Beaver LaForce

BeaverRay LaForce (aka “Beaver”)

I’ve been a motorhead since I was a kid. I always liked cars and anything mechanical. One of my first projects was an English racer bicycle. I installed a Briggs & Stratton motor with a trick pulley arrangement on the crank! Before I owned a motorcycle, I rode a side-shift Harley while working at the Gulf station. I also rode a 500 Triumph in the woods that belonged to Mike Sponseller. I purchased my first bike when I was 20 years old — it was a ’65 BSA Bantom from Ed Fisher in Pennsylvania. I used that for trail riding and ran some drag hill climbs with the Eastern Motorcycle Club. Next was a ’67 BSA Victor that I rode in Enduros and Motocross. It was a little heavy, so I purchased a Cheney frame and lighter weight wheels and suspension, and used the 441 engine as a powerplant. As I had some success in Motocross, the BSA guys (Herbie Neese and Ted Hubbard) gave me a 500 cc engine with some performance parts — that made the bike a little more competitive. From there I really got into Enduro riding — but for some reason, I bought another BSA (I’m a hardhead), and later went onto a Bultaco Frontera, Kawasaki KDX, and KTM.

My first official road bike was an ‘82 Yamaha 750 Seca. I used it to commute to work for many years. I still have it and it’s in great original shape.

I gotta blame Mike for getting the “vintage” bug. He, along with Scott and Jim Foster, had started collecting and restoring some bikes from the early ‘70s. Mike was in my garage one day and saw that I still had the first four bikes I ever owned — he shamed me into restoring them. These days I ride a Ducati on the road. I have a modern Honda dual sport bike, and I have a Super Pioneer for vintage events. I love restoring the bikes, especially the BSAs. I’m currently working on a ’68 BSA Spitfire, a ’67 Victor round barrel, and ’71 BSA Lightning.

I’ve always worked two jobs. My part-time gigs provided me with the play money!


Comments are closed.