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2011 Honda Relay Ride
Honda SOHC4 Forum members ride across America

SOHC/4 Forum Rides into Wisconsin

Ed. Note: The Single Overhead Cam Four/Forum, an online community devoted to Honda SOHC/4 bikes of the late 1960’s and 1970’s, has loosely organized a relay/rally ride that will triple-transect the lower 48 states and all Canadian Provinces. The ride began in mid-March and will continue into the early Fall. Learn more and join the ride when it passes your area. This blog depends on rider submissions, so if you particpate in the ride and would like to submit a short story and photos of your experience, please contact online editor Christian Williams.  

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ZanVooden's beautifully restored 1978 Honda CB750. 

From Dave Burch:
- Tuesday, August 2: Put in just shy of 250 miles in eleven hours, including breaks. A couple of months ago, I installed a Dyna-S ignition in my 1975 CB550K, and when the rain hit just ten minutes into my day's ride, I found out the hard way that the power input line that taps 12v from the battery is in a vulnerable spot.  Depending on the amount of water on the road, I alternately boogied and limped to the designated meetup (still early) at Wildcat Mountain State Park near Ontario, WI.  About 15 minutes later, ZanVooden (Dave) arrived ahead of schedule from Madison, riding his beautifully-restored 750. Things had dried out by then, so we hustled to La Crosse for lunch, only to be rained on just minutes from covered downtown motorcycle parking.  Limping again to the parking structure, ZanVooden offered an excellent suggestion: wrap the exposed connection with a scrap of plastic bag. We didn't hit any more rain, but I bet it solves the problem.

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From left: db22, Ben George and ZanVooden.  

We stopped at Two Brothers Honda in Onalaska, WI, and met Ben George, one of the managers. Two Brothers displays several classic bikes in their showroom, including a 1968 Honda 305 Dream and a 1975 Norton Commando, with cafe bars and British Racing Green paint. Gojira (that’s the phonetic Japanese name that became “Godzilla” in translation) passed to my keeping for the remainder of the Wisconsin route. An interesting factoid: according to Wikipedia, the original Godzilla movie was directed by a man whose family name was. . . Honda.  

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From left: Accolay, srust78, ZanVooden and db22.  

After a brief stop in Onalaska to allow the Lizard to contemplate having the World's Largest Fiberglass Sunfish for lunch, we headed north along Highway 35, the Great River Road paralleling Old Man River, to Pepin, WI where we met Accolay (John) and srust58 (Steve) from the Twin Cities. After making log entries and signing the Banner, GZ passed from my bike to Steve's fabulous CB750F.  The Minnesotans headed off to the Cities for the night, planning to point their bikes southward toward Iowa tomorrow. ZanVooden took the Minnesota River Road south as a quick route to the Interstate eastward to Madison, and I lit off south along Highway 35 to home.  A successful day's ride, with hopes for an even better one next year.

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2011 Honda Relay Ride participant signatures have filled up the back of the
SOHC/4 Forum banner.


SOHC/4 Forum Relay Reaches Motorcycle Classics

Ed. Note: The Single Overhead Cam Four/Forum, an online community devoted to Honda SOHC/4 bikes of the late 1960’s and 1970’s, has loosely organized a relay/rally ride that will triple-transect the lower 48 states and all Canadian Provinces. The ride began in mid-March and will continue into the early Fall. Learn more and join the ride when it passes your area 

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The SOHC/4 Forum rally mascot at the
Motorcycle Classics office in Topeka, Kan.

Jerry Griffin is the “papa” of this whole shindig ride. It was his big idea last fall to get a ride together for 2012. But it seemed such a good idea members of the SOHC/4 forum couldn’t wait. So here we are. There have been a lot of miles logged so far, and no one has logged more miles or endured worse riding conditions than Jerry himself.

Weather this time of year in Colorado is tricky. A couple weekends ago, Jerry, along with a couple other riders, put in some 1,100 miles to meet a rider in Utah. Crossing the continental divide, they braved snow treacherous conditions. The next weekend, well Monday, he and some others headed east out of Colorado to Topeka for a meeting with at Motorcycle Classics headquarters. It was all great fun over a couple days. But the return trip for Jerry, not so fun. Frankly, I don’t know how the guy does it. After encountering near 100 degree temperatures on the Kansas plains, here’s what greeted him back in his home state. Sometimes I wonder if bad weather just follows Jerry around. 

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Inclement weather seems to follow Jerry. 

So, for his second half ride to Kansas, Jerry logged another 1,100 plus miles. Over basically two weekend, he did 2,267 miles on a borrowed cb650. But he’s thawed out now and recovering from shoulder surgery – which I might add he put off for several months so as not to interfere with this big ride.

I’m sure Jerry would endorse the conclusion it was totally worthwhile. The meeting alone at Ogden Publications/Motorcycle Classics pushed it over the edge. I mean, in the magazine we see editor Richard Backus rough and ready to ride, but what’s Mr. Backus like every day? Well, all kicked back and relaxed.

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MC Editor Richard Backus at work - real life editorial conditions - for about
three seconds. Don’t ask me how I know!

So after an all too brief lunch the SOHC/4 crew gathered for the ceremonial handoff of ride mascot and documents outside the magazine headquarters. Team Central Rockies delivered the goods to Team Central and the ride moved further east through the remainder of Kansas, Missouri, and into Illinois.

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Outside the offices at Motorcycle Classics, the handoff from Team Central
Rockies to Team Central. L to R, Pinhead, Jerry Griffin, Don R (Team Central
leader), Bud, and JamesB.

There hasn’t been much time to post for Team Central, but there has been some reporting and a few photos. Gee, more crappy weather. (Aren’t you asking, “what the heck is going on?”) As DonR met up with riders in the Chicago area this past weekend, cold, hard rain was again the routine. But the ride continued.  Outside a dinner meet up forum members DonR, Gammaflat and Bluebeetle72 paused for a photo. The next day, in more cold and driving rain, BB72 headed solo for Indianapolis for the handoff to cbJoe.

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DonR, Gammaflat and Bluebeetle72 outside Floyds2 in Chicago. 

On Monday, I had the pleasure of meeting the Indianapolis riders who in turn delivered the ride paraphernalia to my doorstep in Cincinnati and on Thursday I head north with Modzsquad to Toledo for a meet up with MasterChief750. The Indiana guys, IndyFour, cbJoe and Schmthaus were great to spend time with and I’ll post pix and tell you more next time around.

But for now, with the utmost respect and total sincerity, here’s to you Jerry Griffin. You’ve done it!

See you down the road - literally this time! Got to start packing.

Steve Shanesy is a Forum Member who is making last minute preparations for his leg in this incredible journey.



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