I learned how to ride on an ATC185 when I was 10(rode it til i was 15 or so). Then I had three125cc pit bikes between 12-16. I used to think my ATC and pit bikes were fast until I rode my uncles YZ465 when I was, he told me "if you can start it you can ride it." My first bike with a clutch, and it was a fucking monster. That's when I learned about the adrenaline rush from a "big" bike. I bought a non running ATC 350X with yard work money when I was 16. I spent three days cleaning it, adjusting valves, and putting new tires etc etc. I will never forget the happiness I felt when it started first kick. that was when I really started learning how to ride. I rode the shit out of that thing until I blew a head gasket. I then sold it for than I bought it for
to a member from 3wheeler.org.
Then I bought a 1982 Honda XL250R. That was what got me into ADV. Now I got my beloved XL600R, I'll never sell my baby. but the story on that's another thread a long time from now
I don't feel like typing alot out, but I learned how to ride the hard way on shitty motorcycles and ATCs. My experience is from alot of crashes,(none in the street) few were serious, fixing them in the middle of desert with the few tools I carried, and lots of miles on the trails by myself. My friends are slow compared to me, but I haven't ridden with too many people The only person to ride faster than me was an ameuter MX racer. He was from the area and joined the Marine Corps to get money to support his MX hobby. I met him jumping a sand dune at Sunfair in Joshua Tree, CA. I smoked a stogey with him, complimenting each other's bikes and what not. Then we just happened to bone out the same direction. That KX250F smoked me until we got off the trails and on a dirt rode and it wasn't even his track bike.
My skills are very little but every ride is a new learning experience, on the street or on the trails.