George Gould’s 1958 Cushman Iron Eagle

The Cushman is the polar opposite of his Buell Cyclone M2, but it’s just as much fun.

George Gould and his 1958 Cushman Iron Eagle. He learned to ride on his dad's 1952 Cushman Eagle springer.©Motorcyclist

My dad always had scooters and motorcycles when we were growing up. He rode everything: Matchless, AJS, Mustangs, and lots of Harleys, both 45s and 74s. I couldn't wait to get on two wheels, and I learned to ride as soon as I could on his 1952 Cushman Eagle springer.

After school I used to hang around the local Cushman shop where they had a 1958 Iron Eagle demo that wasn’t getting any TLC. I talked my dad into financing it for me in 1960, when I was 14 years old, and I rode it to school almost every day. I didn’t get into too much trouble. One day after school I rode over to visit the traveling carnival that came to town and proceeded to run into the wire holding up the high-striker bell tower, knocking that down. I was lucky the carnies didn’t smash my scooter!

It was pretty reliable too. One time the ignition switch in the flywheel cover came loose and fell in, busting off a bunch of flywheel fins and disabling the scooter—I was going about 50 mph at the time—but that was about it.

I deployed with the Navy Seabees after graduation, and the scooter entered retirement while I was on active duty. My brother gave the motor a top-end rebuild and installed a replacement flywheel while I was gone, but I wasn’t much interested when I returned. I was ready to move on to “big iron”: Harleys, BSAs, Triumphs, Nortons, and Moto Guzzis.

A few years ago I decided to bring the old scoot out of retirement and give it a tune-up for the Lone Star Bike Rally on Galveston Island. The Cushman is the polar opposite of my regular motorcycle, a Buell Cyclone M2, but just as much fun. I’ve gone full circle, and nowadays it’s my favorite ride. What’s old is new again!