Y-Buc Bill The Harley Man

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,452
2,102
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
For those of you that don't know, Y-Buc Bill on this site is a very good friend of mine.
He is 84 years old and is more active in sportsman's groups and the outdoors in general than I can ever hope to be.

I see Bill every week at our sportmen's club and I always listened hypnotically to Bill's stories of the early enduro days in the Jersey Pines and the early days in the pines in general.
Bill started riding the pines in the 40's which predated the official formation of Wharton State Forest
Bill was an early member of the Meteor Motorcycle Club and is still a member of the South Jersey Enduro Riders.

The part I always found amazing is the that the early enduros in the 40's and 50's were ridden on Harleys and Indians. This was long before the Japanese and European motorcycle invasion and the advent of the lighter faster two strokes of the 60's and 70's.
I have a 750 lb., 96 cu. in. Harley myself and I cannot imagine riding it balls out through the woods in a competition situation.

Last night Bill gave me 3 pictures that I have scanned.
The two motorcycle photos are from the late 40's and are his 74 cu. in. Harley and his 45 cu. in. Harley flathead.
The third photo is young Bill crossing a pine barrens stream on a flathead Harley.
Note the route sheet on his handlebars.
Keep in mind that these bikes were hardtails (no rear suspension), had only springer front ends and were tank "suicide" shifters.

Bill has truly lived a lot of Pines history, a lot of it on the wilder side and he is a wealth of information.
I truly value Bill as a friend and I respect all he has to say.

Enjoy the photos.
Scott





 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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Great photo's! You have to ask Bill where that last one was taken, and maybe there is a Then and Now in our future :)


Guy
 

Hewey

Piney
Mar 10, 2005
1,041
101
1,043
Pinewald, NJ
Nice old pictures. The hardtail must have made for a great ride in the woods. Bill is really swamping that bike.

Chris
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
Great photos. Thanks for posting these Scott. I remember Bill posting about this sometime ago and reflecting on what it was like to ride a Harley through the pines, and what Wharton was like at that time.

Now, chances are I am way off on this but i'm going to take a stab at the last photo. I think it might be next to the old lumber bridge in the great swamp right about here.http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.69809851224574&lng=-74.69381332397461&z=17&type=nj2007&gpx=

But I don't recall the bridge being supported that well and the bridge is still intact. I can't imagine why they would have repaired that since the 40's. Also, there appears to be a power line in the upper left corner of the photo. So I am probably wrong. Hmmm, I'm thinking out loud. Bill probably doesn't remember where that was taken does he?
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,452
2,102
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
Great photos. Thanks for posting these Scott. I remember Bill posting about this sometime ago and reflecting on what it was like to ride a Harley through the pines, and what Wharton was like at that time.

Now, chances are I am way off on this but i'm going to take a stab at the last photo. I think it might be next to the old lumber bridge in the great swamp right about here.http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.69809851224574&lng=-74.69381332397461&z=17&type=nj2007&gpx=

But I don't recall the bridge being supported that well and the bridge is still intact. I can't imagine why they would have repaired that since the 40's. Also, there appears to be a power line in the upper left corner of the photo. So I am probably wrong. Hmmm, I'm thinking out loud. Bill probably doesn't remember where that was taken does he?
That is exactly where I thought it was taken too Jeff.
Looking up at that bank and the bridge to the left looks like that spot.
You can still ride through the stream just upstream of the old wooden bridge and the newer piped crossing.
The bridge and remnannts that are there today were built after this photo since the bridge is obviously not there in 1950. The reinforced bank in the photo is not there today for sure.
The bridge that is there today was useable in the 1970's.

That is not a power line in the picture. That is two creases that scanned to look like a power line.

I sent Bill a link to this thread so he will probably chime in on the location.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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That still will allow for a Then and Now if we have the correct location.

Guy
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,412
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I had limited time and will play around more tonight.




Guy
 

Y-BUC-BILL

Explorer
Mar 9, 2007
129
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RednekF350....Thanks for posting those pictures.The picture of the water crossing was taken behind the old Pleasant Mills Church off route 542.You cross the old bridge by the church[it's closed to traffic.]After you cross the bridge,there is a 2 tracker sand road that bears off to the right.That runs into a sandy area.you go to your left fof a short distance and the stream is to your right.We used to cross the stream and eventually come out at Constable Bridge.I had on the rain gear because it poured rain most of the day.No one used helmet,because no one sold them.I have many pictures of riding bikes through the pines.If you Piney's would like to see some of them.
,I will make sure RednekF gets them.That young Piney is a good friend of mine and the feeling is mutual.I have a picture of Bloody Bridge after we rebuilt if for the cycles to get across for Sandy Lane Enduro.We called it Bloody Bridge the day we finished construction.Seems like the guy using the ax [me]tripped on a limb and leaned on a razor sharp ax....I was taken to a Doc. in Hammonton....5 stitches.Nuff'said for this time.
 

MuckSavage

Explorer
Apr 1, 2005
496
107
43
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Turnersville
And to think that I once complained about riding a borrowed XR650 in an enduro when my KDX250 was down......

That truly is when Men were Men! Thanks Scott & Bill!
 

Chrisr

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
295
2
18
Cinnaminson, NJ
I can't even imagine my Softail Springer making it thru the sugar sand, let alone a stream like that!!! I sure do love those old Harley's though!!! It amazes that the "Springer" front end on Bill's bike is no different than it is/was on mine 60 years later. My dream is to someday get one and restore it. That and a '63 Corvette for my wife.....and to hit the lottery...........and.........
 

Y-BUC-BILL

Explorer
Mar 9, 2007
129
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28
Chrisr....The first time I rode an Enduro on my 1942...45 cu.in.Harley was back in 1949.250 mi.event.Start and finish at Barrington Airport.We had to ride miles of sugar sand.Can't remember how many times I went over the handle bars and had to pick up the bike.After that event I made up my mind to learn to ride that stuff.The faster you go the easier it is to ride.The secret is to get on top of the sand.Relax.I have ridden miles of 2 tracker sugar sand roads.My riding buddy in one track.Me in the other.We would cruise for miles at 60 plus m.p.h. Poetry in motion.I rode the 500 mile Jack Pine Enduro ,two day event in Michigan.You thought you were in N.J.Miles of sand.I knew how to ride sand at that time.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
477
102
28
SJ and SW FL
..Can't remember how many times I went over the handle bars and had to pick up the bike.After that event I made up my mind to learn to ride that stuff.The faster you go the easier it is to ride.The secret is to get on top of the sand.
How right you are!! I also found out the hard way, after numerous wipe outs on sugar sand, that powering thru the sand means gaining control. My bike is heavy at 350lbs when compared to the average dirt bike, but riding a big Harley at probably 2x that weight or more must be a real heart pumper!
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,452
2,102
1,093
Pestletown, N.J.
My bike is heavy at 350lbs when compared to the average dirt bike, but riding a big Harley at probably 2x that weight or more must be a real heart pumper!
My best guess is right around 625 lbs. for Bill's 45.
Bill's bike was a 45 cu. in. (750 cc) flathead.
The 1947 EL Knucklehead weighed in at 650 lbs and was a 61 cu.in. model with the same rigid frame and front springer setup.