|Sorry, this will have to do, no pics could be found of my own SL-350|
With that in mind I set about finding a suitable replacement that would make a decent road bike. I had in mind one of Honda's CB450s as the likely choice, big enough to haul me anywhere I'd care to go and reliable as can be.
|I'd still love to ride one of these|
|Wouldn't I! Sweet! And a shaker to boot!|
|Photo taken by George Olsen on the occasion of the Yamaha's 25th birthday|
During this period I also owned a number of other bikes, ones that were more comfortable with better handling characteristics and so help me God, electric starters! I rode them back and forth across the US and Canada, north to Alaska, south to Mexico, it was crazy. Meanwhile the Yamaha languished under its cover, secluded in the garage or barn and only ridden occasionally.
The years continued to roll by until the spring of this year, 2015 when I decided it was time to let it go. What was the point after all of owning a beautiful and now vintage bike and never riding it? I started mentioning this to my riding buds and one of them, Jerry Smith, posted a small inquiry on the Adventure Rider's forum regarding this model and also commented that I'd been thinking about selling. Within hours a collector from Olympia, WA contacted him and Jerry forwarded my name & contact info to him.
|Wotta sweetheart...and the bike ain't bad either! Eww...|
|kick start? Hell yes, I can still do it. Just stand back.|
|Woof! Wacha doin Dad? Your face is kinda red...|
|Never you mind, that popping sound was just my knee|
The rest was history, he got in touch with me and we agreed on a price and scheduled a time he could call for it. The drive from his home east of Olympia was a long one, nearly 7 hours but he made it without incident and loaded the bike onto the back of his truck.
|Me on the left, smiling new owner Vincent on the right|
|Young guys, lotsa muscle...whew!|
|Tying it down nice & snug|
|Moment of wistfulness...45 years is a long time|
|Time to head 'em up, move 'em out!|
|Bye bye baby...gonna miss you|
|Hey, ya still got me Dad, right? - Good point Riley, I still have you.|
So that's that, the beastie's gone to a new home to live in style with a really nice couple. No worries about going under the saw and becoming a hack-job for a cafe racer wannabe, it's a new life of careful stewardship and the occasional show. For an old bike that's about as good as it gets.