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Friday, 19 August 2011

Friday bike

Ever heard of a Yankee? Didn't think so!
Only 760 of them were built in the early 70s, and the engine was a 500cc two stroke twin. The engine was basically a 'doubled up' Ossa 250 single, and the bike was put together in the US. Only real claim to fame was that it was the first motorcycle to have a rear disc brake. There's a potted history here. 


  1. I remember those from reading about them in cycle mags of the time, but never saw one that I can recall.
    Your earlier "old flames" post brings back fond memories of my first bike, a '69 CL 175 K3 I bought in late 1968. Was an interesting time at the Honda shops. They still had 160's,early slanted motor 175's, 4 speed 450's,125 twins and 305's in the shops...while the 750, newer 450's and 350's, 175's and SL 90's were being introduced.
    Seeing that pic of the CD 175 reminded of one I saw years ago. In summer of 1970 I was working at Lake Tahoe, California where I met a guy who had just ridden an earlier version of your CD 175 into the resort, where he too was going to start working.
    He had just bought the bike, his first and ridden it over 200 miles on freeways for the first time. As he pulled in it was making all kinds of racket. I asked him if his chain needed adjusting. His response was "What chain?". Because of the full chain enclosure he had no idea it was chain driven! Lucky for him it probably kept the chain from falling off. Long story short I showed him how to adjust his chain, valves, points and change oil. It wasn't the fastest thing around, but it was reliable and economical.

  2. I hadn't heard of them until I saw a picture of one in this report of a couple going from the UK to Italy for the Stella Alpina Rally on a Ural outfit:
    I seem to remember seeing a picture of the OSSA badged road bike version in a magazine at the time.
    As for Honda CLs, we didn't get them here, but I used to be amazed how cool they looked in the manual. Even now, I still search Ebay for a CL350 (a few have been brought in from the US), but they're always too expensive.
    Hope you enjoy the blog, writing about my 'old flames' has brought back many happy memories for me.
    BTW, I'm the 'UN' (Uncle Norman) who used to post on GBC's blog. I'm not her, or any other motorcyclists, uncle but it's a nickname that stuck for some reason!

  3. You know, it's reach a certain age...and suddenly you are every kid's "Uncle". As long as they don't start calling you "Bob". Whenever I saw UN, my mind would think "United Nations" LOL. After I sold my 175 I got a CB 350. There were a lot of both types here in the states. Where I live the CL's and later SL's were real popular because of all the areas you could ride them off-road back then. I have owned and still own a lot of them...see if I can dig up some black and white shots to post.
    Been enjoyable reading your new blog, keep 'em coming Uncle Norm.

  4. Ha! If it was only kids that called me 'uncle'. For some reason, even people older than me call me uncle! I think it came from the days when I used to organise more bike things, or possibly because I would take time to explain bike things to people. To be honest, I can't remember when it started.
    Keep reading - I'm going away for the weekend, so there should be a report with photos next week.