I can hardly wait to get off this damn thing I am riding for more than one reason. The burning, numbing, hand to elbow vibration is beyond description except to those who are experienced. I have bolted and pieced together this vibrator again, seemingly possessed and hell bent on self destruction, for one final time. My destination is to get to Olson Bros., in ONE piece.
I am burning - with excited anticipation - for another reason... I am going to take delivery of the new & incredible HONDA CB750 4 - FOUR - 4 CYLINDER motorcycle!
Art Olson had called the day before. FINALLY - the two 750's he had ordered, arrived at his shop from Japan, "one red one and one blue one." I had wanted the red bike, but it had prior been spoken for and was already in it's new owners hands.
Earlier, before this long awaited day, while visiting Olson's Cycle, I remember Art describing the new 750 four cylinder he had seen AND ridden earlier in the year at the dealer's show in Las Vegas. I could not imagine what this bike would be like, except from a 17 year old farm boy's imagination of studying - for hours - a by now well worn fold out ad picturing the bluish-green bike, described as, "This is the big one, Jack. Sooner or later, you knew Honda would do it." Little did I realize, my 750 was actually CB750 1004779 - to be known decades later as a "sandcast."
I remember to this very day, Art hitting the START BUTTON and the engine coming to life - such an incredible sound, beyond any description to anything I could ever have imagined ! Art, my dear Dad, then 63 and I, all with mouths open, grinning in pure rapture of it all. You have to understand, Art's dealership went back to the early 30's selling Indian, then Triumph - and now Honda. Art's shop had sold a 1934 Indian Four we had bought a couple years earlier on a farm auction for $187.50. Art's wife worked with him in the shop, his older brother had died years before in a motorcycle racing accident and his son Bobby, would suffer a horrific accident on a Gold Wing a few years later. We all loved motorcycles.
I remember to this very day, riding home, the SWEET SMELL of that new bike as it came to full operating temperature for the very first time. I remember the INCREDIBLY SMOOTH power delivery and the SNARLING RIPPING sound of exhaust exiting those four individual pipes. I remember, riding into the dusk, winding back on Highway 12, seeing the speedo and tach lights GLOW BRIGHTLY after I had flipped the light switch on.
I remember to this very day, May 1970, at the crack of dawn, the Sunday after the Friday I graduated from high school, sleeping bag bungeed to the back, leaving rural Nebraska, speeding for San Francisco to spend two weeks with my Aunt & Uncle in Angwin, CA. I remember to this very day, riding much of the way at speeds greater than 90 per, arriving 32 hours and 1,680 miles later to my Uncle & Aunts house. Of the trip out, to this very day, I have unforgetable memories of Scott's Bluff, Shoshoni, Evanston, Salt Lake, The Salt Flats, Wendover, Reno, the Sierra's and the Golden Gate. I remember the trip out, averaging 140 miles between fills.
Upon arrival, I remember an oil leak - removing and repairing the neutral switch's plastic insert. The dealer had, as yet, no parts for this new machine. I remember the dealer's advice, my rear tire and chain being half worn, to ride back less quickly than I had come out, to conserve wear of these parts, also as yet not in stock.
My return trip, I remember to this very day, vainly trying to outrun a drenching ice cold rain on I-80 through Wyoming. Just getting ahead of the storm, only to have to fill the tank to the very rim and have the storm catch me again -and- again -and- again. I remember, riding back, averaging 180 miles between fills.
I remember having to wait a couple weeks for a "high speed" tire and chain to come in. Art had these parts on back order, no other tires or chains in stock were suitable for the incredible power of this bike.
By July, 1971 - many GREAT memories, barely 18 months and 20,000 miles later, still a teenager, my beloved 4779 was stolen from inside a locked garage. I remember the long silent ride back home, in my sister's car, feeling despondant to the point of gut ache ill.
Fast forward - Three decades and alot of great of bikes have passed by. NOW - It's September 30, 2002. I just finished making an agreement on the telephone to buy CB750 1004363 in Petaluma, CA and agree to pick the bike up in person the following week. EXACTLY to the day, 33 years earlier, I had just purchased 4779 ! Leaving Sunday, 6 AM, October 6, 2002, I drive 18 hours straight from Ft. Collins and arrive to Petaluma shortly after midnight Sunday, October 7. Get a motel, a few hours sleep, wake up and take delivery of 4363, EXACTLY 33 years to the day 4779 was registered and licensed in my name.
I started collecting the parts needed for a TOTAL restoration and completed work May 2, 2003. Late in the evening, I pushed the electric start button and went for a ride - What a thrill - 33 years later - ALL OVER AGAIN !!!!
I am trully looking forward to meeting all of you here and absolutely trust your enthusiasm for the 1969 Honda CB750 !!!!