Sunday, May 18, 2014

My 1984 RZ 350



I bought this baby from my good friend Frank Merlo.  Dressed in red and white livery, it was the last 2-stroke to be street legal in the U.S.  This was my first real street bike, a twin cylinder, water cooled,  perimeter framed screamer that rocketed me through my youth.

I remember one day, coming out of the toll booth at the Delaware Gap on rt 80.  to my left was a Porsche 911.  I don't remember much about the driver, other than he must have been the sporting type, because we both got on the throttle hard, and didn't let up.  I had the weight advantage, but he had horsepower in spades.  I tucked in behind that red white and blue bikini fairing, stretching those twin throttle cables as hard as I could.  He could have easily bested me on the top end, we both knew that, but instead we spent an enjoyable 30 minutes trading places both of us running at speeds north of 100 mph.

I eventually crashed that bike, following my friend Steve up a mountain in Watchung.  I loved that bike so much, I bought a second one (also used) and enjoyed that one for years to come.  Eventually, in 1988 I succumbed, and sold it.  I still have dreams on occasion of visiting my grandmother's garage and finding my old RZ under a tarp.