Tales from real life
|Well, if they're not true, they oughta be!|
An inquiry from RICH made me realize that others might be interested in the cover image.
It's a 1972 Harley-Davidson Sprint 250, made by Aermacchi in Italy and sold by Harley dealers in America. It's somewhat unique in that it has a single cylinder laid down in front of the crankcase. The geometry results in a long wheelbase and a low center of gravity. This yellow one belonged to my Dad. I had a black Sprint 350 when I was in High School, and I always enjoyed the way it handled.
I grew up on a small ranch among cowboys, farmers and loggers. I sometimes rode horses as a child, but abandoned four legs for two wheels the first time I straddled my Montgomery Ward minibike at the age of twelve. I had several real motorcycles over the years, including a Harley Rapido 125 (also made by Aermacchi) and a BSA 250 single, but I finally settled on Yamahas. I could wheelie my RD250 two-stroke twin through three gears. After getting married, I traded it in for an XS650 parallel twin that was better suited for two-up riding. My last bike was an XV920RH V-twin with an enclosed chain drive. I rode it more than 50,000 miles and it still had the original chain.
Dad liked my Harley Sprint so much that he bought one for himself. It was handier for him to kickstart the bike for a quick trip out to the fields than to saddle up a horse. The original street mufflers didn't fare well in the dirt, so we used a hacksaw to create the 'megaphone' look. The bike didn't run quite as well with the open pipes, but it sure sounded cool! Also, check out the home-made mud flap on the front fender. It was cut out of an old tire and mounted with three bolts.
This photo captures a juxtaposition of the old and new west. Dad's horses all passed away and he finally got too old for the motorcycle. He created this 'artwork' from the remnants of his riding past.