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  • 1963 ( from another forum)

    I posted this on a forum well known for bashing every other type and kind of bike, except the one the posters rides. I also know most Harley boards have very little "bashing" of the "other guy".

    But I thought I would still share my several years experience of riding motorcycles and here is a post on mine from that "other" board.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1963 I was twelve years old. My father bought me a Yamaha 80 road bike! I rode it at my grandparents property “UP NORTH” in the woods. By the time I was 15 (old enough to get an under 50cc license) I had a Yamaha 100 twin! My best friend had a Suzuki 50.( and rode without a license at 14!) His brother had a Suzuki 80. We rode all over the country side. We were so happy to see another motorcycle we waved. And if we saw another bike stopped at a gas station we might even stop and have a look!

    We spent our youthful summers working (to get bigger bikes) and hanging around the two local motorcycle dealers. One was a joint Yamaha/ Murushko I may have misspelled that name, but it was a Japanese BMW copy, and the other was a Honda/Suzuki dealer.

    By the time I was in high school I had had a 250 Big Bear scrambler (my first “big” bike),a 305 Big Bear and a 441 BSA Victor, and several used dirt bikes. Basically these were road bikes with high pipes. My best friend, that was one year behind me in high school, had a Suzuki T10 250 (he rode that bike on a under 50 cc license.) And we had spent time on the side of the road explaining to the local Chief of Police that those “250” numbers on the side of the head were really 25cc EACH SIDE so it was an under 50cc bike. His comment was “well, it looks bigger than that”, But as there were few bikes on the road, he couldn’t tell off we went. We were still happy to see another guy on a bike and waved and stopped to ogle a different bike. Several high school friends also had huge 250 and even 350 motorcycles. The towns folk would call anyone on a motorcycle a Hell’s Angel.

    My friend having been working two jobs and attending High School, ( and also lived far too close to the EDGE) fell asleep at 2 A.M., on his way home from his second job ( so we could buy bigger bikes!) and the T10 did several ground loops. My friend was relatively uninjured and his parents allowed him to buy an X6 Hustler just like his big brother. We were still enthralled to see another rider and waved and stopped to look at their bike.

    I had by now worked my way out of the BSA 441 and bought a “lightly” used BSA 650. I was working a summer job between semesters of college and thinking about which bike I might get next. A guy at “work” bought a used Harley and another bought a nice Triumph that had questionable intent to RUN. We all learned to KICK that Triumph, and also on some occasions my BSA, until we all walked with a limp. Another friend bought a DT250 Yamaha scrambler. We all rode around town and country, and the towns folks were sure we were Hell’s Angels! We however were still happy to not only wave at every other guy we met on the road, but we would ride with any guy our age that bought a bike! (we really didn’t care WHAT type of bike, just that he had a BIKE!)

    By my second year in college I had enough with British bikes and purchased a Kawasaki 500 triple. Over time I had expansion chambers and racing rotary valves (more fuel for a two stroke) and learned all about the term “TANK SLAPPER” at over 100 MPH! I still rode with most of the guys from the summer before, a Harley, a Triumph, a DT250 and My friend that now had a Suzuki 500. We all waved and stopped to ogle all the new models of motorcycles that were now being seen on the road!
    As I was a sophomore in college, EVEN I was smart enough know that if I kept that *(&E#^E% 500 triple Kawasaki it would kill ME! So I bought a Kawasaki 650 W1. It was really just the old BSA unit transmission/engine after BSA had gone with a combination crankcase transmission “new” engine. Kawasaki had purchased the tooling added a second carb and they (Kawasaki) were in the “four stroke” business. So was I.
    I REALLY learned all about KICK START, as most bike still didn’t have starter motors.
    Needless to say we rode with an eclectic group of motorcycles. Waved at the increasing number of bikes on the road and still remained enthraller with every NEW motorcycle introduced. And new bikes were coming out every year. Amazingly there were more multicylinder bikes coming out from every manufacturer. Honda’s 750 4, Triumph and BSA tridents, Kawasaki and the mighty 900 Z1! We were also suprised to learn, multicylinder motor had been offered many years before! Ariel square fours and Indians with four cyclinders! Amazing, we had been ring-dinging around on two strokes and these old bikes had already been there years before!!

    We waved at every bike on the road and every stop was an adventure to see these new machines on the road.

    My best friend and I had covered every road within miles over those early years and even talked a few GIRLS into going on dates on the back of those bikes! Their mother sure they were dating Hell’s Angels.

    When I was in my third year of college I received a call and my mother told me, my best friend and died. He was working on his first car and as he always lived on the edge, no one is sure how, but he was asphyxiated by a running engine in a closed garaged.

    Riding has never been quite the same for me, but I often think as I ride, how lucky I am to still be on the road, and riding a MOTORCYLE, while my best friend cannot. I still wave and look at other bikes, no matter what type.
    I feel a little sorry for all of the folks that missed those early years of riding and now only know “Us vs. Them” mentality of Motorcycle riding!
    I do know if Peter ( my best friend ) came back today he would wonder what all the fuss is about, for he too only saw a motorcycle, NOT a brand/style/type of bike that wasn’t what he rode. For we all rode motorcycles.

  • #2
    I wish that I had the same experience as you did when you were younger. There were other kids in my neighborhood that owned dirt bikes and I envied them, but for some reason I was never able to join them.

    When I was somewhere around 12 no later than 14 I lived across the street from a guy who was in the Hells Angels, he had plenty of friends that rode other bikes other than Harleys. All I really remember was them all cracking on a guy that road a triumph, not because of what it was but because he always was wrenching on it out of need rather than want. He could barely keep that bike on the road. This same guy across the street had a basket case BSA that he offered to give to me and help rebuild it, all I had to do was pay for the parts. Well that never happend because I could never get the money for the parts it needed (I should have tried harder!)

    I have only ever rode 2 other bikes other than my Harley. 1 was a dirt bike can't even remember what it was actually and only rode it once for about 15 minutes or so. The other was whatever Kawasaki that was used at the MSF course, I didn't care enough to know anything about it other than it was under my ass and gonna get me through the course.

    Other bikes really don't interest me unless it is a piece of eye candy. Harleys always catch my eye and even though I don't have a wealth of knowledge about them, they are what catches my interest. I don't really know the US vs. THEM thing because my first experience around " BIKERS" wasn't like that at all. Maybe on some level there is an US vs. THEM but on the road I haven't experienced that. I rarely ever initiate a wave to another rider but usually never fail to wave back or at least acknowledge the wave with a nod. I honestly don't care what another rides because I know the feeling they get when they do, or at least I think I know, its gotta be close to what I feel.

    I honestly don't know where I was heading with my post, except ride what you wish and I hope it moves your soul, as the way my bike moves mine!
    HERD Member #114
    2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
    When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
    If common sense was so common, wouldn't everyone have it?

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    • #3
      Sorry to hear about your friend Fbrr, Good to hear you got plenty of rideing experance on all kinds of bikes. What HARLEY are you rideing now ?
      Last edited by Dixiecrat; 05-10-2010, 12:56 AM.
      Appalachian Redneck

      "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used and worn out, loudly proclaiming, "WOW!!! WHAT A RIDE!!!"

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      • #4
        Great post BTW, sorry for my post wasn't trying to hijack your thread.
        HERD Member #114
        2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
        When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
        If common sense was so common, wouldn't everyone have it?

        Comment


        • #5
          Great thread FBRR You and I got started about the same time,1963 for Me,I was thirteen and started out on a 125cc 1957 Harley Hummer B model,we did`nt have any Hells Angels living in this part of the country and I do think You are right about the neighbors that thought we were the Hells Angels.
          One day a band of hells Angels were coming through town,I was cruising down Main Street and next thing i know I am surrounded with the noise of about twenty motorcycles,they pulled Me over so they could have a look at My Hummer and they all shook My hand and then roared off into the horizon while My heart was a pounding and I was a thinking GO,just GO with them,they probably would have kicked My ass towards home.LOL
          Sorry to hear about Your friend,Mine best friend from that time of My life also died at the age of thirty five,caused from too many drugs and too much wodka.
          Ear Tag no. 00030

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dixiecrat View Post
            Sorry to hear about your friend Fbrr, Good to hear you got plenty of rideing experance on all kinds of bikes. What HARLEY are you rideing now ?
            Dixiecrat,
            I just returned to the world of Harley after a short two year absence. I now have a Dyna Superglide Custom. My previous Harleys were a Sportster, another Dyna SuperGlide, a FATBOY, a Duece, and a VROD. I thought I would go sport touring when I retired and bought a Kawasaki C14 concours. After two years with the Kaw I knew it would get me in trouble as it was very fast.
            And I always knew I had made a mistake when I sold my first Dyna. ( I won the FATBOY and sold the Dyna. )
            So when I knew I wanted another Harley, I also knewit would be enother Dyna.

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            • #7
              These stories remind me of the Old Days!!!!
              Herd#00055
              When we do wrong no one forgets!
              When we do right no on remembers!
              Tattooed White Boy

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              • #8
                Great story, thanks for posting it. I think many here share your feelings. I'd rather see someone riding than driving whenever and whatever they can. Don't matter to me what they ride.
                x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x
                HERD member #66
                HS I Survivor
                HS II Survivor
                HS III Survivor
                HS IV,V,VI wanted to go.....

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                • #9
                  Ride what you want, there is nothing like "Two Wheel Therapy". I started riding (A Honda Rebel) when I was going through my divorce, and it got me through a lot of difficult days. I progressed to a bigger bike, all Hondas each year after that, until I fell in love with my Wide Glide. There is nothing wrong with a Honda, but there is nothing like a Harley! I love riding, as often as possible, and mostly ride just for ridings sake, but it is still my escape when I have things weighing on my mind. A few miles in the wind and I wonder what I was worrying about! I think everyone who rides(most anyway) , no matter what they ride, understand that part. I will never bash anyone solely for what they ride. Each to their own, but make mine an HD!
                  Sometimes it takes a whole tank of fuel before you can think straight!!!
                  Ut veho est vivo!!!! (To ride is to live)
                  HERD Member #00126
                  Richard
                  2010 Wide Glide, Black with Flames (Mistress)

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                  • #10
                    Awesome story FBRR, thanks for sharing that;)

                    I don't think it matter what you throw your leg over as long as you ride it. There are a lot of Harley owners out there but few are actually Harley riders. I have never understood how you can have a bike in your garage, walk by it everyday and not at least stop by and say hello??

                    I started on a Suzuki RM125 as my first bike and progressed on to a Kawasaki 900 C too many years later. That Kaw 9 served me well and I loved every minute that I spent with my a$$ attached to that seat. One day I was in the Harley shop with my two best riding brothers with no intention of even looking at another bike to buy when this beautiful black denim Night Train grabbed me by the soul and wouldn't let go. (it was love at first sight) I went for a test ride and when I got back I remember saying to my brothers..."I thought I had ridden a motorcycle before but I guess I was wrong". That ride was like nothing else I had ever done before!! There is no way to explain the feeling that bike gave me and those of you that understand know what I mean. The rest is history and this bike and I will be together for the rest of my days...I may buy other bikes along the way but the N7 Train will be with me forever ;)
                    Robert
                    Ear Tag #110
                    2012 Vivid Black Heritage
                    USAF Retired, Desert Storm Vet
                    When you are faced with a dispute, Give them the HERD Salute :)

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                    • #11
                      Awesome post FB, I really enjoyed your story.

                      I think as long as you have your knees in the breeze you are on the right track and I'm glad to see you on the road.

                      Gotta admit I still don't get the whole scooter thing but that's just me....
                      The hardest part about a Zombie Apocalypse, will be pretending I'm not excited!

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                      • #12
                        fbrr, Great story and background of your life on two wheels! Sorry about your friend.
                        Jeff
                        09 FLHRCI
                        Herd Member #00045

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                        • #13
                          fbrr............sounds almost like we had parallel lives. I can relate to most every part of your story. I started the same time, and started on a Suzuki 50, then onto a Yamaha YDS2 250, and then a 441 Victor, then a Kawasaki H1 Triple,
                          and etc. Those were Great days to say the least. My Friends and I rode every inch of the area. We all had different brands of bikes, and other then the good natured ribbing, we didn't care what anyone else rode, just that it was someone
                          else to add to our little group. You really brought back some old memories for me, Thank you. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Little Faus and Big Halsey", while it's a bit hokey here and there, it a pretty honest view of what
                          Riding, and Bike shops and all the assorted extras really were like in 1970.
                          Too bad there are people who buy into the "name" of a motorcycle instead of just Riding, Enjoying, and living with other riders no matter what they ride.

                          GREAT STORY!!
                          Regards Sonny
                          2007 FLHX Street Glide HERD #35
                          Route 66 "The Mother Road" Thank You Cyrus Avery!

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