When you get a chance you need to dig into google books, it is one awesome way to waste an afternoon.
I have been busy trying to get the online store up and running and my main method of procrastinating has been google books…
My main British bike support while I was starting was George Parsons in Lambertville, NJ. George was an awesome guy, I would show up for something little and end up spending the afternoon talking to him. This is one thing I found in the AMA magazine(just scroll up a little). George was an interesting character who always had a story, when i can dig some more info about him up I will definitely post it here.
Down the road from me was Stan Myers. Well, Stan did not like me showing up on a BSA or Triumph, but his son Carl was very cool and helped me out a lot. Stan used to race for Harley (and I believe Indian). Getting Stan to talk about his racing past was difficult, but the pics on the wall and the old Indian Scout that was stripped down to nothing gave you a glimpse (and Jack would fill you in with some details). The only links I could find in the American Motorcyclist were when he was racing BMWs. Possibly my favorite result is where his name is in close proximity to an Ariel ad. He did not like British bikes, but from what I remember he particularly disliked Ariels. Hopefully next year I will get to tag along with the Delaware Valley BMW club on their fall ride up to the Poconos and try to pull some history out of him.
A little over 21 years ago I bought my first bike, well bikes. For under 350$ I ended up with two Honda CL350s a leather jacket and a helmet. A few months later a 1979 Triumph Bonneville replaced those two.
A few years go by…
A quick change up to a BSA Royal Star (500 twin). I also pick up a BSA Hornet rotting away in someone’s shed and sell it for parts.
Year or two later, BSA = tuition for a semester.
Somewhere a Honda MB5 (50cc) showed up. Then one day I decided to buy a Vespa, and ended up with a GS160. Soon after comes the Ariel KH and the BSA Sunbeam.
Don’t forget the CB77, the V90 and the Primavera.
Oh, did I mention the B44 Victor Special?
Well, I still have the Ariel and the leather jacket. The B44 is going to be in the hands of a friend in a week or two.
Looking back, you start to realize what you want to be doing versus what you are doing.
People question my love of arcane and ancient motorcycles. To understand my obsession ask yourself what you think would be a more enjoyable afternoon. Strapping your self in a brand new 4000$ titanium bicycle dressed in spandex, or taking a jaunt dressed up all dapper on a three speed? If you pick the three speed, you know what I am talking about.
Sure, I could buy a new motorcycle. It would work, need little attention, and be reliable. If I did that, would it really be the same? Is it about hopping on two wheels and driving fast or getting there in style with a smile on your face and a sense of accomplishment.
My Wife’s Grandmother used to tell stories of driving their Model T around and having to stop and throw the floorboards in the ditch when they started melting their shoes. To me that sounds like a blast.
Where is the joy and excitement in ultra-reliable bikes? I rarely will take a bike if I actually want to get there anyway.