I love motorcycles. I have been riding since I as 10-12 years old. Growing up, my parents had a cabin in Big Bear (mountain resort in So California). There were so many places to ride, my father purchased a used Honda 50 ($50) for me to run around on. From there, well as they say, the rest is history
Unfortunately, we are traveling and doing so many things, I have not had time to build this page. So it basically consists of the list of motorcycles we own or have owned in Chronological order.
2006 Ural Tourist 750
In 2006 Ural Tourist 750 is a blast. Luzimar prefers it to our Nomad. Of course, I think I am digressing. We went from the powerful, four-cylinder Bandit to the somewhat sluggish V-Twin Nomad, to the Russian-made Ural. Hmmm. Read our full report at: 2006 Ural Tourist 750
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500
The 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 FI is basically a Harley Road King copy--sort of. I loved the Bandit and hoped to keep it, but it just was not comfortable for both of us on the open road. Sooooo....we ended up with a clone of my favorite motorcycle (HD Road King), the Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 FI. It has the look and feel of the real thing, but at 1/3 or 1/2 the price (depending on whether the HD dealer sells MSRP). Read our report and download free goodies at: 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 FI
2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200 S
For sheer excitement, the 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200 S is hard to beat for the price. Luzimar and I had toyed with purchasing a motorcycle for several years. We got a great deal on this non-current but new 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200 S from Schaumburg Honda/Suzuki. What a fantastic bike!!! Purchased it and rode it home on a rainy Saturday, May 25, 2002. What a blast. The bike has much more power than any bike I have owned. It is very comfortable, even for two-up riding. Luzimar would like some sort of backrest, so we're looking into it. I love Harleys, but a new one is just too large of an investment at this time. I love sport bikes, but they are uncomfortable for an old-guy like me. This bike fits right in between. Tons of torque and HP at the low end, looks great, fits us well--it's just about the perfect bike for us. More later....Suffice it to say, I have not even rev-ed it beyond 6K RPM! Read our full review at: 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200 S.
199x BMW RT100
I lusted over the BMW RT100 for several years. I finally purchased one for $5000.00 used. I always wanted a BMW. But the bike handled poorly in comparison to my cheap EX500. The air coming over the windshield beat my head to pieces. I installed fairing deflectors, with little effect. Sold it for more $5000.00. Used 1/2 the proceeds to purchase machinery. Traded our Sportster 883 for it.
1991 Harley Sportster 883
Our 1991 Harley-Davidson Sportser 883 Black was a cool bike. I waited 30 years to buy this bike. I loved it but wanted a larger bike that would
be more comfortable for touring. At speed, this bike numbed my face--the vibration traveled up my tailbone to my face. Cute girl in a Camaro beat me in a drag race. First loss ever to a car was hard to recover from. In retrospect, this is the bike I wish I could have back. It was a 4 speed, chain drive model. Dad bought one soon after
and followed the great Motorcyclist article to hi-per the 883. He ended up with a 1200, hi-per cams, exhaust, etc. He traded it for a dresser which he soon traded for a Dyna-Glide. Unfortunately, he is in California and I'm in Illinois. Someone tell me again why I moved to this #@#@#@!% state! (By the way, I like living in Illinois. But there is something to be said for perfect bike and motorcyle riding weather 365 days per year!)
1980 Yamaha Xs650
I purchased the 1980 Yamaha XS650 as a basketcase that my Father and I rebuilt from scratch. It turned out pretty nice. Gave it to step-son.
1987 Kawasaki EX500 and Ninja 250R
We purchased the 1987 Kawasaki EX500 and Ninja 250R on the same day. His and her bikes. My first "modern" bike. Black with red seats. The EX500 was an excellent bike. Hit 120 MPH on a side street--felt like 60 MPH. First year, I rode it at least once every month of the year. Riding a bike in Chicago in January and February is not wise. Got tired of riding in snow, ice, rain, sleet, lightening storms. Got soaked almost everytime I rode it to work. I loved the bike but somehow was persuaded to sell it for a Kurzwiel and ???. Unknowingly sold it to a drug dealer. Sometime later received a call from the Police that the bike was impounded following a drug-related arrest. The bike was still registered to yours truly. Police asked me to come down and pick it up. I said, "No Thanks, he bought it fair and square..", only to lose it in a drug deal. Dang.
I always loved the Yamaha RD350 as a teenager. Bought this one to teach ex-wife how to ride a motorcycle. Rode it home from the dealer in a light coat in February--Brrrr! I always loved two strokes, but this one ate gas at the rate of 20 MPG. Yikes! Fun, fast, bike. However, could not bear to ride it after the EX500--The RD was sooooo outdated suspension and handling wise. Traded it in for $300.00. Later saw it at the dealer for $1,500.00. A classic they said!
The Honda CB350 (Brown) was the only bike I ever owned that I never rode. Ex-Boss gave me this bike after Mice/Rats had chewed through the wiring. It was in very good shape, it just did not run. At the time I didn't have time to fix bike so I gave it to a colleague. He later committed suicide. Felt it would be unkosher to ask his surviving wife for the bike back.
Kawasaki Mach iii 500
First night (early morning) CHP stopped me doing 120+ MPH on the 91 freeway. I had just dusted a Turbo Carrera Porshe. Just one of many, many, many tickets! I could not keep the front wheel on the ground! Could not help from weaving and racing on freeways. This was one fast bike. Only a couple of problems: No brakes, no handling, terrible gas mileage. Sold it to finance trip to Misery just before the big move from California to Illinois (Ill Noise).
Triumph Trophy Trail
Actually this was my Dad's bike but I put a fair amount of miles on it. I rode it on and off the road. Actually dropped it at Saddleback park doing a full-lock slide. Dad installed a trick aftermarket exhaust. Had that great (small) aluminum tank. Great bike. Wish I had this one back!
Suzuki TS/TM 250
I kitted a Suzuki TS 250 a TM 250, basically converting the TS250 into a "motocrosser". Purchased the racing kit from Suzuki including carb, down/up pipe, etc. Installed my leading-link/Earles/Springer front fork with Curnutt shocks, Trick rear shocks with dampening adjustment (the first I know of), plastic tank, Preston Petty (?) fenders. It was one trick bike. My worst crash ever occured on this bike. The CZ racing team was visiting Saddleback park and racing around the TT track for fun. I thought I OWNED this track. I stayed on their back tires, full lock slides, enormous jumps. However, I highsided onto the main straight. I was a tangled mess. Sprawled across the left side of the bike, my left legged was bent and wedged between the front wheel and frame. My right leg was caught between the rear tire and and fender. My butt was sitting and burning on the stinking down/up pipe. Everyone thought I had broken legs and arms. After a few minutes, I came to. Later I stood up, but could not start the bike. Put a hole in the piston while spending a week in the high desert. Dad fixed it and sold the bike while I was on my church mission. I needed the money.
The Montessa 250 was a motocross bike. Sort of. Dad bought it used so we could fix it up and sell it. The piston slap was louder than the exhaust! But it ran and handled like a bat out of H_LL. I made new fiberglass fenders using the originals as molds. We stiched a new seat. Sold it for $100 profit. Hated selling it but the proceeds went to a good cause.
Suzuki TS 185
The Suzuki TS185 was the last bike Dad bought me. Wonderful bike. Dad and I spent a lot of great times riding together. As I aged I learned not to follow him. Worst crash: Ran into a tree while smoking down a trail in Big Bear. Lot's of blood. Dad spent quite a lot of time cleaning the wounds on my legs. Thought for sure Mom was never going to let me ride again.
I replaced the steel fenders and tank with Preston Petty (?) items. I replaced the front forks with a leading-link springer fork with Curnutt shocks. This front end was incredible for its day. I could ride over anything. Dropped it down a 20-30 foot cliff, no problem. Had various rear shocks including a set of Girlings and others I cannot remember. Also installed a Hooker expansion chamber, Webco HI-COM massive finned head, compression release, etc. After all the work we did to the bike, I was about the only one who could ride it. Keeping the front wheel on the ground was virtually impossible.
Just before selling it, dad painted the old steel tank a pink-purple color and installed it. I don't think I ever rode the bike again. The bike practically killed the guy who bought it. One more TS185 story. Late one evening riding in the high desert the CDI broke about 30-40 miles from the cabin. A bunch of drunk guys in a 4x4 towed me back to civilization. This was one scary ride. They kept throwing bottles and cans at me from inside as they weaved back and forth. Unfortunately, I was stuck. The rope between them and me was tied to my HANDLEBAR crossbar!!! How did I make it through my teenage years alive?
Suzuki TS 90
The Suzuki TS90 was the first new bike Dad bought me. He quickly traded them (he bought two) in for the two TS185s. Had a trick 2 x 4 gearbox. I was too young and poor to fix it up.
Honda 50 step-thru. Our first motorcycle. Dad bought it to give me something to do at the cabin. What a blast. Tore open my knee in a race against a mini-bike. Didn't heal for years (kept opening it up!) I could ride for a weekend on one tank of gas, which cost about 25 cents to fill up.