When I was 8 I bought the neighbor's ct70h (the one with the 4 speed and a clutch) with money I made mowing lawns and walking dogs. My uncle, who rode one of the early Guzzi Eldos, taught me how to use the clutch by having me go around the neighbor's driveway a few times without using the throttle. When he was satisfied I wouldn't stall it, he told me to ride home and he's follow. "Remember, kid, 4 down. Let's see how fast this little thing goes!" It would hit 45 indicated I found out quickly!
I was hooked!
When I was 11 my dad caught me riding the same neighbor's Susuki (of some sort) 250 and after watching for a while, let me get my second bike, a Rickman 125 enduro. I rode the piss out of that thing as we had state forest for a back yard. That little 2 stroke came on like a raped ape and it would wheelie on request (scaring the shit out of my mother!)
I kept this thing until I joined the Navy and gave it to my little brother. I took my license test on it which was basically go down the street, do a u turn and come back. After chewing my ass for putting out my foot dirt bike style on the u turn (hell, I'd only ridden on the street that one time on the 70 prior to riding to the registry) he handed me my license. Soon bought a rat 67 Sportster and rode it until it fell apart.
Probably 30 or so bikes and lots of years later, here I am with a klr and a bonnie.