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The_AirHawk 11-22-2006 11:29 AM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
Hey mscuddy, does that 3lb horn go "A-OOOGAAAaaaaaH!!!!"?

ksquid 11-22-2006 11:36 AM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
Fantastic article. Fun read mscuddy. Thanks MO.

Buzglyd 11-22-2006 11:45 AM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
"Marvels of Czech engineering."

That's not something you hear every day.

KLRer 11-22-2006 12:45 PM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
great story and pics! That sort of lightweight dual purpose would still be a lot of fun, maybe something like the Yamaha XT225 or Suzuki 200 except lighter. 170 lbs would be about right.

yossef 11-22-2006 12:53 PM

Jawa vs. Ariel
As someone whose first bike was a WWII ex British Army Ariel 350 with a rigid frame, I should be soooo envious. On the other hand, as after 28 years, I still own it the score is 1:1. Still runs great BTW.

Good read indeed. Complimenti!


Buzglyd 11-22-2006 01:14 PM

Mine was a '73 also
A beautiful silver Honda XR75

JoeBlade 11-22-2006 01:30 PM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
A 1976 KZ400 at age in 18 in 1988. It was a POS but would pull an indicated 115 if you crawled under the paint.

I still get misty eyed thinking about it.

One night I tried to jump start it off a car (with the polarity accidently reversed). After that if you turned the key on the wiring harness would glow bright red and insulation would melt off it.

I wonder if that poor old bike ever forgave me.

mikenomad 11-22-2006 02:17 PM

Re: The Death Bike
My first bike was a 1970 Kawasaki 500 Mach III. The powerband was divided into two segments: (1) no discernible power and (2) full power.

You rolled on the throttle and waited while the bike slowly crept forward, making a low WUUUUUUH sound. Then suddenly, without warning, the bike leaped forward violently, shrieking RAAAAAAAAAH!!!! as the front wheel lofted and you soiled your pants.

At least that's how it worked until you learned to slip the clutch and give it lots of revs to get underway. A lot of new owners became former owners because of the fear and loathing caused by the incredibly peaky nature of the beast.

The first owner of my particular bike died on it -- or to be more accurate, died after the throttle stuck wide open on the slide-needle carbs and the bike hit a utility pole.

The bike changed hands several times before I got it, and each owner experienced his share of mayhem. By the time I got it, it had been wrecked so many times that it was impossible to tell what the original color was -- the tank, front fender, rear fender, and side covers were all different. It had been through several sets of forks. It was known in the neighborhood as The Death Bike.

This was not a good bike to learn on.

My audition for the Barnum & Bailey Acrobatic Troupe took place late at night on a sweeping right turn on Kehrs Mill Road. I did a high-side dismount, several tumbles and rolls, and finished my routine with a Superman slide on my chest, reducing the front of my helmet and my fingers and knees to shreds.

There were no judges in the moonlit cornfields to hold up scorecards for my performance.

I eventually learned to work around the limitations of the on/off throttle, spaghetti frame, and drum brakes and even mastered wheelies for short distances. I kept The Death Bike Mach III for about six months before selling it to the next unwitting soul. I heard that he only kept it for three weeks.

sarnali2 11-22-2006 02:21 PM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
My first bike was a '71 Hodaka Super Rat, rode the sh*t out of it, raced it, everything Fun bike.

MadScientistMatt 11-22-2006 03:01 PM

Re: First Bike the Second Time Around: MSCuddy's Jawa
Interesting timing. I'm just about to put my first bike, a '79 Honda CX500, up for sale. I like the way its design is very different, but in a way that still manages to make sense instead of a screwball sort of different. But it just doesn't seem to be holding together for long commutes.

I know very well that I might miss it later. In fact, I've still held onto my first car, ten years later, because I knew I'd kick myself for selling that. But this bike needs way more work than what I'm willing to put into it.

Maybe sometime years later, I'll get bitten by the nostalgia bug and go out and track down a CX500. But at least that time around, I'll take my time and pick out a pristine, well restored example, and save myself a lot of trouble.

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