I was 18 yrs old stationed at Shaw AFB S.C. Took a 3 day weekend and road my new 1978 CB750K from there to Decatur Al to see my folks. Came back on Sunday night, only stopped once both directions to get gas. I think she had a 5 gallon tank. I was a hell of a lot younger then and did not worry about nuthin, just climbed on and hauled chili!!:beer2::sad:
My first bike, 1969 Kawasaki 500 MachIII, from San Jose to Las Vegas via Death Valley and Grand Canyon. I'd taken off the front fender (it was cool to do so) so you can imagine what it was like in the rain and it was 119 in the shade when we stopped in the middle of Death Valley. I learned alot on that trip!
My first road trip was a disaster. I had gotten back from southeast Asia in May of 68. While home on leave I bought a brand new 1968 Honda CB350 Super Sport. My new duty station was MacDill AFB in Tampa. I had never been to Tampa and didn't know exactly where the base was located. Nonetheless I took off from Jacksonville just before dark on a Sunday evening. I had chosen US 301 south as my primary route. Back then 301 was mostly a two lane ride through farm country in central Florida. I began to worry when every gas station I encountered was closed. I slowed my speed to conserve fuel but the 3.5 gallon tank just wasn't going to make it. I eventually hit reserve and still no sign of a station. I finally came to a sputtering halt in the middle of nowhere, nothing but farm land with cow pastures. I began pushing the bike in the pitch black darkness. After about half an hour I saw a single light about two hundred yards off of the highway. I found a single lane dirt road (driveway) that seemed to lead to the light. I pushed the bike down the road and soon could see that it was the porch light on a farm house. No other lights were visible. I knocked on the door several times but got no response. As I was turning to leave the door opened and a voice asked "what choo want"? The guy didn't sound too happy I guess because I woke him up. I told him I was a service man on my way to Tampa and I'd run out of gas. "Aint got no gas." My heart sank as I imagined sleeping in a ditch all night. Then he said "might got some in my lawn more." We went to his shed and turned this gawd awful lawn mower upside down and drained a pint of brown, foul smelling gas into a glass jar. I reluctantly poured it into the bike and miraculously it started up. I gave him fifty cents and hoped the bike made it to the station he said was open a few miles down the road. It was. I finally made it to the base around 4 a.m. I was tired, dirty, and mosquito bitten. I can still vividly recall it all.
When I was 14 years old, our local preacher took me and a 16 year old guy I had never met before, and hauled my 1966 Kawasaki B-8 125, the other kid's Honda 305 Dream, and the preacher's Kawasaki 750 3 cyl, from North east South Dakota to El Paso Texas over Christmas vacation. We camped in a KOA campground and visited the minister's mother. I had my restricted permit that was considered legal so long as I was within 100 miles of the minister. One day he got his bike worked on, and us kids rode around El Paso, and ended up getting stopped on Fort Bliss for not having our face shields on, required on base but not in Texas at that time. The authorities weren't so sure we didn't ride our bikes down from South Dakota, even though the temp when we left was minus 20! We had to wait till our minister got his bike out of the shop and he came over and vouched for us, and we continued our trip. Our minister's mom had a favorite restaurant and she loved to watch us guys eat pancakes, which worked out great for us. I couldn't believe my folks let me go, and I couldn't believe my good fortune to go on such an adventure at my age, with my fantastic 125 Kawasaki!
Back in 1993 I hit the road on a pristine 1982 Red/ brown CB 900 C. Ya she was a 10+ years old but she ran like a charm. She was fully dressed with hard saddle bags and trunk, vetter wind jammer, AM/FM cassette radio, throttle lock and was pretty a bike I ever owned. I took a 4 day road trip starting in St, Charles, MO and travel southward Springfield, MO than deep into Arkansas . Making my way to Hot Springs then eastward to the great Mississippi river. When I hit the Mississippi I turn northward following the river, and eventually skirting back and forth from MO into TN, KY, IL and back to St. Charles. The trip was over 1100 all on secondary roads and through some beautiful country. That was my first road trip and maybe one of my most merorable.
In 1968 I took my friend's 175cc BSA Bantam on a tour of the West Country (in England) of approx. 800 miles, no idea of where I was going, no tools, no thought's, came back through the middle of London following the signs to places I'd read about and actually made it unscathed !
Since my dad bought me my first motorcycle a Tahatsu 50 in 1962. I have been telling people "one day I am going to ride a motorcycle coast to coast". Well I finally lived up to that promise in 2003. I was diagnosed with cancer in Oct.2001. While in the hospital after my operation. I told my wife again "if I survive this I am going to buy a motorcycle big enough to make that cross country trip". I had a long recovery but in April 2003 I had recovered enough to attempt the trip. I bought a 91 GL1500 and headed out. It took me 7 days and 11 hrs. to do the almost 5600 mile trip. I was solo and alone so I could move fast. I make frequent 1k and up trips now but I am going to make another "coaster" this spring.
Summer 1968 when I was 16 yrs old, a friend had a new 68 CB350 and I had a 67 305 Dream (it was fully dressed with full windshield, bates hard bags, crash bars, and luggage rack). We rode from Fort Worth to San Antonio for Hemisfair 68 and while there, we decided that Mexico wasn't that much further, so we made a run for the border. Total trip was just a little over 1000 miles and those were the days of on the road maintenance, adjusting the points and plugs, oiling the chain and adjusting it, and doing a couple of tire tube repairs. On the way back, my 305 developed a primary drive oil leak and we ended up leaving that bike in San Antonio at my sister's house. I rode on the back of his CB350 back to FW. I actually slept for part of the trip. Man, if we could have only imagined of the GL18 of today, my 305 Dream motor was only 1/6th the size of the GL18!
1962, BSA, north central Pennsylvania to the Smokies and back. Two flats and crappy electrics. Pushed it uphill for a few miles at one point. Slept in an old GI blanket along side the road and cooked my meals in an old Chase and Sanborne coffee can.
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