From:colawnguy Electronic:colawnguy -A-
Subject: RE: WHY WE BOUGHT HARLEY 125'S / Winter Project Date:Thu Dec 15 04:03:29 2011
Response to:16490
Brent: Aren't these stories worthy of posting in Members
Pages? Maybe a good "winter project" for our wonderful
webmaster?!? And, we definitely need a copy of that "50-
year Anniversary" photo to go with the story!

I'm 60....didn't live the life you did but somehow these
little bikes came in and stuck. Thanks for sharing the
memories. You made my night.


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.