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My reason for riding has evolved…When I was a kid, it was just cool to get do do something like that. In my teens it was a great way to cruise and not spend a lot of money. Now I find that still applies, but it is also a good release for me to relax and ride and go sightsee without worrying about how much I’m blowing on fuel. The temperature differences, the smells, and the sound are what I relish now, when I’m riding down a blacktop road through the middle of farm country.
I think I must have been about 8-9 years old (about 1974) when my dad allowed my older brother to buy a Montgomery Wards minibike from a friend. He brought that thing home and we rode it a bunch over the next couple of years. When I had just turned 16 my older brother and a handful of his friends were going to camp at a nearby lake for a weekend and I went along. One of the guys brought along his Honda Hawk 400, and I got to ride it around some, and just loved it! Shortly after that, my brother bought a Kawi LTD-440 I got to ride it some. I finally was able to buy a bike in 1981 when I was 17. It was a 1971 CB 350, and I rode it the rest of the way through high school, and even some while I was in college. I sold it back to the same guy I bought it from for the same price I paid for it, when I was short on dough. (Now I wish I’d kept it) I was without a ride for a few years and once I got a job after college I was able to get back in the saddle again with an 83 Seca 750. I found it wasn’t as comfortable as I’d have liked, and bought an 86 Shadow 1100. I kept it until Nebraska passed a helmet law. Being young and silly I just decided I would quit riding if I had to wear a helmet. At some point in the early 90s I had the opportunity to buy a 1980 650 special real cheap, and rode it until the engine failed. (I wish I could find and engine for it now) For several years I watched others ride thinking it would be great to get another bike.
My oldest son turned 19 this spring, and I finally gave in to the idea that he could have a bike, but I’d be damned if he were going to have one and not me!! So I bought myelf a C-50, and bought him a 1981 Virago 750. Now we ride together and even have the chance to ride as a family with the boys riding double on the Virago and my wife on the C-50 with me. I realized how much I had missed it several years ago, and my son was a great excuse to get back on again. The best part is, while my wife, who was against it originally, realized how much she missed riding with me and how much I love riding.
 

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I was wanting a scooter but found out I was pregnant... a few years later, I found out that I wouldn't have my parking place anymore at work because my office was moving.
So I said, I don't want to pay so much for parking in Washington (It's $220 per month) so I said I was getting a scooter. A friend told me to look at the Burgman 650, and I bought one nine days later. I LOVE it.
I told my husband he was going to have to get his license in case something happpened to me and he needed to move the Burgermeister.
Well, he said he'd be damned if he was going to get his license to ride a scooter... and he decided he wanted a Suzuki sv650S. Fine. But he didn't have his license. I found one for him exactly like he wanted for a great price on Craigslist, and I had to drive it 150 miles home... at night, when it was cold, on I 95 when I had had my license for about 3 weeks.
At that point, I knew I was getting a CRUISER!!! :)
I found the C50 in Pittsburgh, and drove that 300 miles home... and then, I drove to Wisconsin and back. Totally addicted in three months.
Oh: Family lore...

I have a picture of my grandfather on a 1915 Harley. He grew up in Wisconsin. He owned an Indian, and had one with a sidecar, and grandma rode in that when they were dating.
But he was in a bad accident; totalled the indian, his friend, a passenger in the sidecar was killed and Gramps' leg badly smashed when he was on a country rode and a farmer pushed a hayrick (without lights) into the intersection.
The only good news is that when he was called up for WWI, he was declared 4F, and stayed in Wisconsin and got married...

My four year old now says the scooter is his. Did I mention it's a 650? Oh, and my husband now admits it is a luxurious ride.
 

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25 Years was Too Long

Bought a Suzuki 380 (two stroke) senior year in college because my parents wouldn't find out--because they would have kicked my butt if they had. Sold it after graduation because I couldn't hide it and it didn't run well for $300 (1985). Went love/hate on bikes for many years, except for the technology and capabilities of the machine which always mesmerized me. About a year ago started looking again when I realized that bikes are just too beautiful and too personal to ignore. Having a bad break up followed by a hot blonde with enhancements might have helped too. Anyway, looked for 2 months after walking in the HD store to 'look around' and ended up with the Volusia because I figured at 47 I was old enough to make my own choices and young enough to have the reflexes and balance to learn safe riding. Now I ride every day it isn't over 30% chance of rain and sometimes I do then too.
 

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Got my license and first road bike at 17 (Honda Cm250), then upgraded to a Honda Shadow VT700 the next year. 4 years later, after college I crossed-over to a dual sport to have some fun on and off road. Rode that for about 3 years then went with out a bike for a few and have been on the Vol for the past 3 (4?) years. Now, I am ready for an Ultra Classic, my wallet is not. Probably be on a Nomad next year. Would like to keep the vol, strip it down and use it as a barhopper, but right now all I want is a dresser (preferably with a fairing), to log some serious hi-mileage days, and on.
 

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Well . . .

For me it all started when I was in third grade (1958). Best ride I had was a broken down riding lawn mower (Dad's - but I always cut the grass). The neighbor ( late twenty something year old freshly married and no kids - offered to take me on my 1st motorcycle ride on his Honda 250 ish bike.

After p*ssing my pants when he did a wheelie (not intended) and tearing around a bunch of curves - I though when I growed up maybe but with a family of 6 kids the only spare money came from finding old pop bottles along the side of the road. Fast forward . . .

While working my way thru college, I got hit by another student trying to avoid a traffic stop. Didn't get hurt - just knocked over and tore my pants some but I did limp around a bit sore. The other guy's insurance company offered me $2500 to get better. I promptly did and went to the nearest Honda store with a friend who had Honda's since he was 15. Bought my first bike - a 1973 Magna Red Honda CL350 Scrambler. Road mostly fire trails as well as highways.

Shortly thereafter bought a used Husky 250 dirt bike and tried motocross for a season. Never broken any bones but did wear out a lot of brakes and took a lot of sh*t for that form the other rider buddies. I guess that formula is why I never won anything!!

Bout a year later, after graduation and landing my first job in the hills of NE PA, I laid the CL down at about 50 mph into a wet grassy field to avoid a head on with a semi hauling logs using both lanes of the highway. The prior week an EMT friend on a call helped pick up two pieces of a guy my age who did the same thing but slid into a roadside barbed wire fence and cut cut in half. Scared me enough, I thought I better grow up so I sold my bikes.

Fast forward . . met significant other, married, two kids, several neat jobs around the US and abroad. Came back to Central Pa to look after my folks and help my boys get thru college. After the parents passed on, the boys graduated, and I got thru a serious illness - I decided life was too short to give up on your dreams. I had always get my motorcycle stamp active . . .

Time was awastin' so I got permission from my wife to play "Easy Rider" and bought my '06 C50 as a probationary bike before I bought a real bike - an expensive HD or the like. After dressing it up a little and taking some solo trips of 4-5 days, I decided that the C50 fit me just fine and put on 20k miles in the past three years. Not a lot for most of you, but a big deal for me.

I had a ball on the '06 and it was a beaut with hard paints, custom paint, blah, blah, blah. But a month ago, it got totalled by a cager who rear ended me. Faced with a difficult decion of what to replace her with, (not if I replace her), I rode a bunch of "bigger bikes" - even a BMW toure and an HD Electraglide. But I still came back to the C50 - not a big horsepower bike, but a good bike for me. So I bought an '09 C50 and am in the process of "making it my own" again. Kinda like a "do-over" I tell my wife!!

I look forward to getting back on the road exploring where I can and am envious of all you who have taken cross country trips. At an early retirement and 60 years, my body isn't as happy enduring the long rides but I try to fool it a lot!!

Well, enough BS for now.
 

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I've been riding less than 2 years. I had always wanted one for as long as I could remember by Mom always said no motorcycles when your living at my house. 2 years ago met one of my best friends out for dinner to celebrate his kids birthday. We were getting ready to leave and he said his in-laws were at a bike night up the road and wanted to see my kids. We went and I sat on his Road star and was hooked. It felt good just sitting on it. So I stated bugging Lori and of course she said no(she should have learned by now not to say no if I really want something I will just get it) well one Sunday took the family to whitehouse farms to get some Blueberry doughnuts. Being not that far from Andrews I decided we were all going . Went in and looked around and Lori saw the 2008 red and white C50t. She loved the look of it. I talked to the salesman and told him that I have never rode a motorcycle before and he said that the C50 was a great 1st bike. He didn't pressure me at all. 3 days go by and I finally call him back but it was gone. They had the Black one in stock though. So I called a few different Suzuki dealers around and they didn't have any at all. I got back to him a few days later and the black one was gone now. I was bummed I wanted the touring package and they weren't getting any back in However they had the silver and blue on in stock(it was just a C50 not the T model) I told him if he added the accessories on for the same price he had a deal. Went and signed the papers 2 days later. When they delivered it it had 1.3 miles on it. Then the fun part I had to teach myself to ride . Luckily I knew how to operate a clutch so that was pretty easy. First time out only stalled it 3 times. I got to second gear and topped out at 20 mph. Fast forward 2 years and in 12 days we are leaving on a 3 day tour of Ohio together.
As you can tell I have the fever and there is no cure only treatments of long rides.
 

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When I was a kid, my folks assured me that motorcycles were "the devil" and forbid their use. I was a good kid, so I did what my folks said.

I grew up, flew jets for 20 years with the USAF and Colorado ANG, and then was put out early due to a medical condition. Got married at 21, we had two daughters when we were in our thirties, and I almost died at 50 (weird infection in my left arm). Unfortunately the infection also damaged my heart. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself when my buddy (who rides an Ultra Glide), said I should go with him on a motorcycle trip on a rented Harley. Intrigued (and a little nervous) I passed the MSF course in June of 2006 and then bought a 2003 Vol instead of renting the HD (my buddy test-drove the Vol for me and was impressed).

I've added several pieces to the Vol, and it just keeps getting better. In addition to numerous rides in and around Colorado (what a blessing to live here), I've ridden the length of US Hwy 50 from Ocean City MD to Sacramento CA, and rode round-trip to Sturgis last summer for Bike Week.

I can't afford an airplane, but I think of my Vol as a "poor man's airplane." I never thought about riding when I was young, but now I can't imagine NOT riding.
 

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Had my first bike, a Yamaha 500, in 1974. Sold that and didn't ride for too many years. When I retired I bought my first Suzuki, an '02 Volusia 800. Sold that one to buy my present bike, an '08 C50 Limited Edition.

I ride for the enjoyment and the fact that I only think of what I am doing while riding. (Watching for the idiots that don't see us!) It is much more enjoyable now that my wife is riding with me. Nothing like getting up in the morning, going out to breakfast somewhere, and then going for a ride on some country road. :D :D
 

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RidgwayCO said:
<snip>

I can't afford an airplane, but I think of my Vol as a "poor man's airplane." I never thought about riding when I was young, but now I can't imagine NOT riding.
I completely agree with you. A motorcycle is the only 3 dimensional vehicle that never leaves the ground (usually :twisted: )
 

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I've been riding since age 12, 1966. My rich buddy got a Bonanza mini bike for his birthday because his dad was feeling guilty for cheating on his mom with the neighbor lady. My friend caught him in their back yard and got all kinds of neat stuff just for keeping quiet.

3 of us would take turns ripping around the Portland neighborhood until the police showed up. Usually lasted a couple of hours a day.

At age 13, I graduated to riding my gay uncle's Honda Cub 50 around the farm up in Bickleton WA. He moved off to the big city and left the Honda for my brother and I to beat up. We rode the crap out of that little thing (the bike).
Just before I graduated high school, I bought my first bike, a brand new 1972 Honda CB450. Had it for 2 weeks and totaled it, and damn near totaled me.

Been riding ever since, with the exception of a few years in the 90's.
 

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I am 57 years old. My parents were dead set against any of us kids having a bike. My grandfather and my uncle died serving in the German army operating those motorbikes with sidecars. (On my mother's side of the family.) My father was an army WW2, Korean and Vietnam veteran.

I have started and stopped riding many times. I have quit riding for many reasons, but I always start riding again for the same reason: You get a lot of smiles to the miles.I always get the gleam in my eye and remember the wind in my face and the freedom of the road.

1975: 74 XL 250 Honda dual sport while in the army. I had that and a 74 Jeep CJ5 so I was the off road dude in Leavenworth KS.

1980: 78 Suzuki 750. I rode that a few years and sold it to pay some college bills.

1985: 74 Honda 350 (rode it off and on for a few years and sold it)

1989: Bought a 1980 750F (commuted to Seattle on the ferry daily for two years then sold it)

1993: 80 Yamaha 650 (this one didn't stay in the garage long.)

1999: 94 Kawasaki 750 Vulcan (this one stuck for awhile. a very nice bike. I bought it with 9,000 miles and sold it with 30,000)

2005: 2004 Suzuki Savage. (one road trip with this bike is all it took to put it back on the market. I liked the size, it had enough power, but it was very uncomfortable for any length of time. This one lasted one season.

2006: 250 Honda Rebel. Same fate as the Savage.

2007: 05 1600 Kawasaki Nomad. What shocked me about this bike was the mpg. I got a little over 30 mpg and I had to use premium. I loved this bike for the open road and had it for over 2 years but riding it to the store and back didn't make sense so.... I bought a.....

2008: Honda Elite 150cc scooter to ride to the store and back.

I kept the 1600 for road trips but didn't get out on big road trips, so I decided to go smaller again.....

So I traded the Nomad for a:

2004 Honda Shadow 1100 and cash. (this one lasted 2 months.) I didn't like the bike. Not sure why, but it was not a cruiser bike....it just wasn't. I advertised the bike and a guy came looking who had a....

06 Suzuki C50T and wanted the Shadow. Good deal for both of us.

Added an 04 Honda Silverwing after disposing of the Elite.....

Thought the Silverwing was going to be the "one bike" and so I put the C50T on Craigslist and sold it in a week. Then I panicked and immediately started looking for another cruiser.

Found the 03 Volusia this spring that I have today.

Sold the Silverwing.....

Bought the Honda Helix and added the Texas Sidecar.

Now, I have the bikes that I want to have for the future. I really like how the C50 fits me and I can live with the power ratio / gas mileage / weight of the bike. It feels like a big bike in size but is a little weak in the hp.

I use easy brackets so I can use saddlebags when I want to. I like the bike naked of luggage but as we all know, when it is time to travel we have to bring stuff along.

If I really need to haul something in town.... I take the Honda Helix with the sidecar. I can spend a week's pay at Costco and haul it home in the built in luggage and the sidecar.

If I add anything, it might be a dual sport.

I have experimented with various scooters and mini bikes though out the years as well. Not to mention motorizing bicycles. I tried an electric power assist bicycle for a year.

Never tried the motorized skateboard / scooter. Don't see me doing that.

Never had any desire for a VW trike either.

Never will pay the price for an HD. Some of my friends think they are worth the money. I see better financial alternatives than investing so much money in a motorcycle. HD makes a great line of clothing and a pretty good motorcycle.

If I stay healthy and can ride when I retire.... I can see the use of one of those Goldwings. But I would still need my cruiser bike.... and a in town run around scooter.

Sorry for the long post. It is my story and I am sticking to it.
 

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I started riding on a Kawasaki 90 which I proceeded to strip of all acoutrements as I was too young to get it licensed for the road...My old man came home from work and promptly told me to get rid of it (41 years ago) and have been riding ever since with a 15 year hiatus for raising kids and getting some major repair work done to the old bod. I've owned almost every major brand of bike in the interim except for HD and I certainly am sold on my 05 C50T....I've put more miles on it this year as the weather up here in Canada is FINALLY good enough to ride almost every day!!!
 

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I took the MSF course in May of 2009 at the age of 43. I had never had the desire to ride my own bike but my husband insisted I take the class in case I ever needed to ride his bike for some reason. He had gotten his bike in 2008 and I started riding as his passenger in Jan or Feb of 2009. I had always enjoyed being the passenger. I had previously dated someone with a motorcycle. I loved riding, but as the passenger! I don't know why I've always had a fascination of motorcycles. I always have to turn to look when I hear a motorcycle. I love the rumble!! I think it's genetic since my sisters also love motorcycles. My dad had ridden before he married my mom but he never owned a bike while we were growing up. I heard my grandpa also rode years ago, although he never owned a motorcycle that I remember. Apparently he rode before he had kids.
Anyhow, my first husband never had the desire to ride and could not understand my fascination with motorcycles. I guess that's why when I started dating after my divorce, I was attracted to bikers. :wink:
Fast forward to 2006..... I reconnected with David (we had gone to school together in jr high) after moving back to MS. He's not a "biker", did not own a bike, but I fell in love with him anyway and we got married. He bought a motorcycle in 2008 and we started riding. And I loved being his passenger! He talked me into taking the MSF and my stepson took the class with me. I also talked my sister into going. I thought that if I was going to make a fool of myself, then it would be fun to have her being a fool with me. I am hooked!! We had the best time in the class together! We both got motorcycles within a month of finishing the course.
I love riding my own bike and felt strange the few times I have been a passenger since getting my own bike. This past June has been a year!
My dad now owns a Goldwing. We have all ridden together a couple of times since my sister and I got our bikes and that's really cool!! My dad, my sister, her husband, me and my husband. I wish we could do it more often.
 

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I,like many others on here have already stated, had always wanted a bike in highschool but it was totally out of the question at my house. My parents had known someone that had been killed on a motorcycle. After I graduated from Mississippi State I took my very first paycheck and with the help of my friendly banker I purchased a 1980 Honda cm400t. Enjoyed the heck out of that little bike. It didn't really seem so little back then. Stopped riding in the early ninties and caught the bug again around 2002. In 2003 I bought a used 2001 vol on ebay with 4600 miles on it. I have 66000 on it now and cannot imagine ever being without a bike again.
 

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I think I bought my first bike in 1974. It was a yellow Kawasaki 250 2-stroke something or other. Left a trail of blue smoke wherever I went. This led to my first new bike, 1976 Honda CB360T, which I took very poor care of. I became disenchanted with it after trying to change and adjust the points myself. It ran, but poorly. After selling it in '79, I gave up riding for several years. Then in 2002, my wife allowed me to purchase a new 2003 Honda 750 Shadow ACE. Which was fine until I got tired of adjusting and oiling the stupid chain all the time, which beget my 2005 C50T. Held on to that until last fall, when I had an unbelievable opportunity to purchase a beautiful 2000 Harley Ultra, which will probably be my last bike.

So goes my riding history. Applaud now.
 

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I always wanted a bike but parents would never let me since my moms brother almost died in a bike crash and with a crushed spine wasn't sure if he would ever walk again. In 2006 I totalled a work car and the ins. co did not give me enough to buy another one so....... I bought a S-40 kept it 4 months and traded it on my C-50. In the 4 years I have been riding I have approx 80K miles most of it commuting to work. I ride to work everyday rain or shine storms or clear cold or hot. There have only been a couple of times I regretted taking the bike to work. Those are the days when we have tornado warnings and really high winds and severe storms when it's getting off time.
 
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