Black Rob Rides the Wild Thunder

My long-time high school surf buddy Black Rob calls me about a month ago and says "I'm finally ready for a bike, I think I want a Honda CB750". Good choice, Rob. Then he tells me that if I can find one out here, he'll fly out and buy it and ride it home to Dallas. He hasn't had a bike since the dirt bike he had in jr. high about 30 years ago, but aces a local safety course and figures he's got it handled. So our other friend Stew has a cherry old K1 survivor that has a Trudell-rebuilt engine and has been making noises about maybe getting a modern bike. Now, I've always coveted Stew's CB, it's a great old UJM. A couple emails back and forth and we've got a deal. A trip to Trudell, and a couple days later, carbs are rebuilt, a short in the wiring fixed, valves-adjusted and she's ready to go. I didn't want to send the Black One on a 1,500-mile solo journey on a forty year old bike without a shakedown, so Mike D. volunteered to flog it on the NDWS ride last weekend. He called it Riding the Wild Sewing Machine, but the venerable Honda killed it the whole way; freeway, twisties, dirt road-bombing, etc without a hiccup. After Dennis' tune and service you can kick start the thing with your hand. Mike is already talking about a CB in the near future after a quick weekend romance with this bike.

The night before Rob flies in, I find out the top triple tree is cracked on both sides. These early bikes have a beautifully cast top tree but someone in it's history over-torqued it and cracked both sides near the clamps. Shit! Those trees are not cheap or easy to find and Stew had a later model one, but those don't work with the early gauges. I pick up Rob at the airport and after one more trip to the Trudell compound and we have some crusty but serviceable later gauges. What I thought might turn into a late night, turned out to be a textbook swap and the trees and clocks were swapped in about an hour and a half.

Weather looking shitty the next day, Rob gets a new Biltwell lid, borrows some goggles and stops at Wally World for some cheap wet weather gear and does a 100-mile shakedown to LA in the rain. His first time on a motorcycle on the freeway. Way to ease into it, dude. His text that night says something like: "Made it. 100 miles exactly. I gotta do five of these tomorrow? And the next day? And the next? This shit is a blast!" That was Thursday night. I heard from him Saturday night and he had hit his goals of 500+ two days in a row through gnarly dust storms and lots of wind. So, if you see a 6'4" bearded weirdo slumped over on a faded maroon CB750 headed south through Texas today, give him a thumbs up, that's Black Rob poppin' his motorcycle cherry!


HATER said...

Black Rob is my hero.

motoguru. said...


Rob said...

Yeah Rob!

Love Rob

Anonymous said...

Like Whoa!!......(get it?........Black Rob? The rapper?.....not "biker"?........fine, I'll go fuck myself...)

Black Rob said...

whoa, did see this til now. Made it no problems except some serious ass pain. lovin the bike, should've done this a long time ago. lesson learned- if you think you can fuckin do it, you can probably fuckin do it. thanks to the biltwell guys for the gear, saved my ass in arizona.

the original black rob