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I took the Young Drivers of Canada course at 16 and used my dad’s 1984 Honda Shadow as transportation in a high school (it’s now in my garage) and always had pictures of motorcycles and teen idols in my wall locker.

Once I was, earning I bought a sport bike, and another ect, started doing track days as well as “cruising”and it grew into a passion. I absolutely love all aspects of motorcycles, from learning to fix and paint them (I crashed a lot in my early years) meeting up with other riders in different states and countries and enjoy the camaraderie, and of course…the gear!

My world isn’t complete unless I have at least 1 bike up and running.
 

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I always liked adventures on my bike.
Got the chance to get a trail bike, fast and easier then pedaling along with a longer range for adventures. Had a couple of friends who followed suit.
Turned 16 and not being able to ride on a road legally was a pain in the A'. Bought a Honda 250 XL, think it was a 75? Heavy trail bike but street legal. Got motorcycle license.
Couple years later I decided I needed a street bike. Bought an old XS 400 D.
Next up was a NightHawk 650.
The need for speed was born.
Then I went through the sports bike and the 90's were some sort of speed war between the Japanese companies. They just got faster and faster.
Nothing like the eye ball flatting speed of those bikes.
Got old, sport bikes dangerous and uncomfortable.I was doing some track time which is expensive and gets boring over time. Stopped riding for a few years.
Decided to go cruiser, I bought a light slow cruise. VT1100. I surprisingly enjoyed riding it around and could put my wife on the back.
Need for speed hit again and I saw a 2001 Valkyrie for sale. Bought Valkyrie thinking I may be selling this fast. I can put my wife on the back and go 100 miles one way without even thinking about. A Valkyrie is a fast bike 0-100 BTW. Plenty of torque to ride two up.
Now I'm looking for a one up bike. I'm thinking Triumph Bobber. 2022 Bonneville Bobber
Never have I bought a bike new but I might buy this one new.
 

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I took the Young Drivers of Canada course at 16 and used my dad’s 1984 Honda Shadow as transportation in a high school (it’s now in my garage) and always had pictures of motorcycles and teen idols in my wall locker.
I was only 11 when my father got his ‘83. When I was 14, I had a Kawi 400, but I’d get to ride his once every so often. The best was my high school graduation ceremony. I was a year younger than everyone else, and had stayed relatively invisible through the years. My father tossed me the keys and said, “Ride it out to the arena and park it right out front. I’ll ride it home after the ceremony while you go to the all-night event afterwards, and then pick you up in the morning.” Rode up, got off and locked up the helmet while taking off the leather jacket for the dress clothes underneath… I was NOT prepared for the sudden attention I started getting from the girls afterwards! LOL. Guess I should have snuck it to school earlier! 😄
 

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When I was a baby sailor at my first duty station I had a friend with some kind of motorcycle. Flat backed Kawasaki I think. I'd ride on the back of his bike as we'd go out to raise you-know-what in the evenings. I never thought much about actually being the operator. Fast forward to one night we're at a house party. Time to and a shipmate who also had a bike was there and too hammered to drive. I had to get back to the boat for one reason of the other so the good idea fairy hopped up on our shoulders, he tossed me his keys and off I went. My only saving grace is I knew how to operate a stick shift! Somehow, I guess the Lord was looking over my shoulder, I made to all the way back to base. Helmet still attached to the helmet holder and me wearing sun glasses to protect my eyes. .... never claimed to be that smart! Got hooked.
Did a nine month overseas deployment and purchased a brand new H-D wideglide through overseas sales. Went with a friend who also bought one to Reno Nevada to pick it up. I still didn't know the first thing about how to operate a motorcycle. Dropped the bike while pulling out of the dealership parking lot... got it picked back up and off we went heading east. Made it to the end of Nevada and we decided to continue. Somehow ended up in Colorado, said what the heck, and rode up Pikes Peak. Dropped the bike when we hit the dirt but picked it up and kept going until we hit the summit.
Made it back down the mountain and decided to head north. Kept heading north until we found ourselves somewhere in Alberta Canada and decided we'd better start heading back. Rode some stupid long days and nights but made it back to the ship just in time.
Been hooked ever since.
I love riding motorcycles. I've had big H-D's, not-so-big H-D's. A Honda Shadow. "Busa, GSXR, and have ridden pretty much everything in between. I'm pretty much out of the v-twin cruiser world now. I like dual sport and ADV style bikes. I find them more comfortable, better on the open road, and a heck of a lot faster and more fun to ride. The key phrase though is "more fun to ride".
There used to be a guy on here whose posts I enjoyed reading named @Hondaguy. You could see with his posts after a while that he was falling out of love with motorcycling. He ended up getting rid of his bikes and got pretty deep into Corvette's. Good on him. It wasn't fun anymore so he found something else that was.
Hopefully I still have a bunch more years of riding in front of me. We'll see. I might have a nice long coast-to-coast trip to do next year.... with my son. Might even be able to hook up finally with a couple of names around here whose posts I've been reading for a few years now. What could be greater?
 

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… I was NOT prepared for the sudden attention I started getting from the girls afterwards! LOL. 😄
ROFL that is hilarious! Yes you should have, there is something very appealing about a man on a motorcycle. I did not (and still do not) receive the same attention from the males LOL.
 

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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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You have me beat by three years. I got my first bike in 73. I lived in central Florida and a lot of us got bikes for our first vehicles. We could ride them all year and they were cheap on gas. Why do I still ride them? Could be a lot of reasons I guess. They put me in the emergency room 3 times but that never stopped me. When I was young I was an adrenaline junkie and I guess deep down inside I still have some of that.. I simply love riding a bike .I feel somewhat cooped up in a car. On a bike I feel a lot like I do when I'm on a horse, open and free. Plus there is the thrill of being on a open road and pumping that throttle if you have a bike with some get up and go.
 

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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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Had posted this several months back. It does capture the feeling well, particularly for those of us with a few more miles on the odometer of life.
Even in another language and culture, the feeling rings true for all of us who view riding as something quite special:
 

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1976, summer just before kindergarten, Evel Knievel being g popular I decided to build a ramp best I could to jump it with my bike (Edit: I should say bicycle because it was just a pedal bicycle). I ended up breaking my femur. Spent summer with pin in leg, 2 weeks contraction then semi body cast from waste down. Ended up getting chicken pox with cast on too. My mom being a great but overly protected mom from that point forward made it clear..no motorcycles for me because my cousin of similar age rode dirt bikes and when she saw me eyeballing his dirt bike, she put her foot down. I was never allowed to ride or even sit on it. Probably was the best thing as I sure was dumb early in age ! :)
Over time I fell out of any interest. Fast forward to 51 year of age. My lingering desire turned to reality and took an MSF course in April and got my license. My kids are young adults out of high-school my wife seemed to approve based on taking the course. Actually took it with my daughter who is 19. She didn't take to it but this summer I putnon about 3600 miles on a rebel 250 and now sabre 1100. I absolutely love it. It's been in my blood. I am more mature and bo desire to jump any ramps or even pop a wheelie. I just love everything about it. The shifting the feeling and the different mindset I have when I ride.
 

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Enjoy reading through the posts here and hope more people keep posting...

As a kid my dad rode something like a C70 or C90, but I think it was a Yamaha. I remember riding on the back of that thing many times, arms wrapped tightly around him. Eventually he got a Honda 125 dual sport bike. I begged him to ride it as a teenager. He only let me once. This all took place in South America. The modes of transportation you saw were bicycles, motorcycles, VW bugs, and VW buses, in that order of popularity. Motorcycles were everywhere. My first vehicle after college here in America was an old air-cooled VW camper. I've owned multiple bugs and buses since that one. I always wanted a motorcycle, but it was never really an option. By the time I could afford one, I was married. My wife would hear nothing of it. We had a bunch of kids, and all she could imagine was them becoming fatherless. I'm 50 now, and out of the blue, she hooked me up with a well-used Honda Shadow. I'm thrilled of course. Why I ride? Well, I've only been riding a few days. But I think I can still answer this question. I love riding/driving something that's as manual as possible, something I can fix and work on myself, something mechanical (not electronic), something I can understand, and something practical. Yes, I love the feeling of speed, the wind, and being exposed, but most of all I like to become one with my machine, and that's very much a motorcycle thing.
 

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1976, summer just before kindergarten, Evel Knievel being g popular I decided to build a ramp best I could to jump it with my bike. I ended up breaking my femur. Spent summer with pin in leg, 2 weeks contraction then semi body cast from waste down. Ended up getting chicken pox with cast on too. My mom being a great but overly protected mom from that point forward made it clear..no motorcycles. My cousin of similar age rode dirt bikes. I was never allowed to ride or even sit on it. Over time I fell out of any interest. Fast forward to 51 year of age. My lingering desire turned to reality and took an MSF course in April and got my license. My kids are young adults out of high-school my wife seemed to approve based on taking the course. Actually took it with my daughter who is 19. She didn't take to it but this summer I putnon about 3600 miles on a rebel 250 and now sabre 1100. I absolutely love it. It's been in my blood. I am more mature and bo desire to jump any ramps or even pop a wheelie. I just love everything about it. The shifting the feeling and the different mindset I have when I ride.
That same year, I'm probably 10 years older than you, Evel motivated me to attempt to jump a creeek on my little 5hp mini bike. No one told me anything about ramps or the need for. Didn't work out too well for me either though somehow I didn't break anything. My Dad determined right there (again) that he was raising an idiot for a son. I think he went out and added a couple of hundred thousand more insurance on me. I was hooked on two wheeled riding though.
 

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Evel Knievel being g popular I decided to build a ramp best I could to jump it with my bike.
Ha! I did the same thing, with a one speed pedal bike. And because Evel would jump lines of cars I decided i needed something to jump so out came an old wagon (radio flyer type with those removable wooded fence looking sides). My mother, from the kitchen window, watched me go off the ramp a couple times but shut it down when the wagon came out, that was probably a good thing. I was 11 at the time, too bad it took 40 years for me to start riding.
 

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We did nearly the same thing as kids... circa 1970-1. Of course no helmets or safety gear.
The city decided to extend a dead-end road about 1/4 mile behind our house and left a nice pile of gravel on the side of the road about 5 feet high.
Being kids and having no idea of physics, we thought it was the perfect way to jump just like Evel Knievel.

I tried first, probably getting all of 6" higher than the top of the pile. Ended up landing crotch first into the handlebar bolts of my Sears 3-speed bike and subsequently scraping along the ground until stopping. Watched my best friend Bill do nearly the same thing a minute or two later with similar results.

My younger brother, seeing the errors in our attempts thought he'd figured it all out. He started his takeoff run about 50 yards back and was pedaling as fast as his 8-year old legs would make his spider bike go. He was really moving! Did an amazing jump about 12 feet into the air, but freaked out when he realized how high he was and how fast he was traveling back into the ground. He crashed on his side, grinding a nice sized agat into his temple. We all still get a good laugh talking about that! Fortunately we all healed up and lived to do even more stupid things! ;)
 

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Boy, those bicycle stunts sound familiar. We had one place in a clinic parking lot we would ride in at night, a gap in the curb for the mower I guess, small hump, just right to get airborne, only problem was you had to pedal hard down the drive, turn right and hit the jump, then land and do a hard right to keep from hitting the fence,,, well...

That graduated to mini-bike jumps (and things like broken forks etc)

Later I used to take my 650 BSA Lightning in the woods and dirt. It sucked in the woods, was really good at the jumps out in the open fields though, could get airborne for 30 ft or so and land relatively smooth.

Think maybe it had something to do with reading Two Wheeled Thunder by William Campbell Gault too many times.

Did an accidental jump on the street one night on my 750 Bonneville. A really really steep hill in a residential neighborhood, think 35 mph zone, following a guy on a new 900 Kaw and we hit that hill at maybe double that, left the ground off the top and didn't touch down again for something like 75-100 ft or more. maybe 3/4 of the way down the other side. physics worked out we were never more than a few feet off the ground, 1st thought was; Lets do it again! then sanity returned.
Heard later a high school kid had landed his dad's cadillac on the trunk of the car in front of him going over that hill. it's since been dozed down to a more sane grade and widened to 4 lanes.
 

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Heh. One jump my friend and I would do with our 100s (my ’71 G4TR and his ‘81 XL) was over a big rock in the woods. I never thought it was that dangerous but, after catching about 4’ of air at 60kph, you had to brake hard after landing… or else dump over a 6’ drop onto the rocks of the ocean shore! So aside from “Who can get higher?” it was, “Who can come closest to stopping at the edge?” 😄
 

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Doing those bicycle jumps was lots of fun. My biggest success was a race on my 3 speed motocross bicycle. We had to race around the block that was about 1 mile long. To finish the race you had to jump the ramp. I was way in the lead, I put that bike in high gear and was pedaling as hard as I could. I nearly cleared the complete concrete section of road in the neighborhood. My worst crash. I was jumping a dirt hill hauling as fast as I could go. I hit the hill getting some good air and my pants hung in the chain. I was heading straight down at the ground, landed on my collar bone and barely rolled before the bicycle came down where I was laying. I had to ride home with my handlebar turned sideways on the seat since I couldn't move my arm. It only bruised my collar bone muscle but I couldn't lift my arm for about a month.
 
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