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Old 08-16-2013, 02:01 AM   #31
Pantah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majorhavoc View Post

Me: Yeah, but -

PM: We got a 4000' dirt airstrip out back. Why don't you run through the gears for a few minutes and then get started; you're gonna be at this for at least a week. Oh yeah, if you're in tall grass, stay on the bike, because that's where the puff adders are. The cobras will get out of your way if you're walkin' but the puff adders will just lay there and strike.

Me: But the whole 400 square miles is all grassland.....

PM: Try to be back before it gets dark!


Great story. Pretty much the same for me except for the critters part.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:15 AM   #32
One Fat Roach
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I wanted a scooter for a long time. But being a fat kid I gave a second thought and went with a motorcycle. I just bought one after saving up. Rode it from the guys house to a near y parking lot, practicing clutching, braking, turning. Headed to my house and it died halfway there. Had to rent a uhaul to get it home hahah. Spent a few days around my neighborhood practicing before it finally crapped out on me for good. 85 750 Vulcan. Ended up getting an 1980 XL250 later on, practiced some more and then took the Intermediate Riders Course from MSF. Gained a TON of confidence after that.

Then I got hit riding home one night. Learned about riding gear and its advantages after the fact. Walked away sore and with skim missing from my hands and elbow. Didn't scare me from riding but I got VERY lucky and changed everything after that.
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:11 AM   #33
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In the 1990's.

I was 12 and a friend had a yamaha 50 frame and another friends uncle had a Honda 50 engine.

Jimmyrigged the engine in. Connected the throttle cable to the front brake as it had no throttle twister on it. Didn't bother with the front brake, it had a back one after all.

Exhaust pipe was held near the exhaust port by string and baling wife and one chain tensioner was missing so there was a small vice grip holding the axle straight on the chain side.

We used to take turns blasting around country roads on that heap, and stretch cable on the blind side of bends to catch the unwary and lift them off the bike as they went. . .

No helmets and I can't remember anybody even getting a decent scratch!
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:00 AM   #34
jules083
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For my 14th birthday dad bought me a new rm125. He rode it for about 5 minutes then stopped and let me on. Zero instruction, just have at it.

When I was 16 he let me take his sportster for a few rides. No permit, no instructions, no helmet. Jeans, t shirt, and sunglasses.

At 17 he co-signed for my first bike. I made just enough money to afford the payment and gas, I think it was another year at least before I bought my first helmet. Used to ride with just sunglasses, and when it was cold I'd throw on a carhartt I bought from goodwill. Rode home many nights freezing cold and half blind because I didn't have clear glasses or proper warm gear.

I think I'm pretty lucky to have made it through my first few years of riding. Wear full gear now at least.

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Old 08-16-2013, 05:33 AM   #35
Jim Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majorhavoc View Post
Me: 19 year old, snotty-nosed spoiled college brat who in the mid 1980's found himself volunteering for Lutheran World Relief on a rural development project in northern Kenya.

Project manager: We got 400 square miles of grassland, kid. We need you to do a livestock census and tell us how many sheep, goats and camels are grazing this highland reserve. Here's a map, a compass, a pair of binoculars and an off-road motorcycle. Stay away from the ravines around dusk because that's when the lions come out to hunt.

Me: Great! Just one problem; I don't know how to ride a motorcycle.

PM: Do you know how to ride a bike, kid?

Me: Yeah, well sure ......

PM: Same damn thing. Here's your throttle, that's your clutch and the brakes are here and here. See that little foot lever? That's your shifter. One down is 1st, then one click up is 2nd, then 3rd, 4th and 5th. Neutral is between 1st and 2nd.

Me: Yeah, but -

PM: We got a 4000' dirt airstrip out back. Why don't you run through the gears for a few minutes and then get started; you're gonna be at this for at least a week. Oh yeah, if you're in tall grass, stay on the bike, because that's where the puff adders are. The cobras will get out of your way if you're walkin' but the puff adders will just lay there and strike.

Me: But the whole 400 square miles is all grassland.....

PM: Try to be back before it gets dark!
Great story!
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:46 AM   #36
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bought a Honda XL-100 and rode it to high school as a sophomore, my dad helped with some basic training, bought my first dirt bike, a Yamaha YZ-125 back in the late 70s and raced motocross with my brother in South Texas.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:13 AM   #37
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When I was about 3 my dad would take me out on his KLR650, put me on the gas tank and had me hold onto the handlebars, he didn't go any faster than 10 miles per hour, but would gas it a bit over the speed bumps. I learned how to ride a bicycle when I was 7. I got an electric mini bike a few years later(sold it), 110cc put bike(My mom bought a set for my nephew and I) when I was 13, then my dad taught me how to ride on a crf230l he bought, he had me doubling him for a decent section of it until I got the hang of it. Then, my and my nephew's pit bikes were stolen. So, I used the insurance to buy a beat up(Fork seals blown, air filter all rotted out, tires dry rotted out, plastics were faded, then re-painted, they didn't even use the right color of orange) 2002 KTM 125 from a pawn shop. Fixed it up, and that's were I am now.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:21 AM   #38
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Dad has owned motorcycles since I was born and I would ride with him all the time.

First something with engine that I had was a go-ped at the age of 12 and then worked my way up riding small dirt bikes in a farm that we had outside the city. Dad would not let me actually own a motorcycle to drive on the street but when I turned 18 and came to the U.S for college I bought myself a KTM 400 EXC which I rode in both trail and to go to class. Then I switched to a Triumph speed four which I still own and wanting to buy and adventure bike for long trips and light off-road.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:05 AM   #39
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I never learned to ride, I just started getting better at not crashing...
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:56 AM   #40
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my first bike was a briggs and stratton powered minibike when I was 6. Then when I was 9 my dad bought me a Honda Z50, then an XR75, then an XR80 and XR100. I bought my first bike when I was 13 with money that I made washing dishes at a local restaurant; a new 1982 Honda CR80R. A couple years later that was traded off on a used 1982 RM250Z and 36 bikes later, here I am. I've raced offroad since 1984 on and off with a 15 year stint from about 1995 - 2010.

I recently purchased a touring bike and was thinking that ignorance is bliss; there is no way I'd start out on the street today without all those years of dirtbiking experience...

Dave
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:59 AM   #41
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at 19 I bought a KE 175 off a friend and tried teaching myself on a busy city street. No driver's license and no previous experience other than having an Evel Knievel stunt cycle when I was 10.

Several wheelies and front brake locks later, I put the bike in storage and then sold it to someone else.

When I was 20, I took Quebec's mandatory motorcycle training, which at the time involved 8 hours of classroom and four days of practical. Did the whole course on a virago 250 and did the licensing test on a school goldwing
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #42
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My dad bought my brother and me a mini bike for Christmas around 1978. It didn't run so we tore down the engine and fixed it. Rode it for two years and moved on up to dirt bikes. Bought my first road bike in 1990 out in Hawai'i while I was in the Navy and have had one ever since.

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Old 08-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #43
aferiksson
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I'm still learning :) In the 80's I did some completely illegal dirt bike riding, and a for some recent years I commuted to work on a 50 cc Aprilia Scarabe. Only this fall I've started the process to actually get a drivers license, and so far I've taken lessons on an airfield basically learning how to do emergency braking, countersteering, swiveling and other necessities - all this on a Honda Hornet with more effect than my little Toyota cage :)

Hope to soon get my learning permit which allows me to train in traffic as well, but as I have sleep apnea I had to see a doctor first, and the bureaucracy takes some time. I might still be able to get my license this season if it doesn't take too long.

IMO the training on the airfield riding around the cones and such is quite useful - I really hate the extremely slow driving I have to learn as well though ...
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:35 AM   #44
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At age four my parents got me a Honda Z50. I test rode a Yamaha PW50 and ran striaght into a tree and I have decided frome there on the 2-Strokes were not my thing. I have pretty much have had every XR to stair step me up into my 250 that I have now since then.
My first street bike was the 71' XS650 that I still have. Me and dad restored the bike from boxes. It was a great street bike to learn on because once I got a bike with electric start and disc brakes I thought I was in heaven. I dont complain much about my bikes because learning how to ride street on a bike from 71' is a bit like learning how to play basketball in wooden clogs Even after all of the modern bikes I have owned and ridden the XS is still my favorite bike to ride.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #45
SilkMoneyLove
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I was 9

At 9, my grandfather got the old Honda CT70 that my cousins had trashed and we rebuilt it. That is how I learned what tool is which and which side of the hammer to use with the correct words for a stuck part ;-)
I mowed my parents yard (4 acres) to earn money to pay for rebuild parts (Gramps only charged me for parts - who knows the hours he put in when I wasn't around?). This taught me 2 things. 1) Parts are expensive, so take care of your stuff and 2) Never buy a yard with 4 acres unless you plan to farm. It is just stupid to waste time mowing a lawn that size, so stupid that you will pay someone else to do it.

Anyhow, we got it together when I was 10 and he showed me the brakes first, then the throttle. After that and doing loops in the yard, we did clutch and I was off...when I turned 18 and was living on my own, I got my license and have been riding for 20 years now on the street.

Now my daughter is almost 8, rides in the steel sidecar with a much better helmet than the old Bell I had and my Mom gets nervous...
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