Back in WWII the massive industrial manufacturing base of the US was converted to the war effort and produced everything from shells to tanks to bombers in astounding numbers and at astonishing rates. Ford's Willow Run plant had the ability to produce a B-24 bomber every hour. This capacity was so critical it was called "The Arsenal of Democracy."
Now? Union greed, CEOs and the investor classes have forced virtually all such capacity off-shore, to countries that could conceivably be adversaries in some future, foreseeable conflict.
I love this forum because it's filled with people doing stuff like this -- fixing, repairing, upgrading, tinkering, mucking-about etc. Working with wrenches and tools, getting grease under the fingernails, skinning and knuckle or two.
So many people don't do this anymore and, perhaps worse, they aren't passing anything on to their children. People are just zombies walking around with "devices" and if something breaks they're lost; time to order something and have it delivered while the old equipment goes to the curb.
Not sure what the future holds but it's probably fairly bleak.
I too am a motorcycle nut. I'm a nut about my cars (supercharged Mustang, WRX STi) and even my modest little fleet of small-engine powered equipment.
I may not have been a motorcycle guy, wanted to be, but none came my way. But I definitely connected with the idea of working all week to get something running for the weekend. And frankly I agree with most of what is said here. As a father, I try to introduce my kids to the useful arts, whenever I can.
That said, I also teach at a vocational high school. And honestly, it gives me some hope in the future. I absolutely find joy, going over on my lunch and hanging out in the automotive fields, and sharing. Last year, I even took in my ultrasonic cleaner, and did a carb clean on a fellow teachers mower. The instructors of those programs were so impressed, that they submitted for their own ultrasonic cleaners in their program. And of course the kids said it would never work, proved them wrong.
This all said, I would have killed to work in that guys shop on the weekends, still would.
I taught but I always enjoyed working with my hands and looking back at the end of the day and saying... " I built that." 'Using everything your mind, your muscle, hands etc... No better feeling in life. Besides that DIY saves a heck of a ton of money. It's all good.
^^ That used to be a great motivator for people to save money. Funny how things have changed over the years slowly but incrementally.... moving away from manufacturing to just service and distribution jobs. It will take another large scale war to bring us back to where we were at 40 years ago..... not a good prospect. On the other hand, I would encourage any kid now to take up a trade like auto technician. They will have no problem finding work or starting their own business in the foreseeable future because competition will be lacking.
I take pride in the fact that it has been years since I've had to have someone else fix one of my cars, trucks or motorcycles. I do it all myself.
Tonight, I had my 5 year old son in the garage with me, and he helped me change the oil and filter on the motorcycle. I want him to know how to fix things himself. He already knows how to grab the correct screwdriver to open up his battery powered toys, and put the right batteries in! Some adults struggle with that! haha