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Thread: Daytona in the 80's

  1. #1
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    Default Daytona in the 80's

    In 1983 I was in the Air Force at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo Texas studying top secret stuff after language school at the Presidio of Monterey. Due to a scheduling screw-up by the personnel office, my buddy and I had a few months free (mowing lawns and drinking beer) until the next opening at survival school in Fairchild AFB Washington (just in time for the coldest winter ever). I was the proud owner of a brand new '82 leftover KZ1000J, black with gold and red pinstripes, and a GS1000S fairing striped to match. My best friend found an '82 GS1100E, ironically just the same model as the one I purchased 2 days ago.

    He said to me "let's to to Daytona" which is where he is from, so we took off on short notice. We had a ball, no issues mechanically and no tickets or mishaps. But we didn't want to leave and stayed a little too long. Time to hustle, so we took off at 6AM and rode through to San Antonio - about 1100 miles, arriving at midnight. We averaged 60 mph. That's a good average for such a long ride. We did the Atchafalaya bridge at well over 100.

    When we got to our fleabag hotel, we tried to doze off but a cricket kept chirping. We'd turn the light on and see the little guy scurry back under the heater. My pal grabbed a bottle of Hawaiian tropic tanning oil and squirted a puddle where the cricket had just been. Lights out, chirping, softer, softer, no chirping. Funny the stuff we remember.

    He liked my KZ because he's shorter and could touch the ground, plus it didn't have a rock hard seat. I liked the GS because overall it was a better bike, faster, better handling, and with gear shift indicator. Both were great but that sold me on the big GS for life, and to this day it's my favorite bike. Good thing I just found one...

    https://www.thegsresources.com/_foru...eville-special

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    Great story and I hope you make more memories

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

  3. #3
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    I love those old memories. "Let's go to Daytona! 1100 miles? We can do that today!"

    The things you do when you're young.
    1982 GS1100E V&H "SS" exhaust, APE pods, 1150 oil cooler, 140 speedo, 99.3 rear wheel HP, black engine, '83 red

    2016 XL883L Two-tone blue and white. Almost 42 hp! Status: destroyed, now owned by the insurance company. The hole in my memory starts an hour before the accident and ends 24 hours after.

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    That's for sure. Not a GS story but I've crossed the US alone several times in 3 or 4 days, in various cars. In 1990 I drove a '72 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe (rare these days) from LA to DC in 3 days. No credit card, barely enough cash, and of course no mobile phone. I'd find a campground and pitch tent by the headlights, get 6 hrs of sleep and go.

    It was 110 degrees climbing long stretches in Utah and I had to turn the heater on due to vapor lock. Next time I stopped, it felt like I stepped on a banana when I got out of the car - the heat melted the sole off my shoe.

    In West Virginia one evening, the rubber flexible coupling between the driveshaft and the transmission disintegrated and took the support brace with it. I removed the center console and through the access hole I manged to cobble it together without the rubber. Then to support it I made a hammock from a towel and sheet metal screwed the towel to each side of the tunnel using screws from the console. I soaked it with motor oil to lubricate it. I drove a couple hundred miles with one eye on it, fearing that I'd be killed by that hack, but it worked!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob S. View Post
    I love those old memories. "Let's go to Daytona! 1100 miles? We can do that today!"

    The things you do when you're young.
    Tom

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    In '79 I drove my '68 Camaro for about a month with no clutch pedal. Put her in first, turn the key, and off we go!

    Motor mounts were broken, so when I floored it in first, engine would shift and pull the throttle linkage...gas pedal would pull away from my foot and glue itself to the floor. No problem - I'll just step on the...oops, no clutch! Drum brakes will have to do.
    1982 GS1100E V&H "SS" exhaust, APE pods, 1150 oil cooler, 140 speedo, 99.3 rear wheel HP, black engine, '83 red

    2016 XL883L Two-tone blue and white. Almost 42 hp! Status: destroyed, now owned by the insurance company. The hole in my memory starts an hour before the accident and ends 24 hours after.

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    In 1985 a group of three of us left Michigan on our bikes and rode down to Daytona. Two of us where on our HD's with the third guy on a VW trike which he just built. The trike had a cover over the top, the body was built out of a 300 gallon fuel oil tank pulling a trailer made from a smaller tank that held his pinstriping gear.

    When we left it wasn't too cold and there wasn't any snow on the road, a couple of fifths of Brandy helped us get to the warmer weather. A good time was had by all that week and on the way back we hit snow at the Ohio/Michigan line.

    The two of us on two wheels decided to get a room and wait out the weather and the trike continued north. He was about 20 miles shy of home and ended up upside down in the ditch wrecking the not only the trike but himself and the equipment. We made it back two days later, luckily.there wasn't a funeral to attend when we got there.

  7. #7
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    Trike guys are, umm, 'different'...


    Quote Originally Posted by LAB3 View Post
    In 1985 a group of three of us left Michigan on our bikes and rode down to Daytona. Two of us where on our HD's with the third guy on a VW trike which he just built. The trike had a cover over the top, the body was built out of a 300 gallon fuel oil tank pulling a trailer made from a smaller tank that held his pinstriping gear.

    When we left it wasn't too cold and there wasn't any snow on the road, a couple of fifths of Brandy helped us get to the warmer weather. A good time was had by all that week and on the way back we hit snow at the Ohio/Michigan line.

    The two of us on two wheels decided to get a room and wait out the weather and the trike continued north. He was about 20 miles shy of home and ended up upside down in the ditch wrecking the not only the trike but himself and the equipment. We made it back two days later, luckily.there wasn't a funeral to attend when we got there.
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldGSfan View Post
    Trike guys are, umm, 'different'...
    Gordie was quite a bid older than us and had a job to get back to, we did too but having a job wasn't a big priority for us.

  9. #9
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    Daytona....We are road tripping. Literally. It was the 80's, gimme a break. We went to race. Go to practice, all went well. I was mid-pack, friend was up towards the front (by lap times) We were both running GS1000's. I only cared about beating the guys with all the money, he wanted to win. After practice we got to wander the pits of the pro teams before their practice. Amazing! Freddie Spencer was just a kid! Watching Kenny Roberts on the banking on his TZ750 from 20 yards away is something I'll never forget. After we get to back to camp, we prep our bikes and get ready to go. Needless to say, we got rather "over served" that evening. Ooops, no one set the alarm clock or set it to eastern time! AAAAGH.

    Scrambling, we made our way to the track. We missed morning practice so we were put in the last row of the grid. My buddy say's follow my que at the start. I'm not leaving by the flag, I'm leaving the moment his shoulder moves. We passed half the pack while they were barely moving, never got caught because all eye's were on the front runners. Within 3 laps he was in 4th and crashed out. I worked my way up to midpack, passed the prettiest, biggest money, dealer sponsored rider and promptly went off the track, low siding it instead of hitting the hay bales. Race over. We went a few more times, no racing again, just girls and beer. My signature picture was taking at Daytona.
    Current Rides: 82 GS1100E, 00 Triumph 955 Speed Triple, 03 Kawasaki ZRX1200, 01 Honda GL1800, '15 Kawasaki 1000 Versys
    Past Rides: 72 Honda SL-125, Kawasaki KE-175, 77 GS750 with total yosh stage 1 kit, 79 GS1000s, 80 GS1000S, 82 GS750e,82 GS1000S, 84 VF500f, 86 FZR600, 95 Triumph Sprint 900,96 Triumph Sprint, 97 Triumph Sprint, 01 Kawasaki ZRX1200, 07 Triumph Tiger 1050, 01 Yam YFZ250F
    Work in progress: 78 GS1000, unknown year GS1100ES

  10. #10
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    That is awesome. I am in awe of Kenny, Freddy, and all those legends. Great memory. Back then I could barely afford motorcycle magazines, never mind a motorcycle (until I got a steady paycheck in the USAF ). Plus I am too big and too slow and cautious to ever have raced much of anything, well except for skiing.

    I wanted that GS1000S so badly, but 'settled' for my first bike (!), the KZ1100J because it was only $2800 brand new. Then my friend got his GS1100 and OMG the power was everywhere. And so refined, a much better bike in just about every way (except the seat). When I was about 13 or 14 my brother would leave his '76 KZ900 and go off to college. So I'd joy ride it - I only got the nerve to tell him about it this year. That plus a DT175 were the only bikes I'd ridden up to then besides minibikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by limeex2 View Post
    Daytona....We are road tripping. Literally. It was the 80's, gimme a break. We went to race. Go to practice, all went well. I was mid-pack, friend was up towards the front (by lap times) We were both running GS1000's. I only cared about beating the guys with all the money, he wanted to win. After practice we got to wander the pits of the pro teams before their practice. Amazing! Freddie Spencer was just a kid! Watching Kenny Roberts on the banking on his TZ750 from 20 yards away is something I'll never forget. After we get to back to camp, we prep our bikes and get ready to go. Needless to say, we got rather "over served" that evening. Ooops, no one set the alarm clock or set it to eastern time! AAAAGH.

    Scrambling, we made our way to the track. We missed morning practice so we were put in the last row of the grid. My buddy say's follow my que at the start. I'm not leaving by the flag, I'm leaving the moment his shoulder moves. We passed half the pack while they were barely moving, never got caught because all eye's were on the front runners. Within 3 laps he was in 4th and crashed out. I worked my way up to midpack, passed the prettiest, biggest money, dealer sponsored rider and promptly went off the track, low siding it instead of hitting the hay bales. Race over. We went a few more times, no racing again, just girls and beer. My signature picture was taking at Daytona.
    Tom

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