Submitted by Kasey Doolin. Kasey and his wife, Cindy (below, with their his and hers bikes), restore and ride a pair of awesome BMW classic motorcycles and are very active on the San Diego biking scene.
Back in 1971 I purchased my first motorcycle. It was a 1964 Villers Greeves 250. It was the one with the odd springer front end. Geared to go about 45 MPH and with that heavy front end it would knock down most things in the desert. This bike was well used, but very rugged and never gave me much trouble. I bought it from Bob, a buddy of mine, who was losing sleep for want of a new CZ 360. I handed over $250 and this was to be my starter bike to see if I liked dirt biking or not.
Several months later Bob and I decided we were going to Pismo Beach for the weekend. This was when Pismo was wide open and fun. So we loaded up the pickup and drove down the beach and set up camp. The next morning we unloaded and took off for the dunes. Great fun, doing the Lawrence of Arabia thing. The Greeves seemed suited for the dunes. A few hours later we headed back to camp for lunch and fuel. After we decided to head down the beach as far as we could. We rode three or four miles skirting the waves, going in and out. Then disaster, I got a too close to the water and sprayed the engine with salt water. The engine immediately died and would not restart. Lucky we brought a tow rope, or so I thought. A 360 CZ would have no problem towing another bike, but we were in sand. The first attempt sent a rooster tail of sand directly into my face and we went nowhere. Then we got nearer the water where the sand was harder and I ran beside the bike and jumped on. Off we went but the sand blasting continued. I had a MX open helmet and goggles which didn’t save the end of my nose from losing about three layers of skin.
Back at camp we took off the aluminum cover that held the points. We found that the gasket was ruined and there was moisture around the points. We sprayed everything down with WD-40 and sealed up the cover with 3M Weather seal. That done I kicked the old girl over once and heard a POP. I looked down and found the cover piece and blown off and was in several pieces around the camp. Our best guess was that the 3M Weather seal had created gasses in the sealed points box and the spark made a hand grenade of my bike. Another bunch of lessons learned the hard way.
(Editor’s Note) I loved the tale about the Greeves at Pismo, Kasey. I lived in Morro Bay in the mid-60s and took my 350 Ducati Sebring cavorting on the beach at Pismo many times. The Duc was less than able in the dry sand, but at low tide I could ride all the way to my favorite beach, Guadalupe.
Meanwhile, the Outlaws were Evicted from Oso Flaco Lake
A Hell’s Angels regular weekend destination was Oso Flaco pond, just inland from Pismo Beach Dunes. In about ’65, I think, the SLO Sheriff and CHP blocked the only road (dirt) in and out of the pond, and trapped a big gathering of Angels and other bikers. The Law confiscated a number of stolen, unregistered or not properly equipped Hogs and trucked them away. They also checked the revelers for outstanding warrants and illegal substances. At end of day, the Angelic party was greatly reduced in number for the walk back to LA. No casualties as I recall. It was all done as kind of a sporting event.