Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Historical document.....

See what else I found? What is it? It's the bill of sale for the very first motorcycle I bought - my '41 Indian Sport Scout. It was 1968, and I was 16 years old. You can see my mom had to sign it was OK for me to buy it, because I was too young to sign a contract! I was surprised that she did, because she HATED motorcycles ("You'll get killed!"), but I talked her into it. Notice the BOS says it's a 1942, but the engine ID says GDA (1941).

The guy I got it from was Joe Matt, an old Indian dealer that never actually went out of business, he still sold and repaired Indians (REAL Indians), and he had a HUGE supply of parts and bikes. I paid $750. for it, and everybody I hung around with thought I was crazy. "$750? That's dumb! You can get a good Pan for $500!". Yeah, well, I wanted an INDIAN! You have to remember too, $750. was a lot of money then. Minimum wage was $1.25/hr, and that added up to almost 4 month's wages back then. I had to work my ass off for that bike.

When I bought it, it had a completely rebuilt engine and tranny, and it always started right up and ran beautifully. OK, it had a habit of burning up points, so I always carried a couple sets with me. A piece of cigarette pack tinfoil would gap them just right.
I learned how to ride the highways and interstates with this bike. This is the one I rode out to California on.

Everybody always asks me " How'd you learn how to ride, on a bike with a foot clutch and a handshift?". Well, I didn't know any better, that's how! I was just a kid, I just did it, it didn't matter to me. Hand or foot clutch, it was all the same.

The other thing people don't believe is I have never owned, or even ridden on a Japanese motorcycle - ever. People who know me will also notice that the bike was green, and they will tell you I have this really powerful superstition regarding green bikes. That green paint lasted 2 months, I painted the whole bike GMC Omaha Orange. I wish I still had that Indian. Hard to believe that I bought my first motorcycle 41 years ago this March.

8 comments:

Chris K said...

Interesting history and bill of sale. Your more extreme than me. I also never owned a Japanese bike. As a kid I had been on the back of my uncle's bikes but stubbornly refused to buy anything until I could get Harley. Learned to ride on my first bike, a Sportster. First time I rode a Japanese bike was 10 years later when I rode a friends bike. That only happened because he wanted to ride my Harley. Later, my wife never rode any bike until she got her first bike, an FXR. So you believe in the green bike curse? I never had a green bike but find myself liking them.

Irish Rich said...

Yeah, I believe in the green bike curse. I won't paint a bike green, I won't ride next to a green bike, I won't even park next to a green bike. I won't even let green bikes park in my driveway.

I know, I know, but that's the way it's always been. The older riders told me they were bad Ju Ju, they wouldn't let me ride with them until I painted it, so green bikes have been that way with me ever since.

J-Rod said...

Definitely cool Rich...

What about bikes with green frames?

Chris K said...

So, no green for a guy called Irish Rich. What doesn't sound right about that?

Daddy Frisco said...

so i guess no point in impressing you with a WL still painted in army met green he he he, cool story Rich, so whatever happened to the Old Red?

Irish Rich said...

You have to put another color with it.

Like, for example, the British Racing green, with the wide yellow stripe. The yellow color breaks the hex. And, green and white is OK, too.

Irish Rich said...

I sold it, bought a Knuckle, sold it, bought a Pan, sold it, bought an Indian Chief, sold it, bought a K model, sold it, and used that money for a down payment on a house that the ex owns now.

mind pill said...

cool story.......