What is your earliest/first motorcycle experience

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by carabnsol, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. MSrider

    MSrider Rebel with a sixfiddy

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,319
    Location:
    Florence, Mizzippi
    Here come the Hondas again . Lol . My first ride was a school friends Honda Trail 70 when I was 9 . That thing was a dream with a three speed gear box . My stepbrother got me onto a centrifugal clutch mini bike with a 5 horse Tecumseh for doing my paper route with when I was ten . Then , out of the blue , after stepbrother got his '64 Honda 305 Super hawk built , he taught me how to ride a clutch. After two days I was riding the 305 solo , at ten years old. That bike was huge to me , but I'm a big fella so it fit me as well as it fit my 17 year old brother . I remember having to jerk the clutch handle in to get it pulled into the bars . He had the bike bored and pumped with 11-1 "pop ups" , port work and stiff clutch springs. Honda "shorty" mufflers and a bad attitude . The Super Hawk had a 4 speed gear box in it. He would get me on the back of it and blast down the road to show me it could hit 70 in second gear . Man , I remember that like it was yesterday , or maybe the day before that ..Lol .

    My own first real motorcycle was a '72 Honda SL 100K2 . I had hit the big time . Whooyah, 13 years old and riding my own Honda . I had gone through two chopper mini bikes by then and was ready to ride my own Honda. Paper route money paid off for me .
    Honda ad circa 1972 :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #41
  2. carabnsol

    carabnsol should have been a cowboy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Mississippi
    That SL 100 and that color is the exact motorcycle that I had picked out to buy when I got my license. Already had the money saved. One month before I was to get my license, my dad told me if I would forget the motorcycle he would let me buy the neighbors 1967 Dodge Dart. Reluctantly I agreed. My younger brother however bought that motorcycle.
    #42
  3. vannyboy

    vannyboy Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Oracle az
    i must have been about nine when my father let me have the obsolete cushman three wheeler cargo hauler from his business at the panama airport. i drove that thing all over the neighborhood learning just how fast i could take a corner without tipping it over. next was a mini bike- then a vespa, etc etc etc. fifty years later still riding- bmw r100r and cagiva elefant
    #43
  4. carabnsol

    carabnsol should have been a cowboy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Mississippi
    My best friend had a Harley M65. Three speed transmission with shift on the bars. We rode that thing until it finally seized. What do you mean clean the air filter?:lol3 This is not his bike but looked very similar.

    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. bigdirtypig

    bigdirtypig Short Bus Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    The Rock, Arkansas
    My first time on a bike was in 1986. I was 10 years old, and it was my first trip to the South (Arkansas) on Summer break from school. I was more than happy to be as far away from Michigan as I could possibly get! I met a cousin of mine that I had never met before, named David. David's parents were dirt poor, and his Dad was quite the untamed wild one- but they had somehow managed to scrimp and save and buy him and his Sister a brand new Honda Fat Cat. The thing sort of scared me- so I didn't want to ride it on my own, but he was a couple years older than me, and rode it all the time, so I wasn't scared to ride it with him. The first time we took off, I wasn't hanging on right at all- and my legs went up almost past my head and I nearly spilled off the back! :rofl

    [​IMG]
    Spitting image of the Fat Cat my cousin had.

    It wasn't too long before I was ready to give the Fat Cat a shot by myself, and I took right off. I never had a problem with it, but in hindsight, I can honestly say that it was the oddest thing on 2 wheels that I have ever ridden- it was like riding a motorcycle with 2 flats! That thing was a blast, though- and at 10 years old, it sure felt fast! I was shocked that the cops there waved and kept going as we rode like hell on that thing. That sort of thing would get your bike on the back of a tow truck and a handful of tickets and a police escort home to your parents where I lived.

    Funny thing was, over 10 years later, I wound up owning that Fat Cat, after it had been beat beyond recognition and seized up.

    I went back home totally bummed about the fact that nothing like that was ever going to show up in my yard- we lived in a crappy subdivision and Mom and Dad never were the type to splurge on us kids, especially to the tune of a brand new bike.

    Within a few months or a year or so (hard to remember that far back..) Dad showed up with a ragged mess of a bike that he had picked up at a garage sale for a mere $20. It was so rough, it was hard to recognize- but the frame tag identified it as a 1975 Honda XR75. I was ecstatic about that, to say the least- even if the tank was dented in all over, all the plastics were long since gone, and everything was rusty and rigged! It had 2 wheels and a motor (that leaked oil out of practically every gasket on it..) and that was good enough for me!

    [​IMG]
    same exact bike as my little XR, just a whole lot nicer!

    It didn't take much to figure out why it wouldn't run, it had no spark. It didn't take much more tinkering than that to figure out the problem was a bad stator- which turned out to cost about a million dollars- at least to a 10 year old kid.

    So, the bike was pushed in the shed, and promptly Dad put a big patch of duct tape on the tank which was emblazoned in permanent marker "DO NOT WRENCH ON."

    That was the end of that. Dad was not one to ever hurry the process of anything, much less for his kids. I knew once that bike hit the shed, it would be covered in dust in no time and thrown away once he got tired of tripping over it.

    It must have been another year later, and a friend of mine had remembered that I had the bike (an older kid ) and he happened to have been given one by some rich kid that wasn't interested in it. The kid traded a stupid BMX bike for a motorcycle!

    Rumor came through the grapevine the Honda was hot. That was enough for my friend to not want any part of it anymore, which is why he approached me about mine. His was the exact same bike as mine, only alot nicer. It happened to have a working stator, too. We took the bike to his house (against the will of my Dad) and I knew that if we could make it run, Dad wouldn't even beat my ass for taking it out of the shed in the first place. It wasn't too long, and she was sure enough running. He was at work, and he wouldn't notice it was gone for a while even when he did get home.

    It was running, and my friend had to tear it up some to at least get some fun out of the huge favor (in my humble 10 year old opinion) of getting it running for me.

    Dad got home, and here comes Brian flying up the street on the XR75 that was so hideous, it would be instantly recognizable even to someone that was half blind (which Dad certainly wasn't..) Standing beside him waiting for him to get pissed, he instead said "I'll be damned.." and that was about the end of it.

    That bike's rings were so bad, if you pulled the exhaust header off while it was running, it would sit there and flick raw motor oil out in tiny droplets. The compression was so low, I had to heat the plug until it glowed red, and stick it in and kick it over real fast to get it to start if it was less than 70 degrees out- which was pretty much all the time in Michigan.

    The seat was nothing but a mangled hunk of foam, the tank had to be cleaned out every couple days because the neverending tide of rust flakes constantly clogged it. I had to start it when I got home from school, put it in 1st gear, and go back inside for about 5 minutes in the winter- and if it hadn't yet taken off on its own and fallen over, I would have to sit there and hold the rear brake and rev the shit out of it until the worn out clutch plates got hot and expanded enough to grab so I could ride it. It was the definition of rough!

    I got to ride it part of one summer, then made a muddy souphole out of our postage stamp of a backyard all winter, and part of the next summer. I had fun to the tenth power on that bike, even though it was the worst turd around, and I was too big for it.

    The death of it came finally when I took it to ride the power lines one day. I used to have to keep a spare spark plug with me at all times, as there was little to no warning when it would oil foul a plug on me. I had a non stop supply of plugs, thanks to Dad's Hardley Ableson was constantly fouling them. What wouldn't work in his bike worked just fine in mine! Well, the threaded end of the spare plug I was carrying happened to vibrate off- which would have been no big deal- except for the fact it was stored in the only spot I could find on the bike- in the air box. Leave it up to a 10 year old's mind to not think of such things. In the intake it went, and the piston mashed the end of that plug into dust in a hurry. It must have been in there for a while, because when i took the top end apart, there were hundreds of indents in the piston and head where it had been getting slapped around. One unlucky time, it just happened to bend the intake valve.

    Being 11 or 12 by then and never having a hope of having the money to put it back together again, that was the end of the road for the little XR. I don't remember at what point it made its exit from my custody, but it is now under several thousand tons of garbage in a landfill that has since been turned into a park/ski slope.

    It wasn't until I was 16 that I picked up a CB360, then a CL350, and then God knows how many bikes since then. I still have a soft spot for those old bikes, which is why I still have a 1973 SL350 that I just can't seem to part with. As primitive as that thing is, it takes me back to a long-since-lost time every time I ride it.

    And if I ever have kids, dammit! I am gonna buy them a bike! Not no $20 pain in the ass, either! :pimp:pimp:pimp
    #45
  6. carabnsol

    carabnsol should have been a cowboy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I can still remember looking my dad in the eye and saying "when I have kids they WILL have a motorcycle". And they did...several in fact. Can't say I wasn't nervous when they were racing though.
    #46
  7. scobib

    scobib Magic Chef

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    979
    Location:
    Texas
    I was 5 years old... Dad came home with a new-to-me Suzuki 50. He had a Suzi 125 in the garage for trails and a Kawasaki 750 for the street. I had been riding a bicycle for a year or so, and it wasn't long before I took to getting everything there was out of the Suzi.

    In fact, I read the manual after a couple of weeks of putting around and discovered this thing called a 'restrictor' in the exhaust. I asked Dad if we could remove it, which he promptly denied but did say he'd drill it out a bit. I rode it around for about an hour and came back with that, "Sheesh, Pops, that ain't good enough" look on my face. He yanked it.

    It was like going to 11. Or going to ludicrous speed. Some say that I even went plaid.

    I have vivid memories of learning to jump a motorcycle, ride a wheelie (yes, it WAS possible), dodge trees, and how to eat it.

    My Mom has vivid memories of me riding in the fields beside our house, only able to see the top of my bright orange helmet zipping around - and it occasionally disappearing when I ate it, while other times seeing the entire bike levitating above the grass when I aired it out.

    I rode the piss out of that little bike until I was 8, then upgraded to an 80, then a 125, etc.

    Personally, I think the experience I gained riding the snot out of that 'lil 50 served me well as I got on bigger bikes and starting eventually riding on the street. It certainly taught me a lot about braking, turning, looking ahead, and being aware of my surroundings. It didn't teach me a lot about acceleration, though... :lol3
    #47
  8. MSrider

    MSrider Rebel with a sixfiddy

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,319
    Location:
    Florence, Mizzippi
    right on ! Well , I bought mine second hand in '74 , so I never got to ride it new . Ended up painting it metallic blue . Super bike .
    #48
  9. Tanshanomi

    Tanshanomi Your Favorite Uncle Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Heart of America
    I found a photo online; this was exactly like my bike, except that mine was originally blue, so when I replaced the tank with a red one like this has, I spray-painted the side covers flat black. What a great bike.

    [​IMG]
    #49
  10. carabnsol

    carabnsol should have been a cowboy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Just something cool about those early 70's Hondas. Maybe I am just nostalgic.
    :thumb
    #50
  11. bigdirtypig

    bigdirtypig Short Bus Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    The Rock, Arkansas
    I know.. I am still addicted to them.. Check out this SL350 i have had for years. i need to give it a full resto..

    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. Ozarkadver

    Ozarkadver Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Lakeview, Ar
    My first i'll never forget. She was a yamaha rt100 78? My dad said you can get on that bike and make a lap around the drive way which was at the time, big chunks of filler rock for a drive way to his buddys cabin. So I got her started the away I went almost all the way around and layed her over right in my damn ankle, was'ent broken, but should of been. It was my dads, buddys bike and he gave it to me that day, so the next week when I could almost start walking normal agin, took it out for another ride and did the same damn thing agin. Luckly that was the last time, and have been riding good ever sence.
    #52
  13. carabnsol

    carabnsol should have been a cowboy

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,276
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Nice bike. I would like to one day restore something along those lines.
    #53
  14. bigdirtypig

    bigdirtypig Short Bus Rider

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    The Rock, Arkansas
    Nice.. How about restoring THIS one?? lol.. I swear if I do it, I'm gonna sell it. I have seen this exact bike go for $3400 and $5000 on fleabay..
    #54