"Let 'em sail, Let 'em sail! Let the Navy sail! From the East to the West, Army Tankers are the Best!"Not much activity going on in the forum, and thought I would post this up. I have in several other forums and it always makes for fun conversations. Why do you ride? I will start it off.
My dad used to ride a dirtbike. My friends in elementary and middle school rode dirtbikes and I always wanted to get into it but never had money to do so. My dad stopped riding and took up mountain biking instead, and took me along on rides. I owned a Cannondale and a Giant back in the 90s. Quite a few people I knew owned dual sports when I moved to the Philippines but I still never got to own a bike. My friend Chris owned a Ninja and I used to sit on it everytime I was at his house lol.
I joined the Navy at 20 years old, 4 months before 9/11 and got stationed in Japan shortly after. I discovered I loved to drink and party. So much in fact that I told myself I would NOT buy a car, let alone a bike. After 7 years in Japan, I got stationed in the middle east and was so used to not having a car, I decided not to get one there either, even though I quite drinking. Right before we left the middle east, they offered the BRC and I took the course. I was making plans to finally buy a bike!
3 years after the middle east, I get stationed in San Diego (10 years of back to back overseas duty, finally back in the US) and a few months later, realize that 1 car isnt enough for my growing family. I had already talked about buying a bike when I was in the middle east and now was my chance. I picked up a 1999 EX500 (which is a great little bike btw) and was hooked since.
I would say I got into it "late" at the age of 32. 2 years and 7 months of riding, several crashes on and off the street, including 1 hit and run with a taxi, countless canyon days, and 2 track days, I can say I am definitely hooked and see no reason to ever want to quit riding. It quite literally is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
I'm half-white and half-Japanese. My Dad was in Air Force, and met my Mom in Japan. They had my brother in LA, and then moved to NY and had me. My brother was 9 years older than me. I'm a newly minted 43. I can't believe it. Time flies. Worked and went to college from 91-95. 96-04 was in the Army, and finished my Bachelor's after I got out in 2004, and been working since.
Anyway, my brother put me on his RM125 when I was like 8 or 9, and he was 17-18, and was hooked. Had scooters from like 15-17. My best friend and I mowed lawns, shoveled snow, and worked after school and we split a Honda XL 80 when we were like 16. The I bought him out and he got an RM 80, and later a DR 100. Then I got a KX125. That is how I learned. My parents refused to support my motorcycle riding especially after my brother got in a dirt bike accident and got a chunk of flesh out of his arm and broken bones.
But that keep us out of trouble...for a while at least. I think while dangerous, support your kids' desires. Maybe he'll be the next Casey Stoner or Valentino Rossi, or Nickey Hayden. My parents forced things on me like piano lessons which I hated, and sailing classes, which I hate at the time but I dig no though now way I can afford a sale boat and yacht club.
Anyway, while in Community College I got the precursor to all these 250's and 300's. I think it was a 91? Forget. It was my first street bike. A Honda VTR Interceptor 250. Great little bike and it taught me to ride on the street. I rode dirt bikes and enduros the previous 8 years or so. Completely different animal. IN fact, a month before I was about to ship out to the Army which I did because I was partying too much and not applying myself in school, I got into a motorcycle accident.
A van hesitated and then decided to spring a left turn in front of me, and then freaked and stopped in my path. Instead of going over the handlebars, I dropped the bike, slid like 20 feet, slammed into the van's wheel and hub, and flipped upward. I was thrown upright and slammed against the van with my bike and cracked my right clavicle, and on the rebound I put out my left arm and the force of my weight, bike eight, and momentum shattered my left wrist. Got 5 pins in my left wrist and was in arms slings for like 4 months and had 3-4 operations. That was November, and then in March, my wrist was achy but healed and I shipped out to Basic.
I bought a 1992 Yamaha FZR600 in 96 and shipped it to Ft Carson and it was my bike for about 10 years. Bought a 2003 Honda CBR600RR to replace the FZR in 2004, and sold it this past October, and downgraded to an R3. I do miss the acceleration and power, but love my R3. I am older and more chill now. not so much in my car. I do drive fast almost everywhere but am not obnoxious or reckless. I pick my spots. Agree with it or disagree with it, that is what I do. I enjoy driving and riding. Been interested in bikes nad motorcycles since I was a kid, and have loved WSB, MotoGP, and Rally Car in particular.
Riding a motorcycle is one of the best rushes out there. Yes it is dangerous, but I don't think you can live like that. I see a lot fo slow dirvers out there who think they're being safe but they're totally incompetent, hesitate, etc. Far more dangerous than someone speeding a bit who is focused and skilled. But you have to watch out for the idiots out there and learn to anticipate. You can almost learn to read a vehicle's body language-I predict a lot of U-turns, sudden cuts, and dumb moves. But don't ever get cocky and never stop learning.
I love riding for all the cliche things too. The open road. The possibilities. I enjoy working on my bike and learning how it works. The past few years I had been working so much and doing IT certifications, prepping for grad school with extra undergrad classes since I work in IT, but while my Associate's is in Computer Science, my B.A. is Economics. Earned a 2nd Associate's, like 85% of a second Bachelor's that I will likely not finish in order to satisfy some prereqs for acceptance into a Master's into Computer Science/Information Systems progam so I actually kept the CBR off the road the past 2 years. I had a Piaggio Fly 1503V which satisfied some of my two-wheel appetites and needs, but obviously it is not the same. It is very practical in Brooklyn, but along with have a Crossover, a motorcycle, and a scooter, this past summer, I decided to streamline things, get rid of the scooter, sell my CBR, and get a Ninja 300 or R3, and obviously settled on the R3. Paying for 3 vehicles insurance, maintenance, my addiction to aftermarket parts, etc gets expensive. I am not married nor do I have kids, but I do have a GF who is awesome but she is a little fashionista and likes her bags and shoes, and crap. Luckily I do have discretionary income due to this, but still, it was expensive especially when garaging my bike at times. It all adds up. So sold the scooter to and basically combined the scooter and CBR into the R3. I have a better commuter bike I can take to class, and one that is more comfortable when I don't feel it beckons me to do 120. I am a rider to the bone, and I sometimes wonder if my parents had supported my riding and if there was a track and more of a riding culture on Long Island, if I would have ever had a chance to do amateur racing and go on to further levels.
So, I know we all want to protect our kids and stuff and even though I don't have them, I would say to support their riding. Maybe they will be the next Rossi and support you one day. Riding is dangerous, but so is driving or walking almost anywhere. Riding is one of m passions and favorite hobbies, and something I simply couldn't live without.