Sport + Bike = Chicks : No really i did it becuase i always had a dream of doing it. I thought i would be smart and start with a ninja 250, then i got talked into the 500 for the first bike. Glad i made that swap.
When I was around 8 or 9 years old, several of my friends in the area started getting atv's, and I became obsessed with having a dirt bike. My parents were not going to budge, I was not getting one, period. However, one day my dad and I were driving home, and we passed a Rupp Roadster minbike sitting out for sale in front of somebody's house. We doubled back, and bought it on the spot, to my surprise.
The Rupp Roadster was main main set of wheels for a couple of seasons. We lived on a dead-end road, about 3/4 of a mile long, and I can't tell you how many times I ran up and down that road. I loved every minute of it, except for the time my mechanically oriented neighbor who was about 18 at the time thought I needed a performance mod, and adjusted what I suppose as the throttle limiter - I wheelied all the way home, wheelied and zig-zagged up our front lawn, right in front of my dad. He immediately undid my mods, which I suppose was alright with me.
One spring, the Roadster would no longer start, so my dad sold it on me. Later that year, as I had taken on the local paper route, my parents let me buy a moped. It was a red Puch Maxi, '76 I think. I bungeed a milk crate on, and began using it as my delivery bike.
Next season, one of the neighborhood kids whose parent wouldn't get him an ATV either had a moped bought for him. The fun really began, as we started to ride the trails around our street, all over the woods, over streams, and through the fields. Between these two first bikes, I actually only ever crashed once, going over muddy whoop-dee-do's on the Puch
The season after that, my little brothers began to steal the Maxi on me, and it was promptly crashed and thrashed beyond all repair.
Fast forward to 31. I left my job for a long hiatus of sorts, to relax and get away from a computer screen for a while. after a couple of months, I began noticing all the (stop laughing) scooter riders here (Portland, OR), and started to think that a scooter might just be fun. Keep in mind, I had been thinking for a long time that motorcycles were crazy - just too dangerous.
A few weeks of thinking, and I headed down on the first sunny weekend day of the spring to take a look at scooters. They were cheap, easy to ride, and didn't require a motorcycle endorsement. A couple of days later, I bought a blue Kymco ZX-50, sporting a CVT transmission, plenty of storage space, and a whopping 50cc's of 2-stroke displacement that pulled and growled like the Taiwanese tiger it was
Well, I had a ball for a couple of weeks, until I decided to take a ride outside of the city. The speed limit hit 45 mph, and the little scooter topped out at 47 or so. I was about 2 miles from my destination, a park outside of town, when the speed limit hit 55 - she could go no further.
So, I decided I needed to upgrade. I started to look at 150cc scooters (what was I thinking!?), and at some point, realized that maybe, just maybe, I should peek at motorcycles to get an idea of price points, etc. I discovered the EX-250, which was actually ~$200 less than the 150cc scooter I was looking at. One fateful day, I headed down to the dealership, sat on it, and said 'Wow!'.
The next weekend, the weekend of Easter this year, I attempted a walk-in to a local MSF course. Now, the MSF course is usually booked solid for months here in Portland, but it was not only Easter weekend, but raining all the way through. So, in a stroke of luck, i made it into the course as a walk-in, getting the last available slot.
Three days of fun later, I left with an endorsement coming in the mail, and had been convinced that the 250 was not what I needed, and that at the very least, I should consider the 500.
On Wednesday of that week, I decided I couldn't take it anymore, and headed down to the dealership to put a down payment on, if not outright buy, and EX-500. They had the one I was looking for on the floor with a $300 off coupon on it, so, I bought it. after the purchase was through, I began describing my situation to the salesguy, letting him know that though I was endorsed, I had not yet received my paperwork in the mail. He grinned, and said, "If I were you, I'd be riding her home today". I ran home, grabbed my helmet and jacket, and went back and picked up my shiny new bike.
WOW. When I pulled out of the dealership, I decided I didn't want to make a left turn, as it led to a fairly busy road, and I wanted to take it easy and go on backroads. So, I turned right, and to my surprise, was dumped out on the main road leading from our airport about 100 yards later. I got horribly lost and disoriented, and took about 30 minutes to make the 5 minute ride back home.
The fun really began. I rode the EX nearly everyday, hitting every motorcycle road I could find in Northwest Oregon and Southern Washington.
Come August of that same year, I was approaching 9k on my bike. I still loved the EX, but was being drawn to the intrigue of 600cc sportbikes. One day, I headed to our local Honda dealer, and took a look around, sitting on a CBR600RR. I was amazed, it felt so extreme compared to the EX. The saleperson basically un-sold the bike that day, pushing me to look at the F4i, and telling me that I'd never ride the RR like it was meant to be ridden.
Well, I'm spastically implusive, and a couple of weeks later, after confirming that I was heading back to work, I went in and bought a Silver CBR 600RR. Take that, negative salesguy - I made sure not to buy from him
5.5k later, I just did my first track day last week, and had an absolute ball. Lowsided in the second to last session of the day, but I'm fine, and the bike is on its way to cosmetic perfection. Can't wait until next year.
So, there's my story. I suppose I should mention I picked up a '92 Honda Nighthawk CB250 to learn to wrench on and for my fiancee to learn to ride on before I got the CBR, but she now rides the Ninja when we head out together. It's great - I live in an apartment, and we currently have 5 bikes lined up in a single spot outside - my 3, a neigbor's EX500, and another neighbor's CB750. Ha!
I've always been a fan of cars and bikes and all types of motorsports, and always wanted learn to ride a bike.
This year I finally took the msf course, liked it even more than I thought, and bought the 500 for my first bike.
Plus I am always looking for new, fun, challenging things to learn and get better at.
I put "my friends rode" but that automatically makes it sound like I'm a follower...Actually I'd been interested in a long time but being around other people who did was sort of like a catalyst to say to myself, if they can do it, I can do it too, it looks like a hell of a lot of fun, and you know what, I took the MSF course and I ride now and I do it for me. So maybe I started because I had some buddies who ride but it's all about me now
Growing up I rode mountain bikes and road racing bikes all the time, 10-20-30kms a day, and loved it. Got my license at age 16, and only touched the bike a few days a year after that...still got a great looking Trek sitting in storage barely ever touched.
Also notorious amongst my friends as the "wheelman," so grabbing a motorcycle was the logical step to combine biking and driving. Not to mention when gas prices here in Canada hit 1.25 a litre, it helped.
Did my research, found a good used EX, took the drivers course, and here I am.
My dad was really into dirt bikes when i was really young. I'll always remember how he used to brag about his bike and how it "could climb a telephone pole". We used to hang out at his friends house and us little kids would ride around on a couple of 50cc that they had. Always had a great time.
I decided to retire at age 58 1/2, but am really an active person and figured I would need a hobby to keep me from going stir crazy. I do a lot of golfing and also enjoy mountain climbing/hiking( nothing super technical, but ya gotta be in shape ). At any rate, when I was growing up a lot of other kids got mopeds/motorcycles, etc. but my dad was adamant that it wasn't going to happen for me because of the safety issues. So, in retirement I'm finally getting to do some cycling...and I'm loving it. I've survived the first year and a half OK -actually my wake up call came in the first 10 minutes on the 500R when I grabbed too much throttle, wheelied thru an intersection then thru a neighbor's yard, and wiped out in his driveway. No major damage to me or the bike, but in retrospect it was probably the best lesson I could have gotten, as I've been very safety conscious ever since(and also very easy on the throttle).
Understand that! I buck-boarded /hobby-horsed for a couple of SCARY blocks while riding my first bike home in '78. I kept my throttle wrist too high & didn't keep my body weight neutral. I didn't crash but only due to dumb luck.
I had an ex girlfriend tell me it was "so damn sexy" and I was like yeah whatever....
then 2 years later I said to myself "self.... this actually looks pretty awesome..."
Then I was going to move to San Francisco from Los Angeles, and having a car and driving in San Francisco is the best way to get a manslaughter charge. People here seriously drive like are smoking rocks I haven't even heard of. So I thought it would be cool to try and like most people it was an addiction.
It's become the only thing to get *close* to the sex category in ye olde brain - that was formerly the sole monarch in this empire and now theres the Two Towers.
I spent one summer (2005) on the back of this guy's K1200RS at our annual summer gig in Utah. Yes, that's me at the end of the vid - I helped make the movie; some of those shots I'm taking, and some I'm on board. He actually rode like that with me on the back (well, we can't quite get his knee down when I'm there - maybe this summer we'll perfect the "double knee down" technique!) and I wasn't even scared. I was more along the lines of "faster, faster!" When I went back to AZ, and he to TX, I found I couldn't live without it. I never would have guessed it in a million years. So I got my own (one year ago), and am loving every minute of it. The vid is from summer 2006, and I can hardly wait for summer 2007.
This was another way to travel, a way to get back home should I find myself stuck in a situation. I used to drive tractor-trailers cross country so the possibility was always there. Now that I can ride OK motorcycling is a skill to develop to the best of my ability. There's also the possibility of racing, Barber's 4 1/2 hours down the road, and talk of a racetrack being built 25 miles away is an opportunity I will exploit. All the above added up to my decision 2006 was the time to start.
Maybe it's genetic? My father was discharged from the Navy in New York, he bought a motorcycle there and rode it straight home to Tennessee! That was in 1948 or 49, must've been some trip.
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