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Why are you a biker?


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My dad was a despatch rider during the 2nd World War.

I have a couple of photos of him with his bike (I'd like to identify the bike one day and maybe get one (probably can't afford it)).
So I heard a few of his war stories centered around his riding. Which always stayed with me...

 

Then, years later, I came across the Yamaha TY80

https://www.classicsuperbikes.co.uk/catalogue/Bikes-for-sale/Yamaha-TY80.html

 

This is the first bike I ever rode, back in... Errr... Let's say late 70s... Possibly early 80s... Probably...

My little cousin had it, being slightly older, I was allowed to take him down to the beach with it and a spare can of petrol and we'd rag up and down the beach for a few hours! Great fun!

 

Heading forward, I was poor, very, very poor... So a motor vehicle of any type was out of the question. Which led to some questionable decisions which eventually got me done for no licence/no insurance lol. I should point out that 'we' used to ride around normally, unlike the un-licenced idiots these days! and we'd actually BOUGHT the bikes we were riding, not stolen them!!!

In the end, the only reason I actually got caught was because I passed a gap between two buildings along the seafront and got surprised by a heavy gust of wind, and drifted 3 feet across the road, right in-front of a very bored copper who pulled me for 'driving erratically'... Meh...

 

Life happened and the cashflow didn't improve terribly financially. I rode a bicycle well into my 30s as an everyday thing and to get to work, eventually got a car. But always dreamed about bikes.

I was one of those teens with the long hair, ripped jeans, offensive t-shirt and 4th hand TT Leathers biker jacket (with tassels!). I was a bikerless biker.

 

2 years ago, I'm turning 50 and in a better financial position, and thought 'It's either now or never'! Did my DA and bought myself a Thunderace!

 

 

So what about everyone else?

What was it that got you into bikes???

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Basically  i bought a bike to travel to work,  1975.  [garelli Tiger]  most of my mates had sports peds,, then @17 everyone transferred onto a sub 250cc ,[ L plate laws]   for a few years,,,then passed test,  then got a  400.  but winter dictated the need for a car,.    ,

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting topic Snakebite.
I started biking later on in life. When I was forty years old to be exact, my sister-in-law had an old Puch moped she wanted to get rid of so she said if you come and collect it, it's yours. That was in 1989 and that's when the motorbike bug hit me and have been biking ever since so started when I was forty and thirty one years later I'm still biking with a Suzuki Bandit GSF1250
Mike.

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Hope I'm still biking in 20 years! :D

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I got to know a fella who had a malaguti monti field bike when I was abut 14. We would go over the fields on. He then got a TS125 for the hills. I managed to pick up a fizzy for £20 but that too was a field bike. 

I didnt want a moped, so I waited until I was 17 and picked up an xs250. Im a short arse at 5.8" so I liked the bulkiness of this bike, and I had watched a neighbour on his xs1100, so it reminded me of that. Turns out it was the only thing I liked about that bike.....

Passed my test on 29/12/81 and picked up a honda 4/4 which I rode about for a bit then I picked up my first Bonnie in April 83, a few weeks before my 19th birthday

Since then I have always had a Triumph, but have a soft spot for Yams, having owned a xs1100 and an xjr1200. There is also a xv535 sitting in my shed, but is officially my sons.

Like most folk, back in the day I used the bikes as my only form of transport and never picked up a car until 1988. Nowadays I tend to only use the bikes in dry weather, although as an 'essential worker' I was not furloughed so used the bikes all through lockdown and it was great on the quiet roads

My only regret was getting rid of the xjr, as that was a superb bike

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I bought Bike magazine in the 70's and loved Ogri and Malc.
My poster bike was the bennelli 750 6 cyl and a CZ 175 (no idea why)


Had the leather jacket biker less thing going and got given a cd175 in bits when I was about 15. learned a lot on that bike and even got it running after a fashion. I never got it on the road and my only regret was it had a twin leading drum brake off a gt750, like gold dust now. Left that behind when I moved to Devon.

 

Devon was where I got a KH125 with the engine in bits. Managed to repair it and passed my part 1 off road on it over in Bridgewater, only about 40 miles away to a test to see if I could ride a bike !!

crashed the bike riding off the front rim (i was young) so borrowed a ts125 with no indicators and failed my main test in Barnstaple.
went back to Manchester and rebuilt the kh125, passed my part 2 and sold it then bought a lovely CX500. got taken out on that and spent 6 months recuperating.

had a family so got a car eventually.


sneaked a couple of xs400's into the house when I got a garage and quietly got on with rebuilding a good one out of 2 just before prices of parts went crazy.


ended up with 3 bikes now, xs400 tracker, FZ600 and TDM 850


love the banter and the company, talking bikes and had some amazing rides around UK, Scotland and Europe.

 

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1970, and fed up with push biking 4 miles to work and back every day, no car licence yet, so took a C50 of my workmate who no longer wanted it. It worked fine, just the kickstart was broken. Id put it into second, walk with it  a couple of paces and it would fire up. Ha dit nearly two years, never failed, all I did was fuel it up. How I wish I still had it.

Passed my driving test in 72, cars right up to 2009

Nottingham City Council got me back onto two wheels when they brought in the tram/car park tax. Principles meant that I would not pay it, so bought a Dragstar 125 and passed my test on an ER5. Right up till I retired nearly five years ago now, always rode to work, all weathers. Just loved being out on two wheels. Joy rides, trackdays, I just cant get enough. 

The Dragstar was written off when a car turned right across me, the XV750 I sold three years ago, the YX600 Radian I part exchanged for the FZ6 S2 I now own. 

Currently trying to convince myself to get a dedicated trackbike as I worry about ragging the Fazer to death

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On 11/17/2020 at 6:33 PM, Snakebite68 said:

Hope I'm still biking in 20 years! :D

Don't know how old you are Snakebite (52?) but I'm 71 and am still loving the freedom of getting out on the bike on my own if only just to go for a twenty mile round trip to nowhere or better still to go to a destination to see someone and back again. 
But obviously not during this lockdown of course. Don't want to put pressure on the NHS.
Mike.

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2 hours ago, mike1949 said:

Don't know how old you are Snakebite (52?) but I'm 71 and am still loving the freedom of getting out on the bike on my own if only just to go for a twenty mile round trip to nowhere or better still to go to a destination to see someone and back again. 
But obviously not during this lockdown of course. Don't want to put pressure on the NHS.
Mike.

Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom, but although I'm only 52, I'm pretty damaged (and not particularly fit anymore).

Damaged back, neck, shoulder, knee, onset of arthritis, just generally creaky!

Strangely, it takes more effort to get all my gear on, unlock the bike, put it to bed afterwards then leaver my gear off than it does to actually ride the damn thing! But I don't intend to give it up until I'm incapable... lol.

 

I've always 'been' a 'biker', just most of it has been the old 'biker without a bike'!
I see it as more being a mentality rather than anything else (although a bike helps!).

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