Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fast Times At Ridgemont When I Was High

High on LIFE, Gentle Reader... high on life.  And mo'sickles.  There were a few previously unpublished pics of mo'sickles-past lurking in the pages of those photo albums I brought home from SN2's place.  You know I'm gonna post those, so we might as well get started.  First up: my old RD350LC.  Here she is up against the wall, a position we rarely found ourselves in, metaphorically speaking.

If that pic looks somewhat familiar it's only because it is.  We previously posted this pic of the happy couple:

And then there's this, taken on the same day as the above but in a different place.  The day would be the day I sold her in June of 1983 (she wasn't street-legal in the USA and I was going home) and the place is High Wycombe Air Station where I lived during my three-year all expenses paid (courtesy of the USAF) vacation in London.

I kinda like that shot because you can read the tee shirt I'm wearing in the full-size version of the pic, to wit:

That 350-cc number prolly sounds laughable to Americans who routinely think "Harley" and big-ass 96 cu. in. (1600 cc) motors when they think of bikes, which is rarely (unless you're a biker).  But lemmee tell ya, those 350cc's made mince-meat out of many a cruiser back in the day and sport bikes twice its size, too.  That was one hella quick and fast mo'sickle and it could carve a corner like few others.  Fast times, indeed.

Here's the best bike I ever owned... it edges out the 350LC by only the tiniest of margins... my RD400D.  The first pic is the bike in box-stock configuration, the second is in its current mildly-modified condition:



I spent the winter of 1978 in my garage working on that bike.  Most of the mods were bolt-ons, which is to say after-market shocks, new handle bars, rear-set foot pegs, a brake/shifter kit, electronic ignition, and better tires.  The cognoscenti will note the expansion chambers on the bike and those were part of the minor engine mods I did.  I didn't want to build a hand-grenade motor so I just added expansion chambers, larger carbs, and K&N air filters to improve the bike's breathing.  I also polished all the cylinder ports to improve air flow.  And that was it... but the finished product really wailed.  I should also mention coastal Oregon was a danged fine place to own a back road burner like the RD, too.  Even more fast times.

Here's a previously posted and MUCH prettier pic of the stock RD:

 TSMP and Stock RD

I tried to get her to pose in her bikini but she wasn't having any of that.  (sigh)

Lastly... the RD400 is still in the family, sitting in the back of SN2's garage.  It still runs but is suffering from a leaky rear master cylinder.  Sam keeps telling me "one of these days..."  Heh.


  1. At least it's still in the family.

    Very cool, Buck. As usual, thanks for sharing.

  2. Cool shots, Buck! As you know, momocycle lingo is like Mandarin to me, but I'm takin' your word on how they performed.

    (The Motorcycles, not the rider)

    And, not to run it in to the ground here, but I do see a tiny bit of a paunch on our hmblscrb up there in pics #2 &3. But then, a three year vacation can do that to even the slimmest of us.

    But, it could just be the angle, and the light. The camera can add pounds, ya' know.

  3. I love it when you talk gears.

  4. Here's my motocycle experience -- "no, go ahead, you can do it . . . . . wow, that's gonna hurt tomorrow, let me help you up."

    And I'm with Andy on the weight -- at least you finally ate something!!

  5. Vrooooom!

    Yeah -- I'm kind of with Kath.

  6. Small Tee: The problem with old bikes is finding parts. Sam was bidding on an RD rear brake master cylinder on e-Bay and quit after the bidding went over 70 dollars... for what used to be about a 15 dollar part. But yeah: the bike IS n the family!

    Andy, Kris, and Moogie: It was all that British beer, yanno?

    Lou: But I'm only fluent in two-stroke. ;-)

  7. Paunch? On Buck? I'm laughing...

    Wrinkled t-shirt.

    Buck, I think you meant to acknolwedge Kath in her comment above, not me.

  8. Thank you, Kris!!

    See, short people get NO respect! No respect, I'm telling ya.

    Kicked to the curb just bec. I'm not a hot motor -- how did you spell it?? -- cycle mama!! Geesh!

    Good morning, Buck.

  9. You're right, Kris. My apologies, Kath. I wasn't fully caffeinated yet... that's my excuse (and a GOOD one it is!) and I'm stickin' to it.

    And I actually DID have a lil bit o' belly back then, Kris. Hard to believe, I know. ;-)

  10. "Motorycle Mama?" Heh. Double-Heh!

  11. I will get the RD fully operational; just don't know when. I've got more than a few projects to finish to keep the lovely wife happy.
    But the RD is pretty high on my priority list of things that are entirely selfish.
    Some day soon...

  12. I know you will, Sam. Just pullin' your chain!

  13. You flyboys sure need speed, huh? You remind me of my Uncle Jim, here. Though his thing was fast cars. I suppose, after landing a jet on a ship, 55 just doesn't do it.

    My dad knew my Aunt Betsy was "the one" when Jim came home with a Chevy Impala instead of an XKE.

    Memorable Jim quote: "If you don't wear a seat belt you're an idiot." This way before it was the law around here. Yeah, I'll take a fighter pilot's word on that.

  14. Memorable Jim quote: "If you don't wear a seat belt you're an idiot." This way before it was the law around here.

    My Dad installed seat belts in all our cars back in the '50s before they were standard equipment. You're right, Cricket... some things just make sense.

  15. I am drooling. I miss my DS-7 and my RD400 so badly. Sigh! Two-Strokes Forever!

  16. Thanks, JTG. I sure wish street-going two strokes were still legal. I'd have me the latest generation RD instead of that poor-man's Ducati clone I own now (a Suzuki SV-650).


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