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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have owned motorcycles continually since 1967 (Yamaha Twin Jet). I bought, repaired, sold motorcycles to pay University tuition: about 100 bikes in total. I kept a few. No, I am not a biker but I enjoy motorcycles.

Tonight we hosted a social event and the question came up: based on my financial standing, age, etc. why do I ride motorcycles? Tough question. I remember, when I was 12, reading a Cycle World magazine article about Triumph Bonnevilles. I was hooked but why?

I have heard motorcycles are "freedom" but not actually. I am quite free in a car. I don't really "meet the nicest people on a Honda" either. Some people say they ride to relieve stress from their job. If motorcycling is stress relief, quit your job because motorcycles are stress. I guess some people ride to join a club or have a shared experience but I don't enjoy group rides.

Why DO we ride? My immediate answer was: I don't know. I enjoy it but why?

A few guests wanted to see the bikes so we ended up visiting the garage where I did finally get an answer to the question: why do we ride? Standing off to one side, my GF was asked if she rode. Her answer: "No, I dont need the risk!"

So in the end I think maybe we ride because we need: the risk.

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I started because my father got a bike, but I enjoy operating any vehicle, so I had fun with it! There is a bit of thrill (what they called ‘freedom’?) in being exposed, as well as the satisfaction of building your skills. But I‘m a bit of an odd duck, so when friends would do particular thrilling, but risky, trails on their bikes, I would decline to join them. I went skydiving more than a few times, for instance, but that’s because the risk/safety factor is measured.

So, fast-forward to almost forty years later, and not having ‘ridden’ on the regular for almost thirty of those. The few times I’ve ridden a bike since have been okay, a different experience than a car… Except when going REALLY fast. But as much as I love speed, it’s never been an addiction or ‘need’. So, factor in the increasing amount of yutzes in bigger, heavier vehicles on the road, combined with stricter police enforcement on speed, and higher insurance costs on something I can really only use half of the year… Plus the increasing amount of unexplained anxiety I’ve been feeling with age. Now also consider that my Honda Civic gets the same gas mileage as many bikes…

Most of it comes back to my father begging me to take a few rides with him in his final years. The overall opinion of others is what you ask, “Why bother when it’s so risky?” So maybe I’d think of doing it is because it’s different? Makes me feel like it’s something that would set me apart. Or more of a challenge, given how safe I feel with my skills behind a wheel. But once back in the groove, I think it would be ‘fun’ again.
 

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I just always had a love for riding on two wheels.
When I was a kid I really loved riding bicycles. If my parents knew how far from home I rode my bicycle , they would have killed me. LOL My bicycle took me to new places that a little boy would probably never go to. (Unless they would be taken by an adult in car) I also loved looking and working on different bicycles, and still do. I`m closing in on 70 years old and still ride a my bicycle almost everyday. Even in Wisconsin winters.

So, the transition to a motorcycle came naturally.

You say, "No, I dont need the risk!" , but I think every human needs a little risk or danger in their lives.

When I was 9 years old riding a bicycle through a big city miles from home was a little "risky". But it made me feel good. Same goes with riding a motorcycle hundreds of miles from my home.
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Motorcycle enthusiast would be my position in life. All facets of MC motorcycle life included. From Cycle World to rebuilding as needed. Getting off from work @ 11:30 pm and riding home for 25 mi. smelling the change in atmosphere, warmth changes, and the power of 6 cyl. motor under your arse. It been over 2 yrs. since I felt that as I've been retired.
 

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I just acquired my bike this year, after a friend of mine passed away. I wanted it because it was his, and his wife just wanted I out of her garage so made me a great deal. I had a couple motorcycles when I was younger, and honestly had some real adventures on them. But hadn’t ridden for 37 years. I’m finding I really enjoy it now. I haven’t gone on any big long rides yet, partly because it had really old tires. I just got new ones, just in time for winter! I’m hoping we get a few warm days yet so I can get out again.

Most of us do risky things and don’t really think about it. I mean, getting into a car is probably the riskiest thing most of us do on a daily basis. Yet people take it very casually, look at their phones, etc. It is too comfortable. I like that you feel more exposed on a bike, and therefore am more attentive to what is going on around me.
 

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I ride because I want to. I knew I would ride as long as possible when I was a teenager and taking my (semi-chopped) minibike for miles on the back roads. It just hit me one day back then while out on a back road that There is Nothing else I'd rather be doing with this time.
 

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I've been building, rebuilding, frankensteining, and otherwise working on motorcycles since I was about 7 or 8. We were at a recycling center dropping off my aluminum cans and the junkyard owner told me I could double my "payout" if I chose to buy something from the junkyard. I saw a few junker motorcycles and asked if I could have them all. He sold me six basket case motorcycles that had been rotting in the sun for about 20 pounds of aluminum, laughing at me all the time. I and my brothers turned those six junkers (2 Hondas, 2 Yamahas, a Kawasaki, and a Triumph) into one running dirt bike. The frame and engine came from the Hondas, and the wheels and tank came from the Yamahas. The Kawasaki was seized. I eventually un-seized the Kawasaki and we found another junker Yamaha to build three bikes so we could race around in the desert. The Triumph was so badly seized that we eventually sold it back to the junkyard for more than we paid for all the other bikes combined.

I've been riding ever since.
Well, other than an 18-ish-year-long break from riding to raise my son safely, I've been riding ever since.
I don't know if I have an answer to the question.
I am not a risk-taker. I have no interest in most adrenaline-surge sports.
I don't believe "freedom" is anything at all like what most "bikers" (or any others) I've heard speak of; mostly what I've heard as "freedom" is selfishness.

I do spend a lot of my riding time thinking about the present rather than the past or the future. So I suppose that being in the moment while taking the bike along the twisties is a huge piece of my personal therapy. It helps relieve my anxiety, depression, and ADHD. It helps me practice being in the moment. Could I do other things to get that same relief? Almost certainly. But this is the thing I've been doing for so long, and I don't know if I would have the patience to build the skills required.
 

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How I got into riding:
I've had an innate love for motorcycles for as long as I can remember and well before I was able to actually ride one. I recall taking home library books with pictures of motorcycles just to look at. I think I was more interested in them as interesting mechanical objects back then. Anyway, even though my family has had a long tradition of motorcycle policemen, men who I grew up with, there was no money to buy one and there was a resistance too, because, as I later found out many years later, one of them was killed in an accident while riding out on patrol. This was back in 1924 but I'm sure there were still painful memories for my grandparents in whose house I grew up in.

In any case, I found other diversions over the years until at some point my interest in riding was rekindled as I recalled watching, as a child, the "big people" running around our vacation spot having fun on rental Vespas. Right around that time, Piaggio was re-introducing their scooters into the USA after many years away so...At 50 years old, I purchased my first two wheeler...A Vespa.

I originally figured I'd just have fun tootling around town but it wasn't long before I started riding further and further afield. The occasional commute turned into day trips, turned into weekend camping trips, then to multi-state touring. The Vespa was a lot of fun to ride and there was a certain satisfaction in the challenge of planning routes solely on the blue roads to avoid (not always successfully) the high speed highways. It soon became apparent though, the I would have to take more time off than I could afford to travel increasingly distant destinations. I was going to need something more capable than a scooter to feed my new passion.

I kept the scooter for a while after I bought my first motorcycle, but I found myself getting weary of maintaining both vehicles and sold the Vespa. I still sorta miss it from time to time because it was such a hoot to ride, but it had to be done while it was still in good condition. I didn't want it to rot away.

So there I was...Back to motorcycles.

Why I ride:
Simple. I enjoy getting out there, wherever "there" may be, often on my own, just riding the range on my mechanical horse. I think that metaphor sums it up nicely. :cool:
 

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I ride because I enjoy it. Probably why I quit commuting on a bike. That became a chore.
Living out west riding is a different animal than other parts of the nation. We have a lot more wide open spaces.
I have multiple dirt bikes and ride them often as well. I ride them because I have close access to the dirt and I can ride for hours without seeing another person. It's fun, but I can see that type pf riding ending soon for me because it's hard on the body and riding in the dirt requires a lot more concentration.
Hopping on my street bike is all about chillin'. I typically have tunes going in my ears. I can just sit back and chew up the miles.
Quite often I ride with friends. One or two anyway. Mrs. Squidchief doesn't care to ride and I find myself missing her when I go for longer jaunts anymore. Probably won't be doing many more in the future.
Years back when I was active duty I would come home from a deployment and immediately hop on a bike and be gone for a week or two. Those days are in my past.

Again, I ride because I enjoy it. My bikes are fun. With that said, I have to have a destination before I push off the kickstand. I can't ride unless I have somewhere to go. Cruising just to cruise is boring to me.

If my wife liked to ride, I'd get a BMW 1600 or a KTM ADV 1290, add some bags on it, and we'd cruise the US. Since it's not her thing I won't. I'll just hop on my bike on weekends and use it to run into town for little things or run in for a beer now and then. It fills a hole in my soul, and keeps me happy.
 

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Mrs. Squidchief doesn't care to ride and I find myself missing her when I go for longer jaunts anymore.
I feel your pain.

Mrs. Menhir won't ride either. My blessing is that she understands that I do and doesn't mind me toddling off on my bike as long as the chores are done. :giggle:
Although she never demanded it, I always strive to achieve balance to the force by asking her "Now, where would you like to go, honey?" And that's where we go together.

Still, it would be great if she could come along and experience the places I've been to together. Now that I'm retired, I'm hoping to get in some auto/camping trips with her to some of my favorite riding destinations. I suppose that means sometime in the future I may not earn my "I Rode to Sturgis" patch as we take the car, but hey, it'll still be fun. :)
 

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2001 Valkyrie I/S
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Started riding an old beat up Honda 50 when I was around 12 because I could go farther and faster without pedaling, been hooked ever since. Hondas, Kawasaki's, Yamaha's, Norton's and Triumphs and one Harley sportster. Don't know if its the challenge of not getting killed, the thrill of being exposed to my surroundings, the feel of the wind round me but it's addicting.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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I've been riding since 1969, a 1966 Suzuki 80 K15.
My father was into motorsports before me, mostly cars and had motorcycles in the past, some of my earliest memories are at a race track.
Anything with an engine can get my attention, but a motorcycle feels much more connected to everything.
I really enjoy riding and will take the bike over a car, weather permitting.
My wife is terrified of riding on the pillion, although she has tried bravely.
I can't complain though I don't like riding on the back of a bike either.
Due to an industrial accident she can't ride her own bike.
She is supportive of my riding.
 

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Because it is the closest thing to flying an airplane and number two to the airplane I flew in terms of fun.
In addition to my previous post, it was while preparing to start training for my pilot's license that also figured into me getting on two wheels.
I was traveling a lot back then for my business and I decided that learning how to fly might be a good thing. When I took a closer look, I realized that I might never get enough flight hours to keep my license, and that didn't even include the additional hours to get my instrument rating. Although taking a lot of hamburger flights sounded like fun, I didn't want to have to make numerous unnecessary trips to stay in the skies.

So I took part of the money I saved for the lessons and bought that first Vespa scooter. I'm glad I did. I can ride anytime I want.

(I still wish I got that license, though. Maybe I ought to look into ultralights one of these days.)
 

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I ride because I enjoy it.
That sums it up!

I'm finding this thread to be one of the most interesting...learning a little bit about whats behind the names on my computer screen. I've been riding for about 5 years now, hardly compares to some of you. But like some of you, my wife won't ride and her reason is one that had me put my desire to start on hold for a good 10-15 years. Her ex-husband (and father of her two kids) was killed when his bike was hit by a drunk driver. My wife and I had just bought a house and the kids lived with us. Her ex was an Army Ranger and served more tours than I know about and go figure, he gets struck down by an intoxicated teenage girl. I still remember getting the call with the news. The kids were middle school age then. That's enough on that but that's my reason for putting he idea of riding on the back burner for so long and the reason my wife won't ride. Her and the "adult kids" are ok with it now.

So yeah I ride because I've really come to enjoy it. Maybe I have personal regret for not starting earlier but I had my reasons and would make the same decisions again. I do know this, I love my bike and will keep riding... until I can't.
 

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I had a minibike as a kid. I had lots of fun on it. My dad had a Honda 360 for a while and would take me for rides. I always wanted a dirtbike growing up but never got one. I worked on getting a house and getting established while I was younger so I didn't blow a lot of money. After my 2nd divorce I figured I would do something for myself and bought my first motorcycle. Now I'm on wife number 4 and bike number 3. I like to ride and it isn't going to take off without me. It's nice to get out and enjoy a good scenic ride.
 

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I had a minibike as a kid. I had lots of fun on it. My dad had a Honda 360 for a while and would take me for rides. I always wanted a dirtbike growing up but never got one. I worked on getting a house and getting established while I was younger so I didn't blow a lot of money. After my 2nd divorce I figured I would do something for myself and bought my first motorcycle. Now I'm on wife number 4 and bike number 3. I like to ride and it isn't going to take off without me. It's nice to get out and enjoy a good scenic ride.
The Honda 360 was my favorite bike til I realized I needed more power due to more than enough calories. I bought by 3rd one and rode it once. It didn't have nearly the power I remembered it having.
The first time I took my (eventual) wife out, it was on my '76 CL360 in 1982. She was not impressed with the CB360 in 1994. The thing barely moved. She had a few too many calories too.
It was the last time she ever rode on the back of a bike with me.

The reason I started riding is because I could ride a motorcycle before I could drive a car. I had a minibike at 9 years old and a CL70 at 13 years old.
My parents used to ride motorcycles a lot. We would go to Lake Hughes campground when I was a kid and they'd take their bikes up there.
There were always motorcycles around me growing up, until I was 15. That's when my mom traded her Yamaha 100 for a small sports car, which eventually became mine.

For me, the reason I ride, is the same reason dogs hang their head out the window n a drive. There's so much more stimulation to the senses on a bike. I admit it was better back when I didn't have to wear a helmet but helmets save lives.
I've ridden in 100 degree heat, and as low as 20 degrees (maybe a tad lower). I've ridden in the rain, obviously, and I've ridden on the snow. That's not cool on a street bike (the first CL360).
Now that I'm older than almost every non-human on the planet, I tend to ride more on fair weather days. I don't warm up as quick as I did when I was 18 and chasing kitty. I also don't heal as fast. I can still feel some of the wipe outs I had when I was first riding.

I still enjoy a good ride, though. If the body were willing, I'd take a cross country ride but the body complains after about an hour now. In the last year my hip socket locked up at a stoplight. That wasn't fun.
Won't stop e from riding though. Just have to stop with the other foot down when I can.
 

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I still enjoy a good ride, though. If the body were willing, I'd take a cross country ride but the body complains after about an hour now. In the last year my hip socket locked up at a stoplight. That wasn't fun.
Won't stop e from riding though. Just have to stop with the other foot down when I can.
A couple of years ago riding my GSXR my knee locked up and I couldn't get my foot off the peg when approaching a red light. I made a right turn at the intersection instead and had to reach down to manually move my foot. Decision was made at that time to quit riding that style of bike.
 

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Started really early watching my older cousins riding the Tote Gotes on family events. I couldnt get enough rides sitting on the back imagining I was riding it by myself! Finally got my own bike to ride at 12 yrs old. Grampa had no idea the monster he created when he rolled that beautiful blue trail 70 out of the garage! Why do I ride? Its just that much fun! Im almost 60 and I still cant get enough of it! There is almost nothing I'd rather do. I ride everyday even just to work and back. I just love it!
 
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