|From:||EDD McGrath||Electronic:||whenisell -A- aol.com|
|Subject:||WHY WE BOUGHT HARLEY 125'S||Date:||Fri Oct 21 21:54:05 2011|
WHY WE BOUGHT HARLEY 125ís|
When I became interested in motorcycles in 1953 a new Harley 165 cost about $400 brand new, a new ďKĒ cost about $750 and a new ď74Ē cost about $1,300 - $1,500 depending upon accessories. The typical wage for a 13 year old farm laborer (me) was $0.75 to $0.85 per hour. I loved the look of the K, but there was no way I could afford one. I was the eldest of four children and my father was a blue collar factory worker and part time farmer. The summer of 1953 I saved enough money to buy a used 1952 Harley 125. In Illinois in 1953 you had to be fifteen years old to get a driverís license. The local police didnít hassle us, but there was always the fact that they could if you didnít walk the line.
My riding buddy, also thirteen years old, had an Indian Brave 250cc. At fifteen years of age he bought a used 1949 Harley 74 in 1955. I bought a 440cc Indian Scout. We were both fifteen, but Illinois had raised the minimum age for a driverís license to sixteen. Our original group in 1953 included Bob who had a 1950 Harley 125, Billy who had a brand new BSA, Pete who had the Indian Brave 250cc, and I had my 1953 125 cc Harley 125.
The four of us still (2011) have motorcycles. Billy lives in Lakeland, Florida and has traveled the world on motorcycles and keeps a current stable of a Harley and a BMW, Pete and Bob both still lives in Illinois and both have motorcycles. I live in Florida and have a 2003 BMW K1200LTE, a BMW R60/7 (bought new in 1977, restored in 2008), a BMW R100RS 1993, a 2006 Ducati ST3, and a 2008 Victory Vision. Most years Billy and I meet at Daytona for the AMA Hall of Fame breakfast. I found a picture of Billy and me on our motorcycles in my childhood front yard in 1953 so fifty years later we had a picture made of both of us with our new 2003 BMWís at the AMA Hall of Fame breakfast.
Iím glad I bought that Harley 125. I was 13 then, now 71.