Old fart here....
My grandfather bought Honda Mini-Trail 50s for my brother and I in about 1970, so I learned how to use my shifting foot (3 speed, no clutch.)
My first street-legal vehicle was a '69 Yamaha DT125 that I paid $300 for in 1974 when I got my license at 16. Electric start on a dirt bike was a novelty back then. Small air-cooled two-strokes are not great for long distance touring either, in case you were wondering. <grin>
My dad had a Honda 305 Scrambler he bought in the late '60s, and painted it blue (spray cans) and was always tweaking it to get it to go faster. He took the muffler off and installed these butterflies in the pipes that had a knob so you could open them or close them at will. It was LOUD with them open. Then he bought a brand new '71 Honda CB450 with DOHC. Whenever I was on it with him (I was 12 or so) he would at least once run it to redline in the first three or four gears. It was so fast!! (I thought that at the time.) Back then, 450s were not considered small, and Honda 750 Fours were blindingly fast monsters.
I was into cars and dating women after I sold my Yammy to my younger brother. In 1978 a friend of mine bought a Yamaha DOHC 500 twin, TX was it? Anyway, I got the bug and found a used 1976 CB550F, factory 4-into-1, orange. My friend had upgraded to a Yammy 650 twin which could eat my lunch. Those extra two cylinders didn't make up for more displacement.
Just before I got married in 1979 I bought '73 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport that someone had added a fairing, bags and a trunk to. We rode it to South Dakota once. Bad seat for touring. I eventually converted it back to stock, taking the junk off and reinstalling the the factory clip-ons. I sold that bike in '84 for $400. I wish I had it back.
Since 1982 I've had a '79 Honda CBX, an '82 Yamaha Seca 550, Turbo Seca 650 (totalled that one,) Yamaha 550 Vision, Yamaha XT350 dual-purpose, and now have an '81 Honda GoldWing and an '85 Honda VF1000R.
About 30 years of riding, all-told, and 26 on the street. All fun. All worth it. In fact, I'd rather die riding through a mountain canyon somewhere than in a nursing home wondering where the bathroom is and who all these people who call themselves "family" are. Not yet though. I've got a few good decades left.
Last edited by KenVF1000R; 06-18-2001 at 06:02 AM.