The PeeWee came cheap and had some pretty cheesy graphics, but the guy I bought it from had a brand new set of plastics and seat that he'd bought but hadn't use yet. He also said he did graphics packages for bikes and could do something different if I didn't like the angry clown motif.
I got the bike home and assessed the project. It needed wheel bearings front and back, the neck bearings were shot, the forks were seized, the carb leaked, the throttle didn't snap closed, etc etc. A perfect mule from day one. I decided to save the work for Elliott and I to do together. "You ride it, you wrench it."
So I cleaned it up a little, put the new plastics on, and did a little cosmetic painting, mostly so that the wife wouldn't shoot me for spending $300 on a piece of shit. Got the new graphics from the guy a little while later with the #05 on it and waited for Elliott's 5th birthday.
He was obviously stoked.
That weekend I was informed that the garage was now split three ways between Carole, myself and Elliott, because if he was going to own a bike then he needed a garage to work on it. I graciously accepted this truth and my new shop mate and I began tearing the PW apart.
Elliott did all the work. I'd break the bolt for him and he'd wrench it out. When he got distracted with something else I'd start working on my Panhead or the Shovel. He'd come back a few minutes later and ask, "Now what?" I'd give him some direction as to what to do pull off next and he'd get back at it. Sometimes the music was too much to resist and an impromptu dance party broke out.
Over the next few weeks we pulled the front end apart and rebuilt it (new seals, cleaned up the threads, new neck bearings and races, and some paint. Also did the wheel bearings and replaced the throttle cable. We discovered a few other things along the way, but the boy kept at it and did the lions share of the work himself.
We got Elliott's bike all back together and I said, "Ok now you have to kick start it. Because if you can't kick start it, you can't ride it." Challenge accepted.
Just waiting for the snow to melt. Com'on spring!