Nearly 50 years ago

eDJ

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Jul 8, 2008
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Honda was arriving in the USA to take young people by storm with it's 50cc
step-thru.(and advertising slogan, "You Meet The Nicest People on a HONDA") 6 transistor radios were then what iPods & Mp3 players are now. AM Rock ruled and the DJ's were celeberties.(think of Robin Williams in "Goodmorning Vietnam") Gasoline then was around .15 cent a gallon I'm told. Fast food was "fast" and burgers were a dime or fifteen cents at the early Franchise burger chains. Minimum wage.....I'm not really sure ? The global population then was just reaching 3 Billion compared to todays 6.5 Billion +.



Any of our older posters have any memories to share of those times with the young blood here ? Any sage insights ? Would you trade "then" for now ?
 

stude13

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May 28, 2008
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hey; lets see "58 i was riding my fourth powered 2 wheeler, a 1947 harley with a treadle clutch, three speed and reverse on the gas tank. i was origionally a side car rig that was to be parachuted and attatched to side car. my explorer scout leader had really slicked her up be puting white wall tires, white saddle bags and a big white dual saddle with chrome grab bars. he had put tri colored wind shield and two extra wide beam head lights. i think thats about it. at high school i was the only one on a cycle. dads hated to hear me coming. it would top out at 103. sure do wish---- mitch
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
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Fifty odd years ago I was probably riding a 'real' bicycle since I was 13. I have the worlds worst case of childhood amnesia.
 

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
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50 years ago, I was three years from the production line and my Schwinn Panther II was one year from the production line.

Ask about the 70's and I'll have all kinds of stuff for 'ya.
 
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Ilikeabikea

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Jan 27, 2008
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50 years ago I was 2. About the only thing I remember was my Uncle Bob hooking the team to the wagon and setting me on the gray horse. I loved riding on that horse. We would go down to the windmill and fill the big tank on the wagon with water. Then take it back to my Great Grandparents house. We were country folk.....................:D
 

NEAT TIMES

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1955 I BOUGHT A 1949 HARLEY 74 CI. FOR $250. IT WAS PERFECT !! (^) I MADE $20 FOR A 7 DAY WEEK ON A DAIRY FARM. BOY, I WAS LIVING LARGE THEN !! (c)
 

jasonh

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Jun 23, 2008
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50 years ago, my dad was 6, and I was -26, lol. Ask me about the 90's and I still wouldn't be able to tell you much, as I didn't get out much and I have a terrible memory anyway :)
 

Norman

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Jan 16, 2008
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Fifty years ago I was 4 going on 5 and playing in mud puddles and worried about having to go to school that fall.:confused:
Norman
 

eDJ

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Come to think about it I would have been abot -9 or -10 myself. But I'm pleased with the answers I've gotten here. I was just wondering how many would be here that remember the late fifties European Car boom in America and later the little Japanese motor bike boom in the early sixties.
 

Ilikeabikea

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I don't remember the European car boom, but I do remember the motorcycles. I always wanted one of them Honda 90's. They were the cats meow..............................
 

eDJ

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Yeah I know, I was just gettin up on my hind legs as the 70's came in but I'm lucky enough to have been born into the 60's. The older timers I talk to tell me
it was like 30 years worth packed into one decade.

The first motorized bicycle I remember seeing as a kid had an old retired man
riding it early in the morning. Hard to say what year it was made or what country or by what company. ( he may have made it himself ) It could have been only a mounting kit that you had to adapt your old lawnmower engine to. I've been told that years ago small businesses manufactured and sold adaptor kits where the buyer used his own motor from an old washing machine or whatever farm equipment they could salage. I've seen some pictures where air cooled outboard motors were used as the motor was taken from the out drive to power the bicycle. (and later put back together to run the motorboat with)
 

Buzzard

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Jul 9, 2008
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50 years ago I was riding my Cushman Eagle back and forth from trade school. With Uncle Sam breathing down my neck wanting to send me off to some place called Korea.
buzzard
 

eDJ

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Hey Buzzard, One of my reasons for starting this thread was to see if I could scare up any of the older more sage members to help us middle aged ones look back thru time thru your eyes.

I notice you mention Cushmans. I've seen them at shows usually with these little cars that were I think built in Ohio called Crosleys and King Midgets.

What I'm wondering was who made the small motor scooters back in the time you described above....like the Korean War era. I've seen some things that looked home built and I couldn't find a name on them. But were motor scooters and small bikes like the Cushmans and Mustangs standard ? I was always amazed by that little red scooter Sal Mineo rode in "Rebel Without a Cause".
I've always been fascinated with vintage stuff.
 

Ilikeabikea

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In the late 60's I had two old Cushmans. They were both junk. I would ride one and be working on the other. I also had an old Harley Davidson. It was a 2 stroker about a 125cc. It was a hoot to ride. I let my little brother ride it and he got in a panic and bailed off of it and let it run into an old refrigerator. Messed up the clutch. It never ran right after that. Broke a ring and wound up going to the dump ground. Wish I still had all of them.......................
 

NEAT TIMES

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Cushman Eagle, Thats The One Every Guy Wanted ! Looked Like A Small Motorcycle. The Regular Cushman Was More Enclosed, Resembles The Newer Stuff Somewhat. I Was Drooling Over Owning An Eagle! Wound Up Trading My 1928 Model A Coupe For A 1936 Harley 80 Cubic Inch Flat Head . It Had A Melted Piston, Bought A Used Piston W/rings For $5.. By That Time I Had Reached The Ripe Old Age Of 15.
 

NEAT TIMES

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I Got The 36 Harley About 1954, Man I Still Remember Fixing The Oil Lines A Lot. They Needed To Be Long Enough To Have A Loop In Them To Absorb The Vibration .
 

Buzzard

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Jul 9, 2008
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Glad to get your interest up. Cushman Scooters were built here, in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the 50's. After the Korean War, they stopped manfacturing scooters and still doing other parts. You can drive around Lincoln and still see a few scooters in the back of garages. Maybe with the gas prices, we'll see more of them on the streets. I sure wish I'd kept mine!
 
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eDJ

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Jul 8, 2008
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Guys, you make my day with your memories.

This one scooter in my neighborhood was driven most of the year by a little old black man. He had spray painted it with navy blue paint from spray cans. It may have been an old Cushman for all I know but it was a larger thing with these do-nut tires. What was most distinctive was the back end which tapered down at 45 degrees to like a rear bumper and was rounded at the rear and the sides, and front were all square like a box. The top was flat with a pad for a seat. There was a floor for his feet with a brake pedal. The front was typical motor scooter with a headlight. On the back end was a rear & brake light with
license plate mount.

I can still see him coming down the road as that blue smoke roled out of it with it's characteristic, chuga chuga chauga chuga at about 35 mph. He knew I'd always run to the edge of the street to watch him go by and some times he'd nod and smile at me. What I remember about him was what I thought was a cigar he smoked. It really wasn't a cigar though. It was a pipe that looked a cigar with a wide spot toward the front and it had a silver cone on the front of it. Once I was with my aunt at this drug store when I saw him come out. I wanted to watch him and she was generous enough to sit in the car a little longer. That's when he took that pipe out and pounded it on it's side to empty it and then reloaded it with pipe tobacco. Then when he put it in his mouth he held the lighter over the top center of it instead of the end. That's when I figured out that it wasn't a cigar. But I guess it was jsut the thing to smoke on a motor scooter back then.
 
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Saddletramp1200

Custom MB Buiilder
May 7, 2008
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50 yrs ago I was 3. Even then I was blessed. My dad rode a 53 Harley and uncle rode a 47 Indiam Chief. Those days I was riding with mom holding me in her arms, as we had no car then. @ about 6 I got my first mini bike. an old bike frame with some kind of small motor. She also told me she was expecting and rode with dad till they figured it was not safe to do. (Those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end, we would sing and dance forever and a day. We lived the life we choose we fight and never loose, those were the days my friend oh yes those were the days). Only us "old" guys will remember that song.:) in 1971 minum wage was 1.25 an hour. I was riding a Honda CB 350. Working as a dish washer in a bakery, (after school).
Took a quarter to fill up the bike.(c)