Monday, February 23, 2015


Nostalgia, rambling in the past is about as interesting to other people as watching someone’s home movies: ‘And here is Uncle Ralph with a lamp shade on his head….’

Having said this, the reason most of us blog is that we all have a need to write,  and so we troll through the attic that is our mind to possibly find something that someone else might be interested in reading. 
But, occasionally we write something that is meaningful to only us, knowing from the start that other people really won’t be interested:

Two weeks ago we went to Augusta (Maine) to have our Toyota serviced, and since we were near the bike shop my wife suggested (the woman must love me, I don’t know why: she is too damn good for me) we swing by so I could price the leather motorcycle jackets on sale at off season prices.

Recently the shop has become an Indian distributor and I was anxious to actually see one.   I am nostalgic about Indians because my grandfather road an Indian Chief way before I was even thought of.

The bike looked great; but I was blown away by the price.   The Chief started at $23,000,   Hell, my car cost that, and for another ten thousand you could buy a Mercedes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very satisfied with my Honda, and owning another bike is not in my future. 

Seven thousand plus custom seats and saddlebags. 

I started riding when I was eighteen.   I have owned Triumphs, Hondas, Yamahas and one Second World War vintage  45 cubic inch military Harley.  I have never owned a bike more than 750 cc and I see no need for the extra displacement and weight as I don’t do long distance riding.  All the extra displacement cost more money and decreases your gas mileage drastically (The big Harleys costing about the same as the Indians get mileage in the thirties – I get sixty-five mpg and can cruise comfortably at seventy with a top end over one hundred.  

All these big expensive bikes are the must have for the generation that has been raised on cell phones, I-pads and internet.  Many of the bikers today are yuppies with good incomes and can afford new Harley and Indians.   They watch Sons of Anarchy and read Easy Rider, and act out their fantasy on the week-ends.


Don’t get me wrong, if you are on two wheels with and engine you’re a biker; but the image is false.
The original biker clubs came about after World War II when veterans got together and formed groups like the Hell’s Angles.  These guys were mostly riding Triumphs, BSAs, Nortons and Royal Infields: 650cc British bikes. 

It was Sonny Barger in the sixties that carried the Angles into the outlaw biker image that is so popular today.

I am fortunate to be in good physical shape and be able to still ride in my mid-seventies.   But, I can’t help but chuckle when I pull into a restaurant on my bike and see some young gun with a shiny new ride wearing a tea shirt that says: IF IT AIN'T HARLEY IT AIN'T SHIT.   He bought the shirt and bought the bike; but he has year to go to earn the creds.

Do not go gently into that good night.
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas

the Ol’Buzzard



  1. DAYUM!! Bikes are crazy expensive. I was thinking of asking David if he wanted to trade my car and his old pickup for a new bike and a new pickup. Think I'll just shut my mouth and stop thinking. Sheesh!

  2. my son has a harley with all the trimmings..they go on long rides with other bikers and he loves it..but he knows the difference between him and you..he has a mother that has 2 biker from the Bandido's and one from Calif bike club..both signed by the giver...I'm not a biker chick..I'm scared to death of them fuckers..but when I see some ole gnarly dude riding down the highway with his gray hair flowing in the breeze with his old lady clutching him from the rear...I sigh*** but no way would I trade places with her.

  3. and to show that not all the women in my family are afraid of aunt Estelle rode on the back of her husbands Indian from Forney Texas to some place in Southern Calif. back to Forney Texas..and she was 5 months pregnant with my cousin Mike.

  4. My uncle had an Indian that he'd bought before WWII. When I was a little kid, it was still sitting covered with cobwebs and dust in my grandmother's garage. At some point in the late 1950s, early 1960s, it disappeared. I have a vague memory of my grandmother being relieved it was gone -- she'd always had a fear that my uncle would decide to resurrect it instead of selling it. IIRC, the original Indians had a reputation for being rather tricky to ride.

    The S.O. had a 350 Yamaha in the 1970s. His biking days ended right about the time he was coming home from working swing shift, hit a dog, became airborne, and the face shield on his helmet saved his life. There were some remarkably deep gouges in the shield; if he hadn't been wearing the helmet, I would have gotten to hear from the funeral director why he advised against an open casket service.

  5. I am no biker (bad sense of balance) but am glad they brought the Indian and Triumph back, just for old times. They are expensive, aren't they? A few years back a Honda Gold Wing, loaded, was $25,000 CAD and as you point out, for that you can buy a real car and ride in comfort.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."