Here's a shot of Billy with his 1969 Custom Harley Sportster. I built it in California while stationed at McLellen AFB in Sacramento. Of course, you can't have a motorcycle in the barracks - which had inspections every day - so the gas tank became a flower pot, the long front forks became a floor lamp. I think the drill sergeant KNEW, but I was never written up. When it was all together, we took it to the far end of the runway near one of those red and white checkered radar housings (where my room-mate worked)... and it was so loud, it set of security alarms and the base MPs came stormin' over.

My problems with government go way back! If you've ever taken a motorcycle driving test, they set up pylon cones in the parking lot and you weave in and out of them. Due to my long front forks, my front wheel was already past the next pylon - and the DMV worker refused to space them further apart saying "Rules are rules"! I eventually took the driving test on someone else's dirt bike.

And the registration process - aargh! Back then, the reg numbers were on the bike's frame. Even though it was a Harley Sportster engine, the frame was custom built and the DMV refused to give me a registration sticker that said "Harley". After weeks of delay, the DMV finally gave me a registration sticker that said "1969 Custom Motorcycle". AND... since the government can do whatever the hec it wants, made the sticker the size of a paperback book, and glued it on my chrome-plated oil pan, ruining a $500 chrome job.

To get onto any military base, you need a sticker - usually on the car windshield. Motorcycles? No problem. Put it on the bike's windshield. I don't have one. No problem, put it on the front fender. I don't have one! The base commander took about three weeks to decide to wrap the sticker around the front fork. But it overlapped and hid the number of the sticker. Another two weeks to decide they could cut the sticker into thirds and make sure it covers ALL the chrome on my front forks!!

After my enlistment, and I went back to New York to go to college, I didn't realize that NY had yearly vehicle inspections. I went to just about every gas station on Long Island - no one wanted to inspect it! Finally, my dad "had a friend who knew someone". I gave dad $50, the next day he gave me a NY State Inspection Sticker :)

My non-Harley has been to all 50 states. One of my favorite stories is the time I rode the Jersey Turnpike from NY to VA... and the final toll booth is at the Delaware Memorial Bridge. After 2 hours of riding in the cold, my fingers were frozen and I couldn't downshift to stop at the toll booths. This got the attentions of every state trooper in Delaware! LOL

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