I thought long and hard for a title for this node, then it hit me, I am writing about a happiness from a Japanese motorcycle, so why not use a little Engrish. (Inspired by this).
This node has to start somewhere, so I will begin at the beginning.
My first motorcycle was a 1983 Honda C70 Passport Scooter. It was a very attractive bike, (with looks similar to a Vespa). Don't let the 1983 year fool you, that was the last year those scooters were made. The first year was 1969, and there was no difference between a 1969 C70 and a 1983 model, (besides the nameplate). This scooter was a ton of fun. It got about a 100 miles to the gallon, and I drove it everywhere. My friends ended up buying motorcycles of their own after I bought this one. My friends however purchased much newer Japanese Sport Bikes. We would cruise together. Life was good in motorcycle land. That was until my car died. I got very tired of the scooter, after a few weeks of doing my 35 mile daily commute on a vehicle with a top speed of 45 MPH. So I went and bought another car, (I had to sell the scooter to pay the taxes on the car). Things were no longer happy in the land of motorcycles.
Cut to 4 months later.
Dave and I are looking through the newspaper. Scanning through the classified advertisements, I saw a 1972 Yamaha DT250 advertised for $150. Dave called them up right away. The person didn't want to meet with us until 6PM the next day, that just didn't sit right with Dave. So Dave talked him into meeting us on his way home from work that night, (he works near us), and then following him to his house, (about an hour away).
We meet the guy in the parking lot of Wal Mart, he drives a late 80's VW, with a personalised license plate that said "Turbo Diesel 1", (it was actually a contraction of that, but I am not putting his real plate on E2). Now this guy was the kind of guy who drove like he had a dead body in the trunk. He was constantly 1 mile an hour below the speed limit. After what seemed like 4 or 5 hours, we arrive at his house. There were Volkswagens everywhere, (oddly enough not a single Beetle, although most of the other classics were there).
The guy backs the motorcycle out of a door from his basement. It looks like it was left outside for a few years. I end up offering him $75, which he takes. While we are loading it up the guy stood near the truck and kind of talked. We were only listening halfway, until all of a sudden. The guy hit us over the head with Jesus. That always makes me feel so guilty, (I am a failed born-again Christian). We got out of there in a hurry after that. Although Dave asked me later, "Do you think the only reason the guy was even selling the bike, was so he could try and convert people?" I didn't know the answer.
The Next Day.
We manage to get the bike running by taking apart the carb. But it ran like total crap at first. Since I didn't have any money at the time, I decided to just work on cleaning the bike up. Over the next few days I took the bike completely apart. I cleaned, polished, and painted everything. I painted the frame flat black, and I used some gloss yellow for the gas tank and fenders, (I had the yellow left over from building my Mame Cabinet). By the time I was done the bike looked one hell of a lot better. It wasn't perfect, (not even close), but it was decent. Now I still had the problem of the fact that the bike ran like crap, (it wouldn't go faster than 20 MPH). So I replaced the spark plug, changed the oil, yada, yada, yada. But it still ran like crap. I was starting to get depressed about the whole deal. I simply didn't have the money to take it into the shop.
3 Days Later
Dave comes over while I am asleep, (I sleep days because of my night job). I am awoken to hearing Dave yell "Beaver" at me from downstairs. He comes up and hands me a slip of paper. I groggily ask him, "whats this?". "Its your inspection Dookiemonster. I figured out what was wrong with your bike, so I fixed it and got it inspected".
What happened was that Dave was talking to somebody, and they suggested removing the air filter, and just putting a little screen over the air intake. Well Dave came over and did that, and it worked big time. The bike is fast now, really fast, and it runs great.
Now I have once again achieved riding happiness. I can cruise again. I can go out riding with my friends once more. All for $75. I found that to be quite the effective way.