Thursday, January 5, 2012

Motorcycle Touring and How I Got Started

If there was ever a time to discuss why I started touring, it would probably be now.  Since I am bored and have some time to kill I thought I would go through what makes touring great to me and maybe get some feedback from you readers out there.

First of all, riding a motorcycle in general has always been one of the greatest joys in my life.  From the time I was a child and still today there was always an urge to go fast on two wheels, beginning with my bicycle.  I still remember the first bike I got for Christmas and wanting to ride it so bad that my parents let me ride down the hallway inside the house.  My next bicycle was a Schwinn Aerostar BMX bike.  It was the first real bike that I had.  16” frame, 20” rims, chromoly frame, perfect setup for the kid who wanted to go fast in the dirt, “get air”, and probably crash a few time, which undoubtedly happened more than once. 

From then on I was hooked on two wheels.  My earliest touring would probably be better described as a fishing trip, however it was done on two wheels so that’s where I will claim is my start.  I know, not exactly right? Hey, close enough for government work.

So these “tours” that I went on weren’t much more than riding down to the local reservoir and bass fishing all day and sometimes into the night,  I couldn’t get enough of the adventure.  It wasn’t always about catching fish either.  More often than not it was a chance to get away with my buddies, throw rocks, go swimming, and really have a good time outdoors.  Sounds like a motorcycle tour, huh?

As I got older the need for speed grew.  I still remember when my best friend at the time got a yellow moped.  It was a bmx bike with a chainsaw motor and a knurled wheel to help turn the front bike tire.  It wasn’t very fast maybe 25mph tops but it did the trick.  It was fast enough to get our fix of speed for the day.  A few months later he bought a Suzuki M31 55cc scooter, better known as a Suzy 55, and I bought a Yamaha Razz 50cc centrifugal clutch 2 stroke scoot.  That was it!  Our fishing region tripled in size and I can say that was officially the start of my touring career.

Later down the road we thrashed, crashed, and basically killed the little scooters we had but my then we were in high school and were looking forward to having a car for our new adventures.  Motorcycling took a break from my life for a while.  After high school work took over and then there was really no time for bikes.  I was stuck on cars.  However, there was always the odd dirt bike days when we would go out and tear it up in the woods. As a matter of fact I would say dirt bikes are where I really gained most of my skill but unfortunately that cam to an end as well.

Four years ago I found myself in Thailand once again and after sitting in traffic in a taxi endless hours I decided that I needed to get back to my roots.  I went out a bought a Yamaha TZM 150cc 2-stroke street bike, it was awesome.  I felt just like I was a kid again.  It isn’t the fastest thing on the road, but it sure is flick able and easy to maneuver.   And NOTHING beats a 2-stroke for fun factor, absolutely nothing, except maybe a liter bike  After a while of relearning the ins and outs of motorcycles I went and bought my Ninja 650 and haven’t looked back, touring as much as possible and just recently got into blogging about it.  So with that I bid you farewell.  Ride safe, and always keep it shiny side up.

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