johnmxl's Motorcycle Page

I've been interested in motorcycles for a long time. I suspect it has a lot to do with my Dad... when I was smaller than him I used to love to ride with him.

My first ride was a minibike that my folks bought for me at a farm auction. It had a 5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine and a centrifugal clutch. I used to ride it all over my Grandfather's farm, and occasionally around my hometown (when my folks weren't watching <grin>). I outgrew it and left it behind...I don't actually know what ever happened to it.

After that, I wanted to get a motorcycle, but never got the motivation and the funds together. I had to make do with cadging rides on other people's bikes, like the time a friend and I cruised the main drag in Atlantic IA on a Saturday evening. Did I mention that neither of us had motorcycle licenses? Somehow that made it just a bit more fun!

My next ride was actually my Dad's 3rd bike - a 1975 Honda CB750K. Dad quit riding it several years ago and parked it. When we lived with my folks when we first got back to Iowa I started rehabbing it to get it roadworthy. Once I moved to Council Bluffs, it seemed logical to bring the bike here so I could work on it and ride it.

The years of sitting were not kind to the bike, so getting it back into shape has been an ongoing process. Over the course of the last couple of years I've replaced the tires, rebuilt the carbs, reupholstered the seat, and gone thru about 6 sets of spark plugs getting the carbs tuned.

In the summer of 2002 my wife and I happened upon a 1977 Honda CB750A Hondamatic in fairly decent condition. Maria has wanted to ride her own bike for some time, so Ruby and a parts bike joined Dad's '75 in our small garage. Ruby was a work in progress. That first summer I went thru the carbs and cleaned up some wiring problems. The next Spring I replaced the fork seals and did some brake work.

Shortly after we brought Ruby home, Dad decided to get back on two wheels, and found a 1980 Honda Goldwing GL1100I at a friend's bike shop. About 2 weeks later, in one of those strange but wonderful twists of fate, Maria and I happened across a 1981 GL1100I, and suddenly the small garage got a bit more crowded. This particular bike had been purchased new from a dealer here in Council Bluffs and had hardly been ridden. The owner decided to trade down to a smaller, lighter bike and we managed to be in the right place at the right time. The 'Wing has become my primary ride, but I get the '75 750 out and exercise it occasionally. The differences in handling and performance are striking, and I have to be careful to avoid asking the 750 to do things the 'Wing does without hesitation.

After we both completed the  Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course in July 2003, Maria took a spin on my Gold Wing

In the continuing saga of our motorcycles, Maria is now riding a 1981 GL1100 that came from John Ogle, a fellow WOTI member in New Mexico.  John decided to sell his Gold Wing because of leg problems and again we happened to be in the right place at the right time.  In April 2005 Odie (now called Piper) came to Iowa.  I jumpseated from Omaha to Albuquerque NM, met John, his wife Shirley, and their two shy little puppies, then over two days rode home.  Other than a fairing lower panel taking off somewhere outside Oklahoma City OK the ride was trouble free (and FUN!).  

In July 2005 Maria noticed a starting problem.  That led to a stator replacement.  

Ruby has now gone on to better things.  Maria decided that the garage was a bit crowded, so Ruby went up on eBay and was sold to a buyer in Arizona who has plans to customize her to match his wife's 450 Hondamatic.  

Most of my riding has been commuting to work in Omaha. I work nights, so my ride home in the mornings is generally a nice, quiet ride in the early morning cool.
Of course, the neighbors probably don't enjoy it as much as I do...

So far in 2005 I've ridden my Wing to New Braunfels TX for the WOTI Alamo Run, to Watertown WI for a company picnic and meeting, to Waterloo IA to move the ABATE Rider Ed trailer, and to Algona IA for ABATE of Iowa's annual Freedom Rally so I'm finally getting some serious saddle time!  

Of course, that was before this.

In September 2003, Maria and I went back to California for a friend's wedding. While we were there, we rented a 2003 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic motorcycle. It was kind of expensive for a weekend, but we enjoyed it. You can see some photos here. If you are in the Bay Area, check out Bob Dron Harley-Davidson in Oakland CA.

Wings on the Internet (WOTI)

 Rollin Plains Motorcycle Club (Omaha)

Honda SOHC4 Owners Club

The Motorcycle Project

Bob Dron Harley-Davidson

Gold Wing Road Riders Association

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