This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
shinysideup Little bike, big lessons


By Ron Davis #111820 MY


FIRST BIKE


was a 1965 Honda S90. Well, sort of an S90. You see, a buddy of mine, Kurt, had taken a standard


(and severely abused)


Honda and reincarnated it into kind of a hideous ode to the Big Daddy Roth school of design. He had added a three foot sissy bar, ape-hanger handle bars, and a bullet-shaped muffler, dis- carded the front fender, raked the front


end, and


spray painted the whole thing in a sparkling purple finish. He


sold


me the bike and an oily cardboard box of parts for 50 bucks, after his dad


(a doctor


who had seen his share cycle mis- haps and had caught Kurt rid- ing


without a


license) gave him 24 hours to get the monstrosity off the property. I knew absolutely nothing about motorcy- cles, but it was the ‘60s, and I thought the bike looked cool. I dreamed it would it would give me celebrity sta- tus with girls and a new tier of respect from my friends, though they promptly dubbed it somewhat deri- sively the “The Chopper 90.” As I said, I knew nothing, but the bike very quickly taught me ten important lessons:


gas. There’s something imminently humbling about pushing a dead motor- cycle down the highway as everyone you’ve ever known drives by.


3. I will never be a mechanic. One of the biggest mechanical problems on the Chopper 90 was that the kick starter spindle was stripped, and my efforts to correct that (torqueing the clamp until it cracked, inserting homemade spacers, attempting to drill into hardened steel) were pathetic. As a result, frequently the only way to get the bike started was to


12 BMW OWNERS NEWS March 2016


1. OEM is not the enemy. Sissy bars may look cool, but catching your foot on one as you swing your leg over the saddle and falling over the bike (followed by the bike itself) doesn’t.


2. Use your trip counter. Back in 1965 there was no such thing as a fuel gauge on the dixie cup piston-ed Hondas. Though the S90 got nearly 90 miles per gallon (at an astronomical 40 cents per), eventually it would of course run out of


jump start it. Unless there was hill nearby, this led to a series of running starts, usually unsuccessful on the first few tries, due to my forgetting turn on the petcock/turn the key/put the bike in second gear/etc.


4. Carry a kickstand pad. Coming out to the parking lot after a being imprisoned in a sweltering high school classroom all day, about the most discouraging sight I can think of is seeing your bike lying on its side, baking on the soft asphalt in a pool of leaking gasoline.


5. Motorcycles do not necessarily impress girls. See items 1, 2, 3, 4.


6. Wear a helmet. My dad, bless his soul, would only begrudg- ingly allow me to ride my Honda if I wore the purple flake helmet Kurt had generously thrown in as part of the deal. A lowside while rounding a


sandy corner made me consider my dad might not be quite as ignorant as I thought he was.


7. Lights, kind of important. Though Kurt definitely had more mechanical savvy than I did, electrical functions were apparently not a big concern. The tail light shone brightly when the bike wasn’t moving, but often cut out on the road. The brake light worked though, and the nightly rides home from my girlfriend’s involved frantically tapping the brake pedal and redlining the engine in an


the club


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124