® My Bikes

I have ridden a huge number of motorcycles, for an estimated half-million-plus miles. As a life-long career powersports mechanic, my encounters with, and opinions about, a large assortment of different motorcycles could be said to be par for the course, to be expected, and thus too much to list here. So while I could for several pages enumerate those opinions, I will instead simply focus, more or less chronologically, on those bikes I have either owned or had the use of for extended periods of time.

My first bike, a 1967 CA160 I bought gently used from Long Beach Honda with money I made painting a house. I rode the wheels off this thing! The well-kept 160 and I were inseparable for a very long time. A 1964 BSA A10 Super Rocket. In bobber livery, this bike was purchased from Thrifty Lad in Santa Monica as a used bike. A very used bike in fact, and one that oil-fouled plugs costantly. The thrill of my first big-bore bike was a rush I can still recall today. Hair in the wind, passing cars on the L.A. freeways. I later painted it black. I bought this 67 BSA 441 Shooting Star as a replacement for my derelict A10, freshly restored, from a fellow whose wife had just had a baby and he was forced to sell stuff. A very nice ride, though a shaker and requring the "drill" to start (single cylinder big bore owners know what this is...). This was a surprisingly reliable bike with a ton of character and one I enjoyed very much and now miss immensely.
My 1967 305cc CL77 was acquired when a customer rode it into the shop I worked at, and I bought it soon after. Sold it a few years ago to a collector. Although I would never have been as two-up brave as the folks in this 70s Honda brochure, the CB125 I borrowed from a car mechanic friend in the mid-70s was an astonishingly capable machine. I was in trade school and he turned to me hoping I could solve his noisy engine problem, which was simply rusty crankshaft bearings. I ended up commuting on the freely-revving single-cylinder bike for most of a year. On a long-term loan from a neighbor, this CB200T was a rather Euro styled Honda my friend bought new and never learned to ride. I found myself throwing it around the curves in Griffith park one day and soundly crashed it. Not exactly the best way to treat your friends...
One of my favorite bikes of all, Honda's venerable, beautiful (if slow) almost baroquely styled, classicly proportioned and very civilized 1971 CB500 Four. I had 94,000 miles (yes, 94 thousand) miles on this bike when I sold it. My number one favorite of 70s era machines. One of the loaner bikes I rode while working for American Honda, a 1982 GL1100. Great bike! Also a loaner ("competitive product familiarization") bike while at AHM. A Yamaha 900 Seca, I wadded one of these up good (still recall my helmet banging on the pavement) one morning on the way into the office.
Honda also put me on this Yamaha 920RH. Put maybe 300 miles on it. I didn't think much of the bike at the time, but many years later after doing some engine work on one I came to appreciate it a lot more. An incredible machine, the 1982 Honda CX500T Turbo. 17 pounds of boost, computerized fuel injection. Had this one for maybe two or three weeks. Not long after bought a used CX650T and enjoyed it for several years. The first-year (1982) Honda 750 Sabre. A pretty interesting machine. I rode this one for a month or so and later borrowed two of them to race together with a couple other AHM employees who formed a team. We ran in box stock at Ontario and Riverside before both of them closed.
Another AHM loaner, this 1983 CB1100F was a nice ride. I remember riding on the freeway one afternoon and detecting a bit of wiggle at the handlebar. Stopping on the shoulder, I used the toolkit to on a hunch adjust the rear wheel alignment, and that was all it took. Very civilized, but still spirited motorcycle. A 1981 CBX, purchased from American Honda when I was employed there. A little bit modified in this picture. Now has 55,000 miles on. A 2009 Kawasaki Mean Streak, that is, a hotrod VN1600. Nice bike, if you like feet-forward riding. Or even if you don't, as its power and agility belies its crusier looks and will therefore surprise you. On loan from Kawasaki. No longer in production.
A 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 on long-term loan from Kawasaki. Wonderful bike. Probably my number two favorite of all the availalble modern bikes.
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© 1996-2015 Mike Nixon