Bill Strong’s Harley Story

My story goes back to my youth in 1971 in St. John’s Newfoundland Canada. Motorcycles were becoming popular. There were a lot of British Bikes, Triumph Bonnevilles, B.S.A. s, Some Royal Enfields, and a few Harley Davidsons. I was 17 and had gotten my first bike. It was a Kawasaki 350 Avenger that I bought used. I had just joined the local club.

The bike I was smitten with though was a 1967 Sportster XLCH that had some customizing. It had a 6inch over front forks, a metal flake paint job. A modified gas tank to increase capacity, a large sissy bar, and very loud pipes. Starting was a ritual as it required turning the advance On the ignition, putting the right amount of fuel through the carburetor and hope that kick starter did not slip a cog. (the missed engagement always looked painful). But that bike was the coolest bike in town. I would stop and just listen to it go through town, hearing every shift and loving the sound. The bike lasted about 10 years and went through various modifications. There was another one with close to the same modifications and when the two rode together it was like a symphony of classic motorcycle sound and as well a great sight.

Later I came into my own 1977 Sportster and XLH It had the same great sound but the technology had surpassed the old Iron head motors. I put set needle bearings through the motor and managed to rebuild the motor my self. Great memories.

I now have 2002 FXD that I have had for 11 years without major trouble. I call her Betty and she is all I need in a bike. But the mind will always go back to hearing that XLCH starts a mile away and hearing every shift of his journey home. The friends made then are still friends forever. Priceless memories.

Thanks for asking,

Bill Strong

North River Newfoundland, Canada

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