Friday, January 18, 2008


Hi, my name is Steve. I am a masochist. My particular brand of masochism involves the brutal self torture and heartbreak associated with vintage British motorcycles. I have owned many types of bikes. The ones that always run get taken for granted. The Norton is like a fickle woman you have to keep impressing. You cherish the attention she gives you when everything was prepared to her satisfaction. I’m sure most of you reading this will be able to relate.

I began my motorcycling career at age 14 on a 1970’s Yamaha “enduro” moped. In Iowa, in the mid-Eighties, every self respecting Jr. High School kid had a moped. After taking the riding skills class I purchased a $40 moped from this pituitary case named Todd. It looked like it had taken a beating over the years. The dusty red paint was fading and crackling all over. I can still remember the satisfaction I felt when I performed even the most rudimentary service procedures. Something as simple as filling the gas tank and putting in the oil. Oh yeah, it was 2-stroke. I always tried to get the proportions just right. That little thing was hell on wheels. It was secretly bored out from 50cc to 90cc. 14 year olds can’t ride anything over 50cc. That little ‘Ped would outgun anything at Franklin Jr. High. It was a serious threat. You can just imagine the sight of 20-30 Jr. High kids racing down the main drag on a Saturday afternoon. The boys all on “proper” mopeds and every girl on Honda “Spree”. That little moped was my pride and joy.

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