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Mom's long-lost motorcycle finds its way home

Twenty-five years after his mother gave away her motorcycle while raising 8 kids, Nick Steiner retrieved and restored it as a late Mother's Day gift.

ARVADA, Colo. — In the garage of his Arvada home, Nick Steiner worked on a special gift – restoring his mother’s beloved motorcycle that she gave away 25 years before.

"My mom gave the motorcycle to a friend of the family's," he said. "I don't even know if she knows the bike exists anymore."

His mother, Brenda, and father, Scott, rode motorcycles together until their family started to grow. Brenda believed a home full of children left little room for the road.

The motorcycle seemed gone. Until, at his father’s funeral, Nick ran into the family friend who had the 1972 Honda CB350F. It was sitting in their garage still registered to his mother as the owner.

He began his “labor of love.”

"The hardest part about all this stuff is tearing it down, figuring out what works, what doesn't work," he said.

He had to hunt down parts that no one makes anymore. It was a frustrating process. At times, he wanted to drive the bike off a cliff, he said, but he stuck with it because the motorcycle embodied what his mom had lost.

"It really has nothing to do with the motorcycle, you know," Nick said. "It's just a reminder for her, I think, of the good times she had with my dad."

Credit: Tom Cole
The 1972 Honda CB350F motorcycle in Nick Steiner's garage.

Despite Scott Steiner’s struggles with cancer, he had a positive outlook that “God is good and does good” that carried him for 10 years longer than he otherwise would have had, Nick said.

He created a part of the bike as a tribute to his father.

"I just took a piece of sheet metal and fabricated a new side and then handwrote 'God is good and does good' on the side for her," he said.

Finally, last month, Nick finished the rebuild and loaded the motorcycle onto his pickup truck.

"It's total relief," Nick said. "I knew I could get it done, but there were some pretty defeating moments there."

He drove more than 1,200 miles to Michigan to deliver the motorcycle as a late Mother's Day gift.  Nick and his wife rode up with the old Honda, with family and friends looking on.

"Is that my bike?" Brenda said. "How?"

Credit: Tom Cole
Nick Steiner surprises his mom, Brenda, with the rebuilt bike at her home in Michigan.

She cried in disbelief. She said she had owned that motorcycle since her teenage years.

"I was probably 19, and I rode it all the time," Brenda said.

Mom's motorcycle “memorial” was back home.

"The fact that I have a kid who would rebuild this, that's pretty amazing," Brenda said.

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