I’m not a fan of marketing hype. I’d rather judge a vehicle (or anything else, for that matter) on its own merits, not what some flashy advertisement tells me. But in one particular case, the promise of the advertisement came absolutely true.
I practically stole a 1981 Honda CB750 Custom from a towing company, of all places. I’d stopped in to look at a Magna they had for sale that ended up being smashed up on the left side. Instead I looked at the CB, which was in much better shape and had been marked down in price several times. After throwing a seriously lowball offer at the owner of the company and being told that if I showed up with the cash today it was mine, I had to. I was back on the road again, and determined to never be without a motorcycle again for as long as I’m capable of riding one.
One day I was heading back toward home from a nice cruise, and stopped by Peaslee’s Quick Stop for gas. (They also had excellent bison and sometimes other game meats, depending on the season.) As I was fueling up, another biker pulled up next to me. He said he was passing by and noticed my CB750, and had to turn around and get a closer look. He was riding its big brother, a CB1000. We chatted for a little while, until he told me he had a CB750 parts bike back at his house about five minutes away, and that I was welcome to follow him home and see if he had any parts that I needed. So I did, and started a friendship that would continue well beyond our Honda CB ownership.
I don’t think I took any parts that day, but over time a few bits and pieces from his parts bike did end up on my CB750. We also rode together, hung out, drank beer, shot guns (what can I say, this was Maine), and played with his radio controlled cars and other toys. His was the first four-wheeler I ever rode.
My girlfriend at the time became interested in motorcycles, and bought an extremely inexpensive 1986 Suzuki Savage. The catch was that the motor didn’t run, but she had absolute faith in our ability to rebuild it and get it running again, so we gave it our best effort. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, “That’s not gone well.” In fact it was a classic Top Gear style foul-up. It did run again after the long, drawn out rebuild, but after running for a while in the driveway, it let the magic smoke just a few miles down the road, and was unwilling to start or run again. My girlfriend was justifiably not impressed. (No, that’s not what led to the end of the relationship.)
We didn’t get out to do a lot of riding together. Adrian is one of those people with about a million different hobbies with no time to pursue them all, plus a job that sometimes takes a lot of his time, too, so getting together with him was often touch and go. But it was good fun, and only ended when I moved back to Massachusetts. And it all happened because I just happened to be fueling up the right bike in the right place at the right time.