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OGRE AUTOMOTIVE - Drive it like you stole it!


A few of my favorite motorcycles. 

When I was a young man my Father gave me a lot of rules... All mainly about behavioral issues save one.  Under no circumstances whatsoever was I to ever ride a Motorcycle let alone have one.  Bikes were strictly verboten.  This is perhaps why I loved them so much.  I secretly read not just Playboy, but Cycle World.  Playboys might have been hidden under the bed... But the bike mags were hidden under the bottom dresser drawer.  This was serious contraband!  I would ride them at high school around the parking lot and even down the street.  Once I was sitting on a bike when my father pulled up next to me in his car.  I flipped the Visor down and hung a right praying he didn't recognize me. 

Red White and Blue Honda Interceptor 750.  This was the first bike I every owned.  Mine.  Registered to me.   Big, bad, brutal.  Deathly afraid to tell my parents.  Set up to race, this machine was all about top speed.  I had it up to 140 MPH once, scared the crap out of me and I never got it that fast again.  It was geared tall, so it wasnít the quickest off the line, but once I got into 3rd gear it was all over.  I would reel back in and pass anything and everything.  I discovered a great many things about bikes, but what I learned the most was that it really really really sucks to ride them in the rain.  This bike had nothing of a wind screen to speak off.  Rain, bugs, little bits of gravel from the vehicle in front of me would smack me right in the face.  It was both pleasure and punishment.  I learned the joys of dragging your knee with this machine.  Taking the curves so fast and hard I would have to pull the bike downÖ hanging off it with my ass off the seat and my knee skimming the ground.  It was the most thrilling thing I had ever done and to be quit frank, it was better than sex.  One day when I was thus engaged in knee dragging pleasures, the bike went out from under me. These things happen.  It was during hard acceleration just past the apex of a curve.  Last time I had glanced at the dial the needle was sweeping past 65MPH.  I shifted without lifting the gas, so when the let the clutch back in there was a lot of energy going.  There was some drive line lash thereÖ and all of the sudden something happened in the chain and the back tire I donít know if the backlash spun the tire out from under me or the chain snapped and locked up the wheel.   Iíll never know because the resulting crash tore the rear wheel right out of the frame.  I remember this happening in slow motion.  I hit the pavement and slide while the bike started doing summersaults and throwing parts all over the place.  It came to rest wrapped up around a tree with the engine someplace else.  Believe it or not I was unhurt.  I slide across wet ground and onto soft wet grass.  The sting of my bruises were nothing compared to the sting of my pride and loss.  The bike was a total write off.  Gone.  I had a wrecker take it straight to the junkyard.  Dad would have been pleased. 

Midnight blue Honda Magna 750.  Such a dark blue, it looked black.  This bike had the same engine as the Interceptor, but in the cruiser bike style... Smooth engine with a wide powerband.  Best bike engine ever made.  V-4 config looking like a fat V-Twin.  I used to eat Ninjas with it.  This was my "coming out" bike.  I decided to stop living this hypocrisy and let my folks know... So one day I drove up and showed it to my Mom.  I was scared... But relieved that my Momma still loved me.  She thought it was cool.  This was the bike I would ride my girlfriend around on... She would become my wife a year later.  I had to get rid of for fiscal reasons.  I still remember cruising on that Magna with her on the back.  I'll never forget those days... She was a Dancer at BYU and I'd go pick her up wearing my Army Fatigues and black helmet and all her friends would cry and pull at her arms begging her not to come with me!  I was the devil!  One Sunday we decided to go visit my Uncle.  It was a beautiful day so the Magna was the choice.  I wore black sunglasses, black slacks, with a black t-shirt under my black suit coat.  I looked sinister. Felt sinister too... I had my black CZ-75 strapped to my ankle.  She wore a short, sleek and deadly LBD. Little Black Dress. Of course, black sunglasses as well.  She could make a Priest kick in a stained glass window.  We pulled up in front and my uncle came out "Oh look, it's Satan and Elvira!"  One time she had gone out of town and was due back in while there was a huge rain storm at night. I was worried about her when she didn't show.  So off I went searching on the Magna, in the dark and rain. That bike was my all time favorite.  We'll never forget that bike.  My heart always skips a beat when I see a Magna.

Red and black Yamaha RD-400 Daytona Special.  This was a race bike... AMA champion racer converted to street by installing the lights back on and tacking on a plate bracket with two spot welds.  Presto - insane, rip-snorting moto-evil.  This bike was pure hatred to common sense.  I called it "Mortis" after Death's pale steed.  You had to lean forward when shifting to keep the front tire down.  This 400CC 2-stroke could out run even the big 900CC street bikes I would encounter.   It was so rude... It was F-15 Eagle on Full Afterburners loud.  It breathed fire a blue smoke from it's custom twin pipes.  I gave my 1st born son rides on it and he would scream the whole time.  He hated the bike.  My father  hated it about as much.  One night I had to stay over with the Mortis and I worried the whole time my Dad would cut the wires on it or something.  This bike could handle too.  You just THINK about turning and it would turn.  It was like the  bike interfaced with a neuronet-link.  Fiscal issues again are what killed Mortis. 

As much fun as the dark satanic thrills Mortis gave me... I enjoyed the go do anything confidence and comfort that the cruiser gave me.  I felt like I could just climb on and cruise to all over the world.  It was a comfortable bike.  It suited me.  When I get another bike it will be a cruiser of some sort, maybe a chopper.   I donít need to go warp speed, but it isnít about that.  Itís about this freedom of the open road, and a tank full of gas.  With that, you could go anywhere!


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Copyright G H Hill 1998-2055

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