My first motorcycle, The AMF Harley Davidson 125

You never forget your first bike

Mine was a Harley Davidson dirt bike from the 1970s,  made overseas.  My Dad bought it from a old guy in a parking lot across from the high school. To me it looked like the coolest bike I had ever seen, I was going to travel the world on it, ride into the sunset and live out of a backpack at 12 years old.

True death at 15 mph

I was just a wide eyed kid learning to ride, and having fun was my only objective on that dirt bike. Maintenance and repairs didn’t even cross my mind and even had they, I didn’t have a clue about how to do either. Although I probably never passed 15 mph, I wouldn’t know since the speedometer didn’t work, I still managed to eventually kill that bike.

It could’ve died from one of many causes. With the internet still in the AOL dial-up era, there were no convenient online resources to help me  figure it out. With no YouTube or Reddit to turn to for advice all I knew was that my speed machine wouldn’t work anymore.

Mission accomplished Dad!

I think my Dad spent $400 on that bike and at the time it was probably worth that too. Funny thing is that these days, that same bike has Collectors bidding in the range of $10K on ebay. Anyway, at the time, it was cheap in terms of dirt bikes, many of the Harley Davidson crowd had a bad opinion of these antique dirt bikes. The bikes  had the stigma of not being American made having been made jointly with Aermacchi and Harley Davidson. However, kids don’t care were something came from, they just care about how much fun it is, and I was no exception.

Fun is exactly what I had with it. The money my Dad spent buying a dirt bike, went much further than the bike itself. Even now I can still imagine myself revving the little 125cc engine, perched high up on that banana seat. I can hear the sounds and feel the air as I raced around the pasture kicking up pebbles behind me. I remember the heat of the exhaust radiating under my seat and how dirty and scuffed my helmet was from flying dust and the falls I had that morning. Just writing that brings a small smile to my face. What my Dad really bought that day, was great memories that I have fondly relived for decades.

That little Aermacchi 125 is where my love of motorcycles began. Now, as a father myself, I get to help my kids have that same experience and make those great memories. That is what life should really be all about. Making memories every chance you get. Next month is Leyla’s birthday and we are getting her a Yamaha TTR50E just the same as Emily’s TTR50E.  We are going to have our own squad of dirt bike riding kids. It is going to be exciting! I hope you’ll come back and check it out. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the videos when they’re published.

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