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Wolff Coulombe


GWRRA#:  366541
Born in San Francisco
Raised in Santa Rosa
Presently living in Livermore, CA.


Like a lot of us, who ride, my first motorcycle was a Honda 50 cc purchased by my dad, probably about 1968. I was raised in Santa Rosa and had lots of fields to ride the bike. I remember I could fill up the gas tank for less than 25 cents, oh those were the days. I remember riding a few times and the engine would just die. Why? It was so caked with mud it overheated. I would knock the mud off, let the engine cool down and ride some more.

When I was 17 I had saved up enough money to buy a car. I told my parents I was going to buy a car and they said, why don't you buy a motorcycle? Yes, why don't I :)  I bought a Yamaha 250 street bike from a guy at Travis AFB. I paid him cash and rode home. The next day the guy calls and is frantic. He says we have to meet I forgot to scrape off the base decal from the forks! So we meet he scraps of the decal . I rode that bike for about 2 years and then bought a BSA 650 Lightning. Boy that bike handled terrific. But like most British bikes of the 60's-70's it had electrical and fuel problems. It seemed like every other time I went for a ride something broke down. I was reluctant to leave Sonoma county for fear of breaking down far from home. After about 1 year of frustration with that bike I found a guy who had a Honda 750 with a springer front end and very short pipes who wanted to trade straight across. I wanted a bike where I could push the starter button and go, and that 750 did just that for years. One winter I was in Santa Rosa and thought hmm - its snowing in the Sierra's I wonder what it like to ride in the snow? So I rode to Reno [not my best decision] but I was young and naive. Fortunately besides being cold and wet and learning that rain feels like someone is hitting you with bb's the ride was uneventful. In the late 70's with Honda came out with the GW I traded my 750 for a GL1000. As you may recall the GL 1000 was huge by those days standards. The 1000 had the same Honda reliabililty I had come to trust as the 750. That bike was a head turner. At some point I added the Vetter fairing which was also considered very novel and sleek looking. The one drawback to the bike was keeping the 4 carbs synched. Fortunately a riding buddy of mine had a tool that helped sync the carbs. Rode that bike everywhere. Took some time off to raise a family, get divorced and meet Zip. Zip used to ride HD with her ex many years ago. She was use to riding with a small pillon and sometimes a sissy bar. A few years ago i decided I wanted to ride again. I went over to Ness in Dublin and they had a 2008 Victory Vision that the owner, a friend of Arlen's, had traded in on a newer Vision. The bike has custom flames using chameleon paint. I've always enjoyed the v-twin look and sound, but never a HD fan. I went for a test ride and when I pulled back into the Ness store Arlen happened to walking out the front door to his truck. He walked up to me introduced himself and told me why the bike was special. So did I listen to the Godfather of Choppers? You bet I did, bought the bike and have not looked back. Oh. When Zip and I went for our first ride and she leaned back against the huge trunk and padding she leaned forward and said 'I love it back here' Happy wife happy life :)