Thinking of past times - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of past times

In 1968 I bought my first bike. Since then life has been a big roller coaster ride. One thing I will always remember is the Easy Rider. We rode our bikes to the Drive-in in Blueridge. It was a sight to see. Bikes parked everywhere. People drinking ,smoking pot and some doing harder drugs. It was one of those things that you never forget. It was the begining of a new era and
us older riders were a part of it. Did some crazy **** ,some of it I am not very proud of but it was a part of growing. One thing I do remember ,Betty was in high school and I would do wheelies around the school just to impress her. A silly thing to do but I got a big kick out of it. It was some fun times and I am so glad that I was a part of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03FzVEUxEPU


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009, 07:02 AM
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I remember 1968 very well. I was fighting a war in Vietnam, was shot up twice and came back with only half a mind, if that.

'09 Versys -Green

TET'68 Survivor
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009, 08:22 AM
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1968 was also the first year I bought a brand new bike, a Honda S65 for $325 out the door in Cleveland,TN...........boy things have changed. Bike is long gone, wish it wasn't but I do still have the '68 TN license plate.
Forty plus years later I've never been without a bike and I've been thru a bunch. Currently have six Kawasaki's but gotta say beyond a doubt, the Versys is the BEST all around bike I've ever owned.

DallasDon,
I know I'm late but thanks for your service.
I was with the 101st Airborne Air Mobile Detachment for 18 months.

Dan
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 12:09 AM
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Got mine in 68 too

I skipped the junior/senior prom to go riding on the day that I got my first bike - an Allstate 124. Not long after I switched to BSA and didn't think that I'd ever ride anything else again. For several years, I rode one English bike after another, spending more time working on them than riding. They leaked oil, the lights died every time that it rained (damned Lucas electronics!) but man, there has never been a more wicked sounding bike than a 650 long stroke, narrow bore British twin. We all hit the drive in too for Easy Rider. I think that about 15 of us showed up, but most of us got kicked out before the movie was over for jumping our bikes over the mounds where the cars parked. (Most younger readers probably won't know what the heck I'm talking about - "they parked on mounds???")
I'm glad that I didn't have access to bikes like we have now - I wouldn't have survived them. In 1968, the BSA 650 Lightning was the fastest production bike in the world. With all of 45 hp, it didn't come close to the performance of the 'beginner' sport bikes that we have today. Something else that we didn't have then is the amount of deer that we have now. We rode like maniacs, racing through the mountains here in western NC night and day. We hardly ever saw wildlife on the roads - back then, anything that raised its head in the woods got shot, regardless of season. Now I see deer nearly every night as I ride home. If I'm on the road at night, I'm paranoid as hell, riding with one hand on the clutch and the other on the front brake.
It was some crazy times, for sure. I had some good times, but I have even better times now. A lot of the guys that I rode with then are gone now - 3 suicides, a couple killed in crashes, one of overdose and two in Nam. Two of the suicides were Nam vets as well. A lot of really bad stuff came out of that war, and the way that the vets were treated was some of the worst. Of the group of about 15 riders that I hung out with back then, only two of us are still riding. Both of us quit for about two decades though, which may be why we're still kicking.
Never did get that Harley chopper, though I did have a BSA Lightning chopped (a ridiculous looking contraption.)
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 10:55 AM
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I was totally bike crazy then! I owned a 1955 Norton 500 Dominator that made all the right noises, worked on bikes for a living and had my very own motorcycle store by 1978.

I still have my Easy Rider sound track album!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 11:02 AM
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not me!!

68 was 3 years before I was a gleam in my fathers eye!! But I got my license in 1987 and my M lic in 1989 and have had a bike since then. Done my share of stupidity too!!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-05-2009, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grok View Post
I was totally bike crazy then! I owned a 1955 Norton 500 Dominator that made all the right noises, worked on bikes for a living and had my very own motorcycle store by 1978.

I still have my Easy Rider sound track album!
I like this post I also had a Norton Commando. One of many great bikes a long the way.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 12:29 AM
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I like this post I also had a Norton Commando. One of many great bikes a long the way.
Well mountainrider, I owned a 1968 Commando too, the first bunch off the production line, they used Atlas motors with the Commando cams in that batch. I had it for 9 years, two frame-up rebuilds and about 130,000 miles of riding. I pretty well wore it out! It was one of my faves.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 06:26 PM
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Well mountainrider, I owned a 1968 Commando too, the first bunch off the production line, they used Atlas motors with the Commando cams in that batch. I had it for 9 years, two frame-up rebuilds and about 130,000 miles of riding. I pretty well wore it out! It was one of my faves.
I still have a brand new Dunstall needle roller cam that converted the Atlas breather port to a central oil feed setup. The cam has oil feed passages on the opening ramps. I owned an 810 Dunstall Atlas for a time, but found Triumphs more durable. I still own a '67 Bonneville TT Special set up for the street.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 07:41 PM
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I still have a brand new Dunstall needle roller cam that converted the Atlas breather port to a central oil feed setup. The cam has oil feed passages on the opening ramps. I owned an 810 Dunstall Atlas for a time, but found Triumphs more durable. I still own a '67 Bonneville TT Special set up for the street.
Well you clearly need my brand new, in the box Tommaselli Forged Aluminum Alloy Clip-ons!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 09:08 PM
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I wouldn't mind seeing some pics of these bikes...





By the way, I was born in '68, so yes it was a good year...



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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 09:54 PM
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Old bikes? No problem.

I bought the '66 Bonneville from the original owner and it has 6050 miles on it. The '65 Super Hawk is a 3-owner bike with 1226 miles.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 10:04 PM
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Very nice!!



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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 09:17 AM
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Well you clearly need my brand new, in the box Tommaselli Forged Aluminum Alloy Clip-ons!
Actually, I still have a set on the shelf

Current project is a Triumph/Trackmaster street tracker. I put together a full boat 750 long rod conversion, and it has Yam 650 twin front forks and dual discs. Rear is a quick change track hub and disc.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 10:10 AM
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What! Your not using Ceriani forks!


Sounds like you have some fun projects in the works, we will need pictures!
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 12:13 PM
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I've got a set of Ceriani MX forks, but I lucked into the Yam stuff all new including forks, calipers, rotors and wheels from an unfinished project of a friend. That way, all I had to do was adapt the stem to the Trackmaster frame head. I've got a TZ750 front fender as well.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
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I remember 1968 very well. I was fighting a war in Vietnam, was shot up twice and came back with only half a mind, if that.
Don,
AT LEAST you have a valid reason for having "... half a mind..." which, from your posts I believe is an exaggeration . (I managed to do a bit of sight seeing there, and Tan Son Nhut, in '70 and '73 with the RCAF).
Ed

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2009, 07:09 PM
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First bike was a Honda Trail 55. I think I may still have scars from the beating I got when my brother and I decided the garden looked like a great place to ride. Boy was our mom pissed!

Honda Trials Bike, Yamaha 125 trail bike, RM250, Honda Odessy, Honda ATC250r, CB650 Custom and a ten year break to go play in the desert with Sadam and friends.

And look at me now. Still on the green side of the grass. Thanks to my fellow vets for your honor and courage.

Ride On,
Bob

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