I have told people many times about how my old 73 Beezer 650 Thunderbolt was about the best handling bike I ever had. That’s her in the pics, while she isn’t the sweetest looking bike I have ever had, she was by far the best handling, in an almost psychic way. I have rubbed pipes and pegs on other bikes before and since.
But J.C. is the only bike I ever ground the rubber off the END of a foot peg going around a corner and didn’t go down. I still don’t know how I did that one, but I remember it clear as a bell. J.C. (short for Jupiter’s Child…hey it was the early 80s) had a front brake, but with the extended fork tubes, I never got around to adding a longer brake cable so for all intents and purposes, she didn’t have a front brake.
All that was there to try to stop that little speed freak of a bike was a stock BSA drum brake, which was better than nothing I suppose, but not much.
Her shocks had been removed, and replaced with a one piece strut/sissy bar set-up so she had no rear suspension, but had a high backrest seat for the passenger. I was running into Bremerton with the gal I was with at the time. Doing about 10-15 over the limit when I swung into the turn lane at the light just before the Navy Yard. As I did, the light turned yellow, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to stop before it turned red with both of us on.
Instead, I dropped it into 3rd and grabbed a handful of throttle, and went for the turn. Sitting at the red light heading back the other way were two eighteen wheelers, and as we leaned farther and farther over making the turn, all I could envision was sliding into and under them. The next thing I know, the bike is coming back up out of the turn, and heading down the road slicker than shit.
When we got to where we were going, I noticed when I got off that all the rubber on the end of my left foot peg was ground away…we had made the corner by pivoting on the end of the peg. I have always thought that J.C. had a guardian angel watching over us.
That was only one of the many times she somehow had me be where I was suppose to be (instead of where I wanted to be), kept me out of trouble with the law, or go down in a bad accident. Just take a look at the pics of her.
See how high up the foot peg is? To this day, I can’t figure out how we ground the rubber off that peg and were still able to make it back out of the corner.J.C. was by far my best handling bike, and I am sure I will have to tell you some more of the stories down the road sometime.