Motorcycle Mistress

On a 1978 Honda CB550 Four top of Bernal Heights, SF at night

On a 1978 Honda CB550 Four top of Bernal Heights, SF at night

I swear the ENTIRE time I lived in the Bay it was 60 degrees and in a drought— perfect motorcycle leather weather every day. This is probably why this New Yorker stayed for almost eight years.


When I was living in San Francisco in my early 20s, I passed my road test, bought a 1980 Honda CM 400T at a steal in Berkeley, and taught myself to ride at night. This was pretty sketchy as I did not yet know how to drive stick and the hills were insane in SF but I lived to tell the tale.

My motorcycle was my main mode of transportation (besides a bicycle) for years in both San Francisco and Oakland. I used my bike to go to my PO Box where I had vinyl records delivered (see above photo), grocery shopping, punk shows, and just about everywhere. I had more of my friends (and a lot of guys) on the back of both of my bikes.


I got my second motorcycle, a 1978 CB550 K, after I got hit on my CM400 in 2016. I didn't stop riding- I just went up a size and gave my banged up bike to a friend to work on. My CB550 was a total beast- it was really loud, mean, and heavy. My first bike will forever have my heart- even though she was smaller, she had a lot of spunk; I outraced all my friends on Hogs (at least at the light) and left men in Porsches in the dust who catcalled me.


Eventually I got my CM400 back and had two bikes. I decided to sell my smaller one to my little punk brother so he could get a reliable first bike. The photo below is of me on a hot summer night in my old garage in Oakland. Having two motorcycles in my very own garage and a place to work on my bikes was a total dream. I gave my CB550 to a friend before I left for NYC but I'm itching to get a new bike once I settle back into NYC some more.


I'll forever be a vintage Japanese motorcycle enthusiast and I look forward to hearing about your adventures on two wheels.

Your Mistress,
xx Ramona Ryder