Thursday, December 1, 2011

How and Why did you get into Motorbikes?

The question asked by Gary France of Flies in your Teeth: How and Why did you get into Motorbikes?
Way to get bloggers posting and thinking. 

I have to think way back to when I was just a toddler, my first motorcycle memory has to be of a plastic riding toy motorcycle I received for Christmas. From there it was tricycles, to bicycles then to riding everywhere. Back in the days when kids could take off all day, not worry about stranger dangers and not come home until the streetlights came on. I went through several bicycles as a kid and putting baseball cards with a clothespin in the spokes before upgrading to a toy throttle Rev Maker.

I so want one of these.

My first experience with an actual motorcycle had to be about the age of nine or ten when a childhood friend let my brother and I ride his Briggs & Stratton type mini bike around the yard. I was hooked.

We would ride our bicycles down to a wooded area at the edge of town where the older kids would ride their dirt bikes and if we were lucky they would take us younger kids for a ride to try to scare us, it only made me want a dirt bike even more. The closest motorcycle shop was Sid's Cycle, a Yamaha dealership just outside of town along a major highway that we weren't allowed to ride our bicycles along so we would get down there by bus instead.

My brother and I must have begged, pleaded and annoyed our parents enough that the best Christmas I had was when we found a brand new Yamaha 80 Enduro under the tree.

My parents would take us down to a newly developed industrial park on the weekend where my brother and I would fight over who's turn it was to ride round and round and round the park for hours and hours. I never got bored with that bike and rode it everywhere until I finally outgrew it and I was too big to ride it. 

I went a couple of years without a bike and got into trucks instead but when I finally finished high school and scraped some money together I bought a bike. 

A fully dressed 1975 Honda CB750Four, she was a heavy girl and not a wise choice for a first bike. I never crashed but I wasn't a very proficient rider either. I sold it a year later and for awhile I was financially forced to go bikeless.

It wasn't until I met Brandy that I got another bike and never went without again. I bought a Suzuki GS550, it was nice and got me back in the saddle but it didn't satisfy my need for speed so I bought an '84 Honda Magna V45 instead.

Look familiar Motorcycle Man?

I discovered touring and never looked back.

And the why? That's easy, if I don't ride I get grumpy, riding is therapy. 



  1. Ridng is therapy.......couldnt of said it better myself.

  2. Troubadour,

    Nice! At first glance, I thought you picked up a Goldwing as your first machine, THAT would have been a heavy ride. As it is, you notched it down a step to only three-quarter ton with the 750. Probably not the best choice early on... but what can I say. I bought a half-ton 550 early in my riding days, too. I kept it, I love the old beast.

    How was the Magna, I've heard a lot of interesting things about that v4 motor. Probably a hell of a lot more exciting than the 750.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  3. You must have had cool parents (or a very understanding Santa at that time...)

    Riding at therapy... I have seen on another blog something along the lines of: you never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office...

  4. If I don't ride I to get grumpy, or so I'm told by she who should know. I have a bumper sticker on my car that reads: "I bought a scooter and fired my Shrink." And, it is true.

  5. How funny, I was just commenting on Bobskoot's post about how my friends and I used clothespegs and baseball cards, and then I saw that rev-thing-ama-jig on your post and I had one too. Just seeing it, I remember exactly the sound it made and how it felt to give it a good twist. Thanks for posting that photo.

  6. Thanks Roger.

    Brady, the V4 is a fantastic motor. The cams in mine were pitted so I scored some good cams out of a V65 motor and that hopped it up even more. My first ride out of the shop I experienced a 2nd gear wheelie, from a Magna, twas a thrilling scare to say the least.

    Sonja, my parents were pretty cool. Let's just say I learned more from experience than I ever would in school.

    Keith, at times I've been instructed to go for a ride.

    David, you can still buy these rev-thing-ama-jigs through, just click on the link in my post. We should all buy one and mount them at our desks, on our bicycles, in our cars or wherever. Can you imagine a bunch of grown ups playing with these things driving our co-workers, kids and spouses crazy?

  7. Oh my! I so cannot see you on the CB750 at all!
    "if I don't ride I get grumpy, riding is therapy" So, are there days when you are told you NEED to for a ride? :) Just kidding. I'm pretty sure around your place it's "let's go for a ride"

    The little Yamaha is so cute. I just bet it was a great day to find it under the tree!

  8. Wow, I can just imagine you and your bothers reaction to seeing that Yamaha 80 Enduro under the tree. That must have seemed like all your Christmases had arrived at once. Riding certainly is therapy. Some people suffer from SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder) due to not getting enough daylight during the winter months. I wonder if bikers suffer in the same way when we cannot ride due to the weather?

  9. I know this post is about motorbikes, but I can't stop looking at the car behind the Suzuki. It looks like a mid to late 60's Dodge. Can I convince you to let me know? :)

    I'm glad Trobairitz got you back into the saddle.

  10. Lori, that is my 1969 Plymouth Barracuda notchback. I sold it to get out of debt and move to the US. I'll post pictures of it and the story on the blog someday.

    Thank you for asking.


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