What got you into motorcycles? - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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What got you into motorcycles?

Hey guys,

I was just wondering what got you into motorcycles. For me it started when i was on my way back from Santa Monica on the 10 freeway. Traffic was horrible (typical Los Angeles traffic). I was sitting there in the car bored and frustrated with traffic until i heard a loud roar of motorcycles splitting through traffic. I looked at them and they had their girls riding on back. All of the bikes were cruisers IIRC. After that day i was hooked and started looking at youtube videos. First i wanted a harley/cruiser then a cbr600rr but it wasn't until i researched that i decided that i wanted a naked motorcycle. A short time after this i took the msf course and got my licence. A year after this i bought my first POS bike a 1990 suzuki gs500. It was only $1000 but it taught me the basics. A year after i bought my 2006 honda 919 from San Diego. I rode it back all the way to LA and i loved it (so much power!) This Bike will stay with me until it dies (or i die). It is a honda so it will probably outlive me lol. Now i do all my own maintenance on my car and motorcycle. I love how motorcycling has changed my life.

This is my story lets here yours.

Just ride!
2006 Honda 919 (my baby)
1990 GS500 (POS first bike)
2015 Honda Grom (City destroyer)
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 03:48 PM
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Interesting topic - I'll share mine.

I was never really interested in motorcycles growing up. I grew up in NYC - the absolute worst place in the country for riding. My only experience with motorcycles was when one would ride in between the lanes in traffic. Being young and in the car with my parents, they would always call them jerks for skipping in line. Motorcycling was dangerous and riding in the city was for nutjobs.

Then came the summer of 2003 in between my 1st and 2nd year of college. I was working in the service department of a car dealership for the summer. One of the techs rode in on his new Honda CBR. It was my first time seeing one up close and I was in love. The machine was a beautiful work of art. Too bad I was a broke ass college student traveling away for most of the year and I quickly abandoned the thought of having one.

Some years go by, I graduated, and relocated to NJ for work. If you have a family, NJ is great, but if you're a young working professional just out of college like me, living in Central NJ will bore you out of your mind. I needed something new to do. I remembered back to that time at the dealership and seeing a motorcycle up close. I decided that I would try out motorcycling. I researched what to get, I took the MSF, and I had support from my now brother-in-law who was already riding. I even told my dad on father's day that I was getting my motorcycle license. I think his heart skipped a beat or two and that didn't go over well at all, but my mind was set.

My first bike was a 2008 SV650S which I sold a year after to buy a red 919. One year after that in 2010, I got side swiped and totaled the bike. 2 weeks after that accident (thank you ATGATT), I moved on to an 07 Honda CBR6000RR which I used for a solo cross country ride in 2012. I miss that bike and wish nothing but the worst in life to whoever stole it off the street in 2015. In between, I bought and sold a grey 919, and got rear ended and totaled a second red 919. Now I'm down to only the Super Tenere which took me and my wife cross country to Yellowstone and back.

Even after all of the collisions, I'm still riding. True statement: part of my motivation for leaving NYC and moving to the suburbs of ATL was to get closer to good riding. I'm riding a lot less now because of family and our first baby on the way, but there will always be at least one motorcycle in the garage. No plans to sell the Tenere and my wife even supports me getting one with a sidecar so that we can do trips easier. When my kid grows up, I'll be happy if they ride with me.
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2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2001 Honda Blackbird
2007 Honda 919



49/50 visited on two wheels. 1 more to go!
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 05:40 PM
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I'll play; here's more than you really care to know.

Where I grew up, our neighbors had a dairy farm. They had a couple of mini bikes (one a Honda 70) that the boys used to run out to check on the cattle, check fences, etc. My brother and I learned to ride on those bikes, and had plenty of space to run around. We eventually got our own (mostly my brothers) Honda XL 75 to tear through the fields and the woods in the area. Through the years, I stuck with dual sports, because I primarily enjoyed being able to ride off the beaten path. I learned a lot on those bikes, and hopefully made most of my stupid mistakes.

After college I ended up getting a job about 1000 miles away from home. I sold the bike I had at the time and got out of riding entirely for ~12 years. When I got married, my wife already had a bike (the SV650S in my sig), so we shopped a little for something for me so we could get out and ride together. Since I was comfortable with dual sports, I went for a DR650 a close friend knew was for sale. It was fun, but I'm sure we looked like a bit of an odd couple on our rides.

Fast forward a few years. The bikes sat a little too long, and the SV ended up with bad gas. Fouled up the entire fuel system (tank, lines, carbs). I spent a good week getting it cleaned up and running again. I took it out for a bunch of rides trying to get everything right again, and it gave me the itch for a street bike. Having seen (and drooled over) a 919 when they first came here in '02, I knew what I wanted, and got one (an '06) within a month or so. I've since moved on to another bike, and probably will again. I don't see the fever subsiding anytime soon.

'96 DR650, '01 SV650, '10 Aprilia Tuono 1000R
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 06:00 PM
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I was bit by the bug real bad around the age of 10.
We went to visit my Mom's cousin and family.
Their kids were older than us.
They had a daughter around 16.
During the visit, her slightly older boyfriend showed up on a pristine Ariel 650 twin (this is in the mid 60s so the bike was reasonably new).
He saw me looking intently at the bike, and asked me if I wanted to go for a ride.
My parents said OK, so off we went.
I can't remember wearing a helmet, but I do remember the dirt/gravel road we went along.
I seem to recollect about a 10 minute ride, and he took it easy.
That was it, I was hooked then.
Some of my friends got their first bikes as soon as they were 16.
I couldn't manage that until I was just about turning 19.
A written off crashed 1971 Norton Commando with only 2500 miles on it.
Cracked engine case, broken tranny case, plus other damage.
Rebuilt it, including getting the cases weld repaired, finding used engine plates and swingarm, plus other bits.
By the time I finished the build, learned to ride, and got my license, I was forever a motorcyclist.
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 06:24 PM
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My story is a little simpler. There were motorcycles and snowmobiles in the family before I was even born. I all but had to ride, or get left behind.

I fondly remember the day my Father brought home the first motorcycle that was MINE! . A 1978 YZ80, that was the first year of the "MonoShock" rear suspension, just like the REAL racers had!

I terrorized the neighborhood with it until I grew too tall for it.

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post #6 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting stories! Let's keep them coming!

Just ride!
2006 Honda 919 (my baby)
1990 GS500 (POS first bike)
2015 Honda Grom (City destroyer)
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHellsent View Post
Interesting stories! Let's keep them coming!
Yes indeed.
On both counts!

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post #8 of 24 Old 03-13-2017, 07:57 PM
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Since graduating college I've always had a car in the garage to fiddle around with, but in the back of my mind I was also constantly entertaining the idea of a motorcycle. I figured that if 4 wheels, 3000lbs and 200'ish HP could be fun, then a motorcycle should be ridiculous, as well as cheaper to operate, cheaper to mod and easier to work on. Also believe it or not, I had been looking to add a classic black leather motorcycle jacket to my wardrobe for years but absolutely refused to do so because I did not have a motorcycle. For the record, I do not have anything against folks who wear leather or moto-inspired jackets but do not ride (I have a pea-coat, I have never served in the Navy), it was just a very strong personal preference for me. Getting the motorcycle allowed me to get that jacket finally, and I am wearing the shit out of it.

And as life would have it, my taste in cars gradually improved along with my ability to purchase them, so I just stuck with playing with cars since it was the more "sensible" thing to do. It was when my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child that things got flipped - I was forced to prepare for dad duty in a vanilla automatic family sedan. Ironically, that was the point when I decided to take the plunge and finally get into motorcycling. I had an S2000 which I sold in December of 2015, my daughter was born in March of 2016, and after vigorous research into 300's, 500's, 650's and even some 600's, I somehow ended up with a 919 in October of last year. I've spent all of 6 hours total riding it since then but I'm in love, it's pretty much as good a feeling as I imagined it would be.

Edit: Sckill, I feel your pain. I sold Hondas in Old Bridge for 2 years while commuting from Plainsboro. Started out in an 89 Mazda MX-6 GT which I promptly killed on the GSP bridge, and ended up doing that commute in a rental Mitsubishi Lancer for about a month. Ugh.

Al
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 05:33 AM
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My earliest memory is my dad driving around the backyard at walking speeds with me on the tank of his 93 katana 1100... which smart or not ended up being the first street bike I ever rode years later... He bought a dirtbike for him to ride up at our cottage, and when I was 9 or 10 bought a little XR80 for me... and I've been hooked ever since.

Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle - Hunter S. Thompson
I just mı̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̨ade you wipe your screen.
-2009 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Race Bike
-2007 Honda 919
-1995 Nighthawk 750 (Tboned)
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 06:44 AM
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1968: Dad bought a Honda Trail 90 for Mom to ride along with him on his 1967 Yamaha 100 Trailmaster.
She got on it, twisted the throttle WFO and went into the neighbors ice plant bank and dumped it, leaving it there to plop, plop, plop along. On the way back to the house she had a few choice words for Dad and that was that.
Dad turned to me and said, "David, go get it."

History was written.
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post #11 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 10:24 AM
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Lets see...interesting subject matter by the way.
As a kid (oh..round 12, 13 or so) my cousin and my uncle were big moto-kookoos.
Each year they'd ride up to Dayton Bike week and bring back brochures of nice Japanese bikes we never get in the U.S.
I would sneak out during the weekends, ride with them and come back home with a grin ear to ear.
I always asked my parents if I could purchase one with my own money and they said a resounding "NOOOOO" all the time.
So, I told them that when I'd go off to college I was going to buy one. They said if you do, you'll be disavowed from our clan.
I said....."so be it"....so i bought TWO motorcycles while in college.
I had ridden round in college for 4 years, had the bike the whole time. Took it everywhere, to the beach, lake, everywhere.
Then there was a 10 year hiatus I had away from bikes after I got married. I told my lovely bride that I loved riding motorcycles and that one day I would buy another one...so she kinda just said..."Yeah, sure, uh-huh...ok"..and it went in one ear and out the other.
So...one Christmas I had gotten a bonus at work and low and behold, went straight to the Honda shop and bough me a 2002 CBR F4i. Red Black and was very sweet.
Couldn't let go of the bikes from then on......I now have once again TWO bikes. The 919er and the CB1.....
that's my tale.
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post #12 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 10:25 AM
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As far back as I can remember, I just had a facination with anything motorized. Cars, planes, bikes.... I always tinkered with my bicycles to make them faster and sleeker when I was a little kid and simply graduated to ones with a motor. I always have had a car to play with in addition to a daily, but when wife and kids came along, I traded the car for a bike and bought an SUV. Now that I am done with the bike in terms of upgrades and mods, I need to buy a car to get my tinker time in. Anyone got a 1999 Mercedes SL500 that they're parting with?

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post #13 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 11:04 AM
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We lived on a farm with both cattle and horse stables. We had motorcycles and 4-wheelers to get work done on and of course we could always find some playtime with them when the work was over and it was something I never got over.

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post #14 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 05:05 PM
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So minty fresh
Owned both of these bikes, but never at the same time... perhaps one day.
CB1 is a must have, they don't make them that small and that punchy anymore.
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Originally Posted by VintageHunter View Post

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post #15 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 06:00 PM
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thanks "ew".
yeah...I converted from a Honda Hawk GT650 to that CB1.
Haven't looked back since.
the hawk was a fine bike...but I just got tired of the gruny low rpm feel.Wanted something I could wring out, hence the inline CB1.
it's been fun puttin her back together.

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1984 Yamaha Seca 400
1984 Honda CB125
1987 Yamaha RZ350
Various Yamaha YSR50, YSR200, YSR80
1986 Honda 500 Interceptor
1998 Yamaha R1 (first original R1)
2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250
1997 Kawasaki ZX7
1989 Honda GT650 Hawk
1989 Honda CB-1
2007 Honda 919
2001 Honda CBR F4i

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post #16 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 10:50 PM
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I was basically born to ride. My dad put me on a ktm 50 when I was 4, hence the "nathanktm". I had learned to ride a bike only a month prior. Him and I would always ride trails on either dirtbikes or atvs until I was about 12, which was when the recession hit and we said goodbye to all the toys, except my dad kept his '06 919 that he bought brand new. First week he had it, I knocked it over and put a little ding on the tank. The next day, a pipe fell onto it at work and put another ding in the tank, right next to it. My father spent so much time keeping that bike perfect. He'd clean and lube the chain every day. I turned 17 in '13, and he just asked me if I wanted it. So that day, I hopped on it and just started riding. It was honestly just a natural progression. Since then the bike has been through a lot....He only rode it on perfect summer days and here I am hitting jumps on it and bottoming it out in the middle of winter on a road covered in salt in the rain. Thank god it's a honda.
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post #17 of 24 Old 03-14-2017, 11:57 PM
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I got in very late. I wanted to ride, but it just never worked out, it was always on the "I'll get to that someday..." kinda thing.

I spotted a CB700S that I got for free from a tow yard, got all the parts to make it run, then tried it out. TBH, it was a mistake to get a bike in that condition as it was more work and money than it was worth. Should have just bought a complete one. Glad it was the NightHawk 700 S because that was an awesome looking and sounding bike.

Some say the 919 is basically what a Nighthawk S would be if they kept making them.

Knowing me, I'm glad I didn't get a bike at a younger age, I might not be here now if I did. The Nighthawk S was like skiing in the summer time, I hit the twisties as much as I could for a Summer and was hooked after that. Sadly the Nighthawk got an oil lean in the head showing a cracked head and the carbs took a dump... just when I had it about dialed in.

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post #18 of 24 Old 03-15-2017, 07:41 AM
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I've always loved 2-wheelers. Of the 5 kids in my family, I was the only one that rode a bike every chance I got. I've ridden at least 3 "cheap" mountain bikes into the ground. My first memory of riding a motorcycle was sitting behind my dad on his Honda 350 going down a gravel pasture drive and crashing. He sold it not long after. When I was a young teen a neighbor kid (who fancied my sister) would ride is little 80cc up the road and while he was chatting, I was pushing that bike up the long driveway and coasting down. I wanted to ride it, but he wasn't up for it.

Not long after that, a long-time family friend gave me my first motorcycle, a 1976 Yamaha XT500! It spent a LOT of time in 1st gear, putting around the yard. My mom says that bike saved my life, giving me something to do with my energy other than getting in trouble. I moved on to a 1983 Honda CB550sc Nighthawk, then a Buell XB9R Firebolt, and finally my 2004 Honda 919.

Bikes are part of me now, and I'm blessed enough to be able to have a CRF50 and a KLX110 for two of my boys, with plans for a TTR-125 and YZ125 in the near future. If I can help it, we'll be a two-wheeled family.
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post #19 of 24 Old 03-17-2017, 10:14 AM
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It is awesome to see so many cool tales.


My first memory is being rocked in a rocking chair in my mother's arms.
My second memory is being left in a crib instead of getting to see family.
My third memory is sitting on the tank of a Hodaka Wombat( which I have restored and is for sale) holding onto the cross bar on the handelbars while wearing a huge helmet. Apparently I would take the helmet to the front door and sit on if waiting the last half hour until my dad would get home from work so we could go ride around in the field near our home.


When I was 12 we got a Kawasaki 250 endure that I beat into the ground but to be fair it had duct tape on it before we got it.


When I was 19 I worked at a truck stop. I spent 2 months eating nothing but PB&Js and top ramen while living above and antique store in order to scrape together enough to buy a street bike. There started my troubles with a 1982 Honda Cb750 K. I rode it without doing any maintenance and soon it was not running. That's what 19 year olds do right? later I turned it into a bobber but never really got the engine to run correctly. I have less that 300 miles on it I think. I tried again about a year ago but something about it does not want to be finished. 700 and its yours lol.


when I was 23 I watched long way round and was introduced to dual sport riding. I really liked how simple the bikes were and knew that I would be able to learn how to repair them. The wife and I, Girlfriend at the time, hiked a lot and she had a similar motorcycle background so over the next year we got two KLR650s. She is 5ft5in and rides a KLR that is only slightly lowered. It is very impressive to watch her ride. We spent all of last year tearing up the Rockies on those bikes. At some point in your life please make it to the Alpine Loop.


Then I started looking at street bikes as a side income. I liked naked bikes a lot and knew that if I liked how they rode the first one I fixed up would stay with me. The wife loves the way sport bikes look and stated that the first one completed was hers. Last fall I found two bikes for 600 a piece. A 99 ninja 650 that she loved the look of and a Honda 919 that I knew could hall me around. The ninja needed the fuel system ungunked but since then it has been one of the most reliable bikes I have ever bumped into. The 919, well read the "Head Scratcher" thread. I know how good it will be but its not there yet. The 100 miles I have put into it have pure bliss. I hope to make it to Yellowstone by way of the Rockies this summer.

Keep the rubber side down and the smiles going. Remember no one can hear you sing in your helmet.
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-10-2019, 08:56 AM
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I managed to find this thread today, wanting to use an existing thread and avoid the dilution from duplication.

Anyway, our two eldest grandchildren, both boys, left our place after a short stay at our place towards home on Vancouver Island, after a long vacation road trip.
The eldest had got his first ride here 4 years ago.
The younger, a teeny 6 year old, got his first ride this trip.
To say he was keen and pushing for it, is an understatement.
He loved it!
As for the older one, it turns out that my wife's custom made leather jacket from 40 years ago, can be hung on him not too badly, with the sleeves folded back so his hands are out for holding on.
Let's just say that he REALLY liked wearing that jacket!
All the bikes in the garage are pure eye candy for them both.
Just the thought of it all puts a smile on my face and takes me to a very good place.
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post #21 of 24 Old 09-10-2019, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
I managed to find this thread today, wanting to use an existing thread and avoid the dilution from duplication.

Anyway, our two eldest grandchildren, both boys, left our place after a short stay at our place towards home on Vancouver Island, after a long vacation road trip.
The eldest had got his first ride here 4 years ago.
The younger, a teeny 6 year old, got his first ride this trip.
To say he was keen and pushing for it, is an understatement.
He loved it!
As for the older one, it turns out that my wife's custom made leather jacket from 40 years ago, can be hung on him not too badly, with the sleeves folded back so his hands are out for holding on.
Let's just say that he REALLY liked wearing that jacket!
All the bikes in the garage are pure eye candy for them both.
Just the thought of it all puts a smile on my face and takes me to a very good place.
That’s cool.
I’ve got 2 boys and 2 girls. The boys don’t seem very interested.

The middle son (10th grade) doesn’t want to ride, he is consumed with guitar right now and is in a band.

I have taken my oldest son on it and he is alright with it but doesn’t seem interested in getting his own someday. He is more into cars right now.
Driving an old Lexus IS300 I bought and working at Chick-fil-a, saving his pennies.
Thinks he wants to buy a WRX, but needs to worry about college first.
He has a lead foot like me but is actually a pretty decent driver for only driving about a year. Watches a lot of driving videos and actually works on improving his abilities.
I had already had a wreck and put my dads rabbit in the ditch (gravel road “drifting”) at that age.

My youngest daughter might be the one who takes to riding. She is our wild child and is very “spirited.”
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post #22 of 24 Old 09-10-2019, 11:48 AM
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I was working at Dominos in the late 90s for a summer job.
I don’t remember how it came up but one of the cooks asked me if I wanted to buy a 1979 Suzuki GS1000 from him for $300.
I had never thought about owning a motorcycle but it sounded like fun so I did.
Had a Vance & Hines exhaust and K&N air filters.
Mom wasn’t happy but dad didn’t seem to mind. He did all of his own work on his cars so he got it all tuned up and running well.
I lived outside of a small farming town of about 400 people and taught myself to ride it around town, worked up to riding it on the county roads and then on the highway and in the nearest “big” town.
Had a lot of fun with it for about 3 years. Gave it to my dad when I got married and moved to the east coast.
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post #23 of 24 Old 09-15-2019, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
I managed to find this thread today, wanting to use an existing thread and avoid the dilution from duplication.

Anyway, our two eldest grandchildren, both boys, left our place after a short stay at our place towards home on Vancouver Island, after a long vacation road trip.
The eldest had got his first ride here 4 years ago.
The younger, a teeny 6 year old, got his first ride this trip.
To say he was keen and pushing for it, is an understatement.
He loved it!
As for the older one, it turns out that my wife's custom made leather jacket from 40 years ago, can be hung on him not too badly, with the sleeves folded back so his hands are out for holding on.
Let's just say that he REALLY liked wearing that jacket!
All the bikes in the garage are pure eye candy for them both.
Just the thought of it all puts a smile on my face and takes me to a very good place.
I wanted to say thank you. Reading this gave me the push to finally take my 8 year old daughter for a motorcycle ride. She has always asked but I felt uneasy about it. But reading your post reminded me of being her age... So- I ordered a backrest for the corbin seat that came with the bike- so she wouldn't fall off. I gave her the "good passenger" run-down and off we went. She loved it! It's in her blood- both sides.
Like the thread asks... I got into motorcycles because my great grandparents got married on their Harleys. My grandmother always drove a Harley, my dad, my uncles, grand uncles, great grand uncles- all rode. I wanted to be part of the club. I was fortunate to be able to start early. Now my daughter can be too. I overheard her teaching the cat about countersteering... Oh, to be 8.
And as for as your grandson and the leather jacket.. I have my Grand Uncle Walter's leather riding jacket he wore in the 1940s. When I throw it on, I say "Wanna go for a ride, Uncle Walter?" It is special to me. I imagine your grandson would feel the same way... someday he can have an 80 year old heirloom that will remind him of his time with you.
The cycle repeats.
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WxN is offline  
post #24 of 24 Old 09-16-2019, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WxN View Post
I wanted to say thank you. Reading this gave me the push to finally take my 8 year old daughter for a motorcycle ride. She has always asked but I felt uneasy about it. But reading your post reminded me of being her age... So- I ordered a backrest for the corbin seat that came with the bike- so she wouldn't fall off. I gave her the "good passenger" run-down and off we went. She loved it! It's in her blood- both sides.
Like the thread asks... I got into motorcycles because my great grandparents got married on their Harleys. My grandmother always drove a Harley, my dad, my uncles, grand uncles, great grand uncles- all rode. I wanted to be part of the club. I was fortunate to be able to start early. Now my daughter can be too. I overheard her teaching the cat about countersteering... Oh, to be 8.
And as for as your grandson and the leather jacket.. I have my Grand Uncle Walter's leather riding jacket he wore in the 1940s. When I throw it on, I say "Wanna go for a ride, Uncle Walter?" It is special to me. I imagine your grandson would feel the same way... someday he can have an 80 year old heirloom that will remind him of his time with you.
The cycle repeats.
What a great post!
Absolutely filled with nuggets.

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