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Cheney man builds motorcycles from scratch

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CHENEY, WA – Retired boilermaker Roger Pritt loves a challenge. Evidence of this is found all over his shop, especially in the corner where two past challenges are idly perched – motorcycles built from the ground up, complete with V8 engines in both.

Pritt builds everything from scratch, and scouts for the rare parts it takes to build the custom motorcycles. A welder for 35 years, Pritt decided to put his skills to work at home.

“I was doing the welding for everybody else, then I decided to do it for myself,” he said.

Although the customized motorcycles always draw a crowd, Pritt doesn’t build the bikes to ride them. One has been driven fewer than 300 miles.
 
“It draws almost too much attention,” Pritt’s wife Nancy said. “He has a lot of interesting ideas.”

Pritt builds the powerful motorcycles for the challenge of making something work. He enjoys making other things as well, such as a generator for his house from an old riding lawn mower.
 
“You name it, I build it,” Pritt said.

The motorcycles feature various car parts, with the first one he built made of a Chevrolet 350 engine and two-speed power transmission. It took two and half years to build and weighs more than 1,200 pounds. The second motorcycle took nine months to build. Its engine came from a Buick Skylark.

The Pritts have called the West Plains home after selling their property near Holy Family Hospital in Spokane more than two years ago so developers could build a parking lot. “It made me mad at first,” Pritt said about having to move. But he enjoys living in his rural Cheney neighborhood better because of the wildlife.
 
Deer are abundant at the Pritt home, with one day’s count at 21. Ducks relocated from Spokane’s Manito Park also reside on the property, in a cage that was originally built for peacocks that ran away shortly after they moved in to their home.
 
The upkeep of his rural home has kept Pritt from finishing the work needed to complete his third motorcycle.
 
During the winter, Pritt could be seen plowing roads around his neighborhood that were overlooked by county rigs.

“He’s a very considerate neighbor – especially when it comes to the roads getting cleared up,” said neighbor Sandy Sandaine. “He plows my driveway all the time.”

When there was a power outage in the neighborhood last winter, Pritt opened up his home to neighbors who needed a warm place to stay.

One neighbor and his wife, who uses an oxygen tank at night, and an elderly couple, all stayed at the Pritt home during the outage.

Story by: Veronica Lamb
SR Correspondent
April 10, 2008
Photo by: Dan Pelle



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