Your first ever bike and ride here's mine

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by InsideThePerimeter, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. InsideThePerimeter

    InsideThePerimeter North GA bound

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    You live once then you are dead forever. Strive to do something that challenges, educates or scares you every day of your life. With these beliefs I had done a lot of things over the years but riding a motorcycle was not one of them. My parents forbid me or my brother to ride motorcycles as kids so I never had one despite growing up in a small town in the rural south. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    At 48 life had crept up on me. Knees creaky from years of Ultimate Frisbee, feet flat from trail Ultra Marathons and Adventure Racing and my supercharged red Mustang 5.0 convertible sold years ago, I now had a mortgage, 2 kids, 21 years in the cube working and a dog. I was playing the stock market for fun. <o:p></o:p>
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    Then a guy a barely knew from our running club died in parasailing accident and at the remembrance we had for him I knew things had to change. I hadn’t done anything challenging or scary exciting in months. A rut is not like the Grand Canyon you can’t see it from miles away you just slowly descend until one day you wake up and see walls all around you, You can’t go back, you can never go back. <o:p></o:p>
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    I told my wife I was going to learn to ride a motorcycle and signed up for the Honda MSF course the week of Labor Day. She said “don’t ever drink and get on your motorcycle” to which I agreed. With that and the course completed, after a few hours at the DMV my motorcycle endorsement on my license was in hand but I had no bike.<o:p></o:p>
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    A quick trip to a few dealers showed I was way too cheap to spend 8 grand or more on a new bike no matter how nice and shiny they were. So it was off to EBay and Craigslist for me. There were 2 main requirements for the bike, it had to be reliable and look cool. The next week on Craigslist there it was, a Honda, black with red flames and chrome spoke wheels. A bridge worker was moving to Florida from his father in laws house an hour or so south of Atlanta and didn’t want to take the bike. The price was right and so he had lots of calls but said ‘ who ever gets here with the cash first gets the bike”. My trusty Honda S2000 got me there 15 minutes before he and his father in law got home from work. Turns out he bought the bike from his father in law who bought it new and now had a really nice Harley. He got the cash and I got the title.<o:p></o:p>
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    Tonight was going to be a good one. I educated myself and now the challenge. <o:p></o:p>
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    Time to ride, except I had never ridden anywhere but a parking lot in the class on a small Honda 250 dual sport in the daytime. They had a gravel drive way that went uphill to the main road and it was getting dark. Fortunately a good friend of mine who quit riding gave me an old helmet, mesh jacket and pants and I had boots. Another friend lived about 30 miles away so the ride didn’t have to go all the way back home just about 30 miles to his house on back roads or 20 on the highway. Deciding on the back roads I made it out the driveway and down the road.<o:p></o:p>
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    The open roads of Grantville GA were pitch black and traffic free. I felt alive. <o:p></o:p>
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    The bike felt big and powerful and after about 30 minutes of going really really slow and cautiously I thought about going for it on this deserted road but I didn’t. I was lost having taken the highway in my car this route was different so I pulled over and got out my phone to check the map. After I pulled out into the road to continue three deer ran right across the road in front of me. One passed a within 5 yards of me. It happened so quickly there was no time react at all, if I had been going faster as I was tempted to do this story could have had a nasty end. I was now officially scared by what just happened and took a wrong turn ending up at the highway. After yet another map check, to heck with it, I was only 1 exit, about 6 miles, on HWY 85 north from the road to his house. <o:p></o:p>
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    Having no fuel gage on this bike you must use the trip odometer to keep track of how much gas you have. Apparently you don’t put a lot of gas in a bike you are going to sell so long story short I ran out of gas on HWY 85. After coming to a stop and some thought I remembered the class and turned the petcock to reserve and was back on my way, to the next gas station.<o:p></o:p>
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    Arriving at my friends mansion on the dead end of long twisty hilly dark road I remembered he too has a long gravel driveway running past his lake and private range but I made it.<o:p></o:p>
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    The next day I went back and rode the bike home in the daylight and all around my part of town. It cranked every time, everything worked. <o:p></o:p>
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    The oil was overfilled and dirty, the clutch lever adjusted badly, the tires were 10 pounds low, the throttle was sticky and it had some very minor rust from being outside. It also had the original tools and manual in the storage area. <o:p></o:p>
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    After a wash, polish, oil, filter and spark plug change, a new K&N filter, clutch lever adjustment, lubing the throttle cables, tightening and lubing the chain and putting Ride On in the front tire to cure the slow leak the bike is now sweet and ready to travel. The Cobra pipes are kind of loud but they do wake people up who are driving around playing with their cell phones and not paying attention. <o:p></o:p>
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    I’ve put a little over 1000 miles on it in 3 months and sadly have come to realize it’s not the bike I really want. The feet forward cruiser thing isn’t what I want and I’d like to be able to go if not off road at least on gravel or hard pack. I want a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom. <o:p></o:p>
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    My wife is strong and tough and got right on the back and we ride 2 up around town some so she’ s plenty brave to ride herself. She takes the Honda MSF course next month. I really love her and she could learn on the Shadow but a 750 might be too big for learning despite the fact I did it. I’ve got a line on a Kawasaki 250 for her.<o:p></o:p>
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    Eventually we both have V-Stroms and travel the country adventure touring. <o:p></o:p>
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    My mother still doesn’t know I have a motorcycle but my 13 year old step daughter already wants to know when she can legally ride. <o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    14,747
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    Cool story. I'm glad you remembered the fuel petcock. I can't tell you how many times I've had to reach down while riding to switch it over.

    My first was a basket case, literally. It came in three milk crates, and we had no real idea what was missing. It was an 80's Kawasaki KX-80, my brother and I bought it for $20, and hauled in home in the trunk of Mom's Oldsmobile Omega. We laid it all out in the back yard, and began to assemble it. Other than the small engine class I was taking at high school, we had no idea what we were doing. We figured it couldn't be too much different than our bicycles, right? It turned out it wasn't missing all that much. We had to buy 2 new inner tubes, a gasket set for the top end, reed valve, and a Weisco piston/ring set. I took the jug to school, and honed out the cylinder rust. After about 2 weeks, it coughed and sputtered to life. We took turns riding the bike all over town, being careful to use bicycle trails to avoid getting caught. About five miles from our house, there was an abandoned housing development. They had done the earth work for some railroad crossings, so we had some pretty big jumps to play on. I caught more air on the little 80 than any other bike I have ever owned (about 6 feet :lol3), yet never bottomed the suspension. It turned out to be a great intro to off road riding. I got busy with a job, and my brother sold the bike, but I didn't care. I was hooked!
    #2
  3. biowil

    biowil will ride for beer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Cabbagetown, GA
    :2guns
    #3
  4. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,517
    Location:
    Classified
    :thumbRide safe
    #4
  5. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,987
    Location:
    NEPA
    http://youtu.be/7NHRbwEZJx4

    My first bike was a 1971 Yamaha JT-1 60 which my brother bought for me when I was 5. He paid 20 bucks for it, and brought it home from the MC shop he was working at one box at a time on his 10 speed.
    Thanks bro!

    We (Mostly him and our Dad) put it together and I've been riding ever since. I'm glad I was born into a riding family, I read stories of "first generation riders" and I think "You poor deprived children" :cry I had the best childhood ever riding every Sunday with my Dad and Brother.

    I'd like to find a JT-1 to restore, but all those old bikes that I couldn't wait to get rid of for "the next new thing" are way overpriced these days.
    #5
  6. H e a d N o r t h

    H e a d N o r t h (take the high road)

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Muskoka
    I bought my first, a 72 or 73 Honda TL125 trials bike, when I was about 13. Actually, I had no idea what 'trials' meant, at the time. I rode it for a couple of months on our farm. Really enjoyed it - until something went wrong.
    I had someone look at it and tell me the crank needed replacing and was going to cost about $300 (roughly what I paid for it). I unloaded it, instead.
    A few months later, my older brother and I went in together on a Suzuki RM100, which I rode the crap out of for years, until I was 17ish.

    Good times...

    .
    #6
  7. doorman

    doorman Aimless

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    My first bike was a 76 kz400 that hadn't run in 20 years. I spent a few weeks fixing it up. I was broke at the time so many corners were cut. The tires were more like hard crumbly plastic than rubber. I rode it for about a week, then crashed at about 30 mph in an alley due to the tires. Sold it for what I paid for it. Even though it had no brakes, ran horribly, and looked like hell, I will never forget my first ride. I am hooked for life.
    #7
  8. GPrairie_Rider

    GPrairie_Rider Dirt Junkie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    989
    Location:
    DFW
    I am a little younger than you guys but ill tell you my story. A buddy of mine brought a Yamaha Blaster to my house his parents bought it new for him. At the time, we had a HUGE open field across the street. Well i started riding it, and my Dad got me and my brother a CRF230F, we get it home and I was a cocky lil SOB. Well i get on it, take off riding around, it starts raining. Well i go around a curve and hit some mud, Whiskey Throttle the shit out of the bike and fall down. Lemme add something here, when we were looking at bikes for me and my brother, I begged my Dad for a YZ125. Real glad he didnt get that for me. After that i backed off a learned from my Dad, he had more experience with bikes at the time then i did. Still to this day i will never forget that time. Makes me glad i am a Motorcyclist, and i have taken it and ran with it. After the 230, i picked up a used YZ250 and was a better rider on it since i learned on the Honda.

    I also would like to add that starting riding on the dirt, i feel that it has made me a better rider.

    Chris
    #8
  9. Tuna Helper

    Tuna Helper Rawrr!

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Red Five standing by
    I bought my first bike when I was 19 or 20. It was an early 80's KZ440. It was all there, but it wouldn't start. The starter didn't work, so we tried to push start it with no lock. I think I paid $300 for it. Eventually I pushed it to another guys house, and we figured it was the points. One points cleaning later it was purring. I remember the first I time I rode, I felt like I was flying, but when I looked down I was only doing 25 or so. I also remember being scared in traffic. For the next several weeks I had to push start it, which resulted in a few dumbass moments, such as trying to start it with the kill switch off, and pushing it miles across town to a friend's house who had a KZ400. Turns out he also had a parts bike, and he traded me my bad starter for the one in his parts bike.

    I went everywhere on that bike for about a year, if I didn't have to take the cage I was on the bike. It needed work though, and I traded it in.
    #9