The History of the SOHC/4 Owners Club
In April, 1994, John Soliday posted a message to the usenet newsgroup, rec.motorcycles, that led to the founding of the SOHC/4 Owners Club. Several years later, John wrote up this article on the founding of the group.
The list was created in early 1994 when I met up via internet with Glenn Stauffer and a few of the early members. I had been working in Tokyo during this time and had a lot of spare time on my hands plus a new laptop and a modem. Early members hooked up by corresponding back and forth on the newsgroup rec.motorcycles, but as more interest grew it was apparent we needed out own venue. Glenn, being the Swarthmore University System Adminstator, realized this was a perfect opportunity to generate an automated e-mail list and set the system up. From there the list has grown to nearly 300 members in three years. The list is noted for it’s lack of flame wars and real useful information sent out daily.
I decided to set up a newsgroup specifically for 70′s vintage SOHC/4 Hondas because these bikes were part of my growing-up and the newer bikes just did’nt have the same “soul”. My first bike had been a ’74 550K with a huge Vetter Fairing which was puchased in 1976 having never ridden a motorcycle in my life. The dealer gave me about ten minutes of instruction in the empty grass lot next door and I wobbled home without injury. In the next couple of years I rode a lot of miles on that humble little Honda. One day I noticed the head light was burnt out (gotta have a good reason) so Itraded it for my very first new motorcycle – a ’77 Honda 750F. Being the seventies I had it outfitted with a Vetter SS fairing with full lowers and a killer stereo ! Those were the days, blasting through the Indiana countryside with ZZ Top blaring into the air, and wind through one’s shoulder length hair (no helmet laws back then). I rode that original 750F for 50K miles before it ended up in my brother in law’s hands who continued to ride wheelies with it and it just keep on ticking until the ill-fated broken chain bored a hole through the crankcase as is typical of these bikes.
Over the years I owned several more bikes and started roadracing in addition to serious long distance touring (Daytona and Blue Ridge Parkway to name a few), but always missed the 750F. Prior to going overseas for a month’s worth of work, I was given an opportunity to get another 750. My racing buddy and I had sort of retired from serious roadracing Building and racing hyper Yamaha RZ350′s had been a real money pit for both of us, plus our girl friends did’nt appreciate us being gone every weekend driving all over the midwest just to return with blown engine and crash stories. One of my other friends had recently crashed his first bike – a ’73 750K and wanted it off his hands. Our racing club had recently started a Vintage Racing Series so we decided to buy old versions of our favorite bikes and go back to “gentlemanly” roadracing i.e. cheap and fun ! My friend raced a Yamaha XS650 and we picked up another fellow with a 400F to round out the group.
The vintage racing was a blast and I retired the ’73 and picked up my first love, a ’76 750F, which had been drag raced over the years. It was during the time I was getting back into roadracing Honda 750′s, that I decided to communicate with others on the internet about the venerable old SOHC/4 Hondas.
I’ve owned a lot of bikes over the years, and still have five, but my favorite’s are the three Honda SOHC/4 750′s that grace my garage in San Jose, CA today. I’ve owned 550′s and appreciate the 400′s on the track and even think the original 350/4 was a cute little jewel but the first superbike, the 750, especially the later year “F” models are my favorites.
The canary yellow ’75F I ride to work virtually everyday. The ’76F, which is in a constant state of modification, is the roadracer. My pride and joy is a bone stock, low miles, ’78F – THE LAST OF THE SOHC/4 750′s!
Welcome to the SOHC/4 mailing list. Whatever SOHC/4 bike you own, someone on the list already has it, and has the same problems and appreciations you have. As one of our members has displayed in our logo and on T-Shirts,….”Single Cam – Therefore I am !”
To bring us to today, John moved on to other interests, though he still owns and races a CB750, and Glenn Stauffer took over keeping the SOHC/4 group alive. The mailing list has finally fallen by the wayside as this website and our forums have taken its place.