I've been thinkin' about mo'sickles a LOT of late. I dunno exactly why that is and it seems middling strange to me, mainly coz it's usually in the Spring when a
young man's old geezer's thoughts turn to love of the two-wheeled sort. But lately it's been bikes, bikes, and more bikes. This lil exchange over at our favorite (former) Nasal Radiator's place is of a piece:
Most other bikes are better than Harley. On this side of the pond, back in teh 70s, we used to have a saying, If you like to ride buy a ___(insert your favorite 70s era rice burner). If you like to push, buy a Harley.”
Harley-Davidson has improved a lot since AMF days, but it’s still the same basic bike.
As a longtime sportbike rider (Yamaha RDs… i.e., RD-350, RD-400, RD-350LC… in the past and then a Suzuki Duck clone of late) I like to twist the tails of Harley riders from time to time. Especially since my SN1 is a Hardley-Ableson kinda guy.
OK, that comment was self-serving but it DID fit, no? And I went looking for a particular EIP piece apropos of that comment, just so I could post it again. Herewith a couple o' my all-time favorite rides:
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 There were a few previously unpublished pics of mo'sickles-past lurking in the pages of those photo albums I brought home from SN2's place.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.
And now a moment that's said to be good for the soul. Here's part of an exchange I had with Occasional Reader Laurie a couple o' days ago:
Don't tell anyone, but I've been lookin' at Sportys for about a month or so. I'm only six months removed from getting rid o' Miss Zukiko and find I'm missing her. Terribly. I'm too old and decrepit to go back to sport bikes, but I'm thinkin' I could deal with a Sporty, even with my infirmities. So, we shall see....
The Apocalypse truly must be near. Me? On a HARLEY? Aiiieee.