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