This is a 1970's era Suzuki T350. I owned a bike like this for 1 year in 1979. I attempted to ride this bike from Irvine to Stanford in September 1979. I made it as far as Santa Barbra, overloaded on a very hot day. A wild-fire closed the 101 freeway north of Santa Barbra. The engine siezed and with effort, I made it back into Santa Barbra, parked the bike, and took a bus to San Jose. My father went and recoverd the bike a few weeks later, but it never ran again.
(3) 1975 Honda 550 Four
This is a 1975 Honda 550 Four. I owned a bike like this for about 5 years from 1980. I rode this bike back and forth between Stanford and Irvine many times. Kathi used to ride on the back. I really started touring on this bike, going to Yosemite, riding the coastal mountains, and occasionally taking the Pacific Coast Highway to Southern California for school breaks.
(4) 1980 Kawasaki GPz 900
(5) 1982 Kawasaki GPz 900
This is a 1980 Kawasaki Ninja 900. I owned this iconic, "Top Gun" motorcycle from around 1986 until we moved to Japan in 1990. It was vastly more powerful and better handling than the 550.
A couple of years after we got back from Japan, around 1994, I bought another, crappier, beat-up Ninja 900; rode it for less than a year, then sold it after dropping it twice. I didn't ride motorcycles again until 2003; a 9 year haitus.
(6) 1991 BMW K100RS
This is my 1991 BMW K100RS. I really like the look of this bike. The Corbin Smuggler seat was fabulous. Thiss bike was a comfortable cruiser, but the K100 is heavy and has terrible handling. It's like a 1970's bike that wants to stand up straight instead of gliding through corners. A day of riding this on twisty roads will give you are real shoulder and back workout. The K100 also wears out one side of the front tire due to torque steer from the longitudinally mounted engine. It's also a BMW, which means unreliable electrics. The ABS was terrible when it worked and it didn't work when the wiring got wet, i.e. no ABS in the rain. Good one BMW. I commuted to work on this bike for a couple of years.
(7) 1980 Suzuki GS850S
This was my father's bike which I inherited when he died in Feb 2005. It's a Suzuki GS850S with a Windjammer fairing. My dad bought it new, tricked it out a bit with the fairing and crash guards, and rode it about 20k miles before crashing a couple of times and then giving up on riding. But it hadn't been ridden in over 10 years when I got it. I sold it almost immediately. The fork seals were leaking and the tires were 25 years old. I didn't have time to do the restoration (middle of Google's early startup years) so I just sold it.
(8) 2000 Honda VFR800fi
This was the bike of my dreams. A yellow, 2000 5th Generation Honda VFR, four cylinders in a V4 configuration. Powerful, superb handling, fuel injected, gear-driven cams, awesome sound. October 2004, I found this bike on eBay. The auction closed without meeting reserve and I contacted the owner offering him $5000.
"Hi, I know you want $5,500, but if nobody is willing to pay that much, I'm willing to pay $5,000 and I'm local. I can pay cash. Please call if interested. Thanks, Chris"
This is my idea of a beautiful cruiser. It's 1800 cc's of brute torque and rumble.
Fun for the whole family!
Being a cruiser, it needs mods. I made a cool windshield, added a Corbin seat with backrest, a solo rack, and Beatle Bags. We call this bike "The couch" because of it's comfortable seat, or "Jennifer" after Jennifer Lopez. The Beatle Bags just give it a certain look.
This us Uncle Richie's bike now.
(10) 1996 BMW R1100RT
Another BMW I lusted after was this R1100RT. It has a nice look. Not so sure about the beige leather seats, but those heated Corbin seats are really comfortable. This is an excellent touring bike with great handling. But, it's still a BMW. Like the K100, the electrics take a dump in the rain and the ABS doesn't work. Another painful problem with this bike was a leaking rear oil seal got oil on the dry clutch! Very expensive fix. Also, the transmission ate 3rd gear. BMWs are NOT reliable. I was glad to get rid of this bike. I've since rented a newer R1200RT in Italy and it was the perfect bike for my trip. BMWs are nice when they are new and somebody else it taking care of maintenance.
(11) 2004 Honda Rune
I bought this Illusion Blue Honda Rune Nov 2006 for $15,500. It had only 4,600 miles on it. I picked it up in Los Angeles and rode it home up PCH. I thought it handled like sh*t, but it just had very low tire pressure and badly worn tires. New tires, proeperly inflated, and this bike handles great despite its 811 lbs.
(12) 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
I bought this Yamaja FJR1300 ABS from a fellow Googler November 2006 for $8,650. This is a great long distance touring bike. Lots of luggage capacity, heated seat and grips, electric windshield, powerful, excellent handling. It's a great choice for a cross-the-USA ride.
(13) 2005 Honda VFR800
I bought this 6th Generation, ABS, VFR June 2007 for $7,150. It was originally silver with a few scratches. But it got dropped on FUZ-moto-III and picked up a few more scratches. I'd long fantasized about a VTX that I saw in Uranium Green, so I painted this VFR Uranium Green. My friend at Google calls it the Kawasaki VFR. The cool thing about painting a bike like this is everything gets better right after the refresh. It sounds better, handles better, has more power --- it becomes your new favorite bike.
(21--23) 2×2000 Honda XR650R's and a 1986 Honda XR250
I put together a collection of dirt bikes. The Suzuki JR50 is a 50cc 2-stroke hiding over on the left. The Honda CRFR80F is a reliable, perfect kid's bike. The XR100 should be the same, but it has carburator problems, so it doesn't idle well. The Yamaha TTR-125 is a great, reliable bike, but Tony stomped the shifter and bent something in the transmission, so it has been in pieces in the barn for several years now. The CRF150 is a real beauty, bought almost new.
After watching Dust to Glory, I had big dreams about doing the Baja 1000 race, or at least riding the race route. I bought two of these XR650R motorcycles hoping to get Matt to do the ride with me. I've barely ridden either of them. They've been to Brown's Camp once. I still dream about riding the Oregon Back Country Discovery Route on these bikes someday. The one with the tail rack was purchased Oct 2005 for $3,450. It is street legal with a California license plate, currently registered non-op in CA. The other one has a Green Sticker for off-road use only.
The XR250 was restored by a guy in Danville. It's street legal with a CA plate.
(19) 19xx Yamaha FJ1200
I put this bike in here because Nicole bought it in Montreal and I helped her revive it from a basket case. We replaced brakes, flushed then rebuilt the clutch, replaced steering head bearings, and cleaned it up. But it needed more work than were were able to put into it. She ended up replacing it with Bumblebee, the 2000 VFR800fi you see in this picture, when I rode it to Montreal for her 19th birthday.
(20) 2000 Suzuki GZ250
Jan 2010 I bought 2001 Suzuki Marauder GZ250 like this with only 600 miles on it for $1,400 and gave it to my sister in law Deborah.
She never got the hang of riding it so three years later I took it back. Both Nicky and Tony learned to ride on this bike. It's pretty fun for blasting around town.
(24) 1989 Honda VTR250
Jan 2011 Nicky and I bought this 1989 VTR 250 with salvage title and 4032 miles for $995. It had been non-op registered for 4 years. The engine is this bike is amazing. Runs super smooth up to 14,000 rpm. The bike runs great up to 112 mph indicated redline in 6th gear. I had drooled over this bike in show-rooms for years. Fun to have one. I have dreams of taking this engine and building something that looks like a Ducati Monster out of it.
(25) 2011 Ducati MTS 1200
This is my Awesome Ducati Multistrada 1200s touring edition. It's the best, all-around motorcycle I've ever owned. If I had to own only one motorcycle, it would be this one. It's light, powerful, and handles better than any other bike. I bought it for $16,000 + $1332 transfer tax from a guy in San Francisco after watching it on craigslist for months. The price kept stepping down by about $500 each time from $20,000 to $18,000. The owner had just bought a new BMW R1200 GS and needed the cash.
(26) 2006 MV Agusta Brutale 910S
Feb 2014, I went to pick up my new FZ09 for which I had been on the waiting list for 4 months. After the dealer tried to charge me about $12k for a $8000 motorcycle, we left and looked for something comparable on craigslist. I spent $7,200 on this beauty. It's a Brutale 910S with all the carbon fiber parts from a 750 evo. I guess you could call it a one-of-a-kind Brutale 910S evo. This bike sounds awesome but it seem like it really wants to kill you. The throttle response is very aggressive.
(27) 2006 Honda CB600F
Longer story about this bike. Short story: I paid $3,412 for this bike on eBay with dubious title. Had fun riding it back from Utah to California. And more fun modding it with a wide handlebar, custom formed windshield, heated grips, and a top-box.
(28) 2011 Honda CB1000R
I bought this bike on craigslist May 17, 2018 for $4,000 with 18,400 miles on it. This is an awesome bike. All the power and light weight of the Brutale, but with a smooth throttle response, stable idle, and ... it's a Honda. Really an excellent naked upright street bike.
(29) 2016 Yamaha FZ-09
I bought this bike on craigslist from Motocorsa Portland with only 94 miles on it for $6,600. It's the only bike I've ever bought "new" from a dealer. The engine is amazing and the bike is super light and agile. The Yamaha has a very nice instrument display info set with temperatures, mileage, range to empty, etc. Superior to Honda in this feature area.
(30) 2004 BWM R1150R
Jerry and I share this which we keep in Guadalajara Mexico. I found it on segundamano (the craigslist of Mexico) with 31,165 miles (The bike is originally from California.) for MEX $85,000 or about USD $4,200. The plan is that Jerry keeps it registered, insured, and uses it in Mexico and I visit him occasionally to explore Mexico from Guadalajara.