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Bürgerpolizei
2009 Ninja 500r
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Sometimes you can't help but to think about how you got to where you are, and still smile like it was yesterday.

I got to thinking about this the other day as I was riding to work and passed a Harley dressed up looking good and sounded mean. I waved the traditional 2 fingers and went down the road, State road 3 here in central Indiana. In my mirror I was able to see this large sexy machine coming down the left lane and was approaching a construction merge where you lose a lane and funneled to one, then a dreaded stoplight last second. He lined up just to my 8 o'clock I was at the white bar. In my mind with my exhaust, Delkevic full stainless system to replace the damage stock system, screams poser and wannabe faster than I am, so at that moment I rev'ed and took off, and he took the bate. In that 500 foot of road that was left he not only passed me but ate my lunch, sucked the paint off and left me to turn around and go home in disgrace. It was fun, I knew he would go for showing a "sportbike" what was fast, not realizing it is a 500cc bike that has more in common with a lawnmower that a sportbike. When we got into the construction he throttled down and threw his legs up on his highway bars and relaxed to the first exit and merged off, I continued on at about 45-50 mph in the next 2 miles or so of cone desert of no construction just cone for no reason other than to funnel you down for whatever reason. Anyhow, this little event made me think of all this and I hope this guy, that I ran into, is here and knows that was in my opinion a fun interaction, and I did like the look and sound of his ride. This is how I got the where I am today. I would have a book written if I set everything to print so this is the highlights.

My first bike ride ever, 1978 ke100 that my dad used to scooter to work in the dry whether it was cold or hot outside until he got a honda ce400 some sorta mid 80's model, but I remember the ce400 not cb. Anyway it was taller than I was, I loved riding a bicycle so had no fear of balancing this little motorized wonder ever. I rolled it over to a concrete patio set we had and climbed up on the bench then mounted the bike and felt its clutch and the weight of the bike and off I went riding circles in our little suburb yard that was not really big enough to circle on a bicycle. I took what I could get, dad said if I stayed in the yard. No helmet no gear no training other than just watching my dad. I was 13, maybe 12, round and round I went feeling the brakes being cautious on the turns as I went around the shed and avoiding the chain link fence around the yard. I began to get braver as I rode in circles and would throttle faster and hit the brakes harder in each turn. I began to become bored of the circles and wanted to take a break. My next challenge was stopping and not being embarrassed. I lined up the concrete bench I took off on and planned on stopping landing a foot on that bench and coming to a graceful stop. I guess I have had better plans fail, but I pulled off a stop anyway not quite on the bench rather slid my foot right across the top of the bench taking out of my equation that foot would have been on the rear brake. I stopped right on the other side of the bench, tipped to the left, left foot down, and almost dropping the bike. I stopped though and did not actually drop it! What fun I am hooked. In comes my little sister and she wanted to ride it too and mom figured it was time to end the fun for all at that point trumping my dad allowing me to ride.

I got a mission... to have two wheels, so on that came a Honda PA50 1979. It was part bicycle and part motorbike heck yeah. I rode that and rode that and rode it everywhere in town. Then my parents purchased some land, 90 acre, in Campbellsburg Indiana and my Moped became a off road beast. I trimmed the head gasket, and modified the exhaust to a pipe, it would scream around that hilly formerly logged land, I had so much off road fun with it, I have never enjoyed nothing like it since. Never really "wrecked" the bike although did drop it a few times in slow maneuvers on logs that was too much for a little 49cc scooter made for the road.

Back to the KE100, my dad finally stopped riding the little bike and turned it over to me to get me off the kids bike as he put it. Since it was a street legal actual motorbike it was time to get my license. I had to drive a car first as most of you know there is no motorcycle licence standing alone, it is an endorsement on a 4 wheeler license. In the car I went to learning, I got my permit learned to drive and acquired the licence and then my endorsement all without any "proper" training just reading the drivers manual and what my dad taught me. I only wore a helmet on the street because it was the law then, all motorcyclist had to have at least a brain bucket. It was a few years later we celebrated freedom of choice in that regard. I rode that little ke100 and it was a kick start, and I am pretty sure that a few of the scars on my shin are still from that bike trying to start it. My dad taught me to work on them and how to stay warm on them when it was cold. I was still in high school and still pretty stupid. My ke100 part in the shed next to my dads 400 and my lawn mowing equipment (a simple push mower and weed eater and a corn husk broom) that I made my cash from. One day coming home from school I got the bright idea that I would take his 400 out for a cruise. This thought was probably the worse thought ever. I was never to touch his bike, I was not supposed to breath on his bike, well I was a good rider and he would never know if I just took it around the block. I opened the doors, slid the ramp down, and hit the key. VROOM! ohhhhhhh that large 2 cylinder air cooled electric start motor rumbled to life. I dropped it into gear and rolled down the ramp and the weight of the bike caught me wrong and I panicked. just to the right of our patio where O once would ride what is now my ke100 as a launch pad is now a blind fence and I looked at it and could not stop looking at it and could not get the bike under control and kept looking and climbed that bike right up that blind fence right at the 4x4 pole, and laid it over upside down. Oh man what an idiot, this beautiful bike now has mud and dirt all over it, not to mention a very damaged ego on my part. How stupid and embarrassing, did anyone see me? My God dad is going to kill me now. I managed to clean the bike and put it back into the shed, and I said nothing to my dad about this little incident. The next day it was predicted to be dry and he was going to ride his ride to work, going to that is. He rolled it out and immediately seen what soon became exhibit A of my soon death sentence. I managed to completely warp the front wheel of this bike to never be right again. He knew how to use a spoke wrench and go it super close but it was never close enough and looking back it would have had to been replaced by my standards today. Thank God for alloy, it makes some great wheels. I managed to survive the beating my dad proved me after not only trying to deny that I rode it, because pffft no one saw me do it (so I thought), it only fell over in the shed. I regret to this day telling my dad that little lie. I should have fessed up and laid it all out on the line. That was as much of a lesson as the climbing the bike up the fence was in target fixation. He later sold that bike and bought a 1 year old Honda goldwing GL1200 interstate. I was now in my later years of high school signed up to head into the Air Force and was still tooling around on my Ke100 and when going to school driving my car a dodge Omni. My dad continued to ride the bike to work right up untill one day he pulled up to an intersection stopped and was ready to go and because he came to a stop the opposing car though he was letting them go I think. As we know no one stops at intersection unless they are being nice and letting everyone go (sarcasm seriously). He went to go left and the car went and he grabbed to much front brake and dumped it right there like that. Luckily he had all the hardware and crash bars to protect the bike from major damage but he did need help getting it upright again, so I was told anyway. Minimal damage and he kept riding. Later complaining that the bike was getting the same fuel economy as a car taking it to work. Later another incident with a car passing him when he was doing the speed limit and nearly running him off the road to get back over, ended his desire to ride a motorcycle and he sold all his bikes and pressed my end to ride as well. I did sell my bike as i was leaving for basic training and it was going to be winter and did not want to burden my parents with any more of my junk around the house anyway. Being in the Air Force I went to basic in San Antonio just like all Air Force recruits to and Top Gun was still a big thing and it was warm down there and I wanted a sport bike. However I was sent to Rolla MO to train with the army at Fort Leonard Wood (aka Fort Lost in the Woods) for heavy equipment a small detachment of Sheppard Air force Base. I loved running equipnet and it gave me an opportunity to go a lot of places I never thought I would go with the air force since we ran very close to a lot of front line Military like the Red Caps and Army Airborne units. When I got the chance to choose my next base I chose Texas, I wanted a warm place that I could ride year around, and still be able to be active around the world in the Air Force, and I got my wish. They gave me Carswell AFB as my base, in the Dallas Fort Worth Metro area.

I was happier than a starved two year old in a candy store with no parental guidance. My first sport bike a 1989 Ninja 600r was uneventful as it was overtaken with Desert Storm, Iraq war 1 and 2, I did ride some just not like I ever imagined. I got married lived in Dallas and rode to work in Fort Worth when I was home, and not deployed, in stop and go traffic for hours at a time. I went all around the world TDY and most memorable was Germany and the Autobahn riding a Hurricane and Antarctica riding a studded dirt bike 4 stroke at Mcmurdo. I am pretty sure it was a Yamaha 400 or 500cc That was fun and terrifying, because they kept telling how we could freeze to death.

I moved home, got divorced had to sell my sportbike that I rode one foot at a time in the DFW rush hour and was convinced that I did not want another sport bike and got a naked GL1100 that resemble to the untrained eye to be a Harley. It was a, lets just say a very rough black, and had soft side saddlebags on it, aka panniers. I liked it I rode it and my dad refused to even look at it. I stayed on me to stop riding, it was too dangerous. I ended up living with my Grandmother which was not to far from the Blues motorcycle Club in New Albany Indiana and thought they were awesome would talk to them and kinda hang out with them as long as it was calm. I never got into the Club bike scene and stayed away from it because of the "publicized" problems that was out there mostly out of fear of those who knew nothing about what the brotherhood was about.

That did not last long. I bought a sport bike (another Ninja 600 this time an 87) and a sports car, a trans am that I put an oldsmobile big block 350 into and got remarried to a woman that thought it was all cool. In fact she thought it was so cool she took the Trans am for a ride through the city with another Man at over 100mph in a 30 at 2am while I was at work. I got to pay her bills and tickets from that and ended up divorcing again losing everything again, except my Ninja 600 that was not running. I could have fought it I guess, but I was stupid still, and was told that all her problems was due to me, and I had to pay up.

I took this Ninja 600 and had the carbs redone and cleaned out the gas tank and put it all back together and it worked and rode like a dream, my dream then got relit my love for the sport bike and going fast. I was happy happy happy but still empty. Riding on the street fast was a lot of trouble the New Albany Police already new me and my family and for whatever reason deemed me to be a speeder even sitting still. I felt like I was being stalked everywhere I rode. I jumped across the river to Louisville Kentucky. Ran into the wrong crowd there and lost the love of riding because they did not ride, they went from parking place to parking place to look cool on their bikes, most of them sportbikes, but the girls liked them, and I mean girls, they were young, I did not mind it so much but I felt lost in a want to be riding world. I then heard about a track day, a track day at Louisville speedway oh man I got to do this!! I went to the meeting I learned to ride there I had to wear gear. My picture of gear was a helmet, a far cry from what ATGATT is. I bought I rode, and apparently did it wrong and dangerous. There was a yellow flags these strange apparition that showed up as I passed the stands and was guessing what they meant, and would pass they guy in front of me because he slowed down, later to find out we were to be slowed and running single file, I hit what the warning was about and wiped the bike out and watch the bike explode into unrecognizable pieces. I manged to survive unscaved and shamed by other riders. I was an idiot for not paying attention and many relieved that I was no longer on the track. I was now done riding, and very sore. Bike went into a box and stayed there. I stopped riding, I was so ashamed for being so so stupid. My dad rubbed it in for being stupid. He told me so. Ugg.

I bounced back and forth across the Ohio river living in Louisville and New Albany like many in that area does that rented. One day I finally moved out of the area and moved west. Whidbey Island aka Oak Harbor WA was some of the most beautiful land I ever seen being from the Midwesterner perspective, I had to get another motorcycle so i got another one this time a Honda CX500 interstate. It was like a Goldwing but half the size. It already had a nice seat on it to later find (years later that is) it was a Corbin and was able to ride up to Mt Evan and through Bellingham WA and Lynden WA and truly be able to enjoy a cruiser and appreciate a calmer riding attitude. People out there was not as aggressive at those in the Louisville KY area, and they rode and rode and rode, none of that gas station to gas station riding stuff. Keep in mind this was my perspective at the time. Looking back it was just the age group of the people and they type of bikes I was hanging out with. Being I was on a Goldwing looking bike it was a Goldwing riding group I was hanging out with, thus more riding less posing. We all must admit there is some degree of posing it you lay even one coat of wax on your bike to make it look good, heck they (the bike) has got to look good after all.

Keep in mind this is all pre internet for me. I never even knew what that was nor a cell phone. We used hand signals and gestures for road debris, and would ride with only one person saying something was a great place to eat and ride to. I was having the time of my life, however was getting home sick sort of. Being a lot stupider still than I am today I sold my little cx500 and loaded my car with my little bit of stuff and returned home to the midwest. I was painfully reminded of the aggressive driving people did in this area in cars and trucks. It was nowhere near as laid back it was get out of my way I have somewhere to go attitude. I stayed in the area for a few years got sick of it and went back west to Washington and bought another bike this time a 1977 Kz650 and had to really learn to work on them this time. I would go riding in the ares that the group would ride to not see them anywhere. I ran into a few rider that would look at my old KZ bike and nod their heads a bid but it was unimpressive and I was not a very impressive rider. I was unskilled, and sloppy rider still looking back down right dangerous still. I still had my Ninja in the box and was wanting to put it back together. Was it even rideable? I kept riding the KZ as a commuter and got bored with the area and ended up moving to Denver Colorado.

Denver itself was a no Joy to me at first. Downtown riders reminded me of the louisville Kentucky riders that would go gas station to gas station, but still they were riders and I was glad to be riding. My KZ started having issues like smoking and nor running right and electrical failures with charging way out of my wrenching skill set. Time for my Ninja to get out of its box. I bought another Ninja 600r 1987 and used its frame and parts to repair and fix my Ninja, I was elated! I had my Ninja back! I was beginning to dabble in the internet at this time and joined this very forum. Loved my 600 thought it was the fastest bike on the road, nothing else would compare to it. I got into a relationship and she wanted to ride too and we bought 2 Ninja 500's to find that a bike I had laying around was this very old version of the same bike just a first Gen bike. I customized both bikes, with polished aluminum on one and blacked out on the other, and would ride in the mountains. I ran into a sportbike club up there and began to get to know them and ride and enjoy their company as well as learn the manners of the riding that I never really learned before and gained a whole new perspective to riding that I really learned to appreciate and I think other appreciate me as well. The true brotherhood came full circle to me and a new love for riding and friends came to be very very close to me. I later bought a Liter bike and would ride in ways that people would comment how I was too fast for them, to ride with me, and I began to be a front of the pack rider, something I did not really grasp on till later, in another area I lived in I will speak on later. I worked at a salary job making more money than I had sense and lived like I had no end of my money. then the economic crash happened in 2008 and I found myself on unemployment struggling and lost my newly financed literbike and my home later. I sold my Ninja 500, my Liter bike repo'd and my home gone and my relationship in shambles, I moved into a condo and went to school. I lived in a minimalist way and bought a little Yamaha 125 smoker. it already had nearly 80k on it little clock and over the next few years added another 200k to it and rebuilding it seemed like every few months till it was eventually a 250cc and its final straw was burning a hole in its piston on the highway not understanding I was running it too lean for it's size bore it was grown into. It was time to resurrect the Little first Gen 500 and it came out and it was what became bike that I grew to love. I felt slow on it after owning a liter bike and at times hated it but later to find it was because it was not running right. Just starting and going was not the qualifying to enjoy the ride later to find out.

After almost a decade in Denver and going through several bike this little ninja 500 became my bike. I found what I thought was the most fun bike ever and it stayed with me on my Move to Saint Louis now. After all the schooling I took a job in Denver with Anthem blue cross and they moved me to Saint louis from Denver This office stuff was fun and loved it compared to the former driving of trucks and manual laboring I did as a manager with the other company although the money was sadly 1/3 of what I got accustomed to. I guess being on unemployment broke me of that lifestyle and I was able to settle for that less than modest money of a case manager at an insurance company easier. I got on the interwebs after running into the craziest thing I ever seen, apparently it was called the Ride of the Century and I never seen so many crazy riders take over the highway and the cops doing nothing ever in my life. I was in ah. In my interwebs searching I ran into a riders group for sportbikes, and their values lined up with mine: ride your own ride and lets have fun together as fast as we can go. Now they would not publicly admit to this but it was what it was. I rebuilt my little 500 into a naked Ebay chinese yuck and ended up blowing up and literally catching it on fire at one point eventually getting rid of it. I reduced for financial reasons to a scooter that I tried my hand at turning into a scooter beast. I did, sorta, however it was a chinese thing and to my new faster throttle being an one switch cooking the motor whole is what happened. I have now destroyed two bikes, or rather a bike and a scooter and looking for another bike. I ended up buying a friends Honda Blackbird that was broke with a fairly simple fix. This bike was pretty tired but it was a superbike that was so fast even the best street rider could never use all of its glorious throttle, so I had a bike that was very fast for my riding skill set. I was in heaven, my former Liter bike experience did not prepare me for this bike, it was longer had more power and yet was older. Living in downtown Saint Louis I walked to work and had a private parking spot I paid for the bike to sit in. I hated the city people visiting others in my little apartment disrespected my bike, sharing its parking spot and often times people would park in my spot because it was a compact parking spot for a car and they felt that bike should be elsewhere and one even rented a spot next to me to part a suburban since I had a motorcycle and they did not care about my "space" they had extra room as far as they were concerned. One lazy night I was in bed dreaming sweet dreams of better days and got awoke via the building security telling me I will be getting my bike towed for illegally parking. I was like WTF. I have paid parking and am allowed to park there but in my haistening went down to the garage to find my bike drug out into the upramp where someone attempted to steal it with the disc lock preventing them from moving this heavy bike and dropped it partially blocking the upramp. To me anyone could see I did not "park" the bike there it was drug to that spot from someone attempting to steal it. The security company still ticketed my bike by adding a fee to my rent and totally making me lose all religion, we will say. I ended up selling the bike after briefly being granted the ability to not have to pay for parking and park in the striped areas for pedestrian walkways on the outskirts of the garage. Later that began to be as much trouble as anything because then I had the foot traffic messing with the bike because they felt I was blocking them and their entitle pathways. I ended up selling it for a smaller bike, a 250cc.

After buying this 250cc Honda that had some damage and it was just small enough after the office closed I was able to smuggle it up the elevator to my apartment to safely keep it away from everyone and all fingers an d 4 wheelers and thieves. Not long after buying and restoring this bike to perfect condition I ended up going back to driving for a living except this time I decided to give over the road trucking a try. well needless to say it sat for 6 months and I was gone for that whole time. I kept it under cover and stuff all around it so in the probability of an inspection it was in disguise. I later took another job and then another job and living in Saint Louis was no longer feasible since BLM had happened in the area and I was no longer in the area daily and was in Elwood Indiana almost weekly so I rented a house there and had a garage to park it in. In that is where the next Goldwing came into being. This house when I went to look at it, the owner of it and I became instant friends, he had 3 wings and had them in Florida and wanted to sell one so I rode that little CBR250 in March to Florida leaving Indiana in 23 deg weather and a little precipitation falling making it sketchy beginning to the trip. When I got the Goldwing it reminded me so so much of my 80 from my way younger years. I tore it completely apart and touched every part I could get my hands on including the points on the bike that took it from points to electronic ignition. I played with the whole single carb to restoring the full bank of stock carbs for it. It was great and met my current fife on it. I did eventually sell both the 250cc and the Wing to buy another Blackbird that was very mint and loved it although like my dad years ago when he was a little younger than I am now decided to stop riding because of how people where around him it was not comfortable anymore. It was a supersport bike and top speed of 205 mph and I was tooling around at 55 mph with cruisers (this goes back to my opening part about my 500 and cruisers ego and showing how fast they are) trying to prove something and just the crack of the throttle eating their lunch gave me no joy. I was at a place in my life where I got no joy from riding. In Fact I did not even enjoy cleaning the bike. I would ride it across town had aggressive cars wanting to do twice the speed limit getting pissed at a super sport motorcycle doing at or just barely above the speed limit. My insurance was not stupid it was very reasonable but I just had no joy in having it. I sold it and for a few months went without a bike. As a Truck driver it don't mean anything, I was on the road all the time anyway.

When the pandemic hit, my wife hit the road too, she left me over stuff that was silly and serious. I wanted to ride again, I wanted a smaller bike but not a dirtbike. The EX500 was what I wanted again after having several of them and doing all the work to them and understanding what exactly can be done to them it was what I needed and wanted to enjoy riding again. I quit driving since the pandemic and my wife left and bought the current bike I have today a 2009 Ninja EX500r. It was wrecked at some point and has a salvage title and looked like it when I bought it. I took a job as a shop foreman for a construction company 50 minutes away from home and when it got warm and the bike was done being gone through it was going to be my ride to and from work as much as possible. So far my Wife has come home and we are doing well together and have gotten into church and realized a large part of our lives where living wrongly I am riding and enjoying just having a simple two wheel experience, and when I see cruisers and something about them I can feel they have something to prove takes me back to the days of old where my ego had no fear and the throttle would crack to wide open throttle.

At some point you will look back and just start smiling at all the fun you had and where you came from.

This is my sometime you just can't help but to think and smile.
 

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A few buddys and me were knew about the HP/torque an HD has... Back in my day, I was lucky to reach 150lbs, and rode a modified cbr900rr, I ate most HD up for breakfast,lunch, and dinner... but there was this one.. HEHE :) bless his heart, I was goosing it and playing around one day while coming to an intersection, and pulled up to a light.. he slowly pulled up just behind me on my right, at about the 5 o clock position.. I looked back at him, nodded and he pulled up further.. I yelled "Nice Bike" he nodded, and reved this behemoth up and it rattled my bike seat like I was next to a blown v8... He asked: wanna run an 1/8th or a qtr? I have engine work, carb kit, and under cut gears in the trans, I said lets do the qtr... (I reved to rev limiter and let it fall)
We both did a little light revving back and forth, anticipating the green light... I have eaten 95% of the HD's that have come my way back then, so in my head Im already laughing.. the light hit green, and all you heard from him was tire burning off, I learched out in front about 5 bike lengths, ripping gear to gear, by the time I had shifted into 3rd, here comes this rumble from the depths of hell, (it was reverberating in my helmet like I was in a tunnel) and by this time Im full throttle and not using my clutch, Im just hammering the shifter and Im about to the top of third, and this ghost rider blows by me like I had let off the throttle all together.. 1/8 mile passes, I hit 4th.. still screaming, and tucked in tight.. I hit 5th.. I start to pull up on him about half a bike length. He has evidentally hit his top speed and gear, while I had one left. so i banged it and left him...In the 1/2 to 1 mile I got him.. but in the 1/8th and 1/4th he ate me like I was a greased sausage...

We pull into the next gas station and get to talking, and he informs me he has engine work done as well, its a big bore build, with larger titanim valves upgraded from carbs to directed port fuel injection, ported heads plus a 200 shot of nitrous with a throttle trigger, and a secondary optional button wired into the horn button.

I had a 1999 cbr900 rr stroker motor with balance blueprinted and lightned crank, shorter rods, ported head, slightly larger titanium valves with 3 angle grind, stage 2 race cams, stage 2 carb kit, 2 row 40mm all aluminum radiator dual 7" cooling fans, and a decked cylinder head giving a higher 13.5:1 compression from the stock 9.5:1.

I had him from start to the middle of third in my gear set and again at later half of 5th and 6th, He had me from 3rd to 5th of his gear set, I had a 6 speed, he had a 5 speed. I had never been left so hard from the middle of my gearbox, that out of all bikes/cars I have ever toyed around with, He is the only who taught me its not the rider, its not the bike, it's not the engine work, but a combination of all three that truly makes it a winner.. Every time I think of that day, I just SMILE...:)

Good post man, you made me think of this again, and I smiled..TY!
 

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Sometimes you can't help but to think about how you got to where you are, and still smile like it was yesterday.

I got to thinking about this the other day as I was riding to work and passed a Harley dressed up looking good and sounded mean. I waved the traditional 2 fingers and went down the road, State road 3 here in central Indiana. In my mirror I was able to see this large sexy machine coming down the left lane and was approaching a construction merge where you lose a lane and funneled to one, then a dreaded stoplight last second. He lined up just to my 8 o'clock I was at the white bar. In my mind with my exhaust, Delkevic full stainless system to replace the damage stock system, screams poser and wannabe faster than I am, so at that moment I rev'ed and took off, and he took the bate. In that 500 foot of road that was left he not only passed me but ate my lunch, sucked the paint off and left me to turn around and go home in disgrace. It was fun, I knew he would go for showing a "sportbike" what was fast, not realizing it is a 500cc bike that has more in common with a lawnmower that a sportbike. When we got into the construction he throttled down and threw his legs up on his highway bars and relaxed to the first exit and merged off, I continued on at about 45-50 mph in the next 2 miles or so of cone desert of no construction just cone for no reason other than to funnel you down for whatever reason. Anyhow, this little event made me think of all this and I hope this guy, that I ran into, is here and knows that was in my opinion a fun interaction, and I did like the look and sound of his ride. This is how I got the where I am today. I would have a book written if I set everything to print so this is the highlights.

My first bike ride ever, 1978 ke100 that my dad used to scooter to work in the dry whether it was cold or hot outside until he got a honda ce400 some sorta mid 80's model, but I remember the ce400 not cb. Anyway it was taller than I was, I loved riding a bicycle so had no fear of balancing this little motorized wonder ever. I rolled it over to a concrete patio set we had and climbed up on the bench then mounted the bike and felt its clutch and the weight of the bike and off I went riding circles in our little suburb yard that was not really big enough to circle on a bicycle. I took what I could get, dad said if I stayed in the yard. No helmet no gear no training other than just watching my dad. I was 13, maybe 12, round and round I went feeling the brakes being cautious on the turns as I went around the shed and avoiding the chain link fence around the yard. I began to get braver as I rode in circles and would throttle faster and hit the brakes harder in each turn. I began to become bored of the circles and wanted to take a break. My next challenge was stopping and not being embarrassed. I lined up the concrete bench I took off on and planned on stopping landing a foot on that bench and coming to a graceful stop. I guess I have had better plans fail, but I pulled off a stop anyway not quite on the bench rather slid my foot right across the top of the bench taking out of my equation that foot would have been on the rear brake. I stopped right on the other side of the bench, tipped to the left, left foot down, and almost dropping the bike. I stopped though and did not actually drop it! What fun I am hooked. In comes my little sister and she wanted to ride it too and mom figured it was time to end the fun for all at that point trumping my dad allowing me to ride.

I got a mission... to have two wheels, so on that came a Honda PA50 1979. It was part bicycle and part motorbike heck yeah. I rode that and rode that and rode it everywhere in town. Then my parents purchased some land, 90 acre, in Campbellsburg Indiana and my Moped became a off road beast. I trimmed the head gasket, and modified the exhaust to a pipe, it would scream around that hilly formerly logged land, I had so much off road fun with it, I have never enjoyed nothing like it since. Never really "wrecked" the bike although did drop it a few times in slow maneuvers on logs that was too much for a little 49cc scooter made for the road.

Back to the KE100, my dad finally stopped riding the little bike and turned it over to me to get me off the kids bike as he put it. Since it was a street legal actual motorbike it was time to get my license. I had to drive a car first as most of you know there is no motorcycle licence standing alone, it is an endorsement on a 4 wheeler license. In the car I went to learning, I got my permit learned to drive and acquired the licence and then my endorsement all without any "proper" training just reading the drivers manual and what my dad taught me. I only wore a helmet on the street because it was the law then, all motorcyclist had to have at least a brain bucket. It was a few years later we celebrated freedom of choice in that regard. I rode that little ke100 and it was a kick start, and I am pretty sure that a few of the scars on my shin are still from that bike trying to start it. My dad taught me to work on them and how to stay warm on them when it was cold. I was still in high school and still pretty stupid. My ke100 part in the shed next to my dads 400 and my lawn mowing equipment (a simple push mower and weed eater and a corn husk broom) that I made my cash from. One day coming home from school I got the bright idea that I would take his 400 out for a cruise. This thought was probably the worse thought ever. I was never to touch his bike, I was not supposed to breath on his bike, well I was a good rider and he would never know if I just took it around the block. I opened the doors, slid the ramp down, and hit the key. VROOM! ohhhhhhh that large 2 cylinder air cooled electric start motor rumbled to life. I dropped it into gear and rolled down the ramp and the weight of the bike caught me wrong and I panicked. just to the right of our patio where O once would ride what is now my ke100 as a launch pad is now a blind fence and I looked at it and could not stop looking at it and could not get the bike under control and kept looking and climbed that bike right up that blind fence right at the 4x4 pole, and laid it over upside down. Oh man what an idiot, this beautiful bike now has mud and dirt all over it, not to mention a very damaged ego on my part. How stupid and embarrassing, did anyone see me? My God dad is going to kill me now. I managed to clean the bike and put it back into the shed, and I said nothing to my dad about this little incident. The next day it was predicted to be dry and he was going to ride his ride to work, going to that is. He rolled it out and immediately seen what soon became exhibit A of my soon death sentence. I managed to completely warp the front wheel of this bike to never be right again. He knew how to use a spoke wrench and go it super close but it was never close enough and looking back it would have had to been replaced by my standards today. Thank God for alloy, it makes some great wheels. I managed to survive the beating my dad proved me after not only trying to deny that I rode it, because pffft no one saw me do it (so I thought), it only fell over in the shed. I regret to this day telling my dad that little lie. I should have fessed up and laid it all out on the line. That was as much of a lesson as the climbing the bike up the fence was in target fixation. He later sold that bike and bought a 1 year old Honda goldwing GL1200 interstate. I was now in my later years of high school signed up to head into the Air Force and was still tooling around on my Ke100 and when going to school driving my car a dodge Omni. My dad continued to ride the bike to work right up untill one day he pulled up to an intersection stopped and was ready to go and because he came to a stop the opposing car though he was letting them go I think. As we know no one stops at intersection unless they are being nice and letting everyone go (sarcasm seriously). He went to go left and the car went and he grabbed to much front brake and dumped it right there like that. Luckily he had all the hardware and crash bars to protect the bike from major damage but he did need help getting it upright again, so I was told anyway. Minimal damage and he kept riding. Later complaining that the bike was getting the same fuel economy as a car taking it to work. Later another incident with a car passing him when he was doing the speed limit and nearly running him off the road to get back over, ended his desire to ride a motorcycle and he sold all his bikes and pressed my end to ride as well. I did sell my bike as i was leaving for basic training and it was going to be winter and did not want to burden my parents with any more of my junk around the house anyway. Being in the Air Force I went to basic in San Antonio just like all Air Force recruits to and Top Gun was still a big thing and it was warm down there and I wanted a sport bike. However I was sent to Rolla MO to train with the army at Fort Leonard Wood (aka Fort Lost in the Woods) for heavy equipment a small detachment of Sheppard Air force Base. I loved running equipnet and it gave me an opportunity to go a lot of places I never thought I would go with the air force since we ran very close to a lot of front line Military like the Red Caps and Army Airborne units. When I got the chance to choose my next base I chose Texas, I wanted a warm place that I could ride year around, and still be able to be active around the world in the Air Force, and I got my wish. They gave me Carswell AFB as my base, in the Dallas Fort Worth Metro area.

I was happier than a starved two year old in a candy store with no parental guidance. My first sport bike a 1989 Ninja 600r was uneventful as it was overtaken with Desert Storm, Iraq war 1 and 2, I did ride some just not like I ever imagined. I got married lived in Dallas and rode to work in Fort Worth when I was home, and not deployed, in stop and go traffic for hours at a time. I went all around the world TDY and most memorable was Germany and the Autobahn riding a Hurricane and Antarctica riding a studded dirt bike 4 stroke at Mcmurdo. I am pretty sure it was a Yamaha 400 or 500cc That was fun and terrifying, because they kept telling how we could freeze to death.

I moved home, got divorced had to sell my sportbike that I rode one foot at a time in the DFW rush hour and was convinced that I did not want another sport bike and got a naked GL1100 that resemble to the untrained eye to be a Harley. It was a, lets just say a very rough black, and had soft side saddlebags on it, aka panniers. I liked it I rode it and my dad refused to even look at it. I stayed on me to stop riding, it was too dangerous. I ended up living with my Grandmother which was not to far from the Blues motorcycle Club in New Albany Indiana and thought they were awesome would talk to them and kinda hang out with them as long as it was calm. I never got into the Club bike scene and stayed away from it because of the "publicized" problems that was out there mostly out of fear of those who knew nothing about what the brotherhood was about.

That did not last long. I bought a sport bike (another Ninja 600 this time an 87) and a sports car, a trans am that I put an oldsmobile big block 350 into and got remarried to a woman that thought it was all cool. In fact she thought it was so cool she took the Trans am for a ride through the city with another Man at over 100mph in a 30 at 2am while I was at work. I got to pay her bills and tickets from that and ended up divorcing again losing everything again, except my Ninja 600 that was not running. I could have fought it I guess, but I was stupid still, and was told that all her problems was due to me, and I had to pay up.

I took this Ninja 600 and had the carbs redone and cleaned out the gas tank and put it all back together and it worked and rode like a dream, my dream then got relit my love for the sport bike and going fast. I was happy happy happy but still empty. Riding on the street fast was a lot of trouble the New Albany Police already new me and my family and for whatever reason deemed me to be a speeder even sitting still. I felt like I was being stalked everywhere I rode. I jumped across the river to Louisville Kentucky. Ran into the wrong crowd there and lost the love of riding because they did not ride, they went from parking place to parking place to look cool on their bikes, most of them sportbikes, but the girls liked them, and I mean girls, they were young, I did not mind it so much but I felt lost in a want to be riding world. I then heard about a track day, a track day at Louisville speedway oh man I got to do this!! I went to the meeting I learned to ride there I had to wear gear. My picture of gear was a helmet, a far cry from what ATGATT is. I bought I rode, and apparently did it wrong and dangerous. There was a yellow flags these strange apparition that showed up as I passed the stands and was guessing what they meant, and would pass they guy in front of me because he slowed down, later to find out we were to be slowed and running single file, I hit what the warning was about and wiped the bike out and watch the bike explode into unrecognizable pieces. I manged to survive unscaved and shamed by other riders. I was an idiot for not paying attention and many relieved that I was no longer on the track. I was now done riding, and very sore. Bike went into a box and stayed there. I stopped riding, I was so ashamed for being so so stupid. My dad rubbed it in for being stupid. He told me so. Ugg.

I bounced back and forth across the Ohio river living in Louisville and New Albany like many in that area does that rented. One day I finally moved out of the area and moved west. Whidbey Island aka Oak Harbor WA was some of the most beautiful land I ever seen being from the Midwesterner perspective, I had to get another motorcycle so i got another one this time a Honda CX500 interstate. It was like a Goldwing but half the size. It already had a nice seat on it to later find (years later that is) it was a Corbin and was able to ride up to Mt Evan and through Bellingham WA and Lynden WA and truly be able to enjoy a cruiser and appreciate a calmer riding attitude. People out there was not as aggressive at those in the Louisville KY area, and they rode and rode and rode, none of that gas station to gas station riding stuff. Keep in mind this was my perspective at the time. Looking back it was just the age group of the people and they type of bikes I was hanging out with. Being I was on a Goldwing looking bike it was a Goldwing riding group I was hanging out with, thus more riding less posing. We all must admit there is some degree of posing it you lay even one coat of wax on your bike to make it look good, heck they (the bike) has got to look good after all.

Keep in mind this is all pre internet for me. I never even knew what that was nor a cell phone. We used hand signals and gestures for road debris, and would ride with only one person saying something was a great place to eat and ride to. I was having the time of my life, however was getting home sick sort of. Being a lot stupider still than I am today I sold my little cx500 and loaded my car with my little bit of stuff and returned home to the midwest. I was painfully reminded of the aggressive driving people did in this area in cars and trucks. It was nowhere near as laid back it was get out of my way I have somewhere to go attitude. I stayed in the area for a few years got sick of it and went back west to Washington and bought another bike this time a 1977 Kz650 and had to really learn to work on them this time. I would go riding in the ares that the group would ride to not see them anywhere. I ran into a few rider that would look at my old KZ bike and nod their heads a bid but it was unimpressive and I was not a very impressive rider. I was unskilled, and sloppy rider still looking back down right dangerous still. I still had my Ninja in the box and was wanting to put it back together. Was it even rideable? I kept riding the KZ as a commuter and got bored with the area and ended up moving to Denver Colorado.

Denver itself was a no Joy to me at first. Downtown riders reminded me of the louisville Kentucky riders that would go gas station to gas station, but still they were riders and I was glad to be riding. My KZ started having issues like smoking and nor running right and electrical failures with charging way out of my wrenching skill set. Time for my Ninja to get out of its box. I bought another Ninja 600r 1987 and used its frame and parts to repair and fix my Ninja, I was elated! I had my Ninja back! I was beginning to dabble in the internet at this time and joined this very forum. Loved my 600 thought it was the fastest bike on the road, nothing else would compare to it. I got into a relationship and she wanted to ride too and we bought 2 Ninja 500's to find that a bike I had laying around was this very old version of the same bike just a first Gen bike. I customized both bikes, with polished aluminum on one and blacked out on the other, and would ride in the mountains. I ran into a sportbike club up there and began to get to know them and ride and enjoy their company as well as learn the manners of the riding that I never really learned before and gained a whole new perspective to riding that I really learned to appreciate and I think other appreciate me as well. The true brotherhood came full circle to me and a new love for riding and friends came to be very very close to me. I later bought a Liter bike and would ride in ways that people would comment how I was too fast for them, to ride with me, and I began to be a front of the pack rider, something I did not really grasp on till later, in another area I lived in I will speak on later. I worked at a salary job making more money than I had sense and lived like I had no end of my money. then the economic crash happened in 2008 and I found myself on unemployment struggling and lost my newly financed literbike and my home later. I sold my Ninja 500, my Liter bike repo'd and my home gone and my relationship in shambles, I moved into a condo and went to school. I lived in a minimalist way and bought a little Yamaha 125 smoker. it already had nearly 80k on it little clock and over the next few years added another 200k to it and rebuilding it seemed like every few months till it was eventually a 250cc and its final straw was burning a hole in its piston on the highway not understanding I was running it too lean for it's size bore it was grown into. It was time to resurrect the Little first Gen 500 and it came out and it was what became bike that I grew to love. I felt slow on it after owning a liter bike and at times hated it but later to find it was because it was not running right. Just starting and going was not the qualifying to enjoy the ride later to find out.

After almost a decade in Denver and going through several bike this little ninja 500 became my bike. I found what I thought was the most fun bike ever and it stayed with me on my Move to Saint Louis now. After all the schooling I took a job in Denver with Anthem blue cross and they moved me to Saint louis from Denver This office stuff was fun and loved it compared to the former driving of trucks and manual laboring I did as a manager with the other company although the money was sadly 1/3 of what I got accustomed to. I guess being on unemployment broke me of that lifestyle and I was able to settle for that less than modest money of a case manager at an insurance company easier. I got on the interwebs after running into the craziest thing I ever seen, apparently it was called the Ride of the Century and I never seen so many crazy riders take over the highway and the cops doing nothing ever in my life. I was in ah. In my interwebs searching I ran into a riders group for sportbikes, and their values lined up with mine: ride your own ride and lets have fun together as fast as we can go. Now they would not publicly admit to this but it was what it was. I rebuilt my little 500 into a naked Ebay chinese yuck and ended up blowing up and literally catching it on fire at one point eventually getting rid of it. I reduced for financial reasons to a scooter that I tried my hand at turning into a scooter beast. I did, sorta, however it was a chinese thing and to my new faster throttle being an one switch cooking the motor whole is what happened. I have now destroyed two bikes, or rather a bike and a scooter and looking for another bike. I ended up buying a friends Honda Blackbird that was broke with a fairly simple fix. This bike was pretty tired but it was a superbike that was so fast even the best street rider could never use all of its glorious throttle, so I had a bike that was very fast for my riding skill set. I was in heaven, my former Liter bike experience did not prepare me for this bike, it was longer had more power and yet was older. Living in downtown Saint Louis I walked to work and had a private parking spot I paid for the bike to sit in. I hated the city people visiting others in my little apartment disrespected my bike, sharing its parking spot and often times people would park in my spot because it was a compact parking spot for a car and they felt that bike should be elsewhere and one even rented a spot next to me to part a suburban since I had a motorcycle and they did not care about my "space" they had extra room as far as they were concerned. One lazy night I was in bed dreaming sweet dreams of better days and got awoke via the building security telling me I will be getting my bike towed for illegally parking. I was like WTF. I have paid parking and am allowed to park there but in my haistening went down to the garage to find my bike drug out into the upramp where someone attempted to steal it with the disc lock preventing them from moving this heavy bike and dropped it partially blocking the upramp. To me anyone could see I did not "park" the bike there it was drug to that spot from someone attempting to steal it. The security company still ticketed my bike by adding a fee to my rent and totally making me lose all religion, we will say. I ended up selling the bike after briefly being granted the ability to not have to pay for parking and park in the striped areas for pedestrian walkways on the outskirts of the garage. Later that began to be as much trouble as anything because then I had the foot traffic messing with the bike because they felt I was blocking them and their entitle pathways. I ended up selling it for a smaller bike, a 250cc.

After buying this 250cc Honda that had some damage and it was just small enough after the office closed I was able to smuggle it up the elevator to my apartment to safely keep it away from everyone and all fingers an d 4 wheelers and thieves. Not long after buying and restoring this bike to perfect condition I ended up going back to driving for a living except this time I decided to give over the road trucking a try. well needless to say it sat for 6 months and I was gone for that whole time. I kept it under cover and stuff all around it so in the probability of an inspection it was in disguise. I later took another job and then another job and living in Saint Louis was no longer feasible since BLM had happened in the area and I was no longer in the area daily and was in Elwood Indiana almost weekly so I rented a house there and had a garage to park it in. In that is where the next Goldwing came into being. This house when I went to look at it, the owner of it and I became instant friends, he had 3 wings and had them in Florida and wanted to sell one so I rode that little CBR250 in March to Florida leaving Indiana in 23 deg weather and a little precipitation falling making it sketchy beginning to the trip. When I got the Goldwing it reminded me so so much of my 80 from my way younger years. I tore it completely apart and touched every part I could get my hands on including the points on the bike that took it from points to electronic ignition. I played with the whole single carb to restoring the full bank of stock carbs for it. It was great and met my current fife on it. I did eventually sell both the 250cc and the Wing to buy another Blackbird that was very mint and loved it although like my dad years ago when he was a little younger than I am now decided to stop riding because of how people where around him it was not comfortable anymore. It was a supersport bike and top speed of 205 mph and I was tooling around at 55 mph with cruisers (this goes back to my opening part about my 500 and cruisers ego and showing how fast they are) trying to prove something and just the crack of the throttle eating their lunch gave me no joy. I was at a place in my life where I got no joy from riding. In Fact I did not even enjoy cleaning the bike. I would ride it across town had aggressive cars wanting to do twice the speed limit getting pissed at a super sport motorcycle doing at or just barely above the speed limit. My insurance was not stupid it was very reasonable but I just had no joy in having it. I sold it and for a few months went without a bike. As a Truck driver it don't mean anything, I was on the road all the time anyway.

When the pandemic hit, my wife hit the road too, she left me over stuff that was silly and serious. I wanted to ride again, I wanted a smaller bike but not a dirtbike. The EX500 was what I wanted again after having several of them and doing all the work to them and understanding what exactly can be done to them it was what I needed and wanted to enjoy riding again. I quit driving since the pandemic and my wife left and bought the current bike I have today a 2009 Ninja EX500r. It was wrecked at some point and has a salvage title and looked like it when I bought it. I took a job as a shop foreman for a construction company 50 minutes away from home and when it got warm and the bike was done being gone through it was going to be my ride to and from work as much as possible. So far my Wife has come home and we are doing well together and have gotten into church and realized a large part of our lives where living wrongly I am riding and enjoying just having a simple two wheel experience, and when I see cruisers and something about them I can feel they have something to prove takes me back to the days of old where my ego had no fear and the throttle would crack to wide open throttle.

At some point you will look back and just start smiling at all the fun you had and where you came from.

This is my sometime you just can't help but to think and smile.

What an absolutely great story my Friend and I read every word! Thank you!!!!!! (y)

Sam🤓
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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15,162 Posts
Wow that is a life story, didn't realize you had bounced around so much.
 
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Secret Agent
2006 Honda CBR1000RR, 2008 Honda CRF230L, 2019 Honda CRF1000L
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4,426 Posts
Your story sounds similar to mine. I had this snot nosed brat on a sport bike think he was gonna take me on my hog.

I showed him the what fer!

🤭
 
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