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

HereticHermit

Legendary Member
I had an MZ125. It was an East German bike that I bought used while I was in high school. Many a good memories on that thing. It looked just like this in light blue.
Those old two strokes from eastern block or balkans were hard to kill. Having driven a czech jawa 250, I can't remember a time when it has caused me grief on road due to poor maintenance. Their engine idiosyncrasy make me chuckle.
 

Craigq

Veteran
In order , I had a short riding career ( stopped due to age/lack of coordination and valuing my life rather than a lifestyle/hobby/mode of transportation, I suppose I wasn't a "true biker" )

2004 Kawasaki ZZR250 - fun first bike except the carbs were terrible in cold/damp/wet conditions (early spring or late fall)

2007 Honda CBR125R - yes I downsized for my 2nd bike. Traded the ZZR in on this. Loved this bike. Fuel injected, no cold blooded nature in cold/damp/wet. Fuel economy was outstanding. So light and "flickable". Maintenance was so simple, valve adjustments and oil changes really were "dirt simple".

2008 Suzuki S40 - owned this at the same time as the CBR125R. Loved the simplicity of the big thumper. My lower back could not take the riding position and had to trade it in as I was sore after every single ride.

2009 WR250R - traded the S40 in on this & sold the CBR125R privately. Wonderful commuter bike, tall upright see-forever sitting position. Decent economy and poke. Bought the supermoto tires so had a true "dual sport". When it was time to go I sold it private sale as it was easier to get the value back with the SM wheels included rather than trade-in at a dealer.

2012 Zero XU - decided to try an electric motorcycle. The experience did not go well, it was broken half the time I owned it with one recall after the other that stopped it from working (BMS conformance layer coating issues, motor issues etc.). When it did function as it was designed to I really enjoyed it; no maintenance, no going to petrol stations, charge at home. The "electrons per mile" was outstanding too, about 0.53 Le/100KM. Sold it privately to an individual who didn't mind that the bike didn't work. Shame it didn't work more than 50% of the time...

2014 KTM Duke 690 - the last bike I owned. Mental is a good description. Tame at low throttle, fun if you got into it. Way more bike than I could handle LOL. Maintenance with two oil filters (the engine was originally designed with separate sumps for the engine/transmission) and an under-mounted exhaust system was not a lotta fun (yes, I am lazy).
 

chrisbd

Forum GOD!
Royal Enfield 250cc Super Five. The nickname "Royal Oilfield" was well deserved, I could never stop the leaks, but it was maintained on a shoestring budget. I must have pushed it a mile for every mile I ever rode it. Wrote it off when I T-boned a car which cut across me at traffic signals.
 

Vacumatic

Forum GOD!
Royal Enfield 250cc Super Five. The nickname "Royal Oilfield" was well deserved, I could never stop the leaks, but it was maintained on a shoestring budget. I must have pushed it a mile for every mile I ever rode it. Wrote it off when I T-boned a car which cut across me at traffic signals.
I have been trying to think if I have ever pushed a motorcycle, only had one breakdown with a motorcycle and that was a Yamaha 2 stroke twin, the ignition timing was as bad as a broken clock leading to a holed piston, it also shorted out the HT lead under the petrol tank, which was a beggar to diagnose. Apart from that, nothing, but like yourself I had oil leak problems with a Sunbeam S8, it ran well but needed an engine rebuild to cure the leaks on every face of the aluminium engine. Perhaps part of the issue was mine, I used Duckhams 20/50 oil thinking that was better than the recommended straight 50w oil. My reasoning was that 20/50 wasn't around when the bike was built, I think I was wrong.
 

Blackie

Forum GOD!
1930(ish) Velocette 350 single.
Lovely wee bike and quite rapid...girder front forks and all.
Previous owner had modified rear end from hard tail to a BSA plunger system. Yeah, it worked!
Finally stripped bike down to bare necessities and used as a grass track racer as I had bought a more modern bike for street use.
That bike was a Yamaha RD350 2 stroke. Wow...lovely wee bike. Nice almost British Racing Green colour too.
Read all the English motor cycle magazines to gain tips on more power, more speed.
Modified the piston skirts and ports, made new exhaust pipes, expansion chambers, etc (all ideas from those magazines).
Result? 5th gear flat out was now faster than original motor in 6th gear.
Never bothered looking at speedo when flat out in 6th gear now as I thought scenery was going by rather quickly and any idea of actual speedo reading was a moot point really...it was fast!
Lovely handling bike and I wish I still had it. Wouldn't mind the old Velo back again either.
 
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HereticHermit

Legendary Member
That bike was a Yamaha 350 2 stroke. Wow...lovely wee bike. Nice almost British Racing Green colour too.
Read all the English motor cycle magazines to gain tips on more power, more speed.
Modified the piston skirts and ports, made new exhaust pipes, expansion chambers, etc (all ideas from those magazines).
Result? 5th gear flat out was now faster than original motor in 6th gear.
Never bothered looking at speedo when flat out in 6th gear now as I thought scenery was going by rather quickly and any idea of actual speedo reading was a moot point really...it was fast!
I had 350B model. As much as it was fun to hoon around it was a complex thing to keep going if speed was your thing. Engine just wanted to cease under high stress and heat was your enemy, past combustion chambers those gases just wanted to cool down but you need them stay hot so they can be packed back into chambers for next cycle. Looking back, in that narrow band there was lot of persuading and foreplay. She was moody mistress but get you out like bat from hell on weekend race. It was apt that adversaries nicknamed those twins, track sluts!!
Those were some days.
 

Blackie

Forum GOD!
My RD350 mods altered the power band quite dramatically.
The lower down power band wasn't there. It was shifted higher, but still had hugely more power down low than as standard. The damn thing just launched like a rocket but couldn't use full throttle in first 3 gears.
Winding up in 5th and hitting power band at indicated 90mph let the front wheel lift so nicely!
Not in a worrying way. It was a 'gentle' lift and easily controlled.
Then was time to hit 6th gear. Loved that wee bike.
Had Dunlop TT100 tyres on it too.
Ran like a cut cat and handled so sweetly. Hey...I do like the 'track slut' moniker. So true!
Missus says I'm 'too old' to have a bike now (geez, I'm only 74 so there's a few more miles left in me surely).
Anyway, safe riding guys.
 
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