~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seven Years? How Did That Happen?

2004. I miss that bike.
Today marks the 7th anniversary of Forty Years On Two Wheels.  Gadzooks, where did seven years go??   Seven years ago I was young, skinny, single, had a full head of curly hair, and rode like the wind on exotic motorcycles.  Really.  Would I make all that up?  Okay, some of it is made up.

Rather than expound anew on life and motorcycles (same thing to me) for this anniversary entry, I thought I'd spend some time perusing my blog entries from the dim and distant past and refer you to some of my personal favorites.

I've hit the "Publish Post" button a bit over 300 times now and probably another 900 times after I noticed a typo and went back to fix it.  In reviewing my past ramblings I found myself drawn to the earliest ones, possibly because it's been long enough since I wrote them that I've forgotten what I wrote.

Here are some favorites of mine that I enjoyed writing and later reading (there's ego for you):

Rumbling Road   (of young love and Mexican food in 2006)

"Someday" Might Slip By
  (no time to lose)

Mr. Cheap Tour
  (the joys of learning to tour on a motorcycle)

Once A Rider
(remembering my dear old dad)

The Best Days Are Free
(a long ago ride on my first bike)

I Knew A Guy (yes, I ride a murdersickle)

Love Child
(still seems plausible)

Ein Kliene Nachtmusik
(and evening ride on a Rickman Matisse)

A Mouse In The Corner
  (Cycle Magazine & Friends)

The Back of the Shop
  (when motorcycle shops were real)

Inside the Helmet
  (no, it's not a vacuum)

Grim Fairy Tales
  (advice on buying a used bike)

There were other entries of which I am still fond, and even a little emotional about on a level that I can't really explain, but I'll let the curious seek those out. For those of you reading regularly or just occasionally or maybe for the first time, I thank you for your kind attention, comments, and fortitude. I do appreciate them.
I seem to have put on a few lbs and ride slower now,
but otherwise I'm as charming and lovable as ever.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Six Is Enough

1980 Honda CBX engine. Nikon D90

There have been a few one-off street bikes built with more than 6 cylinders busily creating noise and horsepower, the Morbidelli 850cc V8 comes to mind along with the Drysdale 1000cc V8.  No, I won't count the Boss Hoss, as they use a car engine in their two wheeled extravaganza.

For real production bikes no one has gone beyond the 6 cylinder machines that Honda, Benelli, Kawasaki, and now BMW, have or are building in series production.  There has long been a rumor that Honda will cut loose with a 8 cylinder Gold Wing one day just to prove they can do it, which is seemingly why they built the 1000cc CBX back in 1979. 

So this week's photo is a 1980 Honda CBX that I photographed a couple of years ago.  With it's lovely, wide, beast of a motor and a great sound when equipped with some 6-into-anything-but-stock pipes, the bike is still a crowd pleaser at bike shows and has a devoted following of owners.

I test rode a CBX long ago and it was nice, even a little intimidating for it's time, but the daunting tune up costs for 6 carbs and 24 valves was enough to push me onto a more sensible Suzuki GS850.  I loved the 850 but the CBX was and still is a way more interesting ride.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Switching Brands

1927 Indian Scout 45

Switching photos from our Triumph theme we are back to my favorite brand, the Indian.  In this case a very nice 1927 Indian Scout 45 I've seen at different times here in Arizona.

There is not a more storied motorcycle brand than Indian, it has it's own mystique, a grand history in racing, and some legendary styling.  Decades of missteps by Indian management finally brought the Indian company down in 1953 and later, sloppy efforts to revive it with questionable machines, even mini bikes, carrying the famed Indian name, tarnished the brand in the 60s and early '70s.

A 1947 Chief looks skeptical about the whole deal
Later the "Gilroy Indians" would commit the ultimate insult to the Indian heritage by building bikes using clone H-D motors and slapping the Indian name on them.  Ugh.  I always considered the 1999 Kawasaki Drifter a better, more honest homage to Indian than the Gilroy models created by investors who thought they could buy a piece of motorcycle history and re-sell it with impunity.

More recently the Indian name and manufacturing has landed with Polaris Industries, makers of the Victory line of cruisers.  Victory has proven that they know how to build a quality machine and with the deep pockets of Polaris behind Indian now, the grand old marque may finally have a chance at a comeback as a real rider's machine and not a marketing hoax or boutique bike that few can afford.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Another Triumph

Continuing our Triumph photo theme, a nice 1969 Bonneville with a correct "Olympic Flame" orange metal-flake over silver paint job.

And below, a color shot of last week's '66 Bonneville.

I believe the Triumph Bonneville is one of the most photogenic and sexy stock motorcycles out there.

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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence

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