Large Endorphin Express Pic.
(my old Windows wallpaper from many years ago...)

The Endorphin Express!

The What ? ! ?

Well, its the name I gave my 1983 Honda CX650Turbo. It was the first street bike for me that could go much faster than I was capable of riding it. After nearly 15,000 miles of learning which tires could stand up to it, and several track schools at Sears Point & Laguna Seca; I was finally able to master this beast. Nothing could touch it in a high-gear roll-on above 65 mph. It is stable to well above DoD_Nominal(tm) & at any spark-less lean angle. It is nearly perfect in how it fit me and my riding style. The fairing allows a small amount of wind on your shoulders & helmet at legal speeds; but at high speeds, the dead-air envelope opens up to include a full upright & comfortable seating position. Nirvana ...

It produced feelings & sensations in me, that previously, had only been experienced during great sex. All of the years of previous riding and racing had always been a struggle to overcome the deficiencies of the bike, without it killing me. Finally, I owned a bike that could truly excite me with its abilities.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) didn't appreciate me & the Turbo. My commute to work & back is on two of the east bay's most fun backroads. Initially, I owned these roads. Then as the bay-area expansion started to include this area, the bad freeway drivers appeared with their tailgating, center-line straddling, and their inevitable accidents. Then, the CHP started to pay attention to the roads with airplanes and county-loaned radar. It was not a pretty site. Sure, they were after a big fish; but a speeding Turbo was a Trophy catch ! After numerous tickets & a couple of personalized roadblocks, I finally bought a radar detector and it has paid for itself a 100-fold.

I had put over 74,000 miles on the Turbo, when I felt it was time to freshen it. I removed the motor and took it to the most recommended engine person in the bay area (at the time). He ported, polished, and flowed the head, a 5-angle valve job, milled another 0.6 points of compression from the head, and basically blueprinted the entire engine and transmission. I took the chassis to a good Honda shop and had every bearing, bushing, spring, and seal replaced. I had Works Performance build a custom rear shock for it. By the time I started re-assembling the Turbo, I have put more money back into it that I had originally paid for it new.

My vision was to return to competition in the La Carrera Road Race in Baja. Here was a street-legal twin that could win this race.

But alas, the motor had problems. I had to strip the bike and remove the engine twice to fix improperly re-assembled motor & transmission issues. On the return of its break-in ride from Death Valley, the lower-end of the motor let go bigtime. I had lost all confidence in the engine person. He blamed it on the motor oil I used, Castrol GTX 20w50. I never returned the motor to him out of fear for what I might do if I ever saw him or his shop again. My wife, to this very day, has yet to allow me to put any more of our money into the Turbo. It sits in the garage, a shadow of its former self. :-(

The Endorphin Express II

I bought a new 1990 Kawasaki ZX10 in August of that year. It happened again. It took 15,000 miles and two each of Reg Pridmore's Advanced SSS Classes at Laguna Seca to learn it. It required a change of fork springs, Lindemann re-valved forks, Penske rear shock, handlebars, seat, and windshield to even get close to the original Endorphin experience. But the II had something the original didn't have; WarpDrive(tm). 9-Grand to the rev-limiter (11,500rpm) in each gear is WarpDrive. Its a drug; a very POWERFUL drug. Its a true crotch rocket. It has taught me an even faster mode of mental processing than I thought was possible. It IS the most fun I have ever had with my clothes on. Period.

But alas, it is not perfect. It will never be the long-distant, comfortable mount that the Turbo was. It is a buzzzzzzy inline-4. Once you have owned a high-horsepower, perfectly-balanced v-twin, ALL inline-4(s) are buzzy. On a warm day, it will boil the water from its battery faster than you can blink. It devours rear tires at twice the rate of affordability.


The Original Endorphin Express Lives Again!!!

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1995-2004, Mike Chaplin catfish at endorphin-express dot com

This page was last updated; December 05, 2006