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Tag: old motorcycles

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Legendary Bikes: Kawasaki KZ650

As we swung our truck and trailer around in the cul-de-sac and parked, I could already see it down Tom’s driveway. Glimmering, almost glowing in the late afternoon sun filtering through the golden leaves of autumn, sat the motorcycle of my youthful dreams- a fully restored 1978 Kawasaki KZ650. Tom, the owner, met me in the driveway and proceeded to share the unique story behind this bike I was about to buy and trailer home. “It looks just like one I owned while I was in college,” Tom told me. “I loved that bike, hated to sell it, and always hoped I’d find another one someday.”

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Slow Bike Fast

Deposited like an ambulance delivering two terminally ill patients, a pair of ancient Honda Trial 90s were dropped off in front of my house silently; no fanfare, no excitement, no hurry or joy, unloaded quietly, then slowly rolled into my garage, their future operating room.  Last licensed and running when President Clinton was entangled with Monica Lewinsky they languished outside for dozens of years worth of northwest sub-zero temps and triple digit heat.  Decrepit and decaying, my job was to get them running.  I promised their owner I could.  I opened my mouth again.

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Rockin To The Oldies

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to wrench on an older bike, a 1969 Triumph T100. An acquaintance had asked if I could help him get it running again. He had told me the bike would kick over after some tickling and kicking (it’s still a full kick-start), but not stay running more than about 30-40 seconds. Conceding that I am no master mechanic, yet interested in seeing if I could bring it back to good health, I agreed to take a shot at it…

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Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

I’ve parted company with my beloved “Bertha” after nearly two decades. I feel as though I’ve sold out my best friend. You’ve heard of “buyer’s regret”? I think I’m feeling “seller’s remorse”. And yet, deep down, I know it was time. The older I get, the heavier that bike feels. The more years and miles she accumulates, the more attention she needs- old parts need replacing, more tune-ups are necessary, more tightening and wrenching is required. For someone not very mechanically inclined, this would eventually become a challenge.

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