Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 74 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not necessary your first bike. Almost 50 years ago I learned how to ride with my dad's Ariel Red Hunter. Shifted on the right, up for first. Actually, learning how to ride it was a piece of cake compared to learning how start the thing. Fiddle with the spark advance...tickle the Amal carburetor...just the right amount of choke...bring it over top dead center...not too much gas.......now HEAVE! And it starts. Sometimes. Or it pitches you 4 feet in the air if you did anything wrong with the starting ritual. Good thing I was such a resilient teenager back then!

My 1963 Ducati Bronco which was my first real bike that I actually owned was much easier to start than that but that was IF it started. And even if it did start there was no guarantee that it would get me to where I wanted to go before it broke a cable somewhere. Usually a clutch cable but often a brake cable or even a throttle cable. Engine never quit running I will give you that.

Anyway, just wondered what a lot of you folks started with. Lots of fond (and not so fond) memories out there I know.

Share what you learned to ride on or just what your first bike was with us all. Lots of good stories out there. I could go on for hours just with the bikes that I had in the 60's and 70's alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
The first 'bike' I rode was an Allstate MoPed my brother in law owned. I would baby sit for time on that MoPed - an hour for an hour. I think it was 35cc - maybe it was 50cc. It had two speeds as I recall. To start it you just started pedaling as hard as you could and hoped it would catch and go. Usually it did. When it was at max rpm's in first you shifted to second and opened it up again. IIRC it got up to 35-40mph on flat ground. I was hooked and the rest is history!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
The bike I learned to ride on? Actually is was the summer of the year I was 11 years old (I am 62 now). I had gone to stay with my aunt and uncle that summer to give my parents a break and provide something different for me that summer (I was a handful back then, would probably called ADD now). Anyhow, my uncle was a biker. Had a Harley dresser and any time I had the opportunity, I rode behind him on that bike. He also had a Vespa scooter that he had bought for my aunt to ride. Turned out, that she was not interested in riding her own bike after a ride or two. His oldest daughter was my age and he had given her permission to ride the scooter with the understanding that she not take it on the pavement. He also included me in the scooter permission. Cindy, my cousin was not as interested in riding as I was so I got to ride that scooter most of that summer. I interpreted my uncles rules a little more loosely than my cousin did and rode that bike all over. I stayed pretty much off pavement, but back then in Kansas most roads were gravel so I could get pretty much anywhere I wanted to go. That summer set the hook for me and motorcycles. I have ridden bikes since.

Namaste'
Doug from Kentucky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
My dad's 1973 BMW R75/5. The clutch engagement was awful, like some millidegrees from off to on, lol. I still turn red thinking about it because I dropped it in the first u-turn I attempted, broke a mirror. And my dad was laughing so hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,810 Posts
A picture is worth a thousand words . TheReaper!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
What did you learn to ride on

I learned to ride on a Whizzer Motorbike. I was 14. My parents up to that time never even owned a car! It opened a whole new world to me. It was during WWII. We moved to Southern California from Brooklyn New York. In those days most people in Brooklyn didn't own cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
A picture is worth a thousand words . TheReaper!

I owned one just like it. I think it was a 1959 Triumph Bonniville. The three things that stand out in my mind was it was the first year they had an alternator. Prior to that they had a magneto. At that time they didn't have it perfected and it threw battery acid all over the muffler! The second thing was getting a blowout in the rear tire at 70 MPH on a LA freeway. Now that was exciting! The bike vibrated a lot and things kept falling off. Other than these things I loved the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
The first was a Schwinn bicycle with an engine installed by a friend of the family at a local machine shop. With your left foot , you held a pedal down that tightened the belt with a pulley. To stop , you lifted your foot. 1947 or 1948. In 1949, I bought a new Mustang motorcycle made in California, paid for by mowing lawns and odd jobs. Probably, my favorite motorcycle was a 1987 FLTC Harley -Davidson named Old Charley. However, I think the 650 Burgman is my choice for the way I ride now. Posted speed limits and back country roads. I am 80 years old and still ride most every day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,278 Posts
The first bike I rode was a 60's vintage Cushman Highlander but I never rode it on a street just around in a yard. The bike I really learned to ride on was a 1971 Honda CL450.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
>>I think it was a 1959 Triumph Bonniville.<<

That was an earlier version of the Triumph shown above. Your '59 "Bonny" is now perhaps the most sought after Triumph there is.... the "Gold Standard" as it were. What I'd give for one! (if I could afford it)

I learned to ride on a '52 BSA 125 Bantam back in 1958. Went from that to an Indian Chief. :)

P.S. Did it look like this!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281299266787?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,933 Posts
JC Penney Golden Pinto 5-hp mini bike.
The first street legal bike was 1974 Yamaha RD 250 pictured in avatar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
A picture is worth a thousand words . TheReaper!

I owned one just like it. I think it was a 1959 Triumph Bonniville. The three things that stand out in my mind was it was the first year they had an alternator. Prior to that they had a magneto. At that time they didn't have it perfected and it threw battery acid all over the muffler! The second thing was getting a blowout in the rear tire at 70 MPH on a LA freeway. Now that was exciting! The bike vibrated a lot and things kept falling off. Other than these things I loved the bike.
I owned a 62 Triumph TR6 - it was equipped stock with a magneto and came with separate engine/trans and single carb. In 63 came the unit construction where the engine/trans were in a single case and ignition was points & coil. I owned a 68 Bonneville - bought it in 69 after loaning my brother in law my 500 Kawasaki (who crashed it!) in exchange for borrowing a car to take my then GF to her prom. She didn't think it would be appropriate to go to her prom on a MC. I protested but was overruled - and acquiesced.

The 68 was 'night and day' a better machine than the 62. It had less vibration - handled better with a much improved frame - and was more trouble-free in the electrics department thanks to Triumph getting on Lucas Electric's case with reliability issues. There were reports they would go with Bosch if Lucas didn't 'figure it out'. Seems they finally did. Lucas was a joke prior to 63 - and many of us who owned Lucas equipped bikes called them The Prince of Darkness. I owned that 62 Triumph and a 54 BSA 650 - both Lucas equipped. They were very unacceptable. The only saving grace was both were equipped with a magneto - no battery or generator required to run them. I also owned a magneto fired 63 IIRC - Matchless 500cc single (G80) for a while but got tired of it kicking me almost as much as I kicked it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
First was a Sears Allstate 106 cc
Then to a BSA 441 Victor
Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Harley Davidson, and the list goes on..... rider since 1969. :glasses2: many I dont even remember.

Very cool replies keep um coming...:)

Oh yea, and a couple of no name mini bikes with unique breaking systems.... my feet.... lol my shoes didn't last long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
>>I owned a 62 Triumph TR6 - it was equipped stock with a magneto and came with separate engine/trans and single carb.<<

Yes indeedy, while the "pre-units" may have been ascetically nicer the post '62s were much more reliable and leak free. (well, relatively) My last pre-unit was a '56 T110 I did a ground up restoration on in the early 90s. It came out unbelievably well, but still leaked from the back of the chain case, as they all did. :-(

And Scooterbug, I've had two 441 Victors and two 441 Shooting Stars. Not bad bikes actually!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I do remember that pressure release on the handlebar on the Victor. Cool stuff, great memories.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
The first bike I rode was a 60's vintage Cushman Highlander but I never rode it on a street just around in a yard. The bike I really learned to ride on was a 1971 Honda CL450.
Buffalo,
You and I have something in common. It was a late 50's Cushman Highlander for me and I was hooked for life after riding it once. I've not been without a motorcycle of some sort since. My mother told me I would outgrow it, but I'm almost 59 now and it hasn't happened yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
The one I went for my MC class with: a [bleep]-box of a Honda Nighthawk 250. Worn, jumpy clutch, poorly-running air-cooled 234cc twin, and hopelessly-inadequate mechanical drum brakes. (Mechanical brakes in 1997? Seriously?!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
585 Posts
I do remember that pressure release on the handlebar on the Victor. Cool stuff, great memories.
I had a compression release (looked like a baby brake/clutch lever) on my 500cc Matchless single as well as a retard for the magneto timing so it wouldn't throw me over the bars. Sometimes they actually worked!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
647 Posts
Late bloomer ! Only learnt to ride a few years ago so learnt on honda rebel at MSF course.
First bike after that was a genuine buddy 150 , lovely little scoot.
But I was hooked from the first ride across the car park, feet down !
 
1 - 20 of 74 Posts
Top