Sunday, January 8, 2012

Right After The Sportster

After I brought the Sportster home, dad decided that he needed a bigger bike too.  As a former and old HD man, he was impressed with the Sportster but had a chance to buy a brand new, orange 1974 CB750 Honda at a good price from the local dealer.  A few years before, he and I had stopped by the very same dealer and saw that dealer's first or second showroom'd CB750.  Dad was given the key for a test ride, I followed him on my 125 Yamaha Enduro down the rural County road.  We'd only gone a little ways when he pulled over, put the stand down and waved me over.  He got off, walked back, jumped on my bike and waved me on, obviously motioning me to jump on the big Honda and take it for a spin.  After a couple of miles, I very responsibly pulled over once we got to a parking lot and remember just sitting there listening to the four cylinder idle.  Dad often reminded me, years later that my grin was something he'd always remember.

With a windshield and a luggage rack, dad had a bike he could commute with on the city freeways.  Over the next winter, I was paying more and more attention to this thing the magazines were calling 'Touring'.  Windjammer fairings were being sold and I was tiring of the Sportster, ready for something new.  The following spring, dad and I traded, he taking the HD and I was then an official Honda Four rider.  Taking dad along, we visited the new accessory shop that had opened downtown in an old warehouse.  It was quite an experience.  Up until that time, our accessory buying had been in the dirt bike aisles.  This place was full of seats, luggage racks, aftermarket 4-into-2 pipes, Windjammer products, crash bars, highway pegs, hand grips, etc.  I spent huge money on a Vetter Fairing along with some other stuff, excited to start taking real trips on a real, traveling motorcycle.  Ray, the guy that owned the shop, had recently quit working full time at the same company my dad was working at and over the next months, he and dad became friends.

The following season, Ray at the accessory shop was selling his Demo Bike, loaded with many, if not most of the high end accessories that they offered for sale.  In no time, dad was then the owner of a red '75 CB750 Honda, complete with the firm's super Gel Seat.

Here are the two 750's after Dad and I got home from attending Aspencade in Ruidoso, New Mexico, October '78.  There was some rain, there was some mud.

In the spring of '76, I bought a brand new XL350 Honda from Cambridge Honda for $1075.  Nancy, a friend from work, rode up with me and followed behind me in my car.  A few weeks later, we switched roles; she rode home on her brand new Yamaha 400.

In July of '76, my brother bought a closeout 850 Norton from Burnsville Honda for $1395.  Here we are, just outside of Theilman, MN on a Poker Run, put on by the Plainview Motorcycle Club.

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