On the Road: Riding with Dad on a Honda CB750

A son remembers his father's love for riding

| May 2011

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    Bill Keena's dad and his 1969 Honda CB750.
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    Bill Keena and his son astride Bill's CB750 shortly after he got it. Not ready to ride just yet.
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    Bill Keena's fully restored Honda CB750.
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    Bill Keena's dad on his 1971 Honda CB750 K1
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    Bill Keena's dad on his Honda CB450 "Black Bomber."
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    Bill Keena's fully restored Honda CB750.
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Editor's note: The following story, submitted by Bill Keena, is the latest installment of a new feature called "On the Road." Plain and simple, "On the Road" is an opportunity for motorcycle riders to become motorcycle writers, and share the stories and photos from their favorite motorcycle road trips. If you'd like to submit a story and photos for consideration, just e-mail MC Associate Editor Landon Hall with the subject line "On the Road."   

He was loud - his hearing was screwed up from all those shells that went off near his ear while loading an anti aircraft gun on a battleship in WWII.

He was gruff - maybe because he lost his youth at 17 when he went to the Pacific to fight in WWII.

But he was never happier or more relaxed than when riding motorcycles.



And of all the motorcycles he ever had, from sputtering, clapped out Indians as a kid through his last one a few years before he died, there was one that stood above all others: his Honda CB750. That’s why I had to have one.

Dad's first Honda CB750
Dad actually had two of the early CB750’s - the first was an early 1969 KO model he picked up from John Larrabee in Manchester Connecticut. John was an old dirt tracker my Dad knew and when he started up a little motorcycle shop in an unused gas station and threw a couple Dreams and Superhawks on the floor no one thought Honda was going to go very far. By the time the 750 came in my dad had wrung out a succession of Superhawks and Black Bombers and was a believer.

David
7/10/2014 7:07:39 PM

This is simply wonderful. While stationed in Tokyo, Japan during the Vietnam conflict, I purchased, and brought back to the states, a gold, 1971 CB750. I had owned a Honda prior to my military stint, a CB450, but the model that replaced the "black bomber". Still, that bike impressed me, but the 750 just blew me away. It was replacing a Kawasaki 500 triple two stroke, which was like trying to ride a lightning bolt with two wheels. I have memories of the Kawasaki, but the Honda became part of my DNA. I own and have owned quite a few bikes through the years, but none hold a place in my heart like that Honda. I want to thank you for sharing this story with us. You are a talented writer, and I would enjoy reading more of your stories very much. I, literally, could not stop reading, and I did not want the story to end. Ride safe, Dave B.


Mark Barnes
5/27/2011 9:53:59 PM

Awesome story...capturing the times, the sentiment, and the lure of it all. Refreshing and a pleasure to read. Your Dad would be so pleased and proud of such a tribute. Ride on!


Waz
5/27/2011 1:28:45 AM

Great article - captured a lot of feeling - thanks !




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