How Did You Learn To Ride?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by DR Donk, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

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    Jan 8, 2013
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    at 19 I bought a KE 175 off a friend and tried teaching myself on a busy city street. No driver's license and no previous experience other than having an Evel Knievel stunt cycle when I was 10.

    Several wheelies and front brake locks later, I put the bike in storage and then sold it to someone else.

    When I was 20, I took Quebec's mandatory motorcycle training, which at the time involved 8 hours of classroom and four days of practical. Did the whole course on a virago 250 and did the licensing test on a school goldwing :eek1
    #41
  2. Mknpwr

    Mknpwr Have you seen my bike?

    Joined:
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    Planning my next ride...
    My dad bought my brother and me a mini bike for Christmas around 1978. It didn't run so we tore down the engine and fixed it. Rode it for two years and moved on up to dirt bikes. Bought my first road bike in 1990 out in Hawai'i while I was in the Navy and have had one ever since.

    Sent from my rotary dial phone
    #42
  3. aferiksson

    aferiksson Adventurer

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    Jul 22, 2013
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    Uppsala, Sweden
    I'm still learning :) In the 80's I did some completely illegal dirt bike riding, and a for some recent years I commuted to work on a 50 cc Aprilia Scarabe. Only this fall I've started the process to actually get a drivers license, and so far I've taken lessons on an airfield basically learning how to do emergency braking, countersteering, swiveling and other necessities - all this on a Honda Hornet with more effect than my little Toyota cage :)

    Hope to soon get my learning permit which allows me to train in traffic as well, but as I have sleep apnea I had to see a doctor first, and the bureaucracy takes some time. I might still be able to get my license this season if it doesn't take too long.

    IMO the training on the airfield riding around the cones and such is quite useful - I really hate the extremely slow driving I have to learn as well though ...
    #43
  4. AC909

    AC909 Great Job!

    Joined:
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    Bloomington, IN USA
    At age four my parents got me a Honda Z50. I test rode a Yamaha PW50 and ran striaght into a tree and I have decided frome there on the 2-Strokes were not my thing. I have pretty much have had every XR to stair step me up into my 250 that I have now since then.
    My first street bike was the 71' XS650 that I still have. Me and dad restored the bike from boxes. It was a great street bike to learn on because once I got a bike with electric start and disc brakes I thought I was in heaven. I dont complain much about my bikes because learning how to ride street on a bike from 71' is a bit like learning how to play basketball in wooden clogs :lol3 Even after all of the modern bikes I have owned and ridden the XS is still my favorite bike to ride.
    #44
  5. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    Minneapolis
    At 9, my grandfather got the old Honda CT70 that my cousins had trashed and we rebuilt it. That is how I learned what tool is which and which side of the hammer to use with the correct words for a stuck part ;-)
    I mowed my parents yard (4 acres) to earn money to pay for rebuild parts (Gramps only charged me for parts - who knows the hours he put in when I wasn't around?). This taught me 2 things. 1) Parts are expensive, so take care of your stuff and 2) Never buy a yard with 4 acres unless you plan to farm. It is just stupid to waste time mowing a lawn that size, so stupid that you will pay someone else to do it.

    Anyhow, we got it together when I was 10 and he showed me the brakes first, then the throttle. After that and doing loops in the yard, we did clutch and I was off...when I turned 18 and was living on my own, I got my license and have been riding for 20 years now on the street.

    Now my daughter is almost 8, rides in the steel sidecar with a much better helmet than the old Bell I had and my Mom gets nervous...:huh
    #45
  6. EOD3MC

    EOD3MC What will break next

    Joined:
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    Colonial Beach VA
    My first “dirt bike” resulted from a bit of miscommunication between my parents and me. I was 8 or 9 and my birthday was coming up. I was begging my parents for a “Dirt Bike”. We lived in rural western New York and my friends and I had all kinds of trails through the woods around the neighborhood. I had a 10 speed bike and they all had Huffy BMX bikes. Trying to keep up with them on the trails was a bitch. I was just asking for a BMX so I could ride with my friends.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    A few weeks before my birthday, my parents starting acting suspicious. They would stop talking when I came into a room. They kept taking the want ad sections from the paper. So the weekend before my birthday, they ask me if I wanted to go get my dirt bike. Hell Yeah…<o:p></o:p>
    So we loaded up in the car and were off. On the way, my mom tells me that we are going to take a look at one this family has…I’m thinking really a used bicycle and my spirit about this trip faded a bit. As we kept driving, she then tells me the girl we are going to meet hasn’t ridden it much. WHAT? It’s a girl’s bike too…what did I do to deserve this? This can’t possibly go good…<o:p></o:p>
    So we get to the house, go to the front door and meet the girl…I remember think she’s old (she must have been 17 or 18). She tells us the bike is in the garage and to go ahead in, she’ll be right out. So we do. I’m looking all over the place for this powder puff pink bicycle…don’t see one anywhere.<o:p></o:p>
    When she comes out she asks me what I thought about it…I asked where is it?...my parents are about ready to bust up laughing…she tell me I’m leaning on it. That’s not a dirt bike…that’s a motorcycle..wait…this is it… oh Sweet!!!<o:p></o:p>
    We made arrangements for her and her dad to bring the bike to our house in a couple days…I couldn’t wait.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    When they showed up a couple days later we unloaded it and she started telling me all about the bike. My dad had never ridden bikes so this would be all the information I got and I soaked it up like a sponge.<o:p></o:p>
    We lived next to a small business that had a gravel parking lot, so she had me get on the bike behind her and watch what she did as we rode a few circles… I was so focused on her every action clutch, brake, shift throttle, I never noticed my hands had shifted up from her waist when we hit a couple potholes in the parking lot. When we pulled up in front of the dads they were just laughing their asses off. As soon as we stopped, she reached up and removed my hands from her chest… I was mortified and turned at least 4 shades of red.<o:p></o:p>
    By the next weekend I was tearing up the field behind the house and hitting jumps….Been riding ever since<o:p></o:p>
    Not my bike, but this model: Suzuki TS-50
    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    Your story is a shit ton better than mine. And sure, that Greg Brady move was by "accident" ;-)
    #47
  8. GDI

    GDI Adventurer

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    Madison, WI, USA
    I learned as 19YO college student. Dorm mate had upgraded to new V30 Magna and needed to get some cash out of his ol' '81 GS 550T. We went down and got me the learner's permit, studying on the drive there. Went to his parent's home, and turned over a check for the bike, received some limited verbal instructions and proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon practicing in his suburban neighborhood. The next day we went out on the highway for a ride with his dad who was riding an old Goldwing, him on his V30, and me on the 'zuk. He trailered the "new" bike back to college for me, and I took it from there. . . .

    GDI
    #48
  9. metale

    metale Been here awhile

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    Aug 15, 2013
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    Portugal
    I'm learning to ride at the moment, by myself. I'm 29 and had never even sat on a motorcycle until when I bought mine 2,5 months ago.

    We don't have MSCs (spl?) here, and at my age a driver licence allows to ride a low cc (until 125cc) motorcycle.

    So I started on my own at empty roads at 6am on the weekends, and have only riden 1800km (1120 miles?) until now. The first ride was... interesting. Ok, very scary.
    #49
  10. echo15

    echo15 Been here awhile

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    Florida
    Absolutely lived on my bicycle from 8 years old... my grandfather's bike from during the depression when he lost the car and had to ride a bicycle to odd jobs to feed his family. It was truly indestructible... we rode everywhere to go fishing, exploring, well you get it; my first adventure bike.

    In 1972, my friends dad sold me his '64 BSA Lightning. The engine had been done up for racing (compression waaaay up, cam, etc. it ran like a scalded dog). The dad showed me the controls in a parking lot and off I went. I have no idea how I survived that first year.
    Took the MSR course in '05 and was surprised at how many things I'd been doing wrong. But, no longer own a car and except for rainy days, don't miss it.
    #50
  11. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I really don't remember learning. I've been a motorhead all my life. Rode bicycles when a kid because we had one car and it was at work all day. Learned to drive a tractor and car as soon as I could reach the pedals. We had a lake place, and that involved outboards and lawn mowers. I guess I started riding motor scooters when I was about 12, then motorcycles. Never have had any formal instruction, and when licensing came along, I was grandfathered in. I guess I've owned 30+ motorcycles and a similar number of cars and trucks.

    Had to laugh when I bought the Ducati. When I picked it up, the whole damn dealership came outside to watch the old fart bust his ass. They were disappointed. My salesman chased me the two miles to my house to run me back so I could get my truck, and he said, "You ride pretty damn GOOD!" I told him that I was sorry I had to disappoint everyone.....:lol3
    #51
  12. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    Mar 1, 2009
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    Alameda for now
    Age 11, in the middle of Pa winter on a 1979 (11 yo bike) RM 125 with no back breaks. My dad got my older brother a bike, which meant I got a bike! Lets just say it was a project bike that needed some help but boy was fun for a first bike!
    #52
  13. Angus1

    Angus1 Adventurer

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    Mar 3, 2013
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    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Bought a bike in Hanoi, thought the non-charging battery wouldn't be a problem. Tryed to use the horn at the first junction, at low revs nothing. By the time I found my way out of Hanoi, I'd got the hang of the basics. And emergency stops.
    #53
  14. XR-TEX

    XR-TEX Watching My Back

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
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    Location:
    WhackoTexas
    I knew I wanted a motorized bike from a very early age. After endless pestering my dad came home with a 3 HP mini-bike in the back of his truck. It had lights, disk brakes, front and rear suspension, chrome fenders and tank and the frame was painted metal flake lime green. It had the usual centrifical clutch that drove a second clutch so it kicked into a second gear at about 15mph. I've never seen another mini-bike like it since. This was about 1970.

    After about 6 mos. or so Dad comes home with a 5 HP motor and proceeds to shoehorn it into the bike. The spark plug only cleared the metal tank by about a quarter inch. I was afraid the spark would jump up to the tank and explode on me. That mini-bike would probably hit 60 MPH if it was on a long straight rode. It scared the crap out of me after the motor swap.

    About a year later Dad and I were walking around the local flea market and spotted a guy selling a nearly new green Honda QA50. I fell in love with it and convinced Dad who talked the seller into an even trade. I rode the snot outta that QA50 for a couple years then sold it and bought a Yamaha Mini-Enduro 80cc. That's the bike that I learned to use a clutch and real gears on. I ended up selling it back to the buddy I bought it from.

    After my parents divorced Mom was dating a fellow that had a used car lot. I had been saving some money and when he told Mom there was an old Yamaha street bike on his lot taking up space I bought it cheap. I wish I could remember the exact model but it was a 250 2 stroke with the oil injection. It smoked like crazy when you really got on the throttle. It was a quick bike and the Honda CB350's of the day couldn't keep up with it.

    I rode it all over South Ft.Worth and in particular, Benbrook Lake. It was a great way to meet girls. Man those were the days. Endless summers...
    #54
  15. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    Mine wasn't quite this tricked out. And not that nauseating color. :D 3 hp, max speed around 40. ATTGATT? Whaz 'at? Lessons? Whaz 'at?
    [​IMG]
    #55
  16. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy Been here awhile

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    Northern CA
    Purdie much ^THIS^ :evil
    #56
  17. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    Alameda for now
    What an awesome adventure!!
    #57
  18. Rinty

    Rinty Been here awhile

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    Jun 3, 2011
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    Calgary, Alberta
    [​IMG]

    Wish I still had this.
    #58
  19. dm635

    dm635 I Roll

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
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    Location:
    Louisville Ky-actually 30 miles east
    1st real bike around '75 was a '72 DT1 Yamadog 250 street & trail. Was my primary transport for 2 years. Wouldn't mind having another. I still think any new rider should learn to take their dumps in the dirt. Great way to learn as I did. Son is now looking for his 1st bike and wants a street bike. Still trying to have him learn on a 250-500 just to learn the basics, but he seems to think he needs a larger bike he can grow into. Tell him whatever he learns on he'll have no problem selling for what he wants. He wants an RD350, so if you're around the Louisville area & have one let me know. Cash on hand now.

    Had a Honda CB360T for a while, then a '74 Yamaha TX750A for around 9 years and survived riding in Houston with 3 million lunatics sharing the road. And a couple other bikes thrown in. Took a break after kids were born. After an extended break got back into riding with the R80/7. I'll have this for a while until next bike comes along. Probably end up keep it anyway.
    #59
  20. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

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    Feb 10, 2010
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    Spudville, Idaho
    In my grandfathers horse corral on an old CT70. I must have done 10,000 laps around that half acre pasture. Between that and lots of rides as pillion on his Aspencade1200 I was hooked. (I have that same 1200 now, but it needs crank bearings to make it go again)
    #60