Everyone has that one or many machines that bring back a fond memory of the past. (written in the fall of 2008)
What ever you want to call it, reminiscing, memories or like Uncle Rico, from Napoleon Dynamite's quote "Don't you ever wish you could go back?".
I was vacationing back at my old stomping grounds in Nebraska where I grew up on my folks farm. While I was back there I ended up helping my folks clean up from the ending harvest season which ultimately meant putting all my restored and currently ridden bikes into winter storage, to make room for the farm equipment. This meant moving them from the main shop into a dedicated storage shed. Hold on, maybe I better back this up a bit.
I grew up on a family farm that my folks still farm to this day. (If you want to see more about this visit my "Real Farming" video page). My dad and mom rode motorcycles in the 60′s and 70′s so naturally that was one of the hobbies growing up (that and restoring old cars). Being a farmer we never got rid of anything because “you never know when you may need this or that”. It wouldn't be a proper farm if there wasn't at least one old refrigerator from the 50's out behind the barn.
Some of my school mates rode as well and in those days we bought bikes for next to nothing. I mean we would alley shop buying bikes out of the trash for as little as $50. We would fixed them, ride them, fixed them, ride them and so on. Sometimes this was easier said than done as this was "B I" or Before Internet, so obsolete parts were not as easily sourced. The phrase “RAMP IT!” seemed to claim a lot of bikes back then. A 1973 Kawasaki 100cc G5 and 1981 Honda CM400 (see below) and a few others suffered this fate.
Along the way I collected bikes and restored them not really for show, but just for fun and to make reliable drivers out of them. I did this throughout my teens and twenty’s through college. Graduating college and starting a career the bikes of my past got pushed back into storage as I scaled back a bit (student loans can do that you know) I carefully selected only a few bikes that I could store and ride in my new “home”. For these I chose my Kawasaki KX250 for track and trail riding, Gas Gas TXT321 for trials, and KZ400 for commuting (later to be replaced by my Buell XB9SX). This meant I had to put all the rest on hold for the future.
Fast forward to the future (present). I was getting a bit nostalgic and as I pushed the bikes around I decided to get a group photo of all the old bikes from my past. Each bike has its own little story about it, whether it be how I acquired it or some memorable event while riding it. It should be noted that really none of these bikes are worth much of anything outside of sentimental value, some have historical significance and are collectible for that reason, but most of them I just like for my own personal reasons. Possibly in future articles I might delve into some of the bikes are tell my story about the bikes I own. There may be future videos along these same topic as well. For more motorcycle lifestyle videos check out the main video page by clicking HERE
Feel free to express some of your fond memories of bikes or atvs of your past in the comments area.
Jon "the junk man" helping to promote responsible riding and recreation whether it be at the track or at the trail. Your source for motorcycle how to videos and much more!