Motorcycle # 3
In hindsight one of the better things that happened to me was too many speeding tickets in the mid 90’s.
This put me on a good behaviour driving licence and made me turn to riding off road.
It was still the two stroke era, 250cc bikes were really powerful, and frankly more than I could use.
I settled on a Kawasaki KX125cc which power wise was something like a modern 250cc off road bike, albeit with the power arriving in a sudden upper rpm burst. Photo above I am pretending I know how to ride.
You might think that wasn’t user friendly but you would be wrong. These bikes were feather light compared to modern machines so that gave you confidence. They had just enough in lower revs to let you negotiate obstacles, then gave this addictive rush in the power band as only a two stoke engine can deliver.
I had a heap of fun riding farms and my local bush tracks. The best thing was sliding the bike. Having a flat circuit with corners where you can stomp on the rear brake and step the rear out as you turn in then drop the clutch, hit the gas and spin the rear while crossed up though the corner as you bring it back upright and gain traction and rocket forward a short distance then repeat.
It is incredible how much bike control you learn off road. Far more than any advanced riding or racetrack tuition. Look at the background of many a successful racer and it will be sliding a old farm bike around a paddock endlessly.
But I feel it is a younger persons game. You fall off quite a bit mastering having grip that is constantly varying and always limited. There is a window of time you are going to be ok with falling off then you get tired of being knocked about.
I was fortunate that fate steered me to try it whilst still young enough. It might be fair to say, skills from then have kept me safe since. But after 2 years and a few injuries I was old enough to hang up my MX boots.