Best Bike You Let Go?


I built a supermoto XR650R a few years ago and sold it to move on to a different type of motorcycle. Anybody else have that one that you let go that you wish you hadn’t?


Yes - I regret selling my RC45 in 2005. Put on 6,800 miles between 1999 and 2005. The bike will be missed.

I do have this video (the only video) I made at the end of 2005. A way to remember the bike.


I have had about 50 motorcycles. British, American, German and Japanese.
The bike I most regret selling was a 1970 Norton Commando 750.
I had young kids and needed money that month for rent. Sold it for $1200.00.
It was a sad day and I knew that I would never see another one like it,
It had a lightened racing frame, racing hi performance coils, genuine Dunstall exhaust and a few other goodies. It needed a minor top end rebuild pistons and rings with a re-bore only.
A drum brake front wheel was the cap for me. It looked right!
If you know what to do annually with a drum it can work really well so no negative comments unless you’re curious please. My kids are grown now in their late 20’s and I still miss that bike.


In 1974, I bought a brand new Ducati 750 Sport for $2200 from a fellow who had the dealership but no place to operate out of. He had to unload his inventory. BTW, he also had a Laverda 750 for about the same money. I put about 16,000 km on it and got married. For some reason that escapes me to this day, I sold it when I returned from my honeymoon. I did get $200 more than I paid for it so that may have swayed me. Had I kept it, I would be sitting on a bike that currently goes for well over $50K US today. It was also a magical ride with good speed and the most exillerating exhaust note ever. I weep inside every time I think about it. I did a similar thing with a Lotus Elan about 8 years later. I’m a slow learner I guess.


1974 Kawasaki Z1 900 that I had traded a POS ford courier pickup to my older brother who was at UC Santa Barbara at the time - mid 1980s - I modded and rode that bike more than any other bike that I have owned. Started building Harleys and gave that Kawasaki away in the late 90s as it was just sitting there. Missed ever since. Then a few month ago I started looking for one - figuring that they would be cheap, I thought that I would be able to pick up a clean one for, say $1,500! Boy was I WRONG! Then there was my 1971 LS6/4-speed…


The first new vehicle I ever bought was a 1974 Harley Davidson Super Glide. AMF owned Harley Davidson at the time and the factory workers were on strike. I ordered it in February and finally arrived in August. I sold my '66 Ford Bronco so I could pay for it. I had ordered just a regular Super Glide w/ kick start only. My dealer tried & tried to get delivery and when it arrived it was their spanking new Bicentennial Edition bike. It was black with red, white & blue striping on the sides of the tank and on the fenders. I had owned a lot of bikes before that but nothing felt as natural as throwing a leg across that baby and settling in for a great ride. I wish I still had that one too.


1971 Honda Cb 350 twin.


It is awesome you rode that RC45 like that. It is a little sad to see them getting tucked away and not ridden these days.


Ive also had a barn full of bikes over the years. My 850 Norton was one I wish I had back. Same scenario as yours, young kids and needed the money.
Also had a 1969 R60US BMW I sold to Dennis Gauge from My Classic cars. Never should have let it go either.

                                                **_Situation Update!_**

I see my post on August 30 and wow… I can only say how things change in a short while.
Norton’s aren’t found every day in the classifieds and when I did see one they are rarely exactly what I want. In December I was browsing and saw the yellow Norton you see in the picture and I was floored. It was a 1970! The year I love the most! It had a drum brake which is aesthetically the most pleasing to me. (Plus, I know how to make them work well so stopping is OK)
I was put off by the yellow because my original 1970 was black. But by the time I got it home I realized it was so much better than the one I sold so many years ago, totally rebuilt, fresh engine axel to axel rebuilt! My kids are gown now an din their mid to late 20’s. They knew well that sacrifices I made in raising them. I actually sold an entire collection (17 bikes) upon finding myself alone as a single parent with tiny kids. So they were thrilled for me when I brought his home and told them about it. What a great reward this is!

As a close second to the Norton I sold is believe it or not, a Russian bike called “Dnepr”.
Its a sidecar rig and a combination from the factory and I also had one of those in my original collection. Weirdly it was also black. The Russian bikes were the most unreliable most poor parts quality of any motorcycle I have ever owned. You never knew if you were going to ride it home or push it home. Yet, I never ever had more real fun on anything I have ever owned.
If anyone here is a qualified shrink you may understand that strange notion coupled with the gear head syndrome.

So anyway, suddenly a bit of cash came loose in November and I wanted a spending spree…I looked on the local kijiji and stopped in my tracks…
I saw a Yellow Norton and a red Dnepr in two separate ads in two towns, the Dnepr was one hour away and the Norton was 3 hours away. To make the story short I bought the yellow Norton and the the Red Dnepr on the same day… They were both totally rebuilt, both came from owners who had good reasons for selling and knew a lot about the respective bikes and had other similar bikes in their collections. They both had just finished totally rebuilding their bikes, and I saw the evidence… Both bikes run amazingly well and need gentle breaking in. Both were astonishing deals because they were “Christmas Cash” sales and they both run like tops!

I am completely stunned… I feel like Karma has restored a lost fortune.
I swear when I posted in August I never saw this coming. I didn’t think I would ever have another 1970 Norton or any Dnepr ever again.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this story.


Red Dnepr top front view

Here’s the red Dnepr I spoke of in the last post for those interested.
My very close second choice for most missed bike I shouldn’t have sold.

Cheers again


I dont see the Norton pic either so here is that one.


Way back in 1973 I bought a wrecked 73 Kawasaki 900 Z1, at that time it was labeled the “World’s fastest Production Motorcycle”, not sure, but it was FAST. I put it back stock, except for taking off those huge turn signals and put a Hooker Header on it. It was $1,995.00 new and now worth around $20,000!


My favorite was a GSXR 1100 the last bike I owned,just plain getting to old reaction times slowed but not the way i drove it, it just always wanted its neck ringed i had eyed the first year Hayabusa and tried one out at the Suzy dealer decided 40 plus years of biking without a serious injury and givin my about to enter Geezerdome that i wanted to live to a ripe old age and called it quits,cruiser bikes are so nice and nothing beats the sound of a Harley cruisin down the hwy but just not my style wanted warp drive.Had a chance once to buy a Vincent off a fellow down the street that was big into Brit Bikes stupidly went and had a look but never bought what a mistake he had reached old age and was letting his collection go and i had first dibs as I use to cut his lawn as a youngster mostly for rides on his BSA.R


My favorite bike i let go was an 82 Honda Silverwing650 touring interstate. It came with the passenger seat trunk and spare seat. I had wanted one since they first came out. I stumbled on it accidently and bought it immediately as a gift for a girlfriend. After the break up I wasnt riding it so i sold it. But it was a long dream come true.



1971 Honda CL175 Street Scrambler
$300 Shed find
rebuilt the carbs and cleaned the tank vent. Perfect patina
was good to go, sold to buy a sweet Three wheeler.
Miss the bike once and awhile292560_3375022850492_274249107_n


94 XR250 that had the best suspension and able to weave through the Michigan trees like mad.

79 Maico 250 - I’m hanging onto that even after I stop racing it at Washougal.


That would be my 1988 Honda Hawk GT. I wanted one so badly when they first came out and was ecstatic to finally own one many years later when I started riding street. I was glad to have owned my Hawk for more than a decade before letting it go (fortunately I sold it to a great new owner.


That is a insanely gorgeous ride absolutely impressive.R