Introduction: It’s hard to believe, now, how things used to be. Twenty, thirty years ago you were a member of a minority so small that not even the hungriest legislator would give you a tumble. You wore a leather cap cocked to one side, tight-fitting gloves and a horsehide jacket that was so tought it would stand by itself. You didn’t have to drag a foot half a block when pulling away from a light to get a “second take” because, man, you were a “sickle hound,” and when you rattled that big iron down the main drag they paid attention.
You were the only guy in the neighborhood who had a bike, everybody in town knew you “rode” and, depending upon which side of the tracks they were brought up on, either looked up to you or down their nose;good or bad, you were somebody. And when you turned up missing, the folks automatically called the sickle shop because that’s where it was happening. On the road, passing a fellow hound occasioned a practiced, sporty wave of the hand and a crack of the pipes if by day, at least a two-flick headlight salute if by night – mandatory ceremony which, if neglected, was cause for grave concern, maybe bad words.
The aficionado could identify every bike within fifty miles by the cut and bend of its bars; there were no two alike. They were a man’s trademark as sure as his signature, or that distinguishing scar at the base of his chin. You were a hound, and it was al a part of the strange chemistry that manifested itself in our colorful past.
But the old mystique is barely a faint memory now, all but lost in the sound and the fury of exotic new machinery ridden by a cosmopolitan enthusiast who no longer calls himself a hound or waves when he passes. And what some people called the golden era o motorcycling has given way to a brighter, stronger, more affluent sport that, although admittedly missing some of its early warmth and atmosphere, permits new worlds of exploration including books such as this – and with your indulgence, a moment of fond reverie. – Bob Greene, 1969
Contents: The Real World Champion; Road Racing – You can do it too; 135 MPH Suzuki 500; 450 Flyer; Frame Up!; Mini-Bike Catalog; Lightweight Catalog; Go Go Gringo; Custom by the clock; Trials Intensified; Rig for rough riding; Mediumweight Catalog; Touring Accessories; Speedway – the ultimate test; Cylinders Multiplied; Poppers to Choppers; Heavyweight Catalog; Racing Accessories; Trip Tips; The New Big Breed; Honda 750 Four; Kawasaki Mach III; Norton Commando; Moto Guzzi V7; Yamaha 650; Triumph Trident; BSA Rocket 3; more
About the author:
Bob Greene was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007.
Nicknamed “The Old Greenhorner,” Bob Greene gained national recognition as the editor of both Cycle and Motorcyclist magazines. He went on to publish numerous books on motorcycling. Throughout his life, Greene also regularly competed in desert racing events, speed trials, and scrambles. From the 1940s through the late 1960s, Greene was the chief organizer of the prestigious Greenhorn Enduro.
1969 Motorcycle Sport Book – 4th Annual Edition by Bob Greene available at www.DadsVintageAds.com
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