I caught motorcycle fever in a big way during the early 1970s, riding a motley succession of used bikes that now are classics. Back then, they were cheap enough on my part-time salary as I worked my way through college.
The favorites were a funky 1965 BMW R50 that just chugged along through whatever ordeal I subjected it to: rain, mud, even snow. After that came another 1965, a BSA 650 Lightning that was my dream bike and ran like an angry bull. Unlike the slow but sturdy German BMW, the more high-strung Britain needed lots of hands-on care.
That was all long ago, but I got a shock of nostalgia just the other day when I read about the top motorcycles being offered January 7 by Bonhams at its Las Vegas auction. Lo and behold, a racing motorcycle featured at the sale is one that I once knew well, though somewhat obliquely, as well as its famous rider. Continue reading