I started riding in 1965 when I shared ownership of a Honda S90. The Honda craze started about the same time with the Beach Boys song, "Little Honda". What had been a sub-culture was now mainstream and cool. It was not just a motorcycle - it was a Honda. My little Honda S90 would go 55 MPH down hill and I was hooked. I remember taking my girlfriend to a movie on the Honda and leaving half-way through the movie because riding was more exciting than the movie ever would be. Plus you could ride all night on 35 cents of gas.
My next bike was a Honda 350; a real motorcycle. Electric start with lots of power and fun built in. What a classic this bike was. During this period I had three babies and not much money (one car), so I rode the 350 to work. My second car. My limits were - not raining and a temperature above 40 degrees (f). Below 40 I could not put on enough sweaters, gloves, and coats to fight the wind chill.
One of the best engineered bikes ever was my next Honda; a CX550. It was an engineering marvel with a v-twin, water cooled, shaft driven, 5 star wheels and huge tires. It only had electric start. The torque was amazing and the CX was the first V-twin motorcycle that Honda ever built. It had a low seat that worked for my short legs. One side story on this bike - It was the only bike I ever dropped. It is amazing the strength you can muster when your bike is laying on its side. No real damaged other than the embarrassment of it all.
There is one bike that is in between my two favorites. It was the Kawasaki 750 Vulcan. I was envisioning it was like the KZ1000* that a friend had; wow was I wrong. It had a lot of plastic and a engine that looked like a washing machine. Twist the gas for power and there was none and corrosion occurred everywhere in just a few months. I did not keep that bike long and purchased a new bike that became my favorite.
My last bike was as a Suzuki VS750 Intruder. Wow what a classic profile and look. Plenty of raw power. Even though it had a traditional chopper look (big tire in back - small tire in front) it was water cooled, and shaft driven. I added a windshield and a little leather bag hanging off the back. I guess the "girl" was trying to emerge the best she could. This was the best looking bike I ever owned and I still miss it; gone 10 years now.
I still miss the freedom and thrill of riding. Maybe again? What was your favorite?
*Trivia: What TV show featured the KZ1000?
Ha! I still have my Honda T90 that I bought new in 1969. I never got the bug to move up beyond that, and I enjoyed trail riding more than being on the street. The Trail 90 has an automatic clutch and an interchangeable gear system, so the lower (trail) gears provide pretty good torque for such a small engine. Her name is Georgia, and she's bright yellow - just a cute little bike that gave me lots of fun memories. I haven't tried to start her in the last 15 years, after I discovered that a mouse had raised a family in my helmet over one winter.ReplyDelete
Nothing incongruous about feminine expression and bikes, even though they can cover both ends of the gender spectrum. From ultra masculine to ultra feminine; all can be expressed with creative leather wear. Anyway, I have a picture of me dressed on my Harley "Full Dresser" (pun intended) on my Flickr page.ReplyDelete
The first bike I ever rode was a CD 90 rental (back before you needed a motorcycle endorsement). I kept renting them until I left the city. I owned the next bike, A Honda CB 450 Hawk. I loved that bike because it was an all round bike that I used to get to work, run errands and just tooling around. I kept it for almost 5 years until I had to give it up to switch for a car because of parenthood. The last bike I owned was a Suzuki Burgman 650 till after 4 back operations I could no longer ride. I finally sold it in 2013 and am missing it. I hate not being able to just jump on my scooter and taking off.0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds and a top end speed of 122 mph (limiting speed dur to tires). After I bought it I found out that it was originally ordered for the local PD and the color of gold was only made for that year.ReplyDelete
I started on a 1973 Honda 450 which I ran until it died. I currently have a 1989 Honda Pacific Coast which I haven't ridden in about 10 years. Something in me said that it was time to give up riding so I did. I count myself fortunate to have never dumped a bike nor had an accident when so many riders that I know have met with misfortune. It's better to get it out of your system early... 😉ReplyDelete