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Old 09-23-2008, 05:20 PM   #196
Bring da amber lamps
SwitchThrottle's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Canitaxityet (the un-constitution state)
Oddometer: 1,054
I rode dirt bikes as a kid. I started riding street at 31, and riding dirt again a year after that. Does that count?
2008 Husky sm450r (13k+ miles)
2003 Honda xr400r (street titled) For sale, but not posted anywhere.

Riding a motorcycle is fun. Riding a supermoto is inexplicable.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:20 PM   #197
The G
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: The Region
Oddometer: 38
1. WTF were you thinking?
Thought it would be cool to take the Abate/MSF class just to learn how to ride. *Then* decide if I wanted a bike. Well, I dumped it in the class but still passed with almost a perfect score on both the written and riding parts. So for you noobs like me, dont give up.

2. What was your first bike?

82 Honda Nighthawk 450
So far I have ridden about 1k miles.

3. How do you feel about starting so late?

Earlier would have been fun, I'm OK with it at 36. I think I am a more alert driver/rider now that I am older. Plus I dont speed as much because I have a 69 Chevelle for that.

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?

Still on 1st bike.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:19 AM   #198
Joined: May 2007
Location: Tewksbury, MA
Oddometer: 2
1. Took the MSF course in 99 at age 53; haven't stopped riding since.

2. What was your first bike? -> Kawasaki Vulcan 500

3. How do you feel about starting so late? -> So wish I had started when I was a toddler :) and learned on dirt. But better late than never !

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru? -> Yamaha Virago 1100 -> HD Low Rider -> BMW F650GS

How did I get into biking so late? I was telling a male friend about the memories I had of riding on the back of my uncle's bike when he took it out, and how much I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this uncle died young, and I never had an opportunity to repeat the experience. No one else in the family rode bikes. So that was basically the end of that.

My friend asked me "So, what do you ride now?" I was baffled... "what do mean?" I asked him. "Well, since you seem to have enjoyed the riding so much, you must be riding your own by now" was his response. I couldn't believe my ears.... women were actually riding? and not just sitting in the back?!?!

His advice was to go to a dealer and sit on one of the bikes, and take it from there. And I just did that. The closest dealer was a HD dealer who advised me to take the MSF riding course first. Back home, I immediately signed on for the course. As failing was NOT going to an option, I passed. I purchased the Vulcan the following week and have been riding since then. In 2000, with a group of friends, I rode the bike to a bike rally in Ohio. I got hooked on multi-day riding trips. The following year, I did a solo trip to Canada, followed by more solo trips to Texas, Nova Scotia, and the Black Hills.

In 2007 I bought a BMW650GS. During one of my "learning to ride on dirt" sessions, I had a bad accident resulting in multiple bone fractures in my left foot. That took care of the summer, but in September that year I started riding the beemer again and finished the season riding in the Shenandoah Valley. This year included a first motorcycle/camping trip. I love it, and am now planning a longer motorcycle/camping trip next year.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:05 AM   #199
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Columbus Ohio
Oddometer: 299
1. I'll try & make this short…I grew up in a semi-rural area neighboring several of my classmates from elementary through high school. Gradually, 4 of my friends obtained dirtbikes and rode them in their backyards every day. (we had 18 acres & my neighbors had smaller, but still sizeable yards). I had always lusted after having a motorized 2-wheeler of my own, but my parents vetoed it & I was forced to slowly go insane watching everyone I knew race around on tiny motocross tracks for 10 years. There was even a full-sized motocross track within a mile where everyone at my school raced. It was maddening. I graduated HS, and kinda suppressed my desire to ride when I discovered sex, drugs and rock & roll.

Shortly before my 30th birthday, I started to have (literal) dreams of riding a motorcycle…but I had never really done so and I couldn't shift or turn and everyone flew past me. I started to wake up pissed off and frustrated, just as I did back in school. When I turned 30, I realize that my plan of dying from an overdose (and thus never having to get old) was not going to work out, and I was going to be around for awhile & should pursue my passions that I could enjoy for the rest of my life.

At 30, I got my first full-time job, an upright bass (figured I would be pretty good at it by the time I turned 50) and a 1982 GS450E that I discovered in a friend's garage. My parents were kinda bummed as not only had their plan to keep me off of a motorcycle not worked, it kind of backfired…if they had let me race as a kid, I would probably be much more experienced and safer than some kind of reborn 30 year-old. It was everything I ever wanted though, and for me riding is still an emotional experience at times, especially when I head out to the country and ride the back roads where I used to ride my bmx bike as a kid.

2. 3. wow, I guess I already answered these in that first couple of paragraphs. I'll just say that riding a motorcycle now makes me incredibly happy that I never went over the edge as a kid. When I am in my darkest moments of depression, it alone can be the reminder of the fun and pure joy one can experience, and that maybe I should stick around for another day, and another ride. I wish I had started riding sooner, but at least I started when I did.

4. Predictably, as many people in their "lost youth" stage do, I went out and got the bikes I should have had back when I was a kid. A 1972 suzuki TC125, then a 1982 Honda CR80. I would have roosted all those guys with that thing! Now I take it out to my parents' back yard and it's like a time machine. My main ride now is a 2001 SV650S…got it after the 450 stopped being reliable and started acting weird. I still have it though…I know better than to get rid of that bike that turned my life around.
They wouldn't be so cocky if they knew what me and the moon have going
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:31 AM   #200
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Formerly Shoreview, MN
Oddometer: 2,290
1. Starting riding at age 38 (almost 2 years ago) with the safety course and never owned a bike in my life. Road some mini-bikes as a kid but that was it. A longer commute got me interested in a bike but I needed space for camera gear... sooo....

2. My first bike was an '02 Ural Tourist. Tons of charm and lots of conversation and regret selling it... sort of. Did I mention it was a money pit?

3. Actually glad I started riding when I did. I have a family now and know I'm not invincible so I take riding safe serious. ATGATT and such. Try to set a good example for my 10 year old boys who, to mom's dismay, will probably want to ride when they get to be sixteen. If I had place for them to ride small dirt bikes I'd get them going now.

4. While still owning the Ural I picked up an '02 Honda Silverwing Hack set up. This was a really nice combo and rode great on the highway. Thin frame design eventually caused a sidecar mounting failure and the maxi-scooter and matching sidecar went to new homes. I'm now commuting with an '81 Honda CB900 C. It's been a learning experience riding this big bike complete with fairing and bags. As for next year, I'd like to put a tub on the CB or find another used Ural and pick up a used Vstrom for solo riding.

Scott in Shoreview, MN
'81 CB900 C
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:55 PM   #201
Joined: Jul 2008
Oddometer: 3
First post here. But this seems like the best thread to toss my hat into the ring. I started riding 3 months ago at age 34. I've always wanted a bike but riding pillion on the back of a friends speed triple definitely set the course. However it still took 2 years after that to finally sign up for the MSF course and complete the journey. I think one day I just had it and decided that I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I was waiting for....

Right now i'm still on my first bike. A 1975 Honda CB400f SuperSport. It is a blast to ride and the prior owner took great care of it.. I have my eye out for my second bike already. Something a bit newer with more modern brakes:) No matter what I get though I'm not selling my first bike. It's a keeper.

This forum has been just plain awesome. I can't even wrap my mind around how much info is here.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:14 PM   #202
Seldom Sapient...
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Southern Oregon
Oddometer: 10
At the tender age of 35

Several months ago I started talking to some friends about their motorcycles and the trips they where making on them. I started looking around on the Internet for bikes, actually not really knowing what exactly I was looking for. Well, I knew I wanted a dual-sport, and at the time, for the right price, I would have bought anything...

So, here's my info.

1. I started riding at the tender age of 35. I've never been on a motorcycle before and to be honest I never ever thought I would ever be caught dead on one. Now, I hope they bury me with it...

2. My first bike is a 2003 BMW Dakar. I purchased this bike site unseen from a gentleman riding the TransAmerican Trail. Once the bike arrived in Port Orford, Oregon, I purchased the bike, threw it in the back of the truck and headed home.

3. Starting late has put the fear of God into me at every ride. Respect the bike, respect it!!!!

4. I have just gotten my license and will probably stick with this bike until I'm comfortable with the ride, then perhaps the latest and greatest BMW. Only time will tell!!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:17 PM   #203
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: North Vancouver, BC (right beside the forest)
Oddometer: 991
I'm in... I started when I was 36, I'll be 40 this year.

1. WTF were you thinking?
Well, let's see... hmmm.... back when I was in university, a group of us planned "the trip of a lifetime", we'd all get bikes, a beater van and trailer. We'd take turns driving the van shuttling our gear to the next stop. Then life took over and no one got bikes and we all went our separate ways. Fast forward to mid-2005, I was 36 and talking to a new friend who had a bike and just got his license at 41. The dreams returned, I took a safe riding course (10 hours classroom, 10 hours parking lot, 10 hours on the road). Got my full license and bought a bike the next day (I was only looking for a helmet, honest)!

2. What was your first bike?


3. How do you feel about starting so late?

I think that I picked up the basics and a better attitude much faster than if I'd started when I was 18. I'd already driven many cars and trucks and racked up >500,000 kms; I'd also had to take safe driving courses to drive company cars, so taking a safe riding course was a logical start. I try to ride safely and be alert on the road, I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone. My wife was surprisingly supportive and encourages me to ride locally as well as travel with friends, she's not the least bit interested in riding either pillion or on her own. I think that I'm way more responsible having started later than if I'd started even in my early 20s.

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?

DRZ after 7000 kms and a couple of multi-day trips it was time to move on to a 2007 DL650
Current - Wee strom K7
Previous - DRZ400SK4
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:33 PM   #204
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Way Northern Baja
Oddometer: 110
I grew up when SoCal still had some open space. First riding bicycles in the dirt then begging rides on friends' mini-bikes, we were all crazy for dirt bikes. I got the MiniTrail 50 in seventh grade. Riding it was my favorite thing, I ran home from school every day to take it out in the dirt. Weekends riding the MiniTrail was the thing, all day, whenever possible. Moved up to a TM125 then space started getting closed up and there was nowhere to ride. Fast forward 35 years. Bought my first street bike, the Versys, at 51. WTF? Reduce emissions, split lanes, have fun. I'm glad to be back. The Versys is for sale and I hope to get a GS.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:35 PM   #205
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2008
Oddometer: 504
This is for anyone who started riding after age 30.

I'll phrase the first question in my Mom's exact words, "WTF were you thinking?" (5 years later her opinion hasn't changed)

That I'd save gas (64 miles commuting, daily) and scratch an itch I've had for years.

2. What was your first bike?

Yamaha XJ750, touring trim

3. How do you feel about starting so late?

Wish I'd started earlier, but not too early. If I'd had a bike while in my 20's I'm sure I'd have died back then- too headstrong and hot tempered.

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?

Looking at Dual Sports. I'd like to ride with my son (and maybe my daughter) when he gets older, and believe that motorcycling may be a thing that will help us with parent/kid stuff during those "troublesome" years.

I started this year, as a 46 y.o. took the BRC and bought a bike (not exactly in that order). Before that I've always taken to things with two wheels, mostly bikes- Mountain biking and bike commuting) but spent several days on scooters in Taiwan, and did the minibike thing as a teen. There is a body sense thing that bikes and motorcycles share, I believe, and that helps. The most important thing for me, however, is learning how to relax. If I get anxious and tighten up I start to make mistakes.

changingground screwed with this post 09-26-2008 at 12:40 PM
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:03 AM   #206
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: chicagoland
Oddometer: 1,289
Originally Posted by Franke
1. Took the MSF course in 99 at age 53; haven't stopped riding since. ...
I luv all these stories and this quoted post especially.

I dont remember learning to walk. I dont know anybody that has that memory. But watching a little kid struggling to do it facinates me. There come a moment when the kid gets clear across the living room or other large space and it all gells for the kid. The kid will forevermore be on his way.

I can remember learning to ride a bicycle. It was a real struggle for me. All the other kids could ride and I just wasnt getting the hang of it. (Years later, I could so empathize with Calvin of 'Calvin&Hobbes thinking that his bicycle was trying to kill him.) I can remember that very moment when "I got it". The resulting experience of glory has never been exceeded since. At that moment, I no longer cared that others could ride and that I could now join them. I, me, myself, was on my way.

Sometime later, (age 9?) I talked a kid on a cushman scooter into giving me a ride. I got to stand on the floorboard in front of him holding on to the middle of the bars. It felt like nothing else and I knew that I would ride a powered bike someday. The word Epiphony became real for me.

Waiting, planning, striving for the moment that I would have my own bike was the longest and most aggravating period of my life. I figured that I would be an adult with a job and moved far away from the parental reach before ever getting a bike. I couldnt understand how other kids got bikes and parents that allowed it? When I told my parents that I wanted a motorcycle, they acted like they were gut shot. I shoulda kept my mouth shut. Life got tougher after that.

To shorten the story up, I managed to get a street plated, insured, legal bike when I was 17. Life had become worth living. And the stories just got better and better as the miles accumulated.

Welcome, all y'all, to the adventure. Glad to see that you got here. Aint we got fun?
"beware the grease mud. for therein lies the skid demon."-memory from an old Honda safety pamphlet
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:06 AM   #207
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2007
Location: nw conn.
Oddometer: 888
Started riding at 32. 1st bike was a 94 dr350se(the white elephant). I rode with guys who had quads.I was the only guy on a bike,I crashed every 5 feet.I had on idea it is easier when you stand up. Well, 3 years later now now ride a KTM400exc(which I love). All the guys that used to be on quads,well I will let them tell you since they are all members here now. I have to say I had fun on my quad but nothing beats a plated bike for riding.It opens up alot more riding for you. Plus, when you come upon a tough part of trail and ride it with out dabbing a foot,its a great feeling.
2012 BMW F800GS

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Old 09-27-2008, 07:25 AM   #208
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Oddometer: 469
In 1980, at the tender age of 40, the prospect of fame and fortune lured me from the Beltsville labs to downtown DC. After a few months of Metro delays and increasing fares, I entered numbers into Quickcalc and convinced my wife that a motorcycle was a sound investment. I had commuted to the labs via bicycle for years.

2. What was your first bike?
Brand new 1980 Suzuki GS 450E. Given away after 63K miles and the second spark box died.

3. How do you feel about starting so late?
No problemo

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
A 1985 Honda VF700S (Sabre) in 1993 (had 6000 miles, now 82K)
A 1983 Honda VF750F ('Ceptor) basket case bah-gan for fun.
A 1996 Honda ST1100 for long distance touring (100+K)
A 1988 Honda NX650 (WTF was I thinkin?)
Still have all four running

Carl in Bethesda
Honda V-4s 83-96, and a NX650
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:56 AM   #209
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: indiana
Oddometer: 18
32 years old now and I am tired of talking about getting a bike. I am going to be taking the safety course here soon and then getting my bike. I could not be more excited about the prospect of riding!

"WTF were you thinking?" (5 years later her opinion hasn't changed) - I am thinking that I want to get out there and stop thinking about riding. Plus, gas is stupid expensive now!

2. What was your first bike? - It's going to be a Qlink XF200

3. How do you feel about starting so late? - I wish I would have started before now, but better now than later I guess.

I play in a band. Check that out here.

Ride hard. Have fun. Smash stuff.
Freedom Through Vigilance
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:13 AM   #210
people suck
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: middle TN
Oddometer: 290
1. WTF were you thinking?
43 yrs old when I started last year, always loved mechanical things, if not now, when???

2. What was your first bike? Honda Rebel 250

3. How do you feel about starting so late? Harder to master than I expected. Goal is not to jump on and ride (as it may have been if I was younger), but to do so with proficiency and safety. I see the value of that now.

4. What bikes have you progressed to / thru?
In my first year I've been fortunate to ride a number of bikes. Ditched the Rebel for a Shadow 750 and have put 8,000 miles on it the first year. Also rode:
Suzuki V-Strom 650
Suzuki SV650
Honda CBR600F4
HD Sportster 1200
Suzuki Bandit 600
May be one or two I've left out. In short, I'll ride anything I can get my hands on, just to add it to the list.

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