Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Motorcycle Stuff

Mekanda Robo (four missile version)
CLICK for Mekanda Robo private auction site info

When I sat down at the computer yesterday I had no intention of putting up a post at all, much less writing about motorcycles. I signed in, looked at the empty text box, and the bike thing just happened.

I left off talking about the old BMW. Actually, I should have made mention of what gave me the fever in the first place. Simple. It was seeing the movie, Easy Rider. Fonda and Hopper. Captain America and Billy. Those incredible Panhead choppers. And what on planet Earth could possibly approach the absolute awesome coolness of saddling up the most ass kickin' bike of all time, and heading out on a cross country rolling stoned party across America? I wanted to do that. Promised myself I would someday. You bet. I couldn't wait to get a Harley, and chop it all out, and head out on the highway. Go lookin' for adventure, and all. Like most teenage kids, I found out what a Harley cost. And even out in seventies suburbia, people knew. Bad dudes rode Hogs. If you weren't a bad ass, they'd kick your butt, or kill you and take away your bike.

That actually happened to a kid I knew in high school- skinny blond haired sixteen year old hippie. He got a bunch of money from a settlement of some sort, and bought himself a really cool chopper. Long front forks, ape hangers, five foot tall sissy bar, and loud ass pipes. Everyone was jealous as hell. For about two weeks. He wanted to go ridin' with the bad boys. They don't call those guys outlaws for nothing. They didn't hurt the kid. They just took his bike away from him.


A Harley was out of the question, but a 305, or 350 Honda wasn't. For a few years after Easy Rider, the streets just swarmed with 350 Hondas, some of them chopped. I ended up with a used 305 Superhawk. It wasn't the Captain America chopper, but it would do. For about six months, that is. I had big bike fever. I wanted the power, the weight, the size to travel on. And I didn't want to go Japanese. I wanted the cool, the low slung lines, and the machine gun exhaust note of a Triumph or a Harley. But both were expensive, and tempermental machines. They broke a lot, and you had to know how to get the machine going again if it stalled out on the road somewhere. Honda produced so many of their four cylinder superbikes that late in '72, the price dropped to around 1200 bucks for a brand new last year's model. And you couldn't break a Honda if you tried. So I bought the 750 Honda that I was talking about yesterday. And as I said, I sold the thing less than a year later, and got the '67 BMW. And it was on the Beemer that I finally got to try my hand at long distance motorcycle traveling.

Road Trip Part Three


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