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Spires: Motorcycles memories

Spires: Motorcycles memories

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Many years ago, I bought myself a motorcycle, a Kawasaki 400 to be exact.

My cousin Buddy had let me ride his occasionally and I thought that I wanted one.

It was not a Harley Davidson; however, it served my purpose and I bought it for a good price. I remember it only had about 500 miles on it but had been stored for several years.

The bike ran fine and had only one problem: Because it had sat up, the dual exhaust pipes had rusted out. I found a pair of pipes for it and installed them.

I was proud of that bike; it was fun to ride and plenty fast enough. As a matter of fact, I never pushed it passed 80 mph. Most of the time, on the open road, I’d drive about 60 mph.

This was in the days before they required helmets, but I never got on that bike, or any bike, without a helmet.

Once, I managed to lay my cousin’s bike down; thankfully, it didn’t hurt me or the bike. I learned a good lesson from that encounter as to how quickly a motorcycle could get away from you.

I never took it on any long trips, probably the longest was 50 or 60 miles. I mostly just road it back and forth to work and occasionally on a Sunday afternoon.

Life changed and before I knew it, I had two small children. The bike just didn’t seem that important to me at the time, so I decided to sell it.

I would park it in front of the wholesale store I owned back then. There was a young fellow that really liked that bike and it was nice. It was candy apple red with all of the chrome you could get on one.

Once I put a “for sale” sign on the bike, he had a fit. He asked me not to sell it until he could talk to his father.

I said I would and in about an hour they showed up together.

The young fellow was 16 and could legally drive the bike. I had told him what I would take for the bike before he went to get his father.

“He has the money, so we will buy it,” his father told me.

In 10 minutes, I had my money, and the young fellow had a motorcycle.

It turned out that, unlike me, the 16-year-old found out exactly how fast the bike would run.

Within two weeks he wrecked the bike and the last time I saw it was on their front porch in two cardboard boxes.

Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt, and I still see him around on occasion. I can’t help but tease him a little about the bike and how it ended up.

On my side, if Karma had anything to do with it and that bike had one bad accident in it, I’m glad I got ride of it before it happened to me.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. You can contact him at


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