Bikes I Have Owned










1965 Honda 305 Scrambler






This was my first real motorcycle.  My mother was concerned about my buying it, but I told her it was a motorbike, not a motorcycle and this put her at ease.  Mom's can be so easy!  I will always have fond memories of this bike.  It was the sport bike of its day.  I took the muffler off and put a set of washers in the exhaust instead.  It was a kit called "Snuff or Not."  You could turn the washers so that they would either restrict the exhaust a little or not at all.  When the washers were turned in such a way so as to offer no resistance to the exhaust, it boosted the engine's horsepower and gave the bike a great sound!  I was attending Widener College at the time, and two weeks before graduation I drove the bike through the student union with the exhaust wide open and my buddy, Rick, on the back.  That little adventure made the local newspaper --and got me called into the President's office!  It was, after all, only about three weeks after I had organized a sit-in in the college bookstore!




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1962 Triumph 650 Bonneville





This is a 1962 Triumph Bonneville.  My second bike was a Bonneville.  It was the "muscle bike" of its day.  This was a real bear of a bike to ride down the street.  At that time, the leading road bikes were all British bikes:  Triumph, BSA and Norton.  They were the bikes you would see in races.  It was mostly British bikes used in The Wild One, the 1953 classic motorcycle movie starring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin about a motorcycle gang that took over a small town in California.  Unfortunately, while British bikes and sports cars were popular back then, they also had a terrible reputation for quality.  Some days I would swear that I could see the bike falling apart just sitting in my driveway!





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1969 Ducati Jupiter Scrambler






I loved this bike!  I bought it when I was living in Kansas and teaching at Fort Hays Kansas State College.  Plenty of open road and a great bike!  Ducati makes incredible bikes.  All one has to do is look at the international motorcycle races and you will see that Ducati usually wins about 8 or 9 of the top 10 places in a race.  This bike really handled well.  I used to love to ride this bike on dirt roads.  I made the mistake of riding this bike in a motocross race.  It was really a street bike.  I landed wrong on one of the jumps and broke my collar bone.  But that did not stop me from riding!





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1970 Ducati 450 Motocross





Since I wanted to do more motocross racing, I moved up to this bike.  It was also a great bike!  It had incredible low-end torque and could climb very steep grades.  It wasn't a very good  road bike, however.  Unfortunately, I had to sell the bike because I was going back to graduate school to get my Ph.D.  It was a long while before I was able to get another motorcycle . . .





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1978 Suzuki GS550





I bought a used Suzuki from one of my sons in 1998.  It was a good road bike.  It handled the road well and had great acceleration.  But as it was old when I bought it, and I had a lot of problems with it.  It finally ended up sitting in my garage for a couple of years unused.  I really needed to get another bike!  . . .





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1992 Kawasaki Vulcan 500





So, I bought this bike.  What a great bike!  It quickly became  my favorite bike.  I liked it even better than my Ducati Jupiter Scrambler.  It cruised wonderfully at 70 miles per hour and had great acceleration!  I was always looking for opportunities and excuses to ride it.  I constantly checked the weather, and if the temperature is over 30 degrees, it was time to ride!  I frequently rode it even when the temperature was under 30 degrees!  I had practically given over use of my pickup truck to my wife, Amy, because I always wanted to ride my bike.  I had a leather coat, leather chaps, insulated gloves, a ski mask and a balaclava to keep me warm.  I loved the feeling of cruising down the highway in sub-freezing weather all nice and warm!  But there is still nothing like riding this bike on a warm sunny day when I can feel the air all around me unencumbered by heavy clothing.




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I was itching to get a bigger bike: a bike with more guts than my Kawasaki and one that cruises even better on the highway, especially for riding on longer trips. 


So, then I bought this bike  . . .






2000 Honda Magna 750





This bike has four cylinders that put out a powerful, smooth 96 horsepower.  It cruises down the highway even better than my Kawasaki and has a top speed of 145 mph.  When I ride this bike, I feel like Slim Pickens riding the atom bomb at the end of the movie "Dr. Strangelove".





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I liked my Honda Magna so much that I bought a second one in the summer of 2006.  It is a 2002 Honda Magna.  That gave me one Magna to ride in Pennsylvania and one to ride in New Mexico.  You can never have too many motorcycles!






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I reached a point where I had three residences.  So, I need a bike for each residence.  I, therefore, bought a third Honda Magna which I have set up as a road touring bike for my trips in the Southwest.







I just bought a 2005 BMW GS650 so that I can begin to do some back country riding near my house in New Mexico.  It seems a shame to be limited to a strictly road bike when so many great dirt roads exist throughout the Southwest.





The bike that started it all . . .




1953 Schwinn Challenger





This was my first real bike.  I received it for Christmas when I was around 9 years old.  It gave me my first taste of freedom!!




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Pages of Related Interest



Southwest Motorcycle Ride



Monticello Creek (NM) Motorcycle Ride









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