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My Bikes: A Pictorial History  

Bultaco Metralla

My first motorcycle was a 1968 Bultaco Metralla. It had been ridden hard and put away wet on more than one occasion -- the previous owner had raced it against Ducatis and others on the 250cc circuit.  I bought it for $200, including a dustbin fairing that I never went back to pick up.  I had never been on a motorcycle before, so I walked it home, cleaned it up and took it for a spin or two on the parking lot next door.  I finally figured out how it shifted (If I recall, it was a right-foot shifter) and how the brakes worked, bought the cheapest helmet I could find, and went around terrorizing the neighborhoods of Madison, Wisconsin.  I survived...and, of course, I wish I had this bike today!  |  Another photo of a Metralla  |  Huge page of Bultaco Metralla information 

 

Yamaha RD400

My next bike was a 1978 Yamaha RD400. I took out my first bank loan to buy this bike -- I can't remember now how much it cost, I think around $1600? I put a set of low bars on it and blasted around the back roads of Washington County, N.Y. Finally got my motorcycle driving license with this bike by passing a road test on a rainy spring day.
 

Honda XL185
This is a photo of a 1999 Honda XL185, I guess they're still selling them in some countries! 
Mine was pretty similar to this, but U.S. spec and circa 1978.

Next came an on/off road Honda XL185.  I had a dairy farm, and the never-ending battle with escaped cows justified this purchase. Only problem was a goose we had raised since it was hatched, who developed an affinity for the bike's wiring! Just about every time I wanted to start the bike to go round up some escaped cows, it wouldn't run, due to some wire or another being ripped out of the harness.  The goose didn't only have a taste for Yamaha flavored wire -- any car or truck parked in the driveway was fair game for that greasehead!
 

Honda CX500

Bike #4 was a Honda CX500.  For some strange reason, I took a liking to its weird, splayed cylinders and odd shaped fuel tank.  I was coming home from work one day and somehow crossed over the double yellow line. When I tried to get back into my lane, I realized the road had heaved right down the middle, and I was afraid I would get spit off if I tried to ease it back over. As I was pondering this situation at 50 mph, a police car appeared from around the bend up ahead.  I quickly jumped back over to my lane, and he made a Hawaii 5-0 style U-turn and pulled me over.  He accused me of "playing chicken"! It took some doing to convince him that I wasn't prone to such foolishness, and I escaped without a ticket.  A colleague from work passed by while we were discussing this, and honked his horn and yelled out "Give him a ticket!". The UPS man saw this bike parked on the walkway to my house and offered to buy it, so I sold it.
 

Honda Ascot VT500

I fell for the styling of the Honda Ascot VT500, and bought one -- I think it was around 1990.  Although I liked the looks of this bike, I found the handling to be very scary -- I never felt confident in the corners.  I think it might have been the tires, they felt like they were wiggling and it would give the bike the shakes.  I sold it soon after I bought it; I had decided to go back to college and needed the money.

 

BMW K75

The year 1999 found me longing for another bike that would be appropriate for the beautiful back roads near my current home.  I saw this great 1994 BMW K75 for sale at a local Harley bike shop and bought it in the fall of 1999.  It only had 4,000 miles on it!  So I joined the BMW community, and learned about the dreaded spline lube up close and personal!  After all these years, I took the MSF Motorcycle Rider Course and Experienced Rider Course.  What a difference!  I felt much more confident that I did before.  I can't believe how many things I didn't know about motorcycling.  I took to wearing a full-face or flip-up helmet, gloves and full leathers or other protective clothing.  I installed a Kisan headlight modulator; K-Tail2 brake lights; a Signal Dynamics LED brake light bar; LifeBright LED 5-second blinking brake lights; Run-n-Lites on the front turn signals; and Glo-flex reflective tape on the saddlebags.  I also installed dual Fiamm horns.  I have posted articles on installing these products and related product reviews; check the wBW Motorcycle Technical Articles page or the Motorcycle Product Reviews page.  I sold this bike in September of 2002.
 

BMW R65

A recent addition: a beautiful 1986 BMW R65.  The last of a breed!  Not too many R65's were made in 1986 or the last year of production, 1987.  This beauty had only 22.5k miles on it when I bought it.  It is the sweetest riding, nicest handling bike I've owned.  It just feels so great and it has a real personality.  I still have the K75, but now I know why Airhead riders are so fanatic about their bikes! (More photos of this R65)
 
I had always wanted a BMW R100RS, and finally got a prime example, a 1984 "Last Edition" model.  It is shown on these pages.  I ended up selling it a short time later because it was too tall, too heavy and didn't handle well.
 

Triumph Thunderbird Sport

Here's my 1999 Triumph Thunderbird Sport.  I fell in love with the styling of this unique bike.  Check out the wBW Thunderbird Sport page.
  
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