Originally Posted by rhino_adv
I think the rarest bike I ever owned was the 100cc 1971 Rockford TAKA. These were built with Bridgestone tooling in the early 1970s. I never saw any more, other than the ones my father and uncle sold from their motorcycle shop in Atlanta, Illinois.
First motorcycle shop I ever worked in back in 1970 was one that specialized in British bike repair but also was the local dealer for Bridgestone an Montesa. Those Bridgestones were *ROCKETS*... The 90cc models, 100's, 175 twins, and 350 twins. Very high tech for their day, too. Chrome liners, rotary valves, and even selective shifting on some models... Where you could have a gearbox that shifted *normally* - up and back through the gears - or with the flip of a lever on the cases you could have a *rotary* shift, where you had neutral at the bottom of the pattern, then would shift up 1-2-3-4-5 and then if you pulled up again it went straight back into neutral!!!
A bit bizarre to ride at first, but made a bit of sense in situations with a ton of stop-and-go. Still, it was obviously not something most folks found useful...
Still, I thought those Bridgestones bikes were trick, and I really wanted one of their 350 GTR rotary-valve twins.
Thanks for jogging the memory!