a budget that relies heavily on a Visa Gold card, and a cast of local experts, Haefele takes us around every curve on his rocky road to restoration the thrill of finding an original spare part the joy of completing a repair that was previously beyond his ability the nagging doubt that he s insane and the bike will never be finished the suspicion that, once it looks finished, it won t run and finally, the sheer headlong, heart thrilling rush of riding the gleaming midnight blue Millennium Flyer.Fred Haefele writes with poetic ease about making something in this case, both a gorgeous motorcycle and a beautiful baby girl and how the most versatile tool in his kit, for both jobs, was the fervent wish to do it right.

    One thought on “Rebuilding the Indian”

    1. I found "Rebuilding the Indian" on the clearance shelf of a bookstore in Napa, California; for just $9.99. Being a motorcyclist, I figured I'd pick it up. If it turned out to be an awful book, well, only ten dollars wasted.But what a pleasure it turned out to be. Not just a book about restoring an Indian, it's more about the Author's journey through life, his failed first marriage, his blissful second marriage, and the birth of his third child. Putting the bike back together seems to be a metaph [...]

    2. I actually read this whole (realatively short) book in the book store at lunch over the course of a few weeks. A fun read.

    3. This is the first time I've re-read the book since I got it in 1998. It's still really good, providing insight into both the author's personal development and the process of restoring an esoteric old vehicle. I'm a half-century motorcyclist, so there are things in the book which I may appreciate more than a non-rider, but anyone can identify with Fred's personal struggles, both motorcycular and family.

    4. For whatever reason, I really enjoy this formula - the memoir of a fiddly, difficult task involving some old piece of equipment, and where there's a pleasantly nerdy technical dimension and one or two cranky old experts who need to be tracked down, and where the author at times gets so fed up with the damn thing that he's tempted to quit but he doesn't he keeps soldiering on and by God he gets her done and starts up the old tractor or motorbike or chainsaw or what-not and there's all this pride [...]

    5. This is a fun read, in its way. Different people will get different things from it. I'm a gearhead wannabe and sometime casual motorcyclist, and like most guys my age I like old machinery. I was mostly interested in the story of how an admittedly clueless novice transformed an array of pieces littering his garage floor into a beautiful, probably better-than-new vintage motorcycle. The really hard stuff like overhauling the engine was contracted out, but even so, it was obviously an undertaking t [...]

    6. Rebuilding the Indian, A Memoir. Fred Haefele, 1998. Nearly every aspect of the author's life is a complete failure. With virtually no mechanical aptitude and very little general knowledge of motorcycles, he some how manages to muster up the audacity to attempt to restore a 1941 Chief. - with predictable results. The one time Stanford collage professor is likable, yet in so many ways hopelessly pathetic, becoming a tragic character in his own memoir. Despite his limitations and many personal sho [...]

    7. Couldn't finish it. The autobiography aspect was intriguing, but I just couldn't push on past the halfway point. As a reader, I just wasn't drawn into the author's struggles. And, despite appearances, there is nothing in this novel to suggest a similarity to Pirsig's 'Zen' novel aside from the motorcycle.

    8. A truly enjoyable memoir. Upon finishing it, I gave my copy to my brother - the one who, for fun, takes apart working engines, licks the parts clean, and then puts them back together again ;^) He liked it, too!

    9. I have an old photo of my dad riding an Indian motorcycle. That's the reason I gave the book a shot. Glad I did.

    10. Love this book. Learned a lot about the Indian motorcycle and really enjoyed the author's journey through rebuilding a motorcycle in Montana.

    11. Better than brain candy but more or less a Persig extra lite. I enjoyed it and recommended it to several friends who ride and for whom art and literature is life-integral.

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