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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by DR Donk, Aug 15, 2013.
I learned how to ride on an ATC185 when I was 10(rode it til i was 15 or so). Then I had three125cc pit bikes between 12-16. I used to think my ATC and pit bikes were fast until I rode my uncles YZ465 when I was, he told me "if you can start it you can ride it." My first bike with a clutch, and it was a fucking monster. That's when I learned about the adrenaline rush from a "big" bike. I bought a non running ATC 350X with yard work money when I was 16. I spent three days cleaning it, adjusting valves, and putting new tires etc etc. I will never forget the happiness I felt when it started first kick. that was when I really started learning how to ride. I rode the shit out of that thing until I blew a head gasket. I then sold it for than I bought it for to a member from 3wheeler.org.
Then I bought a 1982 Honda XL250R. That was what got me into ADV. Now I got my beloved XL600R, I'll never sell my baby. but the story on that's another thread a long time from now
I don't feel like typing alot out, but I learned how to ride the hard way on shitty motorcycles and ATCs. My experience is from alot of crashes,(none in the street) few were serious, fixing them in the middle of desert with the few tools I carried, and lots of miles on the trails by myself. My friends are slow compared to me, but I haven't ridden with too many people The only person to ride faster than me was an ameuter MX racer. He was from the area and joined the Marine Corps to get money to support his MX hobby. I met him jumping a sand dune at Sunfair in Joshua Tree, CA. I smoked a stogey with him, complimenting each other's bikes and what not. Then we just happened to bone out the same direction. That KX250F smoked me until we got off the trails and on a dirt rode and it wasn't even his track bike. :eek1
My skills are very little but every ride is a new learning experience, on the street or on the trails.
I started out riding my buddies TW200 around parking lots and in the grass. I was hooked and wanted a TW200 for myself. So I bought one and rode it the first time on private property on some muddy trails. I then got my learners permit. I took a short ride on the road and then a week later I took a 60 mile ride on the road. I then took the Team Oregon class and got my endorsement. After that I just keep learning by experience.
When I was 8 I bought the neighbor's ct70h (the one with the 4 speed and a clutch) with money I made mowing lawns and walking dogs. My uncle, who rode one of the early Guzzi Eldos, taught me how to use the clutch by having me go around the neighbor's driveway a few times without using the throttle. When he was satisfied I wouldn't stall it, he told me to ride home and he's follow. "Remember, kid, 4 down. Let's see how fast this little thing goes!" It would hit 45 indicated I found out quickly! I was hooked!
When I was 11 my dad caught me riding the same neighbor's Susuki (of some sort) 250 and after watching for a while, let me get my second bike, a Rickman 125 enduro. I rode the piss out of that thing as we had state forest for a back yard. That little 2 stroke came on like a raped ape and it would wheelie on request (scaring the shit out of my mother!)
I kept this thing until I joined the Navy and gave it to my little brother. I took my license test on it which was basically go down the street, do a u turn and come back. After chewing my ass for putting out my foot dirt bike style on the u turn (hell, I'd only ridden on the street that one time on the 70 prior to riding to the registry) he handed me my license. Soon bought a rat 67 Sportster and rode it until it fell apart.
Probably 30 or so bikes and lots of years later, here I am with a klr and a bonnie.
Although I started riding on a 67 Yammy Twinjet 100, with instruction from my dad who was a rider of many years, I learned about visual control quickly on my first attempts at turning from the street onto the driveway.
Suddenly, the driveway apron appeared VERY narrow, and I tensed up, then looked at the forked birch tree eight feet off the side of the driveway, and parked the front tire right into the base of the split trunk. My next attempt at turning in the driveway I went a bit wide and nearly bounced off the curb.
In both cases it seemed the little Yammy didn't want to make the easy turn. I had to learn the relationship of visual control and handlebar input all over again, just like we learn as a little child on our first bike. While it was simialr to all the bicycles I had ridden since I was five, then at 14 I had to relearn what it took to make even a small motorcycle respond as a I expected it too. No wonder so many new riders crash thier first bike.
I had my first ride on a 66 X6 Hustler. This was in a parking lot in Knoxville Tn. My 1st bike was a 68 T305 Suzuki that I kept for 42 years.
My 46 years of riding the country has been the happiest time of my life.
At 15, I bought a well-used 1971 yamaha 125 enduro in November, in Iowa. I spent many hours over that winter sitting on the bike in the basement, drilling it into my head: clutch, front brake, rear brake, shifter, throttle... When spring rolled around, my dad and I wrestled it up the stairs and out onto the driveway. It was very much a self-taught thing and I scared the bejeezus out of myself when I let the clutch out the first time. I managed to just miss a parked car, did a feet-down u-turn that took the whole street width, and drove through the front yard getting back to the driveway. I got off the bike, shaking from adrenaline, but thinking about what I had to do differently to keep the bike in some sort of control. I managed to survive being self-taught, and passed the driving test to get a motorcycle endorsement on my license on my first attempt.
After a couple of years, my dad suggested a different bike (a KZ400 that a co-worker had won in a raffle) because he was tired of hearing the two-stroke ring-a-ding-ding noise when he was trying to get to sleep and I was getting home from my part-time job. I eventually took the MSF course on that bike when I was in the service. Then came roadracing school (WERA), an RD400F, a BMW R100S, a defensive motorcycle riding course, Keith Code Superbike School, another roadracing school to get a competition license with the CRA, another roadracing school to get a competition license with the CMRA, and most recently a couple of American Supercamps and a Total Control class.
I'm still learning.
Christmas 1970, I was 7 in northern Indiana. Santa dropped off a Yamaha Mini-enduro and I learned to ride it in the basement!
Bought a used Honda 90. Took it out on the street in front of my house and taught myself to ride it. Almost immediately subscribed to Roger Hull's then new "Road Rider" magazine. Read every motorcycle safety column in that mag several times and practiced what they preached.
That was 14 bikes, 45 years and a quarter million miles ago.
Guess I did something right.
Is that a hole in space?
I learned when my mother took me down to the rain swollen river and threw me in!:huh
Or it could have been when I was 8 and got my 1st Rupp Mini bike.
Purdie much ^THIS^
Well I wish I could time warp back and retrieve that old LD; they're worth a lot of dough now.
That one had no front brake, as the brake lever was the throttle. Oh, and let me tell you about the custom side air scoops....
Rode 50cc mopeds from age 12. Became a moped courier around Amsterdam, and my boss had several small displacement motorcycles (80/125/250) that were disguised as mopeds. Got into Vespas and rode old two-stroke Vespas without a license for more than a decade before I decided that I wanted to ride bigger bikes, so I got my license around 2000, when I was thirty-three, which coincided with meeting the girl who'd become my wife. She got her license fast and we moto-camped all over Europe. I got my car license in 2008, when my wife complained that she had to drive our son everywhere.
We bought our first car today.
Which is not easy to do, in Holland.
I don't even remember learning to ride. My dad was a true motorcyclist as he got his first bike when he turned 16 (1946). He raced until I came along and I learned how to ride about 5 or 6 years old. The first real bike I remember was a Yamaha 80 with the step-through frame that I rode until I was about 10 or so. Of course I rode every other bike that I could get my hands on until I graduated to a Bultaco Sherpa 125, then a Sherpa 200, then I bought a 1974 Yamaha DT250 the week I turned 16.
In college I rode a 1975 360 Pursang, and rode motocross until I turned 21. Got married and had a Suzuki GS750, Yamaha 850 triple a couple of XT250 Yamaha's and graduated to a 1982 Honda Goldwing Interstate.
Children came along in 1983 and my wife and I got off the road to raise our two daughters. Went to dirt bikes and rode a number of Honda XR's. Finally when they got old enough we went to mountain bikes as four dirtbikes was just too expensive.
Finally with the youngest daughter at 17, I couldn't wait any longer and bought the 2003 BMW R1150GS (with 139,000 miles)that we have now. We taught the oldest grandson to ride "when you can ride a bicycle without training wheels" which he pulled off at 3 years old. His mom is now a Nurse Practitioner/critical care nurse who won't let him ride and dislikes us riding, but once the bug bites, well!!!
Sounds like the plucky lad taught himself to ride. I never did get it with those "trainer wheels" anyway.
A pity about the mother, whose objections are probably based on her working life at the bottom of the cliff..... but there's a lot of it about these days. Too many kids aren't allowed to experience any risk anymore.
Fahrschule. Would go back, but would prefer to spend that kind of money on another bike!
First bike, 1967 Moto Morini Corsorino 60cc 4-stroke w/"twist-shift", in 1968 at 9 years old. Lasted almost a year (the bike) before I blew the trans apart.
First "real" bike, 1968 Sachs Boondocker 80cc 2-stroke. 21" front wheel, 18" rear, just like Dad's Husky!!! I was 10, couldn't even come close to getting my feet on the ground, Dad said it didn't matter because my feet were supposed to be on the pegs anyway. Rode that bike for 3 years, and that's the bike I really learned how to ride good in the dirt on.
First street bike, 1974 Ducati 750 Sport, at the ripe old age of 17. Yeah, life was tough back then!
Best friend in High School had a Honda 125. I rode on the back of that several times and then we went to the abandoned Airport runways and he got on the back telling me what to do. Rode that thing all year. Went to Air Force Basic Training after graduation. Got stationed out in CA. Found a Master Sgt selling a 82 Honda CB650, bought it for $650. Rode it several months and then took the MSF. Sold it 7 years (1999) later for $650. And due to various life happenings didn't ride again until 2005 when I bought my Yamaha FZ1. The FZ now has nearly 100K miles on her. Had a KLR650 for a while as a first DS bike. Found out it was a great bike, but just too damn big for the type off-road riding I like so she was sold after a year and half and was replaced with a DRZ400.