Don’t read this if you want to buy a bike, this is not a sale. If you like motorcycles in the least maybe this would be of interest, maybe not.
I love motorcycles. I don’t ride much, used to, and I sure like it when I do. I still like to look at all motorcycles,
read the magazines and look for all the newest bikes. I am not too sure why, other than I grew up riding, comparing and working on motorcycles. It was a labor of love.
I remember my 3rd job as a mechanic at the Honda motorcycle dealer; they could have probably asked me to pay to work there. Hey I like money too, different story.
I was bitten early when my oldest brother brought home a basket case of a mini bike. I think he was about 17 and I was 7, I was the parts washer, back then we cleaned with straight gasoline, on the back porch. We put the engine together and the little Sears or Rupp or what ever it was came to life. The brake was a pad that you levered against the back tire and the throttle was a string. Going fast was no question, stopping was. The suspension was the air in the tires and the air in your hind end, my brother had a softer ride. It was a rough but fun ride.
Safety was an issue, my dad was sure to put his foot down. He made us buy a Honda Z50, it had front and rear brakes, softer tires and seat and short but compressible front forks. The Honda was as reliable as the sun, I loved it and hated it, I loved it because it always ran, I hated it because it always ran. I couldn’t get rid of it. 3 years into that thing and I had pretty much killed it in every way accept for it still ran.
I traded the Z50 on a used Honda SL 70, my first mini cycle that looked like a motorcycle and it had a clutch! I really enjoyed the SL 70 but then Honda came out with the XR75 after that the SL stood for SLow. I took the SL 70 to my first competition and blew out first gear on the practice lap, we tried for a while to fix it. Finally for the first time I cursed in front of my dad and said “the hell with it”. He threw it into the trunk of his car and we went home. It was probably a good thing because one of the competitors was riding an XR75.
Since then I have gone through a few bikes, some were very short lived, some were and could be collectors but I moved them on, These are a few of the ones that I remember:
- Honda Z50, SL 70,XL 175, XL 250, MR 175, XL250S, XL500S, CB750, GL1200, 700 Sabre,CX500 Turbo
- Suzuki PE 250, RMX250
- Yamaha MX125, RT 180, IT250, another IT 250
- Kawasaki KDX200
- BMW R100GS, R1100GS, K75
- Beta 250 Techno.
If I could have any of them back I would ask for the two GS BMW’s, the CX500Turbo (1982 with fuel injection and turbo charging, 20 years ahead of its time), the RMX 250 and don’t forget the Honda Z50. I’ve got kids now, and I know that Z50 is still running somewhere.