Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Botswana to the rescue!!

by Uncle Hans
Custom Smiley The snowmobile season is over, having ended a few minutes ago. Actually, you could snowmobile fairly well this morning until about noon when the sun and warm temps converted all the trails suddenly to slushy junk. We went the last time last Friday night, Jason, Jake (and his date, a mystery girl named Mandy), Hannah, and Ian. Wendy, who still couldn’t drive then, and I were in the chase car. We were on our way home, with five minutes left to go in the season, Jake caught a railroad rail with an evil twin (mine of course) and bent the hell out of the front suspension. More repair bills……..

Now we enter that lovely season called spring that everyone loves. I think it is because they are sick of winter. Actually, I am sick of spring, even though it just got here. You can’t snowmobile. You can’t motorcycle. You can’t pontoon. You can’t fish. You can’t golf. You can’t watersport. You can’t ski. There is very little you can do except blather on and on about how beautiful it is. Summer rescues us from this muddy and useless morass. I could easily go from winter to summer in, say, a week. I am digging out the motorcycles and taking inventory. I have two old Hondas that were destined for the museum long ago, but they are so beloved by some of us they can’t seem to get retired. One, my favorite, is 1976 Gold Wing Limited. Honda built one of these babies for each dealer that year and they are so rare, I have never seen one on the road. It is smooth and strong and quiet. Wendy and I like it the best because of the wind protection. It needs $500 for a new rear brake. It should be a collector bike so valuable that you would never ride it, but it is virtually worthless. These ’75-76 bikes revolutionized the industry and this is a rare limited edition with gold spoked wheels and everything. Go figure. The other bike is a ’79 Honda CBX, again a revolutionary and rare bike. Honda wanted to up the ante for horsepower so it brought out this beauty. It is almost exactly like a million 750’s they had already sold, but it had a 6-cylinder engine and a ton of hp. Quarter-mile times in the mid 11 second range. Today it is slow (and virtually worthless. Go figure). To make the engine narrow enough to fit between your legs (it is mounted crossways), the alternator was moved from it’s normal position on the end of the crankshaft to under the engine. It does not like it there because it is too hot and alternators burn up in about 5,000 miles. Mine is on it’s way out (again). Jason and Hannah like to ride the CBX, but it needs an $800 alternator. I have added a couple of old pictures, because it is spring and we are having so much fun in this beautiful season doing exactly nothing, that I have time to dig out these old pics and send them to you.

This is the CBX in a motorcycle show. We did not win anything, mainly because I left a little note on the seat about how it could beat any Harley in the show and it was 25 years old. Not a way to win votes at a motorcycle show!!.........

.............My Gold Wing is in the center, first stop of a trip around Lake Superior. The background is the original Famous Dave's on Round Lake near Hayward, a frequent stop for us on the bikes. The red bike is the famous "Red Bike" (duh) that everyone hates because it is so slow (tops out at 85,unless Jake is riding) We all grudgingly take our turn on the Red Bike, except me because they hate my bike even more and no one will ride it. Fine. That leaves more time for me...............

.........One more. This is the same trip. Our buddies in the Military Equipment Restoration Club were having an outing the day we left and we stopped in for a quick look. These guys find and restore WWII equipment of all types. They even have a Sherman tank that runs. I have some picturs of their stuff and will put together a nice story for the blog someday.............

What about Botswana? Stay tuned……………..