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Readers Respond: Did Your Father Inspire You to Ride a Motorcycle?

Responses: 12


From the article: Ten Great Beginner Bikes
What role did your dad play with your involvement in motorcycles? Did he encourage you to ride, or did you get into motorcycling in spite of a parent's wish to keep you safe?

Fathers Bike

In the 20's my father was riding an Indian and loved the bike. Unfortunately his cousin cashed the bike.
—Guest Ed

Father sold minibikes in the 60's

With my father the only person in northern wisconsin to sell minibikes, I learned at an early age. What a legacy he left me. Now I have ridden motorcycles since 1974 and loving every minute of it. When I moved to Colorado in 1993 I rarely saw motorcycles on the rode, let alone women on bikes. Now it is great to see plenty of them.
—Guest Cheryle


As I remember; I ‘brown eyed’ and pleaded my father into letting his 13 year old son ride the 175cc motorcycle which was passing through our working class existence. Dad was a HGV mechanic; but only ‘cos Mum had urged the big fella out of the Collieries! Self taught as a mechanic, this motorcycle had now appeared in our yard!! ..And I wa’ smitten!! My older brother was also up there with interest and the inherent pack love and mentality presided. ‘Ar kid’ wa’ kitted up wi the ‘piss pot’ bonnet, instructed, and set off into his excitement. Apart from the rivalry scowl I watched him cautiously control the bike along the wall lined side road, then turn into the open ground on his right and return to Dad. I pleaded with intent! He folded, and urs truly wa; wearin’ the bonnet! The bike felt huge. …If this couldn’t take me to Pluto, nothing could. And, of course I had to outdo ‘ar kid’. ..I’d quickly got the jist, .. clutch – disengages, throttle – faster/slower, foot brake –
—Guest Roo B

Go for it Barbie

My father is mathematically brilliant, mechanically inclined and undeniably charismatic. This remarkable man has taught me many life lessons and has been the muse for my professional career (I followed his footsteps and became an engineer). Riding a motorcycle with my dad has had an unquestionable transformation in my life. He found my 1st bike and taught me to ride; every time I dropped the bike my dad was there offering guidance and a supportive hand, never judging my riding mistakes. After each fall he would ask, "Barbie, you ok?" and I'd embarrassingly say "Yeah Dad", and he'd say "Good, get back on and go for it. I know you can do it." With every mile we ride together, he swells in delight for my accomplishments, like turning corners smoothly and not stalling the bike. I have always adored my dad and respected him as a gentleman, an engineer and the amazing husband he is to my mom; but after our 1st ride together, he taught me another vital lesson, that he's coolest guy ever.
—Guest Barbara Socarras

My Dad.

My Dad used to tell me about riding Harleys and Indians back in the 1940's. He got a 360 Honda when he retired. My Grandpa used to tell me about riding his Harley on the beach. I believe he got it when he got home from France after world war 1. Before that, there weren't motorcycles. Guess it's in my blood.
—Guest Breeze

Thanks for the encoragement, Da

Growing up in Nova Scotia, my Dad and Mom were cool with bikes, and even encouraged my brother and me. SIx years ago, a short time before he left this good Earth, he told me that he regretted not having bought the 1975 Gold Wing he had his eye on when the bike came first on to the market. "You and your brother looked like you were having so much fun!" he said. I sometimes put my passenger boards down when I go for ride, and take 'the old man' with me. I think he would love the back of my Yamaha Roadliner 1900, the kind of Big Twin he could truly appreciate. Thanks for the encouragement, Da. It changed my life.
—Guest CaperJohnny

Protective Dad Wishes I Wouldn't Ride

When my dad was in high school, his first vehicle was a WW2 army motor scooter with a chain drive and big balloon tires. He graduated from that to a small 125 cc bike made in the 40s. By college, he had moved on to a fascination with cars and never looked back. When I recently told my dad I wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle, he shared his hair-raising experiences on both bikes in hopes of dissuading me from joining those ranks. He told me, "We all do things we find fascinating. Whether we are victims of what happens around us or cause accidents to happen, the results will always be a part of life. So I do not encourage you to enjoy it." Sigh. I wish I didn't love riding so much. But Dad, I promise I'll be safe and take all my precautions and follow all of my riding rules. And I know you say that because you love me and you're my dad.
—Guest No!

How I became a motorcyclist

My father was a courier for the city council (The Hague, Netherlands). Just before WWII he got a new H-D, which he crashed at full speed against a tree! Result: one lung left, one leg shorter, all ribs+arms and legs broken! You will understand that my mother was not happy when I bought my first bike, a DKW 175cc, when I was 18. In those days one could get a permit to practice yourself in a restricted area. It started raining. On my way home I thougt that a truck come on to me from the left. I made a panic stop and landed on my face. My theeth came trhough my lips and these had to be stitched. My mother had just an operation in the same hospital and when she woke up and saw my swollen lips she started crying. Of course because my father was a cripled man before they even got marriedI But he continued to ride a lightway bike. I myself has chosen my forst Harley, because during my lunchbrake I saw a marine, riding a WLA passing the office sounding great! Ride a H-D for 46 years now!
—Guest Father: Yes, Mother: No

Absolutely !

My dad started riding with his brother -in-law and a groug of off road riding buddies in his mid thirties . The first one was a yellow Yamaha 80 . There was another Yamaha and a Bultaco that lead up to a pair of Bultaco Sherpa -T's . At some point a 77 RD 400 showed up as his only road bike . My first bike was ,and I still have it , a 79 RD 400F . It was mostly known as the Daytona Special . I'm currently riding a 2011 Victory Cross Country and loving it ! Thanks Dad .
—Guest Yes

Father's Day Motorcycle Tribute!!!

With excitement, I read your story Basem titled "Did Your Father Inspire You to Ride a Motorcycle." Put a smile on my face. Without question, my father was 100% my inspiration to ride. His first bike was a 1962 Honda CB150 and over the year's he has had a variety of bikes. Growing up he did a brief stint riding on the Enduro Off-Road Unit for the San Mateo County Sheriff's department, which I thought was the ultimate in cool. Today, he rides a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail and although my time in saddle doesn't quite rival his, we are hoping to plan a father/son ride in the coming year where we simply set out without a time line and without a destination!
—Guest Mike Caudill

No ! Well actually they came around.

A buddy gave me a ride home from the mall on his almost new CB160 (OMG that thing was fast!!) and that was all she wrote...I was done! Over dinner I announced that I was saving my money up for a bike. My Mom, said that's nice ... what's wrong with the one you've got? I thought..OK here goes nuthin'. After she got up off the floor and she was coherent again we actually talked about it. A few months later I was riding a well used '66 Kawasaki F1...175 single. If my Son tells me he wants to ride, he'll have a more positive response.
—Guest Pete

Yes and No...

I was raised in an ultracautious household that discouraged motorcycle riding. However, I was also allowed to ride my friend's minibikes, rent scooters while on vacation and borrow friend's bikes when I wanted. My dad often showed concern about bikes, but he was also the "good cop" parent who was cool with BB guns and the sorts of things my mom thought twice about. My dad was onboard when motorcycles became a bigger part of my life, though with the usual concerns about staying safe and avoiding accidents... but when I later found out that my grandfather used to ride motorcycles back in the day, it put everything into perspective: this is something that I love and is a big part of my life, and now that I'm an adult, my father has been able to let go of his concerns and become cool with riding. --Basem

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