When Richard Pollock was a youth, his father brought him and his family from Syracuse, New York, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, when his father became part of the American space program. Pollock’s father was an engineer, and a highly accomplished one at that. He was a hands-on kind of guy, and did everything by hand, from working on the household appliances to relying on himself to keep the family car running.
While Pollock’s father wasn’t allowed to tell anyone what he was working on, the blaze of young Pollock’s imagination was stoked by watching the tests over the Floridian waters. He recognized how necessary the precision of the designs were, and the value of the quality of the materials that were used to build the rockets. He would carry these inspirations with him for the rest of his life.
As young Pollock watched his father do everything himself with his own bare hands from building the family’s first television to creating a record player that would cut grooves into blank vinyl records to record his sister singing, Pollock was himself inspired to begin tinkering with everything he could gets his hands on, especially when he got his first motorcycle at the age of 16: a Honda 305 Scrambler.
Later in his life, Pollock would draw on the inspiration he found in his youth when he sat down to put pen to paper to design his own custom motorcycle components. The Mule Swingarm Spacers are the perfect example, which reduce slop in the rear swingarm pivots from the stock hardware’s .055” amount of play to a mere .003”. While this may sound like an unnecessary micro-improvement, the difference becomes tangible as riding confidence is increased through the improved feedback coming from the rear of the motorcycle. Such improvements are the result of precision designs and the use of carefully chosen high quality materials.
Such meticulous designs are what helped Pollock’s builds land the cover of Cycle World time and time again over the years. The first iterations of those builds would come when Pollock left Florida as a young man for California to work as a motorcycle mechanic after graduating from the American Motorcycle Institute in Daytona, where he discovered the thrill of flat track racing.
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