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Yamaha 80 – Gray 1970s

Kevlar learns how to multi-task
– This was the motorcycle that taught Kevlar how to shift. He’s not sure how the bike or his dad survived.

This was the motorcycle that taught me how to shift, and to this day I am not sure how the bike or my dad survived. The family owned two of these Yamaha 80 cc motorcycles; one was yellow and one was gray. When the yellow one arrived, my hopes were high as I figured since Larry got the last new bike I naturally assumed that this one was going to be mine. My hopes were shattered as I found out that Larry once again got the new one and I was stuck eating his gravel with the hand-me-down. Dad said that the yellow 80 was a special performance bike that had extensive engine work done to it and that it was not something to learn how to shift with. It would seem that Larry was going to start racing and this was the machine for him. So, I took the bad and good news and moved forward.

Moving forward meant learning how to shift gears. Hmmm, not so much. I remember my dad trying to teach me. His patience was incredible and it seemed that he had done this before (just not on my level). I was ready to quit riding forever as I just couldn’t get the right combination of throttle and clutch. Then once I got the thing moving, at an uncontrollable speed, there was stopping and I had to use the clutch again. Can you say crash and burn? This popping the clutch and crashing became an unmanageable cycle and a damn near impossible task. It seemed I lacked both the coordination and skill required. After a few days and several hundred attempts, there was hope. I started making progress, and eventually I got the hang of it. The poor lil gray 80 suffered greatly, but it kept going and never let me down.

It was dad’s patience that I remember the most here. I did not know he possessed such remarkable tolerance. Now that I look back, it is apparent that he went through this experience at least four times: once with each son and likely with mom. Thanks dad for not giving up.

1973 Yamaha GTMX 80 cc.

1973 Yamaha GTMX 80 cc

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  1. […] 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 […]

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