Christian motorcycle club from the San Lorenzo Valley — God’s Warriors — visited the Museum today. They rode a variety of bikes, but they’re positive that Jesus had a Harley because the Bible says he walked everywhere!
Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Hiramatsu came by the Museum from Winters, CA, and brought photos of his personal Mustang. He and his dad restored this 1949 Mustang Model 2 “when he was a kid.” He sold the Mustang to a neighbor (so it hasn’t gone far). I sold a motorcycle once, Dennis, and was so sorry that I never sold another — and you see what happened! I have a real live Mustang on the floor here. Dennis bought the 2013 CSC Mustang to honor his dad. It’s the one on the left in the photo of both bikes.
Latest addition to the Museum’s Scooter Room: A 1987Honda Elite, 250cc. Candy Apple RED!
Jeff Stoehler is from Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada. He’s riding his Suzuki DR650 to Ushuaia, Argentina, the End of the World — the tip of Tierra del Fuego.
Brave man, Jeff. I had to tell him that when I was in Ushuaia, the only motorcycles that had made it that far (that I saw) were BMWs. Jeff was with Liza Miller of Re-cycle Garage (Santa Cruz, CA). I’m sure she’d set him up if the bike let him down. We wish him all the best!
Erick (far left) runs a motorcycle and scooter rental business…in Madagascar. He was here visiting his daughter and son-in-law and they posed with the Norton and the Kawasaki.
Michael Wozniak bought the 1970 Suzuki RE5 in 1995 while he was still a member of the Oakland Police Department. He rode it a lot, he says, and showed it, too. He took it to Alda Galbraith’s show, the Concours de Lemon…but that’s not a fair venue by which to judge this little gem of Japanese engineering.
What’s different about the RE5 is the engine. It’s a Wankel Rotary. In fact, everything on the working part of the bike is round or spherical, including the tail lights and the instrument pod – which has a distinct resemblance to those tubes we used to shove through the pneumatic contraption at the bank drive-through.
Not the prettiest of motorcycles in the estimation of many, it’s nonetheless an interesting one. In the few months of its production, between 1974 and 1976, it’s estimated only a few more than 6000 were made. It just didn’t go over.
DKW and Norton tried rotaries and it’s rumored that Kawasaki and Honda each tested prototypes but never went into production. There was also a small run by a company called Van Veen, running an NSU/Audi engine developed for Citroén.
Wozniak had two RE5s – one for parts – along with 11 other classic motorcycles. In late 2014, a fire at his home took the entire collection, with the exception of this one, in “Firemist Orange.” It was on display at an Oakland Suzuki/Honda/Kawasaki dealer and escaped the conflagration.
Wozniak says the mileage is “adequate.” He says it’s a comfortable ride, but has almost no torque yet goes great on the freeway. Rotaries are notoriously hot, and this one is water-cooled like the “Water Buffalo” we also have on display. Mike says the hot running requires cold air inlets, too, and heat shields, but “it’s great in the winter!”
He’d buy another, he says. We’re happy just to have the one on display. You can find a great article on Suzuki RE5s at Wikipedia under Suzuki_RE5.
My grandson, Russell Hayes, came by today on his Buell with his friend Winston Yeung in tow (figuratively) on his Hayabusa. They spent a good part of the afternoon here, and are now thinking seriously about a sidecar, having tried on the BMW/Jawa rig for size. They went off in search of seafood for lunch and set the seagulls squawking.
It’s a story of brotherly love. Gary Reed’s brother owned this bike ad had it stored at their dad’s house. He offered to sell it to Gary for $25, and Gary of course said yes. Little did he know that Dad was tired of it being in his way and had told the brother to get rid of it, but now it was Gary’s and HE had to do something about it. So he stored it in the back of his garage, uncovered, for at least 25 years. When he decided to move recently, he had to do something with it, so now I have it.
It’s not at the museum — too rough. We’ll keep you apprised.
We finally got through the red tape and now have the Pacific Grove Police Department’s retired 1996 Kawasai KZ1000P sitting on a trailer, ready to be dusted and displayed during Good Old Days, April 11-12. There will be an officer on hand with trading cards and stories, and we’ll have cookies. Come by and see it. There will be a reception later in the month. We’ll have the Kawasaki indefinitely.
The bike is in excellent shape, having been cared for over the years by Larry Esquivel, a reserve police officer.
Emma, champion restorer of all motorcycles old and new, replete in pearls, brooch, nylons and heels, rode Brian Stearn’s 1946 Indian Chief around the block.
Bob Reich came by today, March 9, with his new Honda 996. Beautiful machine!