Unabridged List of the Bikes I Have Owned- by PJ Doran
Written by PJ Doran
A co-worker asked me to list and describe all the bikes I have ever owned. It was fun for me to write them all down, and I am excited to share this with you. They’re (mostly) in chronological order. (I do not have a problem… I swear!)
1982 Yamaha XJ550 Maxim – Cruiser version of the Seca. I hate cruisers, but it could go over 100mph and got me around Texas. My first bike, I bought it in the Army so it was a major life moment, and hence I loved it.
1987 Kawasaki EX500 – My first modern bike, and still made to this day relatively unchanged. I could do 120, faster than Texas police could go, which was quite handy (see: CBR).
1989 Honda CBR600 (aka-Hurricane) – Brand New – My first 140mph bike, I spent far too much time going that fast. I loved it! Only bike on the list to almost kill me. Seriously, check my scars. I almost made the first payment before I chucked it into a corn field at 110. Texas cops and rangers made fun of its disfigured state, and a helicopter pilot may have had some cheap shots too… stupid flyboy.
1985 Honda CR125 – Dirtbike – Bought with money borrowed from my brother so we could roost one another, as he also had a 125 Motocrosser. No one died, although we rode these drunk in our underwear around campus far too often (don't try this at home). Numerous farming families in Iowa vow to never let the Doran boys back on their property, EVER!
1978 BMW R80/7 – My first BMW. I thought I was the man until I realized it was 1992 and this bike was a big step backward from the previous Hurricane. The BMW most likely owned by your father – nuff' said.
1977 BMW R100rs - The BMW I thought I wanted after years of lust. I was wrong. Uncomfortable at anything less than 100. Very cool Bat Bike look though.
1976 BMW R90/s – The BMW I really wanted. I built this bike from a very beat up specimen. I loved it and it was COOL! Could cruise at 105mph for hours. Had luggage and got me chicks in strange, far away cities.
1984 Honda V65Sabre – More motor than anything else, including handling and brakes. Scary!
1975 Yamaha RD350B - Super cool bike I had always wanted. The tricky orange color screamed "vintage cool". I looped it in the parking lot of the Audio King corporate office and still managed to not get fired. Likely because I managed not to hit any of the VP's expensive cars. Only bike to rate a proposition from a woman. The vibration of the 2-stroke generated an urgent situation according to her. Minneapolis is a good place to be young and broke! Bought from a friend’s brother for $200, he doubled his money and so did I when I sold it.
1982 Yamaha XJ550 Seca – Originally owned by my little brother, it was his first bike. It was abused by the next owner and was crashed. I embarrassed “bad ass” bikers in Minneapolis on this $500 junk yard special, whipping $10,000 Ducatis and Triumphs on the back roads of Minnesota. Loved it. Mad Max would have ridden this beater.... if he wasn't an anti-Semitic loon. Only bike to be crashed for distance at a BMW rally, a sport that never caught on.
1995 Ducati M900 Monster – Brand New - My first Ducati, and super fun. Also, prone to break downs and unwanted attention from the law. The bike scored chicks on the sidewalk while I was busy in bars. It is better than a dog for getting women to talk to you. Also good for 30 days of lock up in Story County jail and was repossessed while I ate bologna sandwiches in the pokie. If it were a woman, it would be an exotic dancer with a cocaine addiction and the moral fortitude of a gnat in heat.
1990 Suzuki Katana 600 – Bought back from an insurance company as a totaled bike. Threw on some spray-painted bodywork and rode from Minneapolis to Nashville in October. Horrible idea, but got my brother riding again. His wife has yet to forgive me.
1975 Yamaha YZ360 – Flat track race bike, and not really mine. It was borrowed from the kind owner of Trackstar Motorsports, my boss. Allowed me to enter my first legitimate motorcycle race, with officials and a flag and errthang'!
1984 Kawasaki GPZ750 – Second bike I’ve ridden to Nashville in the Fall, and I learned nothing! Leaked oil on me constantly but was loud and fast. Sold for no gain or loss. Spurred girlfriend (now ex-wife) to ask, "who's riding in Kelly McGillis' seat?" Gave the wrong answer, I guess.
1982 Yamaha XJ550 Seca – Bought and sold it twice. I really love this model, so it is a recurring theme. This one was perfect until I crashed downtown Chicago and dented the tank. It now has the often sought after “character” people speak so highly of (same idiots who bought parachute pants). Led to the pleasure of working an entire day in a corporate office while saturated with diesel fuel from head to toe. Hard to blame the dog.
1990 Kawasaki ZR550 Zephyr – Rare bike, only made 2 years in the U.S. Everything the Seca could not be- modern brakes and tires. Mean looking pussy cat of a bike. It got several friends hooked on bikes again. Apparently too slow, as my brother was nodding off at this bike's redlined top speed of 110. It must be made of kryptonite as I had it pegged for a solid 200 miles and it didn't blow.
1985 Suzuki GS550ES – Turd. Seemed heavy compared to the Secas and notably slower.
1994 Yamaha FZR600 – Always wanted one (or so I thought). Bought it super cheap and rode wide open to Alabama. Still too slow according to my brother with inferiority issues and a Blackbird. Police were involved no more than 45 seconds after taking ownership- no joke. Immediately sold for a gigantic profit. Liked it.
1987 Yamaha TW200 – Bought and sold it twice. Hard to have more fun on 2 wheels than one of these. Blew the fork seals while test riding it, that was a first, and proves I really am an idiot. Can be ridden equally well without encumbrance of clothing. I will have another, newer, prettier one with disc brakes, and then I will rule the world. LOVE IT!
1969 Honda CB350twin - Bought from a tow truck driver for $300. Sold the early production Vetter fairing for $900 and gave the bike away.
1975 Honda CB200T – (The ex-wife's) - In the lifetime collection, as she will never part with it. She will likely trade up for a newer husband first. P.S. - she let me and the bike go, a crafty friend got the bike for $200 and mounted knobbies for camp ground shenanigans at Road America. I bought it back for the same $200, then sold it for $1,500 overnight.
1984 Honda V500F Interceptor - So glad I called the seller from Craigslist because he had no pics. It had 2,300 miles and he was the original owner. Bought for $900, sold 10 days later for $1,800. Financed my trip to the Keys by cleaning the carbs. If every trade was this good I would probably buy a dealership now. This is the bike from my high school days, and it was pretty. Broke my heart to sell, as it would likely bring $2,500+ in the spring. The only one I am sure I will wish I had kept, it was so immaculate!
2002 Suzuki SV 650 – Best one yet. Relatively cheap and 100% bomb proof. I will likely own this model until the day I die. Very fruity color limits unwanted attention from girls. Still too slow according to bald, overweight, juvenile brother. He has just purchased a 599 and we will now be free to get arrested at the same speed when vacationing. #1 most fun bike I have ever owned, good for stand-up wheelies to 100. Update - Now with over $2000 of upgrades, not including tires (don't ask!), this bike absolutely hauls! Full M4 race exhaust and 03' SV cam swap, now I can hold 600s off on the straights. Brand new Ohlins double clicker, nitrogen charged, remote reservoir rear shock. Now I can pass all bikes inside or out, until gravity smacks me around anyway.
2001 Yamaha TW200 - I finally got the one I wanted and for cheap. This is simply the most fun you can have on 2 wheels while inebriated without killing yourself. Dad bought it off me to keep me in the tires and track days. Once I had the money to buy it back, he decided to keep it as he can ride the fence line and putter around aimlessly on his pseudo-park retirement spread. P.S. - bought it back years later and have now run it up to 11,000 plus miles. I have senselessly upgraded it with GNCC grade bars and guards, it is so slow it is smoking fast!
2004 Honda eu200i generator - Not a bike, but crucial in my overriding addiction to track days. Power tire warmers and fans during the day, then my Mardi Gras-esque light setup and coffee maker, and computer to play the DVDs at night. I am the only dork I know who takes pictures of my gennie just because I think it's sexy. Cost $725 used, which is more than a fair number of the listed motorcycles.
2 - 1987 Honda Elite 50 scooters, 1 was an S model - I bought them sight unseen for $800, and 48 hours later I sold them for $800 each. God bless the gas price crunch of 2008. The S model was a little more beat up but could do an honest 34mph with its 2-speed centrifugal transmission. The standard model was purple and black (hideous), but in better shape with fewer miles (27mph). Hondas are simply bullet proof. All I did was clean the carbs, throw in new batteries, and clean the gas tank on the one that was stored with no fuel. Led to me purchasing the next scooter.
2003 Xtreme Daytona scooter - Chinese 125cc scooter. Had 3 different manufacturer names in various locations. Identical engine/trans as all the Chinese scooters you see in the U.S. now. Motor seems durable, but good luck finding a single part other than tires. Made only $100 on the deal but hauled it to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama as a pit bike for a track day weekend. Friend from Atlanta showed me how to wheelie a scooter, leading to security guards following us around all weekend shaking their heads and fingers at us. Long wheelie was about 3/4 of a mile from the museum to the pits. Scooters make you feel like a hero.... until said friend goes by standing one-footed on the seat on one wheel, demoralizing really.
1998 Yamaha Zuma - Bought for $600, sold for $900. The best of the Zumas if you ask me, as it can actually ride a wheelie! The ex-wife thought it made sense for me overriding a racebike around Chicago until she realized I was riding it like most city dwelling racers with scooters- DRUNK and too FAST!
2001 Yamaha TW200 - 8,000 miles at purchase, see above.
2007 Triumph Daytona 675 - 4000 miles, after racing the SV a couple of seasons, I wanted to race the go-fast kids in 2011. Jake Lewis, Garrett Gerloff, Elena Meyers, and Jason Disalvo in the same practice group as me?! Best passes I have ever seen, all completed at my front axle!!!! I raced a couple of GNF's on it, and even won some trophies. Supremely fast bike that got me into lap times that I had never dreamed of. It was a sad day selling it when the road racing dream finally died.
2006 Suzuki DR650 - 1200 miles - I was living in Nashville when I decided I needed an Enduro. This one came up cheap with incredibly low miles. The moron I bought it from had hacked all the turn signals off, but otherwise it was pristine. I tuned the carb a bit and went woods riding. I moved to Iowa and immediately realized old guys need light bikes in the woods to keep up with their derelict woods racing friends. (John, I'm looking at you!)
2003 Honda CRF450 - Flat Tracker - With the end of road racing as a hobby, I decided to make another go at flat track. Bought this one off the chaplain of the AMA dirt track series. It ate an internal crank seal and then some trans bearings after 1 season. I did get to race at Knoxville against some fast guys, barely finishing 1 up from dead last. I got it back together a year later and it is now going to see some action at the local humiliation center, Riverside Raceway.
2006 Suzuki DRZ400 - The DR was too big and heavy, the DRZ was less heavy, still incapable of keeping a well ridden KTM in sight. I didn't want to sell, but house projects beckoned, and I wanted a "Real Dirt Bike".
2012 Kawasaki ZX10R - Bought for $8000 with 1000 miles - I was in the process of buying the new FZ-09 at the dealership I work at when this came from a car dealer who took it on trade for a Focus??!! Who trades 180hp and 2 wheels for 160hp and 4 wheels?? I didn't even take it home before the ECU was sent off to Guhl motors. It now has no cat, and I have crashed it out of pristine-ness in turn 1 at Road America. Bouncing off the rev limiter in 6th gear as you tip into T12 is surreal. I really shouldn't be allowed to have this thing, it literally is faster than most things on the planet. Traction control is a necessity I now know, as is a good attorney/bail bondsman.
2015 Beta 350RR - Street legal Enduro racebike. Traded in with 100 miles! Soo good in the woods, so good in fact that it makes me look really, really, really slow. Rides mile long wheelies on gravel easily and got me to ride the Hatfield McCoy trails in West "By God" Virginia for the first time. Also crashed it around a vineyard in the Loess Hills area of Western Iowa. Bought for half price at $4500, likely will sell with less than 500 miles for $5000.
2000 Yamaha Zuma - Fancy Team Yamaha Blue color. Same as the old 98'- it wheelies! Purchased so I would have a campground scoot for the 2018 Road America Moto America Races. I will inevitably crash myself silly while intoxicated, but it is too fun to crash with a cooler strapped on the back. Get one of these. The owner of my Yamaha dealership said he had never seen a scooter that could wheelie... and I thought he knew me?
2006 Suzuki SV650 - Here we go again. After the excess of the ZX10, this feels like coming home. So big crashes are likely to ensue. In addition to the 02' listed above, and this 06', I have also flipped no less the 4 SVs complete, and a motor or 2. I'm addicted. The new Yamaha FZ07 is looking really good, but for the pennies these bikes trade for it's hard to pass on the poor man's Ducati.
2000 Yamaha Zuma - Had to go all the way to Minneapolis to get a decent first gen Zuma. Worth the trip! $600 later it was mine. Now it has an Italian 70cc big bore with stock carb and exhaust. It's a total sleeper and embarrasses really expensive Italian scooters with fuel injection just for fun. With the big motor, it is criminally easy to wheelie, so much so that I can't let just anybody ride this. It has teeth!
2020 Honda Monkey 125 - Soo FUN!!! Perfecting wheelies on this thing took 10 minutes. I can do an honest 55mph with a little gravity or wind assist in its current stock condition (won't be stock for long!). After ditching all the extraneous plastic stuff (airbox, fender extensions, fork guards), it's starting to look close to vintage. They should pay me to sell these things. I talk to everyone who asks and can't leave anywhere without a big shit eating grin while wheelie-ing out of site.
Stay tuned to see what I get next…