This was a friends '71 Suzuki 50, similar to my first motorcycle.
This is why and how I started riding motorcycles:

As youths, my brother Dave and I rode our bicycles all over the countryside. We loved riding around and exploring on them and especially finding big hills that we could peddle up (sometimes we would have to walk the bikes up) and then ride down as fast as we could. The areas we grew up in, City of Orange CA, near El Modena and then Goleta, near Santa Barbara, were just being developed, so we had plenty of room to roam. (But, as our mother always tells us, she always knew where we were…right!...LOL ) I remember back then of us watching motorcycles go by and we would talk about owning one someday.

So both our transition to motorcycles was pretty natural.

After high school, I had moved to Sacramento and couldn't find a job to save me, so I joined the Air Force and 6 months later, I was stationed a mile south of LAX at Los Angeles Air Force Station (Now Air Force Base). My car, a 63 Chevy Impala 4 door, needed some major engine work and car insurance was too expensive for my $300 a month pay check, especially when it was costing me $125 a month for my apt. So not being able to afford the car any longer, I sold it and put the money toward buying a motorcycle.

Just a few days after my 19th birthday, I bought my first motorcycle, a Suzuki 50cc (more like an oversized minibike - but it was street legal).

After owning it for 3 months and putting over 3,000 miles on it, including, riding it to Santa Barbara, 100 miles away, I decided I needed something bigger, so I talked my dad into co-signing on a loan for me to buy a '72 Yamaha DS7 250cc twin.

In 11 months, I put on more than 14,000 miles on that bike until I bought a car (a 1972 Vega GT Wagon), and the sold the Yamaha. In the first year and a half of riding those two bikes, I put on more then 17,000 miles.

A couple years later, after getting married, my wife wanted transportation, but I had to drive 25 miles to work. So, instead of buying another car, I bought a '71 Honda 450.


Chris and I rode this bike all over the Sacramento area. I really loved riding two up on those old river roads of that area. But Chris got pregnant with our first son and she quit riding. She insisted someone had to stay alive to take care of our child. Although she went on a couple of short rides with me over the years, that pretty much ended our two up riding for a very long time, like over 29 years…..)-: 

Just before our son was born, I sold that bike and bought another Yamaha 250 twin, just like my first one. But then we had orders for Germany for three years, so after over 5,000 miles, I had to sell that bike. I was without a motorcycle the whole three years, but I really wanted one, but we just could not afford it.  Those German roads would have been so much fun on a motorcycle, they sure were in the car!

After we got back to the states, we got orders for Louisiana. I left Chris and the two boys in El Segundo (Near LAX), and I drove out to the base.

Of course I didn't have a whole lot to do, so I had plenty of time to think about motorcycles. I sure wanted one and anttime I would say something to Chris about it, I would get my head bit off and she would tell me “we” couldn’t afford it. So I quit talking to her about it!

Well, just before her and the two boys joined me, an Airmen I knew on the base was getting shipped out and had a '76 Honda 550F that needed a little work and sold it to me for a camera and a small amount of cash. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell Chris about it, until after her and the boys made it out to Louisiana. You don't want to know! O-:

Well, I only hung on to that bike for a few months, until I found a car we needed (the '73 Plymouth Stationwagon we brought out from Germany was rusting quickly), and I traded the car and the bike for the down payment, plus I had to get a loan. But I knew that wouldn't be my last bike!  It wasn't. ;)

After getting out of the service a little over a year later, Chris talked me into buying a '68 Mustang (6 Cyl) that needed a bunch of work. This was to derail me from wanting a motorcycle. It didn't work. About a year after buying the car, I had it running and a guy from work bought it from me and I bought a 1978 Yamaha XS400.

That bike lasted me a couple of years and I bought a 1983 Honda 650 Nighthawk. Needless to say I just kept buying motorcycles from there on out! ;)

Over the many years I have been riding, I have had a number of different motorcycles.  Every time I got rid of one, sooner or later I would usually have to have another bike. This little fact has caused my poor wife a lot of pain, because she really didn’t want me riding. But she finally got use to the idea that I am going to ride a motorcycle!

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Of course, subject to change without notice! (-:
My Motorcycling