We all have those projects we can just never find time to focus on. Whether it’s fixing something around the house or perhaps taking up a new hobby, life seems to have a way of keeping those ambitions just slightly out of our grasp. Oftentimes our roles as parents take the wheel as these peripheral interests slowly fade into the rearview mirror.
Such was the case for Jimmy Tarpey’s dad and his 1983 Yamaha Maxim. The once boss-looking motorcycle that had taken his parents all across California in its heyday had since been reconciled to the couple’s garage where it sat for almost 20 years.
That is until their son finally decided to take the bike by the handlebars and put wheels in motion.
Tarpey had taken up riding himself just a few years earlier and wanted to bring back the joy that the now vintage bike had brought his father so long ago. The project, dubbed “Operation Maxim”, was planned in coordination with Jimmy’s mom, who casually covered the motorcycle weeks earlier as to help set up the rouse. The bike was then knowingly heisted while his father was away – a mashup of cardboard boxes taking its place under the now familiar sheet against the wall.
With the help of a friend and assistance from dozens of backers to a GoFundMe campaign that Tarpey had sent out, the bike was loaded onto a trailer and taken to Empire Cycle in Loretto, Minnesota to undergo a thorough tune-up and restoration. Carburetor repairs, new tires and replaced fuel lines were all on the list along with everything else you’d expect a dormant bike would require after being unridden for nearly two decades.
Once completed, Tarpey brought the now fully functioning and showroom shiny, 1983 Midnight Maxim, back to his father’s house to surprise the man who helped inspire him to ride.
Floored by the gesture and from seeing his retired ride now restored to its former glory, Tarpey’s father embraced his son and started up the once again boss bike for the first of what will likely be many times. He then smiled at his wife and yelled over the sound of a motor humming like it should: “I’ve known this bike longer than you!”
Being able to give your dad a gift he actually wants is something any son dreams of accomplishing. Here’s to Jimmy for finding one that will allow his dad to remember the past while making new memories for many years to come.