Check out this excellent ’72 Honda SL 70 my friend Ronnie Welch picked up at the 2010 Diamond Don’s Riverport National. This bike looks totally original — fenders, speedo, pegs, everything. Only one slight dent in the right side of the tank. Even the seat is in excellent condition! It’s amazing. And it runs. The best part? He paid a whopping $350 for the whole thing. I’ve seen seat pans alone go for nearly that much on ePay.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect the facts. Check the comments for details. :end:
A while back Mitch Boehm of Moto Retro contacted me about some old SL 70 stories. I don’t know if he used any of them or not as I haven’t gotten around to subscribing yet. But here’s one I didn’t send him.
After I “outgrew” my SL 70 I sold it to my younger brother. The top photo on the left is my brother jumping the SL 70 off a hill on some unnamed junior high campus. We were such scofflaws.
Anyway, back in the early ’70s there was a big vacant lot, probably a couple of acres, right off of 5th street and Palmer, just behind the Tyler Junior College campus. TJC has a big football practice field there now, but back in the day it was just a wooded lot with a creek running through the back. Continue reading
Recently my old school friend Ronnie Welch sent me a bunch of pictures from TVRC’s annual “King of the Ant Hill” race in Texas. If you were under the misguided belief that pitbike races were some new phenomenon, well, let me assure you that the only thing truly new in dirt biking is the backflip.
There were plenty of cool XR75s, including some single-shock models using aftermarket swingarms. But Ronnie was representin’ for all the Po’ Boys who had to ride ’em like they came from the factory. His beater SL70 was sporting nothing more than a Green Weenie filter and a DG-style megaphone.
Wish I had been there. I have two SL70 project bikes sitting around the house here somewhere if I can ever get back to them…
The first motorcycle I ever bought with my own money was a red 1972 Honda SL70. The picture is my younger brother David jumping the bike across the football field at Moore Jr. High when we were kids. Can you imagine trying that now?
I think I sold the bike to David, but I can’t really remember. I think this picture was before that because at one point I welded (well, my Dad welded) some reinforcement plates on the swingarm and we moved the lower shock mounts forward. This pic looks like the shocks are still in the stock location. But I know it was eventually sold off to someone else and disappeared. Like so many aging MXers, I’m now trying to recreate my childhood by getting my old bikes back. A few months back my long-time friend Ronnie found a bunch of SL70 and CT70 parts up in Dallas somewhere and got them for me, and my plan is to recreate my old bike.
To that end, I just got off the phone with Lyle Mirski, founder and chief bottle-washer at CHP Products. CHP is one of the top pitbike companies in the country and, even though Lyle and I never met, we graduated the same year from the same high school. Net-net, Lyle is going to rebuild my SL70 motor to kick-start my restoration project. He’s pretty busy right now with the big Indy Show and racing season coming up, but by early summer the SL70 project should be well underway. Stay tuned!