I was eight years old when I learned to ride a motorcycle. I wasn’t tall enough at the time to touch the ground, so when I was done riding, I honked the horn until somebody came out to hold the bike up so I could get off.
I rode throughout college, but left my motorcycle behind when I moved away from home. Fortunately for me, my dad kept my old bike, a 1959 250cc BMW, in his garage until I had a place for it and the interest to ride again. The old 250 still runs, but needs some work to be street-legal again. I’m waiting on some 6-volt bulbs, a front brake cable, and adjustment screws that are on order.
In the meantime, I ride my new bike, a 2007 BMW R 1200 RT. I love the way my RT handles the twisties on weekends up in the canyons. For those longer weekends, I can load it up and ride! The beemers are tall. Even with the low seat, I can only tiptoe the bike or get one foot down flat, but it is what I want to ride, so I ride it.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Finding the Right Fit
When our three children were grown and on their own (more or less), I decided to join my husband, Joe, in his motorcycle interests. I rode as a passenger for a little while and then announced, because I am a nervous passenger anyway, “Hey, I want to ride my own motorcycle.” It was in everyones best interests when I finally decided to sign up for the Motorcycle Safety Foundations Basic Rider Course at our local college.
I made the call to register, but they were booked up for several months. So while I waited, I had plenty of time to go motorcycle shopping. I knew that I eventually wanted to have a Harley-Davidson, but first I needed to get a feel for being “out there” in the real world, not just the “motorcycle range.”
I visited the local Yamaha/Honda dealership and sat on the cruisers. The 2002 Yamaha V Star was the runner-up, with the 2002 Honda Shadow 750 A.C.E. as the winner. After I secured my motorcycle license, I purchased the Honda and added a windshield and engine guards.
My husband rode my brand-new Honda home for me. I rode through the neighborhood for several weeks, then finally took it out on the road. I had that bike for several years, until one day when Joe called me at work all excited. He said that he went to the local Harley-Davidson dealership and spotted the “bike of my dreams.” I went to the dealership after work and fell in love with her. She is a 2006 Heritage Softail Classic with whitewall tires in the Brandywine Sunglo color. I had to have this bike. So my Christmas present that year was my new motorcycle.
Kathleen M. Caldwell
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