You Only Live Twice

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    1985-1986.

    This was an exciting time for me. My day job was learning to fly helicopters, I had a HOT Babe for a girlfriend and I had my dream bike:

    [​IMG]

    So, what was it like owning my dream bike?

    It was pretty cool. First, I thought this was the best looking bike on the planet. Looking back now I still think it was a great looking bike, better than most more modern and faster sport bikes.

    Second, this thing was a rocket! It was way faster than anything I had ridden, or driven before. Twist the throttle, shift a few times and 120+ came up real fast. At that time I was invincible. I had never crashed and never gotten a ticket so I was not afraid to twist the throttle. I was living just off of route 87, north of Milton, FL, right by Whiting Field. Heading North on 87 it was a pretty deserted road. I would often head up that road just to run it up to 120+. A little ways north of there was Route 4. One day I was cruising along at around 80 when I came over a slight rise. The road ahead was straight and I could probably see a couple of miles. I decided what the heck, time to see what this baby would do. So I twisted the throttle and tucked in. I saw 147 on the Speedo then backed off. That was the fastest I have ever gone on a bike:ricky:ricky:ricky

    The other thing that I loved about the FJ was that when I was riding it I knew I was on pretty much the fastest thing on the road. There where a few other top of the line motorcycles that could match it but there was no production car in the world that could match it in acceleration. At the time that was important to me and it was a great feeling:rayof

    Yeah, I know what you're thinking. I was a squid and won't try to deny it:lol3

    I didn't spend all my time riding around at 120+. The FJ was a very good bike at lower speeds as well and was pretty comfortable. Leg room was a little tight but I was young and I don't remember it bothering me. The seat was pretty comfortable, both for rider and passenger. It would put the stock seat on almost any modern supersport to shame.

    The passenger seat was put to good use. Here's a pic of Debbi and I on a local poker run:

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    There was one ride I remember well. Debbi's parent's lived in Shalimar, FL about an hour away. I rode over there on Christmas Eve. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 70s. Cruising down I-10 I decided I didn't like the silly 55 MPH speed limit. Since I was invincible I cranked it up to 120 for about 20 miles. This was actually a comfortable cruising speed for the FJ. Then I decided it might be time to slow down. A minute later I saw a cop car:ksteve

    I was still invincible:wings

    Well, not completely invincible. The next day as I headed for home the temperature was 28 and dropping:eekers Despite being bundled up like the Michelin tire man I froze my ass off!

    I wish I had taken more pics of my "day job". This is the best I have:

    [​IMG]
    #61
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  2. Recep Aliskan

    Recep Aliskan Been here awhile

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    Thank you for all your comments and explain to me and Sory my English isn't very good
    #62
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Your English is far better than my Turkish:D


    Now, back to my story.

    I had my dream bike but was living in Florida, a state not exactly know for great motorcycle roads. Fortunately I had never lived anywhere with great roads so I didn't know any better.

    So I had some fun riding the FJ. One scenic ride I did a few times was the road from Pensacola Beach to Navarre. The road was on a long, narrow strip of sand that was so white it almost looked like snow.

    Here Debbi poses on the FJ

    [​IMG]

    I also did a few rides to LA. That would be Lower Alabama, not the lesser known LA on the West Coast:lol3

    I found a few other riders to do these rides with. We were looking for some better roads than those in Florida. They were a little better but nothing great.

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    .

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    I still remember the names of a couple of these guys because I had the chance to ride with them again after leaving Florida.

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    The bikes, in case you don't recognize them where a Yamaha 650 Seca Turbo, Harley 1000 sportster, and Yamaha Vision.

    One event I do remember form these rides was stopping somewhere in podunk Alabama and a gal came up to us and asked if one of these bikes was a Harley. So we told her yes and pointed to the Sportster. She then proceeded to tell us that it was the best one:rofl


    But all good things must come to an end. In April of 1986 I completed my flight training and earned my Naval Aviator Wings. I can't find any pics of the winging ceremony but;

    Debbi baked me a cake.

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    Posing in front of a display Huey with Debbi and my parents.

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    Time for a new chapter in my life. Back when I was flying the T-34 I had the Opportunity to do a week long cross country flight out to San Diego. It was a day and a half out and a day back so I had some time off in San Diego. I rented a car an drove around. I decided than and there that I would love to live out there.

    When being transferred by the Navy, you get the chance to fill out a preference card with your wishes.......and then they send you where they need you to go. Sometimes you get lucky and you get what you ask for.
    I got lucky. I got my first choice and was headed out to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eleven (HC-11) in San Deigo, California.:wings:rayof:wings
    #63
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I have been busy today scanning old pics. I have been finding a lot more pics. Unfortunately they aren't very well organized and there are some that I'm not sure where they where taken. Still, it is really cool taking that trip back down memory lane. It may take a while to get going on the next segment of this report due to the sheer number of pics as well as my sketchy memory.

    I did find a few more pics from Florida so I went back and added to and revised some of what I have already posted.

    Thanks again to everyone following along and especially to all who have contributed to this report. If you have any of your own bike pics from 1985 or before, I'd really like to see them and this would be a good time to post them.
    #64
  5. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    :slurp:lurk Keep sorting and scanning. We'll wait. And thanks for sharing your memories...Dave
    #65
  6. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    Great story you have going, Win.:clap

    I don't have a picture of my first bike, so I stole this one.

    1957 Sears Allstate Hardtail 125.

    A guy in the small town that I lived in bought it new. To make it run faster and foul less plugs he cut down the oil mixture and the piston gaulded. At that time a rebuild would be $110.00 and a new crate motor was $124.00.
    Thus my affair with motorcycles began.

    [​IMG]
    #66
  7. pista

    pista Been here awhile

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    First off, Thank You for your service!

    I'm enjoying this trip down memory lane, klaviator, to the point it brings back my own memories from that era.
    My first dream bike was also the FJ1100, and I still have a soft place for that and the FJ1200.

    BTW, I remember going to the Uncle Bill's on W-117th in Cleveland with my father almost every Saturday.
    #67
  8. StingerCo

    StingerCo Been here awhile

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    You got me hooked now Klaviator! I've read your autobiography from front to back and waiting for the next entry. I'm anxious to know why you didn't stay in beautiful San Diego as I see that you are now back in Alabama. Not that Alabama is all that bad......at least it looked pretty nice in the movie Forest Gump :-)
    #68
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  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Did some scanning this morning but then spent the day out with my wife for valentines day. I found some more pics from Ohio and Florida so I'll be adding to those parts before going on to California




    Hi Jerry:wave So what's the story with this bike? Did you rebuild it or replace the Motor?
    #69
  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I grew up in Cleveland and went to Collinwood High School. Then we moved out to Willoughby Hills. I remember that back then there was no Wal mart. I think the two big department stores were K mart and Uncle Bills.

    So the FJ1100 was your dream bike. Did you ever get one or maybe an FJ1200?




    Why didn't I stay in San Diego? It's a long story but if you stay tuned, I'll eventually get to it.

    After I fix and add a few things to what I have already done, I'll start on California. I have a ton of Pics on a lot of memories from when I lived in California.
    #70
  11. pista

    pista Been here awhile

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    Could not afford it back then so had to settle for a Kawasaki KH400. That little two stroke triple sure was a blast though.

    So now I have an FJR1300. But I still love the looks of those old FJ's with their big air-cooled engines. Especially in red trim.
    #71
  12. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    Got the new engine. Rode that bike about 3 years and through the years never forgot how much how much fun it is to have the wind in your face.
    #72
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I'm sure that most of us, at least those who weren't rich, have had a dream bike that we couldn't afford and have bought "lesser" bikes that were what we could afford at the time. I do remember the kawasaki two stroke triples. They were cool bikes. I remember lusting after them my self. One of my regrets is never owning a two stroke street bike. I considered buying a Suzuki TS250 but ended up buying the Kawasaki KE175 instead. The KE175 was a two stroke and I did ride it on the street but it wasn't a true street bike. Oh, well you can't own them all, at least not when you have lusted after as many bikes as I did.

    Got any pics of that old KH400?



    And lets not forget the bugs in your teeth:rofl
    #73
  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After getting my wings, I loaded up my GLH with most of my belongings and headed off for California. My furniture, which wasn't much and two bikes where loaded on a moving truck and also headed west. The drive was very memorable as I first headed for Boulder, CO to visit an old friend and then cut across some spectacular scenery on the way to the Grand Canyon and then finally to San Diego. This was my first time out west with the exception of the cross country flight I had made to San Diego in the T-34. However, this trip was made in a cage (although a very fun to drive cage:evil) and not a motorcycle so I won't go into details here since this is a motorcycle forum. Also, I would end up coming back through all those places on a bike more than once.

    Getting to San Diego I reported to HC-3, which was the training squadron for the H-46 Sea Knight Helicopter. It was right next to HC-11 which was my eventual destination.

    Soon I found a place to stay and had my bikes delivered. That was when the biggest motorcycle adventure of my life up to that point began. I headed out on weekends and began to explore on my own. All I had to do was head east and I was in the mountains. I have always been drawn to mountains like a moth to a flame. This was my first experience riding a motorcycle in the mountains or on really twisty roads. This was back before the days of the internet or motorcycle forums so I had no idea what was out there before I actually went and saw it for myself.

    What an absolute blast. Endless curves, spectacular scenery and the fantastic adventure of riding into the unknown. My memories of those first rides is pretty hazy and I'm not sure exactly where I rode. The best way to describe those rides is:
    :ricky:wings:ricky:happay:ricky

    Then I met some other guys in the squadron who rode. One of them was a California native who knew the roads as well as many of the local riders. Soon I was heading out on group rides, first with other guys in the squadron, then some of the local "fast guys."

    Just a few random pics from my upcoming adventure.

    I think this was overlooking Lake Elsinore from the Ortega Highway.

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    The Lookout Roadhouse on the Ortega HWY.

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    Riding with friends.

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    Having a blast on a curvy road. I believe this was Japutal Lyons Valley Rd.

    [​IMG]
    #74
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  15. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Subscribed. Best thread in a long time. Can't wait for the next installment Klaviator.
    #75
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  16. longrides1

    longrides1 Been here awhile

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    AFCM squid checking in for this great R&R. :clap

    Wonder if we ever sailed together in the late 80's or early 90's?
    #76
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the compliment. I'm really enjoying doing this as it brings back a lot of great memories. Next installment is coming up.






    Thanks for checking in Master Chief. Did we sail together? I tried to plan my career to minimize being Haze, grey and underway. I did a short cruise on the Nimitz in 87 and then cruised on the Wabash 87-88.
    #77
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    In August of 1986 I took a short break from riding and flying to go back to Florida and take care of some unfinished business.

    I picked up a Spousal Unit, Mark 1, Mod 0, one each. :rofl

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    On a more serious note, the best decision I have ever made.

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    Normally I am the one with the weird sense of humor but in this case:

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    With Debbi's Grandmother:

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    Our Honeymoon consisted of one night in a nice hotel at the beach followed by a drive to San Diego in Debbi's old Corolla. We did get one pic of our "honeymoon" I think this was in Yuma where we stopped on our last night before getting into San Diego.

    [​IMG]


    Then it was time to ride some more. There were several other guys in the squadron who rode so we did some group rides. We headed out into the mountains to enjoy the endless curves and scenic views.

    Taking a break.

    [​IMG]

    We stopped in what would be one of our favorite destinations, Julian, Ca.

    [​IMG]

    I had ridden with some of these riders in Florida and some I met here. I'll go ahead and introduce them. From the left.

    Chuck. He only had about 8000 miles of riding experience but rode his Nighthawk S like he was an experienced expert. I think he was just exceptionally well coordinated.

    Chris. Riding a Yamaha Vision. You may remember him from my Florida Pics. He was a Marine H-46 pilot stationed at MCAS Tustin. He would ride down to San Diego to ride with us. He was another very talented rider.

    Ted. Another one of the "Florida Boys." He rode a 1000 sportster.

    Debbi. Passenger extrordinaire. She was a real trooper sitting on the back of a sportbike for 250 miles or so in a day.

    Ray and Sandra. Husband and wife in a Gold Wing.

    Phil. He was a California native and knew all the local roads as well as local riders. He was riding a K100RS which was not in the pic. He was another very experienced rider.


    Although you can't see it. All the bikes on this ride had Florida tags. Someone came up and asked us if we rode all the way from Florida. So of course we said that we had gotten on the road real early that morning:rofl

    Julian was a touristy but really cool little town nestled way up in the mountains. There were several good places to eat and they were famous for their apple pie. Debbi and I ride up there one time for lunch. Debbi wanted to split some apple pie for desert but I had never particularly cared for apple pie. But she twisted my arm and got an Apple pie ALA mode. It only took one bite and then we were fighting over it.:fightWe nearly stabbed each other with our forks:lol3 I was now an apple pie convert. that was the last time we split a pie there:D

    Also on this ride we did a little bike swapping. Phil and Ted swapped bikes. Phil, wearing full BMW blue and grey leathers did look out of place on the Sportster:huh

    Towards the end of the ride I swapped with Ted. I took his sportster and he took my FJ and Debbi. We got on the highway and I thought I was riding a jackhammer :eekers I don't know how he ride with us all day because we had been riding pretty fast. But then we got off the highway and on to a street with traffic lights and a lower speed limit and suddenly the sportster was in it's element. The motor felt really cool accelerating from a light and then rumbling along at 45 or so. That was my first but not last ride on a Harley. Definitely an interesting experience.:ricky
    #78
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    One day I just happened to stop and talk to a guy on a bike in a local parking lot. We decided to get together and ride some time.

    This is Scott and Lynn.(as best as I can remember) They were on a shiny new Ninja 750.

    [​IMG]

    Debbi was tired and taking a short nap. We had a fun ride out to Julian for lunch. Debbi and I got our own Apple pies this time:D

    One of the spots that I thought was really cool when I visited San Diego back in 85 was Mt Soledad. I drove to it in a Renta Cage. I knew then that it would be better to ride there on a bike. So, one day I did.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't know it at the time but this would be the last pic I took of the Vision. It's days in my garage where numbered. I was mostly riding the FJ but for around town the Vision was actually a more fun ride. The way the V-twin accelerated from lower speeds was just more pleasant than the four cylinder FJ. Despite being far less powerful than the FJ it didn't feel slow at all at the speeds normally used around town.

    This cross was on top of a hill with a great 360 degree view. It doesn't look like I took any pics of the view.

    The cross on the hill later became the subject of lawsuits by protesters
    determined to remove religion from public land. I assumed that it had been removed but a quick check with wikipedia shows that it is still there.:clap Maybe I'll get the chance to visit it again some day.

    More info on Mt Soledad and the cross is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Soledad
    #79
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  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    The FJ1100 was pretty comfortable for a sportbike, even two up. I think we did some rides up to 250 miles 2 up. However, it was no Gold Wing. The problem was that Gold Wings were for old foggies. Or at least that's how I felt at the time. I figured it would be at least 30 years before I'd consider something like that.

    .

    On top of being an old folks bike it was way too expensive.

    .

    .

    I don't remember exactly what happened to change my mind but one day I was in the Yamaha dealer and noticed they had these leftover Yamaha Ventures. So I took one for a test ride.

    What a revelation:ricky:ricky The V four engine felt like a small block V-8 and had a nice rumble to it. The steering on the Venture, despite being a 750 pound full dress touring bike, was lighter than that of the FJ :eek7 I'm pretty sure it was mostly due to the wide handlebar. I also read some magazine reviews. They were very positive. I wanted one:wings

    I just had to decide between the 83 venture or the 84 Venture Royal. The Royal had a stereo and built in air compressor. It was also more expensive. I went with the standard venture partly to save money and partly because i really didn't see the need for a radio. Riding was entertaining enough. I didn't need a radio to keep from getting bored. The price on this new Venture was $4300. I also traded in the Vision so I paid less than that.

    [​IMG]

    The Vision had been a fun bike and I only put 14,300 miles on it but at that point in my life I couldn't justify having three bikes.
    #80