Honda XR350 1983

The XR was truly my first dual sport motorcycle. It was also the first four stroke or thumper as I called it. This was the one that was going to change my future – I just didn’t know it at the time. All I wanted to do was get on this new motorcycle and ride. Stepping up onto the thumper opened up my world; there would be no turning back.

This bike allowed me the freedom to ride on the road in the dirt, then ride back home, assuming I didn’t get into trouble while adventuring off road. I can recall two times when I had to get help recovering this bike from two feet of mud. One of those times we had to attach a four wheeler to the bike to get it unstuck from the sticky quicksand mud.

I bought the XR350 alongside Judy’s XR200. This was the first time we bought motorcycles together and that was when I knew we were destined to ride together for a very long time. We rode every chance we could. We used to go out camping at a place called Simpson Springs. This was a place that bordered a military proving grounds. This was the first time we found ourselves riding where we shouldn’t have been. We maneuvered the bikes under the fence to ride on the military side. Once on that side, there was plenty of open desert and sagebrush to play follow the leader in. I remember very well the large craters that were lots of fun to ride in and out of. It turned out they were left from the ordinance that had been exploded there during testing. We decided this was no longer a good place to ride after we discovered an un-exploded ordinance.

This was the first time I crashed a bike and didn’t remember what happened. All I know is that I was racing my friend Doug and went over a 30 foot cliff. I didn’t break any bones, but I broke the bike. When it landed, it hit front end first bending the triple fork. After that, every time I would come off a jump or bring the front down from a wheelie the forks would twist, bothering me to the point that I couldn’t ride it anymore. Near the end of that summer, I sold the XR. It was a tough decision, but Judy and I were expecting our first child and it seemed like the best thing to do at the time. Looking back, I should have gotten a new triple fork and repaired it. My first regret in selling a motorcycle.


Husqvarna 250 1978
Kawasaki KLR650 2006

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