Tom's bike has had some mods done to it by the previous owner and isn't a museum piece or show piece and consequently he can ride it without feeling like he's devaluing the bike or desecrating a work of art. My thinking is that bikes should be ridden, that's what they were meant for. Not abused, mind you, but ridden and enjoyed in the way they were designed to be. A professional motorcycle restorer once told me "If you don't ride it, the next owner will."
Now the story improves.
Having more sense of adventure than good sense and apparently against the advice of those with good sense but no sense of adventure, Tom got together with his pal Andrew, who rides a 1976 Honda CB750, and decided to ride their old bikes from Indiana to Utah for the Bonneville World of Speed event and see just how fast they could go on the salt. Bonneville offers a "130 Club" for guys who want to run what they brung and don't want to go all the way and build a full on Bonneville race bike. Now that, friends, is my idea of a grand plan and what's better, they actually went did it.
I'll go no further with the story, only comment that I am a bit envious, and worse, without excuse for not doing something like that myself by now. Read Tom's account of their cross country journey over at Man and Machine. Link here. You'll find a good story of old motorcycles, friendship, fast bikes, fast cars, and some excellent pictures of land speed racers at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
No doubt the old meisters at BMW and the now retired techno-wizards at Honda would be pleased to see their machines put to proper use by riders who appreciate them, even thirty years on.