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Was there a point in your life when you had no interest in motorcycles and...


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I didn't really ride a motorcycle (besides a Trail 70 or something similar probably 20 years ago) until last June. I took MSF with a friend who wanted a bike. I just sorta needed something at the time. Probably something to do with my wife taking off...


(Oddly enough, my friend still really wants a bike and yet his wife won't let him get one.)

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That's easy.....


911 killed my interest in everything other than survival.(in a financial sense)


It took a couple years before I even looked at or thought about my bike. Then business got better. We lowered our living expenses. Dusted off the bike, went to Colorado, bought a 2005 RT, joined this board, the rest, as they say, is history. Without the business turn around that took a few years, I would never have looked at my bike again.



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There was a, pretty much, linear relationship between my age, and my interest in motorcycles.


It wasn't until my second year in college that I seriously considered riding.


My first 'lust' was for a R100RS. I almost had Dad talked into letting me buy one when good old Mom put the kibosh on the whole attempt tongue.gif


To this day, I still have a real hankerin' for a R100RS.

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Motorcycle was stolen when I was 18, getting ready to head back to the US.


Never touched a bike for 22 years.


On my 40th birthday, I bought one because I wanted it.


So, yeah, I took a 22 year break from them.

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I rode friends dirt bikes from age 13-16. Then got my license and pretty much forgot about bikes for 15 years when it hit me that I really wanted to ride again. I then bought my first bike in June 1989 ('83 Yamaha Maxim 750) and 4 months later moved to California. So essentially all of my street riding has taken place in California. This while growing up in Va. 1 hour from the BRP and Skyline Drive and living in N.C. for 12 years (Charlotte, Boone, and Raleigh). Getting back into riding is one of the best hobbies I have ever taken up. I have met lifelong friends and seen fantastic and beautiful places on my motorcycle. It's all good!!

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Interesting question. Used to do distance running and some other endurance things but had a hip replaced and that crimped my usual adventure. Next, a friend who was nearing 60 told me that he figured he had 10 more years to do what he wanted since by 70, the health factor is likely to put a kabosh on most physical endeavors -- a very sobering thought since he was just a bit older than me. Finally, I wanted to slow down my life and, once and for all, be fully present in the moment -- this moment and on a bike I can find that space and that place. My dad used to say that the teacher will appear only when the student is ready and I think he was right. I only wish this student had not taken so long to get ready.

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My story is kind of ass backwards.


Started buying bikes at age 20 or so. Aquired 5 at that point all different kinds of hard to start and keep running types without starters.

Then I bought a sport bike. 23 years old. Not a squid and always geared up cause I really did know better. 2 dumps my fault 1 dump by a car and I pretty much couldn't afford it any more and I just kind of stopped.


I kept everything and even aquired a few more bikes but I didn't ride for 10 years! Met my wife. Life is good. Bought 4 more bikes brought them back from the grave and started riding my sr500 around. Again another hard to start bike!

Lori didn't like the idea one bit but I got her interested in riding when see saw how much joy it brings me. Got her geared up and took her out on the sr. She liked it!


So all my bikes are death traps and I got a girl that will ride so I got to come up with a plan quick!!!


BMW RT clap.gif


The rest is history, see you on the road!thumbsup.gifclap.gif

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Had three bikes, Hondas, in succession. And at some point during the ownership of each one, I manage to drop each in loose gravel. The third time as I sat along side the road picking stones out of my knees, elbows and other bodily parts I finally realized that I needed to do something else for fun.


Like have kids. They came. The bike went.


After they grew up I got back into biking and that's one of my current interests. But it might also change.. smirk.gif

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I was twelve in 1962 and my friend Alan on he next farm across the dirt road found an old Excelsior 2 stroke british motorcycle at the back of his dad's farm shed.


To this day I have no idea what vintage bike that was but it looked mighty old back then. We got it running and rode it around that farm with a ferret box on the back rack we made up. We sold rabbit skins for pocket money.


When I was sixteen, I got my first job in the closest town, 19 miles away and bought a Honda 90 sport. I've had bikes ever since.


The poster above me a few, said he thought he was sick because he thougt of nothing else but riding motorcycles. I'm exactly the same. I'm now 57 and I'm sure if I last that long it will be the same at 67 and hopefully, 77...


I dread the day that I'll have to sell my last bike...


Linz smile.gif

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I rode between the ages of 16 and 30. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that there was an active conspiracy to kill me, so I sold the Gold Wing and never looked back. Anytime anyone brought up the topic, I would respond with the 'danger' speech.


...until last summer.


I got the bug during a business trip through Asia. I become reacquainted with the utility of motorcycles while watching a family of four share a Honda 350 (or something like it) on the streets of Mumbai. A few days later, I was stuck in Shanghai traffic and said to myself 'if I lived here, I would ride a motorcycle'. On the long trip home, I realized that if I could ride a bike around Shanghai for transportation, I sure as hell could ride one around Minneapolis. Within a month I was sportin' a Ulysses for my daily commute. The commuting transformed into a desire to get back on the highway, and by June of this year I was riding home a new RT.


And here I am.

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I started riding my friends dirt bike at 12....I got one with some begging grin.gif Since then I have had one or two in the barn...I did get a hot idea in the 80's to sell my GW...that lasted ohhhhh...about 6 months. Everytime I saw a beauty next to me in the street my little teeny brain reverted back to my fun times...so here we are, all grown up and 19 bikes later! Nothing will change my mind except for senility......where did I put my keys???? dopeslap.gif

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Yeah, there was that time when I had the flu and felt like death and threw up a lot and was planning who could have my stuff when I passed away. Then I got over it and came to my senses.

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Prior to 1990, I had a wife who hated motorcycles and so I never considered owning one. When that marriage was over, some doors closed and others opened. I started dating a woman who had a brother-in-law who rode Goldwings and went on long trips on his bikes. I was intrigued, bought my own Goldwing (an 825 lb. starter bike tongue.gif ), and loved it (did over 100,000 miles on two Goldwings). In '02, the Goldwing sat in the garage for months unused and I figured I must sell it and give up motorcycling or get a bike that was more exciting. I bought an RT and have been a happy biker ever since. grin.gif

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Rode constantly from late 60s to early 80s and then swapped bikes for Austin Healeys. Sold the last one of those in the mid 90s and moped for a while until my bride, who knows me very very well, told me to get a bike. Said it was cheaper than a blonde.


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That goes back a long way. I always had an interest in bicycles from as young as I was able to ride one, maybe 4-5 years old. My interest in motorcycles started when the noise of the cardboard piece in the spokes of the bicycle wasn't good enough anymore. And the fact that I could not afford a car at that age. Plus it was more fun to ride a moped to work than taking the bus. And so it went. My first car had a m/cycle engine, a BMW Isetta with a 300cc single cyl. engine. Over the next 50 years I had times when m/cycles were not front and centre, had other interests that occupied my time then. Gave it up once for good, so I thought. Got back into it soon after. Am not a hardcore rider, no iron-butt for sure, even though my butt feels like that most of the time. Still enjoy riding but get bored if it is just aimless cruising. Need a purpose, some friends to go along, otherwise the RT just sits in my garage and is waiting for me to put on more farkles.

Ride safely.



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Like many others, motorcycles were a thing of my youth, and then a thing of me getting older.... tongue.gif


I am a car freak, aviation freak, whatever... engine freak too I guess....

First 'motorcycle' was the Berini of my grandma, that would do 25 km/h max.... I souped it up to 45 km/h!

Next was a real Solex, that would do some 50 km/h.

And then I bought a Batavus that would do 80 km/h )of the 40 allowed).

At the time I raced the thing on our twisty dikes... grin.gifgrin.gif One did not need lessons or a license in those days yet.


At the same time I also had gotten into 'karting' and as soon as I could I turned to car racing, forgetting about the motors.


Didn't pick riding up again until I was 50, had to take my lessons and get a proper license... bought my RT.... and here I am too ! thumbsup.gif


Basically I ride because I cannot to afford flying..... there!

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i sold my house and much of my hobby stuff including the motorcycle to start law school at the ripe old age of 34. money was not around for extras. i thought at the time i would be able to just let it go. in my final year, i got to thinking about it and decided i would see if i could find one for under $500 that i could fix up. i saw an ad for an 82 yamaha seca 650 for $600 that i bought for $500. i wanted one badly when they first came out, but they were far overpriced at the time. after $300 for carbs, a battery, tires and fork seals, it served me well for a few years until i got my 84 RS in 1998 and it has been bmw's (and a harley) ever since.


tom collins

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Joe Frickin' Friday
...had no interest in learning about them and learning to ride? If so, what and/or who changed your mind?


I got my motorcycle endorsement just after finishing high school ('88). Rode my dad's bike casually for maybe a couple thousand miles in the couple of seasons after that. I was a skilled bicycle rider and pretty attentive, so I never really had any "oh-sh!t" moments that I can recall. Once my dad sold his bike (maybe in '90 or '91?), I didn't do any street riding for a long time, though in grad school (mid and late '90's) I did help some friends build courses for observed trials riding club events, and I had a couple of off-road misadventures on a borrowed YZ-250 blush.gif. But I had no particular interest in owning a motorcycle or doing any street riding.


Fast forward to August '98, at a graduation party/picnic for a friend. Our lab manager showed up on his antique Triumph (I think it was a Bonneville). On a lark, I asked if I could take it around the block, and was quite surprised when he said yes. It was hardly a sporting ride: an unfamiliar low-performance bike, and me in a T-shirt, shorts and sandals. A short ride left me...interested. Not exactly impassioned, but, um, awakened.


The next day I was browsing the web with another friend who rode. We were casually looking at various models of bikes. None of them really caught my eye until I saw this picture:




It's hard to explain, but I was simply awestruck. This was so different from any other bike I'd seen: the engine, the fairing, the shape, the color. Suddenly I was obsessed, looking for any info I could find - and the more I looked, the more I obsessed with it. Fuel injection? ABS?? An electrically adjustable windshield??? Heated grips???? This thing was awesome! Reviewers couldn't find anything wrong with it: great handling, comfort, performance, amenities, and so on.


I was due to leave school and start work in six months, and the RT was pretty much all I thought about during that time: I didn't have any experience with motorcycle touring or riding a big heavy bike like the RT, but I knew I was going to buy one as soon as I started work.


And so it happened. I started work on a Tuesday in February '99; exactly one week later I was sitting on an RT in a showroom, and six weeks after that, I was riding a brand new one home from the east coast.


My obsession grew from there. When I was setting up the insurance, USAA asked me to estimate how many miles I'd ride in a year. I guessed 3000. I ended up riding 9000 in my first season, with hardly any touring (one loop around Lake Michigan, and a couple of weekend trips from AA to Madison). By Christmas '99 I decided I wanted to ride to California the next season, and spent the winter finding the right gear and planning the route.


For the 2000 season I told USAA I would probably ride 9000 miles; it ended up being 15,000. grin.gif


I can't say that there's been a time since then when I have had no interest in riding, although my interests have changed somewhat. Whereas during the first few seasons I spent a lot of time exploring local roads, most of my mileage now seems to come from cross-country tours. I still go for day rides now and then, but the novelty has worn off, and just knowing about the twisties in faraway places like the Smokies has taken some of the lustre from local roads.


So where did it start? Either the ride on the Bonneville, or the first glimpse of the RT on the web the following day, or both. Finding the right bike was a huge thing: I was curious after riding the Bonneville, but I didn't "lock on" until I saw the RT, and I've never had any doubts or regrets since then.


Learning to ride:

I took the MSF course, courtesy of BMW, a few months after buying the bike. It was an interesting diversion, but I can't say I learned much that I didn't already know. I wasn't particularly inspired to learn more about how to ride until I tried to keep up with Pilgrim and David at the 4T back in 2002. Seeing what an RT was really capable of was an eye-opener, and I saw there was a lot of room for improvement on my part. I started learning a bit on my own, but it wasn't until I got some real feedback during a RidingSmart event in fall '04 that I was able to understand where I needed to improve. I'm still inconsistent, but nowadays I think about what I'm doing more than I did before the RS event.


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Prior to tragic high school car crash (Red Triumph TR 3, spun out and rolled it) no two wheelers for me: after DMV returned my license (12 month suspension yet no drugs/drinks nor "at fault" involved), the siren song of two wheeled motors found me with open ears.




btw, in my mind, the use of quotes when not attributing words to another implies doubt as to the veracity of the remark; when things go horribly wrong, some one should accept responsibility

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Started riding in the mid 70's after rolling the family 4 door Impala sedan as a teenager. Continued riding until '89 when the injuries from an accident in '85 (Toyota pickup (me) vs. bus, head to head) became too painful to continue. Sustituted with hard core off-road rock crawling through the '90s until once again regaining my senses and resuming riding on my '99 RT.

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It's hard to explain, but I was simply awestruck. This was so different from any other bike I'd seen: the engine, the fairing, the shape, the color.


While Starkist is interested in good tasting tunas, Tunas with good taste are more important to me.


Wooster with a glacier green metalic RT


btw, funny when I began riding ('68) Bonnevilles were the fastest bikes on the road.

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NO.....never lost interest..


I think I am sick...I think about riding and bikes at all times of the day... eek.gif

mbelectric, I don't think you are sick, I think your probably the 'sanest' person in this thread...

adj. san•er, san•est

1. Of sound mind; mentally healthy: "their protector, the strongest and sanest of them all" Pat Conroy.

2. Having or showing sound judgment; reasonable.


I started out on one of my father’s home-built motor scooters that he originally built for my older sister. She dared me to ride it one day and I could only get up on the seat by jumping! It had a little gasoline engine out of a clothes washing machine and was driven by fan belts from the engine pulley through a spring loaded tensioner and then to the rear wheel. I started it with the rope pull starter (as I had seen my sister do...) then I pushed it and released the belt tensioner to get it going while running along side, then jumped up on the seat and grabbed some throttle and I was OFF!!!!! Seems to my recollection she never rode that thing again. I think I was 6 or 7 at that time. My father built several more little scooters for me over the next few years until we decided to buy my first 'store bought' motorcycle, which was a 1966 Honda 160 Scrambler. This was also my first 'custom' project as it was finally disassembled and custom painted by me from the frame out. I then traded this for a used 1971 Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster, then sold that one for a new 1973 XLH electric start Sportster that eventually evolved into a show bike. Next was a trade of my Corvette for an all original 1965 FLH full dresser, then bought a new 1977 FX Superglide. This one got the full chopper treatment and ended up selling to the Hells Angles of England in 1991 when Maz Harris and Kong were over here on a shopping spree. I went without a motorcycle for 4 years then and that was all I could handle! I bought a used Harley-Davidson 1991 FLSTC Heritage Softail from the dealer in Alton, illinois and have been cruizin' on this one ever since. clap.gif





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This was my first "motorcycle".

The Artic Cat Mini Bike. The one I had had the clutch and sprocket on the left, not on the right.

I was about 10 or 11 when I got it. I had a picture of it pinned above my bed for 2 years before it just appeared one day.




I had taken the centrifugal clutch cover off to * inspect * and took it out for *spiritied run*.

I low sided it to the left, and the centrifugal clutch cut a huge crescent moon shape into my left calf.

Im looking at that nasty scar as I sit here, laughing now 38 years later. I was Screaming then - didnt know there was all that goo and gibbles inside a leg.


First bike, and first crash.




I've always loved 2-wheels. Always will.

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I got my drivers license in '69 and the following year I bought a 175cc Kawasaki street bike. Then a few cars, then a few bikes, and after a few years of kids and no bikes, the kids left home.



Shortly after we got married, my bride took up riding. We did some touring, and had a lot of fun before the kids came along.


20 years later, wifey says she'd be happy 2-up, and an R100RT came into our lives and we loved it. Followed by the current R1100RT that now has ~135,000 km on it.


Riding has become a big part of our lives. I expect to ride until I can't.

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I never had any interest in motorcycles, and I never knew anyone who rode one when I was in school. It continued this way for many years. Then one summer afternoon in 2002, a friend came over for a BBQ. He was on holidays, so I asked him what he was up to. His answer shocked me. He said that he had signed up for the riding course, and was going to buy a BMW when he finished -- an R1150GS, which meant nothing to me at the time. I told him he was crazy (he had never had any interest in bikes either). I asked what had come over him. He replied that he had been browsing the aisles in a bookstore a few weeks earlier, and had come across a book by Neil Peart entitled Ghost Rider. After reading it, he was inspired to take up riding. Over the next couple of weeks, I couldn't stop thinking about my friend's decision, and his story about Neil Peart's book. Finally I went out and bought it myself to see what the big deal was. Well, it so impressed me that I signed up for the last course of the year (first weekend of October). I too bought a BMW -- a 650GS, not an 1150. I should point out that I was 51 at the time this all transpired. I'm now on my third BMW in five years, though I think I'll keep this one for a while. I've discovered that I like riding long distances (my wife and I rode to LA and back this summer -- five weeks on the road -- and loved every minute of it (except perhaps for the FD failure, but that allowed us to explore Salt Lake City for a couple of days, something we'd never have done otherwise).


I guess the moral of the story is don't read Ghost Rider, unless you're intent on becoming a committed long-distance rider.

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I never did any riding as a kid, no dirtbiking, no quads nothin motorized, nor did I know anyone that did. At 15 I took my first ride on a the back of a motorcycle and the speed scared me pretty good. I never thought about bikes until I was 22 years old and my ex bought a bike out of the blue. I rode on the back as a passenger and then one day I saw a women ride up to a group of riders and everyone was like "wow, she is so fast, she is so hot, she is so rad." and I was like "Why am I on the back of this bike, I want my own." At 24 I got my riding licence and a year later I was finishing up with a race school. From there it has been a whirlwind of racing and coaching and look at me now...I live, breath, eat, sleep and work around motorcycles. Never had a break since then...probably won't.



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I was born in late 1954 and dad got a new Harley in 1955. Later that year he lost an argument with a 55 Ford while crossing a bridge. He survived, but the Harley didn't. Needless to say, the whole motorcycle thing intrigued me.


After getting out on my own I eventualy bought a bike, then another, then took a short break due to the kids arriving. Later I got back on two wheels for a few more years until I had a close call with a broken down pickup while riding my Harley.


Another break and I never missed the riding too much, or so I thought, until I saw an ad on the board for my current ride, the Hondamatic. Initialy I was going to turn it into a drag bike and not ride on the street. This is where the "I thought" part kicks in and I rediscovered the joy of riding. Who would have guessed?


Turns out, the wife had been missing the riding as well, so we have plans to buy a new BMW later next year and ride the wheels off of it.


Just like a drug, the addiction to ride is there. While I may have lied to myself and pretended I could do without it, that was not the case. Instead I have embraced the addiction and am making it work for me, and not against.

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i checked out your web site, you have definitely become that fast, cool, hot bike racer. very cool, keep it up.


tom collins


If you want to be put in your place, go ride with the Superbike School when Misti is on track. I can't tell you how many times I've been buzzing along, knee on the deck and feeling like I'm hot sh*t...only to have Misti fly by me like I sitting still...WHILE TURNED AROUND BACKWARDS watching another student. dopeslap.gif

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I've always been drawn to 2 wheels.


It all started around 9 years old and riding my buddies Bultacos and Hondas. Later on, it was on my Dad's CB360T Honda.


My Dad would regale me with his pictures and stories of life growing up in England where he had his motorcycles and the fun he had with them.


Fast forward and I'm 18 years old and out on my own while in the US Marine Corps. My buddy has an FZ600 and tosses me the keys. I'm done. Cooked. Finished.


Another buddy goes on deployment and leaves his brand new, less than 1000 miles on it, FZR-600 bike with me. When he came back, 6 months later, it had 19,000 miles on it! Don't worry, I bought it from him after that. All without ever leaving Southern California, where i was stationed.


Ended up becoming the base motorcycle safety instructor for El Toro and Tustin Marine Corps Air Stations.


Was constantly hanging around the motorcycle shop, got a second job with them. First, no pay. Just shop running. Moved up to busting tires and doing some oil and filter stuff.


Ended up going over to Vance & Hines motorcycle shop and hanging around them. Same story as above.


Then came time to get out of the Marine Corps. I was already racing as a privateer with Honda CBR600's and Yamaha FZR600's.


Vance & Hine's turned into my new full time employment along with teaching the MSF course at Cerrito's College. Became the Store Manager with Vance & Hine's.


Fast forward where I left Vance & Hine's and became an accident reconstructionist/investigator for a motorcycle specific attorney.


Went several years without a car. Rain or shine, it was the bike.


Finally went without a bike for about a year after the BMW K1200RS I had became a "tool" in a divorce.


Met my gorgeous bride Jamie (2bmwfan), took her on a ride and she was not impressed. She referred to motorcycles as "those" and had comments like, "You are one of THOSE biker type fools." "They're dangerous and I can't believe you ride them . . . . . " You know the type! lmao.giflmao.gif Now look at her! She owns one and makes comments to the effect of, "I can't believe I thought that way", and, "I think I'll plan a girls ride for the Spring"


There is something about motorcycles, motorcycling, and teh people associated with them. I can always find myself when I go ride. All the stress, worries, and life challenges melt away.


Motorcycling is such an emotional part of my life. It has been the single greatest element of my life for 31 of my 40 years of life. I hope it will always be that. I, too, can not imagine the day when I take off the ATGATT for the last time. I well up with emotion just typing it here.


To answer the question, No, there has never been a time in my life that motorcycling has not been an interest. Ever.

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Never - Interest started somewhere in childhood. My father was adament that I would never be permitted to own one while I lived under his roof. For a number of years we lived in a home that on top of a hill with a steep embankment at the end of our property into a wooded area. His threat was if I ever brought one home he would throw it over the hill. One of his older brothers had a few motorcycles before WW2 and for some reason my Dad was turned off to them. He liked cars alot, so it wasn't a mechanical thing.


At 19, I went to Okinawa with the Marines. Dad and the hill was a half of world away. So on the second day that I was there, I bought a 3-year old Honda 50cc at a pawn shop for $50. I spent two tours in Okinawa (about 26 months). Except for the last 3 or 4 months when I had a '49 Chevy convertable, I had some sort of two wheel vehicle - either a MC or Scooter.


I left Okinawa in the early fall of 1964 and did not own another motorcyle until 1992 when I bought a new Harley FLHS. Marriage, college, family, career, etc. kept me pretty busy during those years. But, I always thought about motorcycles. I was stationed in Santa Ana from 1968 to 70. At that time I used to go over to Irv Seaver's and take test rides on used bikes every few months.


I picked up my HD on a February Friday evening after dark. Since I only had a learner's permit, which restricted my riding to the hours between sunrise and sunset, I road straight home. By that Sunday evening I had added about 160 miles to it. I still remember thinking sometime Saturday morning during the first 20 miles how much I enjoyed it and telling myself I would never be without a bike again.


Almost 16 years later, that's still my plan. My wife and children know that unless something physically happens to me that will stop me from riding they will have to sell what ever bike(s) I own after I'm gone.

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Sold the last one of those in the mid 90s and moped for a while until my bride, who knows me very very well, told me to get a bike. Said it was cheaper than a blonde.


Smart bride. And the best reason to ride. A bike. wink.gif

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My story starts in 1966 at 16 (yes I’m old) when I convinced my parents I needed a motorcycle, a Yamaha Twin Jet 100. I actually got my feet wet riding rented 50cc or the really high powered 80cc bikes you could rent by the hour at many gas stations around the Milwaukee area back in the mid 60s. This was an ill-conceived “money maker” for the gas stations.


I had a few different bikes over the years and got the wanderlust. Getting married in 1975 didn’t slow me down; I bought a Suzuki GT 750 and the ex and I toured the US and Canada each summer for 5 years on the 750, a Suzuki GS 650, and finally a 78 Goldwing. We would put on 10-15K each summer, mostly camping along the way.


The change started on “The Trip from Hell”. Several things conspired to kill my interest in motorcycles, not the least of which was the Goldwing itself. It seemed like a natural for someone who was doing lots of touring, but it was a totally boring motorcycle with linked brakes which led to my only dump in those first 17 years of motorcycle ownership.


The second part of the “kill” was the trip that summer. It began with a ride in the rain all the way from deep south Texas to Wisconsin. It did actually rain all the way with the exception of 80 miles in Minnesota. The previously mentioned dump occurred on the Kansas Turnpike. I was exiting at Emporia and heading for the toll booth. It was early morning, still dark, and I really should have used more caution as the entry to the toll booth is sure to be coated with oil. Of course this isn’t much of a problem if you are using unlinked brakes. I was using my rear brake, admittedly coming in a little too fast, when I found myself sliding on my a** with the ex sliding behind. The front wheel went out so fast I was on the ground before I realized what had happened. Linked brakes suck. (Product designers and engineers: I want control. I don’t need your help, thank you very much. Rant over)


Leg two of this trip started with a ride across Iowa. Most of the first night of camping near Sioux City was spent huddled in the bathroom as severe storms flattened the tent. At about 2 PM we threw everything on top of the trailer we towed and found a motel to try and get some rest and get things dried out.


Later the next morning we were headed west across South Dakota with a 35 mph south wind buffeting us half way across the state. After a brief visit to Mission, SD on the Rosebud Indian Reservation (location of my first teaching job) we headed north on US 83. Traveling along the road we noticed several funnels clouds, two which touched down. One was still on the ground when we pulled into White River, SD. You can see for many miles in this area, and we watched and photographed the tornado for a while before the local law enforcement stopped and suggested where in town we might seek shelter. He warned us that there would be no warning siren; it had been disabled when a tornado passed through town the day before. eek.gif


The thought of sheltering ourselves, but leaving the bike to the elements didn’t sound good, so I carefully listened to the weather warnings on the only station you could pick up in that rather isolated area. There were more storms to the north, but they were still a little west. We took a chance, and running well over the speed limit, outran the approaching storms arriving in Murdo, SD. With information from another station, and a good view to the west, we decided to make a run to Sturgis where my former sister-in-law lived. We rode through the edge of a strong rain cell, but made it to Sturgis riding in the now much cooler air.


After a visit in Sturgis, we embarked on the next leg of the trip, a ride to Devil’s Tower. By this time, we should have suspected that there would be more adversity, and there was. Nearing Devil’s Tower we encountered cold driving rain that was bordering on sleet. Yes, sleet in July. Devil’s Tower was scrapped, and we decided to try for Gillette, WY. As we got closer to Gillette, the rain which had bordered on sleet became sleet. There was no where to stop, so we made a white knuckle ride into Gillette. We knew it was really cold, even for the hardy folks of Gillette…most people were wearing winter parkas.


The next day broke clear, but very cold. As experienced touring motorcyclist, we were ready for this and found it to be of little concern, but what followed was something I had never encountered before or since: grasshoppers, millions of grasshoppers on the road in Montana. About this time, I was wondering about biblical plagues…locust? The road was covered with them. They didn’t really pose any risk other than getting the cycle and my boots extremely “messy”. There was one humorous moment when we pulled in to a store, bug carcass cooking on the hot pipes and engine. A kid walks out of the store, gets a whiff of the roasted bugs and clueless as to the source of the smell says, “Um! Someone is barbequing!”


By this point in the trip, you’d think I would be discouraged, but alas, I trekked on, with Banff and Lake Louise as the next major destination. In Canada, but short of Banff, we were again met with cold driving rain. Stopping for the night at a motel I watched the local weather. It should come as no surprise to you at this point in the story, that rain was predicted for the next 4 or 5 days! So much for Banff. We stayed south in Canada crossing into Washington. The trip through Washington was actually pleasant. It turned out to be the only stretch that was. We headed into Oregon traveling on US 395 heading south. The plan was to cross into California on US 395 and head down to Reno, NV.


I guess it is foolish of me to assume you don’t already know what is going to happen, but here is nonetheless. Stopping for fuel just south of Lakeview, Oregon the guy at the gas station asked if we planned to continue south. He said it was snowing ahead across the border in California. I figured sure, a few flakes, nothing that could stop us so we continued. We didn’t make it to the California border before we were met by snow-covered cars and trucks heading north. This didn’t look promising. We stop at a small gas station to question a guy driving one of the snow-covered trucks. He said that they were struggling to keep the roads open when he came through. We turned around and headed back for Lakeview as it started to snow. The last miles into Lakeview were, shall we say…tense? Lakeview was now covered with about an inch of snow. Turning into the first motel with a vacancy sign resulted in a pucker factor of 11 on a scale of 1-10. I left five tracks in the snow…one for the cycle wheels, two for the trailer tires, and two for my feet which were now outriggers.


Before we signed in I asked if their heaters worked. With confirmation that the heaters were in working order I settled in. It was mid-afternoon. Turning on the TV and flipping through the channels, I came across something that was new to me, a weather channel. As we watched this channel we heard a weather tease, something about a rare summer blizzard. Coming back from commercials the lead story was about a once-in-fifty-year snowstorm along the Oregon/California border. There on the map was a tiny white circle indication the position of the storm as well as the position of the author of this tale.


For some strange reason, no one occupied the lovely outdoor seating at the restaurant we walked to for dinner, and when escorted to a table, we politely asked for one a bit further from the door. Dinner was good, and as we walked through the 4 inches of snow on the way back to the motel, we could only wonder what adversity lay ahead.


As an early riser, I was up checking out the weather/road conditions before sunup. It didn’t look promising. Heading south would require traveling on snow-covered roads and an increase in elevation. Waiting things out in Lakeview wasn’t on my can’t-wait-to-do-it list, so I studied the maps looking for an alternative. Backtracking a little north would get me to State Hwy 140. From 140 I could get to Winnemucca, NV and then take I-80 into Reno. Hey, if you’re going to be stuck, being stuck in Reno seemed to be a better option. Of course this detour wasn’t without its difficulties. I had a few elevation issues and it was a bit out of the way. Actually, this reroute was 377 miles where the direct route to Reno was 226. Ah, what’s an extra 151 miles on a cold July day? So we set out across 140, snow on the road in some areas, but mainly along the edge of the road and covering the countryside of course. It was a cold 212 mile ride to Winnemucca, and the 165 miles into Reno weren’t much warmer. The small gain in temperatures was offset by the increased speed on I-80 and resulting “wind chill”.


We did arrive in Reno without incident and got ready to enjoy ourselves for a few days. After two days in Reno, we decided to head on south. What could go wrong? (Stupid question at this point.) We were traveling in the desert, no snow predicted, just a jaunt down to Las Vegas. Rain in the desert is what could and did go wrong. About 100 miles from Las Vegas and for about 50 miles we ran through the rain. Oh well, considering the rest of this trip, this wasn’t bad at all. We settled in at Las Vegas for a few days of fun and relaxation.


When it came time to leave, the ex decided that she would get in as much blackjack as possible. So while I got to bed at a reasonable hour, she came dragging in at about 4:00 AM. By this time we had left the cold weather behind. It was typical July in Vegas weather, 100 plus by 10:00. Why am I mentioning 10:00? Because it is now 10:00, all efforts to get the ex up and packed are for not. She begrudgingly finally drags herself out of bed and is ready to leave just before noon. Yes, noon, in Las Vegas, in July. Well at least this was adversity of our own making.


Heading south and tired of the same old route to Kingman/Phoenix, I head through Bullhead City (Yeah, I know, it holds bragging rights as one of the hottest cities in the states, but at least it won’t snow or sleet.) Continuing with this brilliant navigation, I also hit Needles and Blythe. Needless to say, we didn’t get too far that day, with multiple stops for fluids and any excuse to cool off, average miles per hour were pretty sad. But at least there were many wonderful places to stop along this route… lmao.gif


A great deal of dialogue, actually it was bi**hing and moaning, emanated from the area of the pillion. Ignoring this as much as possible I soldiered on, hoping to teach someone a lesson…


The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. We made it back to Los Fresnos, I cleaned the POS… I mean the Goldwing, and put an ad in the paper. I’d had enough of the summer traveling around North America by motorcycle.


What was the question??


Oh yeah…Was there a point in your life when you had no interest in motorcycles? This was when that happened. 17 years of motorcycling came to an end. There was more to it than just the trip, I had purchased a 4X4 and was interested in doing some four wheeling out west during the summer. For the next 16 years or so I alternated summers between off-road adventures in my Jeeps and adventure/diving/fishing trips in the Caribbean, Central and South America. I also owned a few shallow-water fishing boats that I used at home in Texas.


The off-road trips evolved as well, as I developed a love of mountain biking. The off-road trips became off-road and mountain biking trips. Eventually these leaned more toward mountain biking and less to the true off road adventures.


The previously mentioned ex finally earned that title. I kept mountain biking, but now I had a desire to extend my travel time. I started looking into a camper that could serve as my base of operation on my travels. I ended up with an extended cab, 4X4, ¾ ton diesel pickup and a truck camper. The mountain bike was easily mounted and ready for extended travel.


Yeah, I know…you want me to get to the point. Well if you are still with me, this is beginning of my re-entry to the world of motorcycles.


A ¾ ton diesel pickup is great for hauling a camper and other large heavy loads, but it started to get costly as fuel prices rose. I did the math, and figured I could buy a small motorcycle for riding to work and other short errands, and it could pay for itself in about a year and a half.


In late 2005 I located a 1999 Honda Rebel with 1200 miles. Yes, an average of 200 miles per year. I shot out a low offer which they accept immediately…guess it wasn’t so low after all. Well now I had my bike, and I enjoyed the riding and the 70-75 mpg. Things were going well. This puppy would be paid for in no time, and then I could start banking the extra money. Fortunately, I thought it would be nice to be able to take a summer trip by motorcycle. For the most part my family lives near Milwaukee, so this idea got me looking for a bike to fit the bill.


In the time I was away from motorcycles, I hadn’t kept pace with any of the current trends or models. I knew what I wanted function-wise, but I didn’t know what models were available. I set out to find a used, smaller bike that had a fairing and some luggage capabilities. Back in the days of my GS 650, you purchased a Vetter fairing, some after-market bags, a luggage rack with a sissy bar and you were ready to go. While I didn’t know it or the term at the time, I wanted a sport-touring motorcycle. Many searches on CycleTrader proved fruitless. It seemed as if no one was making (had made) what I wanted. I was even starting to consider an old style Silverwing, but then it happened. I can’t really tell you how it happened, but in early November of 2006 when doing a search I came across this picture in an ad.






I was instantly smitten with this machine. That was one of the most beautiful motorcycles I had ever seen. Keep in mind that during my absence from motorcycling, I had never seen a newer BMW. There is no dealer anywhere close, and I was totally ignorant of what was out there.


I knew I wanted this bike, but I had much to learn before I took the plunge. Enter www.bmwst.com. I found the website and a few others, but none provide the depth of knowledge found here. I feasted on the knowledge provide so willing.


There were still a few hurdles to overcome. The bike was for sale locally near Phoenix, 1500 miles away. I couldn’t get enough time off to get there until Christmas vacation. And I was considering driving 3000 mile round trip for a bike I had not seem or ridden in person.


As is obvious, everything worked out to my extreme satisfaction.


What else can I say…I am totally hooked on this motorcycle. I look forward to my rides to and from work each day. It is the best part of the day. Even more, I look forward to any opportunity to ride. I’m even looking forward to a 700 mile ride to MD Anderson in December. (For those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with MD Anderson, it is one of the premier cancer treatment clinics in the world. The check up will be on the 2nd anniversary of the completion of my treatments. An all clear on this trip ends my relationship with this institution. clap.gif)


I haven’t stop smiling since I threw my leg over La Mia Bella for the first time.


I owe a great deal to those of you on this board. Information you provided (through direct questions or through searches of previous threads) allowed me the knowledge I needed to make an informed decision when purchasing. It has helped me perform all the maintenance required in my first 20,000 miles of ownership. It has steered me in the right direction as I purchase clothing and other “necessities”.


I also enjoy the spirited exchange of ideas and barbs. I eagerly look forward to the next steps in this re-introduction to motorcycling, meeting the members in person:


I am ready and eagerly await the Texas Hill Country gathering.


I’ve already requested time off from work for Torrey XV, and positioned sick days for Torrey XVI and XVII. (I’m retired after that so no need to worry about time off! thumbsup.gif)


And I have motel reservations for the Unrally. (I just hope Oregon treats me better this time.)


If you’re still with me hope you weren’t too bored and thanks again to all board members.

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If you want to be put in your place, go ride with the Superbike School when Misti is on track. I can't tell you how many times I've been buzzing along, knee on the deck and feeling like I'm hot sh*t...only to have Misti fly by me like I sitting still...WHILE TURNED AROUND BACKWARDS watching another student. dopeslap.gif


You described that like passing you is somehow hard to do. Raise the bar in your illustrations, man. tongue.gif

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Eighteen years ago, I sold my '73 Yamaha 650 because I'd not used it for several years. Seems like all I was doing was buying a new battery and getting it inspected every year. Other things were filling up all my spare time--backpacking, working, home repair, etc. I drove a company car for work and on weekends I was either going camping or hauling something. I'd outgrown my official riding suit years before. The last Sunday morning ride was just no fun; I was too skiddish from lack of practice to enjoy it.


Last year, I was having a miserable time at work and started day dreaming of retiring. I started remembering bike trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway and how much fun it was just going to the store and back on a bike. Thanks to the internet, you can get all the support you want for your daydreams. I decided I was in the sport touring segment. I can blame a lot of this on Bama Rider's website.

Last December, I fell in love (okay, maybe just heat) with an '04 1150RT and have put 6k miles on it with mini-vacations every weekend and a few longer trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Don't know that I'll ever want to tour the country, but week or two trips are no longer out of the question.


Oh yeah, the question. Yep, about 17 years before I missed it. Now, I didn't go back to the same biking experience that I'd left. And I went back as a different person--a much older, more careful, more deliberate person than the 19 year old kid that started me on the path.

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NO.....never lost interest..


I think I am sick...I think about riding and bikes at all times of the day... eek.gif


Ditto! My passion for bikes keeps me alive.

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If you want to be put in your place, go ride with the Superbike School when Misti is on track. I can't tell you how many times I've been buzzing along, knee on the deck and feeling like I'm hot sh*t...only to have Misti fly by me like I sitting still...WHILE TURNED AROUND BACKWARDS watching another student. dopeslap.gif


You described that like passing you is somehow hard to do. Raise the bar in your illustrations, man. tongue.gif


Ouch. dopeslap.gif

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From age 0 to 12 I never even thought about two wheeled modes of transportation. Then a few neighbors a bit older started to ride mopeds. I thought that was cool. About 3 years later a school chum got a Suzuki 80 that I learned on. I convinced my parents on a motorcycle shortly after that. But my dad, god bless him, said, "you're not getting a piddly little bike". So I spend my money on a 250cc Yamaha Big Bear Scrambler. I never stopped riding after that. Kinda feels as natural as walking.

ride on friends

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In 1969 I made a deal with a guy at school to buy his Honda street 90. When I came home and told my mother she had a cow and made the statement that there was no way I was going to have a motorcycle. A month later on my birthday she gave me the final twenty dollars that I was short on the purchase and I brought it home. Went from that to a 125 Yamaha enduro and then to a 360 mx in 1973. Life, marriages, children followed and after the loss of a daughter in '94 my wife and I started over raising grandchildren who were three and five. after the death of my bride in '03, while in the midst of a pity party, it dawned on me that while many things had been torn from my life in the last twenty five years there was one thing that I had gladly walked away from at the request of someone much more important, and it was the one thing that I never seemed to get over. Went out and bought a 1200C and put 18000 miles on it the first year. By the middle of the second year, in the middle of my second 800 mile day, I decided that I had bought the wrong bike. Bought the RT and haven't looked back. I ride in all weather if the roads aren't icy and feel perfect whenever I am in the saddle. My description of my time on the bike is to liken it to being a cat outdoors. I am totally alive and never more in tune with what is going on around me.



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Before I was 16. That was 45 years ago when the earth was still cooling.
lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif At work I've got the reputation for being "older 'n dirt" - it's nice to know I'm not alone! thumbsup.gif


About the only time I wasn't interested in motorcycles was when my life was too busy with other stuff. I've always believed in living life to the fullest and sometimes when I try to squeeze too much in one end, well something gets pushed out the other end so to speak. tongue.gif In any case riding a bike, with or without a motor, has always been a passion since age 4 and I hope to be able to do both for many many more years. thumbsup.gif

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Yes. From 1990-2003. Here's my story...


In 1969, when I was nine I discovered, hidden deep in the bowels of our basement, a Montgomery Wards Briggs and Stratton Minibike. 3hp, centrifugal clutch and no suspension. It was shortly before X-mas, and Dad had carefully hidden it under a sheet…


By the end of that summer, dad and I each had our own minibike and had been pulled over by the local police for strafing sidewalks in Arlington Hts IL.


The next spring Dad bought us a scary fast green 5 hp Gilson minibike with a torque converter. I remember driving up to Wisconsin to pick that one up from the factory. Later that same summer, Dad got himself a brand new Honda CB 100. The day he went to finalize the deal, he bought me a brand new Honda QA-50 ($177.00) which we brought home in the back seat of his ’69 Volkswagen Beetle.


The next year(1972)we added a Suzuki Gaucho TS-50, Dad’s TS-90 then in 1973 my Yamaha DT-125. Dad progressed to a CB-350, then a CB-550. I used to put my full face Bell helmet on, and terrorize Chicagoland on his Honda 550 Four at 14 years old while he and Mom were at work. I loved the sound of those four pipe exhausts.(Shhhh don't tell dad...) Finally, I turned 18 in December 1977 (You had to be 18 in Illinois for anything larger than 150cc) and bought myself a Yamaha RD-400 on my 18th birthday. I road it all that winter. I followed that up with a 1981 Yamaha Seca 550. In 1990 I sold the Seca and took a 13 year break from motorcycles for marriage kids jobs, etc.


Enter 2003 now with six kids and the acquisition of my current BMW R1150RT. Four years and 40,000 miles later (+ one Final Drive seal) all nine of us ride. With 10 bikes in our garage, and a couple more in Dad’s (he’s 74 years young) motorcycling plays a major part in our lives.


Thanks Dad

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  • 6 months later...

I can not remember a time in my life when I was not interested in motorcycles. My earliest memories include those of drawing pictures of motorcycles. I have lived with 'motorcyle syndrome' all my life. Now that I can no longer ride I still get a half dozen or more motorcycle related magazines, and ever opportunity I have to strike up a conversation with a motorcyclist, I do.

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Yes. From 1974 to 1989. I rode dirt bikes with my friends until all of us got out license. Our interest turned to cars and girls of course. Then I got involved with cars and boats and completely forgot about m/c's until 1989 when it hit me one day that I had wanted a m/c since I was about 14. Started looking in the paper and within two weeks found a N.C. trooper who was selling his bike, a 1983 Yamaha Maxim 750, with 1500 miles on it and only 5 miles from the house. I bought it and the street riding commenced. Now 19 years later I have ridden over 125,000 miles, met some lifelong friends, and seen some incredible places on my bike. What a fantastic hobby!

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I remember some vague interest in a moped during high school, but no real interest in motorcycles until I was 19 and an old dirt bike (no idea what vintage or size it was) was the only way to get around. That ended with the summer. 10 years later my girlfriend left me and took our only car with her. So, I did the only reasonable thing: I bought a motorcycle as my only means of transportation and have loved them ever since.


In a way, my interest in motorcycles was born from necessity.

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Got a garage with two bikes in there now and I've not been on a ride in a while.

Work and golf have taken all my time. I love to ride and will ride again when life is not in the way so much.

Right now the golf course is close by and it's real easy for me to play a few rounds around relax. I doubt I'll ever give the scooters up, just don't ride as much as I have in the past.

The price of gas is starting to figure into how I'll go visit the family and friends. At one point there were 5 scooters in the garage and it kind of burned me out. Keeping them all tuned up and running was a full time job. One or two is plenty now.

Gleno's loss took something out it...don't know why or how. I'm not scared or worried, but I still think about him when I hit the starter.

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Gleno's loss took something out it...don't know why or how. I'm not scared or worried, but I still think about him when I hit the starter.

I've heard this same thing from a few people so far but if we could talk with him .... I think he'd be telling ya NOT to stop because of him.


I stopped riding in the mid seventies because it got to be a drag dating HOT Chicks with just a motorcycle, so I traded it in for a cage and started hanging out with a few of Hefner's squeezes instead. :)

Trust me .... it was well worth giving up the bike and hooking up with whom I did back then.


I got back into it when a buddy came home from a ride and threw his key to Harley at me and told me, " go ahead and take it for a slip. " That was probably sometime in the late eighties and from that day on, I haven't been without a bike for more than eight months at a time.


It's in my DNA and I just wouldn't be happy, if I couldn't throw a leg over one and go out for a spin.

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