Sidesaddled in Thailand

by Robert Smith, 2009
My wife and I have been married for four years and during that time I designed and built a custom Harley Davidson frame off for a good friend of mine. About the second year into our marriage while we were talking about building motorcycles, she told me she had a motorcycle when she was living in Bangkok, Thailand, and at the time of 1969 she was 19 years old. At first she could not remember the name of the bike only the letters BS. So I thought at first a BSA. I asked her to describe the bike the best she could and she told me it was all black and chrome and used two stroke oil so that ruled out the BSA somewhat as the bike she had was brand new in 1969 and most bikes in Bangkok were under 500cc. It drove me crazy for about a week trying to figure out what bike she had. I was surfing the internet one day for vintage 2 stroke motorcycles and read an old article about the Bridgestone Tire Company producing motorcycles from 50-350cc. I pulled up some photos of restored BS bikes and called her into the room and when she saw the photo she said that's it! that's it!. It was a 1969 Mach II SS, her daily driver 40 years ago. I asked her what happened to the bike and she told me one day she was taking off going to the local markets and hit a sandy patch and the bike spun the back wheel pitching her sideways and she rotated the throttle wide open launching the bike across the road and crashed on its side flipping her off with little damage to her or the bike. She kept the bike until 1973 giving it to friends when she moved to the United States. She remembers the Mach II as being extremely fast and has always loved and respected it.