In 1982 Honda introduced their brand new sport bike, the V-45 Sabre with the revolutionary V4 liquid cooled engine. Harry picked one up at Cycles 128 in March, 1982 and it was motorcycle love at first ride. It was very evident that Honda had created a motorcycle that people were passionate about, as Road Runner Magazine wrote in November/December 2003:
“ It all started with a bike! In the case of Dana L. Sawyer, HSTA founder and member #0001, it was a 1982 Honda V-45 Sabre, which he enjoyed riding very much. Wondering if other people were having the same experience with this bike, he sent a short one-paragraph letter to the editors of motorcycle magazines. A stack of replies arrived in his mailbox with some enthusiasts asking for the foundation of a club. One of them was Dave Nicolson, a Texan who became member #0002 and assumed the duties of Vice President. Together, Sawyer and Nicolson formed the Honda V-4 Sport Touring Association.
They published their first newsletter in August 1982 with nine members counted in the HSTA fold. That number climbed near 100 when the second newsletter was mailed in October 1982 (Harry was member #48). The initial members’ meeting was held during Daytona Bike Week in 1983. For the May issue in 1983, the club counted 296 members in 44 states and three foreign countries. The first National Rally was held June 13-16, 1983 at Prairie Creek near Rogers, Arkansas, attended by 100 people, including folks from American Honda and Honda R&D…”
Harry and I, along with his cousin Chris, and our kids – 8 year old Aaron, 5 year old Dara and 3 year old Lana – attended, but I’m pretty sure they only counted Harry as one of the 100 attendees. Our 3 week road trip was an adventure!
At that time Heli Modified had a contract with Fomac of Wilmington to build the first 120 frames for the Avatar 2000, a unique recumbent bicycle. In his spare time Harry rode his Sabre lots of miles, and he began to identify what he could change to make it truly his own custom fit motorcycle – the process which would lead to the creation of the “Inter-Sabre”- which will be the subject of my next entry.
25 years of HeliBars-Comfort Without Compromise- will be continued…