My First Bike Experience - By Dave Sulecki
Written by Dave Sulecki
Growing up, my father was never a fan of motorcycles - a fact that changes by the end of this story. Until one particular day, I had never looked or desired to own a bike, but that all changed….
When I was 10 years old, my best friends’ birthday was coming. On that day, my buddy's father cornered me and told me quietly, “He is getting a dirt bike for his birthday. I want you to ride it into the backyard for him”. So here I am, new to - and having never ridden - a bike (other than bicycles) jumping onto this Kawasaki KV75. I knew the fundamentals. My cousins all rode bikes and we talked about them, but I hadn’t joined the “club” yet. Good thing this bike was only a mini with auto shifting and gas-and-go. Well, I was able to somehow jump on, ride into the backyard, and not crash or whiskey throttle myself into the ground! I was nervous and happy to make the delivery as planned. My buddy was pretty excited, and so was I for him.
We spent that summer pounding the crap out of that bike, riding what seemed like non-stop taking turns riding trails, making jumps. That was pretty much that was my first “motorcycle summer”. Somehow, we survived, and the bike did too (bent fenders and lever, a couple flat tires…). Let’s just say I was hooked after that and made plans to have my own bike!
I spent the next summer working my butt off trying to earn every dollar possible so I could buy my own bike. I begged my dad, and he relented. We went to a local shop and bought a used bike. Dad even kicked in some, and I became the proud owner of a 1974 Hodaka Combat Wombat 125 dirt bike. This was the beginning of a lifelong journey!
Needless to say, my dad who hated bikes took a few rides on my bike. That led to him going out to buy his own trail bike. Then we spent a lot of time riding together, and he became a motorcyclist after that. His own addiction let to many street bikes and culminated in a GL1200 Interstate that he and my mom travelled all over the eastern seaboard on. My own addiction led to bike after bike, becoming a racer, and eventually to work in the industry. Funny how a friend’s birthday present led to a lifelong addiction to “ongoing two-wheel therapy.”