We woke up on a rainy sunday morning in Portland, Oregon and loaded up the van with a few motorcycles. Headed straight to the woods to play in the mud to see what kind of fun we could find. A little rain can't hold us back from making the most of a day off.
Photography by: Stephen Smith
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At first we played around on Seth Neefus' 1975 Honda XL350 with nothing more on it than an engine and a nut that connects the handlebars to the seat. It is great around town and it has gone on many long road trips and explored a good amount of trails. It does not have a battery, an air filter, and the whole bike runs off of 2 wires. The seat is custom with not much cushion, the exhaust is a straight pipe and the tread one these tires is not meant for a muddy adventure. None of these facts matter, it was a blast! It ripped through the trails and hopped over rocks and stumps and charged through puddles. It just goes to show you that you can have fun on anything. After awhile of riding the lack of an air filter did cause the bike to stall out a few times which was to be expected, but it was fun as hell while it lasted. It did start up first thing monday morning to ride to work, believe it or not.
Then we grabbed a more modern dirt bike from the van, this one feels like a high powered rocket ship compared to the vintage honda. This 1995 Honda CR125 is a 2 stroke dirt bike made to rip around in the dirt leaving whoever rides it with a grin from ear to ear. The power band on this bike has you hanging on as you shift through the gears, spitting dirt into the air as it flies down the trail. This bike is mostly stock other than a new FMF exhaust, and a larger sprocket in the rear and a smaller one in the front. This bike makes you want to ride fast, jump over everything in sight and blast through giant puddles on rainy days.
At the end of the day, it was time to relax and hang for a minute before hitting the road. The waxed canvas clothing was put to the test and I drove home completely dry in the clothing that I splashed around in the water and mud with all day. These old motorcycles are built to be used and abused and to make life enjoyable, the same can be said for a durable pair of waxed canvas pants, vest or jacket. Don't let the things you own hold you down, let them help you enjoy your life to the fullest.