Readers' Rides

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Better Than Water
Sitting in the desert is made all the worse by the fact that you can't ride, says Lt. Col. Jim Moody, a loyal reader currently doing duty in Iraq. His wife sends over issues of Motorcycle Cruiser, but Moody wants to actually cruise, too, so he scored this little beauty for a whopping $520. The "Tonda" CG is a brand-spanking-new knockoff of a Honda 125 and comes complete with electric start, bikini fairing, centerstand and bike alarm! Moody says the shift pattern's a bit funky, but hey, for under $600 (split two ways with a buddy), you can't beat it. Unless it was being ridden in the California desert, we're guessing...

Restoration Roadie
A ding the size of a dime jump-started Robert Tuthill's unlikely custom Road Star project. Unlikely, because Tuthill feels most Yamaha customs gloss over their roots, while his Roadie embraces its origins. For instance, its Patrick Racing Big Bore engine, cams and oversized valves are fed by a DaVinci G-Series carb with a Wimmer short stack, all regulated by a Dyna 3000 box-a combination that manages 100 horsepower and 125 foot-pounds of torque on the dyno. The classic Coke font paintjob is the inspiration of a Bay Area artist, while the rest of the retro stuff comes courtesy of the Restoration Motorcycle shop in Washington. Frame and engine powdercoating by PowderVision makes the whole deal a dentless dream.

The First Cut Is the Deepest
First bikes invariably feel the brunt of a new owner's enthusiasm for riding, and Terry Stranz's 1998 Honda Shadow Aero is no exception. The 1100cc Honda benefits from a copious dip in the chromium bath-the radiator grille and dipstick from Showchrome are prime examples. An engine guard from MC Enterprises, light bar from National Cycle and Honda side covers round out the bigger details, while clutch and driveshaft covers from Cobra provide serious shine in traditionally overlooked areas. A Memphis shades windshield, Saddlemen bags and a fender rack from an Indian Chief ensure Stranz doesn't just look good, but that he's set up for the long haul, too. (P.S., you'll hear those Vance & Hines Longshots miles away.)

Green Machine
Del O'Hara's 1993 Honda Shadow 1100 has gone from caterpillar to butterfly since it was first snapped up by its owner two years ago. For starters, O'Hara piled the bulk of the J&P; Cycles catalog onto the bike, dubbed "Lime Time." Other accessories, such as Jardine pipes, a Headwinds Vampire headlight, Kryakyn control covers, grips and pegs and Aeromach Tribal cross mirrors, filled in what few blanks were left. The paint scheme shown in a Monster Garage episode featuring lime green metal flake with black paint was used as a reference point for Lime Time's graphics. The best part of the project, O'Hara says, is that at 67 years young, he's lovin' the cruiser life more now than he did 20 years ago.