Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Motorcycles of the '70s: A lost era for me

I got a lift on a Honda step-through in the 1960s and rode my brother's little Hondas in the 1970s, but family responsibilities then intervened to keep me off two-wheelers until July 4, 2001.

That's when I bought my Royal Enfield Bullet, and declared my personal independence from four wheels.

Street Bikes of the 70s.
In a way, I was picking up where I had left off.

Brit-style motorcycles (even if built in Japan) had seemed best when I'd quit riding. I was delighted that I could still buy a Royal Enfield (even if built in India) in 2001 and carry on, regardless.

I didn't think I'd missed anything.

But now along comes Motorcycle Classics magazine with "Street Bikes of the 70s," a compilation of articles from that era. Editor-in-Chief Richard Backus introduces it this way:

"When the overhead cam, four-cylinder Honda CB750 was introduced for 1969, the winds of change were already blowing hard. A milestone motorcycle, the CB750 represented the beginning of the end for the old order and the old way of doing things.

"The sporting British twin, for more than a generation the image of performance and style, found itself pushed to the back of the stage as sophisticated Japanese multis and more than a few groundbreaking Italian thoroughbreds reshaped the new motorcycle market."

Backus got his first motorcycle, a Kawaski, in 1976. He was 17, a full decade younger than I was at the time. He was left with "a particular love for bikes from the 1970s."

This was precisely the moment at which I had lost interest in the then new motorcycles.

Now, for the first time, I have I feeling that I did, indeed, miss out on something.

Motorcycle Classics is running a special. "Street Bikes of the 70s" is only $4.99 if ordered by Friday, Aug. 11.

This is not an endorsement: I haven't read it yet. If you have, let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8/09/2017

    I lived through all this and it seemed as if there was "one-upmanship" happening constantly, especially after Joan Claybrook and that damn EPA got their hooks into the 2-strokes. I knew I blew it the first time around when Royal Enfield disappeared like smoke. But that '76 Bonneville ($2100 out the door) that I had for 15 years made up for that--sort of.


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