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BAinLA Offline OP
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Ice cold morning in the 40s (maybe 7° C) made the snap decision to go for a ride last Saturday. I Avoided the L.A. freeways and rode surface street only most of which was on the famous "Mulholland Hwy", 31 miles (50 Km) to the Rock Store.

Not my videos!
You get the idea.

Was nice ride on my rusty old '72 TR6 5-speed, a little chilly with my open face 1/2 shell helmet.

Not too many other bikes at all, maybe too cold or something. More bicycles by far.

When I got to the legendary "Rock Store" I trolled past the crowd twice looking for any British bikes or normal looking people to hangout with for a while and laugh at my poor decrepit looking Triumph. All I saw were Harleys, black Harleys with guys posing around dressed in black trying to look menacing or sinister.

My bike definately did not fit into that crowd and I rode on. I got on the L.A. 101 autobahn South and when I hit the rain grooves, after about a mile I got off to check my tires! Bike was acting just like it had a flat. That was a nice 65 mile ride last weekend but really not THAT fun. I suppose if I had somebody to ride with it would be much better. -Brian


"There goes that old fool on his piece of junk"
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I know the feeling


Down to 1 BSA, 2 Triumphs, 1 '56 Chevy
1 '65 XLCH, Hernia Gift, on the way to Japan!
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I hate rain grooves, ESPECIALLY in the rain!


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That's how you can tell new Harley owners from old Harley owners. Most of the old Harley owners had a British bike at one time. They will talk to you and reminisce about old times.
"Wow, I had one of those before I bought my first FLH."


Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.

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72 T150V "Wotan"
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As a guy who’s logged a lot of miles in the Santa Monica’s I’ve never understood why guys riding 800 pound bikes with very little cornering clearance go up there. It can’t be fun at all to be riding a Harley up Piuma, Latigo or Stunt Roads on one. Maybe it’s enough to park in front of the Rock Store?

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BAinLA Offline OP
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Originally Posted by linker48x
As a guy who’s logged a lot of miles in the Santa Monica’s I’ve never understood why guys riding 800 pound bikes with very little cornering clearance go up there. It can’t be fun at all to be riding a Harley up Piuma, Latigo or Stunt Roads on one. Maybe it’s enough to park in front of the Rock Store?

I think that is it basically, also the sound. I understand them. When you get a hoard of Harleys riding together this rumble developes which seems to evoke primal feelings. After a while I can imagine that you will feel like sacking and plundering. You would feel like a band of Vikings or something. I get that. I've never had a Harley but I do like that sound. When I was a kid hitchkiking around the S.F. bay area, I remember when the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels used to go on a run, they made a righteous thunder going by for minutes at a time. Interesting to me at the time is that for every few bikes they had a pickup truck to load the broken down Harleys into. They were always on the side fixing one thing or another on those old bikes. Talking 60s here. The bikes were war surplus on up probably. Are they reliable now? Or still junk. -BA

Last edited by BAinLA; 03/18/21 12:48 pm.

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In the late 60s when I was in college and racing mx and RR, I lived in Berkeley and worked in Hayward and rode my X6 Suzuki production racer/daily rider to work every day on Grizzly Peak, Skyline, and Redwood Rd., the East Bay version of the Santa Monica mountains racer roads. Sonny Barger lived out on the east side of Oakland and on the rare occasions I took 580 and the Warren Freeway home I’d see Hells Angels guys out in that area riding their Freeway Flyers. Folks gave them a lot of room on the freeways. They were a whole different deal from the guys you see parked in front of the Rock Store.

Harleys certainly rumble, but the sound of a field of bikes, especially British twins, on the starting line the last few seconds before, and first few seconds after, the green flag waves has always gotten me. Things get busy right after that, but that few seconds of sound is cool.

By the way, congrats on bringing your Triumph back to life. Post a pic? Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, we all just like running, ridden Brit bikes of whatever sort.

Last edited by linker48x; 03/18/21 5:46 pm.
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Originally Posted by linker48x
In the late 60s when I was in college and racing mx and RR, I lived in Berkeley and worked in Hayward and rode my X6 Suzuki production racer/daily rider to work every day on Grizzly Peak, Skyline, and Redwood Rd., the East Bay version of the Santa Monica mountains racer roads. Sonny Barger lived out on the east side of Oakland and on the rare occasions I took 580 and the Warren Freeway home I’d see Hells Angels guys out in that area riding their Freeway Flyers. Folks gave them a lot of room on the freeways. They were a whole different deal from the guys you see parked in front of the Rock Store.

Harleys certainly rumble, but the sound of a field of bikes, especially British twins, on the starting line the last few seconds before, and first few seconds after, the green flag waves has always gotten me. Things get busy right after that, but that few seconds of sound is cool.

You sound about my brother's age. His first bike was a Suzuki X-6 "Hustler" that he had modified for performance. We all rode Grissly Peak through Tilden Park Etc. Those were the days...

Oh yeah, those dudes back then were animals, totally wild. They used to line up their bikes outside Pepe's pizza on Telegraph and pull wheelies or other stunts as they left. I remember once they found a Moped parked near there and soaked it in gas and burned it.

I never heard a bunch of Brit bikes together like you describe but it must have been impressive.

Last edited by BAinLA; 03/18/21 11:43 pm.

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How fun, I raced and rode dirt at Point Richmond too, those were the days for sure, lots of places to ride. Did you ever ride in the dirt at Albany Hill? We also rode the dirt in Tilden Park, as well as on street street bikes on Grizzly Peak and on the road over to Orinda and out to Walnut Creek the back way, and down to Hayward--no cops, no traffic, so you could go about 80% race pace without too many worries. I road raced that X6 at Vacaville, too. I was pretty much penniless in those days too, my racing and riding was financed by school loans, LOL.

Riding those great roads in the Santa Monicas is a lot more enjoyable than just hanging at the Rock Store looking at the Harley guys admire each others latest custom billet rear view mirror. There are more roads than you can ride in two days out there, and if you get tired of it, go out north of 101 on the twisties to Moorpark, Fillmore, Ojai, 33, 166, Tepusquet, Camino del Cielo, and so forth, you can easily do really fun 300 mile days out that way on great roads with almost no repeats. There's lots of guys with vintage Triumphs and such in the Valley to ride with!

Last edited by linker48x; 03/18/21 11:51 pm.
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Originally Posted by linker48x
How fun, I raced and rode dirt at Point Richmond too, those were the days for sure, lots of places to ride. Did you ever ride in the dirt at Albany Hill? We also rode the dirt in Tilden Park, as well as on street street bikes on Grizzly Peak and on the road over to Orinda and out to Walnut Creek the back way, and down to Hayward--no cops, no traffic, so you could go about 80% race pace without too many worries. I road raced that X6 at Vacaville, too. I was pretty much penniless in those days too, my racing and riding was financed by school loans, LOL.

Riding those great roads in the Santa Monicas is a lot more enjoyable than just hanging at the Rock Store looking at the Harley guys admire each others latest custom billet rear view mirror. There are more roads than you can ride in two days out there, and if you get tired of it, go out north of 101 on the twisties to Moorpark, Fillmore, Ojai, 33, 166, Tepusquet, Camino del Cielo, and so forth, you can easily do really fun 300 mile days out that way on great roads with almost no repeats. There's lots of guys with vintage Triumphs and such in the Valley to ride with!

I only rode at Pt. Richmond IIRC. First on a Honda 50 and Honda 70 to learn as a kid, then the big thumpers after I got my license. We lived in Albany when I was a tot but I never saw any bikes there then or later. We rode those roads you mention but we were further North in El Cerrito. None of my bikes were really fit for long range (over 50 miles) cruises. The furthest I ever went was to Lodi (didn't get stuck there thankfully) and to the City once. I was happy just to ride Arlington Blvd to Berkeley and back (and pushing my Norton to college in the pouring rain). Blasting flat-out up those incredably steep hills in the bay area, doing jumps on the cross streets on a 441 with no baffle or a Gold Star was about as good as it gets. It's funny, if that was going on where I live now I'd be cursing them up and down.As a teenager it was sort of like giving the finger to the world.

This current bike will be made a little more reliable and then I will ride those routes you suggested. I did attempt a ride from Studio City to Solvang up by Santa Barbara but had troubles (gas cap not venting) heading up Hwy 126 and had to turn back after 50 miles or so.

Wish I knew some old codgers to ride Brit Bikes with on the weekends, you know, somebody to watch for pieces dropping off.

Last edited by BAinLA; 03/19/21 2:24 am.

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For vintage English rides and to connect with riding companions you might try the Socal Norton club which schedules monthly rides https://socalnorton.com/calendar/ Or the Socal BSA Club https://bsaocsc.org/ that is also active. This is only partly about bikes, like a lot of other things a lot of this is about the people you share it with.

To just try out the local roads around the Rock Store, go west from the Rock Store, left on Kanan Rd, Left on Latigo to PCH, left past Malibu then left on Las Flores, right on Ramblo Pacifico, right on Schueren, left on Stunt road, right on Mulholland and head home. There’s a million loops like that, just get a good map and put it in the clear map pocket on top of a tank bag. Fun stuff. You get onto the sides of your tires and you get away from the Rock Store scene.

Last edited by linker48x; 03/22/21 3:46 am.
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Originally Posted by linker48x
For vintage English rides and to connect with riding companions you might try the Socal Norton club which schedules monthly rides https://socalnorton.com/calendar/ Or the Socal BSA Club https://bsaocsc.org/ that is also active. This is only partly about bikes, like a lot of other things a lot of this is about the people you share it with.

To just try out the local roads around the Rock Store, go west from the Rock Store, left on Kanan Rd, Left on Latigo to PCH, left past Malibu then left on Las Flores, right on Ramblo Pacifico, right on Schueren, left on Stunt road, right on Mulholland and head home. There’s a million loops like that, just get a good map and put it in the clear map pocket on top of a tank bag. Fun stuff. You get onto the sides of your tires and you get away from the Rock Store scene.
Thanks Linker48x, I'll check out those groups when my bike is good enough to not be a liability to the group (almost there, just a few seals to replace).
Yes I know these roads as my work takes me over them each year at least. -BA

Last edited by BAinLA; 03/22/21 11:55 pm.

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This thread piqued my interest a bit in riding in the Southern California area again, and since I don’t keep any bikes in LA anymore, I looked into renting one. Eagle Rider on La Cienega in LA rents 900 triple and 700 twin Yamahas and even better, Royal Enfield twins, for like $50 /day, and modern Triumphs for about double that at their location near LAX. hm. Quite a bit cheaper than buying and restoring a vintage Britbike to a reliable and nicely fettled state.

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Originally Posted by BAinLA
Originally Posted by linker48x
you might try the Socal Norton club.......Or the Socal BSA Club
Thanks Linker48x, I'll check out those groups when my bike is good enough to not be a liability -BA
I've done many BSA club rides over the years and recommend them. They are well organized and usually have a chase truck to rescue bikes in need, sometimes even on the dual sport rides! You don't even have to be a member for the road rides but joining up is such a no brainer. Of course, riding is better than being on the truck so it's wise to have a trustworthy machine. I usually do a couple hundred local shakedown miles before venturing out on a club event but some just use those rides for shakedown! Visit the website for a schedule of upcoming events. cool

Last edited by Stuart Kirk; 03/29/21 12:44 am.

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