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Blast From The Past
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EmptySea Offline
Been There

Chicagoland, USA
Posts: 4,397
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #21
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-12-2017 08:03 PM)JimTT Wrote:  
(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.

Very cool that you were able to reconnect.

For some reason, this story makes me want to organize another Chicagoland CB1100 Ride. I'll make a post on it in the Meetups and Gatherings section.

(12-12-2017 08:11 PM)2017EX Wrote:  
(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.

Thanks... I'm in Park Ridge, but grew up in Winnetka.

MTC


2013 CB1100 non-abs
2013 CB1100 abs
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2017 08:24 PM by EmptySea.)
12-12-2017 08:15 PM
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JimTT Offline
Break-In Period

Chicago USA
Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #22
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-12-2017 08:15 PM)EmptySea Wrote:  
(12-12-2017 08:03 PM)JimTT Wrote:  
(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.

Very cool that you were able to reconnect.

For some reason, this story makes me want to organize another Chicagoland CB1100 Ride. I'll make a post on it in the Meetups and Gatherings section.

(12-12-2017 08:11 PM)2017EX Wrote:  
(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.

Thanks... I'm in Park Ridge, but grew up in Winnetka.

I would be up a ride but not until things warm up; coincidentally I retraced part of the Ann Arbor ride a few weeks ago on my ST1100 having ridden up to Battle Creek for the first time in decades.
12-12-2017 09:13 PM
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Guth Online
Forum Founder

Portland, OR
Posts: 3,137
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #23
RE: Blast From The Past
Thanks for sharing Jim & Bill. Those are some great recollections and some truly wonderful photos. I grew up about 80 miles south of you guys and about 10 years later on. No celebrity here. To my fellow classmates i was just the scrawny, geeky kid that liked bikes (in the photo with my '77 RM100). There wasn't a whole lot to do growing up in a small rural Illinois town so when I wasn't playing in the dirt, I was working in it — literally (my first few jobs were working in the fields for local farmers. Until I managed to snag one of the choice jobs at the local grocery store that is. Can't imagine why anyone might have seen me as geeky (the scrawniness was undeniable), um well never mind lol...

İmage

2013 CB1100: Placed deposit on Nov. 12, 2012; Received delivery on April 5, 2013.
12-12-2017 11:34 PM
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use2b Offline
Running Like a Top

Perdido Key Florida
Posts: 643
Joined: Aug 2016
Post: #24
RE: Blast From The Past
love seeing the old bikes , had a RM400 back in the day . my son in the photo grew up with the same love for bikes.


Attached File(s) Image(s)
       

The best part about growing up in Florida is i didn't have to move here when i got old.
2013 CB1100AD K10
12-13-2017 07:30 AM
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2017EX Offline
1st Service Completed

U.S.A.
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #25
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-12-2017 03:14 PM)Nortoon Wrote:  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.


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.


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.


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
Nortoon, I had no Idea my Blast From The Past post would bring out so many great stories and pictures, and am very glad it did. Your reference to the "hamburger joint" reminded me of something Jim, I and sometimes George used to do on a Friday or Saturday night if we did not have female companionship. The local McDonalds in La Grange Illinois, had a "no motorcycles" on their lot policy, so we would park our bikes on the property line between McDonalds and the gas station next door. Apparently the McDonalds owners did not want "bad boy" bikers on their property. Anyway, we would walk across and get a coke, then walk back and sit on our bikes sipping our drinks. As some have already pointed out, motorcycles were "chick magnets", so it usually was not long before a respectable number of girls would migrate over to us for conversation, and maybe a short bike ride. All innocent fun, but with a touch of rebelliousness, given McDonalds policy. The gas station owner thought it was hilarious, never gave us a hard time about it, and we never abused the hospitality by getting out of line or leaving trash behind. We also rode our bikes to Santa Fe Speedway, that was close to where we lived, to watch dirt track motorcycle races. One of the dirt track racers that was well known back then we followed and watched at Santa Fe, was Swede Savage. Swede later tried to transition to Indy car racing. Sadly, Swede died of injuries from a crash during the 1973 Indy 500. We also used to ride our bikes to Oswego Drag Raceway to watch the drags ( car and motorcycle ) once and a while too. All great fun, and motorcycles linked it all together, as it has for most if not all of us.
12-13-2017 08:18 AM
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The ferret Offline
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,785
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #26
RE: Blast From The Past
This was my first street bike, bought new in 1965. A Harley Davidson badged M-50 Aermacchi 50cc 2 stroke with twist grip shift. Now this isn't the exact bike, that was gone from my possession in 1966 when I bought a CB 160 (which was gone in 1968 when I bought a CL 77 305 scrambler, which was gone in 1969 when I bought a CB 350 et cetera lol), but I walked into my local dealer and he had added this particular M-50 to his collection. He paid $3400. I paid $318 for mine in 1965 lol

İmage

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
(This post was last modified: 12-13-2017 08:46 AM by The ferret.)
12-13-2017 08:43 AM
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2017EX Offline
1st Service Completed

U.S.A.
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2017
Post: #27
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-13-2017 08:43 AM)The ferret Wrote:  This was my first street bike, bought new in 1965. A Harley Davidson badged M-50 Aermacchi 50cc 2 stroke with twist grip shift. Now this isn't the exact bike, that was gone from my possession in 1966 when I bought a CB 160 (which was gone in 1968 when I bought a CL 77 305 scrambler, which was gone in 1969 when I bought a CB 350 et cetera lol), but I walked into my local dealer and he had added this particular M-50 to his collection. He paid $3400. I paid $318 for mine in 1965 lol

İmage

Ferret, great pic! I think humble beginnings resulting in numerous upgrades over the years, was the rule rather than the exception for most, if not all of us. I can still vividly remember the "ring ding ding ding" of my two strokers to this day..
12-13-2017 09:07 AM
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CA200 Offline
High Mileage

Madison Wi.
Posts: 784
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #28
RE: Blast From The Past
What a great thread !!
12-13-2017 09:09 AM
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Guth Online
Forum Founder

Portland, OR
Posts: 3,137
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #29
RE: Blast From The Past
(12-13-2017 08:18 AM)2017EX Wrote:  We also rode our bikes to Santa Fe Speedway, that was close to where we lived, to watch dirt track motorcycle races. One of the dirt track racers that was well known back then we followed and watched at Santa Fe, was Swede Savage. Swede later tried to transition to Indy car racing. Sadly, Swede died of injuries from a crash during the 1973 Indy 500. We also used to ride our bikes to Oswego Drag Raceway to watch the drags ( car and motorcycle ) once and a while too.

I used to listen to the broadcast of the Indy 500 on the radio every Memorial Day with my dad and I remember Swede Savage (by name at least). I had no idea that he raced motorcycles prior to his career racing automobiles. Speaking of drag strips, growing up listening to WLS out of Chicago you would have thought that US 30 drag strip over in Indiana was the only drag strip in existence: "SUNDAY!, SUNDAy, SUNDay, SUNday, SUnday, Sunday, sunday at Smokin' US 30 Drag Strip!" lol.

This thread is missing something. I keep waiting for a return appearance of the photo of the ferret and his wife aboard his KZ1000 back in the day — classic.

2013 CB1100: Placed deposit on Nov. 12, 2012; Received delivery on April 5, 2013.
12-13-2017 09:20 AM
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The ferret Offline
Forum Moderator

Ohio
Posts: 18,785
Joined: Apr 2013
Post: #30
RE: Blast From The Past
Here ya go Guth lol

27 years old, married for 3, and a 2 year old daughter (she will be 43 in a couple of weeks...my how fast they grow up lol). I had been riding 12 years, thought I wanted a BMW (always did). Was riding a 73 Yamaha 650 twin at the time. I had saved up $2000 for a down payment and was going to buy an R90S which was $3999 and finance the other $2K. Wife and I went out and test rode the Beemer. It sucked. I was so disapointed. I had wanted a Beemer since I was a kid, but the shuddering taking off and the up and down when you got on and off the gas felt like a carousel. Went back to riding my 650 twin. Anyhow I was managing a Kawasaki shop in Cinti at the time. The next week we got in this new KZ1000 and I had my shop guys put it together and I took it out for a spin. What a motorcycle! I called the owner and asked what my price would be on it. He called me back and said $1888 out the door. Heck I paid cash and had $112 for gas and insurance left over. My wife and I loved that bike. We were headed to Indiana when the pic was taken to a Motocross race. We rode that bike to Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Fla with a Windjammer and bags. We rode it straight home from Fla 942 miles in 17 hours. I have always been able to put in serious saddle time. Was 92 degrees when we left Florida and 34 degrees when we pulled into Cincinnati.I had to be at work the next day. Later I put Lester mag wheels on it. Then in 1979 we decided to buy a house and I sold it for $2500 to help cover the down payment. The CB 1100 reminds me a lot of that bike, especially the DLX.

İmage

.
2014 DLX and 2006 ST 1300
"a good chunk of life's problems can be solved by going for a ride"...Guth ..... "daily" ...Ferret
(This post was last modified: 12-13-2017 10:00 AM by The ferret.)
12-13-2017 09:40 AM
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