Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bud E's Home for Wayward Motorcycles Adopts Another

So, a little bit of history about me for context.
  I can already hear people say, "Another one.. Doesn't he have enough already??"  Okay, maybe that is just my wife.
    I am a fourth generation motorcyclist.  There is a photo of my great grandfather standing on the seat of his old Indian sank in the mud up to the axles.  So, apparently doing foolish things on motorcycles is a hereditary trait.  My  grandfather raced boats, and cars. Worked the Motor Patrol in LA County, was CHP and die hard Goldwing Rider.  My father raced cars, and rode misc. old Honda's until he had a spill when I was younger,  and that was the end of that.  He soon developed MS and poor balance.  Before I was married, I goofed around with my cousins on ATVs and raced amateur dirt track cars.  So, I  LOVE anything mechanical. Trains, Cars, Airplanes, Motorcycles, Tractors, Heavy Equipment, all fascinate me with their engineering and craftsmanship.  I make a decent wage as a Forklift Tech.  It's not great, but it keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and keeps the lights turned on. So, there is no way that I can afford to mess around with cars.  The math formula for that is $$$$speed.

    Motorcycles, on the other hand, can be found on the cheap, if you are patient and know what you are looking for and can perform any repair work on your own.  I love "Vintage" motorcycles, but the price of anything that is not a total basket case is through the roof.  So, I have settled in on motorcycles that were important for one reason or another.  I try to keep the price below $500.  That way it is mostly just the little bits of overtime that I acquire rather than playing with House money.  The 1974  Honda MT125 is one..
Granted, it is not the CR125R, but is a very close cousin and was street legal.. The Elsinore completely changed what motocross was.. It was developed completely without Mr. Honda's knowledge or approval.  He hated 2 strokes.  It is a great story to read.
    The Suzuki Jr50, I bought to try and pass on my love of all things mechanical...
  Jury is still out on that. Can't say I didn't try. He had short legs and it is one speed with a centrifugal clutch.. It had some carb issues that needed sorting but was a good start for my son.

    The 1983 Honda Cr60R, was only imported in '83, '84 and part of '85.
   Honda was winning everything.  It was the battles between David Bailey, Johnny O'mara, Bob Hannah, Rick Johnson, and Brock Glover, and Chuck Sun.  It was the days when they left it all out on the track and then left just a little bit more.  ( Okay, going a little of tangent there, but I was in my formative years then).  Honda made all the motorcycles look relatively the same, but they all came with big power.  It is a little rough, and doesn't run.  I pay the guy a $100 for it and haul it home. Quick search on Ebay.. $50 in parts and a bit of labor later. It fires every time.  I love it when stuff works the way it was supposed too.  It spins up a little too quickly for him and is still getting used to the clutch.. I have ridden it, and it damn near threw me off the back in a wheelie at 50kph.. It was awesome...

    1987 Honda CR250R.  They jacked the compression up this year and added a factory rear disk brake.  This was The motorcycle I wanted when I was in my teens..  It started and ran, but needed some work.. still does, but I ride it anyway.

Strike that.. I try to ride it, but I suck at it.. It is tall, awkward, and I just haven't been able to put it all together yet..  Yet... I say..  Which brings us to the latest member to reside at Bud E's Home For Wayward Motorcycles.

In an attempt to gain more practice and control, I started watching Motorcycle Trials riding techniques.  They have been referred to as the ballet of motorcycle riding.. Precision and Control is the name of the game.  I thought to myself,  that looks cool. I wonder if I can do that.  I tried to do it on the CR250, but it had other ideas.  I need an inexpensive specialized motorcycle for this.  I found one.
   For Sale, 1982 SWM TL320 motorcycle  $350.  Hmmm.. never heard of them before.

    Turns out I should have.. Bernie Schreiber used to ride for them after a fiasco with Bultaco.  Anyway, it was kind of the "IT" bike to have.  Rotax motor that pulled like a freight train.  Betor suspension all the way around.
     Talked my loving wife into letting me purchase it.  Offered him $250.  Drive way up the coast with the trailer.  Look at it.  It is a little rough and has a small leak from a shift shaft seal.  Okay, owner said it has spark but won't start.. kick it over several times to confirm.. No spark.. What's up dude.. So, he knocks off another $50.  Haul it home.. Clean it up a bit.. start messing with it.. Found the spark plug boot is corroded.  Cleaned up the boot and cut the plug wire back just a bit.  Hook it all up ... Kick, Kick, Kick, Pop, Pop, Pop.. We have ignition...

This is so much fun to ride.  I get why they ride them, every obstacle can be ridden a thousand different ways. It just chugs along, I had no idea that a 2 stroke could run that slowly.  I now am beginning to develop the control necessary to help achieve my goal of one day racing my CR250 without doing bodily harm.  If not, it is still fun and challenging to ride.

I love all aspects of riding motorcycles.  Going into a corner trying to put knees and elbows down is awesome.  Flying across gaps on a motocross bike is amazing.  I want do it all.  Hmm might have to see about a Flat Track Single now...
    How much fun can you have on a limited budget.. A whole heck of a lot don't you know..  Do I still want a fuel injected two stroke enduro motorcycle with an electric start and a kickstand?  Yes... Will it make me a better rider.. Not a chance.

Dollars for dollars,  I will have more fun on my old, beat up, wore out motorcycles; than a guy who just dropped 10k on a new 450f.  Why, because these machines and I have a connection across time.  They evoke memories of growing up wanting to ride like Marty Smith, and David Bailey, Rick Johnson, and Bob Hannah.. They all just seem so much tougher than riders today. 

And if it completely goes to crap.. I am out less than $500... Dang near costs that to take a date to dinner and show these days....  

Polarbear and Bud E.



  1. Great write up Andy. How much overtime to build a bigger shed?

    Now you just need to find that picture of your great grandfather on his Indian.

  2. You are a moto guardian angel of lost motorcycles, I am sure there are many more would like to come to your moto orphanage. Last summer we bought our kid on old Honda CM250 for her starter bike, good forgiving little bike and I wasn't in it for big bucks. If she decides she doesn't want to ride then I am going to cafe racer it! But all signs are that is not going to happen.

  3. Nice post, I like all the stories with a little history thrown in. And I've never really thought about looking for another older bike.

    Though the shed will become a garage then a shop and may end up larger than the house. A fellow rider up here is planning an addition to the shop after the bike count went to 17...