I remember - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-06-2002, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 28
I remember

When I was 16 (am now 55) my first view of a real motorcycle was a 1962 BSA 500 Catalina Goldstar. It was for sale at a local car lot. They wanted $500.00 for it. The sales turd told me that it had been there for a long time.

My folks thought I was nuts to want it and told me if I earned the money I could buy it. Well I did just that. I had to wait for a week before I could buy insurance for it. I was the only kid in my high school class to ride a motorcycle to school. It was pretty cool too because the only motorcycles you saw in those days were either the British stuff or an occasional Harley. The Japanese stuff hadn't got here quite yet.

I remember the sound of that thing and the starting ritual.
Went something like this:

1. turn on the fuel petcock.
2. depress the float bowl tickler until gasoline ran out of the hole in the plunger! (no kidding!)
3. pull the spark retard lever back!
4. roll the piston TDC.
5. Squeeze the compression release just a hair whilst kicking it just to get it past TDC.
6. With any luck it would start.

Back in those days you could ride with or without a helmet. I usually rode with one. Once in awhile I'd go for a short ride without it just to feel the wind in my face and to strain a few bugs through my teeth.

I rode with the following types of bikes that don't seem to be on the road any more:

Indian 500 Single
BSA Thunderbolt.
Norton 750 Atlas, Commandos, Dunstalls
Matchless and Velocettes
Triumph 650 Bonnie's,
Harleys (when the guys were nice even if they were outlaws)

After I sold my Beezer (wish I still had it) my next scooter was a Yamaha 360 Enduro. I promptly modified the expansion chamber that was made for the MX version of that bike, installed a MX head. Rode it until I got off it several times and finally hurt my shoulder bad enough that I lost my taste for dirt.
Next scooter was a 1969 Gold and Black CB750 four. What a great bike that was for the time! My buddy had a 750 Kawa triple that was truely a rocket ship but had some spooky handling challenges. I sold the 750 and didn't ride again for 30 years!

The next bike was a new Honda VTX. WOW! What a great crusier it was too! I just didn't like being in the crusier catagory especially with all the Harley snobs. So I have always been in love with what we used to call the "Cafe Racers". Road race bikes have always been dear to my heart. My friend Carl and I were the first guys in our neck of the woods to put clip on handle bars on our street bikes!

Last bike is my current CBR 1100XX. What a great machine it is too! It's not as fast as the hot rod bikes but I don't care. Way fast enough for me. I enjoy it's finish, it's excellant handling and gobs of low speed torque. It's a well mannered machine and is well suited to large guys like myself 6'-2" 225 lbs. It sorta reminds me of driving a real expensive watch . It's that precise. But then you guys all know that huh? LOL.

I'm glad that back in the 60's I decided to buy that BSA. Where would I be today if I hadn't? Motorcycles have truely made a difference in my life and for the better I might add.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2002, 12:11 AM
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 4,759

Ok, who let the old guy in???? (J/K! I'm 35)

My first ride was in 1971 on a Harley 50cc minibike. (Man I wish I had it now!) I was lucky enough in that both my father and grandfather were heavy into motorcycles.

I've owned so many over the years I have lost count. But I'd have to say my favorite out of em all was my dad's 1976 Yamaha RD400. Man was it a "sleeper". Suprised a lot of Hondas at the stoplights. (Yes, I was only 10, but I used to sneak it out all the time).

I'll quit riding when I'm dead. Never before.

Robert Basil
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-07-2002, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
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In 1947 I was shifted to another high school--

--it being 7.5 miles away instead of city buses I rolled in with a 45 flat head Indian Sport Scout. The only m/c in the parking lot.
Some weeks later I used a Harley 45 flat head which prompted the Principal to ask me if I had sold the Indian for a Harley. To that I answered "No sir, you see another two chaps & I own a m/c shop".
From then on I rolled in with a different 'used' bike each week. By the 3rd week the Principal simply had to visit our shop & a bit later on I sold him his FIRST m/c being a new 350 Royal Enfield 'Bullet' I hauled out of the crate & assembled before his eyes.
So there are a number of us 'old farts' still around & still riding.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-08-2002, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 391
At 41 I don't consider 55 to be old! More like a stately middle aged! Anyway, a Yamaha Mini-Enduro 60 was my first ride on a motorcycle. It was street legal but they don't let 10 year olds ride on the street. (if they catch them) My first street bike was an RD250 Yamaha. Loved the old two stroke.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-08-2002, 10:08 AM
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i love you guys, these damn 22 yo kids running around work are making me feel older everyday. however in this thread, i'm the youngest one here.

my love affair with streetbikes started with norton commando's and harleys (sorry, everyone in my family with a bike, has a harley). i never owned either. but i did buy a 79 kz750 (looked like a wanna-be bonneville). that lead me to look for the evil triple h2 kawasaki two-stroke ripper. but i could only find one in the rust belt and it was beat. finely, my fascination with the technology in sportbikes brought me to the cbr600f2. but oh, for the opportunity to purchase an rz350 or rg500..... well, that and the cash to afford.

anyway, glad you're all riding. motorcycles are definitely a life-saver/fountain of youth.


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A braveman stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.

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