Rider: Fred Hawley, Middletown, New Jersey
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