Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Motorcycle, Wish I still Had it.

1972 BSA Rocket 3. It killed the Honda 4's that were around in those days. Even my brother's friend's Honda 4, which he souped up and couldn't believe he was beaten. It ran dead even with my friends Norton, below.

I rode this thing for 10 years or so back in my studly days. My buddy had a 750 Norton Combat Commando, and we'd prowl all around Pittsburgh, and never did find anything that could beat us. His was metal flake midnight blue.

The exhaust noise was truly exquisite in downtown Pittsburgh blasting through the concrete canyons.

I have a million stories but here's a short one. We were blasting through downtown Pittsburgh one night and ran into this dude on a Honda 4 with straight pipes and souped up pretty good. It was fast. The dude driving it kept looking at my buddy's Norton and saying "I gotta try that thing! Where can we go?". He didn't pay much attention to me since I wasn't making as much noise. We led him down to McKnight road, which is a smaller version of Telegraph road in Detroit. About 7 miles on non-stop business, 6 lane blacktop, 3 per side.

We got to McKnight road and started racing. The BSA and the Norton ran dead even as usual and the Honda was several car lengths back. We ran up the road, turned around and came back. All at 100 mph +. After doing this about 3 times, the cops who were in the Eat N Park couldn't stand it anymore and gave chase.

The dude on the Honda had made mention he was low on gas as we were heading to McKnight Rd. My buddy and I knew the area and detoured off the main drag and got lost on some side streets. The dude on the Honda headed off toward Wexford, and most likely ran out of gas before he ever saw a station.

Lots of nights like this. Loads of fun. True American Grafitti stuff and I sure miss it.


  1. Loved the story and those pictures are SUHWEET!

  2. Thanks Gene.

    At the same time, Triumph made a version of the 3 cylinder called a Trident. They still make one today and they call it a Speed Triple. And some others as well.


    According to a road test I read some years ago, the guy wrote "As soon as you twist the throttle, you get an evil grin that you can't wipe off your face. Just make sure you have it pointed in the direction you intend to go".

    And these are guys who constantly ride the crotch rockets.

    Anyway, I sure don't need something like that.

    "Those were the days my friend
    We thought they'd never end
    We'd sing and dance forever and a day
    We'd live the life we choose
    We'd fight and never lose
    For we were young and sure to have our way.
    La la la la...
    Those were the days, oh yes those were the days"

  3. Just happened to look at the specs on that thing.

    130 hp at 9,250 RPM.

    Ah, No thanks.

  4. BSA used to be big competition for harleys and japanese made bikes.nice story kid;)

  5. BSA was big competition to harleys and japanese bikes then.
    nice memoire story kid;)