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Old 03-22-2006, 06:42 AM   #136
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: SE Michigan - Saline
Oddometer: 32
While 45 years old and on a mission trip to reservation in central SD with some kids from church and a buddy who has always been a biker (60's style), we found ourselves with an open day at the end of the week. Just so happend that Bike Week was starting in Sturgis that weekend. We took a ride in a church van with a couple of adults and one kid who we knew to be a bike enthusiast. Maybe not the most Christian environment we could have selected, but sounded like fun. The pastor back home was a rider too, so we figured we were covered. There was nothing but leather, chrome, rumbling and good times happening everywhere. I was inspired.

We got back to church that next Sunday and I was approached by the pastor and a couple others about so-and-so having their bike for sale. My inspiration was apparent to others about becoming a 'biker'. My wife said 'go ahead and take a look at it'. I heard "Go buy it!!" I did. A Yamaha 1600cc Millenium Edition Roadstar. Not a bad bike to start off with! To bad I didn't know how to ride it, that would have made it better yet! I had to ask my buddy to drive it home for me. It was even bigger than his bike. Well I rode that 750# beast around on the front yard (I live on a dirt road out in the country) for a couple of weeks getting acclimated. I took a written test at the MI secretary of State that after passing said I could ride with endorsed motorcyclists now. What good they would do me on thier own bikes, I'll never know.

Anyhow, the gang from church took me for my maiden voyage...I then realized there are cars on the road , lights, stop signs, hills, curves (unlike my front yard). My maiden voyage was a 250 mile jaunt in the country and I had NEVER HAD RIDDEN BEFORE! Talk about trial by fire! Good thing it was a church event, so to speak, because I was praying the whole time. I only crossed into oncoming traffic on a tight curve once, got to pass on a twisty two-lane, crossed train tracks at the bottom of a big hill and stalled out and had to head for the gravel shoulder because somebody turned my fuel shutoff. Needless to say I didn't need to use the facilities for a week until the pucker went away .

I then took my MSF class and learned how to turn and brake and ride and understand what a motorcycle(ist) should and shouldn't do. That sure would have been handy for my maiden voyage! I was hooked after the class. I'm beginning my third full riding season now and have owned the Yamaha, a F650GS and just picked up my third bike - a '98 R110GS.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:41 PM   #137
Joined: Feb 2005
Oddometer: 10,044
I was 28 when I started riding. That's close enough, right?

I had wanted to ride for some time before I really got into it 2 years ago. I had even purchased 2 bikes: at 17 and 23. Both times I scared the shit out of myself the first/only time I rode them. I talked about it with my wife and she would just say 'No.' One day I said I wanted to buy a bike and she said 'Go for it!' I asked what changed and she said 'You changed'.

Before 28, I had only talked about speed and doing stupid stuff on the bike. However, I had been talking about the physics of it, gear, how to handle a bike. She said that make all the difference.

I researched bikes and bought a Kawasaki ZR-7S. Heavy, slow bike. I think its a good beginner.

I never could get into an MSF course. They were filled on the weeks I had available. I finally had a former-MSF instructor who works with me, run me a dedicated class over 2 weekends. $100 and a case of beer.

1.5 years on the Kawasaki and I never dropped it and never got a scratch on it. I decided it was time to move to something else. In rapid succession, I went through an 1100RT and a SV650. I didn't like them. Personal preference, they were both nice bikes. I found a 2001 Ducati ST4 and bought it. I love that bike. It really speaks to me.

First night with the Duc: I drop it in the garage trying to get it up on the center stand. I am standing there staring at it on its side, hands on my head, yelling 'SHIT, SHIT, SHIT...' My wife runs out to the garage and says 'Cheater. That doesn't count as your first drop.' 4 months later I swerve to hit a dog and lowside it over a curb.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:43 AM   #138
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Michigan
Oddometer: 6,186
Had a bit of experience as a kid but basically started 3 years ago at 45. Took the MSF class and started on a Honda Shadow Spirit 1100. Still have it but am selling it to go to a V-Strom. When I started I was influenced by the cruiser trend. Thought that was the way to go. Finally had an epiphany when I had a chance to ride a couple dual sports. Realized they were way more fun than my Shadow, which has been a great bike BTW. I like riding and could care less about the image. My biggest issue with cruisers isn't the bikes themselves but the old geezers like me I'd come across trying to look like Hell's Angels. Cracks me up.


In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:34 PM   #139
Adventurer Wannabe
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Too Close to Detroit
Oddometer: 662
What was I thinking--- My finance dumped me, and would not leave my life. I needed something I might enjoy & would scare the hell out of me. A distraction. Bought my first bike at 38.

It was a GS500 and was a great bike to learn on, but was quickly outgrown. I ride interstates & fire roads, both weak points on the GS500.

Starting late was fine, I've always had plenty to keep me busy.

I now have a V-Strom 650 & love it. It works great on everything but mud & sand, which I normally avoid anyway. It's fun, and it's a bit cheaper to run than my F150. I'm pretty comfortable on it. Now it's women that scare the hell out of me.

BTW, the GS500 is still for sale. Some kid gave me a nice deposit & never came through with payment.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:42 AM   #140
Dave, just Dave...
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Oddometer: 2
Talking Try 51...

...of course I wanted one at 15. That didn't happen. (Usual Mom -- No!) Years pass, kids arrive, college payments happen. Cripes, they're still happening!

If I had a clue how much effing fun these things would be... blah, blah, blah. Better late than never.

I picked up an '83 Honda 650 Nighthawk -- the one with the hydraulic valves and shaft drive -- from an older guy who isn't going to ride anymore. He bought it new and took pretty good care of it. It's not pristine in the looks department, but it's better than OK for a 23 year old bike. Some minor work, a tune-up and new tires and I was off. Right now, I am waiting arrival of a starter relay switch that went TU after two months of commuting. My first attempt at "wrenching my own" (uh, did that come out right?)

This bike is not much of an ADV-type bike in the classic mold, but it is the bike I have now, so it will do. I am hunting down an appropriate dual sport bike right now -- maybe even have found one: a tricked out XR600R that has been beautifully dual-sported by the owner. Now if the kid who is in line in front of me to buy it craps out on the deal, I'll be set. I'll keep the Nighthawk, though.

BTW, hello to all. This is my first post, as I am still rummaging through the various forums. There's a lot of ground here to cover.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

-Samuel Langhorne Clemens
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:26 AM   #141
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2005
Oddometer: 119
I learned to ride a couple of years ago, at age 62. Never was around bikes and started with a 250cc scooter. I had ridden bicycles a lot as a kid--the heavy, big-tired variety of that era- and acquired a love of leaning and putting a 2 wheel vehicle on edge. Surprisingly that came back immediately after all those years. I was almost immediately dragging hard parts on the scooter and started acquiring bigger bikes. A GOG'r taught me about power bands and lines and I am able to hang with the better bikers in that group as long as the speeds don't get much past 65. I put >20k miles on various bikes last year.

Where I think age kicks in for me is in endurance and risk acceptance. I'm not going to be one of those guys that rides 10 hours a day for days on end. And I don't want to be going 70 along winding country roads with driveways and blind curves.

I've also been a recreational skiier and student pilot. I get much of the same satisfaction from all these activities--riding is like skiing without lifts and on very hard surfaces, and like flying back in the barnstorming days.

'06 Buell Ulysses
'05 BMW F650 Dakar
'04 BMW R1150R
'04 VStrom 1000
'00 Concours
'00 GL1500 Goldwing

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Old 04-01-2006, 06:45 PM   #142
Catastrophe Specialist
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Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Northern New Mexico
Oddometer: 1,082
I rode a YZ80 a couple times when I was 12 (scared the shit out of myself doing accidental wheelies). I was totally hooked on bicycles (still am) and never really rode motos. Then in 2004 (I was 34), a buddy had me "caretake" his 1100gs for six months while he was in Australia. I was hooked. In Feb. of '05 I bought a used 1150GS and but 7000 miles on it in about three months. Since then I've owned an F650 Dakar, a KLR, and now my ultimate fix-an '05 R1200GS.
I am a complete addict and look forward to meeting many of you at various meets/rallies. If you're ever in my neck of the woods, let me know-we'll ride. I love backroad/noroad adventures-Yippee
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:40 PM   #143
extra crispy
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Sunnyvale
Oddometer: 1
I've been craving an SV650 since the time I saw one back in 2003, while hiking with my dad. Prior to that, I had gotten interested in learning how to drive stick, and this was just a progression of that in some ways. Motorcycles also have that undeniable, irresistible aesthetic attraction.

It wasn't until last year, when I was 30, that I finally completed my MSF training at's San Jose center. The year before that, I had almost given up after a discouraging $200 fiasco involving an MSF class at a different spot with a big A-hole of an instructor. And even more prior to that, I had been living at home for 6 years, which precluded ever owning a motorcycle.

My first bike after completing the license requirements was an old CB550 which had lots of problems starting, though otherwise intact. After it died in the middle of an expressway and wouldn't turn over again, I decided that if I was going to risk my life, I would rather pay out the money and get a new SV like I had always wanted instead of engaging myself for yet another 2 months trolling the SF Bay Area's Craiglist's motorcycle *cough*POS junk bikes*cough* for the perfect starter bike.

I'm enjoying going back and forth on my short work commute, but looking forward to the open road where the SV belongs and a sky without constant rain. ;)
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:23 PM   #144
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Northern Califrornia
Oddometer: 14
I'm another stereotype I guess, started at 30. HD's run in my family, but I never rode anything except a few dirt bikes as a kid. I've always wanted to get a street bike, but was either too scared or too busy or too broke to follow though.

Fast forward to my 30th birthday. Driving the superslab on my way to work in my cage, and a lady on a red Ducati ended up pacing me for a mile or so. It was watching her lazily swerve back and forth in the wind that decided me. A month later I'd taken the MSF course and bought a Honda VLX. A great fun bike to learn on, but after two years I've outgrown the 600 and cruisers in general, and I'm just now shopping for my next scoot.

And still lookin for that red Duc
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:43 PM   #145
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: London, KY
Oddometer: 37
Well said! I started last year at 48 and kicking myself in the arse for not doing it sooner. I had a mini-bike as a kid and think I always loved it but made the excuse that MC are dangerous (not true) and other drivers can hurt or kill you (true). Had a buddy mod his KLR650 and that got me I guess. Started on a Rebel, nice bike, and still a lot of fun to ride but don't ever ride it. :) Then 800 Vulcan but don't ever ride it. :) Just bought my 19 (b-day today) year old son a SV650S so he "gave me back HIS bike," 95 Nighthawk. I was going to sell it and then rode it a few times. It's a keeper and my main rider everyday. He had a hard time starting it but I have had no problem (soooo operator error). With FI on his SV, he is happy camper. I'm looking for a V-Strom for some real (Adv) riding now!! A cruiser, standard, sport tourer, other than crotch rocket, anything left? Oh, and I love riding! The fun is riding and not buying into a "lifestyle." I have a lifestyle already.


Originally Posted by Skibum
Had a bit of experience as a kid but basically started 3 years ago at 45. Took the MSF class and started on a Honda Shadow Spirit 1100. Still have it but am selling it to go to a V-Strom. When I started I was influenced by the cruiser trend. Thought that was the way to go. Finally had an epiphany when I had a chance to ride a couple dual sports. Realized they were way more fun than my Shadow, which has been a great bike BTW. I like riding and could care less about the image. My biggest issue with cruisers isn't the bikes themselves but the old geezers like me I'd come across trying to look like Hell's Angels. Cracks me up.

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Old 04-11-2006, 09:46 PM   #146
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Joined: Dec 2005
Oddometer: 1
I started at 40

Hi I'm from Mexico

Let me tell you that my wife, my parents and friends told me the same a thousand times, but for me riding a motorcycle was a dream come true.

I started pretty cautious in 2000 with a 150cc scooter, then evolved to a 250cc chinesse motorbike, then one lucky day a dear friend of mine let me drive a HONDA CBR600RR. And I said to my self what a trip, I'm not going back to my lousy chinesse.

So I saved a lot of money, and started looking for a decent used bike.
First had to buy to my dear wife a small SUV a GM-Tracker, so in that way she could get off my back and give some slack to pursue my dream.

Finally in 2003, I found the love of my life a fab Honda Sahadow ACE TOURER 1998 with 6000 miles only and now it shows 15000 miles.

Let me tell you I was born again, every time I ride my Black Beauty(that's the way I call her) I feel free and thank GOD for this piece of heaven that he sent me down on earth.

God bless you all an have a safe ride.
Luis Lara from MEXICO
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:59 PM   #147
Ricardo Kuhn
a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave
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Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Salt lake city, Utah
Oddometer: 12,403
I was 30 when i got my first motorbike in 1992 before that I only move under my own power thanks to my bicycles, skates and skateboards (well exept for a skateboard I made when I was 18 with a 5,5 Briggs & straton engine) by now i have log in about half a miilion milles, thanks to far away girlfriends, remote commutes and fancy Burrito places that happend to be 200 milles away from my house, plus that fact I do not know how to drive a car helps since i need to do a lot of riding to get to places in this big country..
Wanted: worn, ugly, cheap motorcycle cover for a big GS 1200
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:06 PM   #148
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: N. Van
Oddometer: 35

I rode a couple of friends bikes as a kid but never took the chance of bringing on home to the wrath of the folks. Fast forward a bunch of "responsible" years including 15 of marrage. Wanted a bike again and the missus was unsure, bought the wife a scooter to commute, she loved it and it opened the door to riding again.
I pick up the 650gs next month. I waited 20+ years I can wait another month, Ya right!

Hope to meet as many of you as possible!
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:38 AM   #149
Displaced Yooper
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Joined: Apr 2004
Location: South of Where I Wanna Be
Oddometer: 3,628
Started a couple years ago, early thirties, bought a Wee-Strom, love it. Use it for daily commuting, weekend rides and a few longer rides thrown in. Currently fixing the plastic after I layed it down a couple months ago. Weather is getting nice should be up and running in a few days.
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:58 AM   #150
wannabe adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: NJ....for now
Oddometer: 100
started last year at 35

After finally convincing my wife it was a good idea to get a bike I figured I should hurry up before she changed her mind. so I got the permit last april and signed up for the MSF course (a 3 month wait ). Found my bike-2003 F650 Dakar in June, took the class at the end of July and have put close to 5000 miles on it so far.

As others have said, if I had done this 15 years ago I probably would have bought a crotch rocket and no ATGATT and might not be typing this right now.

No other bikes unless you count the moped I rode for 2 years before I got my auto license..and a couple spins on a friends beat up RM80 in high school.

My only regret for waiting so long is now, with a wife and 2 daughters, I don't have the time to take any trips on the bike so it's mainly for commuting.
'03 F650GS Dakar-SOLD
2012 JKU Rubicon
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