Earl Roloff’s Facebook fables are too good not to share with a wider audience. In this episode, we learn the value of perseverance and hard work, race with famous children of the swingin’ Southern California ‘60s, and continue growing onward and upward. Part 1, in which we explored the origins and earliest career of our young protagonist, is here. – John Burns
Take it away, Earl:
With less respect than Rodney Dangerfield, the Yamaha SC500 2-stroke Single was one of the worst motorcycles ever manufactured. Rated one of the worst motorcycles of the 70s by many, including a couple of major publications, its list of flaws was longer than War & Peace, a failure at almost every level: A 4-speed gearbox so spaced out that Jeff Spicoli would be jealous. Engine detonation so bad, you thought water was being mixed with the gas rather than oil. The direction-changing ability of a Peter Fonda chopper from Easy Rider. More seizures than our Border Patrol/DEA at the southern border on a busy night, the list goes on.
Yamaha SC500 (courtesy of Bonhams)
The real question: who would want one of these things? Unfortunately, one such buyer lived in my house, my dad. Of course, when we bought it new, we were unaware of what we’d gotten into. However, we quickly found out! When you show up at a race, and you’re the ONLY guy riding a particular bike it says something. (That happened to me on more than one occasion along the way. See also MO History: The Terminator.) So, as usual, my dad knew he could make it work, and I’d be the guinea pig.