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Our worldly experience guides us day in and day out or perhaps it's a sixth sense, it can subconsiously suggest choice and preference.

What motorcycle form do you like or what piqued your interest or what was your first experience of seeing a motorcycle for the first time? Was it one seen in passing or perhaps the chrome or maybe the bark of the exhaust or the creak of leather.

How do you feel this has formed your perception of what is the ideal motorcycle for you?

I was disappointed when I saw a Harley Davidson for the first time and the second time. The first was on the side of the road just entering "The Scalp" in County Wicklow, it was parked on the side of the road. It was a Mustard yellow colour, it was on it's side stand as they always are, chrome gleaming in the sun rough fiberglass fairing poorly finished, yuk. The second one was a chopper with side slashed exhausts. It looked cool, extended forks Bates front lamp, Maltese Cross tail light with the plate hung on the right, but sounded like a Honda 50 with the pipe rotted out. A baby would make a better sound using their fingers on their lips.

A Norton blasting past, the rider with a leather cap and goggles, tight leather jeans and pants and gauntleted hands, smoothly turning a bend leaning over, nirvana...
A Kawasaki KH500, first Honda Gold Wing GL1000 on show in the Mansion House in Dublin, the list goes on a Laverda twin, Moto Guzzi California just looked ready to ride anywhere, that engine just ahhh

What turned your crank?
 

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(written years and years ago.........)



Riding With Dad



When I was young, small, and innocent, my father almost gleamed. His smile sparkled, like the silver conchoes on the saddlebags of the ‘51 Panhead Harley-Davidson he rode against my mother’s wishes, a small satin cap with a white bill perched on the back on his glossy head, his breathrich with whiskey.

He didn’t have much time for me, a being so insignificant and shy, but every so often, just once in awhile, he’d smile down on me and then scoop me into his arms, setting me in front of him on that gleaming, angel-white gas tank of his Harley. Together, like ancientgods, we’d go thundering across a desert steppe burnished bronze by a lowering sun. What joy! What undiluted joy! For awhile, we raced the sky on an untiring horse – and time would stand still.

Later, when he was small and vindictive and shrunken with cancer, I could forgive him because of those few, glorious, never- forgotten rides. Why do I ride a motorcycle? How could I not?
 

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When I was 9 or 10 my Dad brought home a scooter, probably home made. It had a 1 cylinder engine of some sort, centrifugal clutch, a throttle down by the seat like a choke knob and a foot brake. I rode the wheels off it round and round a flat piece of land that wasn't good for anything else. He had an old Indian motorcycle he would take me for a ride on once in a while, no rear seat so I had to sit on the rear fender but I was thrilled none the less. I am onto the standard (european) type of motorcycle you sit upright on, can't stand those cruiser types and can't ride a crotch rocket very far.
 

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I didn't get to have any of the joys of my Father bringing home a motorcycle. My Mom the constant worrier would not let him have one. I remember back in the late 70s and early 80s my Dad would bring home brochures of Goldwings and had even picked one out for Mom and him to have, but she still said no.

So after I went in the Navy I decided I was a grown man and could do as I pleased and bought my first bike a 1986 Honda Rebel 450, I fell in love with riding at that moment. I rode all over South Carolina, Georgia and Florida on that thing. Had my first accident on this bike too, not paying attention and would have ran into someone if I hadn't laid it down. I moved on up to bigger bikes the next few years but eventually got off of them in 1991 when my son was born. Picked back up again in May of 2008 and have gone crazy with them since. '84 Goldwing one year ago today and it has been one heck of a machine, I was talking to a member on this site about if I had to choose just one bike in my garage to keep I would be hard pressed to not pick the '84. Something about it when I'm riding her is different, maybe it's Dad there riding with me finally enjoying his Wing.

For Dad 1939-2005

Jeff
 

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Back as far as I can remember when I was little my dad and grandmother would ride and take me for rides.I gues I just grow up with bikes.Thats all I new was to ride.My grandmother would ride of for weeks at a time before returning home she would just hop on and ride anywere she went.She said she just wanted to see the wourld befor she died and I think she did.
 

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My first memories are of Ossie,an older man ( in my young eyes ), who would come around my grandparents place . He may have worked for them . He rode a Harley with a foot clutch and tank shifter . It had leather bags and shark fin tail pipes . He knew just how to get the exhaust to crackle as he accelerated away .



My great uncle Pete at about the same time period bought a brand new '65 Honda 305 Dream . It was probly on this bike I had my first rides . I spent many hrs riding with him . This bike was traded on a CB350 when they came out , '68 ? .



I was probly 12 by now and some collegeboy (Bob ? ) gave me my first Honda 50 C110. Uncle Pete who had a general auto repair shop allowed me to use his place and tools to work on this bike and all that followed. Uncle Pete and cousin Gene were there to mentor me along this path and keep me out of trouble . After tinkering around and getting itgoing again, began my riding life . I had so many good times with the little 50 and several more to follow.



I moved up to a 90 . I started some racing now . The 90 just wasn't real fast but I was having more fun . I came across a 125 Sears Allstate with a bad engine . In that hard tail frame I mounted a CL 125 engine and used that as my flat tracker . Here at the short track ,the older gentleman with the Harley is a cornerflagger. He helps me a few times with a loan to get a wheel laced or a set of tires ,things my lawn cutting funds couldn't buy at one time .



At maybe 14 I began racing a CL350 doing some road course ,even took it to the drag strip. Ialso had an SL350 which I did more flat tracking leaving the Sears/Honda hybrid behind.The SL was used for a little MX and scrambles asit hadbecome my "swiss army bike ". I was never a serious threat but did mange a trophy here and there .



As we age a bit there is a strange fascination with the opposite sex that takes over a young mans brain ( um yea brain ):cheeky1: By now with a drivers license and girls on the mind ( see I said brain earlier ) I put the bikes away and went after girls. I didn't really go far and found the one who has put up with me for near bout 35 years now.



After getting married ,I needed a second/ cheaper way to get to work . I still had the SL350 and called it back to service . Installed the lighting and rode to work several years . Shortly after my daughter was born the SL went back to the shed again having served me well . I still have that bike today.



22 years later kids grown I picked up my first 1000Goldwing from uncle Fredwho had let it set up way to long . That got my interest back on two wheels again . There were some title issues with that bike and it was never finished. I picked up an 83I, which I rode 4 yrs . This past June we ( yea the wife likes to ride now )got our Second 1500. I hope we have many years/miles ahead .
 

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Dad never rode, but when I was a teen, he bought me a Sears 70 ??? I think. Rode it for a while,and it froze up. Then a buddy had a dirt bike that I borrowed to get my license. I think that wasaround 1973. Another friendhad a Honda 500 that I really loved.Early 80's my Dad decided to buy a motorcycle. He bought a Honda CB 360. I didn't get another one until 1982-3 ? I think. BoughtDads Honda CB 360. I wrecked it. A guy pulled out and I T-Boned him. Was laid up for several weeks and is why I am getting a new Knee in November. Then I bought a Honda 125 street/dirt bike. Rode it for several years until I bought a 3 wheeler. Then I got out ofit while I raised kids. Always wanted a goldwing. I finally decided it was time. :action:And it keeps getting better. Now I would love to have another. ;)
 

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When I turned 16, my parents wouldn't let me have a car. They did however let me buy a motorcycle(go figure). On/off road Suzuki 90. Most people have fond memories of their first vehicle and mine happened to be a bike. 38 years and counting.
 

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I rode my first mini-bike w/ a 3hp engine in 1977 it belonged to a kid in the neighborhood, I was 9 years old.. evil kenevil was still a big thing in southern florida back then.. I thought I was evil kenevil...lol

anyway I begged my dad to buy me a mini-bike and instead he took me to the honda dealer and bought me one of those honda trail 70cc bikes, a big upgrade from a mini-bike.

I rode that bike till 1979, we moved to chicago and sold it, 1981 I asked for another motorcycle, he bought me a kawasaki KZ250 with signals and a headlight, he used to take me to hobo hills and let me ride it in the dirt, before too long I was riding it in the street, illegaly without a license, but it was plated and insured.

by 1983 I traded that in for a kawasaki Gpz550, now I thought that was a serious motorcycle! fast, nimble, looked killer red with black and silver stripes.

in 1985 the Kaw was stolen from my back yard, my parents were getting a devorce, I knew if I was ever to have another bike that I would be the one buying it. I had just turned 17 this year and I was working so I saved up till 1986.

1986 I purchased a used 1981 Yamaha xs1100, shaft drive, FAST as heck, heavy but very stable and quite nimble for such a heavy bike.. I drove that till 1988, I was 20 and my wife was pregnant and my daughter was born in june.. I was jobless so to make ends me that summer I had to sell it.

I went bikeless till 2003 and bought a Honda VLX cruiser, didn't like it at all, had it till 2008 sold it and bought a 2005 yamaha v-star, loved it but on an impulse swap.. I sold it in late winter 2009 and bought an 05 Kawasaki Meanstreak in the early summer 09.. turned out to be the most uncomfortable bike in the world for me, I sold it within 2 months and bought my current bike this a 1983 Honda Goldwing Interstate... which undoubtedly is the most comfortable bike I've ever owned... Thanks Honda!
 

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Can't remember really. As kids at the old age of about 8 and 11 (I'm the oldest), my brother and I started hammering axles to pieces of 2x4 lumber and sticking wagon wheels on them. Then we found a wrecked Cushman scooter and stole the engine off it and put a pulley on one of the wheels.

It just went down hill from there :cheeky1:

A Mustang "motorcycle" with 12" wheels & tires. What came next I can't remember either. Then a slew of Yamaha stuff, and then some Honda things. One was called a Hawk, a 450?

30 years of family priorities, and then a couple of Goldwings (forever).
 

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Other than riding with my dad, my first bike was a Honda 50cc cub, that I bought in 1963 with the vague idea of getting it to Europe and touring on it (!).... Heck, who knows.... it might have worked. But I had some issues and so I joined the Army to work on them -- that always works, doesn't it? I wanted a bike all through the Army, but at $96 a month it was kind of a reach........

I left Camp Alpha, Saigon, Vietnam, onMarch 11, 1966...... and around about March 14, or somewhere around there, I walked into a dealership and paid cash for a 1966 Honda CL160 Scrambler -- a beauty in black and gray........

I remember the salesman saying, "See that lever down there? Gearshift...... one down for first and all the rest up....... See you later, man.....!"

That was the extent of my motorcycle training. I rode the Seattle streets and surrounding hills on that sweet little bike for hours and hours and hours. I rode over Snoqualmie Pass in late March, and the sleet froze my gloves to the bars! I had to leave my gloves dangling stiffly on the bars while I ran inside a service station to warm up! But it didn't matter, I was a motorcyclist then, and I am now, and I will be for life.......
 

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1974 I was 16. Dad bought me a Honda CB 125. He wanted to get me a CD 175, but back then, in Ireland, you had to be over 18 to ride anything more than 150cc.

His logic in buying me the bike was that I would spend all my money on gas. It was his investment in diverting me from the evils of drink and loose women. He was largely correct.

At 16, with a bike and an open road, I was free. I would set off aimlessly. not knowing whether I would go left or right at the next junction. What a sense of true freedom!!

In 1977, I moved up to a CD 175. In 1981, I got a real job and moved away from bikes, got married, had a family, etc, etc.

Fast forward to 2003 and I am living in Canada. The kids have grown up (mostly). I went out and bought myself a 1981CB650. This was the bike of my adolescent dreams. When the CB 400 - 4 came out, I thought it was the perfect motorcycle. Who could need anything larger?? A 650?? was out of my dream-scope at that time.



In 2006, I decided that I wanted something bigger so that I could comfortably take the wife with me. I had seen a GL1000 back in the '70's, so I knew what a wing was. I bought my current '82GL1100 and have never looked back.



I am back to being that kid. Heading off not knowing whether the next junction will be a left or a right turn.



Some folks think I am crazy, fooling around with motorcycles at my age. But they don't understand. Somehow it gets in your blood and never goes away - hopefully.
 

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When I was a small tyke, my uncles all rode Harleys, and would take me an my cousin (as in the avatar, circa 1946) for rides. Then in Jr. High School I got a Sears, made by Cushman. I still remember laying in bed that night unable to sleep because I was dreaming with my eyes wid open about all the adventures I would have on it. Later I had a Cushman Eagle, then a couple of Vespas and a Lambretta. After a forty year sabatical from riding, I decided to get a bike under the pretense of saving gas. Soon I was on a GW, and the pretense of saving gas had faded into oblivion, even though it still does, but that is no longer the objective.
 

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When I was a kid my brother & I pieced together our first mini-bike w/ a 5hp engine we road that thing every day till it gave up on us. Then in high school a friend bought a new CB750 four when they first came out & I fell in love with that bike & would ride it every chance I had. Fast forward to 2003 (after 3 kids, 3 bikes & life)I bought a 650 Susuki at a garage sale, road her for a year, then the wife wanted something better! We fell in love with the first wing we looked at, my 1988 GL1500! The rest has been pure enjoyement!!!
 

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my dad never rode either,he bought me a little kawasaki 75 it looked like a mini bike centrifucal clutch.had three gears just push the lever down,Than went thru a motorcycle safety course that was useing suzuki ts 125 well at the end of the course,He bought me the one i had been rideing.well after that went thru the girl thing,Got married and raised the kids. Now there gone have had a 750 shadow which was a nice little cruiser but just wasent big enough for me and the wife.So bought a 1500 and havent looked back.
 

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My dad had a 47 Knuckle head as the first bike (early 50's)
he used to take me for a ride and he and my sister rode it off a curve at night for a 90 foot drop to the bottom. when they got home from the hospital, he traded it for a 55 T110, then a HRD vincent, then a 57 T110 (BTW we wstill have the 55). My sister went for a ride after she got out of the hospital with a guy who had a pretty turqouise blue 74 inch HD. She had had her spleen removed due tothe wreck, got her butt kicked not because of the ride, because of the jerk she rode with!

Her new boyfriend and my dad were great he bought froma neighbor a late 40' early 50 Indian Brave 500 twin, then later the 1st 55 T110. we all rode together whenever they would let me go. My mom rode with my dad on the 55 just prior to giving birth to my brother!

anyhow my first love was the early 60's HD Pacer/Hummer 125. Never got one got a cushman scooter ($30)instead and its been down hill ever since. BTW all my kids ride, my oldest doesnt currently, my daughter and her husband do, my son does also, so its just part of life.
 

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I'm not sure. It was the summer of 1975, I finally landed a good job, with a future. I was single and decided I was going to buy a new car. I'd never had a 'new' anything, so I was stoked. I was becoming very disappointed that all the cars I was looking at, so far, didn't fit. They were all to small. So, I thought, why not look at a motorcycle? They had to have leg and head room.

After looking at them, and sitting on them, HD became the natural choice. They were the most flexible. You could do anything with them....which I did. I made that thing fit me perfectly. How was I suppose to know they were being sabotaged at the plant?

That's the story I got anyway. When AMF bought them out and moved the assembly plant out of Milwaukee, 'things' started going wrong with a lot of the Shovel Heads. Mine was the fly wheels 180 degrees out of balance. Resulting in a broken pinion shaft. This happened on my way to a liaison with a very talented blond. I had to push that thing 5 miles that night, but I digress.

Anyhow, years later I woke up and found I had become, for lack of a better term, a biker. Or so every told me. The GoldWing? I consider it another new adventure, who knows where this will lead.
 

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I grew up riding the Honda XR75 my parents let me have. I rode it all over the woods and roads around my house. I had one of those little trail bikes for a short time, but parents made me get my XR75 back.

Went from that to a 125 enduro for a short while before getting of those AMF built Harley's. It ran for a few weeks before going into the shop for the first or several times. It would come out of the shop and ride for a couple of hours before something else rearing it's head and giving me grief and having to go back into the shop again. I kept it until it cost more to get it fixed than I had spent on the bike, didn't even take a year for that to happen....lol I finally junked it when my brother wrecked it. He hit a tree and bent the front forks and would have cost more to fix it that it was worth.

I rode a yamaha 350 for a summer and didn't ride again for several years. Only had the one Goldwing but will be riding a Wing from now on!
 

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I honestly can't remember ever not being interested in motorcycles. Some of my earliest ambitions were about getting one. My first motorized bike I earned selling fishing worms when I was around 8 or 9. It was a brand new Montgomery Wards mini bike. 3.5hp Briggs & Stratton if I remember correctly. My grandma lived about 6 blocks from a Honda dealer in Spokane. When I was at her place visiting, I would often go over to the dealer and drool on all the cool bikes there. I rode several friends bikes,starting with the Honda Mini-Trail 50cc of one friendand another friends Yamaha Mini-enduro, a 60 or 65 cc bike. One of my brothers got a Yamaha 175 enduro that I could barely touch the ground on my tippy toes, but I rode it too. The first motorcycle I owned after the mini bike was a year out of high school. I bought a brand new 1979Suzuki SP400. Went down to the DMV right away and got my first endorsement. Couldn't tell you what influenced my tastes, but I love most motorcycles. I love the comforts and gadgets too, and that's part of my love of the GoldWings. That didn't come with age for me though. I loved the first one I saw in the dealer as a teenager. I figured then I'd have one someday. :action:

John
 

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Dad never rode (that I know of) and died at an early age from advanced cancer. My family (aunts and uncles) were all avid outdoorsmen so most of my youth was spent hunting and fishing. On some of those trips we rented pack mules to haul the whitetail or coastal mountain wild hogs out of remote locales. So having something to use to haul was a part of my nature. About the time I was 10 or 11 (1965-1966) my uncle bought a mini bike type contraption that had a 10 hp Briggs and Stratton motor, centrifical clutch, big wide flat rack on the back and these just huge (to my young mind) lugged tires that we used as a pack mule while hunting. My love of two wheels was born.
After dad died (around 1970 sometime) I got a little mini bike 5 hp thingy, thought I owned the world :) Traded that off and got a Honda 90, man I was free. My mind goes into a fog here (sorry to admit I was a part of the drug culture in those years). I remember a Vincent Black Shadow (did I steal it or own it?). A series of 125 and 250 Ducati flat trackers. A 305 Honda (hardtailed, raked and lowered with 9 over stock girder front end). Some kind of 900 sportster piece of flotsam, that just aggravated me. A 1938 knucklehead that I had to push start cause I couldn't kick it over (traded for a 1948 Studebaker pickup). Then jails, work, a cross country trucker life, wife and kids superseded any riding. During those non riding years I spent a lot of time rescuing bikes for friends so I never lost the taste. Fast forward to 1996, I'm one year sober and while at a motorcycle flea market in Woodstock Illinois I run across a morphodite 920 virago that I have to have. I buy it, find the missing digital dash (that all the electronics function through) and paint it some ungodly color that looks like .... and off I go. That gets stolen, replace it with Kawi LTD 900 with race tweaked KZ 1100 (man that thing was SWEET). Lose that to the law, replace it with the most uncomfortable bike I've ever owned, a 550 Honda silver wing something or other. Gave that junker to my friend and bought a GL1000 with Vetter fairing and Harley style hard bags. Traded that off and bought a 1980 gl1100, decent. Don't remember what happened to the 1980. Bought a 1981 GL1100 rode it till I did something dumb and locked up the motor (still have it as a parts provider) and bought my current 1981 GL1100 (bought with 38k miles in 2006 now has 78k miles). So that's my tale.
I wasn't There
I didn't do it
That's my story
And I'm sticking to it
 
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