Reader Rides | Columns | Gassit Garage
If it was a paddock basher or a shiny new one, no one forgets their first bike. If you get printed, you’ll get an Oxford lock, Fred’s fave gets the Ipone kit. Show us yours!
AMCN’S READERS RIDES has inspired Steve Abbott to dig through his old photographs and find some of his cherished memories. His first bike was a customised Honda Mini Trail Z50A, and one of his favourite was a Honda CB750 K0 that was even featured in the pages of Australian Motorcycle News 45 years ago!
Starting out small
The Honda Mini Trail Z50A was my first taste of motorcycling back in 1970, when I bought a brand-new model at the age of 15. It was an amazing experience, so much so that I still ride (as does my wife), it is my favourite thing to do, and I have owned many bikes over the years. This was so shiny and special, and I had to do it up after watching Easy Rider with the sissy bar, and the tank painted in stars and stripes along with many extras, including having the 49cc engine bored out to 72cc. I sold it and bought a Honda SL175 then traded that in on an SL350, so on and so on. I have no idea where this beauty ended up.
Four of the best
I used to ride my Honda four to work and one time I placed it in the window of the shop and someone took a photo. That photo ended up in AMCN (or the Green Horror, as we called it).
Apparently there was a lot of interest in the bike so I was contacted to do a story on it. The reporter (I can’t remember his name) asked me a year or two later about taking some more shots at Albert Park, too!
I sold the CB750 around 1977 or 1978, so I could buy an engine for my panel van which I later showed around Australia. I did have a Honda CR250M Elsinore at one stage, too, which was an animal, as you can see. Geez, wouldn’t it be nice to have a Honda Z50A Easy Rider replica, a CB750 Four and a CR250M Elsinore still sitting in the shed?!
Even on the dole, I managed to save enough to buy this Honda XL250. I would pay my board to my mother in front of my father, only to have her stuff it back into my pocket when he wasn’t around! Served me well on many a camping trip with a mate, who bought an identical one.
Here’s a photo of my first bike, a Suzuki RGV 250. It’s a shame you can’t ride these on your L-plates any more; it was like riding a MotoGP bike on the road. I don’t know how 650cc bikes are allowed, and these aren’t.
What more could a learner want back in the day?
Send Fred a photo of the first bike you ever owned or rode. If you don’t have a pic of the first, he’ll accept one of the first. Email your entry to comps@amcn. com.au and make sure you include your full name and postal address so he can send out the loot to his favourite!