8. Cast Brake Arms

042414-top-10-mule-08-Mule-065

This is an aerodynamic casting off an old ’60s BMW. It’s just a brake arm, it’s no big deal – but look at all the effort they put into the thing. I can hold this and it makes me happy. So I had it polished and anodized.

042414-Mule 071

And this one, I’ve had since 1976. It doesn’t look like anything either, it’s just a brake arm. I bought a Penton brand new, a 125 Penton. I rode it in the dirt, I did a desert race on it, I did a short-track on it. I roadraced it for two seasons in the 125 Production class, got third for the year. One race, I went to Ontario, got 2nd in the 125 class: We took the steering damper off, went to Elsinore, and got 2nd in the Pro class that night on the same bike. So it was kind of like a motard, Superbikers kind of bike, in 1977. I took the thing all apart after the motor blew up, and I just parted it all out. But the brake arm, it’s such a beautiful casting I hung onto it for like 35 years.

Finally I said I’m going to polish it and anodize it. It’s just a cool piece. This one makes me happy, like real happy. They’re just silly little parts. But when you make stuff, when you make tons of stuff – when you see something that’s made really cool – like I couldn’t make this, I couldn’t make an aerodynamic foil brake rod. Who’d do that much work for what it does?