Putting $1000 to really good use

I bought two non-running old Honda dirt-bikes.  One a 1976, the other is a 1979.  Both are 250cc XR’s.  Well, the 1979 is running but the clutch is lunched and the shocks are toast so I needed the older one for the parts to get it running properly.

Old Motorcycle - 1979

Old Motorcycle – 1979


Older Motorcycle 1976

“Sweetie, do you really need a motorbike?  We don’t have a road.”

“It’s a dirt bike!”

“We don’t have dirt!”

She has a point.  To get the eventually-running ’79 to a road or trail or even a bunch o’ dirt will first require fixing it and then putting it in a boat and transferring it up or down the coastline.  Smidge awkward given that we live on remote island on an isolated, high (75 feet) granite slab on a 30 degree, irregular slope to the sea.  Still, we brought it over from the other island with it’s buddy-bike and we got ’em up to the shop so it can be done.  Mind you, we had 7 people engaged in the effort.  So, it is gonna be some kind of a challenge if it’s going to be a regular thing.

“When it is all done, I can get it to a road and you can climb on the back in the traditional biker-chick position and then we’ll drive around the island and see it all from the vantage of a logging road.”

“I am not getting on that thing!”

“Why not?  You have biker-chick genes.  Certainly the attitude.  Just think, really short shorts, torn jean-blouse, high kicky boots…maybe some ruby-red lipstick?”

“You’re nuts!  I am not doing that.  I do quilts now……and, anyway, I’d have to buy a nice new pair of kicky boots…….hmmmmm…..do all motorcycle helmets look so dorky?”

It may seem a little crazy.  Or a lot crazy, I suppose.  But, I have wanted to ‘drive’ the island and see it all and it is too big and heavily forested to wander.  By the time you walk a few miles down the road, you have to turn around to make sure you can get back before dark. A motorbike is the answer to a lot of unasked questions.

“We’re just gonna have two old piles of junk under the house.  I just know it!”

“I was planning on having only one.  The parts bike.  The other one would be functional.”

“Sweetie, you are barely functional and the last time you rode a motorbike, you drove it through a baseball backstop and nearly killed yourself!  We’ll just have junk.  You and the bikes all in a big heap of junk.”

“Well, at least you’ll have a new pair of kicky boots”.

Sal is always a little reluctant upon hearing of a new plan or adventure.  It’s normal.  In a year, she’ll be demanding her own 250 and we’ll form the first bike gang on the island. She’ll be the leader of the pack, of course.  I may be spending a bit of time in a heap.

Hopefully not under the house.


16 thoughts on “Putting $1000 to really good use

  1. It’s not a Bulraco but it has its attractions. You needed a new way to skin your knuckles. Take your camera along as you explore the back roads of your local.


    • Even a Bulraco is NOT a BulTaco. but I couldn’t handle that kind of bike anymore anyway. My ol’ Bull was 40+ hp and all-out race all the time. This old Honda 4-stroke cow is about my might-have-a-stroke, old-bull speed and that’s if I can get it running. Hell, walking is good enough.


  2. Dirt bikes and clutches……
    Years ago I drove my CB1100F up to Port Hardy to visit a friend I hadnt seen in at least 5 years.
    When I arrived after many,rainy, wet, soggy hours on the road (the old Island Highway natch) my “amigo” was just finishing installing racing carberators on his CanAm 250…..” Take er for a rip!” was his drunken challenge….
    OK. So I jumped on and gave it a kick start. Nothing. ” Ya gotta give er more than THAT! ‘ was his mocking toned reply to my questioning look. So I Kicked the crap out of it and it roared to life. I let the clutch out and it stalled………
    “Ya gotta rev it MORE than THAT!” was his helpful taunt.
    So …..unwisely…..I followed his advice. I kick started it again and revved the shite out of it and dropped the clutch……………
    I was off like a shot out of a barrel! The gravel road I was roaring down at an instant 50pmh felt like a creamy, bumpless dream….until I went over a blind hill…….a STEEP hill ( did I mention it was gravel?) that ended at the bottom in a dock…… a wet greasy dock9 did I mention it was raining) full of fisherman and nets, and gear and lots of other pain inflicting fishing stuff. I geared down faster than humanly possible and sideways slid, to a hairs width of pain and possible death. I then rode back up the hill ( actually pulling a wheelie all the way up, unbeknownst to me until a fisherman at the bar informed me later) and returned the bike to my cackling, inebriated hell spawn of a friend.
    “I didnt know you could pop wheelies!” he said very impressed. ” Neither did I” was my shaky reply, “Where’s the rum?”
    Dirt bikes……scare the crap outta me


    • They should. They are scary. I rode a Bultaco Pursang professionally for a couple of years until I was either winning or crashing and that simple fact was the deal-breaker for me. Couldn’t I come in second and stay alive? Apparently NOT. So, I quit. And that was BEFORE the industry figured out how to double and triple the horsepower. I rode a 125 for fun a few years later and I felt as if I was riding a rocket. I rode a Suzuki 1100 cc Katana once and scared myself so much I didn’t ride again until I drove my son’s bike through a back stop a couple years back trying to pull a wheelie. I have learned my lesson. Speed is not the goal anymore. Travel is. Safe travel. Cruising and sight-seeing WITHOUT the blur is just fine.


      • Yeah, my step dad used to race Nortons back in the 50’s. Until he crashed and spent 18 months in various stages of body cast. One of his legs is an inch shorter than the other and he still has the steel rod from his leg that he BENT 90 degrees when he shattered his leg after ANOTHER racing crash.
        Motorcycles and testosterone……a bad combo.
        After the last accident on the track his doctor said, ” If you want to keep racing……find another doctor.”


        • Just as I was coming to terms with my own (inevitable) mortality in racing, I met Sal. We discovered sailing. It seemed safer and more fun all around at the time. Still does. Never regretted leaving the motocross circuit – especially later when they went super-moto in stadiums and stuff and the guys spent half their time in the air….the other half in surgery.


  3. Pingback: SURVIVALISTS BLOG | Putting $1000 to really good use | Off the Grid Living

  4. Ok,
    TOTALLY off topic.
    While I’m uberjealous of all you folks that have your own “off the grid” paradise with its “tidal moat”, solar panels and cavorting orcas……

    I just ordered a PIZZA!
    A cheese laden, meat draped, mushroom infused, omnivores wet dream.

    Take THAT! :)-


    • Ooooooohhhhhhh….really….cheese…….and stuff…..in a box…….at the door? Some things in the city even paradise can’t compete with. We are uber back at ya.


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