What drew you to motorcycles?
September 7, 2009 at 4:21 am #3404gattonParticipant
I was wondering what it is about motorcycles that draws us to them? I myself was never interested in two wheeled vehicles as a kid (not even bicycles). It seems like a lot of people who ride as adults had things like dirt bikes as kids. I never did and never wanted one.
I’m 33 years old and lately have had a very strong attraction to motorcycles and the experience riding open air on two wheels. Is it a midlife crisis? Well I haven’t wanted a sports car or a 19 year old girlfriend but who knows .
My plan is to take the MSF at my earliest opportunity. I figure I should make sure this is not a passing fancy. Taking up something like cross country skiing as a passing fancy is probably ok. But motorcycling demands a bit more dedication so I want to be sure it’s something I want before laying out $5,000+ for a machine that could get me killed because I wasn’t paying attention.
So did anyone else here get the itch only in your adult life or was it always something you wanted to do as a kid?
Thanks very much and thanks for the wonderful site and info Ben. If I like riding as much as I think I will I hope to pick up a used Vulcan 500 as my first bike. I’ll certainly post here if that happens.
Thanks again and take care.September 7, 2009 at 4:55 am #22223owlieParticipant
Welcome to the forums!
For myself, I really didn’t consider it until a few months ago myself. Frankly, your post looks a lot like what I would have said 6 months ago.
Mostly, I started thinking about riding because I had a character floating around in my head, but how can I write a story about a guy who rides motorcycles if I don’t know squat about them? My character was going to ride a newer motorcycle with a kick starter of all things! But at the time, I didn’t know just how ridiculous that idea was…
Once I started looking around for information about riding and watching bikers out on the roads, I became interested in riding for its own sake, and now, here I am…
If you’ve never ridden before, try sitting on some bikes and see how some of the different models feel under you (I would suggest doing this after the class). You might find that while you think the Vulcan is gorgeous, something else is more comfortable…
Best of luck to you!September 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm #22224JtownJJAParticipant
I had no interest in motorcycles while growing up. I actually used to think “I would never get on one of those dangerous things!”. Then within the past 2 years, my thoughts started to change. I moved out of the city, into the country. My new neighbor got his first motorcycle. I was passing motorcycles on the road a lot more than I used to when I lived in the city, and everytime I passed one, I started thinking “That looks soooooooo fun!”. Finally, last summer when gas prices went over 4 dollars a gallon, and I was filling up my car, something snapped in my head, and I said, “I’ve got to get a motorcycle!”. If it weren’t for the high gas prices, my wife would never had agreed to it. (OK, maybe reaching the age of 40 this year had something to do with it as well.)
I signed up for the BRC, and a few months later, I had my “M” endorsement. Then I became obsessed with looking at Craigslist and cycletrader.com. I always wanted to go to the dealer and sit on bikes, even though I knew I couldn’t afford one yet. I had thought I would really be into the sportbikes, but after one sit on a ZX6, I knew I would never get into the super sport category. I still like the sporty look, though. About 9 months later I got my Suzuki GS500F. I’m sure that I surprised a lot of people, because I tend to be a really quiet, shy person. No one imagined that I would get a motorcycle, especially a sport model.
It has been a lot of fun riding this summer. I’ve been riding to work on sunny days when there is ZERO percent chance of rain. I’m looking forward to my first group joy-ride this weekend.September 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm #22226gattonParticipant
Actually I thought the Vulcan 500 was pretty plain in pictures. I saw one in real life recently and thought it looked nicer. I’ve been sitting on a lot of bikes recently. The first one that really spoke to me was a 2009 Triumph Bonneville SE. It was the first bike that felt really comfortable when I sat on it. But unfortunately the price ($8400) and displacement (865cc) were higher than I wanted. Fortunately when I sat on the Vulcan I had the same sense of comfort and “rightness” that I felt on the Bonny.
JtownJJA I’m pretty quiet and shy too. I fully expect to get a few comments like “YOU ride a motorcycle?” In fact the impetus for the initial post was a comment from a friend I hadn’t spoken to for two years. Upon hearing that I spent my birthday sitting on bikes at dealers she said: “You want a motorcycle? Where did that come from? You were never interested in them before.”September 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm #22229wbsprudelsParticipant
I would echo Jtown’s experience. I was 42 last summer when the bug hit me out of the blue. I put it down to the price of gas, too, while my friends and family called it a mid-life crisis. Call it what you want, but I am loving it!September 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm #22240WeaponZeroParticipant
I was born in a rapidly declining neighborhood of North Miami Beach, FL. It was within walking distance of the 163rd Street Mall, which, those who know the area will tell you is not exactly Paradise. When I was a child I was scared to death of motorcycles because people with Harleys with straight pipes would ride by my house and I remember the sound was defeaning and scared the ever living shit out of me as a child because of how loud it was.
Still though, there was an appeal there brought on by movies such as Lost Boys and The Wraith as I got older about high school-aged students who were able to live completely independently and have many misadventures all because of motorcycles, and that created a desire to have one of my own that overpowered the fear. The bikes I was most drawn to as a child were UJM/standards. I remember listening to songs such as Triumph’s Tears in the Rain as I got older into the 90s and how it made me think of images such as a black Honda Nighthawk 750.
But that didn’t last, and I eventually began becoming more and more attracted to sport-style bikes, eventually becoming fixated on the late ’90s Honda CBR900RR and ZX-9R. I was very close to getting a used CBR900RR myself as a first bike (good thing I didn’t), but then a family emergency came up and I had to use my savings to help out my mom who had lost everything when a hurricane destroyed her home. That incident of having to spend my entire savings to help my mother rebuild her life discouraged me from getting a bike again for some time, until I eventually moved to Pittsburgh.
After a few years of living up here (2008, to be exact) and having one used car after another all turn out to be money pits, I decided that now would be a good time to consider getting a bike again. I happened upon a cycletrader.com ad for a used 2000 SV650 that was for sale from a private owner only a few blocks from my work. I went and looked at the bike that day on my lunch break and fell in love with it. I had my dad test ride it around for a little bit and he insisted it was “too much power” for a beginner such as myself because it was faster and more powerful than any bike he had ever ridden back in the ’70s, when he rode. Despite his advice I bought it anyway, and I don’t regret it.September 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm #22248JackTradeParticipant
If the King of Cool was into it, it’s probably a safe bet it’s worth doing…
I was always into cars and bikes as a kid, but it was only in my adult life that I had the resources (time and money) to finally realize my passions. Cars were first, so worked my way up through a number of them (currently have a Mustang GT that I’ve done some work on). Then to SCCA stuff, driver’s schools, etc.
On a track day about a year ago, I realized that as fun as they were, there were (at least) two big problems facing me…1) they’re expensive and 2) really expensive if I crash. Also, I wasn’t willing to make this my only hobby, which any sort of motorsport requires if you’re serious about it…I’m more in the “gentleman racer” mode; for me, the fun is in mastery of a complex set of skills, not in being super-competitive with a super-competitive vehicle. (Though that said, the new 24 hours of LeMons racing definitely has my attention…endurance racing with junker cars that must cost no more than $500 – safety equipment exclusive!)
So I looked for something that I could get into that would provide the same rush, but without all the expense. Remembered how cool motorcycles seemed when I was young, remembered how cool McQueen looked attempting to get over the Swiss border crossing, so investigated the MSF, and you know how it all goes.
While I plan to eventually work my up to motorcycle track days, that’s a long time off, and I’m plenty content just mastering the basics for now.September 17, 2009 at 4:45 am #22381AmyD_onKawasakiParticipant
my dad started riding in his early 30’s as well. I think it was because he didn’t have much cash and his little brother was doing it, so he felt like he could do it to, and he has ever since. Even better, he gave me the motorcycle bug as well (not that my mom is happy about that)
i’m only 20 but i’m guessing for someone in their 30’s, you have a stable job, maybe even a family and a house and are starting to feel “settled”. settled is not exciting. you’re a grown up with a grown up lifestyle and from what i know of grown ups is that they are bored most of the time. so i think, for you, getting a motorcycle would be a good investment. sure, the initial cost of the bike, equipment and so forth will be a bit expensive for a hobby, but its a hobby that will last a lifetime (my dad’s in his mid-60s now)September 17, 2009 at 11:52 pm #22399okcponyParticipant
I grew up in an enduro-friendly area, where you could easily ride on large empty lots, even finding some places will hills to fly off of. The absolute best place to ride was where the state was in the process of building a big three-tier interstate exchange. Today, it’s I-44 at the Airport Road interchange…but back in the mid-70’s, on any summer day there might be 30 different dirt and enduro type bikes there. What great fun. My dad had a Honda street bike around that time, and we actually had the classic “someone made a left turn in front of us” accident as he was taking me to softball practice one day. The two things I remember most about that wreck was (a) the really quick realization that we’re going down, and (b) how my helmet sounded as it scraped along the pavement for it seemed a long ways. I learned a valuable lesson in wearing the right gear, since I only had on jean shorts and a t-shirt with my helmet…this was probably 1975. Ha ha, my mom said no more bikes around after that! Had another enduro around 1983 that I kept about a year. Fast forward past getting married, having two kids, and getting them both raised and into college…and my hubby and I decide to buy a couple of street bikes. It is hard to pinpoint what the appeal is. Just being out in the fresh air, hearing the motor and feeling the wind against you is pretty cool. I guess the feeling of speed as you accelerate from a stop is sort of addictive, as well. As a female rider, it’s amusing to get the occasional “you ride your own bike??” Yeah, I do!September 18, 2009 at 12:01 am #22400jmayerParticipant
My dad told me when he was 16 he bought a motorcycle, only to sell it shortly after because his mom said he would kill himself on it. And, as I am completely more disobediant that my dad was, I decided to scare the living shi.t out of my mom and enroll in the MSF. Can you believe it, the fact that I was ENROLLING in a motorcycle SAFETY course was enough for my mom to worry about me on a bike, bless her soul.
I never rode before, but I always loved riding my Motiv bicycle and feeling the wind rush all around me.
…Who am I kidding, I watched GREASE 2.
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