Karl Sprandel, one of my Dad’s friends, often hung around the welding shop. Karl was always interested in the best. When Dad was considering taking on Hondas, he talked with Karl about it. To become a Honda dealer, Dad had to order at least ten motorcycles. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to sell them all. That’s when Karl promised to buy the first one.
So in 1965, Karl bought a Trail 90 from Hayden Honda. His wife, Edith, soon purchased her own Trail 90. Over the next year, the extended family probably purchased more than half a dozen of Hondas from Dad.
“It was the dawning of the age of motorcycles,” Edith says, explaining Karl’s interest in Hondas. “Karl always wanted to explore new things.” Motorcycling was one of a string of interests that included sailing, ice boating, gunsmithing, and flying.
Karl, Edith, and family spent great times riding throughout Indiana. “One of the happiest periods of my life was when we were riding motorcycles,” says Edith. This was especially true in the fall. She notes that in the 60s, there was less traffic, which was conducive to riding on bikes as small as the Trail 90.
Their son, Jim, rode the Honda Trail 90 when his legs were too short to reach the ground. He would honk the horn when he was ready to stop riding, and his parents would catch him. He later worked at Hayden Honda for a time.
The family hauled their Trail 90s to Maine, Wyoming, Florida, Canada, and Alaska. In Alaska, the truck’s tire went flat in the middle of nowhere. They removed the tire, placed it across the back of the Trail 90, and drove it to the nearest gas station, where it was fixed.
On a trip in Maine, climbing Cadillac Mountain, Edith’s Trail 90 conked out. She pushed it up the rest of the way, the line of cars behind her cheering. But when she reached the top, the Trail 90 “started with one kick of the starter! That’s not the only kick it got!”
Karl’s bike has had the front fork replaced twice due to “exuberant” riding.
“Biking is an adventure,” Edith explains. “If you’re open to life, you’re open to adventure.”
The Sprandels’ Trail 90 is now on display at Hayden Honda in celebration of the business’s 50th Anniversary.