Passing on the passion
Happy Tuesday everyone! Motocross and riding dirt bikes in general have been a huge part of my life. Some of the fondest moments growing up involve hot summer days, great friends and dirt bikes. From a mustard colored 1972 Honda CT 70 to a 2012 KTM 450 SX-F, I can relive thousands of laughs, triumphs, bonds and tears. All those days riding down by the river or on a track have driven my passion for two wheeled adventures.
The passion started the day my father brought home a blown up 1976 Honda XL70. I remember being super excited to what I considered a real dirt bike. I sat in the garage every night and stared at that thing for hours just imagining the freedom of ripping down the trails and ditches by our house. Finally, my father got around to switching the piston, cylinder, and head from the old CT70 onto the XL70. Call it crazy, but I can still feel the excitement of that cool Saturday morning.
The next task was to modify the bike into a finely-tuned moto machine. He removed the blinkers and taillight, installed a K&N air filter, and welded on some type of Briggs and Stratton muffler on that thing that had to save a dozen or so pounds. Like a surgeon’s assistant, I was sucking up knowledge and grabbing tools like a pro. These days with my father were priceless as he was a traveling sales representative and seldom home during the week. After everything was tested and ready, I threw on my helmet and we rode double to a friend’s farm. This was no ordinary motorcycle, it had a manual clutch. I was probably six at the time and couldn’t yet reach the ground. My father stood behind and pushed me off as I let out the clutch. Stopping was none of our concern and off I went.
Fast forward 30 years and this last fall I bought my son a used 1998 Honda XR80. He was coming off a Honda XR70 of all things with an auto clutch. We brought it home and immediately tore into it, taking off the broken hand guards, fixing what needed to be fixed and giving the bike a full service. He was right next to me learning how things worked and handing me tools. Looking onto his eyes, he had found the passion.
Glancing over at the 70, I smiled remembering where it all began.
Either in a local park on a STRIDER or on your friend’s farm, get your kids out riding!