Getting to be an old geezer

by Gary
(San jose Ca USA)

This is my 1st time at this site. I totally intend to check out all of it. What caught my eye was your obviously sincere interest in vintage bikes, particularly the the Honda V65. I owned a 1983 V65 Magna and put about 40,000 miles on it. I loved the bike and it is everything you say it is. I sold it about 10 years ago (much to my regret). It suffered from the "soft cams" you mentioned. It became obvious when It got noisy and started needing to have the valves adjusted every couple of thousand miles. They were pitted badly. I am 62 years old and have owned about 30 bikes or so in my life. Some of these would include my first bike a Suzuki 150 (2 stroke), 1983 Honda VF1100 magna,1969 Honda CB160 (bullet proof),Yamaha 80 (2-stroke) Honda 55 step through, Suzuki 90, Suzuki 100, Suzuki 185, Suzuki 500 Titan, 1969 first year Honda CB750. That may not be my absolute favorite bike but it is the best most reliable bike I ever owned. I put over a hundred K on it. Kawasaki KZ400, Honda CB1000 custom. You may or may not know this about the CB1000 custom but it had a dual range transmission which you could shift on the fly. I do not know why that never caught on with other bikes because it is extremely nice. The lower range basically changes all 5 gears to 10% lower. This is really nice in the mountains, town or carrying a heavy load. My current stable consists of a Kawasaki KZ400 (Ok bike but nothing to write home about), 1984 RZ-350 Yamaha 2 stroke. (Very fast bike, handles well for its era, and well it just feels great.) It has expansion chambers Toomey exhaust/airbox and Dynojet carburation. I do not know if you like 2 strokes but I LOVE THEM, and I love this bike. I also have a BMW R100/7. Very nice touring bike, very reliable, Pretty slow, yes, but it is a bike that just grows on you for what it is. I also have a Suzuki 1983 Suzuki SP500 dual purpose dirt bike. This is a great bike. Long story here but in the beginning I did not even want it. Now it is the bike I use most. Air cooled single 4 stroke and I have over 32,oo miles on it with with nothing but normal maintenence. This bike has been run hard and put away wet and it just keeps going.

Editor's Reply: Hi Gary, first of all thank you for this great contribution. I think we may be related. I have owned all of the bikes you have mentioned. And I think your 1984 RZ350 Yamaha is actually an RD if memory serves me At our age, that memory thing can be a bit tricky. Had the dual range 1000c Honda. Great looking and performing bike. I used to like 2 strokes and in essence still do but I get a bit nervous when the blue/white smoke comes out of the exhaust in these days of environmental concern. Oh, and speaking of the 1983 Suzuki SP500, please go to the Suzuki Link on any page, click it and find the link for the 1981 Suzuki SP500 about 3/4 down the page. That will certainly warm the blood in your veins. Best Regards....Richard

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