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Blast From The Past
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2017EX Offline
1st Service Completed

U.S.A.
Posts: 75
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #11
RE: Blast From The Past
Glad everyone seems to be enjoying the story an pictures. I have also enjoyed hearing that many others have had similar experiences. Maybe it is a "two degrees of separation" sort of thing when it comes to motorcycles? From my first bike through my 750, they all had rubber fork gaiters. I loved the look, as well as protecting and keeping the fork tubes clean. We did not have ArmorAll or any of the other dedicated rubber treatments back them, so we used silicone spray on all the rubber parts ( sidewalls only for the tires ) to keep them looking new. My friends and I were just as fanatical about our bikes, and keeping them clean back them as I am now. The running joke among ourselves was "a clean bike goes faster than a dirty one".
12-12-2017 09:50 AM
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use2b Offline
High Mileage

Perdido Key Florida
Posts: 752
Joined: Aug 2016
Post: #12
RE: Blast From The Past
2017EX your bikes all looked in exceptional condition and i even use tire foam on my seat and rubber parts . your high piped bikes were some of the best looking bikes of the day back then and a Bridgestone 350 gto was the baddest thing on my block with the high pipes. like your group photo i was regulated to the back of the pack with my 2 strokes and envied the two strokes when i had a Super 90 and my friend had a Yamaha twin jet 100 with electric start , wow that thing was fast . another had a Suzuki 125 stinger with that great looking engine and high pipes looked so sweet. from my Goldwings , hayabusa's , BMW's and so many other brands i got to enjoy it is great to hear from fellow enthusiast who grew up in the finest era for owning motorcycle .
your photo's are pure gold

The best part about growing up in Florida is i didn't have to move here when i got old.
2013 CB1100AD K10
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2017 11:10 AM by use2b.)
12-12-2017 11:08 AM
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Nortoon Offline
High Mileage

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 899
Joined: Jan 2015
Post: #13
RE: Blast From The Past
Since we are wandering down memory lane....

I started riding motorcycles in 1966. I worked as an electrical power house operator for the local paper mill for $105 per week. As I only paid $25 a week for room and board at home, I had money to spend. I bought a 100cc twin cylinder, Yamaha 2-stroke for my 20th birthday. I was so excited my younger brother had to ride it home with me on the back. On the way home a police car pulled up beside us at a stoplight and told us to “be careful on that thing”. It was our uncle Harry. At that time a licence or helmet were not required to ride a motorcycle, and training was not available.
[attachment=7303]

I met a number of other bikers on similar bikes at a downtown hamburger joint. Although the Yamaha was quicker off the line, the 90cc Honda had a better top end. As both topped out around 60 MPH, we were limited to riding within the city.

During that summer the Honda riders began to show up with Honda CB 305cc Super Hawks. The Yamaha part of the crowd, myself included, bought 305cc YM1s to keep up. Now we could venture out on the highways to dances in some of the local towns. Leather jackets ($40) and open-face Bell helmets with visors ($35) became necessary because girls did not find guys bugs spattered all over them attractive.
[attachment=7304]

In the winter of 1966 I left my $105 per week paper mill shift-work job to join the Federal Government. My paycheque was now $95 every two weeks. Good thing I was still living at home. After the second weekend I had to borrow $25 from my mum so I could afford to go to work. It took a while to learn to give her an extra $25 from my paycheque so I could afford bus fare and lunches until payday on Wednesday.

That summer riders in the group began showing up on British motorcycles. It didn’t take long before the Yamahas and Hondas were replaced with Triumphs and BSAs. As I had already received a promotion, I was able to buy a second-hand 1966 650cc BSA Lightning for $700.
[attachment=7305]

We quickly found the big noisy motorcycles were girl magnets. Girls headed to the beach would wave us down for a ride. Their mothers should have warned them about bikers. BSAs and Triumphs had fuel taps that could be pushed closed with your knees while riding. A couple of blocks a later when the bike stalled, we asked if they could provide a buck for gas. After opening the fuel taps we proceeded to the nearest gas station. A BSA Lightning had a 2 gallon fuel tank and gas was 25 cents a gallon. But my buddies and I pocketed the change for a later ride to the local tavern where two small glasses of draft were 25 cents. No wonder bikers of that era had a bad reputation.

The other advantages of a larger bike: you could strap a two-four of beer on the back of the seat for parties, and visit places like Laconia, New Hampshire during the annual bike bash. I think they also had motorcycle races there, but we were too busy drinking and partying to see them.

That winter I took my BSA apart and made a café racer out it. It looked similar to this Bonneville with a Paul Dunstall red fibreglass front fender, quarter fairing, 5 gallon fuel tank, and seat.
   
But I added a Cibie headlight, alloy fork yoke, clip-ons, high compression pistons, Barnett clutch plates and heavy duty springs, carburetor velocity stacks, central alloy oil tank, capacitor battery replacement, rear set shifter and brake, Dunstall decibel silencers. Silencers? You could hear them a mile away on a quiet summer’s night. Probably paid more for these accessories than I did for the bike. But I had fun over the next few summers dusting off all the Bonneville and Commando riders.

But all good things must come to an end. In the spring 1971 my job was relocated to New Brunswick, and I found myself unemployed. So I sold the BSA. A month or so later I found a job behind the parts counter of a local Yamaha shop. During one of their summer sales I bought a Yamaha 350 R5. Flipping the handlebars upside down was all it took to turn it into a café racer.
   
I took a lot of ribbing riding a small Yamaha 2-stroke in a large group of British motorcycles. But they quickly found out that this light, 5-speed bike was very fast and nimble. It was also a harbinger of things to come.

I returned to the government after the bike shop closed. The following spring I sold the R5. Then two friends and I bought 1972 Kawasaki H2 Mark IVs.
   
That was the end of ribbing about 2-stroke motorcycles. With the advent of the Honda CB750 and other Japanese large four-cylinder motorcycles, that was also the end of the Golden Years for British Motorcycles.
….. to be continued

2017 CB1100 EX
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2017 03:15 PM by Nortoon.)
12-12-2017 03:14 PM
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JimTT Offline
Break-In Period

Chicago USA
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #14
RE: Blast From The Past
MORE ABOUT THE TRIP

Hello all I am the "best bud" Bill is referring to and road the gold CB350 on that 'adventurer' which as it turned out, it really was. I was set with a Brooks Leather jacket a Bell helmet a wool blanket , spare U-wear and not much more, plus maybe $20. The first big thing that was noteworthy for me was our gas stop in Battle Creek Mi. when I took a quick four mile detour while Bill and George stayed at the Standard Station and drank Cokes. The house I fist lived in but had not seen for 12 years (it seemed like longer than that) looked just the same and it was somehow mystical seeing it if that is the right word. As we progressed towards Ann Arbor Bill's Suzuki started to have trouble which I now know was minor sizing; once the motor cooled it was fine (well not fine) and would run OK. A trip to Ann Arbor Suzuki the next day did nothing to clear up the mystery and we all were not sure the bike would make it back until it actually did. But other than that we had a wonderful high energy ride, I can still hear the combined sound of engines creating a wonderful harmonic drone; we did not use no stinking ear plugs.

When we arrived at the friends house three things struck me; his sister was cute, the parents were no where to be seen (and never did surface as I recall) and the kids had a section of the house all to themselves. When we entered one of these lower rooms the Girl (Julie) was playing Cheep Thrills by Janice Joplin, a record I had not heard but liked a lot. I did not know it then but I would be almost inseparable form Julie all weekend. Bills friend's (can't remember his name) Dad was a doctor and they had a really nice house where we all kicked back and got to know each other while trying to talk over very loud music.

So that evening we all headed to a liquor store to try a "will you buy us some beer" play, which never works but did that night. Local kids hung out in a very hilly park which I think they called the Grove. And it was there we headed with our case or Blue Ribbon Beer, wow have things changed. I had tasted beer before in my life but had never drank beer and as it turn out I did rather well as Bill and George spent a good part of that night bowing to the porcelain god. A lot of what went on that weekend I do not remember but is was all good and that I know. I do remember Julie pointing where to turn from the back of my bike when we at one point had ditched everyone else. We wound up on a isthmus that jutted out into a river which cars could not reach. I was laying on the ground and remember her hair was like a waterfall; oh the wonders of nature. This all happened Saturday night after the battle of the bands where as Bill said were treated like we possessed special powers. Saying goodbye on Sunday was a bit of a bummer but I was past it after about 35 miles and life was moving forward. It's better to let go than to suffer the hurt of what might have been. All I remember about the way home was a section of RT 12 in Indiana (before I-94 was complete) when we pasted about forty 3%'s , all on Harley's and I do mean real hard core bikers, it was an sight to see.

I still think of that weekend with the fondest of memories; it really was a case of the planets aligning. I called Bill earlier today and he told me about this thread so I thought I would chime in. I also own a CB1100 among other bikes; Bill and Me were both members of this forum but didn't know it for quite a while. JIM
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2017 03:49 PM by JimTT.)
12-12-2017 03:46 PM
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Cormanus Offline
Moderator

Queensland, Australia
Posts: 11,370
Joined: Dec 2013
Post: #15
RE: Blast From The Past
Great addition to the story, Jim. Thanks.
12-12-2017 04:21 PM
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EmptySea Offline
Been There

Chicagoland, USA
Posts: 4,877
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #16
RE: Blast From The Past
Great story, Jim and Bill. Are you both in the Chicago area now? The picture with the white fence looks familiar to me, but I can't quite place it. Northshore someplace?

MTC

"Ducks have no regard for the law" -- The Ferret



2013 CB1100 non-abs
2013 CB1100 abs
12-12-2017 07:06 PM
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Vic Offline
1st Service Completed

Indiana, USA
Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 2016
Post: #17
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-11-2017 02:47 PM)2017EX Wrote:  I Hope that my stroll down memory lane will stir similar memories, and be enjoyed by my fellow CB1100 enthusiasts.

Nice. 2 stroke rider here too. Cross country trip from Boulder CO to Yellowstone WY on my Yamaha RD400 - solo - in those days. Youth was fun! The ferret

2014 CB1100 Standard
12-12-2017 07:31 PM
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JimTT Offline
Break-In Period

Chicago USA
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #18
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-12-2017 07:06 PM)EmptySea Wrote:  Great story, Jim and Bill. Are you both in the Chicago area now? The picture with the white fence looks familiar to me, but I can't quite place it. Northshore someplace?

I am still in the Chicago area, Bill is in Texas and we reconnected because
of the CB1100 which we both own.
12-12-2017 08:03 PM
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The ferret Offline
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 19,878
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #19
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-12-2017 08:03 PM)JimTT Wrote:  I am still in the Chicago area, Bill is in Texas and we reconnected because
of the CB1100 which we both own.


How cool is that?

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300

It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I ride...every day...Ferret
12-12-2017 08:05 PM
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2017EX Offline
1st Service Completed

U.S.A.
Posts: 75
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #20
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-12-2017 07:06 PM)EmptySea Wrote:  Great story, Jim and Bill. Are you both in the Chicago area now? The picture with the white fence looks familiar to me, but I can't quite place it. Northshore someplace?
Jim and I both went to the same High School in Hinsdale Illinois , but most people dont know where that is unless there is familiarity with that area. Hinsdale is about 14 miles SW of Chicago, so I usually say I/we are from the Chicago suburbs. Jim lives in Naperville Illinois now, and I live in Arlington, Texas. We reconnected a year or two ago, and found that the enthusiasm for motorcycles we gained back then, never left either one of us. The white fence belonged to the neighbor next door to the house I grew up in.
12-12-2017 08:11 PM
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