Speaking of the Honda SL70 (as I did above). About 10 or so years ago, my nephew acquired a mini-chopper. It was powered by a Chinese clone of the Honda 70cc engine used on the SL70. I didn’t realize the Honda engines were being cloned.
I had a Honda 305 (not a typo) Super Hawk road bike. I remember it had a “backbone frame.” The frame did not go under the engine to hold the engine. The engine was part of the frame!
I also recall it having a bit of a funky foot shifter. The shifter had a bit of slop/play in it because the shift lever was not right on the shift shaft, but mounted separately and connected to the shift shaft by a linkage. It made for some missed shifts, but the trans wasn’t as great as more recent models either.
Why would they go with no frame and a linkage shifter? I remember reading that the bike was intended for road racing and the “backbone frame” was a weight saver. The linked shifter was so you could relocate the shifter aft and get in a prone, aerodynamic riding position with legs bent behind and feet aft. Am I making sense?
I thought it was so cool (literally) when I discovered that going for a ride on a cold winter day (probably below freezing) was like adding a supercharger to that bike. That dense, cold air made a noticeable difference!
My first motorcycle. I rode that thing for years on trails before I had a license and then on the road for quite a few years. I ended up giving it away 10 years later, just sitting in my parents garage. My brother recently saw one for sale and sent me a link to bring back memories. I was floored how much they wanted.
I had a Jawa 250 enduro after that and then moved into real road bikes with a Yamaha XS850G
Heh heh, yeah I had a Moped back around 1964. I think I paid $250 for it from Wards. Made in Italy. It didn’t end well though and sold it and thus ended my two wheel career. I’ve been strictly 4 wheel motorized ever since.
Sounds great, very tempting, but I’ll pass, thanks.
I lived trough lots of motorcycles. No question about it, they are more dangerous than cars. So, nearly 33 years ago when we found out we were going to be parents, I parked that Honda in the garage. Pretty responsible, eh (That’s not like me)? It’s been there ever since. For all the really stupid things I’ve done and bad decisions made, that’s not one of them.
I’ve had friends and relatives want to buy it. I’ve explained that I’d never sell it to a friend, relative, or anybody I know. In case of an accident somebody I know would hate me to death.
So, I have the memories, lots of them, and memories of skiing in Utah and Colorado, piloting airplanes, scuba diving, etcetera, but those ships have sailed, I do other fun stuff, now, lots of fun things!
Besides, it’s not even safe to drive a car here (except when there’s a pandemic and people are staying away and staying home).
Sorry to say, I’m done riding motorcycles. Well, maybe when I get back north I’ll fire that puppy up, if she’ll run, and ride in my driveway.
When I was 12 grew and sold sweet corn and in fall my Dad took me to buy a Honda 55. Two sprockets one for road and one for offroad. Sweet bike and good trail bike. Got pulled over by police on country road and had to push the bike home but wasn’t ticketed.
Was this bike called an Enduro? I think I remember a small bike that was considered dirt and road, but I don’t remember having to change a sprocket.
No not and enduro. There was a honda 50 too which was a strictly road bike. In this one the gas tank was under the drivers seat. The muffler came up the right side and exited under the passenger seat. It had an aluminum muffler gaurd attached so you did get burnt.
Well, my father was pretty conservative in this department, even though he was a politically liberal. The first motor vehicle he bestowed upon me was a riding mower that had no brakes. He bought it at a yard sale for $40, and it had a simple belt drive off the blade shaft. It was about as simple as could be in terms of mechanical complexity.
The next vehicle that he allowed me to drive was a pea green 20-year-old 1969 Dodge Dart with manual brakes and an AM radio. It was a virtual tank, and I felt lucky to drive it when I was 16. We called it Shirma, in honor of the Sherman tank. It was a great car, and it served my older brother well until the late 1990s, but when my my older brother tried to pass it down to me, I opted for my new 1998 Civic instead, and I don’t regret that decision at all. That Civic was the greatest car I’ve ever driven.
The kid whose dad had a lot of money had a factory made Fox mini bike. Yeah red, complete with handle bar brakes and throttle. Others had to build their own. I tried building one but gave up. I always wanted one of those and noticed I could buy one now for about $500 at Ace. I’m afraid I’d fall off now and break something. Still would be fun.
I too still have my Emerald Green 73’ CB750 it was my very first legal street bike ever. Bought it a few months prior to my 16th B day for $200 bucks. It is perhaps the most beloved and trusted mechanical friend that ive ever had or will ever have.
I will never forget the motorcycle license test… the day after my 16th B day! … They tend to frown upon taking the test too soon or without enough “practice”… and usually suggest a small and nimble 125cc enduro style bike to take the test upon. So here i am day after my 16th… all 132 lbs of me… and i brought my 450lb CB750 4 cylinder from the 70’s… The instructor was amused in a “ you must be kidding” sort of fashion. Before the test he asked can u even put this on the center stand? “yep”. How bout righting the bike in a fall over? “Sure”. He said we’ll see.
Passed the test w flying colors and put her on the center stand at the end for him…3x. Picked her up 2x for him. He actually smiled and said nice riding…how many years you been on a bike? I said at least 10yrs at this point.
I will never forget the feeling of being handed my motorcycle license that day, firing up that 4 cylinder “Super Bike” and leaving that parking lot… The world seemed like it was full of adventures to get into, and i was gonna ride and get into some…and I did, I did just that.
In 7th grade (early 60s) I really wanted a mini bike but things like food and clothes took precedence with 6 kids in the family. I saved up $18.95 and ordered a carbon torch arc welder from the back pages of a Popular Mechanics magazine. I used it to build a frame out of electrical conduit. Made my own springer forks, seat, etc… I used a Vespa 160 engine that was in the garage. With 4 gears and 16 hp that thing would exceed 70 mph, far faster than any of my friend’s store bought mini bikes. Somehow the conduit frame held together and I never crashed.
Bravo! Brilliant and awesome.
That’s how one pulls himself up by the boot straps, learns lasing skills and self-reliance, and obviously, creates pleasant memories that last a life time. Priceless!
Back in the early 70s a friend in CA had an old Rupp mini-bike with a worn out engine. He removed the engine and installed a 12 volt car battery along with a Chrysler gear reduction starter motor. The “throttle” was a toggle switch on the bars.
There were 2 speeds; OFF and OH CRAP! I rode that thing twice. The first time it went straight up and dumped me off the back. The second time I was hanging way over the front fork and managed to hold it down but full speed (no idea what that was) was reached in a second.