I eat with my parents and youngest brother every week. Last week we talked about motorcycles, which is par for the course. We all ride. My dad has a HD Sportster and a Triumph. My brother doesn't ride in the street anymore, he does some track riding however.
We got to talking about speed. My dad admitted to going 128 mph on his 1973 Kawasaki Z1. With a bike full of camping gear. Remember, this is a bike with spoked wheels and tubed tires. Modern for 1973 but still. He's had my mom on the back of the bike (back in the day) over 100 many times. He's had me (when I was a kid) that fast as well. My dad has also had my scooter up over 90. I can only get to 86 with my fat ass on it.
For the longest time I had a Honda CX 500. I got it up to 100 quite a bit, but not much faster. After all, it is only 500 cc's. I'd go riding with Charlie and couldn't keep up with him. Not only was his bike bigger and faster (Honda CB 900 Custom), but he's a better rider than I am. He made no bones about letting me know I couldn't keep up with him, all in fun.
In 1986, I bought a bike that I had dreamed about. I had my eye on a Honda V65 Sabre for a year or two. I had to wait until I turned 25 so I could afford the insurance. That time came and I bought the bike.
One thing about buying bikes is you don't really get to test ride them. Of all the bikes I've purchased new, not once have I gotten to test ride it. I pick up the Sabre and it had narrow handlebars and is quite top heavy feeling. I'm unsure on it for a while, but learn to ride it. I'll add here that the most dangerous time for a rider is the 6 months he's on a new bike.
Charlie came home from Basic Training and we went for our first ride with me on the Sabre. We rode to Reno for the night, then veered over to Walker Lake and Hawthorne before coming back into California.
We got on US-395 and were on our way to Death Valley and Las Vegas. (This was back in the day when we could ride like that)
Sherwin Summit is about 25 miles north of Bishop. We didn't see Johnny Law so on the way down the summit we got in the left lane and put the coals to it. While holding our speed at 125 mph, we passed a convoy of RV's in the right hand lane. And when I say passed, we roared past them at blinding speed. Whoo hoo! And, that's a no bullshit 125 mph. I had plenty of throttle left, but Charlie was about maxed out. ( I had 1/3 more motor than Charlie and was about 40+ hp to the good)
We back our speed down at the bottom of the hill. On top of the only overpass for miles is the Law. At this time the CHP did not use radar, and we weren't speeding. A short time later we notice another CHP on the opposite shoulder. As we ride past him, we're eyeballing each other and we notice he's starting the cruiser.
Now, Charlie and I are on the same page without talking to each other. We both know this guy is coming for us. So, I slow down a bit and Charlie speeds up so we're not riding together.
Well, the CHP is no dummy. He gets behind me and doesn't put on the red spot but gets on the PA and tells me to pull in behind my friend when he pulls him over. Ahhhh, shit.
So, the CHP hits the gas on his gutless piece of shit Dodge and pulls Charlie over. Of course I pull in dutifully in front of the cruiser behind Charlie.
I don't know where the pictures are, but there's one of me reaching into my pocket for my license. Also, the Sabre was still so new that I didn't have plates yet, so my VIN got run as well.
We had a nice visit with the officer. He reminded us that the speed limit on his highway was 55. "Yes, Officer." He did not want to see us speeding on his highway. "Yes, Officer." We all knew what the deal was. He knew we were speeding and we knew he knew. We also know that unless we were paced we were in the clear. And, he knew we knew that. But, the message needed to be sent and we got it loud and clear, at least for a while.
Meanwhile, the line of RV's are just now getting to us and passing the scene. We wrap it up with the officer and get back on the road. Bishop is about 10 minutes away and we decide to stop at Burger King and partake.
As it turns out, someone that we passed on the summit is also in like at BK. He turns to us all smarmy and asked how our ticket was, noting that we had passed him rather fast.
"What ticket?" I reply. "Hell, we weren't paced and none of them actually saw us speeding, passing your slow ass. We didn't get no ticket." Uh, er, ah, there wasn't much this guy could say. Charlie and I just laughed and enjoyed our lunch.
Riding south of Bishop, we did see the CHP hidden on the side of the highway. We had decided not to speed until we got off US-395. We headed towards Death Valley on SH-138 to SH-190 where we put the coals to it again.
The sun started to set and we really put the coals to it. I was finally able to put it all together and I put the whupping on Charlie. The better bike overcame his better abilites and all Charlie saw was my taillight fading in the distance. Usually I'm too clumsy to ride really smoothly but on this day I was one with the bike.
I stopped for gas in Shoshone and Charlie caught up with me. Even he was impressed that I was able to lose him like I did. I really loved that Sabre, but I sold it when I wasn't riding it anymore. I don't think bikes should sit rotting in the garage unridden and unloved. That and I had gone to work at the paper and really needed to keep my license.
Speaking of speed, I had the Gold Wing to 105 a couple of times. Josh and I were riding from Needles to Barstow on I-40 and this one idiot was messing with us. He would come up along side us, cut in front of us, then get in the slow lane and let us pass. Then, he would do it all over again.
Finally I got tired of it, clicked down two gears and hammered the throttle to the stops. I heard Josh whoop it up as I shifted into 4th and then 5th gear.
I kept the throttle open and got it almost to 110 before it became unstable. The Godl Wing had a big fairing that blocked the wind, but wasn't very aerodynamic. That and the crappy Dunlop tires made for a squirrly ride at 110. Hell, that bike wasn't made to ride that fast anyway.
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