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Old 11-08-2013, 09:39 AM   #46
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Great thread.
Riding looked so much simpler back in the day.
I need to remember to take more photos. I may be in the highlight of my riding days now!
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:23 PM   #47
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In some aspects it was.

A positive thing was that you could fix your bike on the side of the road with hand tools.

A negative thing was that you usually had to.

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Old 11-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Rizingson View Post
Wow, now that would be an epic road trip. Doing it with a bunch of buddies had to be the best way possible to spend the summer. I can definitely see that getting together to tell stories about that trip would be something to look forward to every 5 years!
I noticed you had some pics in later RR's, which you had been down to the 4 corners area also. (much clearer than my pics from '74)
Only four of us made it the whole way. Two left in Virginia to return to work. One is still in California.I kept a diary, the 'Official Road Book', so we know where we went even with our fading memories. The 4 Corners Area sure has changed over the years, as has all the country.It sure would be great to retrace our route like Augiedog did, but do it in motels instead of camping.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:09 PM   #49
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reminds me of a CB350 to California from Illinois

In the summer of 1975, I rode a Honda CB350 from Chicago, IL to Berkeley, CA. A friend of mine had moved there to go to graduate school, and he had driven his Datsun 510 there, which left his CB350 in Chicago at his parent's house. I volunteered to pick it up in Chicago, and ride it to him, timing my ride so I could then get a lift back to Champaign, IL, where I lived, with him when he drove the Datsun back to visit after his first year of grad school. At the time, I had a BMW R50/2, so I knew what comfort could be like (it had a great large dual saddle), though the power was about the same. I figured Hondas would not break when they were relatively new, so I thought I should have no trouble with mechanicals. I had only one minor issue the whole trip, too. For luggage, I bungee-corded my K-mart sleeping bag to the tank like a tank bag, and used two Boy Scout Yucca packs (one of the larger BSA bags at the time), as saddle bags. I hooked the clips at the bottom of the straps to the bags at the opposite side, creating a sling of two packs over the seat. In one went a plastic washtub for rigidity, and I put my clothes in the tub, along with a sterno stove and my Boy Scout cook kit. I emptied out my plastic, snap lid electric drill case, and put tools in that and a spare tube. That went into the other Yucca pack. This created a fairly stiff arrangement that held shape fairly well. My tan rubberized K-mart rainsuit went in there too. That could double as rain and wind protection. I had a K-mart pup tent strapped to the seat (notice the shopping theme here?). My bomber jacket, work gloves, harness boots and jeans completed the ATGATT arrangement. I felt like I was loaded for bear. I had recently read "The complete motorcycle nomad" by Roger Lovin, and there were a lot of tips and encouragement about how to find a free sleeping spot by the roadside. So I figured I would do that, being on a student budget. I would be taking the 2-lane roads, of course. US36 was my main route to Denver, and then 34 and 40 until I had to get on I-80 in Nevada. My first day I met someone on a BMW R69S, and having shown him the nail key that we all shared, he let me swap rides for about a half hour. It was heaven. The buzzing of the CB350 I had to get used to all over again. We found a farmers field that was private near US36 (I have since found it on Google satellite view, and it looks like I remember it) at deep dusk , were gone in the early light, and I left him where our paths diverged (he lived in western Kansas). I found a similar field in Colorado, just before Denver got too close, and there it was I had my only problem- one of the carb floats had developed pinhole leaks, and it submerged and flooded when I turned on the fuel to start the bike in the morning. I was very glad I had turned it off that night. CB350 carbs never leaked, at least compared to the old Brit and BMW carbs, so many people just left them on. The holes were too small to drain, so I started it after draining the flooded bowl, and kept turning the fuel on enough to just run. Then I stopped the engine, took the float out, laid it on the hot cylinder head, and watched the gas boil out in multiple streams. I reasoned it had taken a while to flood, so I had a while to ride without problems, and in fact I made it the rest of the trip without it happening again. I tried to buy a float in Fort Collins, but they had none. The next night was in the Big Thompson canyon near Fort Collins, where I stayed with two friends, the next was in the Bristlecone pines next to US40 in Utah, and in Nevada, I had the experience of a headwind so strong that I had to use 4th gear (of 5) to go downhill. After that, a night at Donner Pass. The night in Donner Pass was interesting in that I got there after dark, and thought I would try my Iron Butt Motel trick again (before the term was invented-I had never used the tent). At the top of the pass, I swung that brilliant headlight around to search the area, and the first thing I saw was a frozen lake and a sign that said 'Thin Ice- no Skating'. No wonder I was cold. I found a State Park a few miles down the road. The entry station was vacant, so I found a campsite, left on all my gear, stuffed the sleeping bag into the tent, rolled the tent around it for added insulation, and fell asleep next to a snowbank. I awoke warm enough (but not toasty) around dawn, packed in about 5 minutes, and was gone. There would not be anyone to pay for several hours, and I sure was not going to hang around for it. I got to Bezerkley at around noon, and the next morning we drove straight through in shifts (with another friend who had flown out) back to Champaign-Urbana. Other than a ringing in my ears, the only damage to me was severe chafing on my backside where I was sitting on the crossed Yucca pack straps. Not that the seat was that comfortable, but the straps made it that much worse.
About 8 years later, my then-girlfriend, now my wife, rode her Yamaha XS400 from San Diego to Madison, WI in October. That's another story. A current friend of mine rode his Kawasaki 400 from Champaign-Urbana to Philmont Boy Scout Ranch once as well.
Who says those small bikes can't tour? We all had a blast. It sounds like you did too. Back in the day (I'm only a few years younger than you, I think) we saw folks like us all the time. A CB450 with a lot of bungee cords was a touring machine. Occasionally one sees small bikes traveling, and there are some good accounts here in ADVrider, but that certainly is not the common 'wisdom'.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #50
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you actually expect people to take responsibility for their actions in today's society?!

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Old 11-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #51
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Great story tlub, I'm very familiar with the roads you took, you might even have camped in my pasture!! It seems like there are indeed many folks who've taken an adventure type of ride back in the '60s and 70s. I've read as many as I can from this site but I'm sure there are many more stories, however diggin' up pics to go with it seems much more difficult. Those old Kodak 126's and 110's that we carried back then didn't offer much in the way of quality, plus you never new whether the shot would be any good until you got home and had it developed.
I was fortunate on my trips that I never once broke down, not even a flat tire. Of course numerous chain adjustments, point gaps and valve lash adjustments were done when noticeable performance drops indicated a need.
We've also changed oil out in the middle of nowhere (EPA requirements not withstanding) My vintage bikes today definitely have reliability issues which would cause concern, if I tried to retrace my paths with one. Mostly electrical concerns, plus I would want to push them as hard as we did back then either. It takes quite awhile for me to build up trust in a new to me vintage bike. I'm getting to old to push them very far.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #52
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Great thread. I enjoy these old trip reports, so few photos were usually taken we need to use our imagination to fill in the gaps.

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Old 11-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #53
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old bikes and reliability

Well, just this summer my son and I took a trip from Madison,WI to Quebec City and back. He was on an 1968 BMW R69S; I was on my 'new' bike, a 1972 R75/5, which I bought in Feb of 1976. Apart from one issue with 87 octane and bad pinging on the R69S, we didn't miss a beat. I'm in the process of writing that up. But reliability is not an issue, and I'd take those 40-45 year old bikes anywhere. Electrics are not a problem- If I carry a spare rotor that means I'll never need it!
It really was a hugely rewarding 'Dad' experience to have my son (age 19) tour on a bike I would have lusted for (and did) when I was his age, 40 years earlier, and all I had was a 250cc HD Aermacchi Sprint. He really understood the time machine he had entered, and that means a lot to me.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #54
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Great thread, Rizingson! Thank you.

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:23 AM   #55
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Memory lane

what a ride down memory lane
My ride was a '71 Honda 750. Six weeks 12 thousand miles California to Nova Scotia and back in 1972. I just found the little note book journal of the trip. I need to scan the slides and post up the report. We too spent a couple hours hiding under an overpass to get out of the storm!JB
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Rizingson View Post
[COLOR=white]As I had mentioned, this was my last road trip prior to getting married, but didn't mean to imply my wife put a stop to bike travel. (4 daughters would do that later) In fact she joined me and my brother on several more trips over the next couple of years, riding on the back of my new '73 Suzuki GT550 Indy. Now that bike was smooooth riding and had plenty of power for two up riding through the mountains or own the interstate at 75 mph all day. My brother had also updated from the Here's some pics from a couple years ago of my man cave and what seems to be my ever growing collection of Vintage Japanese bikes from the '60s to about '75.
Me by one of my two lifts, just finishing up some electrical work on a '70 Suzuki T-250II Hustler.

And a couple of shots that doesn't come close to capturing the insanity

Now day's, since I retired, I just enjoy wrenching on the bikes and ride most of them as much as possible, although that can be a monumental task at times, with keeping batteries up and carbs clean etc. I also take in as many bike shows as possible and enjoy showing many of my own as well.
I still dream of road trips, but not through big cities or interstate travel. Things like the TAT do get my juices flowing, but then I'd have to decide which bike to take. Also I wouldn't go it alone like I used to, just for safety reasons.

Here's the bike I usually take these days, if I do wish to ride some paved backroads into town, sometimes the wife rides along as well. Yes, I still keep it Vintage, even though I own a more modern Cruiser.

It's a show ready 100% original '73 Yamaha TX650. I really shouldn't even put it on the road and chance any rock chips, but some day's I just like to get away for some nostalgic reminiscing still!
If there is a Heaven as far as I'm concerned this is what it would look like.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:59 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by jbcaddy View Post
what a ride down memory lane
My ride was a '71 Honda 750. Six weeks 12 thousand miles California to Nova Scotia and back in 1972. I just found the little note book journal of the trip. I need to scan the slides and post up the report. We too spent a couple hours hiding under an overpass to get out of the storm!JB
That would make an awesome report!! By all means, start scanning photo's and doing the write-up (at least you kept a diary of events) The CB750 was a great tour bike back then. Can't wait to read it!
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:07 PM   #58
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Thank you very much for the trip back. I was 12 in 1972, in the sixth grade and racing around on my Honda 50.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:24 PM   #59
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I really dig the groovy luggage you guys made up. Thanks for turning me on man, you guys are some cool cats!
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:36 PM   #60
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Hey I just saw your thread. Pics are awesome...

The old Hondas were pretty amazing. That was my 75 CB500T on the Dempster Highway...NY to Alaska to Ushuaia. 40,000 miles without a hitch man..
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