What was your first motorbike? Do you still have it?

HereticHermit

Well-Known Member
There are couple of a car ownership threads but I couldn’t fish out any about first motorbike that members here, owned. I understand that motorbikes are somewhere lower in the grand scheme of things but I always had one or the other to tinker and ride on.
Here is mine, a Yamaha RD350B rebadged as ‘Rajdoot’ by local manufacture. I bought her in 1985 when I was still wet behind ears and drove her to the ground for next 15 years or so. Gordon Jennings was God of 2 stokes and RD350 was my testing facility to practice whatever I read in his books; tuned pipes, heat wraps and all. Here is an old picture taken on a roll camera from one of many solo tours; at Pangong Lake in Ladakh.
Pangong 001.jpg

I rode from Leh in about 5 hours without meeting a single soul. I just had a simple Yashika box camera without timer and I took photos with help of string tied around camera body with other end tied to a coin with hole. I’d step upon the coin and pull the string taut to take ‘stills’.
On the way to Leh, came across this restaurant on hippie trail and a road sign that was probably suggested by another tree hugging hippie.
Open Air Restaurant.jpg

BRO1.jpg

Some more years on she was really tatty and old with mishmash of spare parts and garish paintwork. I brought out my sack of parts that I have been hoarding over years and restored her to factory specs. Some 5 years ago gray market guy asked me GBP 12 for just piston rings when they needed replacement. I knew that her time is up with me because I hate being blackmailed for something that I bought for just half a pound back in the days. I sold her to someone who loved 2stokes and had deeper pockets than I had. But she was my first love and so easy to punt around town.
Yamaha1.jpg

Let’s hear about yours. Please post pictures if you have any from yesteryear.
 
First bike was a Bultaco Sherpa trials bike, 250cc, second was a Yamaha YDS7 250cc, went everywhere on that bike, did 15,000 in 9 months. Then came a BSA 650 and a Honda CB500, probably the best engineered bike I have owned, then a Sunbeam S8 rolling restoration, then came a Kawasaki 750, a three cylinder two stroke and finally a Honda CB650. I had shares in two race bikes, a Yamaha TZ350 and a Ducati 750 Desmo.

Pic attached of the Sunbeam which was an in line twin with shaft drive.

As always, I wish that I had kept them all

sunbeam.jpg
 
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NeilJ

Well-Known Member
Kawasaki AR125 which I passed my test on then moved straight up to a Honda CBR600F. Had many bikes but always have a fondness for my Moto Guzzi V50, went everywhere on it, happy carefree days 😎
 
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Cheesepiece

Gold Member No. 8
Aprilia RS50 at sixteen years of age.
Like this:

CB500 '97 - first big bike once the full licence came.
Like this:


CB500S '99 - current bike.
 

Stonec0ld

Legendary Member
That's the exact same colour 97 CB500 I had as my 1st big bike. So tempted to try and find another to use as a commuter, I loved it and traded it in for a GSXR 600 which I also loved, but wish I could've kept it
 

Cheesepiece

Gold Member No. 8
That's the exact same colour 97 CB500 I had as my 1st big bike. So tempted to try and find another to use as a commuter, I loved it and traded it in for a GSXR 600 which I also loved, but wish I could've kept it
I got the latest CB just last week and it's my second. Great bikes - do-it-all.
 

JayGee

Forum GOD!
Suzuki GP125 2-stroke,

then many "Elsie's" RD250 & 350LC, 350ypvs, RD500

A few Suzuki gamma 250 & 500,
(You can guess I like 2-strokes)

Went to India & bought/rode a Rajdoot 350 air-cooled like the one in the 1st post,. from Mumbai - Himalayas & back via Kutch. Took 3 months, great bike. Visited the factory too.

I sold my last bike 18 months ago, a BMW R1100SS, I doubt I'll have another, too much of a selfish hobby.
 

HereticHermit

Well-Known Member
Suzuki GP125 2-stroke,

then many "Elsie's" RD250 & 350LC, 350ypvs, RD500

A few Suzuki gamma 250 & 500,
(You can guess I like 2-strokes)

Went to India & bought/rode a Rajdoot 350 air-cooled like the one in the 1st post,. from Mumbai - Himalayas & back via Kutch. Took 3 months, great bike. Visited the factory too.

I sold my last bike 18 months ago, a BMW R1100SS, I doubt I'll have another, too much of a selfish hobby.
I had a Suzuki 110cc and ported the hell out of poor little block. It was fun to throw around.
I totally get you about 2 strokes. TBH i was just appalled to consider 4strokes as proper bikes even. Although my RD350 was the only long keeper with me but I had every 2 stroke locally produced here at one point of time or other.
Mumbai to North Himalayas and back is a pretty long run but RD can do it without much of fuss outside of peak summers here. The longest I did on RD was Srinagar to Delhi a little under 15 hours non stop and both my band pipes were to be permanently blue after that.
I tried to love Royal Enfiled but sold off within 1 month of buying it. How can people ride something with nonstop gnashing sound just under their family jewels, beats me hand down.
Missing my RD, I went on to restore a 135cc Yamaha that is just lying about and cant be on the roads because local authorities will not certify any 15year+ bike as roadworthy.
That Suzuki Gamma 250 looks killer in blue livery.
Those were the days.
 
Lovely bike there Vacumatic. I never had a shift driven bike but driven a BMW for couple of hour that my friend's father had from 60s. I really liked the torque power shaft was able to put out.

It was a very clever design, all aluminium engine, effective but simple shaft drive, simple and reliable. As with all older aluminium engines it started to leak and needed helicoiling throughout, it was my type of bike, relaxed and comfortable with lots of bottom end torque.

It would have been taken to a completely new level with a 4 cylinder Porsche motor as in this model

Sunbeam S8 Porsche.jpg
 
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