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I grew up on the border of The Bronx. I was about 8 yrs old when I heard & saw my first bike. It was a 62 HD Padhead. I only remember this because I was at my local pizza parlor, and had gotten a slice & a coke. I was sitting on the curb enjoying a slice of heaven and this guy on his HD & his buddy roll up. I have loved all bikes since!

The attached picture is the movie I saw in the early 80s that made me realize that bike are about freedom.


Now my question for all is ... What event, scenario, or movie made you catch the 2-wheeled bug?
 

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As a kid I lived next to an Esso gas station in New Haven CT which was one of four at a major intersection. This was the late 60s and it was common to see chopper gangs pass through and hang out. On warm summer nights I'd sit at my bedroom window and watch these gypsies roll in and have impromptu parties... I'd dream of what it would be like to cruise the roads at night sitting on nothing but a rumbling motor and two wheels. The scene in 'The Wild One' where Johnny and Kathie were riding under a moonlit sky really struck a chord with me. Later after seeing Goose's Kaw 1000 in Mad Max it was the bike I lusted after for a long time.
 

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When I was 14 one of my friends got a new Honda XL75 for christmas

and I had the only concrete driveway on our block that he could ride it on. That was the first time I rode a motorcycle.

But it was already in my genes. My maternal grandfather had a HD back in the 1920s. My father had a 1936 BMW R3 in Germany in 1946.

My favorite MC movie is "On Any Given Sunday" .... and here comes Malcolm, making it all look easy....
 

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I was raised in a side car, at least that's the story. My dad had a 1960 BMW ex German police bike with a sidecar. He bought it while stationed in Germany serving in the army in 1965. I can remember going for rides all over the place. I tried to find a better picture but this is all I could find. This picture was in the 80s I think. That's my dad and cousin in picture. So I guess the event was my dad.

 

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i got hold of an old mini bike minus an engine when i was around 9 or 10 my dad helped me put an old briggs on it, i remember having to wrap the rope onto a spool to start it. i used pick up my little sister at school on it, that was some of the best time's of my life, i never stopped chasing that feeling
 

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... This picture was in the 80s I think. That's my dad and cousin in picture.
just from the cars in the photo I would guess that was in the 1960s,

but we did not have color photos like that in the '60s, that looks more like 1970s's photos with the rounded edges.

sometimes there is a date from the processing on the back of the photo.
 

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The photo looks like it was taken with a 110 camera, a very low quality film format introduced in the early 70s. It looks like it could be mid to late 70s but then lesblank would know better than any of us.
 

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The photo looks like it was taken with a 110 camera, a very low quality film format introduced in the early 70s. It looks like it could be mid to late 70s but then lesblank would know better than any of us.
I'm guessing on the time frame. I moved off to college in 1972 and it was after that. No date on back of picture. Hey, I have a hard time recalling what I did last week, much less 30 plus years ago. ��
 

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I remember the first bike I ever got was a yamaha 50cc and I got it for Christmas. I still remember the first time I got on it I flipped over the handlebars because I forgot where the brake was and hit a rock lol. Rode for about 2 years before I got a yamaha 80cc. I was in third grade when I was racing one of my buddies in the woods and hit some leaves and slid my bike into a tree and cut off half of my pinkie finger. That didn't stop me, and I've been riding ever since.
 

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When I was nine we went to visit my cousins at their cottage. They'd just got two Honda Mini Trails and their cottage was on a private road so we had lots of places to ride them. Once they let me try it I was hooked and they had a helluva time getting me off it. The next summer my parents got me a brand new 74 Honda Z50 - blue with chrome fenders. I quickly outgrew that (plus my little brother got big enough to ride it and I didn't want to share...lol) so I decided an XR75 would be the next dream bike. My friend and I saved up, collected bottles, did odd jobs - literally drove our parents crazy until that summer of 77 when Dad took the Z50 to the Honda dealer for 'service' and came home with a brand new red XR75. There were four of us that had them that summer, and one guy had an XL75 (he wanted a headlight). I rode the crap out of that little bike and had the time of my life that summer and the next. The neighbors must've hated our little motorcycle gang...lol. I guess I've been hooked ever since.
 

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My dad rode a Harley in the 50's , Mom made him sell it when he hit a loose manhole cover and spent some time in the hospital. I grew up looking at photos of him on the bike and started riding at age 15 1/2 on a beginners permit (allowed in Indiana). I started riding Yamahas in 1969 and am currently on a 2014 Star Tour. The last time I saw my dad ride, he dumped a mini 80 trail bike I picked up while working part time at a Yamaha shop. I told him maybe he shouldn't try riding my 750cc café racer I had at the time! Falling off a 2' tall 80CC bike at 5 MPH didn't hurt anything but his pride. We laughed about it several times in later years.
 

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Now that Im home, I can add I got my first bike when I was 19 in the Coast Guard in Miami Florida. The photo below is the same year and color, but thats not my bike. Got transferred to West Palm Beach after a few months, and discovered the dirt roads through the swamps about 5 miles west of the coast. Use to ride out there all by myself all afternoon.

Had a great time with that bike but had no way to take it with me when I transferred to Station Rochester, NY. Later that year I bought a new 1978 Yamaha IT 175 enduro bike. (Yes that is the MC that Wonder Woman Lynda Carter rides on the TV series).

did not get another street bike till I bought my 2005 Vstar 650 5 years ago this spring.
 

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Meg Ryan in the 1997 movie Addicted to Love with Matthew Brodrick was just one inspiration. I think that may of actually been the year that I got my first bike. Had my Yamaha Special 400 on the road for one summer only. Over 15 years later, I finally got my license and a "real" bike, (one that could go highway speeds).

Good topic. Fun to think about!

 

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I'm really enjoying these stories on different levels. Not only for the camaraderie aspect and getting some insight on you guys but also because since I'm the 'old guy' by a a couple of decades on average in this I.T. environment I work in, you old farts make me feel young. ;)
One thing I picked up reading the posts was that the Dad, family or friends had a bike. I think it's true that people are comfortable around things they grew up around. My Dad road, I ride and my oldest son rode all through high school and college. My son sold his right after college. Life (kids and work) took some of my riding away. I went almost 15 years without a bike. My son is in the same time now. But the other day he did say that he wants another one soon. I hope more people chime about their experiences. By the way, that old fart comment fits me well. 🤣
 

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... I got my first bike when I was 19 in the Coast Guard in Miami Florida. The photo below is the same year and color, but thats not my bike...
I remember you mentioning the Honda 175 before. That was an awesome bike and full of potential beyond what most people would've assumed. I chose to race one against Aermacchi and Ducati 250s when I was a licensed expert racer with WERA and AMA's AHRMA in their vintage classes. I developed a HALL effect electronic ignition to replace the points, a trochoidal oil pump to replace it's inefficient piston variety pump and roller bearing camshafts that allowed a 14,000 rpm redline, a modified 'perimeter' frame to replace the single backbone, designed and machined cartridge emulator compression and rebound emulator cartridges to work with 35mm class maximum allowed 'era correct' production forks and got me a 2nd place in the WERA Nationals at one of the 'dawn of the millennium' finals (I can't exactly recall the year, 2000 or 2001?). That was one of my favorite bikes to race... a bike that in stock configuration couldn't see, much less handle, at anything above 75mph on a good day yet hit the traps at almost 120 mph on the straight at Roebling Road Raceway and Road Atlanta.
 

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LOL! When you're a privateer doing R&D you end up being amazed at how much there's still left to improve on... and that's still in keeping in line with the stringent 'era correct' racing class rules. My 175 was still in the stone-age compared to Dave Roper's highly developed Aermacchi 250 and Team Obsolete's Ducati 250s.
 

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When I was around 10yrs old or so my parents bought me an 80cc Yamaha. Don't remember the model only remember it was white. Rode that thing around our yard a million times. Everyday after school I would come home and hop on that thing and ride till dark. Think it was less than a year after I got it that I came home one day to find out someone stolen it. I was devastated. I never got another one. I had brochure pictures all over my bedroom walls of different bikes. As I grew older I always wanted another bike but was never in a position I could own one or have time to ride if I did get one. Fast forward 30 yrs and I am talking about wanting a bike one day and my wife looks at me and says "if you want a bike then go buy yourself one" That's when I bought my 1100.
 
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