How Did You Learn To Ride?

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

  1. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,683
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Back sometime in the 70's, my friends had mini bikes, briggs and stratton motors, no suspension kind of things.
    I was never able to get one, but I bugged my dad long enough to where he bought a Kawasaki 100cc dual sport (2 stroke).
    My first ever ride was on a little field next to the store in Hanesport NJ.
    I stalled the bike out about 10 times till my dad got angry, then I managed to get going. I was 14 I think.
    We used to take the bike someplace, he would go out for a ride, be gone a while, and I thought he fell and cracked his head open. He would come back, and I would go, and he thought I hit a tree. It was not working out.
    I managed to talk him into LENDING me some money to get my own bike, a Suzuki TC90.
    My friends parents bought them bikes TS90, and a Yamaha dt100, and all four of us went out almost every weekend to various places we could ride.
    We would ride all day long, and summer vacations had us ride local almost every day. We did a LOT of riding.

    My friends spent all their money on pinball and so on, I bought chains and gas and tires. When something on their bikes wore out, their parents fixed it eventually, I was busy milling the head of MY bike to increase the compression ratio and doing other things to get more power.
    It was MY bike, not my parents.

    I had years of riding before I ever got on the street in a legal way, and it paid off big time. I was VERY wild, but never had a bad crash.
    A few low sides in the rain (very drunk) very early but no real damage to me or bikes.
    No street crashes since the last lowside in 1979? I think it was.
    Big bikes, little bikes, street bikes, dual sports, motocross bikes, local and cross country riding, not owning a car, all weather riding, snow riding, mud riding, enduro racing, street racing, still doing it.
    Never had a lesson other then the one my dad gave me, and he barely knew how to ride. He was in Europe in WW2 and 'borrowed' a German bike, hit a shell hole and got injured and almost got in trouble for it.
    Some BMW adventure bike no doubt.
    And no Starbucks....
    #81
  2. tokyoklahoma

    tokyoklahoma 75%has been 25%wanabe

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,587
    Location:
    N.W. Arkansas
    After a couple of years of begging, because I had been exposed by my Dad's Nephew to the joys of a Triumph Bonneville. My parents bought me one of these for my eighth birthday.
    [​IMG]
    I learned to ride, maintain, and wreck, on the dead end dirt road and horse riding trails around our house on that bike.:rofl Got my first concussion too. :deal
    Four years later I had obviously outgrown it and for Christmas got upgraded to a XL 70. After mastering the new bike on the dirt, I started riding pavement on the private drive of the Country Club my Dad worked at. Took and passed my M-drivers license test on my 14th birthday on it too. Riding the bike to school and work (yes I was working at 14), it became clear that it was too slow for busy traffic, plus I had another growth-spurt. :norton. So I saved my money, sold the 70, and bought a XL 125 with my own hard-earned cash.:D
    That lasted me through Jr. High and into High School, and taught me the joys of riding two-up. :evil
    I did get a car license at 16, and borrowed my Dad's van fairly often. Strangely some of my date's Fathers would rather see their Daughter on the back of a bike than in a van. :rofl
    #82
  3. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,595
    Location:
    US, SE PA & Central ME
    I'm still learning.
    Guess I'll let you know when I'm done.
    #83
  4. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,987
    Location:
    Hewitt,New Jerseystan, OBAMANATION
    ^^^^^^^^ Good post! ^^^^^^^^
    #84
  5. jrdolezal7

    jrdolezal7 n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    I have 2 stories. One when I learned as a youth and one when I relearned this year at age 60. At age 20 a friend and I decided we would take a 2 month motorcycle trip around the US when we graduated from college. I'd never been on a bike. I bought a 1975 550 Honda and read the manual so I could figure out how to start it and switch gears. I rode around the block twice and a friend jumped on the back and we rode to the bowling alley. Two days later I rode from Indiana to Florida.

    At age 60 I hadn't ridden in years and knew I had to relearn. This time I took the MSF course, read every safety book and read every safety article and safety tip on the internet. I bought an old suzuki marauder and in 3 weeks put many miles on the bike practicing on parking lots and back roads. I DON'T FEEL INVINCIBLE ANYMORE AND AM A LITTLE WISER.
    #85
  6. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,683
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Well, there are a LOT more cars on the road now, and they are all texting!
    What you did was what most did back then, or they started in the dirt on little low slow bikes.
    #86
  7. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,105
    Location:
    India Wharf
    Hey Jersey guy, I enjoyed that story. I grew up in Cali, but I guess when it comes to motorcycling, we are all pretty similar. While we might feel the great days were back then, the new kids are having life changing fun with motorcycles too. My two sons had their own version. One is 32 and the other is 27.

    As Charlie Roseo would say; Fun Fun

    #87
  8. DirtMedic

    DirtMedic Intrepid Explorer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    348
    Location:
    Brooksville, Florida, USA
    I bought a Kawasaki KV75 mini bike from a neighbor's kid for $75 when I was in middle school. We had a twenty acre field behind our house where I essentially taught myself to ride it. A few years later I got a 1972 Honda SL70. That bike taught me how to shift with a clutch. The SL70 was a street legal enduro. My mother threw away the title and registration that came with it so I couldn't use it when I turned 16. I ended up blowing the motor and selling it. A friend had a new Suzuki RM125 that amped things up a little. After we moved I stopped riding with the exception of the rare occasion when someone would invite me out to ride. I had never ridden a street bike until about a year and a half ago.

    My main transportation is a Ford F350 diesel which gets 12 to 13 mpg. A friend at work bought a Suzuki DRz 400 for commuting. He convinced me to buy a dual sport to save fuel, but since I am a bigger guy, I opted for the DR650. I bought the bike and practiced in our pasture for a week before I took the MSF course for my license. After I got the license I went out to a state forest to practice at higher speeds on the dirt roads. I basically went back to the off road that I was comfortable with before hitting the streets. After twenty years of not riding, I kick myself for all the years that I was away. I have been able to go places and explore areas I never could reach before. It has provided a much needed outlet for stress relief too.

    To answer the OP's question, I am mostly self taught.
    #88
  9. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,926
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    bought a scooter and rode it. then i rode it in traffic. then i learned how to operate a motorcycle. then i got my Phd in riding :D
    #89
  10. rbrsddn

    rbrsddn 3banger

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,139
    Location:
    Madison,CT

    I got my '68 Z 50 in 1970. Same color as above. What a great little bike! I had it for a year before getting a Kawasaki 90 "Bushmaster" with 18 inch wheels and a clutch, at 14.
    #90
  11. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,363
    Location:
    VA
    When I was 11 or 12 a boy scout buddy of mine invited me to his relatives farm in rural Kentucky where they had a Yamaha YZ50. They let me ride the YZ50 and that was it - it was a natural extension of riding a bicycle. I coveted that little bike.
    I later mowed grass and saved up enough to buy a Suzuki TS125 (but really wanted at RM125) for off road riding. Never wrecked it, but put a dent or two in the bike. Finally sold it to buy a MG Midget - also from my scouting buddy's influences.
    Stopped riding after getting my drivers license until I bought my '78 R80/7 in 1989. After getting the R80, I took the MSF safety course which opened my eyes to the knuckle head factor - which today has been amplified by cell and smart phones. While I primarily ride on the road I prefer off-road, mostly because of the knuckle head factor but also the scenery is better.
    #91
  12. Sp4rks

    Sp4rks Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    Texas
    I didn't learn how to ride, I learned how to not crash going at high speeds.
    #92
  13. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    733
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    First exposure as a kid riding a friend's honda 60?. As I recall you had to shift, but not use a clutch.

    Promptly rode it into his fence. Undaunted I got up and took off around the yard again and went wide and that same section of chain link fence grabbed the bars as I went by and I crashed yet again. :rofl

    Short while later at the local riding area I was running around everywhere on that bike and he set me up on his Kawi 175. At the time that bike seemed a huge thing. Immediately I thought "WOW, this is so much better with the extra power". And I didn't crash it.

    Anyhow he moved away not to long after taking his bikes with him. :cry

    Not too long after that I ran into a friend of my sisters with her new xmas bike, a yamaha 125. It was inauguration day 1981. Boy oh-howdy did I crash that bike bigger than shit. Put myself in the hospital for a couple of surgeries to save my foot. The bike, as I understand it they saved the engine and grips, mebbe tires, but not much else.

    I moved away shortly thereafter. Next encounter with bikes was friends having bikes as young adults and occasionally letting me ride them essentially around the block, 750 Virago, 750 interceptor, 700 nighthawk. Didn't crash them, tho it was close on the Virago, not a cruiser guy I guess.

    Then a long dry spell,... until 2007 when I went out and on a whim bought a 2007 XT225. Then I made an effort to finally learn how to ride. Lotsa reading and lots more parking lot practice until I took my test for license.

    Got a long ways to go, still learning.
    #93