Thursday, February 7, 2008

Yamah GT 80

I remember putting a brochure for a Yamaha GT80 on my dads dresser every december saying that this year it was OK to combine my birthday and christmas present together (my birthday is 5 days before Christmas). I did this for 3 years until..... I can remember it vividly. We had finished opening presents and my dad asked me to get something from the Den. As I walked in my heart almost stopped as there before me was a brand new (or maybe it was a year old?) 1974 Yamaha GT 80.
It had a busted headlight (dad dropped it taking it out of the car) but it was perfect to me! This was a full-on legit motorcycle, with lights and kicker and key and... heck it was street legal!
If memory serves me correctly, it snowed on Boxing day and I remember riding the Yamaha up and down my street in the snow. To this day, one of my favourite things to do, when it snows, is to take the kids little XR80 out and slide around on the quiet, snow packed street.
It was this bike that hooked me on Sickles for the rest of my life! It was this bike that made me want to race MX. It was this bike that made me wanna jump like Evel Knievel. It was this bike that made me what I am today (good or bad). I loved THIS bike!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My first bike - A Keystone

I think I was 11 years old when I got my first bike. I had been reading Motorcycle mags for years, circling bikes I'd like to get, dreaming of bikes I'd like to get. I remember I had saved up $50, my dad must have thought I'd worked hard for the money cause he then offered to pitch in another $50! So bike looking we went! I don't remember much about getting it, but this bike ruled! It had a motorcycle style engine and gas tank and even had a clutch although no gears! This came in handy cause the pull start spring always seemed to break and we would have to head out to Richmond BC to the Keystone HQ (I heard the frames were made in Richmond!) to get a new spring. Eventually I just bumped started it which was easy with the clutch. Plus I could rev it up and pop the clutch and do wheelies!!!

I have so many memories of this bike! Cruising the lanes, showing off to the girls, getting chased and caught by the cops. I remember coming back from riding in some sandpit. I was sitting in the back of my dads stationwagon with the bike when a motorcyclist came up behind us. I geuss he saw the minibike laying down in the back and he gave me the thumbs up! WOW! I was part of the biker community now! Funny how a little thing like that can stay vivid in your memory 35+ years later!! Thanks Bro!.
I also use to take the minbike up to my Grandparents cabin which was on the way to Whistler. The chopper craze was going big at this time and I remember always wishing I had long "biker" hair! I found this blonde wig that I would put on underneath my helmet and ride around on the private road that went to my grandparents cabin. (this pic is of my dad!) Sometimes I would ride up the road to the highway and park my bike and lay on it with my "long hair" coming out from underneath my helmet. MAN I was cool!!!! Those were great days!!!! Thanks Dad for letting me get my first bike! (but was mom pissed!)

PS Here are some pics of 2 other mini-bikes I currently own. The "red" one I bought for 2 of my kids for christmas a number of years back. Weeks before Xmas I was blasting around the streets on it, even took it to an empty warehouse where a gig was going to take place and road it up onto the stage! The yellow one is one that me and my youngest built together one winter. It's one of my favourites with the square tyres and the scrub brake!

35 years of riding sickles!

The other day I was making a list of every bike I've ever owned. I believe there was 29 in all. And I believe I have pictures of most of them (Heck.. I still HAVE most of them!) So I thought it would be great to chronicle them all and dig out what pictures I do have! Partially inspired by my friend Biker Al, who once sent me a cool zine featuring stories of all the ikes he has owned in the past.
So I'll start digging out the photos and begin posting!