® A Day in the Life: The Chopper and I

It was 1975, I was a skinny 20 year old newly minted tech school graduate. It was my first Honda dealership, a tiny one-man startup in Leimert Park, in the Watts district of L.A.. "South Central" to you CSI watchers and Wambaugh readers. All our clientele rode either CB750s or CB450s, and with the 450 riders always trying to outdo the 750 guys, I learned to do 450 transmissions here. Lot of them. So one day I finish a tune-up on a 750. It has a front end with 10" over tubes, extended into the next ZIP code, chopper style, like nothing I've ever ridden before. On the test ride around the neighborhood. So far so good. Turning the corner to come back to the shop, the ridiculously raked front end bites me, as in a slow tun it tries to flop the bike onto the pavement, with me struggling to keep the bike up, struggling, struggling, and not incidentally struggling keep my job. The fork won out, and it and I ended up in the roadway, ignominiously. Right in front of this gray-haired fella watering his lawn. Feeling pretty silly, I look at him, he looks at me, and without a word he helps me get the bike back up. I thank him, profusely, humbly, and I rode back to the shop with a story to tell. I worked at the store for a little less than a year, until it was sold and much later became a laundrymat.

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