In response to Gary, that guy with Flies in his Throat was wondering how some of us got into riding motorcycles I can only say that I was introduced to bikes by accident. My experience should be divided into 3 defined periods, the first of which was purely accidental.
I have always liked mechanized power . My first experience was with a wagon, you know, they were metal and had a tiller like steering handle and you would put one leg inside the wagon to support your weight and then you would push with your other leg. It was easier than walking and you seemed to go faster. In my early years I also had a tricycle and a two small-wheeled push scooter. You stood on a platform and pushed with your leg to attain the speed you wanted. Then I graduated to my first 3 speed bicycle.
It was a safer world back “in those days”. I was around 10 years old. I changed schools and I met a friend who was also an explorer. We lived over a mile away from each other but on the weekends, and during the summer we would go exploring, which meant we would ride our bikes downtown, through Stanley Park and over the Lion’s Gate Bridge over to West Vancouver. No one knew where we were, or what we were up to. All they knew was that we were riding our bikes or playing somewhere and we always made it back in time for dinner. Now that I think about it, we had no money and I don’t know what we would do if we had an emergency. There were only pay phones but I think back then you could knock on someone’s door and they would help you.
Now fast forward a few years to around 1960-61 when I was in grade 8 or 9. I was in the back yard trying to get the lawn mower started and someone in our neighbourhood was selling a mini bike. It had a briggs & Stratton engine on a tubular frame and a pulley system which tightend as you stepped on a friction pedal. It only had a single speed but I was very happy that I didn’t have to pedal anymore. I knew nothing about licences, permits or even how to handle a machine faster than a pedal bike but I rode it for miles to the other side of town and back. I knew it wasn’t right to ride on the main roads so I took backstreets and lanes. Come to think of it I don’t think it even had brakes.
Things are a little foggy about what happened to it but I think I sold it or traded it for an actual Moped. It was a 2 speed 2 stroke affair and I cannot remember the make or model but I believe it to have been a Puch. I had fun riding around the local area close to home. One day I finished my ride and put the moped in the back yard and I notice a police cruiser drive by very slowly and looking directly at me as they drove by. I wasn’t sure what they were doing but in retrospect some one must have complained to the police and they were trying to catch me. I knew the gig was up so I got rid of it and that was that until I graduated from high school.
I came from a home with modest means. I hardly every got to borrow the family car, but my dad did let me use it for my graduation ceremony. During the time I was going to school I had a part time job developing film for a local professional photo lab, hand developing B&W subminiature films. ( I did not get an allowance, I always had to earn my own spending money and buy most of my own clothes. ) This is what got me into photography and my first camera back in 1959, it was a Minolta SR-1. I call it my first real camera, not the Kodak 127 Brownie I received as a birthday present when I was 8. In order to save money, I listed to the radio a lot and knew every hit parade song by only hearing the first couple of notes. Of course I couldn`t afford a collection of 45`s, or 33 rpm albums so I bought a reel to reel tape recorder and I started to tape the music using a microphone in front of the speaker. You had to be quiet otherwise you got your voice mixed into the music. Of course you also got to hear the DJ at the beginning and end of every song. I started to buy better tape recorders and a year later I decided to sell the one I was using to upgrade.
I advertised the tape recorder and I received a call from someone who wanted to make a trade. So we got together to see what each other had. This was around 1964 or 65. We got together and he got to inspect my tape recorder, and I got to look at my new used Yamaha 80cc 2-stroke 4 speed motorcycle. I valued my tape recorder at $60. and this was the amount that I used when I took the papers to the Insurance Agent to do the vehicle transfer.
Now what do now that I have a motorcycle and no motorcycle license. I rode anyway. That`s what everyone did ``back then`` . Hardly anyone had a proper license but I decided to get one. It was easy back then. I practiced figure 8`s, stopping and starting and after a short parking lot test in a huge parking lot, I was legal. It was 1965 and I was on top of the world. I had a motorcycle and an MGB sports car.
Most of you know that I prefer to ride solo. I wouldn`t know how to carry a passenger nor do I wish to be responsible for one, BUT I have only carried a pillion twice in my life. And once I got my motorcycle license, Mrs FutureSkoot hopped on the back and we rode this Yamaha 80cc from downtown Vancouver up to the top of Burnaby Mountain, home of the new SFU University
Back in those early days of motorcycling, Honda had a promotion whereby they used the line . . . ``you meet the nicest people on a Honda`` . Downtown near Stanley Park there was a place where you could rent those semi-automatic Honda 90 step-thru scooters. For a 2 hour min we had a blast riding around Stanley Park.
It would also surprise you to know that during the time I owned the Yamaha 80cc motorcycle, we also purchased a used Honda 65 SuperSport motorcycle for Mrs FutureSkoot
I'm having a hard time trying to come up with a photo, so here is one from the same period but this is 100cc. Mine was a Yamaha 80cc 2-stroke, 4 speed, with Posi-lube. I have no photos of it and can barely remember what it looked like. Wouldn't mind having it back