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I don’t know when I started riding motorcycles for sure, but I suppose it was somewhere around 10-12  years old. I don’t remember when, but I do remember what, it was a yellow 1970 Honda Trail 90, with a dual high-low transmission and auto-clutch. It was originally bought for my older brother to ride, but when I was deemed old enough, my Dad put the transmission in low, explained controls, and I was off.
The first motorcycle I thought of as mine was a 1973 Honda CL125 in Hawaiian Blue. After I had been driving the Trail 90 for several years, my Dad decided I was ready for a little more bike. Together we drove to house a few counties away and there sitting amongst mounds of clutter in a garage built under the man’s house, sat the Scrambler. I remember being uncontainably excited at the thought that that beautiful machine could be mine to ride, all the while my Dad was so cool and acting uninterested as he positioned himself to negotiate the man down in price. Just when I thought the motorcycle was going to slip through my fingers, they struck a deal. I drove that motorcycle across the farmstead and through the timber for years.
Eventually my Dad would buy me a Honda Rebel 250 to drive, before I moved on to a black 1978 Harley Davidson FLH and finally a red 1996 Harley Davidson FLH. But I always enjoyed that Hawaiian Blue Scrambler. Unfortunately the years weren’t kind to it and the bottom of the fuel tank rotted out. And for the last few years I have been without a motorcycle of any kind.
Then came Christmas. We went up to visit my parents at Christmas and my Dad just couldn’t wait to show me what he had found on Craigslist. He wouldn’t tell me what it was insisting instead that I follow him to the cold garage. When I got to the garage he proudly proclaimed, “There it is,” pointing at a box on the bench. I wasn’t sure why he was so excited until he pulled out a New-Old-Stock gas tank for the Scrambler. A dealer up by Minneapolis had gotten a tank years ago, when the bikes were new, that had a small dent in it and so it had simply sat on the shelf collecting dust until he decided to list it on Craigslist. That set us to talking about the different enduros he had rode over the years before he began riding Harleys. There had been several, but one of his favorites was a 1973 Honda SL125 done up in gray with red stripes.
I left my parents house excited to know that the Scrambler had a new tank and would be ridden once more. I also left dreaming of enduros. I started keeping a close eye on Craigslist for a enduro to once again call my own. That’s when I found it. Just 25 miles from my Dad was a 1973 Honda SL125 painted identically to the one he had once driven. I called him immediately to tell him what I had found, but he already had found it for himself and was itching to dial the seller’s number. The seller, living in small town rural Iowa, had already received phone calls from across the country and even one from Germany by the time my Dad talked to him, but the next morning the SL125 was his. He called and told me all about it, which, if you knew him, would tell you how excited he was because he never calls people. But I was about to get excited as well, since he had found a SL125, he no longer had the desire to keep the CL125 and the Scrambler was officially all mine.
And then he called me again last week. I could tell when I answered the phone something had him excited. He had been watching ebay and there in the town where he lives was a 1973 Honda XL250. The big brother to his SL125 and in matching paint. He convinced me (it wasn’t hard) that this was the enduro I needed and that it was a very good price. And so I became the proud owner of a gray 1973 Honda XL250. Unfortunately, Iowa is not somewhere where you ride motorcycles in January. So it sits in his garage, awaiting me and the arrival of spring.
But spring can’t come fast enough and so I have been looking at all things vintage motorcycle to pass the time. And this is the apology. I found a site today that features custom motorcycles, many/most of which are vintage: BikeExif. And if you follow me on Pinterest your pin feed just exploded with vintage motorcycles – sorry, I am just really excited.

Honda XL 250

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