Saturday, November 26, 2016

Abandon Hope all who enter here: Part II.

                                photo source: discount garage

It has taken a lot longer to clean out the garage than I thought. The way I had the garage set up gave one half to my wife for storage of her art supplies and "stuff". At least initially. By the time I'm finished I'll have the use of about two-thirds of a two car garage. We'll see if that is enough.

I test fitted my '96 Mustang into the space and it looks like with a little more massaging I'll be able to get the Jag in there. Of course I'll now have my side yard empty and some things like the lawn mower will go back out there. If I had started this project earlier in the year I could have stored a lot of stuff in the sideyard, then just thrown a couple of tarps over everything without concern about water damage. I have a couple of small garden storage sheds along side the house. These could be useful for a lot of stuff that is usually taking up space in the garage . It's amazing how much space rakes and leaf blowers, string trimmers, shovels,pruners and such can consume. I would put this in the sheds but right now it's serving as the final resting space for my swap meet business.

I haven't gone to a swap meet as a vendor in a very long time. I've sold out all my good stuff, then very brutally culled through remaining inventory. Now there are just a some crates full of the parts that didn't sell very well in the first place. I used to have all my stuff in a public storage space. Pay rent for a couple of years and you can see why I warn everyone away from these spaces. But now I'm back. Hopefully for only a short time. Truth be told there is a lot of stuff that should never come back. Sell, donate, or finally toss. If it was only that easy!

I decided that I would do some work on my '96 Mustang first. It's in pretty good shape but it's developed some stiffness in the steering which I believe is from worn ball joints. It's easier to replace the entire lower suspension arm instead of having the individual ball joints replaced.

The paint has a faded spot on the left rear quarter, right behind the door and the top of the rear bumper is pretty weathered also. The car only has a couple of very minor dings. A fresh coat of paint would really spruce things up. Below is one of those coupons that I mentioned awhile back. This is the same level of paint that I got for my '70 Mustang. This is about the cheapest complete paint job that you can find. Back in the day you could get an Earl Scheib paint job for 19.99 at one time (late 1960's). When I took my '66 F250 and '73 240Z  to Earl, the paint job had already gone up to 499.00 In today's dollars this isn't a bad deal.
Check out this website, Almost Everything Automotive, Fremont Ca. They have an extensive file of before and after photos of cars they have painted. My '70 Mustang is in that file, but you've already seen those pictures.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, there will be a lull in the action around the house until Christmas is here. Time to get moving again.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo source A turkey on the table, another in the driveway.

My Wife reads a very nice magazine entitled "Where Women Create". This is one of those fancy Stampington and Company  journal type magazines with high quality paper and photographs. Inside are chronicled the stories of creative, artistic Women and the environments that they have built to foster and facilitate the construction and expression  of their dreams. What does this have to do with Better Beaters, or any type of automotive endeavors for that matter? While I will admit to a little jealousy of some of the beautiful studios and shops that they get to do their work in, there are still some women working in much more modest circumstances. Either way they are finding ways to live their artistic dreams- right now. These articles usually feature some encouraging or uplifting quotation that encapsulates their creative philosophy.

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way." Karen S. Magee

This is actually a very good observation and very good advice. While many of us car guys, myself included, are continually chasing the "next big thing" and looking for that next project or hobby car, it is all too easy to lose sight of what we have available right under our noses. The internet makes looking at all kinds of available cars so easy that we can find ourselves spending hours a day looking through various auto related sites. This can lead to us becoming dis -satisfied with the cars we currently own. We want to have one of those cool cars that those "other guys" have. I guess that this is similar to the Facebook phenomenon of "FOMO" , fear of missing out. Why do we always think that someone else is always having more fun? Luckily I haven't fallen into that rabbit hole, since I'm not on Facebook.

I do spend a lot of time on Craigs List looking at cars that I would like to buy. Especially if I had the money, time, and a place to park them! You can spend (or waste) a lot of time in this activity. Time and effort you
could apply to your current projects. You could even just spend some extra time enjoying what you currently have.

Photo taken at Pacific Grove.

I've written that I've been trying to sell my '96 Mustang convertible which I've owned for around five years. I've put around 50,000 miles on this car since I bought it, My Wife and I been all over the State in this car, and it's been a lot of fun. That's why I bought it. But somehow I got the idea that this car isn't good enough, isn't worth spending my emotional resources on. Sure it's nothing special. It isn't rare or worth very much money (as I found when I put it up for sale!). Still, it is a sporty, V8 powered, fun to drive little convertible,

So I chased the Classic Mustang dream with my '70 coupe. You know how that ended. Then I went for the exotic "Legendary car", my XJS. That story is still unfolding. Then I went and bought my XJ6, which I've been driving the wheels off. I have derived maximum enjoyment from this car because I use it. That is the key.

Last week I washed my Mustang and drove it to work, then ran some errands after work for a couple of hours with the top down. I had forgotten how much fun it can be to cruise around in the Fall sun, listening to the stereo and burble of the exhaust. Sure, I'm not going to impress the guy that passed me in the Carrera convertible, or the new Challenger, but so what. What counts is that I'm out there living the life on my terms, and deriving the same enjoyment that those driver's are.

My garage won't ever warrant a story in "Where Old Guys Create" or any other auto magazine, but I'm cleaning it out so that I can finally move forward. I got a house and a garage and really a lot to be thankful for. I shouldn't lose sight of that. If you added up the value of all my cars you'd be hard pressed to make a decent down payment on a new car. But that's okay because I'm not playing that game.

If you are one of the few (very few!) people reading this blog then you will understand where I'm coming from. I started this blog to celebrate the little guy, the regular guy. We are fortunate enough to be able to divert a few funds towards some kind of car or motorcycle that we like and can afford. So keep on dreaming, and keep on working towards their fulfillment.  After all. this isn't a dress rehearsal. There is no take two.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Too many bikes. Every time I saved up a few hundred bucks I would upgrade my two wheeled machinery.
These were the Japanese years.

Mine looked like this without the lower fairing
When I decided to sell my 305 I made the mistake that many first time sellers do. I had spoken to a buyer over the phone who assured me that he was serious about seeing and probably buying the bike. He wouldn't be able to come and look at the bike until that evening so I agreed to give him the first crack. While I was cleaning the bike outside, a guy driving by stopped to take a look at the bike. (I must have had some very attractive machines because it seems that people were always stopping and trying to buy my stuff!). He liked it, and when he learned that it was for sale was interested in buying it. I told him that I had promised the first offer to another party. The guy told me that he wanted to buy it for his wife, and that he would pay me a bit more than the asking price.

Now the smart thing to do was to sell it to this guy and get a few extra bucks. I could have just called the expected buyer and told him that he didn't need to waste a trip, as the bike was now sold. Well, I could have done that if I had taken down his phone number. Of course I hadn't done that. He said that he was coming out, and I believed him! The next smartest thing would have been to get this other guy's phone number so I could call him if the expected buyer fell through. Well I was young, dumb and gullible. I said that I was going to hold the bike for the guy that was going to come by that evening and buy it. So the guy drove off without any way for me to get in touch with him. The punchline to this disjointed narrative was that the expected buyer never showed up! Of course!

It was a hard lesson to learn. As you might imagine there weren't that many buyers out there for my "squatty hummingbird" I finally did sell it, but it took awhile. Now it's always first come, first served. If someone want's me to hold it after they have seen it, they have to leave a non refundable deposit.

After I sold my Superhawk I found an X6 that looked pretty much like the Cafe Racer pictured above. The guy must have been really hard up for money because I recall only that this bike was really cheap. It ran really strong, but the spring loading of the shifter lever was bad, so that shifting became a two movement affair. For instance, a downshift was preceded by first lifting up the lever with your toe, than stepping down for the actual shift. Kind of like double clutching. I managed to pick up the knack pretty quickly. This was a pretty racy looking machine, and it was quite an ego trip to ride this on the street. It caught the eye of the next buyer one day who approached me about buying it. He must have made me a pretty good offer because I was quick to seal the deal. The stock X6 was considered a pretty hot performer at the time, it set the standard for two stroke performance that led to the H1.

The Suzuki 250cc X6 was the early performance king 
I don't recall how I found my next bike, a Kawasaki W1 650cc twin. If it looks like an old non unit construction BSA, there's a good reason. It was originally built under license by Meguro, in an agreement with BSA. Meguro was a small post war Japanese motorcycle manufacturer that was bought out by Kawasaki in the early Sixties.This model debuted in the early 1960s and was by far the largest, fastest, and most prestigious motorcycle in Japan. Kind of a Japanese Sportster. It was a favorite of the post war criminal element. It could easily out run any law enforcement vehicle of the time. (This is probably the reason that the cops later went to the Fairlady Z.)  This is what caused the large displacement motorcycle to have an unfavorable reputation with law enforcement officials. 

At this time the Japanese were considered to be good at making copies of Western products. The famous Datsun OHC straight six motor is considered by many to be a copy of the Mercedes OHC six. Initially Datsun built this motor as a four, than added two more cylinders to come up with the motor for the FairLady Z. 

I found the bike to be very impressive. It was narrow and fairly lightweight but with plenty of torque from the big twin. Very flexible and easy to control. I taught a buddy of mine how to ride it in a couple of hours. I imagine that a Triumph twin would have similar virtues. Again this flashy bike caught the eye of the next buyer. It seems that I had a knack or at least the good luck to make some money on each of these sales.

My chronology is still fuzzy,  but somehow, the Superhawk, the X6, and the W1 all inhabited a narrow time frame between the middle of  Junior year and the first few months of Senior year. 

The Kawasaki 650cc twin was made under license to BSA. Mine was orange with black fogging.

Because this was the bike that I rode Senior year! Didn't need to make excuses with this machine.
My brother bought one first, but I got one too.

Of course there is a story behind this picture. I was on my way home from school. I had just entered the MacArthur Fwy. A friend of mine who was Junior, and a photographer for  the school paper, was riding shotgun in his older buddies'  late Sixties Corvette. They pulled up alongside me. Tommy pointed the camera at me and I turned to look at him. He snapped the shot, then I downshifted twice and took off in a puff of smoke and a shrieking  howl. I left that Vette behind until I hit one hundred mph. I was feeling pretty smug until a few seconds later the Corvette blew past me. I held the throttle wide open but that Vette just continued to pull away.  At about 115 mph. It was all over for me. While the Kawi and other quick bikes could run away from almost any car from a stop, the high performance sporty cars like the Corvette and especially the Porsche 911 had it all over them in top speed. You had to know when to shut it down and claim the victory!

It's hard to believe that such a racy high strung motorcycle could be a reliable touring bike, but it was. This was the bike that allowed to roam far and wide, riding all over Northern California. I took my first long ride up the coastline on Highway 1. All the way to Mendocino. I rode up to, and around Lake Tahoe. I remember one Friday after school I took a ride up to Sacramento, then turned around and came back. It didn't even seem like a waste of time. The most Epic ride of my Senior year was my participation in the 1973 California 1000. 

The California 1000 was a loosely timed rally which started at Los Angeles Harley Davidson on Friday at Midnight and would end at some undisclosed location 1,000 miles way. There were numerous checkpoints that would log your arrival time and provide you with directions for the next segment. As long as you finished within the allotted 24 hrs. you would receive your finisher's pin. This was quite a challenge, however I completed it successfully and unscathed. The interesting thing was that I had to miss school on Friday to get to LA in time. I told my Mother my plans, and bless her soul, she was okay with that. My Mom knew that this was the kind of adventure, that I not only craved, but needed. Growing up in a time that severely limited a woman's options for her life, she saw no reason that her son should be deprived of his opportunity for glory! When the Dean of Boy's called, asking why I was not in school that day, she told him the truth. Her Son was on an adventure. When I showed up in school on Monday I was summoned to the Dean's office. He asked for my explanation. I told him the truth, that I wanted to go on this rally.  I was not going to pass up this opportunity. I asked him if he would have excused me from school that day, just to make this trip. He of course said no. I then asked him if he would have preferred for me to lie and say that I was sick, how would he know? I told him that I was prepared to accept the consequences of my action. I guess that caught him in a dilemma, my willingness to be truthful outweighing the value of a day at school. Looking back on it Today, it probably wasn't really a big deal, but of course standards had to be maintained. Old Mr. Dold probably got a big kick out of the whole thing, I was always a challenge to the authority of the management.

I think that I'll have to chronicle all my Epic Ride's at  a future date.

My brother Ralph rode one of these Honda 450s the year before, during his Senior year. He suffered a financial set back when his Mach III was stolen by a prospective buyer during a"test ride". It goes to show how naive we were in those days. The buyer shows up by himself, and we ask him where his car is. He tells us that his buddy dropped him off and would return in a bit to give him a ride back home, if he didn't buy the bike.  Talk about a huge red flag! It was my brother and I who were showing the bike, if my Dad had been there I know that he wouldn't have fallen for that story. Well, we didn't ask to hold his driver's license, or the money, while he took a test drive. He must have thought that it ran pretty good because he accelerated up the hill and never came back!  We sat around waiting for him to return, hoping he just needed a longer test ride but eventually accepted the fact that we had been ripped off. The funny thing is, that I've recently gone to see cars where the guy just hands me the keys and tells me to take it around the block. It's nice to know that there are still folks that still believe that most  people are basically  honest. Now I will at least ask to hold onto their driver's license.
The disc brake made it a good stopper but still kind of a dull bike.

I rode the bike a few times but I wasn't impressed. My brother managed to run into a car that turned left in front of him and wrecked the bike. The ca'rs driver's insurance company paid for the loss, and after several months of saving up a little more  money my Brother made the jump into the Big leagues. 
Probably the most influential motorcycle of the modern era.
It's kind of like with the Beatles, unless you were there you wouldn't have believed it. The impact that the introduction of Honda CB750 four had upon the motorcycle world. The first modern four cylinder motor, OHC, four carburetors, four exhaust pipes, five speeds, and that big disc brake up front. And it was fast! It was so smooth that you could ride it at high speeds for hours at a time. This was machine that could warp the time/ distance continuum. And the motorcycling public ate it up! 

My Brother found a really nice clean 750 that was only a couple of years old. He actually let me ride it a few times. It seemed so heavy, powerful and smooth. In top gear you could creep along at walking speeds then twist the throttle and blast away. The terms used to describe the experience of riding this machine soon became cliche. "Turbine like smoothness, unlimited flow of power, phenomenal acceleration and unlimited cruising speeds."  These really did apply to this bike, especially the first generation. This was a machine that could exceed the performance of a Norton Commando or Harley Davidson Sportster while providing luxuries like an electric starter, a disc brake and a smooth ride. And don't forget the reliability, always a Honda trademark. These bikes became so popular that they changed the expectations of the motorcycling public. These bikes were the ultimate chameleons; Super bike, commuter, cafe racer, full dress touring bike, custom chopper and even Police bike! The success of this design led to similar transverse air cooled four cylinder models being developed by the Japanese competition. Kawasaki brought out the 900cc Z-1, Suzuki countered with a 750cc and later 1,000cc model. Yamaha was late to the game, sticking to three cylinder machines until they debuted the game changing four cyclider XS-11.

This proliferation of four cylinder designs led to displacements up and down the scale. From 1,100 cc super performance models at the top of the line, to even a 350 cc mini tourer from Honda. The success of the concept gave rise to the derisive term "UJM" Universal Japanese Motorcycle. This was the era that made the motorcycles produced by the European and American manufacturers seem almost irrelevant.

I made the move to a 1976 CB750 myself. It was a great bike. I managed to put 20,000 miles on mine the first year I owned it.

Not too far from the truth.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

My first real motorcycle.

No, not the Honda 450 "Black Bomber". The little motorcycle on the bottom, in the middle.

I remember seeing this Honda Ad in Hot Rod Magazine in the early 1970s I think that I was a sophomore in high school. I cut the ad out, covered it with Scotch tape to preserve it and carried it around with me in my wallet. Well I actually only carried around the section of the ad that described the CB160. Honda used the designation of CB to identify their street bike models. The scrambler models were referred to as the CL version.

I actually drove the old Honda 50 on the street legally for a few months after I got my learner's permit. I could get my permit when I was fifteen and a half years old and the only restrictions were that I couldn't drive on the freeway, carry a passenger, or drive at night. Talk about the first taste of freedom. I was really motivated. In those days we didn't ask our parents to drive us around. We took matters into our own hands. In one day I rode the bus out to the DMV office on Broadway Ave. I took the written test, passed it,rode the bus back home. I had my parents sign the paperwork, took the bus back to the DMV, turned in the paperwork, and rode the bus home with the permit burning a hole in my pocket. It was the best bus ride ever!

I quickly found out that the 50 was woefully under powered. Flat out on a level street it could go about 40 mph. Max! Taking off from a stoplight was a harrowing experience. I had to use full throttle through the first two gears to get it up to 25 mph. Many times there was an impatient queue of cars behind me, sometimes they blasted the horn to encourage me. I will say that this was an excellent introduction to the art of wringing maximum performance from a minimum displacement machine. I rode the 50 around the neighborhood and once even rode it to school. The operative word is "once". It was the smallest bike in the motorcycle parking area. I think there was a 250cc Kawasaki, a new Honda CB175, and Dunn's 305 scrambler. Oh well, there actually one other slightly larger cycle, a Suzuki 90cc. The rider's nickname was "Poochie". I wasn't going to keep on riding that Honda 50 until a similarly charming nickname stuck to me.

My older brother came up with the idea that we should combine our limited financial resources and buy a bigger bike, together. We could work out a schedule to split the riding time, my brother assured me. I had been a younger brother for a long time- I wasn't about to fall for THAT line! I knew what would happen. I would find myself standing on the curb watching my brother roar off into the distance.

I only had a couple of hundred dollars to spend, so I carefully scanned the classified ads looking for something that I could afford that wouldn't be terminally fatal to my faltering self image.

That ad for the Honda 160 described a bike that would suit my needs. With 16.5 horsepower it was freeway legal and it claimed a top speed of up to 70 mph. Looking through the newspaper I found a 1965 model for 160.00! My Dad, myself and my brother drove down to see it and test drive it. I test drove it and couldn't believe how much power it had. It could actually accelerate! I could get used to this.

Hard to read, but it promises 70 mph.

I think that I bought it from a guy in Berkeley. I know that I drove it home but I can't remember the route I took. I'm sure that it must have been all surface streets, not that I would have minded!

Actually it was the perfect bike for me at the time. As I mentioned, it could actually accelerate to useful speeds in traffic. At this time we were living in Oakland at the base of the foothills. There were a lot of hills in our area. The big test was Lincoln Ave. This is a very steep, long hill that passes by the Mormon Temple and becomes Skyline Blvd. as it passes the Warren Freeway. The 50 could only make it up a few blocks at the base of the hill before it actually slowed to a stop, and stalled out. I had to bull dog the bike around and go down the hill.

The 160, when wound out in second gear could actually make it to the top. It still wasn't the ideal bike for hill climbing, but it allowed me to explore most of the surrounding area. After I got my license I tried it out on the freeway, of course. In Oakland, the Mac Arthur Freeway is a curvy, hilly, highway. The poor little bike wrung it's heart out but it could only hit the promised 70 mph. on a few level sections. I used the bike to get to school most mornings. It was about a ten mile ride but I generally avoided the freeway except for short sections, unless I was running late. I gave this machine credit for having more power than it really did. I didn't know what "lugging" an engine meant, but that didn't stop me from doing it. It means to operate the motor at a lower rpm in a higher gear under a heavy load. In other words as I approached the crest of a long hill and the bike began to lose speed the proper thing was to downshift and allow the rpms to rise back into the powerband. This would allow the bike to gain or at least maintain speed. Failure to do so would subject the motor to extremely high pressure loads. I just kept the throttle open as the bike slowed down, but it would make it over the hill. Finally this resulted in the motor eating a rod bearing. It started a horrible knocking clatter which I knew was probably fatal.

The little engine that could, but barely

I was undaunted. I dropped the motor, split the cases. and removed the crankshaft. Honda cranks were pressed together roller bearing affairs. These were well suited to high rpm running and were generally long lived. Because of the small displacement the bike just had barely enough power for the manner I rode it. A larger bike would have had a margin of extra power that might have prevented the problem. Prompt down shifting would have helped ,also. Looking back I'm surprised that I just didn't junk the bike, it certainly couldn't have been worth much. I decided to repair it and a brand new crankshaft assembly was purchased from Nelson Brothers Honda down on E14th. St. I don't recall how much I paid for it, but I must have thought it was a good deal.

Mine wasn't this bad1 I didn't break the top of the rod off, I just flattened out some big end bearings

I learned a lot on this bike. Besides this major repair, I remember recovering the seat with a repop seat cover. I had tried some hill climbing with the bike, there was a hill climb area some where up in the Oakland hills that I had ridden past before. I gave it a try with my street bike! Of course it stalled half way up the hill and slid down smashing the rear fender. This gave me an excuse to learn some body working skills. I trimmed the rear fender, relocated the tail lamp and bobbed the front fender for good measure. I decided to try the first of many spray bomb paint jobs. This one was "candy apple" purple. If you are close to my age you might remember all those various spray can paint finishes that were available at bike shops and hardware stores. My favorites were the "one step" (always one step,who had time for two steps?) metallic finishes. I was too smart to fall for the the promise of the "one step metalflake paint job" in a can. The metallic finishes were a good compromise, really just suspended glitter, and usually  came out pretty good, as long as you kept on shaking the can. If not, there would be a noticeable patch of heavy sparkle build up in a spot,or two. Of course there was nothing worse than running low on paint on a Sunday afternoon when you were planning to ride it to school on Monday. Just go lightly on the parts you couldn't see!

Cal Custom, A name you could trust!
Of course I had to try to extract more power. There were exotic "big bore" kits available. Bore it out to 175cc! These kits were kind of expensive, new pistons, new cylinder liners, plus the cost of all that machining. What kind of a result could you achieve? I don't know, I never tried it. I never knew anyone that did, until years later my Buddy Rick told me he had installed a Yoshimura big bore kit (811cc?) in his CB750. I didn't ask him how much it cost. Being a broke High School kid I did the easiest thing, pull off the air filters and "bolt on" a set of Rocky brand "shorty" mufflers. Shorty mufflers were the last resort for the bucks down bike enthusiast. While they were not custom made to fit any model in particular, that made them able to be fit to any model that you had. They came with the universal mount strap hangar. They were short, as the name implied, which kind of ruined the styling of your bike, making it look kind of stubby, instead of long and sleek. But they had several outstanding attributes: they were chrome, loud and cheap! Perfect!

These are still available from Revzilla, just 29.99. 
Well, I tried my hand at a lot of different things with that 160. Off Roading, Touring, mechanics, high performance tuning, upholstery, metal working, painting, and custom design.  Whether every experiment was an uplifting experience or a failure  didn't matter. What mattered is that I was riding, every day the bike was up, and every where that I could reach with that machine. I became adept at downshifting, I wasn't going to lug my engine to death again. But as always I wanted more. I managed to save up those several hundred bucks. Obviously it was time to upgrade again.

My brother had set his sights a little higher. He had a buddy who had bought a new Honda CB350. Honda's earlier  305cc twin had been around for quite a few years and were well thought of. These were considered "mid sized" bikes at the time. Many adult riders proudly rode these machines every day, in all kinds of conditions. My brother found a 1965 305cc Honda "Super Hawk", the 250cc model was just called the "Honda Hawk"  I remember the first impression I had of this machine. It was massive! Like an Electra Glide, or something. It had mismatched kick up mufflers. One side was a "Rocky" universal megaphone muffler, the other side had a custom fitted upswept muffler. Either way the bike had a thundering exhaust. I was a little scared to stand next to it as he revved it up. It shook and vibrated like a mad beast.Probably the most unique thing about the bike was the forward arching kick starter. It needed to go forward to clear the rear set pegs. (The scrambler had a proper rearward arc).  I didn't get a chance to test ride this rig, my brother thought it had too much power for me to handle. That's the downside to being the younger brother, I knew I was right when I didn't agree to share a motorcycle with him!

This is an iconic shape for us Japanese bike riders of the Seventies. Just 67.00 from Revzilla

This was Honda's first "big bike". Although it was only 305cc, it's performance was almost comparable to the Triumph 500cc twin. Top speed of a well tuned example was claimed to be the "ton", one hundred miles per hour. Fast, oil tight, and reliable, this bike was the first nail in the British bike industries coffin. But as we all know, it wasn't the last.

Recollections are a little fuzzy around this time. Somehow I ended up with this Superhawk. I think we both got caught up in the Chopper craze around this time.  It may be hard to believe but it was common for riders to" chop"  even small bikes like these.

In 1972 I was a Junior in High School.

I went all the way: ten inch extended fork tubes, 5.00 x16 Harley style rear tire, Sportster tank, Humpback seat with sissy bar, pull back bars, and bird shooter pipes! I thought it was pretty cool and it did get a lot of attention. Big Bike Magazine, a Harley oriented Chopper rag used to call these things "squatty humingbirds!"

That year an article appeared in Street Chopper magazine about Honda twins, but they didn't mention the 305 Superhawk, I decided to set them straight and sent a letter and a picture of my bike. This is the cover of the issue my letter appeared in.

And here is the page my letter appeared.

When my brother saved up his next few hundred bucks he traded up to a Kawasaki 500cc Mach Three. This was one of the first Japanese Superbikes of the early '70s. It was fast and loud and potentially lethal.

His didn't come with the girl.
Next, Senior year brings a new bike.