5600 Miles in Ten Days on a Honda 360 Chapters 1-3 (found in the Yahoo CB750 group)
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    Senior Member Alan F.'s Avatar
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    5600 Miles in Ten Days on a Honda 360 Chapters 1-3 (found in the Yahoo CB750 group)

    Thewhole story, from the posts in
    http://www.egroups.com/messages/honda_nighthawk


    Author:
    Bernie
    [email protected]


    Hereya go...


    5600Miles in Ten Days on a Honda 360 / Chapter 1


    Itwas September of 1976 in Indianapolis, I was in my twenties, and I
    hada red 1974 Honda CB360G. I had decided to undertake a trip out
    toGlacier National Park during my one and only two-week vacation in
    thelast three years. I put a sissy bar on my bike and, other than
    that,it was configured exactly the same as it was when I drove it
    awayfrom Honda of Indianapolis two year before. No highway bars, no
    footrest extensions, no nothing.


    Ihad one delicate complication to resolve before I left. My
    girlfriendJudy had come to believe that she was invited to go with
    me. Realizing that our combined weight used up most of the
    availableweight capacity of the bike and I needed to haul some
    campinggear, I decided I needed to "uninvite" her. I never did
    inviteher in the first place, but that had become academic at this
    point. I was on about rehearsal version #3 of my spiel when Judy
    enteredmy apartment and announced, "Those bastards wouldn't give me
    thetime off for our trip, so I quit!" That was that I had just
    gaineda passenger for my trip. Come Hell or high water (both being
    equallyprobable).


    Ihad a framed backpack I had bought at Kmart, which I strapped over
    theback of the sissy bar. I had more stuff, including sleeping bags
    anda camp stove, lashed to that pack than was hanging from the chuck
    wagonin an old Wagon Train episode. Under my front headlight was
    lasheda two-man pup tent. With Judy at my back and the wind in my
    hair,we departed Indianapolis looking much the motorcycle version of
    Maand Pa Joad leaving for California in The Grapes of Wrath. The
    wobblewasn't all that noticeable once ya got goin' fast enough. I
    wonderedhow long the tires would last. I also wondered if I was
    totallyinsane... I guess I might as well mention now that I knew
    evenless about motorcycle mechanics then than I do now. If you knew
    menow, you would find that difficult to believe. Fact is, I know
    nothingnow except how to lube the chain and change the oil. In 76,
    Ilubed my chain with either motor oil or 3-in-1 oil; whichever I
    grabbedfirst. I knew less about changing the motor oil. Thought
    that'swhat the dealership was for.


    Sowe set out, Judy and me. We headed West, swung up through
    Illinois,across the Mighty Mississippi (much less mighty in upper
    Illinois),and into Iowa without much needing to be reported here.
    Theonly real difference between Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa is that
    thecorn grows progressively higher. As best I can recall, my gas
    tankwas about two gallons, including reserve. Seems I got about 60
    mpg,so my max range was between 100 and 120 miles. There are parts
    ofthe West that exceed that distance between gas stations, take
    myword for it. Other than that, I had no problem with getting off the
    bikeevery hour and a half or so for gas. The first night we camped
    someplacein Iowa. It doesn't much matter where. Iowa is Iowa.


    NEXT:


    TheBadlands, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone...


    THEN:


    TheGrand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Idaho and the Montana town that that
    closedfor a funeral.


    THEN:


    Glacier,180s on the face of a cliff, what do motorcycles and boats
    havein common?, and Banff.


    THEN:


    Eastward,HO! Calgary, the crash and the Canadian health care
    system,the Devil at Lake Superior, and the MACKINAC bridge.


    ************************************************** ******************
    ************************************************** ******************


    5600Miles in Ten Days on a Honda 360 / Chapter 2


    Surprisingly,I didn't sleep very well in Iowa the first night.
    Maybeit was still the excitement of the trip or maybe it was the 20
    º slope I had pitched the tent on. Anyway, after a pot of coffee
    andsome pancakes, we were westward bound through Sioux City,
    thunderinginto South Dakota with as much rolling thunder as three
    hundredand sixty cubic centimeters can muster. We passed over the
    MissouriRiver at Fort Randall Dam, just North of the Nebraska State
    Line. Awesome sight. Sometime later, we were apparently transported
    toanother planet, or so the initial impression of the Badlands would
    haveled us to believe. Including the Mojave Desert and Death Valley,
    I'venot seen a more desolate environment than the Badlands of
    South
    Dakota. Hardly any vegetation except some occasional shrubs and the
    terrainis a constant array of naturally formed trenches, which would
    bealmost impossible to traverse without having had a highway blown
    throughthe middle of them. The ridges and trenches put me in mind
    ofa mammoth brain. Still, in its desolation, it was really quite
    impressiveand still beautiful in its way.


    Notime to dally. Once you've seen the Badlands for thirty
    minutes,
    you'vepretty much seen the Badlands; so it was off to Mount
    Rushmore. We arrived in the afternoon. I didn't like the
    cupping
    andgeneral wear on my front tire so I had it replaced in Rapid
    City. We visited a huge cave. I think it was called Rushmore Cave,
    butwouldn't swear to it today. Anyway, it had been designated a
    emergencyshelter for the locals in event of nuclear attack and made
    mewish we had something like that around my home in Indianapolis. I
    tooka lot of pictures of Mount Rushmore itself, but nothing better
    thanI could have bought on a postcard for 10 cents. It was cool to
    seea huge white bearded mountain goat ambling around the rock pile
    atthe base of the sculptures. At night huge floodlights light the
    mountain. Very cool.


    Nextmorning was up and at `em, out of South Dakota, into
    Wyoming,
    andoff for Yellowstone. Remember, at the beginning of this I
    mentionedit was September. Now, September in Indianapolis is still
    almostsummer-like. I can assure you that it's not the same in
    the
    mountainsof Wyoming. When the sun goes down, the ride is over for
    theday. We basically arrived at Yellowstone as the sun was going
    down. Luckily, we found a campsite in the park without much
    trouble. Nothing to see here until morning.




    Morningcame in its inevitable style and we packed up the bike for a
    daytour of Yellowstone. This is sort of the equivalent of a day
    tourof New England. Anyway, we saw the geysers, saw the hot
    springs,sulfur pits, and got in a couple of cycles of Old Faithful.
    Wecaught the falls, avoided a moose with a little too much curiosity
    aboutmotorcycles and specifically did not feed the bears, which were
    encouragingus to do so. (The greatest need in the presence of a
    bearis distance.)


    "Sothis is Yellowstone," we reflected as we heated up a can
    ofCampbell's chicken noodle soup. "MmmmmMmmmm Good," and
    it'sSouth to the Jackson Hole and Grand Tetons.


    NEXT:


    TheGrand Tetons, Jackson Hole, "So these are Hell's
    Angels",and the
    Montanatown that that closed for a funeral.


    ************************************************** ******************
    ************************************************** ******************


    5600Miles in Ten Days on a Honda 360 / Chapter 3


    Southwardbound out of Yellowstone, soon the two great peaks of the
    GrandTetons came into view. Somewhere on this day, I learned
    that"Grand Tetons" meant "big tits" in Spanish, anobvious reference
    tothe twin peaks. Anyway, I cruised southward running parallel to
    themountain range off to the right, the Snake River between me and
    themountains.


    Iremember glancing into my rear view mirrors and seeing a swarm of
    motorcyclesclosing in rapidly on the 360G. In next to no time, I
    becamefully engulfed into a sea of other bikes and bikers. These
    werereal bikers, not the bikers we all occasionally pretend to be in
    ourmoments of machismo between going off to our 9 to 5 jobs and
    balancingour checkbooks. They were hard. They were dirty. And they
    wereugly. Only the passage of 24 years and a distance of 2,000
    mileshave given me the courage to describe them this accurately. I
    don'tknow how many they were, but I couldn't see the end of them in
    mymirrors. Wondering what was to be my fate on this highway in the
    middleof Wyoming, I raised my left hand in a wave to the guy who had
    pulledup on my left - a big bloke with a leather cap and a full red
    beard. I did not want to appear too meek nor did I want to be
    lookingfor any trouble. The guy looked down at my bike (perhaps
    figurativelyas well as literally), gave me an almost imperceptible
    nodand pulled away. This routine was repeated with about another
    twentyto two dozen riders, any of which I figured I could take in a
    fight- so long as I had a gun and they were strapped in a chair. It
    occurredto me that being strapped to a chair might be the ultimate
    fatefor some of these guys. Anyway, we all then rode together for
    aboutsixty miles through the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming.
    Eventually,upon some silent command, the group hit the throttles and
    roaredonce again out of sight. I waved and just after they crested
    thehill in front of me, I flipped them off. Lucky for them they
    didn'tgive me any ****...


    Thesun went down, so it was time to stop for the night. I found a
    KOAcampground north of Jackson with showers and even a TV lounge.
    Itwas a Hilton without the brick and mortar. About 8:00, a couple a
    dozenof the bikers with which I had ridden pulled into the
    campgrounds. They took over a couple of sites near mine. I'm
    prettysure they did not abide by the number of campers per site limits, as
    therewere about 30 of them in two sites. Pretty soon, I smelled
    burgerscooking on the grill and my mouth started trying to drown my
    tastebuds in a watery grave. One of the guys came over to our camp
    site. He couldn't believe the Indiana plate on the 360 and asked
    ifwe had come all that way. When I nodded, he invited us over for
    some"grub". We ate, drank and smoked some green tobacco in
    aplastic baggie that seemed to make us crave potato chips well into
    thenight. I was relieved the next morning that my throat was not
    slitand my belongings and girlfriend were present and intact.


    WestwardI turned across the Teton Pass that rises to just below
    8,500feet fairly rapidly. Although I would not have won any drag
    racecontests, the fully loaded (overloaded) 360G scooted right up
    themountain pass without a wimper. Then it was downhill all the
    wayinto Idaho.


    Idon't remember anything noteworthy about Idaho except that I was in
    avalley between two pretty big mountain ranges to the east and to
    thewest after I curved northward. It was in Montana that I
    discoveredthat 120 miles between gas stations is not unheard of. I
    hadgone onto reserve without the slightest indication of
    civilizationanywhere for miles around. Please take note. I had not
    passedany gas stations since my last fill-up. I slowed my speed to
    about35 mph to try to maximize my ride and minimize my almost
    certainwalk. In answer to prayers for which I am still repaying
    today,I came upon a gas station. I pulled up to the little store to
    usethe bathroom and get something to drink. After emptying and
    refillingmy bodily fluids, I went to move my bike over to the gas
    pumps. It wouldn't start, out of gas!


    Ifilled my tank and bought enough oil to change my oil, which had
    comedue. I decided to do my oil change further down the road and
    departedthe sanctuary of the gas station (finding out in advance how
    farit was to the next one). Now, the only tools I had with me was
    thatmarvelous set of tools provided by Honda Motors. What a joke!
    WhenI pulled over a while later to change my oil under the shade of
    abig tree, the wrench would not even begin to budge the oil drain
    plug. After repeatedly trying and failing, I noticed a small town
    justdown the road. I hoped they would have a hardware store where I
    couldget a wrench big enough to remove my oil drain plug. I pulled
    intotown, much like a cowboy probably did a hundred years ago. The
    townwas one street with stores on each side. To the best of my
    recollection,there was no intersection. But, one of the stores
    proudlyproclaimed "Hardware" on its edifice. Delighted, I
    dismounted(I would have loved to have tied up at a hitching post)
    andwent to open the door. Locked! Damn! But it's only about
    2:00on a weekday!


    Agroup of people had gathered on a hill outside of town. One of
    themhad left the others and was strolling toward me. The man asked
    ifhe could help me and I explained my dilemma. He said he had
    closedfor a funeral, but reckoned he could help me if I didn't
    taketoo long. Of course, he had no metric tools. I don't remember
    ifhe had a crescent wrench or not, but I settled on a big pair ofchannel
    locks.I paid the man, thanked him and he returned to the funeral
    andI went back to the big shady tree and changed my oil. (The
    channellocks worked fine.) The old 360G didn't have an oil
    filter,thank God.


    Myluck was holding. Tomorrow I would reach Glacier National
    Park.probably the most beautiful of all the national parks.


    NEXT:


    Glacier,180s on the face of a cliff, what do motorcycles and boats
    havein common?, and Banff.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Rscottp's Avatar
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    That's nuts!
    1981 Honda CX500D
    1974 Honda CB450
    1986 Yamaha Radian 600

    Martha's Vineyard Ma

  3. #3
    Super Moderator ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quite the story... "as they crested the hill I flipped them off"
    Tom

    CL450 project reboot, street legal this time
    Budget drag bike project
    CB350K1 full patina project
    Ride along at the drag strip


    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

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