Honda 305 Dream TouringThe news that Honda recently built its 300 millionth motorcycle prompts us to think about the long-term survivors of its early years in the business.
Now, one tends to think of museum pieces when you start talking about the Honda products built 50 years ago. After all, how many of them would still be in routine, or even hard working use, when such vintage machines tend to be thought of as collector’s items?But we have a story to tell you about a Honda that will be half a century old in 2015, but it is neither a museum piece, nor a pampered collector’s item only ridden on sunny days.Homer Weber operates Weber Farm Repair outside Cuba City, Wis., but his business is one with a unique service vehicle that has seen and continues to see rugged service. Weber’s 1965 Honda CA77 305 Dream Touring is often ridden to farms where it is then ridden out into fields with a heavy load of tools to do on-site service for farm implements.That is in addition to frequent routine rides on errands and long road trips with two up as far as New York and Colorado multiple times! Weber says he bought the bike only one owner from new when it was only about a year old and has owned it ever since.Over all those years of continuous service, Weber has carefully maintained the bike and tracked its actual mileage. When we visited with him, the odometer showed more than 208,000 miles—with the “2” added in paint ahead of the rest of the digits on the odometer to display the correct total mileage.Weber says keeping the Dream alive has required six top end rebuilds over the years and he doesn’t recall exactly how many sets of tires, sprockets and chains the bike has used up over the years.“I have several other Dreams for parts bikes,” he said as he explained how he has done all the maintenance and rebuilds himself.Weber is not only an accomplished mechanic; he is an expert rider—literally. He competes in the Expert Classification in AMA observed trials and thrashes his Gas Gas trials bike over obstacles in his back 40 with confidence and ease.The imaginative approach he takes to machines and the skill he possesses in working with them is evident in some of his other creations, which include a snowmobile with a Honda CB450 engine in it and a 1948 McCormick Farmall H tractor that is beautifully restored to near new original condition with one exception: it is powered by a Honda CX500 V-twin engine!
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!