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How old were you?

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Poll: Age you started riding on the street. (162 member(s) have cast votes)

At what age did you start riding a motorcycle on the street?

  1. 16 The first day I was legal (29 votes [17.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.90%

  2. 17-18 During High School (6 votes [3.70%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.70%

  3. 18-21 Post High School/College (26 votes [16.05%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.05%

  4. 22-29 (16 votes [9.88%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.88%

  5. 30-31 (8 votes [4.94%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.94%

  6. 40-59 (19 votes [11.73%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.73%

  7. Over 60 Never too late (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. Under 16, I had a moped or was just a rebel! (58 votes [35.80%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 35.80%

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#1 Pilot2Wheels


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:11 PM

After great responses on the type of motorcycle to get a 16 year old, I thought it would be interesting to see when most people started riding on the street. I have a feeling that most of us started young, but most people don't feel that is a good choice today. Maybe we are just vain, and think we were better than we actually were. Or maybe we are now smarter than our parents (I don't think so).

Personally, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, each person has their own maturity, abilities, and experience. That is the true determining factor if you ask me.

I was 16, and got my endorsement the morning I turned 16, and never looked back. Of course, I had a moped license at 15, so that is my true street start.
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#2 wheatonFJR



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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:18 PM

18...as soon as I could afford to buy a CB550F.

#3 HotRodZilla


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:21 PM

My first experience riding the street was at 16 years old. I was on a small sport bike in Mexico City, no helmet or gloves. Trust me, riding around in that city was probably not the safest move ever, but I survived.

I didn't ride on the street again until I was 18 and in college. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and the closest paved road was over a mile away.

Lots of people will naysay and hand out warnings of things gone wrong, but I don't think we should live our lives without ever taking any risk. If you want your boy to ride, and he wants to, help him along on your terms. You'll both be better for it.

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#4 Frushlorton


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:26 PM

Not including YZ 125 on the streets of PG County MD, I started riding at 17. I can say I was dumb enough at that time to ride to the DMV on my learners to take the test with no licenced driver with me. When I was turned a away, A local Pagan MC member vouched for me stating he was with me. I took the test and rode home on my Kaw 454 LTD.
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#5 CheesyRider


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:50 PM

I was almost 19. A friend had just purchased a '79 Yamaha XS1100 and he let me borrow his other bike to learn on. It was a POS '76 Kawasaki KZ400. I learned quickly the dangers of sand, but luckily I dumped the bike at a slow speed and did minimal damage to myself and the bike. I was still living at home while I went to college and my parents weren't happy when I brought the borrowed 400 home. My dad said I'd have to live in the garage if I got a motorcycle. I decided it was worth the risk. After practicing on the 400 for a month, I purchased a '81 Honda CB650 Custom. Luckily my father was bluffing and didn't make me live in the garage. He even drove me to pick up the bike. I had that 650 longer than any other bike I've ever owned. I had it for twelve years. I might still have it, but I was rear ended and the bike was totaled.

My 11 year-old son has zero interest in motorcycles. He must take after his grandfather. That's fine with me because as much as I would love to ride with him when he's older, it is one less thing to worry about.

My other son, on the other hand, already shows a keen interest in motorcycles. He is only 2, but I can tell he has the bug already. My wife is already talking about getting him a mini bike to use at her parents' cabin. Of course that means we'll have to get a full-size dirt bike to take turns following him around on the trails!
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#6 airboss


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

Started at 14 Allstate moped purchased from local Sears store $287.00 on sale. Payed for with earnings from my newspaper route, Mom thought it might be "OK" since it had pedals.
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#7 SacramentoMike


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

HERE is an article I meant to link to when your question came up earlier. The website for California Scientific (maker of some of the best FJR windshields, IMO) has a lot more than windshield info. Good info for anybody, along with lots of solid advice on riding and buying bikes. The guy's got lots of opinions, most of them pretty darn sound. I'd suggest reading the part titled "Buying a Motorcycle" on the page previous to the linked one, too.

As for your question, I was 19, in the Air Force and stationed in Denver for tech school, and it was just a little rented 150 with a bunch of friends. No instruction, no gear, no m/c-specific license; just turned us loose on the streets. I'd always wanted one but didn't buy my first one till I got back to the states a year later. My folks were dead against it when I lived at home. The old man rode a police bike and for some reason, they thought they were dangerous. Guess I've had eight now, unless I lost count.

p.s., If you already bought the 16 y-o.'s bike, what did you go for?
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#8 Tyler


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:38 PM

40... which was last week... I was a late bloomer. :D

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#9 HaulinAshe


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:41 PM

I started riding motorcycles solo at age-3. Would not let them take the training wheels off my bicycle because it scared me.

My father bought a used BMW R60/5 with a wrecked Lufmeister full fairing. I rebuilt the fairing and he and I shared that bike for many years. The BMW was my first street legal experience.

I just love it when people give me an excuse to post this photo. :) Rode this bike on the street, but not legally. Note to Niehart - take notice of the garden hose nearby that had just been used to wash the bike.
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The older you are, the faster you used to be.

#10 UselessPickles


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:44 PM

My parents got me a moped when I was 13 and let me ride it on residential roads only until I turned 15 and could get my moped license. I found creative ways to cross major roads to ride through multiple subdivisions and get around pretty good without ever actually riding on main roads.

I learned how to ride a motorcycle with my mom when I was 16 at the MSF course, then went for many local rides with my parents, including before finishing the MSF course using the learner's permit (my dad was our licensed chaperon).

The best family ride back then was one that my girlfriend (now wife) rode on the back with me for an all-day ride with my parents. She got grounded for quite a while because her parents found out (they don't like motorcycles). Now she rides her own bike, and there's already plans to get a little 50cc dirt bike for the kids. My family has corrupted their poor innocent little daughter :). They're still hoping that the kids might just not be interested in riding when they grow up, but they already love motorcycles (or "mogodyko", as my 3-yr-old says).
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#11 dcarver


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:47 PM

UP,love this "mogodyko" :yahoo:
Talk about a great forum alias!

Me, 14, Suzuki 90, total loss ignition system, caught and 'ticketed' on a residential stree :blink: Ooops.
Walked away Posted ImagePosted Image Is it really crashing if you don't fall down?--
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#12 HaulinAshe


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:48 PM

I do think it's worth stating that road & traffic conditions today are nowhere near what they were when I started riding street in 1976. Motorcycles are much better machines, but surrounding traffic is exponentially more dense, and more stupid. I think the skillset required to simply stay alive now is significantly greater. So IMHO a young person is old enough to ride street when they are smart enough to graduate MSF Basic training and responsible enough to pay their own bike insurance and maintenance costs.
The older you are, the faster you used to be.

#13 CAJW


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

Started at age 10 on a JCPenney's "Pinto" mini-bike with a 2hp Tecumseh. Graduated to a Honda 55 trail soon after and moved on up from there. First rode the street "legally" about 5 minutes after I got my learner's permit at the ripe old age of exactly 15 1/2*, which was the age one could get a mc permit in Calif at the time. Actually took my Honda 90 trail down to the DMV in my Dad's pickup, aced the riding and written tests and rode that bad boy home in the rain on cloud 9!

* Poll didn't reflect a 15 1/2 age choice, so I included my vote in the rebel section.

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#14 escapefjrtist


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

Started riding in the dirt with a street bike...broke the foot pegs so many times dad got tired of welding them back on. :) Growing up in the AZ sticks, we were able to ride to high school with our own private parking place. Rode a lot of back-road street rides before 16 and then got the license immediately.

Anyone remember these giant killers... :lol:

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#15 allrider


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:58 PM

8-9 years old I would ride on the street, and get chased by the cops. I had to stop doing that, when I got my license.
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#16 Queensland Ken

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

Started when I was about 14, a Bultaco 175.
Three bikes latter, including a Suzuki GT380, I went for my licence on my RE5.
Funny thing that Mum lived near the testing centre. The Transport Dept guy had seen me and the RE several times in the burbs.
All what he wanted to know is if he could have a ride on it.

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#17 redtail


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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

Didn't get to ride as a kid (still scarred!), so I got a bike as soon as I got out of the Navy at 21. Picked up a Honda 350 and rode the hell out of it for about 6 months before selling it to buy booze! Got on a Kawi 1000 on my 25th birthday and proceeded to crash it into a block wall. I was pretty drunk and on some kind of downers. Broke my collar bone, split my eyebrow open and was told that I was out for almost 10 minutes!

Later that year I finally got sober, and have been since!

The man who helped me sober up, had a garage full of bikes! I think I was 28 when I bought a wrecked Honda 400 from him. The triple tree was bent so it wobbled like hell if you tried to go over 35 mph. I rode it out in the country and on every BLM rode I could find. A year later I bought a Honda 400 CMT that was in great shape and started riding it to work around Los Angeles. I rode these bikes in all conditions. The BLM roads would go from old pavement, to sand , to rocks, to mud and back and forth between it all! The bikes were cheap and really easy to handle so I learned how to recover from a lot of near mistakes. Those early days set me up for the next 23 years of blissful motorcycling!

My sons are 18 and 20 and still don't ride yet! They both waited until they were 18 just to get their license. Probably because traffic here in L.A. is so bad these days. I've wanted to get them bikes but the wife wants them to get comfortable in a cage first! The 20 year old has done well so I've started looking for something like a GS 550!

A Friend recently explained to me that " a good amount of air time is required to truly appreciate road rash!" I'd like to take his word for it!
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#18 barb


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:48 AM


#19 vabrzn


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:02 AM

I picked up my first bike in 1968. It was a Honda C-200 I received in payment for mowing Mr. Harrison's grass all summer. I started riding legally on the street in 1974. I took my Dad's truck in to get my regular drivers license and came back an hour later to get my motorcycle endorsement on a 1970 Suzuki TS 250 Savage. I think the motorcycle endorsement had ten questions and I had to be able to ride around the parking lot:) I sure miss the smell of Klotz two stroke oil.....
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#20 Monty


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:39 AM

A Cushman Eagle in 1951. I was 13.
Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the stituation.