I lost my best riding buddy today. Sonorawfo, or John Bunch, died today from a gunshot wound. He was one of the best mechanics I’ve ever known, a fun guy to ride with, and a great all around guy. He was the one who got me off street bikes and into dirt bikes. Took me riding out in the desert near Palmdale, CA about 15 years ago, and I haven’t stopped since! John made my learning curve steep by starting me out on a CR480. After a few years I stepped up to a CR500. John and I had matching highly-modified “84 CR500’s that we rode thousands of miles on all over California. John was an outstanding mechanic. Years ago, he worked for a restoration shop doing chassis, drivetrain, and engine restoration work on antique collector cars. He was a specialist on antique race cars, and he restored many of the fastest historic race cars of Europe, and America. Always an ardent Ford fanatic, he worked on many Shelby Cobras, and Mustangs. Shortly after they finished restoring it, John took me for a ride in Carroll Shelbys original personal Cobra. An original, highly modified 427 with twin Paxton superchargers! It would flatten your eyeballs when you hit the gas! He built many engines for raceshops. He liked Rancheros, and had a ’72 with a 490 CID bigblock, and a sweet ’71 with a built Cleveland. If he drove it, it was a Ford, and it was way faster than Ford built it! He loved working on bikes too. He made a name for himself building Harley engines, for the Socal crowd. He would never own one, but he liked the money those guys would spend on their “Knarley Dangersons” or “Hardly Tractorcycles”. His bike of choice was almost always a Honda, and he owned many. Both street and dirt. Always rode a CR500 in the dirt, until we both bought Suzuki DRZ 400S’s. He has modified both our bikes. He really liked “burned” and his advice. John restored my wifes KDX 200 as a Christmas present year before last. The bike is beautiful, and fast. John didn’t like riding in large groups, preferring to ride with only one or two other riders. We had many days where we would ride from 80 to 120 miles of rugged terrain. Never saw him turn around because the trail was too tough. He ALWAYS got through! He was a racer in his earlier days, and was looking for another early CR500 to compete in the old timers class. About 10 or 12 years ago, John almost died from a nasty high-speed crash on his street bike. He was in a coma for a long time, but he slowly came back. He made an incredible recovery. During his recovery, we convinced him to move back to Northern California. He moved to Sonora with his wife Debbie, and entered a program that landed him a job with CALTRANS. He became an excellent heavy equipment operator. After he moved here I found him a CR and we started to explore all the mountain trails on the Highway 108 corridor. After we bought our Suzuki’s, we started looking for long loop rides between Highway 108 and highway 4. We’ve tried to find through routes between the highways at several altitudes. He loved the area at the top of the Sonora Pass, and we rode there frequently, but never found a through route. Some of you who frequent this forum, know sonorawfo for his sage advice. A little rough around the edges, but always to the point, and most of the time right on the mark. I’ll miss John. I’ll miss him a lot. As a friend, he will be impossible to replace. The community has lost a great mechanic, rider, and a friend. So long, John. . .