My Stable Ė Past, PresentÖFuture?

(Here's a little history of my bike collection over time.  Bikes are shown in order of appearance in my garage!)

 

 

1984 GPZ 550

My first bike was purchased on February 25th, 1985 from Richmond Honda.It was a one-year-old Kawasaki GPZ 550 with a couple of minor mods and fairly low mileage.A hell of a first bike!I rode it for roughly four months.I experienced a moderate crash that involved some damage to the forks and stretched muscles on my part.I put it back together, slowed down a bit and then traded it in for my next toy and lustful heart's desire.  All told maybe 3000 miles on it.

 

 

1985 Ninja 600

The Ninja was my first experience at bike lust.This little beast was all that and more.The magazines were raving about it and I decided I just had to have one.† My buddy Tony beat me to the punch and bought the red and black one so I had to buy the red and white version just to be different.  Around town we were known as the Ninja Bros.  I rode it for 14 months and put 24,000 miles on it.Part of that time it spent in the shop thanks to a mistake on my part when I installed my Yoshimura exhaust.Still, it was a hoot to ride.

 

 

1983 GPZ 550

I bought this bike because I was racking up way too many miles on my Ninja.I figured I could use the GPZ to commute on and save the Ninja for my weekend jaunts.It worked for a couple of months until someone decided they needed the bike more than I.I woke up one morning to find it missing from the curb in front of my apartment.Damn!  Maybe 2000 miles served up in 3 months time.

 

 

1986 FZ600

After having someone heist my 550 I got pissed and then I went crazy.Ran down to Berkeley Yamaha and laid out $3000 for a new FZ.Not sure why exactly I did it but I did.No regrets.It was a nice compliment to my Ninja.Where the Kawi had horsepower the FZ had agility.It was fun to switch off between the bikes and I really enjoyed having a choice when I went riding.  This one I owned again for maybe 3 months and 3000 miles.

 

1986 GSX-R750

Now if you really want to talk craziness this is it.I fell in love with the new Suzuki the minute I saw it.Had to have it.No bigger bike lust in the world than that.  So I called up my buddy Tony and had him come over to the house with his riding gear.Put him on the FZ while I jumped onto the Ninja and off we went to American Cycles in Berkeley.I traded both bikes plus a small amount of cash for the new 750.It was awesome!I put 800 miles on it the first week I had it!(So much for the 600-mile service.)Within a couple of weeks I had managed to get a new Yosh pipe for it and get it setup just the way I liked.Yeah baby!  Unfortunately someone decided they needed it more than I and heisted the bike right out from under my window one night.  Shock is a very uncomfortable feeling.  I think I had maybe 1800 miles on the beast.

 

 

1986 GSX-R750 (#2)

Ok so I had to take craziness to a new level.A week after I lost my first GSX-R I ran down to the dealer and put everything I had on the table including two credit cards.†I just had to have the bike.   I later found out that a half dozen of the GSXRs purchased at American Cycles all disappeared that month.Hmm, go figure.This time I kept it hidden under lock and key and heavy motorcycle cover.No one was going to get this beast away from me.It worked.I ended up converting it to a racebike in 1987 and raced it for 5 years before converting it back to street.I put over 61,000 miles on that bike before it died in a fire in my garage in 2003.

 

 

1974 RD400

In 1987 I got the bug to go racing.Not wanting to commit to racing my expensive GSXR I chose to look for something a little smaller and a little cheaper.My buddy Taylor sold me the RD.It was a great little bike and I managed to take it apart and put it back together but it really never hooked me like my other bikes.I did put a few street miles on it but ultimately sold it to some other "enthusiast".  It never did see the racetrack.  I was just too intimidated by the 2-stroke power band to take it out there.  All told maybe 500 miles were put on the bike.

 

 

1974ish TZ250/RD400

While I owned the RD I got hooked on another bastard bike.This was a TZ250D chassis with a í74 RD400 motor stuffed inside. The bike was setup as a road racer and yet was streetable.I played around with it for a bit but decided that it really wasnít my thing.I think the biggest pain on this and the other RD was setting the points.It took time, precision, patience and magic to get them right.In the end I sold this bike off to the same sucker that bought the RD.  All told maybe 100 miles on it after I got done.  Very sad.

 

 

1986 GSX-R1100

So if the 750 is killer fun the 1100 must be over the top right?In 1988 I picked up a used 1100 from a friend of a friend.It was a former race bike and was a little rough around the edges but boy was it fast!I soon could be found blasting up Highway 1 on it during the Sunday Morning Ride.Yee ha!I later attempted to put it on the track but instead spun a rod bearing in that motor.I did get it running again but sold it soon after.  All told maybe 18,000 miles on it

 

 

1989 NX250

So after slowly increasing displacement over the first few years I decided to go the other way and reduce piston size.I picked up the little NX from my buddy Steve.† Sean Crane had dropped it off at P&D after toasting the top end on it.  He never came back for it so Steve sold it to me on a lien sale.  The bike needed a little love, care and $300 to put it back together but man it was fun!This little beast had zero horsepower but you could absolutely rail through the corners in the hills.I loved playing around with it on the street.It was billed as a dual sport bike but I could never find decent tires for it.In the end I sold it in order to get a real DP bike.  Again maybe 1500 miles of local fun were put on it.

 

 

1991 DR350

My replacement for the NX was the DR.Up until now I had had zero time in the dirt.Oh sure Steve had lured me onto Willow Creek Road while I was riding the 1100 and I managed to somehow make it from the coast to Occidental on it but that really wasnít dirt riding.The DR filled the bill and over 5 years or so took me all over Baja and beyond.Ultimately I sold it to my buddy so I could again go up in displacement.  By the time he got it I had installed the 400 kit along with tons of other mods.  It also had 19,000 miles on it by then!

 

 

1986 FZ600 (#2 and 3)

Somehow I got suckered into buying my friend Johnnyís FZ racebikes.He basically had two rolling chassis with enough parts to build a couple of motors and then some.There were the radical Megacycle race cams, the overbore piston kits and so many goodies that I couldnít resist.What I never understood at that time was how much time it would take to make it all work.I just wasnít that motivated to set aside the time to work on the project.I was spending all my time at the track and wrenching on my own racebike and streetbike.In the end I found yet another sucker to take these things off my hands.  Zero miles attained.

 

 

1986 GSX-R1100 (#2)

In 1992 I made the switch from racing the 750 to the 1100.During my first practice session on the track I managed to spin a rod bearing in the motor.Not wanting to spend all my time rebuilding the motor and dealing with deadlines I chose to instead buy a bike that was ready to roll.Of course my good friend Steve had a nice GSXR in the shop that had one hell of a motor in it.Falicon crankshaft, Carillo rods, 2mm over pistons, Yoshimura race cams, you name it.So I bought it, put on my race bodywork and suspension and went to town.Yee ha!† At the end of my first season on it I put it on the dyno and discovered 125 horsepower and 70 ft-pounds of torque back there.  I raced the bike for two years and then managed to toast that motor too.† I pulled it off the track in 1993 and disgustedly quit racing.  It sat in my garage until the end of 2002 when I practically gave it away to a GSXR enthusiast.Ah well, it was good while it lasted.  Somewhere around 800 miles of racetrack time on it.

 

 

1993 Ducati 900 Superlight

So me, craziness and bikes all seem to go hand in hand.Toward the end of 1992 I was feeling a little silly and decided I needed a new streetbike.My GSX-R750 was getting long in the tooth and my 1100 was limited to the track.So on a whim, I decided I needed a Ducati.I settled on the Superlight based on what I read in the magazine.Having never even seen the bike I chose to call BMW/Ducati of Marin and buy one over the phone.I faxed the credit app to them and after work drove over to the shop to pick it up.It became a love hate relationship not unlike the real relationship I had left just before buying the bike.Over 5 years I had fun with the bike but never really put many miles on it thanks to various and sundry warranty problems.In the end I traded it away for a new love.  12k miles on the clock.

 

 

1992 KDX200

For a while there I really got into dirt riding.The DR was fun but a bit porky.So I broke down and got a killer little enduro bike.The KDX was perfect for play riding and for tight single-track woods riding.I had tonís of fun on it but eventually drifted away from serious dirt play, plus I would rather ride than drive which this thing wasn't street legal.  Loading up the van to go play was not really enticing to me.  800 miles of enduros, cross countries, single track and mx.

 

 

1980 XT250

On a whim I bought this bike.I was looking for a good starter bike in order to train a girlfriend how to ride.This thing was in the flea market paper and I got it for under $300.It was perfect for the job and I ultimately gave it to the girlfriend.About a year after we broke up I managed to get it back.I played around with it on and off for a few years before once again giving it to another girlfriend.She had a blast with it and unfortunately had it in my garage where it died a terrible death in the fire.  I put maybe 20 miles on it?

 

 

1996 Triumph Tiger

In preparation for a 24-hour endurance rally I was provided a Triumph Tiger to ride.3200 miles and three weeks later I was hooked!Later that year I traded my Ducati for my very own Tiger.Iíve never looked back.That bike has taken me to Alaska, Canada, Mexico and all over the West.On January 25th I rolled into my driveway, looked down at the odometer and saw 90001 miles on the odometer.Unfortunately that night my garage caught fire and destroyed all of my bikes including the Tiger.It was a difficult loss but I recovered.I bought another one just days after the fire.

 

 

1988 XR600R

When I sold my DR350 I turned right around and bought the XR.Many of the guys that I have ridden with in Baja use the XR and with much success.I decided it was time for me to join the crowd.Again this bike was in my garage during the fire.It does not appear to be a total loss and with time I may be able to restore it.  Roughly 2000 miles on it now.

 

 

1988 Katana 600

This bike is one of the most unusual vehicles Iíve ever owned.It belonged to my buddy Steve and had gone through an interesting transformation.When I got it there was a 750 top end on the motor and a GSX-R front end with Stortz Performance riser bars on it and a Fox Twin Clicker out back.When I got done with it I had it bored out to 5mm over for a 750 or nearly 900ccís.A set of Megacycle cams and a host of other goodies made it a fire-breathing monster.Again another casualty of the fire.  I chose to trade it to a longtime friend for two cases of Sierra Nevada.  Sigh...roughly 22,000 miles of snarly bad-ass fun!

 

 

2001 SV650

Little bikes can be so much fun, especially twins!A friend of mine was lucky enough to get an early delivery of the 1999 SV650.He raved about the little beast.In time I broke down and bought one.Itís the best bang for your buck that youíll ever get.Though it got caught in the fire I was able to restore it back to proper form.Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes it is whole again and covered in flames.  At this point I have over 25,000 miles on it.

 

 

1996 Triumph Tiger (#2)

Three days after the garage fire I tracked down another Tiger and bought it.Though insurance would give me enough money for me to consider buying just about any bike out there I chose the Tiger.I realized that it did everything I wanted it to and that I was happiest when I was riding that particular bike.The new black Tiger has taken me past the 100k mark for Triumph saddle time and I expect to go even further.  Today's mileage is 21,000, tomorrows?  More!

 

 

2000 XR650R

Canít go through life without a dual sport bike now canít I?The XR650 is like the XR600 only on steroids.My first ride on this bike was a shock to my system.Smoother, faster, lighter and way more fun than the old XR itís truly an amazing bike.So far Iíve only been riding it on the street but I intend to change that and soon!  I've since added a second set of rims so I can swap from street to dirt in a matter of minutes.  Wicked fun in either arena I absolutely love this thing!  1000 miles so far...

 

 

CBR1100XX

The Blackbird is the newest addition to my garage.In fact I bought it in celebration of the completion of my new garage.Once again Iím on a fire-breathing open-class motorcycle and I love it.Hopefully the Valentine One will help keep me out of jail!  My inspiration for this bike came back in 1997 when I test road it for the magazine.  Yup, that's me on the cover.  Unbelievable acceleration and incredibly smooth!  So far I've got over 5000 miles on it in only 7 months!

 

 

1983 XR200R

Little dirt bikes are so much fun!  Just couldn't resist when I saw this little bike on craigslist for $600.  Ok so the kick starter occasionally slips when you try to start the little beast but it's still a hoot!  Not to mention it's nice to have a loaner bike for when you drag friends along on camping trips.  Only 2 miles on it right now but with winter on the horizon that will change!