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Who gets credit for getting you into motorcycles?

Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
589
Location
Plano, TX
I am passing on the passion by allowing my 15 year old to get his MC license and ride his CBR250R around town. Hope he and I can go on an overnight ride when he's old enough to ride a bigger bike and also has more experience.

 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
1,931
Location
Coupland, TX
Strictly my own thing. I told myself I wanted to get my diving certification and a motorcycle. Got both. Used to ride 3 and 4 wheelers in SoCal at Imperial Sand Dunes. After moving to TX I missed riding off road. Eventually got a street bike then had to find people to ride with, after a while found TWT. Not as fun as riding sand dunes but fun enough.

I'm an introvert and used to avoid people / crowds. Told myself I didn't want to be that way anymore so did things to break out of it. On a motorcycle you meet the nicest folks. Never going to be a "club" person, enjoy riding alone or with just a few people. I can't say enough good things about TWT.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
52
Location
East Texas
I was 14 and the guy that lived across the street from my folks was 20. His name was Eldon. He had a 40 something Ford Hot Rod and a 1945 Harley 45" flathead motorcycle; 3 speed shifter on the tank, suicide clutch, and all the stuff an army salvage bike would have. While he would work on his car I would go watch him and set on the bike. Sometimes I would try to kick it through, but at 120 lbs. I wasn't very successful. I asked him if I could start it could I ride it, and he felt safe in replying "yes" thinking that skinny kid can never do it. Over the summer I watched every move he made when he would go to start the bike. I think I dreamed about going through the motions. One day I went through my mental checklist and the old bike came to life. He looked up from working on the Hot Rod and said, "Be careful." Been riding for 57 years. Thanks Eldon.

Later, Bud...
 

Tourmeister

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Feb 28, 2003
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Huntsville
I was 14 and the guy that lived across the street from my folks was 20. His name was Eldon. He had a 40 something Ford Hot Rod and a 1945 Harley 45" flathead motorcycle; 3 speed shifter on the tank, suicide clutch, and all the stuff an army salvage bike would have. While he would work on his car I would go watch him and set on the bike. Sometimes I would try to kick it through, but at 120 lbs. I wasn't very successful. I asked him if I could start it could I ride it, and he felt safe in replying "yes" thinking that skinny kid can never do it. Over the summer I watched every move he made when he would go to start the bike. I think I dreamed about going through the motions. One day I went through my mental checklist and the old bike came to life. He looked up from working on the Hot Rod and said, "Be careful." Been riding for 57 years. Thanks Eldon.

Later, Bud...
Cool story :thumb:
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
52
Location
East Texas
The suicide clutch was not a shifter, it was a spring assisted foot operated clutch. The gear shifter was mounted on the tank and the bike had a 3-speed transmission. The problem many folks had with the clutch was that they would remove their foot from the pedal while stopped and the bike would lunge forward. The coordination for shifting was to remove your right hand from the handlebar, press the clutch pedal, and shift to the next gear.
 
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
39
Location
mesquite
It was my father who said I could not have one so....made up my mind I would have several starting at age 10. Much safer than bicycles. < no really >


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Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
16,874
Location
Lampasas
The suicide clutch was not a shifter, it was a spring assisted foot operated clutch. The gear shifter was mounted on the tank and the bike had a 3-speed transmission. The problem many folks had with the clutch was that they would remove their foot from the pedal while stopped and the bike would lunge forward. The coordination for shifting was to remove your right hand from the handlebar, press the clutch pedal, and shift to the next gear.
Never saw his it was before I was born. He had a BMW by the time I was a tot. Thanks for straightening that out.:rider:
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
859
Location
Wills Point
Like a couple others have said, I did it all on my own. I kind of liked the idea since it seemed like a natural progression from a bicycle. Then I got to junior high and there were a few guys who rode motorcycles to school. A smattering of Honda 50s and 60s, but there was one with a Yamaha Twinjet 100 and another who occasionally showed up on a Ducati 250 Scrambler. I never actually saw the guys who rode them, but I guess if anybody would, they would have to get the credit. It was six or seven years before I got my first bike, but it was those bikes parked along the street across from the school that really stoked the flames of desire.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
34
Location
Katy TX
My Uncle, Bill Murray. He was married to my mothers sister. Owned North Jackson (MS) Honda and in 1969, gave me a QA-50. Been hooked since. He is also the one that got me into motocross. However, that was on a 1975 YZ-80 from a competitive shop, but they were friends. I find it interesting that the
XR-75 was the Honda competition in that class but today, the four strokes are twice the size. Makes me think that those guys that rode the XR-75 back in the day and beat the YZ-80 was a much better rider. Clearly underpowered.

By the way, years later he sold the shop to Joe Speed. One of Joe's brothers was Lake Speed (NASCAR).
 

Texasrider58

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Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
193
Location
Mineral Wells
Took a short ride this morning on the Strom. I considered the reason I now have the bike. Spent some time again reading the stories here. Met some great people here. Two wheels may be the shared interest but the true treasure is the people you meet. Thanks and have a good holiday
 

drfood

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Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
2,134
Location
Houston
Just saw this thread so I thought I would contribute. Sorry if it's too long and boring, but it's a cool story to us.

Mine was more along the lines of a romantic influence. Jay and I had dated about 2 or 3 weeks when he sent me a link to the Honda Rebel site and told me if I wanted to keep dating or eventually move in together I would have to accept him riding and preferably riding myself. Well since we were newly dating and I was in a crappy job I didn't really think much about it. Eventually he moved in with me and we settled into a relationship. Then we met 2 women (yes they were in a relationship together) via a story in the Houston gay magazine where they were developing a GLBT and GLBT friendly motorcycle group. So we met with the group for several months.

Jay finally said it was time to get the MSF done and so we went to Boss Hoss and signed up and took the class on August weekend. Talk about a stupid idea. Learning how to ride a motorcycle and taking the course in August in Houston. It was hot and miserable. We took the riding part out off College Ave in the parking lot of some strip clue. Kawasaki 250's. Neither of us had any gear, thankfully they lent us helmets and gloves. Both of us passed fortunately although the box maneuver was almost my downfall.

Jay had already decided he wanted a cruiser and we found a nice Sabre 1100 up in Tomball that they guy had to sell or his wife was taking the kids and leaving him. I was fixated on getting a BMW R1100RT. We shopped for the BMW all over central Texas but I just never found one I like. That's when the group here helped me out of a bind and got me to see that there were other choices. I eventually got a V-Stom 1000 from Alamo BMW in San Antonio.

Now let's not have a thread about the fun of the 1st 5 years of riding...there are stories i do not care to share about those years.

Thanks for letting me take a stroll down memory lane. It almost seems like yesterday.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
34
Location
Katy TX
Mentioned my uncle previously who had his hand in getting me on two wheels. After a motocross crash which I broke my pelvis and collarbone in 1978, I put them up. In 1986, after college, my first job was in the freight business and I needed inexpensive transportation to/from the terminal. Had always wanted a 1976 KZ900 but could not find one in decent shape in MS. Settled on a 1977 KZ1000 and haven't looked back. Current ride 2016 CRF1000L (Africa Twin)
 
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Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
697
Location
Denton
One of the few memories I have before the age of 6 was riding across the pasture on my dad's dirt bike. He only had it for a short time but that was the start. My mother hated bikes and swore we would never be aloud to own one. From that point forward, I road one every chance I could get under the radar. Bought my first bike at 23. It was an 87 KLR650. When my mom found out, she flipped as expected but I had already graduated college and bought my own home so she had no leverage. When I got married she thought that would be her opportunity to use the new bride against me but my wife grew up riding boda bodas as a form of transportation so she was all in on the two wheel world.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
129
Location
Granbury, Texas
When I was 3 or so a friend of my fathers stopped by on his bike. Think it was either a Harley or an Indian, this was back in 54 or 55. Took my brother for a long ride and all I got was a ride around the block, I was pissed!
In the late 60's I loved watching Then Came Bronson, I wanted to do that! And, I have been riding for 49 years now. Got my first button bike 18 months ago and with the exception of that bike they all shift on the right. 5 Norton's, 1 AJS, 1 Matchless and a Suzuki V-Strom. I enjoy them all!
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
13
Location
Georgetown, TX
My dad (who never owned a motorcycle) technically started my bike obsession with getting me my first dirt bike at 8 years old, however I think it's more of a genetic issue. Motorcycles were life for my grandfather. I have a picture of him at 16 years old in what looks like zoot suit on a motorcycle old enough that it still looked like a bicycle with a motor. He had a story that when he was 16 he planned a tip to go from Boston to California on his motorcycle with two of his friends. His dad didn't trust his friends so he handcuffed my grandfather to the radiator in his bedroom so he wouldn't go. My grandfather said he hated his father until a year later. He found out his friends ran out of money half way there, tried to rob a gas station and ended up shooting the clerk. Those two ended up in San Quentin on murder charges. He also started a pretty rough and tumble MC that he disbanded in the late 80's/early 90's. My parents have a picture of me driving his Honda Shadow and I must have been like 9 or 10. He was on the back because I couldn't touch the ground, and I was in a tank top and shorts.......

My dad grew up riding dirt bikes with his brothers but never got a motorcycle. I have a million awesome stories from my grandfather.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2003
Messages
109
Location
Coppell
It was two people. The first, a very close friend, and the second someone I greatly admire but have not met.

As I was reading the book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road the friend purchased his first bike. He tried to steer into a Harley but I went with a used GS 500, which was a great starter bike. His enthusiasm for motorcycling definitely influenced me.

Ghost Rider was written by Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for the band Rush. It chronicles his long distance ride through North and Central America, which helped him come to terms with the deaths of his wife and daughter. I’ve been a huge fanboy of Rush since 1982 and identify with much of Peart’s philosophy and worldview, and this book is a window into the thoughts and emotions of a great thinker and feeler.

Motorcycling has been a great journey for me!
 
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Tourmeister

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Feb 28, 2003
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Huntsville
It was two people. The first, a very close friend, and the second someone I greatly admire but have not met.

As I was reading the book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road my friend purchased his first bike. He tried to steer into a Harley but I went with a used GS 500, which was a great starter bike. His enthusiasm for motorcycling definitely influenced me.

Ghost Rider was written by Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for the band Rush. It chronicles his long distance ride through North and Central America, which helped him come to terms with the deaths of his wife and daughter. I’ve been a huge fanboy of Rush since 1982 and identify with much of Peart’s philosophy and worldview, and this book is a window into the thoughts and emotions of a great thinker and feeler.

Motorcycling has been a great journey for me!
Did you read his first book about bicycling through Africa?
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
689
Location
Austin, Texas....Ya'll
In 6th grade I bought a homebrew minibike from our neighbor, Lonnie. I lived out in the country and would travel relatively far distances on that thing. It broke all the time and taught me a lot of Macgyver'ing.

Fast forward to 15 years old and I have my 1st bike. A Suzuki TC125C. I drove to Lonnie's. He took my bike for a spin and handled me the keys to his Honda CB750 and said "have fun"!!

Looking back on it.... who the **** hands a 15 year old biker rookie the keys to CB750? Good 'ol Lonnie. RIP.
 

Centex

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May 11, 2011
Messages
654
Location
Bastrop County
Discounting the Briggs-engined mini-bikes my Dad set my brother and I up with as very young kids ... I'd have to credit a lifelong friend (our parents were friends in Austin when we were born a month apart) who started riding Brit bikes sometime around 1969~70 when we were in high school.

Much more interesting than him introducing me to motorcycles ... that friend made motorcycles a successful career:

Ed started wrenching at Triumph of Austin (Burnet Rd) while still in High School; moved to D&L Suzuki Service Dept. (N. Lamar) after a few years; squeezed a few years at UT Austin business school in there; was hired by Suzuki of America as a Regional Tech Rep a few years after that. Then was transferred to Suzuki of America HQ (LA/Brea, CA) where he's still employed and enjoying his work.

I don't know for a fact but I'd imagine Ed's in the top ~3 in terms of uninterrupted tenure among all current Suzuki of America employees (and probably in a small group among Suzuki worldwide). No question he's the 'go-to-guy' there when it comes to technical knowledge of Suzuki USA machines for the last 50 years and they'll lose an incredible institutional resource when he finally retires.
 
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Jarrett

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Apr 12, 2018
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1,473
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Waxahachie
I don't know who or what to attribute riding motorcycles to. My parents basically had one rule, no motorcycles. Can't ride one, much less ever own one. If you get caught on one, the punishment was severe. So we didn't.

Despite that, I had a pic of some little Honda in my dresser when I was maybe 10. Not even sure where I found the advertisement, guess a magazine or something. I would pull it out and look at it periodically and my plan was to get one someday when I could do it on my own.

Before someday came, my daughter did. Not long after, her mom skipped town and I became a single father raising her solo. At that point, I figured no way on motorcycles. Can't get squished and leave her behind, so I put it on hold a bit longer. Kinda forgot about it actually.

Somewhere along the way, I figured jet skis were safer and we started doing that together. First her on back, then she got her own later on. She went off to college and I sold the jet skis and got into riding bicycles for a few years. While riding up a big hill on the bicycle somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the Hill Country, a couple of ADV bikes flew by me and it got me thinking about them again.

My daughter recently became an LVN and has started her career, so I figured she'd be ok at this point if I got squished, so I went and bought a motorcycle. And then another. And another :) Kinda making up for lost time, I guess. She also got interested in it seeing me do it, so I got her one and we ride together some now when she's free from work.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
129
Location
Granbury, Texas
Discounting the Briggs-engined mini-bikes my Dad set my brother and I up with as very young kids ... I'd have to credit a lifelong friend (our parents were friends in Austin when we were born a month apart) who started riding Brit bikes sometime around 1969~70 when we were in high school.

Much more interesting than him introducing me to motorcycles ... that friend made motorcycles a successful career:

Ed started wrenching at Triumph of Austin (Burnet Rd) while still in High School; moved to D&L Suzuki Service Dept. (N. Lamar) after a few years; squeezed a few years at UT Austin business school in there; was hired by Suzuki of America as a Regional Tech Rep a few years after that. Then was transferred to Suzuki of America HQ (LA/Brea, CA) where he's still employed and enjoying his work.

I don't know for a fact but I'd imagine Ed's in the top ~3 in terms of uninterrupted tenure among all current Suzuki of America employees (and probably in a small group among Suzuki worldwide). No question he's the 'go-to-guy' there when it comes to technical knowledge of Suzuki USA machines for the last 50 years and they'll lose an incredible institutional resource when he finally retires.
Did you ever meet Charlie Lipton? He used to work for Suzuki back in the 80's maybe the 90's? That was before he moved to Japan.
My first ride on a motorcycle was back when I was a toddler. A friend of my dads had a bike, HD or Indian I would guess, this was back in the mid 50's and I was 3 or 4. He took my brother and I out for a short ride. My brother got a longer ride than I did and I was mad about that, but mom was worried and the sun was going down. Then I as 17 or 18 Then Came Bronson was on TV and I had my first job. Paid $430 for a new Yamaha YAS1 and I was off. End of my senior year a 65 R69s BMW came up for sale and I upgraded to that. Took my first long trip back to Iowa from Phoenix, spent around $20 for gas from Phoenix to Ames Iowa, those were the days.
I have never been without a motorcycle since.


55 AJS 18s

58 Norton Dominaor 88

64 Matchless G80

66 Norton N15

70 Norton Commando
74 Norton Commando 850

74 Norton 850 Mk2a

04 Suzuki VStrom for sale
 

2WheelNut

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Aug 25, 2017
Messages
548
Location
Arlington
I credit, or maybe I should say blame, my best friend from Jr High and still today, Bob ( @GLFlyer ).

When we were 15, Bob had a moped, Bob could go places without a parent. Bob had freedom. That was cool.

I mowed lawns and did my paper route and my Mom kicked in a bit and I bought a Yamaha QT50, just like Bob's except mine had brakes. :) (Bob just used his feet because his brakes didn't work...his mom wondered why his shoes kept wearing out so fast)

Anyway...Bob and I went all over Arlington on those QT50s. We were 15 and mobile. They might have only went 38 mph, but they opened the door to so many things.

That summer at 15 was really fun. I think I fell in love with the freedom that a motorcycle could provide.

30+ years later, I think we've got some role reversal as I'm the one getting Bob to buy bikes, but we still do a lot of adventures together. We've done long distance touring, rides with our wives and other family and friends, track racing, dirt bikes and Bob just got an ADV bike so hopefully we'll do some ADV riding in the future. Past and present, much of our friendship revolves around motorcycles and 2 wheeled adventures to one extent or the other.

Who knows what the next 30 years looks like....but I'm betting it will have 2 wheels and Bob and Dave doing something on them.
 
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Tourmeister

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Huntsville
:tab None of the guys that got me into riding still ride :-( They did a bit the first several years after I started riding, but then I guess life got in the way and their bikes have been sitting for well over 10 years now... just sitting and collecting dust in their garages. We are all still good friends because we were friends long before I started riding, like from early high school. We still get together for a guy's weekend a few times a years at the home of the sole remaining bachelor. Being nerds, we sometimes play the old school Dungeon's & Dragons (like the original version). Sometimes we play RISK, because you never outgrow that. One of the guys usually does a superb dinner for us Saturday night. It often involves 15-18 year old booze... which I can only do in moderation nowadays. It is ironic that the 3-4 of them that rode did so for years before I did and then stopped while I continue to ride. We did at least get to do a few fun trips together though.

:tab It was my Dad that planted the first seed though, giving me a ride on a CB 450 he had while we were stationed at Ft. Hood back in the early 70s. That bike did not stay around long though. I only got one or two rides before I think Mom insisted it go away. He went without a bike from then until around 2000 when I first started riding. Seeing me and my wife both get bikes gave him the bug again. That lasted about a year or so until he had a pretty bad accident and he gave it up for good. I can tell that he still has that urge though. He gets restless when I start planning trips. He's pushing 80 now and his balance is shot, so definitely no more riding for him. At one time he thought about a Can-AM Spyder, but even that didn't work out like he had hoped. So now he just enjoys my pictures from my rides/trips.
 

Jeff S

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Feb 21, 2011
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Austin
OK, I'll be "that guy"...

Charley & Ewan

No one in my family rode, none of my friends, no one I knew, really. One kinda distant acquaintance had a Harley in his garage. My office moved closer to me - about 4 miles away down a nice wide residential road, so I starting thinking about a scooter to commute on - then Charley and Ewan informed me that motorcycles can be used for actual travel, camping, etc. That was a revelation - and I'm not exactly sure why. Previously, motorcycles were just noisy city-bound things that guys with creative facial hair and tattoos had. And there were only three kinds of motorcycles: Harlerys, Ninjas and dirt bikes. But all of a sudden, a motorcycle was an actually useful way to get around - not to mention a crazy amount of fun. So, I bought a cheap, small cruiser to learn on, had it about 6 months and traded it in for a Versys, kinda learned how to ride it, then strapped on my camping gear and did a two-week solo trip up through the rockies, Utah, Montana, etc. That was a kinda big deal for me. Yeah, not a 'round the world trip, but hugely fun, darn good for the midlife blues.
 

Tourmeister

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So, I bought a cheap, small cruiser to learn on, had it about 6 months and traded it in for a Versys, kinda learned how to ride it, then strapped on my camping gear and did a two-week solo trip up through the rockies, Utah, Montana, etc. That was a kinda big deal for me. Yeah, not a 'round the world trip, but hugely fun, darn good for the midlife blues.
:tab It doesn't matter if what you did is as impressive or amazing as what someone else did. It got you out of your "box" and showed you that you can do more in life. For a LOT of people, that is a much needed lesson/experience! :thumb:
 

Triumphter

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Jan 7, 2019
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67
Location
Central Texas
I always wanted one. I ended up having a motorcycle before I had a car.

My grandmother, who raised me, was pretty awesome. She knew how to ride motorcycles, fly airplanes and shoot guns. Her brother had left behind his flathead Harley, when he joined the military right before WWII. Grandma learned to ride it, maintain it and kept it going until he came back, after the war. It was also better on gas, and gas was rationed so it made sense to ride it more.

She did not have a problem with me getting a bike at 15. (an old street legal enduro) She was about 70 and rode it around the block a few time when I brought it home.
 

Jarrett

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Waxahachie
then Charley and Ewan informed me that motorcycles can be used for actual travel, camping, etc. That was a revelation - and I'm not exactly sure why. Previously, motorcycles were just noisy city-bound things that guys with creative facial hair and tattoos had. And there were only three kinds of motorcycles: Harlerys, Ninjas and dirt bikes.
That was kind of my realization as well when getting passed by some ADV bikes while cycling in the Hill Country. I had no idea those bikes existed. Or Moto Camping. I thought it was just the three that you mentioned and I didn't have interest in those. I was already at a point where I wanted to do touring farther than what a bicycle trip would let me do, so it was just the next natural step.
 

Randyjaco

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Apr 9, 2018
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Friendswood
The guy my parents always disapproved of ,Bobby McNamee
My mother still thinks that he was a bad influence on me 8-)
 
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