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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Having Fun on a Motorcycle


Having ridden various motorcycles over the past several decades, beginning on a 2-1/2 horsepower Briggs & Stratton powered mini bike, I have my own, peculiar perspective on what it takes to have fun on two wheels. Basically, I never thought that horsepower was all that important.

In addition to riding virtually every significant motorcycle introduced in the last 15 years, I also have the unique perspective of having read countless email and comments posted by MD readers. It still strikes me when a reader has a very strong opinion about the type of machine necessary (whether it’s horsepower, weight, or some other factor) to have a good time on a motorcycle. I don’t have a strong opinion about that subject. If anything, my experience has taught me that almost every type of motorcycle can be a blast to ride, under the right circumstances.

You have probably heard the old saying: “It is more fun to go fast on a slow motorcycle, than to go slow on a fast motorcycle.” Wringing the neck of an under-powered bike, finding the most efficient line, and carrying speed wherever possible, is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever experienced on two wheels. It is decidedly different from the experience of drag racing a Kawasaki ZX-14R, and I suppose the nature of the enjoyment is different, but you can have just as much fun doing either in my opinion.

Sure, I enjoy pulling a wheelie now and then on a powerful bike, and that is a special feeling. I enjoy flying through the air on a dirt bike (although I haven’t done much of this lately), and sliding in the dirt. Nevertheless, one of the most grin-inducing activities is racing mini bikes in the dirt against your friends (or other journalists). Mini bikes with much less than 10 horsepower.

Cruisers, sport bikes, adventure tourers, luxury tourers, and dual sports all have their unique appeal. Before I had ridden some of these, I genuinely wondered where the fun factor was with some of them. Now I think I know. People buy all of these different types of motorcycles, and people genuinely enjoy all of these types of motorcycles. People have different backgrounds and experiences and different skill levels on two wheels. An important task for a journalist is to enter the mindset of the target consumer of a given class of motorcycle when you test a bike.

Corny as it might sound, motorcycling brings joy in large part through a sense of freedom. Freedom coupled with intense concentration (a form of meditation, even). Riding a motorcycle requires you to focus. Generally, your life, or at least your well being, depends on it. When you focus, the rest of the world, and your troubles, melt away. Together with the freedom to choose where you go, and how you get there on your motorcycle, there are few things that can match the joy of riding.


  1. Dave says:

    I just bagged me a 1972 honda sl 350 I can’t wait!!! I got my Buell when I want to GO but I also got my Mancenstein when I want to GO there’s a thousand CC and 140 hp between em and I smile just as much no matter which one I ride!!!!!! The SL is just another way to HAVE MORE FUN!!!!!!!!!!

  2. David Duarte says:

    Right on!

  3. Ian says:

    Started on a moped (remember them?) back in the day. First real bike was a Kawi 90 dirt bike that was so much fun riding the local trails, and mickey mouse MX track. Rode the thing whenever possible, and always put a smile on my face. Beat the heck out of it, broke it, fixed it, and rode it some more. After a few MX bikes and racing for a while, moved to the street. First one of those was a ’85 V4 RZ500 two stroke Yamaha, us Canadians were lucky to have these so called death traps up here. Terrible handling and brakes, but when it hit the pipes @ 7 grand, it sure put a big smile on my face. Have a fairly current ZX6R now, and it’s fun to ride too, but no more fun that the Kawi 90 I had as a kid. It doesn’t matter what we ride, it’s all about the love of riding. Great article, and well said Dirck!!

  4. Kent says:

    Can’t wait for my garage to warm up again so that I can finish putting together my ’71 Suzuki TS125 Duster! The bike I wanted as a kid…and I think I am going to have all kinds of fun riding it!

  5. jimjim says:

    Agree 100%, I just love trying to wring every bit of horsepower out of my sons CBR250R and picking the perfect line through the twisties.

  6. Lenz says:

    Now to a little kid that Briggs & Stratton powered beastie is a fine intro to the scintillating world of straight out FUN that is MOTOBIKIN.

    Some folks may get all hoity about how clever / cool / they feel whilst operating their choice of 2 wheel velocopede however ultimately we all “Get It” – the freedom and the exhilaration.

    I don’t care if it burns fossil fuels, hydrogen or runs batteries and rubber bands – I’ll still throw a leg over it

  7. Cowboy says:

    My first bike was a Honda S-90; I thrashed that thing all over, during high school.
    Then I got the Ducati bug, and spent way too many Saturday nights working out the kinks in a series of 250 and 350 Dianas.

    I graduated to a Kawasaki Mach III, and spent my senior year trying not to kill myself on that.

    I am currently on a Triumph triple, which is so good, it beggars description; fast enough, powerful enough, sweet handling enough….

    But the single most enjoyable motorcycle I have ever owned was my XR-650 Honda custom-built, street-licensed supermoto. I loved everything thing about it; kick starting it, pulling impossible, mile-long wheelies, riding up and down curbs, climbing staircases, showing my heels to all comers on the Backside, Osborne, and Mulholland. What a wonderful machine.

    I sold it, in a fit of passion, to a guy that I had just smoked, on an MV Augusta Brutale. He couldn’t get over it; “You just kicked my ass – on a DIRT BIKE???”

    Good times. Thanks for the reminder…

  8. marc t says:

    We used to call these things “doddlebugs” back in the ice ages. Anyone remember Cushmans?

  9. takehikes says:

    When I think back over the legion of bikes I’ve owned and ridden my favorite remains a 74 Honda 450. It did everything just good enough. I had so much fun with it…just riding it, get on and go! I truly believe riders these days are missing something by not slowly working their way up through the ranks of motorcycle types and sizes. Everyone seems to pick a type and stay with it and go as big as they can.

  10. Motowarrior says:

    If you want to recapture some of the fun and memories on a new bike, buy a Honda Grom! It gets you back to the basics with no reason to ride it except to have a good time. High on smiles per mile factor.

  11. Magnus says:

    My very first ride, at age 10, was a push start direct drive 3HP B&S with no brakes. Most memorable ride ever. Full speed 100 yard dash straight into the bushes! I was hooked.
    CRF230L = more fun than a barrel of monkeys
    Moto Guzzi Griso = has never matched the Honda’s grin factor
    Most fun bike I ever owned- 1974 Yamaha RD 60 with a GT80 motor (I was 40 at the time) There has been nothing like flying down the highway on a 170lb bike at 75mph all tucked in drafting a mini van, engine screaming, and zipping onto the off ramp like I’m on rails. The Griso does it effortlessly.

  12. Mr.Mike says:

    Just as important as the bike itself, if not more so, is having good places and time to ride. For me the good roads are about three hours away so I need a minimum of 7 free hours to make it worth my while to go out for a ride and that kind of time is a precious resource. I commute by bike nearly every day, which is better than being in the car but commuting is not the same as tearing up a mountain road. In the end the kind of bike itself is one of the least important components of the ride.

  13. Terry says:

    In the mid sixties I worked for a motorcycle dealership in Tucson, AZ, that sold Norton, Ducati, and Honda. One of my ‘jobs’ was to take home one of the used bikes on the lot, to make sure they would start the next time a customer came to look at one. The only rule was that I had to be fair, no favorites, a different bike every day. One day its a Honda, the next day a Cushman scooter, then a BSA, a Yamaha, a Vespa, etc. I loved my ‘job’, and every thing with two wheels that I rode.
    Last week I had six bikes, three Italian liter class bikes, an old Beemer, a 500 Honda Cafe, and a ’73 Honda CB125. Unfortunately the CB125 is now gone, someone saw it and just HAD to buy it. I miss it, of all my bikes, it got the most attention, and was a kick to ride. Riding slow bikes fast is really at least as good as fast bikes so-so.

  14. todd says:

    I was lucky as a kid. My uncle owned the Honda/Kawasaki dealership in Oakland when I was a kid. We used to ride ATC90s and 50s all over. I remember crashing my brother’s mini bike into the only car in the parking lot. As soon as I got a license I got myself a yamaha 90 twin. I could get that thing up to 75 mph down mission blvd.

    I’ve been commuting daily on my bikes for the last 24 years. Cars just seem so impractical to me. Why would you ever want to sit in traffic in a $20,000, 20mpg car when you can get to work in half the time on a free, 50mpg Yamaha Seca. I eventually bought a big, expensive $3000 K75 because I wanted something that would last forever even though I still have 10 other bikes sitting in the garage. Power and “torque” are way overrated. I’ve been playing with the idea of trading my ’93 Monster for a Ninja 250 so I can have more fun and let other people ride it too.

  15. vitesse says:

    Nice to have things put into perspective every now and then.

    True for me that the ‘intense concentration’ and the ‘focus’ certainly does provide a strong feeling of well-being. Can’t get enough of it.

  16. todder says:

    No suspension KLT three wheeler is how I learned to clutch and shift. Usually it wouldn’t start and I’d run the old sears Vespa through the woods and cow pastures.

    My cousins got the Briggs & Stratton minibike. Later they got an XL80 Honda which I would borrow as often as possible. Nothing more fun than tearing around the farm on two wheels.

    Later got my hands on an old 250 yamaha 2-stroke which had no usable front brake or rear brake. The kill switch was me choking the carb…that thing was fun. Miss all those machines.

  17. Tommy See says:

    Had the same with Clinton 2cycle no clutch. Bump and hang on. Ran wide open and was a blast of fun. 60,s was a great time in my life.
    Strict parents and a belt that my dad used as a tune up kit. Oh yah I,ve never had a brush with the law. Wonder where the discipline has gone in life. Ok down the drain.

    • Jakes Grampa says:

      Talk about discipline, Dad would pull out his pocket knife and send me out into the woods to cut my own switch. Some times it took two or three trips till you came back with the right one!

  18. william says:

    I have had similar experience as others here in that most bikes you can have some fun on in the right situation. The most fun rides in my life were the klx300 offroad. On the topic of buying a new bike and looking at what that new model does better than the one you have is where I have the most difficulty. I am finding now that new bikes seem like basically the same old thing. I have lost my excitement. Even though I can have a good time, I find it hard to put forth the money if I am not all that excited. Electric is a new cool thing with some pros and cons, so that has me interested, but too expensive for me. So hope they keep improving. The reverse trike is an interesting concept, but i think only 1 scooter and 1 bike actually use it. CanAm wants way too much for it, so I have to cross it off my list. So my list is looking pretty empty right now.

    • MGNorge says:

      I have to say my excitement is not what it once was but then I grew up in a household that presented me many opportunities that the world has to offer. In other words, I was allowed to be a child and not grow up too quickly. Some might say that even today..!
      Regardless, the wonderment that was motorcycles is gone today but the enjoyment in riding them remains. When I was young even the smell of fuel and oil attracted me. Today I know better than to stick my nose in the fuel opening and take in a lung full of unburned hydrocarbons. πŸ™‚

  19. Don E. says:

    I had a homemade bike like the one pictured. Took my obnoxious cousin for a ride. I hit every cowpie I could find. His backside had a wide brown streak and I caught he__ from my mom. It was an interesting Thanksgiving day.

  20. Scotty says:

    Kawasaki KV75 was my first bike. Bald tyres, no brakes….it was great!! My father had a DT175 and we used to go up to a quarry and ride around. Fun times.

  21. Martin B says:

    Well, sometimes the first bike isn’t the magic carpet of your dreams. Mine, a Yamaha 100cc twin two stroke, was a horrible little thing that was always going wrong. Riding out the school path by the tennis courts, a girl on her pushbike veered in front of me, and I smacked into one of the fence pylons. This poor girl was crying on the pavement while I was smacking the front end of my bike back into the pylon to try and straighten the forks out, because the front wheel pointed at an odd angle after the impact. By the time I looked up everyone was gone. Then giving a friend a lift back for lunch, we went over a bump and my rear tyre went flat!

    I graduated next year to a Suzuki T250 twin two stroke. My first ride at school lunch time was on the motorway. I couldn’t believe how fast I went, over 80 mph. By the time I got back to school, my legs and arms were blue. I thought shorts and a short sleeved shirt would be OK. Guess not. That bike gave me tons of thrills, let me keep up with my buddies on their RD350s, and taught me all about how I react in life threatening situations. Those were the best of times.

  22. Joe Lewis says:

    In 1969 my brother returned from Nam and brought home a Rokon Trailer blazer. I wasa little boy then, 4-5, and he would let me tide with him on the rear fender. He was struggling with PTSD at the time, and we were so happy riding that thing in the freshly plowed tobacco fields in SC.
    He left it with us and went back to VN for 3 more years.
    He was a Green Beret and tough as nails. A real American hero. He was recalled to active duty many times and turned 61, in Iraq in 2003.
    Anyway, I have very fond memories of the freedom riding gave me. You couldn’t really ride a bike in the sand. Later a teenager near me got a mini bike just like the one in the picture . 3.5 Briggs. I would ride with him on the back. I had to push us hp get momentum then jump on. Lots of fun when she ran.
    Later my brother in law bought me a used Honda SL125. Now I ride a BMWK 1200r sport. Been to Daytona every year since 1984. 30 years this year and going strong. Been riding 44 years.
    Nothing beats the ride.

  23. richard says:

    had just as much fun on my 1964 Suzuki 50 as any of my other powerfull bikes…its all about the ride and how you feel…the fun factor…i commute to work on a motorcycle..couldnt care a less bout rush hour…while all the cage drivers are stressed and rushing about i enjoy my commute …cause im on my bike..what a great start to the day …rain or shine !

  24. mickey says:

    Yea, those box mini bikes were fun, and actually a step up from the one my brother and I made using our grandfathers self propelled mower motor, but It was my first real street bike in 1965 that changed my world. I was no longer relegated to my yard or the neighborhood. I could actually ride into town, and then into the next town which became the next state and eventually far away states and then Europe. Spent 17 years in the motorcycle industry and rode virtually every model of motorcycle produced between 1972 and 1990. Every dang one of them was fun. Raced MotoX and Enduros for 10 years. My wife let me retire early last year so I could ride more. Not a bad gig. My goal is to ride until Im at least 70. Have 6 1/2 more years to go. Anything after that will be icing on the cake. Motorcycles have made my life so enjoyable. can’t imagine life without them.

  25. George says:

    One of may favorite adages about riding motorcycles:

    If you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong.

    This applies to every bike and every setting I can think of.

    Sometimes the present experience is not so fun like getting tossed off a dirtbike when the front wheel was suddenly stopped in that downhill rut… BUT, it was a physical, riding skill challenge and THAT made it fun. Plus it ads to your “remember when…” list.

    I’ve been riding since I was a little kid. First “real” motorcycle was a Z50 Honda and an ATC70 on the same day. Later, spent hours and hours riding in circles on my buddy’s 2.5 HP B&S minibike …

    We crashed. We ran into fences and target fixated and made so many mistakes but we were all smiles, even when we had the wind knocked out of us or were all scratched up from one crash or another.

    We were RIDING!

  26. Peter says:

    I think most of the narrowly focused opinions (and maybe a bit of whining) doesn’t really apply as to whether any particular bike would be fun or not. The narrowly focused opinions have more to do with the perceived extra value of a new model over what is available now. People read reviews here an ask themselves if the new bike is worth buying. It must then demonstrate a significant improvement over an existing model. In many cases, people don’t perceive those improvements, so they dismiss the new model as nothing special.

    Most of us would jump at the chance to ride ANY of the bikes that are shown here, and have fun doing so. However, when we ask ourselves if we want to actually spend $10K-20K to buy said motorcycle, we start judging against that perfect bike we have in our minds.

    • Blackcayman says:

      well said

      I’ve been riding over 30 years and I know the specific characteristics that stir my motorcycle soul. I know what I want and I compare that with what is written on a specific bike – my comments are usually about how it lines up with my list of “Must Haves”.

      That being said, I jump on my wife’s Sportster 1200 and go a for a 20 minute rip just because its got its own charms – even though I would never spend my money on one. Likewise the 150cc scooter she had before and kept for years just becasue running to the store on the skute was fun and easy.

      My very first motorized two wheel riding experience was on the very same minibike pictured above. I rode it straight into the curb and flipped over the bars – but that didn’t matter, I was hooked!


    • Norm G. says:

      re: “when we ask ourselves if we want to actually spend $10K-20K to buy said motorcycle, we start judging against that perfect bike we have in our minds…”

      …and more telling, the shortage of Benjamins in our wallet.

  27. BOSCOE says:

    How come motorcycle “daily” isn’t updated every day? Seriously, guys. Lame. Or change your name

  28. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    It’s true, just about every bike has some fun to offer, although some only in very specific conditions. For example, a race replica is brilliant on the track or some freshly paved twisties – but pretty much sucks the rest of the time. Certainly some of the most fun bikes are those with limited weight and power.

    For me at this point, the problem is that due to the cost of insurance in Canada, and limited space for storage, I can really only manage owning one bike at a time, so whatever I own has to be flexible. So small displacement bikes are generally out because they just aren’t comfortable to do any significant distance at highway speeds.

    I was seriously considering the Duke 390, but on further reflection I realized that while it would be great fun around town and in the tight twisties, I don’t really ride much in town (or traffic), and the roads around here are a little thin on twisties, really.

    But yeah, throw me the keys to just about any bike and I’ll be happy to take it for a spin. Right from 50cc scooters and mopeds up to the biggest, fastest, high tech bikes you can think of.

  29. John Hruban says:

    In 1945 I rode back and forth from High School in Pomona, CA. Age 14,0n my first two wheeler which was was a Cushman 2hp scooter. 2 mile trip each way and the first half was on the famous Route 66. Somehow survived that. Even made a 37 mile trip to LA and back safely. 69 years later, still riding. Still fun.

    • GuyLR says:

      Congratulations on your long riding career. You must have witnessed the whole bike scene happen there in California. May I ask what you are riding these days?

      • John Hruban says:

        Thank you. I Rode almost every make and model. Raced AMA dirt track 13 years. A few of my favorites were a Triumph GP 1948,Vincent Black Shadow, BSA Gold Star 55 single, BMW R90S ,Kawasaki dealer 1978/1980. Legs shot so am riding an old Honda CB 360 now. 83 years young. ,

        • mickey says:

          Guys that are still riding in their 80 s are my heroes. Congrats John and keep riding. Stay safe!

  30. Nor says:

    My first bike at 14 was a Simplex; 127 cc, belt drive, with only a drum rear brake. A horrible bike, but I had so much fun that 60 years and 19 bikes later I am still riding; currently a 2004 Kawasaki Concours. I have had every thing from a Honda 90 to a very hopped up Kawasaki 1000 J2 and every one of them were fun.

  31. Hair says:

    Not that I am here to point out the negatives. But your starter rope thingy is broken. πŸ™‚

  32. Scott G. says:

    even before my buddy and i took a water pump motor and bolted it to a bike frame, using our high top keds for brakes, i used to pretend my stingray bike was a cruiser and i was flying down the highway, and the cardboard flapping in the spokes was all the power in the world. you can teack a kid to ride a bike, but you can’t teach a kid to love to ride a bike. for the ones that do truly love it, you don’t have to. and for those of us who turly do love it, we understand how you can ride down the highway in the rain, knowing that the people in the cars feel bad for you while you feel bad for them. that has almost nothing to do with displacement.

  33. BMW Rider says:

    I totally agree that it is fun to ride a small/cheap/simple bike.
    I also think that an older bike is more fun than a newer bike because I love to service my own bikes.
    But I think that comments about lack of horsepower, excess of weight are about cost/benefit. I mean, why will someone pay tens of thousands of dollars in this new bike if old bikes are fine?

  34. GP says:

    Having fun on a motorcycle is as much about the surroundings, as it is the machine. Your mini-bike would be no fun in the middle of the desert, on the slab, and your drag racing ZX14R would be no fun in your back yard. I have found that smaller bikes afford the opportunity to ride more often – many of us have back yards, but not many of us have easy access to drag strips.
    These days, having access to trails is becoming more and more difficult – especially in the North East. That is a shame for an area with such a rich history of off roading.

  35. Briumph says:

    Nice article! I learned on a 73 Yz80 which was too big and too fast for me at 6 but it never stopped me from getting on it. I always wanted a YZ zinger (PW50 from yesteryear) but grew into the bigger bike.

    Christmas 2013 I passed the cycle bug onto my 4 year old with a used PW50. I have a sneaking suspicion before mid-summer I will be trading in my 130 HP Triumph Sprint ST for a fleet of 5 more used dirt bikes to convert the rest of my family. Can’t wait!

  36. Kevin Forth says:

    I have a Triumph triple as a daily rider, but for rides around the lakes and hills near my home, I jump on my ’72 Honda CB175. It’s a wonderfully reliable, grin-inducing little machine.

  37. Mr. Pete says:

    I gather from this that we might be seeing a 124 hp minibike soon? I remember trail riding my Honda 50 around Boulder, Colorado, in the early 60’s, Fifty cents worth of gas would last the entire day. I came home tired and dirty and my mother would have a “home cooked meal waiting for all of us…life was great! I guess when you do not realize you needed a 150 hp/$20,000 dual sport bike, to have fun, life is so much easier.

  38. Ken says:

    This is so true! We all need to get all of the young folks in our lives, even the kids down the block. Put in amall track and get then on two wheel and teach them to ride. We need to get the next generation hooked before the government decides motorcycles are too dangerous or may cause lead poisoning. I have four grand kids and already looking for a trail 50 for the farm. Granddaughter is turning five and will be riding in a year.

  39. Karlsbad says:

    MY first ride was a Keystone Mini Bike 2nd day of ownership ran it into the neighbours pool, My Dad and uncle laughed there asses off then showed me how to fix what I had broke, I Delivered Papers and cleaned horse stalls till I could afford the bike of my dreams a Honda trail fifty. Well written Dirck you have captured the essence of a true enthusiast.

  40. Bill L. says:

    I agree Dirck. It’s not the horsepower, it’s not the brand, and it’s not the style. It’s two wheels and a motor.

  41. Wes says:

    Awesome I ran one of those Briggs and Stratton mini bikes into a barbed wire fence at 7 yrs old πŸ™‚ only difference was that mine was green. I remember my little brother rolling down a hill on a Z50 Honda because he didn’t realize that he needed to keep it perpendicular to gravity rather than the pitch of the hill. LOL good times!

  42. Jakes Grampa says:

    That last paragraph is perfect.

  43. PN says:

    Dear Dirck, God bless you because you got it exactly right. Riding a motorcycle requires focus, which is mindfulness, which is inner freedom, which is spiritual in the truest sense. The other reason why I ride is that every now and then I know I’m fully alive.

    • MGNorge says:

      Well said. I have known for years that, for myself and other riders I’ve asked, nothing clears the mind like going for a good ride. You can leave the house full of responsibilities and worries but by the time you get back from riding it’s as though everything is in order and the world is a wonderful place. I recommend it to everyone! πŸ™‚

  44. Tom K. says:

    Looking back, the most fun I had on a motorcycle was with my buddies way back when we were all 19-22 years old, and for the most part on much less powerful motorcycles than are at the midpack of what’s available today (350-650cc bikes). It was riding with the group, feeling our oats, and getting our hooligan on that made it so much fun. There was some road rash involved for sure, but nobody died, or even came close.

    The most fun solo riding I ever experienced was on a Denco and K&N’d 1976 RD400, sucking up the curves on Highway 40 between Bloomer and Long Lake Wisconsin; for my money, it may well have been the Tail of the Dragon. Something about the combination of youth, Yamalube, no cops, and long sweepers in dairy country that I’ve never been able to reproduce since. Mellencamp may have had it right with Jack and Diane.

  45. Tank says:

    Now I want to go out and buy a Grom. Dirck just reminded everybody what riding a motorcycle is all about, fun.

  46. Michael Haz says:

    I had a Briggs & Stratton powered minibike. Few things in life have made me smile as much as when was tooling that minibike around my parents property.

    If it isn’t already there, Briggs & Stratton should be in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

  47. Jack says:

    My first bike was a Rupp Black Widow. I clearly remember being a little kid and reading the sidewall of the tires and it said “trials” on it so I spent a great deal of time seeing how slow I could ride without touching my feet on the ground. I taught that to my son too, how to ride slow with control. I generally love all bikes and I too am shocked at some of the comments I read from thye posers.

  48. MGNorge says:

    My brother and I got our start with minibikes and go-karts. Briggs & Stratton, Tecumseh, Clinton, and Lauson engines were taken from host mowers and soon found to be somewhat less than ideal when put to work. First thing to go was the stifling governor, replaced with a direct cable to the handlebar control.

    Then Honda came along with minibikes that were reliable, had gears to help them along and the hook was set.

    I remember when at the end of life of the centrifugal clutch we would just run a bolt through to lock them solid. Made for some fun moments, especially with “brakes” that did little more than wear down precious tire tread. Times I will never forget.

  49. Bones says:

    Nicely stated.

    Now go wring the snot out of that Briggs & Stratton.

  50. EZ Mark says:

    I’ve had everything from 50cc minibikes to big bore sport bikes, over 40 bikes total.
    As I’ve gotten older, 54 in February, two things have become priorities on my bikes. Leg room for my bad knees and light weight for my bad everything else. Sport bikes and even sport tourers are no longer an option for me. My options now are cruisers and maxi-scooters. Cruisers are too heavy and poor handling, so I now have a Yamaha T-max.
    I’ve got to say, I’m having as much fun riding it as any motorcycle I’ve ever owned.

  51. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    I think we need to include scooters into this category. When I travel on vacation I really enjoy the 125 cc scooters and mopeds that I rent. This represents the introduction of powered, two-wheel transportation for many.

  52. Tim says:

    I started with a mini bike as well, at age 8, and was hooked. When my daughter was born, I sold my Kawasaki GPZ at my wife’s request, and after 15 years I thought I had motorcyling out of my blood. Then my Dad purchased a Honda 50 scooter at a farm sale, and took it for a ride. I was instantly hooked again, and had to have a real motorcycle.

    I do have one request of a street bike. If I venture out on a highway I want it to be fast enough to comfortably keep up with traffic. Beyond that, it’s all gravy.

    I never understood the cruiser thing, but most of the guys I rode with had them. When a buddy said he would sell his pristine,chromed out Yamaha Roadstar for a song (but only to a friend) I thought what the heck. I hated the riding position at first, but after getting accustomed to it, I now understood why a lot of people are drawn to them. It’s especially good around town, and more relaxing than my other big bike in city traffic. I wouldn’t want a cruiser to be my only mode of motorcycle transportation. I still prefer lighter, faster, better handling bikes, but I do better understand why cruising appeals to a lot of people.

    I restored my very first real motorcycle a few years ago, it’s a 90cc Kawasaki that my Dad bought me for my 12th birthday. I smile from ear to ear when I ride it. It’s a little slow for heavy city traffic (but I do venture out on it). It’s still a blast to ride. The smell of the two stroke exhaust, when I’m sitting at a light, makes me feel 12 years old again and I have deja vu moments. It is the one and only priceless vehicle that I own.

    That all being said, there is no substitute for the 6 cylinder, 160 hp rush I get with my primary bike. High horsepower isn’t essential to have fun, but it sure doesn’t suck having it at your disposal.

    • Kagato says:

      Tim was your 90 an Enduro or a street bike? I had a KH 100 when I was 14. Lots of fun! Congratualations on your successful restoration : – )

      • Tim says:

        Mine was a street bike but I eventually put a knobby on the back so I could keep up with my buddies in the dirt. It was fast for a 90. I had it up to 78 once, and my parents had no idea it would do that (luckily). I had a friend with a Yamaha 125 enduro and my Dad said to him, “That looks really fast, Eddie.” Eddie’s response was, “It is, but not nearly as fast as Tim’s.” My Dad is 93 and still living, and he still loves to tell that story. I did catch grief at the time though.

  53. GuyLR says:

    Thank you Dirk. I woke up this morning with those same thoughts. This year I will have been riding for 50 years. I feel that with a half century of experience that I can say with complete honesty that I’ve had as much fun riding 5 horsepower motorcycles as I’ve had on a 145 horsepower Vmax or 175 horsepower R1. I’ve felt just as much excitement when my 26hp YDS3 came on the pipe at 4500 rpm as for the unintended wheelie on a 120hp R6. It just riles me when someone claims that a bike with over 100 horsepower (recent comment about the Super Tenere) was underpowered. It’s just amazing to me that someone could believe that.

    Riding motorcycles in North America where I’m at is not about necessity it’s about fun and entertainment. It’s just the riding that counts not the horsepower folks. If you can’t have fun on a motorcycle, even a low powered one, you’re probably doing it wrong!

  54. Exactly how i feel as well, i think one of the factors is what everyone around you is riding as well. Go to a track day on a CBR250 where everyone has 1000cc, you will still have fun trying to pass so of them, but you will have a lot more fun if a few others are also riding 250cc bikes. Same thing with a cruiser, go to a ride with a bunch of sportbikes, you might not have fun, but ride with other cruisers and it makes it more enjoyable…

    I own a Hawk650 for the racetrack, WR250R for the street/dirt and XR100 for a fun/pitbike… i have also had very fast bikes in the past and if you ask me the funnest bike i ever owned…my XR100 is always at the top of the list.

    • goose says:

      You have a rare grasp of motorcycling/ life. The two happiest motorcyclists I’ve ever seen had just ridden Yamaha YZ50s up the back side of Mount Hamilton (California 130). They could barley stand up because they were laughing so hard, reliving every moment of their ride on their 50 cc motorcycles.


  55. Tom Curran says:

    Those recoil springs a bear to fix..especially when you are 10 years back when

    • Bud says:

      Been there, done that. Bump started my mini bike with a quarter jammed into the centrifugal clutch too.

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