Since I could ride a bike I was obsessed with anything on two wheels. It was probably when I was 7 or so a neighborhood family got dirt bikes. I already had a go kart my grandfather bought me, home built with a 5 hp B&S. Did about 50 km but felt like 100 at that age.
Once I saw the 1984ish z50 monkey bike my neighbor friend got I was hooked. I had no idea how to change gears or how it worked, but anytime I got a chance to get a glimpse of it or to go sit on it I would stay as long as I could. Absolutely obsessed. Now that Honda has re-released the monkey bikes I find myself pining for one to satiate that childhood “want”. They are very expensive for what they are, but that urge for that bike is strong.
I used to put a pop can in my bike tire and even used to tie pieces of wood on my bike to make it look more like a motorcycle. I had the bug bad.
When I was about 13 I worked for my parents business and saved a few hundred bucks and purchased a little 50 cc bike. Can’t even remember what it was called, I want to say a beaver. It was riddled with problems and my dad took it to our local Honda shop to have it checked out and they told me was basically too old and basically a write off for parts. I think my dad even told them to keep it. I wish I had still had that bike, or at least a photo.
In grade 11 (16) I bought a 2000 XR200. Put a ton of miles on that. Had some good riding close to my door and rode daily. After that I got into a CR250. That’s where my skills really improved. Never got into racing, but could master the 1 km wheelie had rode hard with some experienced friends on trail rides. A ton of fun, and new this was not a phase.
At about 18 or 19 I bought my first road bike. A used Ducati 620 monster. That was my baby. I loved it so much more than dirt. I could hop on and ride all day without worrying about being chased by the authority and didn’t have to wash it for 30 mins after each ride. Sold that to a friend and got into a Ducati monster S4. Now that’s a bike. Had about 110 HP on A light weight naked bike. Talk about hooligan! Managed to keep my license through out that purchase, somehow. Sold it to be an adult and got engaged, started family, bought and sold bikes, and houses.
now in my late 30’s I am still obsessed. Now in the final stages of divorce I can focus on my kids and riding. Ex hated bikes. So much to the point that when I bought one it would be a major upset in the household. Not financially, she just didn’t agree with them. Didn’t even want me on one. But I either had to live in dispute or find myself waiving at every biker enthusiastically from my cage. My son is now 7 and daughter 4, and they help me turn some wrenches and clean it. I am anal, but bit my tongue as hard as I can when they muck it up with fingerprints to keep their perspective of motorcycles as a super positive one.
The cruiser world is new to me, but enjoying it. My days of wheelies are over and looking forward to two up riding with the girlfriend and heading to sturgis with a friend.
Of all this, nothing has held a flame to how I felt when I saw that z50 in the 80’s. one day I will track down a new monkey in the used market. I can’t justify it, but I can’t not fulfill that dream