My First Bike Experience - By Dave SuleckiCategory:

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.”

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The Team

Dave Sulecki

Dave Sulecki is a 37 year industry veteran, and a lifetime motorcycle rider, racer, builder, restorer, and enthusiast.

P.J. Doran

Originally from the Midwest, but has lived and worked everywhere in the U.S., PJ grew up on the back of his dad's BMW motorcycles and in his sidecars in the 70s.

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