Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10, 2016 at 07:59PM by advodna_dave

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We're used to being a one car family, but then again, we're usually no more than 25' from each other, so when the opportunity came up to see one of my mandolin heroes, Sam Bush, at a small venue in the East Bay while Ann needed the car, I decided to take the motorcycle, my vintage 1973 Honda CB750. When the CB750 first appeared in the US market in 1969, the term "superbike" was coined to describe it, and I felt plenty comfortable on the freeway, though I'll admit to frequently searching for a non-existent 6th gear. But when I hit the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, my confidence took a dive; The grooved pavement, which is supposed to drain water, made it feel like I was riding on marbles. I actually pulled over behind a construction barrier on the bridge to make sure the back wheel wasn't wobbling off! With white knuckles inside my leather gloves, I made it the rest of the way and enjoyed a great show with my brother and sister-in-law and a friend. Afterwards I fired up the bike and flipped on the lights only to find the rear marker lights not working. After my hair-raising daylight crossing, I opted to head to my brother's place close by for the night. This morning, I mapped a high route across the top of Berkeley along twisty road with expansive views of the Bay. I cut down through Richmond on surface streets to avoid as much freeway as possible then took the last on ramp for the bridge, hoping that maybe the upper deck would be smoother. It wasn't, and to add to the frustration of the motorists at my cautious 50 mph pace, I was feeling a stutter in the bike as I approached the second tower. I kept my wrist dropped, and eventually the swears inside my helmet turned to sighs of relief as I made it to the exit just past the bridge. Then the engine cut out completely... As I coasted to a stop on the shoulder, I knew I had one thing to try. I flipped the petcock below the gas tank to "Reserve" and tried to start the engine. Two tries with no luck then VROOOOOOM! Rookie mistake. A quick fill up, and an hour more on the back roads, and I was home. Seems like every ride on a vintage bike is an adventure. #cb750 #vintagehonda #vintagemotorcycle #sfbayarea