02 November 2011

On Two Wheels, Part 3- Ride As If It's Yours

In my "pre-legal" driving days as a teen I wore out certain pages of the Sears catalog...
If you are "of a certain age" like me, you'll remember the "Good/Better/Best" way Sears displayed some of their more expensive items. I wore out the motor scooter/motorcycle pages in those catalogs. Under motorcycles, "Good" was a Puch 150cc machine, "Better" was a Puch 175, and "Best" was a Puch 250. (If you're interested, there's a decent pic of the Austrian-made Sears/Puch 250 pictured here.) I'm actually glad I wasn't able to afford one of 'em because I've since learned they had a strange engine that used a system of two pistons sharing one combustion chamber. That, along with the inherent inefficiencies of two-cycle engines, made the Puchs terrible gas hogs.
I ended up buying the Aermacchi/Harley 250cc Sprint we discussed earlier.
I wanted a bigger bike, but my budget precluded me from buying one. And there was another reason I never bought a larger displacement motorcycle.

I've written before about my love for the Harley Davidson Sportster:

I love the Sportster because next to my little Sprint, I probably rode more miles on one than any other motorcycle while I was in High School.
How is that possible?
It REALLY pays to have a wealthy, generous friend! One of my best friends owned two Sportsters while we were in H.S....
An early "H" model, which was probably of 1957 or '58 vintage, which he traded on a "CH" model similar to the one shown above about the time we became Seniors.
I was able to frequently borrow both bikes and ride them almost as if they were my own.

When I came home on leave after Flight School and before departing for Viet Nam I found my friend had bought a new toy...
Another machine for which, as an early teen, I had saliva stained sales brochures:

He flipped me the keys to the Bonnie and told me to bring it back when I had to go back to playing soldier. I rode and loved that Triumph for 30 days.

I have some GREAT memories thanks to my wealthy friend.
And with friends like that, it's pretty easy to feel rich yourself.


Old NFO said...

Both of those are WINNERS!!! I had a Thumper off road version of the Bonnie.

CnC said...

very cool!