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The OSSA Pioneer:
When i was in Jr High 8th grade, i had saved up the $$ and wanted to buy a HD 125. My Uncle K (dad's youngest bro) just about had a cow when i told him.. He's not a HD fan at all. (Though my mom's bro George and my dad both had HD Dressers). Anyway K, talked me in to buying a Ossa 250 Pioneer from him, for much less $ than the HD would have been. BUT the Ossa was in boxes! With much help from K, we put it together in his garage. The day we finished building it; his new Husky 500 was delivered to him.

Day one, me on my Ossa and K on his Husky ridding somewhere in the desert in Southern Utah. K tells me to fallow him close, as to get a idea of how fast hes going (The Ossa had a speedo the Husky did not). We are Haulin' Azz on this very long turn: The trail was just about 2 tire widths with tall grass and sage on either side. I glance at the speedo, It was at 115 pegged. The next thing i see is a board about 2 feet long, the end of witch was just in the center of that trail. Look at it you will hit it! 100%.. I clipped just the tip of that board with my front tire, it flipped. Hitting me in the right knee, then up side my helmet.. I exited both the bike and the trail to my immediate left.. The bike had no problem staying upright and just cruised on through the brush on a joy ride of its own. Me, on the other hand went flipping end over end in sideways cartwheels for what felt like ever.. I finally planted face down, sprawled eagle, with the wind knocked out of me, trying to re-learn how to breathe.. After a few minutes K discovers that i'm not fallowing him. So he turned back. Somehow he found me still face down, I think he thought i was a goner.. Then my arm moved. I heard his bike roll up but, i could not respond... When i finally roll over and eventually sit up. It was then that i discover i'm in a HUGE patch of Prickly Pear Cactus! Back then, ridding gear consisted of: helmet, gloves, denim jacket and jeans with loggers boots. When i got up i had more quills than a giant porcupine!

2nd Desert ride:
Ridding with a buddy who's on a Honda 100. His Dad (also our Scoutmaster). Drove us out to the desert somewhere west of Salt Lake. There were many trails going every witch way and a lot of jumps and a very large hill. There were 10 to 15 bikes running these trails. It was a cool riding area! All had been taking pokes at climbing that big hill. I had made a couple mild passes at it; Then i remembered K, telling me that this Ossa would climb a pole.. I got back and took a good long approach to the hill. I hit the base in 4th at WOT. I put everything i had up over the bars leaning out as far forward as i could manage. Downshift and gave it hell, downshift and keep that throttle pegged! I went past the highest tire mark on the hill as shifted to 1st, It literally leaped over the top cress! Much to my dismay, this hill was a TRAIN GRADE! Thank GOD, the tracks had been removed. However, this also meant this "hill" had a very narrow top! As i soon discovered my first true "flight". That hill went down the same angle on the other side! I was no-where near it! I backed off the gas, all i remember was the sound of the wind and my idling bike.. I had no idea how to land this thing... So i waited, till just before touchdown and NAILED THE GAS.. Yea! a perfect landing It amazed me how smooth it landed. I was expecting a mass of busted and scattered bike parts, with me turning to hamburger...I came to a very gentile stop. The bike made a hell of a racket. But when stopped it sounded normal, just idling. I roll a few feet forward and the racket? I stop get off the bike to discover the knobbies of the rear tire had got hold of the licence plate frame an literally cut-off the back fender with it. The licence and tail light assy were up in front of the rear tire. I pulled out the wires, Put the plate in the back of my belt. Then looked at that hill. It went east-west for ever.. Only one way back.. Yep I climbed it again.. This time making the mistake of stopping on top! Looking down that was 10X scarier than the "flight". In flight, i only had time to react. Now i'm thinkin' this shit!
 

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Accidental Skilled Embarrassing:

We were TDY to NAS Lemore, CA. from MCAS El Toro.
I had worked a full day in Lemore when at clean up time, i get a call that my wife is having some difficulties with her pregnancy. They send me home on Emergency Leave. I was ridding a Yamaha 650 Special. 7 hours back south. I was tired and cold to the bone. In desperate need of some coffee, as i only stopped for gas during the entire ride. As i neared home I took the off ramp to head for my favorite coffee shop. I had to make a left at the red light coming off the ramp. I stop, a station wagon with some hot blond babes pulls along side. They were turning right. Although they can make a right on red, they are waiting? I look over and notice that all 4 of these girls are looking at me just sitting there waiting for my green..Then just as my light changes to green, i clicked into 1st gear. At that exact moment i fell over like a cut tree! As i impacted mother earth, it dawned on me...I never took my feet off the pegs! I had been stopped for about 3 minutes...Those hot chicks just laughed and drove off...Thank God for full face helmets. The red on my face had to glow like a stoplight!
 

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A few years ago a buddy had been asking me all sorts of Harley questions. He was looking for a bike, and trying to decide what to get. He finally found a Honda Fury on Craigslist. He went and picked it up and came into work the next day talking about what a great deal he got on it and how much cheaper , better engine, last longer, blah, blah blah. He had quite the crowd around him as he was talking about how much better his Fury was than any Harley. Then he goes on to say that the best thing is it looks and sounds just like a Harley. I said, "One thing about it, you'll never hear a Harley owner brag that his bike sounds just like a Honda." The crowd died laughing, and he shut up.
 

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In the early '70's, Honda's had the key ignition in front of the gas tank on the frame down tube. It was a handy place. Especially when you needed to resolver the wires back into place. Quite often, it turns out, there would be a cold solder at one of the points and one of the ignition wire would come loose. One came loose on my old 500. Fortunately, I had a soldering iron and knew how to fix it. Couple of minutes and the job was done, and the bike was back on the road.

I crossed the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel every '73-'74 day going from our apartment in Hampton to the Submarine Force HQ in Norfolk, VA. One day, returning home, I see a couple on the side of the road with a Honda. I'd just cross the bridge tunnel and they were stopped near an overpass. I stopped. He, the rider, was stumped. All of a sudden, he says, the bike just quit. No spark. Nothing. Back then, even the electric starts also had the kick starter and he'd wore himself out trying to kick it. Since I had recently seen something similar in my bike, I looked at the back of the ignition switch. Yep. Sure enough, a cold solder had come loose.

Well, I didn't have my soldering iron with me. Had to think this over a minute. I pulled out my Bic lighter. Looked at it. Looked at the ignition switch. Looked at the gas tank proximity. Hmmmm ...

OK. I tell the guy and his lady friend to back off. Since it was a pretty new lighter, I thought this just might work. I moved the little adjustment to full blast. Got the wire with the lump of cold solder pressed to the back of the switch where it was supposed to go, fired up the lighter. One, two, three, the solder melted and held. I turned off the Bic.

Whew! Didn't blow the gas tank. The bike started right up after coughing out a lot of extra gas from getting kicked so much.

Lesson: Always carry a Bic.
 
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