You Could Get Anything at Sears!

Reader Contribution by Jack Allen
article image

It’s fall 1973.

October in Michigan is a beautiful time of year, the leaves are changing color and there’s a crisp chill to the air. The year’s first snow will come soon but for now the sunlight warms my face as I ride my bike in my yard. I am riding my bright orange Huffy with black banana seat and ape hanger handle bars. I had a motorcycle to ride yesterday but today I am back riding my Huffy. I am 9 years old and the future stretches out before me like an endless highway. The dreams and fantasies of a 9-year-old are many and varied and one of mine is to be a motorcycle racer.

I had a motorcycle — past tense — it was a 106 Sears. What’s that you say? You didn’t know Sears made motorcycles? Well actually they didn’t; they just sold motorcycles made by other companies. In this particular case I found out years later that this bike was built by Gilera. But I digress. The reason I HAD a motorcycle at this point in my life is a sort of funny story. Well, it is now. We had a neighbor and this neighbor had a son about my age. Of course we were friends, and his name was John. John had a go-cart, and I wanted a go-cart, so I bugged my Dad about getting a go-cart. In some sort of trade long forgotten my Dad acquired the 106 Sears motorcycle. I was 9 and I was not large for my age. It was a full-sized bike and this presented a problem. Dad said I could have it if I could ride it without help. That meant starting it, riding it, stopping it and getting off it without killing myself or destroying the bike.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!