Alan's Old Bikes
A little reminiscing never hurt anyone. Here is a list of bikes that, at
one time or the other, I've had in my possession:
(Despite how it appears, I have no particular loyalty to either Suzuki
or Honda. It just worked out that way!)
'81 Honda GL1000 Goldwing I never officially owned this bike but I'm
including it since I did have it in my yard for a long time. My friend
Jason Morris moved to Australia and didn't have time to sell his 'Wing.
He left it with me. I felt obligated to ride it...just to keep the carbs
clean, of course. When I moved to Colorado, I left the bike with Mike
Mitten (who, when he moved to New Jersey, then left it with Mike Weaver).
'77 Yamaha YZ125 dirt bike that I basically got for free. It had a
siezed engine, so I never really expected to get it running, just salvage
off parts for my MX100. I gave it to Mike Weaver when I moved to Colorado.
'75 Yamaha MX100 dirt bike which I got strictly to toy around on.
I'd never done any dirt riding and this bike was a cheap way to get into it.
I invested lots more money in it than it was ever going to be worth,
rode it around offroad a
few times, used it for a track bike for two years (finally siezed it at
Road Atlanta), hauled it to Colorado and then traded it to my friend
Drew Schlussel for a keg of beer.
'82 Honda XR500R
dirt bike. I bought this because it came with a spare
parts bike (which conveniently had the same engine as my race bike) and
because it was cheap. I thrashed it around Colorado and Utah for
three seasons, trashed the engine, rebuilt it and then sold it to my
friend John Holocek for nearly what I paid for it.
'73 Honda CB750K3
which was given to me for free. To get it running I cleaned the rust
out of the gas tank, rebuilt the carbs and bought a battery. Not bad for
one weekend of work and $30! I've since given it a cosmetic
restoration, installed Dyna electrics and given it to my father
- '78 Honda
CB400T Hawk which was my first bike. After three years of novice rider
abuse,a crank bearing started knocking so I tore the engine apart, bought all
new bearings, gaskets, rings, etc then stalled out the project. After
sitting in my garage for five years awaiting a rebuild, I gave it away to
make room for my new BMW. The new owner eventually put the bike back on the
road which was great because it had sentimental value to me and didn't
deserve to end up in a junkyard.
'82 Honda FT500 Ascot this is just a parts bike bike for the
Ascot race bike mentioned here. I bought it for $200 and it
ran but was so cosmetically battered I didn't intend to turn it back into
a legit street bike. However, over time reverse inertia slowly replaced
broken/worn parts with new ones. By the time I sold it, it was
nearly perfect, with only a broken speedo left on the todo list.
Its still a cheap, mid-80s, 28hp thumper but it was a perfect bike
to loan friends and to get my wife back into riding. I sold it to
my friend Scott so that he could use it to teach people how to ride.
Wildfire 150 So I have this bad habit of having bikes follow
me home. In this case, an abandoned Chinese scooter with a few little
mechanical problems and one big title problem. I ironed out all of
the mechanical problems in about two hours but finally gave up on
the title issue. I gave the gutless little red terror to
one of my wife's co-workers. However, for the short time I had it,
it was certainly different from anything else in the garage!
'82 Honda FT500RR Ascot which had been heavily modified for
racing. When I sold it, it sported CBR600F1 forks and wheels, a
Jemco pipe, and a 38mm Lectron carb and a lot of custom welding work
for rear sets and weight removal. I bought it in bits, first one
Then modified it more
... and even more)
I never did find the round-to-it to race but it was a great track bike
that forced high corner speed to make up for it's lack of power. It
started stock at 29hp and was probably mid-30hp in the end. It was
possible to do a little more work to get it over 40 hp but beyond
that it starts to trade reliability for power. When I did ride it
on the track, it was fun to putter down the straights and try to make
up time in the twisty bits. My lap times reflected my measily skills
rather than the bikes potential.
XT225 My wife Jonna took the MSF dirt bike school and
enjoyed it so much that she wanted a dirt bike of her own. She
found a perfect condition XT and bought it for half the price of
a new one. Unfortunately, after a few years it was obvious that
she wasn't riding it very often so we sold it a friend who was
looking for an XT.
'00 Suzuki DRZ400S When I sold my XR500 in 1999, I was going to
immediately replace it with a new dirt bike. Well, it took nearly four
years, but the fall of 2003 I finally bought a clean, used DRZ. I've
made a few modifications and loved riding it but over time I did less
and less dirt riding so I sold it to a friend in the summer of 2017.
'06 BMW F650GS
This was my wife's second bike. She found the SV to have a
slightly too agressive seating position for riding long distance
and wanted a bike that was a little more dirt worthy. In 2007
we bought this one year old "used" F650GS. We set it up with a bigger
windscreen, BMW factory saddle bags and an aftermarket helmet lock so
that it was a better touring bike. It came with ABS, heated grips and
a centerstand from the factory. We sold it in 2018 after a new
Triumph Tiger 800 XRx-Low was purchased to replace it.
'02 Suzuki SV650 This was my wife Jonna's bike but when
she bought the BMW F650GS it became a spare. We kept it around
as a loaner, and a few friends did use it, but it just wasn't getting
enough use to justify it taking up space in the garage. Still, we
both loved the bike and were sad to see it go. In fact, I was
astounded at how nice a bike the SV650 turned out to be: plenty of
power for canyon riding, so nimble it felt like an electric bicycle
and very functional since we had set it up for touring/commuting with
Givi saddle bags, a Givi top box, a Givi windscreen, some GenMar bar
risers, heated grips, adjustable levers, a throttle lock, a lowered
seat and a power socket for an electric vest.
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