I’ve been a biker since the mid 70’s, am currently a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and president of the Dixie Riders MC, a Non-Territorial, No Patch, Social Motorcycle Riding Club based in the southern U.S. I cut my “biker teeth” exploring the Farm-To-Market (FM) roads of Northeast Texas, now just called “farm roads”. My first road bike was a ’69 Harley Davidson Sportster (Sporty as we called it), with an 882 cc air-cooled engine, customized by its previous owner to be a replica of the bike ridden by Michael Parks in the TV classic series “Then Came Bronson“, although I had a couple of dirt bikes before that. My bike is the one pictured on the left below, the bike used in the show, and currently in the National Motorcycle Museum, is on the right.
This television series is the catalyst that took my fascination with bikes to a full-blown love of them and not only the freedom they represented but the freedom I found when riding as well. Here’s a clip from the series that says it all – TCB Opening, and the song that solidified all that for me back then – Long Lonesome Highway.
Less than a week after purchasing it I made my first road trip which took me to Port Aransas on the Texas gulf coast, over to New Orleans, LA, up to Shreveport, then back West to the Dallas area. That was quite a trip for me at the time.
The Harley was replaced in the late 80’s by a black 1979 Yamaha 650. A collector offered me several times more than what the Harley had cost, and being both young and failing to realize the treasure I had, I succumbed to the cash before me. 😦 A little over 15 years ago the Yamaha was totaled by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign in downtown Dallas, TX. Thankfully I only received minor injuries in part because I was wearing my helmet and full leathers, and partially because instead of being “T-Boned” the bike was hit on the rear wheel. It could have been much worse. After well over a year of wrangling with the insurance companies and lawyers over its replacement I was dumbfounded to find I was only going to collect what the insurance company considered the value of the bike according to its age and mileage. The restorations I had made to bring it back to “like-new” status weren’t even considered. 😦 Because of this low coverage amount, and a change in my income level, I was unable to replace the bike until a short time ago.
Since that time (as of January 2012) I’ve been somewhat of a round peg in a square hole, attending motorcycle rallies by car (since I couldn’t afford a new bike) and doing free-lance photojournalism for several motorcycle magazines and newspapers.
As you can see, my ride-of-choice has always been classic/vintage bikes. A short time ago I lucked into a fantastic deal for a garage kept, low mileage (under 57,000 original miles), 1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition (25th Anniversary Ed.) and jumped on it. Yes, the mileage has been verified by multiple shop-maintenance records.
I think it’s going to take me a while to get used to the size of this bike. The largest bike I ever owned before this one was the Sporty, weighing in at about 470 lbs dry weight, and having around 60 horsepower. The Yamaha 650 weighed about the same but only had around 50 horsepower. The dry weight for this one is near 900 pounds, and specs at 95 horsepower.
This is where the blog comes in. It will begin with the acquisition of this bike, progress thru what it takes to put it on the road again, then into all of the things discussed on my “Purpose” page. Please take a moment to read that so you will better understand what to expect when visiting here.
My personal passion while riding is charity events such as poker runs that benefit Cancer victims and/or their families, crime victims, disaster recovery efforts, Toys For Tots, Ride For Kids, veteran service organizations, etc. Because of this passion many of my ride reports and event list(s) will include information on these types of events as well as the usual, “hey, I went to…. today”.
Happy (and safe) Biking!