Taco Vs Bonanza

General Discussion

  1. Dibbons

    Dibbons Well-Known Member

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    When i was a youngster circa 1969 (12 or 13 years-old) I purchased my very own Bonanza mini-bike just like Ricky, the neighbor across the street, was "driving". This was at the Calif-Kart Sales showroom in San Jose, CA (see add photo). If I remember correctly, mine had no lights, no rear suspension, and a worthless front suspension (hardly any fork travel at all). I changed the jack-shaft sprocket for more top speed. It was one speed with the centrifugal clutch.

    My next door neighbor Chris, then joined the "club" when he purchased a purple Taco brand machine. I drove mine mainly on Dads 200-plus acre agricultural property in Milpitas, CA. But at home, we had a "circular" type driveway and there I would run laps down the sidewalk directly in front of our house then into the curved driveway and back around again. I did not use the paved street in front of the house.

    One day I challenge Chris to a drag race. I use the short stretch of sidewalk (as usual) in front of our house and he sets up on the street alongside me. Off we go and up pulls a CHP patrol car. Gives us both citations and Dad has to later accompany me to juvenile court where we met with some government official where I expressed my remorse. (In 1983, I graduated from the CHP Academy, first in my class). I am guessing a neighbor must have called the CHP on us. It was the only time I saw a CHP patrol car in our quiet neighborhood.



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    • Darter6

      Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      I was a mini bike nut back in the 60's. I had a Fox. Mine was used for $30.
      New Fox bikes were about the same as the Bonanza photo above around $120-$150.
      Just like Muscle Cars of today the vintage bikes pull large dollars today.
      A Fox Campus restored are priced at $6000 +.
      And even though I'm in my 60's I STILL WANT ONE !
       
    • Dibbons

      Dibbons Well-Known Member

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      I eventually graduated to the Honda mini-trail fifty three-speed semi-automatic with factory full suspension (bored over/90 carb/ megaphone exhaust pipe) and finally the Harley Sportster (1000 four-speed).
       
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      • gtx6970

        gtx6970 Well-Known Member

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        My very first motorized moving "vehicle " was a Bridgestone Chibi mini bike. We had a couple acres so no need to be on the road with it.

        But my brother and i road the crap out of that thing for a couple years.


        Been so long ago.....i have no idea what ever happened to it.
         
      • DeltaV

        DeltaV Endeavor to persevere FBBO Gold Member

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        11F423CB-3210-425E-B7DD-5B33CCBD97E3.jpeg
         
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        • snakeyes

          snakeyes FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        • Sahara

          Sahara FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          In the very early seventies there was a big boom in mini bikes here in northern Canada. There were lots of Rupps, Keystone made a little two stroke, my older brother had a nice Arctic Cat. The wealthier kids had a Honda fifty or Kawasaki. My grandfather had a cool one called a Tote Goat in the late sixties. . Wish I had it, it was a cool thing.
           
        • Darter6

          Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          ^^^^^^^ Post #5 That was me many a times.
          The cops were nice and just screamed at us to give us a good scare.
          Then they would make us push 'um home.If they got a call they would say "Remember, I SAID PUSH !!"
          Of course when they were out of sight,We fired 'um up.
           
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          • Scott Engelhardt

            Scott Engelhardt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            This topic is one of my passions. I am not sure how many I have. As far as Taco VS Bonanza, they are both great bikes. The Bonanza with the Hodaka engine was pretty fast, but the fastest of all would have to be the Speedway silver shadow 125cc Sachs engine. Most of the 4 cycle engines were pretty equal depending on gearing or torque converter.
            This is my silver shadow
            View attachment 1143097

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            • Cojohnso1

              Cojohnso1 Well-Known Member

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              By early 70s what I really wanted was the new Honda 70. I worked and hussled my A$$ off to save $350. But my parents would not let me. Even while first saying "If you pay for." (Not believing an 11 year old can earn/raise $350 in one summer) Saying it was too dangerous.

              I never fully forgave them until their passing. To the point I nearly bought one Two years ago. (It's bad when you're still pouting 50 years later?)

              trail-70-side-630x390.jpg
               
              Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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              • 64BEL

                64BEL Well-Known Member

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                A bunch of us in our neighborhood had these and really tore up the trails on them in the mid '70s. Lots of fun.

                POST-030818-2-e1520619265745-630x395.jpg
                 
              • Dibbons

                Dibbons Well-Known Member

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                The front fork suspension on those Hondas was super!
                 
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                • Scott Engelhardt

                  Scott Engelhardt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  Here is a few more of mine

                  93FAF5F3-661E-4209-84D5-DD5266FC375C.jpeg 5958E855-75FD-4986-986A-DC6B26B79211.jpeg 09CCD6AE-A609-4281-9BC9-2FB2D408841E.jpeg DEEA612F-7867-4AA7-BB83-4B3F2C781E27.jpeg
                   
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                  • Ron H

                    Ron H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    The pic in post #5 isn't unfamiliar with me...though that was running my go-cart through some back streets. 2nd time was informed I'd no longer would have it if I was caught again. Then having to push the thing back home a mile with da cop following me in his squad. And riding a bud's mini it was ahh...thrilling when the handle bars came off making a jump off a hill. I suffered flattened gonads more than once on bikes. Ahh - da 60's were fun...wouldn't trade them though even if friggin video games were around then.
                     
                  • polywideblock

                    polywideblock FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    I had one of these, rockhopper
                    1971-deltek-rockhopper.jpg
                     
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                    • Budnicks

                      Budnicks You Can Just Thank Me Later FBBO Gold Member

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                      I earned the $$$ to buy them,
                      I didn't get them from my parents ever
                      or got them from my older cousin Joe for working/helping
                      on his stuff as pay... I got a few things from Joe like that...

                      I never got busted or stopped on the street with my
                      Taco 22 3.5hp (my stepbrother Tim had one too)
                      Taco 22 & 44 Mini Bikes.gif
                      or the later more powerful, faster & lightly suspended
                      Taco 44 5hp version
                      Taco 44 Mini Bike #3 with 5hp Briggs & Straton engine.jpg I couldn't afford the Coyote, that was like dbl price

                      I was doing a paper route on my go-cart, it was muffled pretty well
                      about 1971-72-ish, I was 12-13
                      Go Cart McCulloch Racing Cart.jpg
                      (homemade job, with a Mac 101 2 stroke/shifter
                      me & my cousin Joe had modified/built (he's a few years older than me)
                      bigger 10" wheels & tires like golf-carts,
                      for some off-road ground clearance
                      & my stepdad Bob for guidance & welding the critical parts,
                      we built it out of Joe's old org. go-cart, he got from Sears
                      )
                      early one morning,
                      & I note, that I had done it before, a few times
                      in Cantaberry Village in Concord Ca, like 200+ papers (2 routes)
                      I had like 12 blocks of houses, between
                      Cape Cod Way, Clayton Rd & Treat Blvd.
                      it was a big route, for a young kid a couple, square miles...

                      Anyway I got pulled over by a Concord PD officer
                      red/blue-lighted me & all, he got on the PA
                      told me to pull it over to the curb
                      all official-like...
                      He then got out & asked me what I was doing ?
                      I told him;
                      "I'm delivering newspapers"
                      asked me if I knew it was illegal ?
                      then asked me if I did it before too ?
                      I said;
                      "Yes, affirmative on all the above"
                      I didn't lie, I told him I did it on my mini bike too
                      he sort of knew me, he was a customer/subscriber too...
                      Concord Tribune
                      I had collected from him before (usually on my bike)
                      he asked me where I lived & I told him Cobblestone Ct.
                      a few blocks away...

                      He then asked me;
                      how many papers I had left ?
                      I told him,
                      "I was on the last street before going home
                      maybe a dozen papers/subscribers on that street'
                      he told me go ahead, then followed me
                      let me deliver the rest of the papers
                      then he directed me to go home & he followed me home too
                      my stepdad Bob was gone for work already (Welder/Pipefitter)
                      thank goodness
                      my Mom was up drinking coffee & making breakfast
                      my sisters were still in bed, it was like 7:00am-ish by then...
                      I was usually home by 6:300am at the latest
                      so I was sort of late...

                      I parked my go-cart went to the front door with
                      Concord LEO in tow
                      my Mom saw it out the kitchen window
                      asked what did he do now ? :poke: thanks mom
                      the LEO told her;
                      "I was delivering my papers on the go-cart"
                      she had no clue, I don't think my stepdad Bob knew either
                      she wasn't happy, I knew I was in trouble
                      the LEO gives me a warning/written ticket & a court date summons
                      to appear in-front of a city/municipal Judge

                      I went to court on that date, IIRC like a week or so later
                      it was summer/school break time...
                      I sat thru the whole court proceedings I was the last
                      my last name begins with a U--, so I was used to that shit...
                      The judge was sort of cool
                      called me up by my full name including middle name
                      then he let me tell my story...
                      Then he asked;
                      why I did it & if I knew it was wrong/illegal ?
                      I gave him the best answer I could
                      it was way better than delivering off my Schwinn stingray bike
                      I could do all the papers in 1 trip not 2
                      get it done in 2 hrs total instead of almost 3
                      & I had done it before
                      it was very early mornings, there's not any traffic at all
                      I started out like 4:30am, get the papers off the front of the driveway
                      nobody is up all the street lights are still on etc.
                      roll the papers up & out by 5:00am (street light off)
                      He commended me for being a hard worker & taking charge
                      IIRC is what he said...

                      He sentenced me to write a 100-word essay on
                      why I shouldn't deliver papers on a Go-cart or mini-bike
                      come back the next week like IIRC on a Thursday
                      I wrote the 100-word essay
                      & I wrote another 500-word essay on why
                      I thought it was a good Idea & why it should be legal
                      (In my mind anyway)
                      He read them both aloud in court too...
                      & I noted that we should have designated places to be able to
                      ride our mini-bikes & go-carts
                      so we didn't get in trouble for just having fun...

                      He was a pretty cool Judge, let me off with no fine
                      or anything on my record...
                      He said I seemed to be a hard worker
                      asked what I spent all the $$ I earned on
                      I told him
                      "my bike, my mini-bike & go-cart, tires, gas, plugs & oil
                      the rest went to savings for a motorcycle/dirt bike, when my dad would let me"

                      Judge Said; to paraphrase
                      "I had a very convincing argument for my case...
                      BUT, if I got caught doing it again, I was going to be put on a
                      road-crew cleaning up garbage, for IIRC 4 weekend
                      & my mini-bike or go-cart
                      either or both/would be confiscated/impounded...
                      I'd have to pay to get them back...

                      I said; yes sir & thank you, sir
                      just like my Mom said I should...

                      I never did get caught again
                      I did do it a few more times too, just the mini-bike instead,
                      it was quieter...

                      Wall of text -holy wall of text Batman-.jpg
                       
                      Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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                      • Darter6

                        Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        Aha,Scott, You got it bad.... Mini bike fever.I thought I was bad when I had 9.
                        All gone now.But I look every day. Guess I'll never grow up.
                        When I was about 10 I would leave the Sears and Penney's catalogs open to the Mini Bike page.
                        Didn't do a bit of good. Penney's $99 mini was too much for my folks.
                        By the way I'm really enjoying this. Thanks Guys !
                         
                      • Scott Engelhardt

                        Scott Engelhardt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        I mowed yards and bought a JC Penny Golden Pinto ( I think I have 5 or so now ) My brother bought a Bird, Thunderbird. We road them to death. I always saved the frame of his old bike and rebuilt it for his 50th birthday. Some ass bag stole it last year.
                         
                      • GrabberOrange69

                        GrabberOrange69 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        I got a Dart Kart, and my younger brother eventually got a Honda Trail 50. We both still have them, and in fact my profile pick is my kart. I need to restore it. Brother blew up the motor on my kart shortly after I left home.
                         
                      • joe smith

                        joe smith Well-Known Member

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                        I knew of the Bonanza/ Hodaka's, but not the speedway.. Thanks for bringing back some memories..
                         
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