When We Were Young - 1970's
News Tuesday 11th September 2012 By Geoff Meyer
My first ever motorcycle was a 1974 YZ80, although the bike I always wanted was a Honda XR75 (pictured). It got me thinking looking at all these magnificent old machines, mini-bikes that are now long gone and live only in our memories.
It is amazing how many bikes I went through, from that old YZ80 (a hand me down from my oldest brother).
My father owners a Motorcycle magazine and we got to test some of the best bikes of the 1970's and 80's, from the very exciting RM80 (which seems way ahead of its time) and so many others. Some stuck in my memory, like the Italian Italjet, or the Suzuki PE 250cc machine.
We would thrash around the national parks on the outskirts of Sydney and throw our bikes in the back of dad’s old station wagon and head off to wherever we could ride. Back in those days you could ride anywhere and we often jumped on our bikes in the driveway of our family home and headed up the street and into the bushes.
Looking back maybe it wasn't so cool after all, as there are no motorcycles allowed in the forest area's around Sydney anymore, everything is closes off to riding, and despite the fact the old fire trails still carry the marks of our old riding days the greenies consider it a danger to the environment.
Was it the young kid’s faults of the 1970's and 80's that cause the closures?
I eventually started buying my own bikes and had a very beaten up CR 125cc, decked out on my Marty Smith or Graham Noyce riding gear seemed to make me go faster, although looking at the old video's I sure wasn't even national level, let alone the level of my then hero's.
As I got older, bikes got more expensive, girls grew more interesting and beer came into my life. I sold that old Honda, stopped going away with my parents, and started hanging out in disco's and pubs.
Funny thing is, despite the fact I have hardly ridden since those old days of the 1970's I still miss riding. Now with four kids we have a quad sitting in the garage, had a mini-bike, but the quad seems more fun for the kids.
Once it's in your blood you find it hard to let go.
If anyone has a cool story of their riding days send it in and I will run it: Send to email@example.com