Poll: What was your first bike? - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
View Poll Results: What was your first bike?
Honda 8 44.44%
Kawasaki 5 27.78%
Yamaha 0 0%
Suzuki 0 0%
other 5 27.78%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 8:43 PM Thread Starter
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Poll: What was your first bike?

Like the title says, what bike got you started down your particular motorcycle riding career?


I suspect that many of us of a certain age started on a Honda. I know I did. At least, as the first bike I ever bought myself.



I bought a used Honda CM250 Custom.....a 1983 I think, from a Captain I worked with in New Mexico back in 1990.



I'd been around bikes most of my life, tooled around on a couple but never ridden one on the road. Started riding as a passenger at probably 4 years old....maybe 3.



For whatever reason, the majority of those bikes were Hondas. I don't know why, it isn't like I gave it much thought back then. I was just happy to get on 2 wheels.



There was my Harley phase in my late teens and early 20s (thank goodness that passed) until I bought that CM 250.



It was a 5 speed, 250 air cooled twin with sun burned paint on the tank and a worn seat. Looked alot like this one:


Mine did not have the back rest nor the rack though.



I rode like I was on egg shells for the first few weeks I owned it. I had to wait to take the MSF course but had my permit so I rode to work and back. It took me a few rides to get comfortable leaning enough around the corners. Mostly because I was still getting coordinated with the clutch and throttle while keeping a wary eye on traffic.



When I finally got to take the MSF course, I was already pretty proficient with riding the little 250, and I had to use it for the course. Turned out to be the almost perfect partner for that.



I'd been concerned with my cornering from the day I brought the bike home because the tires were still original and were 7 years old at that point. I had no idea how much grip they'd have, given it was winter in New Mexico and fairly chilly out with blown sand on the roads.



Turned out, those old crap tires had a ton of grip as I learned in the MSF course. I went in open minded and learned a ton. Lessons that still pay off today when I ride.



Also, it was the first bike I ever did any restoration work on. I repainted the sun bleached tank. It was so bad that the original warning decal had burned into the paint and the letters rusted into the tank.



I painted it the very color of the bike posted above.



I wish I could say I had fond memories and be all nostalgic about that little bike. After all, the skills I learned on it gave me a lifetime of good memories. The truth is though, I paid $250 for it, and basically gave it away when I moved to the UK.



Not like I looked back either. I was riding back to the air base one evening and the wind was howling. I was riding into a stiff 35 or 40 mph cross head wind that would stop forward progress when it gusted.



I was tucked down behind the little headlight with the throttle wide open and barely able to manage a steady 50mph. I was getting slammed to the right front quarter of my helmet and thinking it sucked riding in the wind.



Right about then, a guy riding a white and silver Hurricane blew by me like I was anchored to a tree. Seemingly, he was unaffected by the wind. And right then and there, I knew I was moving up to a sport bike. I did. I got my oft referred to ZX-7 in the UK when I moved there later that year.....sean


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Last edited by Apriliarider; 12-28-2019 at 9:09 PM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 10:19 PM
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First bike I rode was my friend's Suzuki RM80 used in their backyard for couple years before I was old enough to get tarmac licence.

First bike I owned was '86 VF500F Interceptor I got on clearance for great deal!!! Bike was my 1st vehicle even before I got auto!

Then an '86 Ninja 600, first supersport model! I didn't like it's super-heavy steering compared to lithe Honda. My arms would be sore and tired after ride through hills.

Then '87 VFR750R when it came out, ooh what nice bike! But was to big and heavy for my liking.

Soon after, got RZ350. Wished I never sold it. As yute, I just couldn't keep up with maintenance, re-filling oil-tank, new rings, new cylinders, etc.

Then another '86 VF500F I got for free. Owner thought he seized engine. Turned out petcock leaked petrol and filled up crankcase and simulated seized pistons when cranking or push-starting.

etc. etc. etc..

After many decades of bikes coming and going, I still have that original '86 VF500F! Used 2nd VF for spares and eventually only had frame left which I gave away recently.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 11:10 PM
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Rupp Chopper

IMG_29173.jpg

Got it used, as my birthday present in fourth grade. I rode it incessantly around the cranberry bog and trails behind my house for several years.

During a misguided starting attempt with starting fluid and a full tank of gas, It backfired, caught fire and was starting to take my father's garage with it when the fire department showed up, thanks to my mother's quick action.

Repainted, pinstriped it, reupholstered the seat and kept on riding it until the day that my beloved gearhead uncle showed up with a Honda z50 in the back of his truck and a big smile on his face. RIP, Uncle Bob

That's enough. For some reason I can't see the computer screen right now.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 10:01 AM
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Like K-woppa...the mini-bike! Had one as a kid. Thrashed on that thing!!!

As for my first motorcycle ever ridden, a Yamaha 250. That got me to a Ninja 250 that I bought as my first motorcycle.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 10:26 AM
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First 2-wheeled transport was an early 80's Honda C90, similar to the one in the picture.





First real motorcycle was a 1981 Honda CB250RS, similar to the one below. The headlight fairing is an option from Honda. I managed to score a near perfect one from a salvage yard, which is where all my parts came form in those carefree pre-internet days.


2007 Kawasaki EX-500 Ninja
2003 Honda Goldwing
2001 Honda VFR 800
2000 Kawasaki KDX 200
1999 Ducati 996 BiPosto

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 3:23 PM
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1949 BSA A7 500 CC TWIN
Could be genesis for the ex.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 5:27 PM
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My first wasn't even a motorcycle. It was an Allstate (i.e. Sears marketed) Vespa scooter. It was worn out even before I got it and I had to learn to wrench real fast. I was 14 or 15. Next was a major step up, a Lambretta LD150 shaft drive scooter.

Eventually, I realized larger diameter wheels were the way to go and got a Ducati Bronco 125. Then a long string of various Ducati singles (I don't think they made anything else back then) culminating in a beautiful Diana 250. Sadly, I don't have pics of any of them, but the Diana looked almost exactly like this, including the solo seat, the unfiltered Dellorto, the Veglia mechanical tach driven off the cam, and the open megaphone which really got me in trouble with the neighbors. That's one I wish I had never sold.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 6:18 PM
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to be honest I can't really remember I've had that many must be over 50. but think it was possibly a BSA Bantam 150cc. I remember that one as it was the bike I never wanted. my older bro was into bikes big time. [were talking early 60's] just at the start of mods and rockers era here in the UK.

I had my heart set on a gold star or speed twin. but he said I should forget that as a starting bike as it would probably kill me inside a week. get a little one to learn to ride on and more importantly learn to fall off one. he was probably right as I used to fall off quite a bit.

bikes were dead cheap in those days nobody ever repaired them once they stopped they were worthless. built up quite a little business back then getting bikes for next to nothing doing them up and selling them on for a profit. so much so a mate suggested going into business with him in a bike shop. I declined as #i wanted to keep it a hobby not a profession. now he has the biggest dealership in the city. but I digress.

when I was a bit older the first real proper bike I got was the Vincent black shadow a bikers dream bike was that one. I kept it for 15 years until one day a bike restorer made me an offer I could not refuse. with the money I bought my first sports bike/tourer a VFR 750R loved that one did over 100k on it, almost cried when I had to sell it. now almost 60years later I'm back where I started playing about with old next to worthless runabouts for a hobby. Yorkie.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 8:39 PM
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@yorkie a Black Shadow? You win the woulda, shoulda, coulda (kept it) contest hands down!
************************************************** ********************************

Around 1971(?) my 1st street legal was a '65 Honda CB160 (needed a battery) acquired in lieu of payment for doing a $30 brake job on a VW Bug. Caught the Honda bug which still bites me to this very day. Love and respect them.

Earlier than that (prior to legal driving/riding age) owned Suzuki 125 2 stroke twin street bike. Different era...rode illegally, never plated, no license. Can't remember year or model. I was 13 or 14 year old. I think i got it for $10? Sold for $25 or 30?

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba....” quote Hunter S Thompson

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 9:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiman View Post
Earlier than that (prior to legal driving/riding age) owned Suzuki 125 2 stroke twin street bike. Different era...rode illegally, never plated, no license. Can't remember year or model. I was 13 or 14 year old. I think i got it for $10? Sold for $25 or 30?
Not surprising. It was worth more because you redid the carbs.
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiman View Post
@yorkie a Black Shadow? You win the woulda, shoulda, coulda (kept it) contest hands down!
************************************************** ********************************
HA yes but at the time. I could have said that about the Velocette Venom or the Excelsior. or the Brough. or the Scott. or a dozen other now classic bikes. I had through my hands but there you go. to be absolutely honest though I never really regretted selling it because it allowed me to buy the new VFR and every thing that came after all those memories I would never have had with it just sitting there for decades.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Keep 'em coming folks. Love reading everyone's stories....helps pass the time while the weather is crap outside.....Thank you to all participants so far......sean


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-30-2019, 12:09 PM
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Yes we all (of a certain age) have had missed opportunities to possess significant items that we passed for other reasons .
Like the time I passed on a Vincent Black Shadow in 1956 for $500. A fortune then, and worth one today.

Or the 1955 300 SL gull-wing I passed on on 1962 for $3,300. for a $3000. Lotus Elan. The Lotus was great fun for sure but the mere was a million dollar car today (had I kept it).
Or the beach lot I owned in NC on the island ,that I sold for $12,000 and put 2 kids through collage with the money. that now has a Holiday Inn standing on it, I wonder what the guy that sold them the property got for it.

I have 2 keepers now a 1997 S500 Mercedes sedan, (best car Mercedes ever made)
2004 SL55 AMG merc one of only 20,000 made , soon to be a classic already worth more than I paid for it.

With my luck I'll prolly sell either or both for a small profit then watch them soar to un imaginable value.

FOG

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-30-2019, 1:55 PM
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just been searching though the spare disk photo caddy looking for some old pictures. and came across this one. do you recognise it Duc. appropriate for this thread. taken at the bike café the day it opened.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-30-2019, 10:57 PM
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yazzir, a nice new 6th Gen

How many miles did you clock? Why you sell?

Memory serves me correct, I read years ago a Brit courier guy did +300K miles on one?

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba....” quote Hunter S Thompson

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-2-2020, 8:57 AM
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Quote:
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yazzir, a nice new 6th Gen

How many miles did you clock? Why you sell?

Memory serves me correct, I read years ago a Brit courier guy did +300K miles on one?
104,727miles from new. sold it when lost my job somethings had to go. the bike was about 6th on the list.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-2-2020, 10:45 PM
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A used Honda CB500T. It looked right and was in my price range. It was a heavy bike and not exactly fast, but I do recall the first days when the ability to upshift and almost be instantly going about 10mph faster was a delightful novelty. On the downside, this bike was from the era before electric starting was properly reliable, so it was not rare to break a serious sweat trying to kick start the thing. After a few years I managed to go off the edge of some newly paved road on a nice sweeper and kind of got pinned between a ditch, the steep shoulder and an upcoming sign post. It was technically rideable afterward, meaning I still used it for a week or two to get around, but it was clearly totalled and not really safe or feasible at that point.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-2-2020, 11:56 PM
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Bought a ninja 250 for 900 bucks as my first bike, crashed it twice, second at about 50 due to pothole in a corner. It still rode after that but either frame/forks were bent. Sold it for 400, got a cbr600rr and never laid it down but got arrested for speeding. Just got my ninja 500 about a month ago
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-3-2020, 3:02 PM
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First bike was a 1986 Honda CT110 (Australian Postie Bike). I put street tires on and rode over 5,000 miles. The little thumper always starts first kick and never missed a beat - feels like it could easily ride around the world, as long as you don't mind a top speed of 50mph. (Dual range transmission could climb a tree!)
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-6-2020, 7:37 PM
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My first bike was a Honda SS50.

It was a later model where they had replaced the pedal start with a Kick start.
Fun days riding around a 1/4 mile oval of a disused army base.
Looking back, pulling this to pieces was my initial spark to follow a career in Mechanical engineering. (ps the photo isn't of my bike but similar model/year)
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-6-2020, 8:05 PM
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@D-Tox long time, welcome back

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba....” quote Hunter S Thompson

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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-8-2020, 12:24 PM
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Took my MSF course in college a Yamaha XT350. Then got busy with life and didn't buy my first bike until about 10 years later; a 1999 Buell S3 Thunderbolt. Got it sorted with the Buell Race ECM and D&D exhaust and the Buell recalls and put 51K mile on it before running wide out of a corner into oncoming traffic. Tore the front wheel/forks off and insurance totaled it. Great handling and sounding bike. As it was the sport tourer it was comfortable and would also return about 55-58 MPG when ridden conservatively.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 1-11-2020, 7:26 AM
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Thanks Ducatiman.

R.I.P. ER-6F


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