Fred Hawley’s Honda CL77s

A reader shares his current and past Honda CL77 Scramblers, which provide the fondest memories of his teenage years.

Reader Contribution by Fred Hawley
article image
by Fred Hawley
Fred and his 305 Scrambler today.

Rider: Fred Hawley, Middletown, New Jersey
Age: 69
Occupation: Electrical engineer
Rides: 1966 Honda CL77, 1978 Honda CB550, 1975 Honda CB750, 1975 Yamaha XS650, 1981 Yamaha 750 Virago and 2006 Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster

I have always had a passion for motorcycles ever since I was a young boy growing up in the Sixties in Stratford, Connecticut. That’s not surprising considering my dad owned several Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I still remember my dad picking me up from grammar school on his Harley — very cool for an 8-year-old boy. On my 16th birthday I was ready for my first motorcycle. Seeing Honda’s ad campaign “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda,” I set my goal on a Honda CL77 Scrambler. My dad insisted I first learn to ride his 1,200cc Harley — not an easy task for a skinny 130-pound boy.

After learning to ride Dad’s Harley, I headed over to my local Honda dealer with $700 cash, earned from my paper route, to buy a new 1966 Honda CL77 Scrambler. At this moment, I knew my life was about to change. Riding my 305cc Scrambler to high school every day, I instantly transformed from a nerdy kid to a cool dude on a 305 Honda. The following year my brother Ray turned 16 years old and purchased a new 1967 Scrambler. This photo shows me and Ray in 1967 on our Scramblers. Ray’s bike is totally stock while mine has new paint, a custom seat and, of course, straight pipes.

Fast forward 50 years, I wondered if any 305 Scramblers existed in running condition. I was surprised to see many for sale, but very few in the Northeast. I did find one in California on eBay advertised as original and in good running condition. I purchased the bike sight unseen for $3,200 plus $600 to ship it from California to my home in New Jersey. After a new set of spark plugs and some fresh gas, she fired up with only a few kicks.

Today I ride my Scrambler to local car and motorcycle shows and enjoy guys telling me how much fun they had on their 305 Scramblers. I tell them I rode to high school, college, and basically all over the state of Connecticut. I even met my wife on my Scrambler when she came up to me and asked for a ride, and the rest is history. Today after 50 years of marriage she refuses to get on the back stating she wants to be around for our five grandkids.

I enjoy all my vintage motorcycles, especially my Honda fours. However, I have the fondest memories of my teenage years every time I hop on my little 305 Scrambler to go for a ride around town. I tell my wife I’m taking my “little sweetie” for a ride and she affectionately smiles and says, “Be safe and enjoy.” MC

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