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Barn Finds with Carlos Mena- The Wazatataza Effect


Carlos Mena (IG @wazatataza) recently invited us to join him at his home in South Miami to check out his two vintage Suzuki GS750's.



We were welcomed into his open air garage space, partially exposed to the elements. The space, tucked alongside his house, consists of a narrow cement floor met by a wall of worn and weathered wood. It is perfectly suited for working on the bikes while simultaneously enjoying the moody and windy weather that South Florida provides. With a few palm trees peaking over the wooden gate to the space, and his boxer pup Lisa to act as a loyal companion, the spot was both welcoming and efficient.


Mena, a mechanical connoisseur of sorts, has worked on many a vehicle, ranging from cars, to bikes, to motorcycles. He told us that his interest sparked for classic bikes when he had came across a gas station crowded with them while on a road trip. He admired their exposed mechanics that set them apart from other bikes in that "riding a classic bike has a deeper mechanical connection between machine and rider".


Last year, he learned that a vintage bike was as ripe as a peach for the picking in an old barn right outside of Atlanta, Georgia. A road trip ensued, and luckily his barnyard expedition paid off, since the 1976 Suzuki GS750 had all of the original parts and only 14k miles on it. Mena joked, "it probably saw more dust than it has miles", and despite of this it was dusted off and made its way back down to Miami.

Under all that dust lay a true treasure, and with all of its original parts intact, (including the tires), it was too beautiful of a find to convert into a cafe racer, like Mena had originally planned. And just like that, the hunt for a second bike was born.

His next gem would await him in Fort Myers, and for an incredible $300, he took home yet another GS750, this time separated inside a pile of boxes. He realized that Vintage Bike No. 2, (a '78 GS750), would require an intense amount of labor.


He modified the exhaust, the brakes, and the frame, along with other hard labor, including hammering knee-inserts and sanding the gas tank for an entire day to ensure that "she was as smooth as a baby's butt".

He also retro-fitted the Vance and Hines 4-1 megaphone exhaust and welded the brakes to the frame to customize it to the bike. After adding upgrades, welding, sand-blasting, painting, and hammering it through hell and back, Carlos cheerfully concludes that "she's a work in progress but she's moving along".

Add Carlos on Instagram to see more behind the scene photos of his vintage bikes and the process behind restoring them both. Instagram: @wazatataza


Vanessa Duncan

An Art History student at FIU in Miami, painter, costume connoisseur, and vintage clothing collector, Vanessa manages social media, photography, and the online store for Feral & Folk alongside Anthony Garcia.


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