Rupp Mini Bike 1970

When the time came to move up to the Rupp it was not really because I outgrew the Bobcat, it was because I had to make room for little brother Ron. Ron is the youngest of us four (Barry is the oldest, Larry* is second, I am third, and Ron is last). Also at this time we got a brand new Yamaha 80cc (gray), which went to Larry! I have to admit I was jealous – he got a shiny new bike and I got the old hand me down; something I never really got used to. The new 80 was a shifter bike which meant he could go faster and it was a more adult-like bike. I made the best of it and convinced myself that I wasn’t ready to shift gears and boy was that the truth; more to come on shifting.

My memories with the Rupp are limited; I recall a lot of fun and good times. Although the smaller Rupp made it difficult to keep up with Larry, I was still bigger than Ron. I spent time riding and “teaching” Ron (including throwing gravel in his face, kind of like Larry always did to me).

A specific memory I do have with the Rupp – We were racing the Rupp around in the back yard and having a lot of fun and giggling like a couple of school girls. We were trying to do spinning brodies in the sandbox when I tipped it over and impaled my knee on the centrifugal clutch (this clutch is a winged/weighted device that puts tension on the belt and propels the bike forward). Normally this clutch has a protective shroud but over the years it was removed, probably due the many riders, crashes, and maintenance. So you can imagine what happened to my knee. Larry managed to stay calm, but I freaked out – not for the damage to my knee as this would heal, but because we were doing shit we were told not to do and now dad would know! Long story short – the day ended with a trip to the hospital and seven stitches. The cool part was dad really didn’t get upset at me. I found out (much later in life) that Larry took the brunt as he was the older of us, and according to dad, he was the responsible brother. Guess we both had a lot to learn.

*Although I have 3 brothers, Larry and I were close in age and well matched in riding skills. Because of this, most of my childhood memories are with Larry, even those outside of motorcycling.


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  1. […] with my slightly older brother, Larry, who handed down the Bobcat to me and moved on to the Rupp. I sure do miss those days and am thankful for my father’s teaching and the Bobcat’s first […]

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