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Had just turned eight, feeling out of place from a fresh move from Texas to Alburquerque New Mexico. Culture shock, 101. No trees to speak of, and desert in any direction. Even the houses there were different, not much more than mud huts, with semi flat roofs. My dad came home one afternoon with a Ward's Riverside 125, which I learned later was really a Binelli. It seemed so foriegn and out of character for what I had known of him. All my life if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered "John Wayne". A motorcycle seemed so far away from anything I had ever considered as a personal pastime, it seemed so unorthadox, perhaps even hippy, to me. I still secretly clung to the hope we would move to a place that would afford room for a horse some day. On Fridays, we would usually go to the drive in movie as a family. One Friday dad had picked two movies that he was trying to talk my younger brother, my mother, and I into. They were Evil Kneivel, and On Any Sunday. When I asked what kind of movies they were, he replied "motorcycle movies". In my mind, were visions of outlaws, and Rat Davidsons, and any low life thing the drug culture of the hard core early seventies could conjure. After concessions were made, we all loaded up in the deuce and a quarter, and headed for the good spot at the local drive in. Right next to the concession stand, in front just one row. Looking back, I could never have imagined what a life changing event that seeing those two movies ,in the crisp night air from the back seat of a puke brown metalic 67 Buick Electra 225, would have on the rest of my life. I was hooked, plain and simple. Trips to the local cycle shops soon had me in full lust after a Yamaha mini enduro 60. White, with red-orange stripes, and just my size. That bike was just out of reach, and not in the cards,(or budget) for me. We started looking in the newspaper for an affordable substitue, and after some haggling, Dad settled on a Honda S65. Not anything like I had hoped for, it was rather wonky looking. A pressed steel frame, and barely any suspension to speak of, street tires, and (gasp) chrome. Still the deal was struck, and like it or not, she was mine. A problem disclosed upon purchase, was that second gear would disengage under a load. After splitting the cases and carefully placing each part in line as it was disassembled, it was discovered the engagement dogs on the second gearset were rounded off. As luck would have it, the parts were not available any longer, and the only way to fix it was to replace it with a gearset from a newer model 70, (pricey). After some several weeks of watching my father and a friend of his, consume mass quantities of Budwieser and speak in rather colorful language, it somehow managed to resemble a motorcycle again. That Sayurday, the day of truth was upon me. After some basic instruction as to where the clutch, shifter, and brakes were, it was do or die time. The last question my dad asked before letting go of the bike was " where are the brakes at"?. Slipping the clutch, ever so slowly, while dialing in just enough throttle for a near perfect start, was not what happened. I overreved it, and dumped the clutch just enough that it lurched forward violently, and the dry rotted semi slick rear tire threw sand right in dad's face. I had enough throttle in, that it stayed upright, and that was it. As if I had somehow grown wings, I was off, and motoring away in a new found freedom. Somehow the last bike I would ever had picked, was perfect. In that one moment, it gave me a new direction. Nothing else in the world mattered, I was suddenly completely free of anything behind me, and absolutely aware of where I wanted to go. A new found freedom that has become an extension of myself, not just a personal pastime, but an integral part of life itself...
 

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Nice.....I still remeber my first. Also dumpy, even for the day, it was a early 1970's Honda SL70. Three speed and no clutch. Sitting under the Christmas tree with a bow. I was 12 and it was 1989. We were poor and it was cheap. Best bike ever.......:)


Looked very much like this one...
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I was recently wondering where and when I became fascinated with motors. At my moms house over Christmas I found a few photos that helped the memory. One on my fith b-day (back says "Favorite toy") it was a pull string motorcycle that was my fave. Then I found photos of me sitting on my uncle's three wheeler tank when I was four- while he rode wheelies up and down the block (he raced those death traps semi-professionally in Texas in the 1980's). I know, real safe right? That was it. I was hooked.
 

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For me it was a 1974 Yamaha GT80 with the hugger front fender ; I think some had the high fender which I didn't like . My Grandmother bought it for me , and as a kid , I rode that beast all over Eastern Europe , no license and sometimes no helmet .:eek: Then , a 15 year old driving his parents' car tapped my handlebar at 40 mph , sending me over and bouncing my head off the road ! Blood everywhere and bike in pieces . Soon moved to Canada and got a '76 XR-75 , and that's when the fun really started , evading cops as we entered and left the local flats . Seems like a lifetime ago .
 

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Moto was a banned word around our house. I found out much later that dad had one brief ride on a bike. A buddy bought a brand new harley. Not any harley but the first overhead valve model, likely a knuckelhead. It seems he took off on it straight into an Iowa corn field messing up himself and the shiny new bike.

I did the covert rides on a friends Honda step through at 14-15. Most of these rides were of the afraid to getting busted if dad saw me rides. Usually at night without lights.

Then as permitted by the wages of part time kid jobs, bit by bit parts started coming home. Well damn, I built myself a neato low budget panhead chopper. Amazing how it left the garage under it's own power when I was 17. Man was I Peter Fonda or what.

Flashback: I left the bar clamps slightly loose in the event that when I saw a cop I could quickly pull the bars back. They had a hard on about high bars and would get out the tape measure to be sure the 15" above the seat rule was adhered to. Dicks....

Sold that POS after a couple years. One night after riding it all day (maybe 150 miles) I got off that hard tail torture rack with the 1/2" thick seat padding and actually walked it across some train tracks. God I was aching from riding it. From then on it was real bikes with real suspensions.
 

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Nice one Dawg... you never forget your first ride...

Back in 65 the first bike I ever rode was a friends Honda 55 step
through Cub... it looked easy so I got on... I kicked it to life... I
grabbed a hand full of throttle and all 4.5 HP shot me forward with so
much acceleration that I froze on the bars like a small animal... my
wild darting eyes now focused on the fence... OK I figured if I hit
the wire fence the bike should stop... but oh no... as soon as the
front wheel touched the wire it began climbing up the fence... and the
more the damn back wheel dug into the dirt the higher I went... the
tremendous force of 4.5 horsepower kept pushing and shoving me where I
didn't want to go so I panicked... I thought if only I could control
that damn back wheel some how??? that's when I figured out that the
only way to halt the forward thrust was to lift that damn back tire
off the ground... as soon as I did the pushing stopped and I felt
relieved... now what in the hell is that high pitch sound??? oh yea
it's the engine screaming as I remember to close the throttle... OK
this is not as easy as it looks...


The wire fence I hit that day is in the back ground over my right
shoulder...


Same spot 43 years later...
 
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