Hello. My name is Kevin and…
I’m an addict.
I’m addicted to an expensive, somewhat dangerous, habit.
And it all started when I was very young.
I’ve been battling this addiction my entire life (age 5-38).
After getting married and finding myself strapped for time and money, I managed to quit… but only for a few years.
Here’s my story…
At the impressionable age of five, my father brought home two brand new quads.
A 1985 Honda Fourtrax 70 (for me)
A 1985 Suzuki LT50 (for my three-year-old brother)
To this day, I remember specific rides with my dad and brother.
My dad lead the way while we respectively followed as closely behind as we could. Dad rode Honda 200 three-wheeler.
Back then, three -heelers were all the rage… at least to three and five year-old boys.
As we got a little older we would also go riding with my uncle, cousins and grandfather.
My crazy (awesome) uncle had a two-stroke three-wheeler.
Something that I had never seen – or heard – before.
It blew my adolescent mind!
After a few years of wrecking (hit our parent’s house, rolled a few times, got stuck on hills, etc.) and riding – my brother and I got to trade up.
Being the oldest, I got another brand new quad.
A two-stroke, Suzuki LT80.
My brother got the hand-me-down Honda 70.
But he was cool with it… probably even more content than I was.
My cousin and grandfather rode dirt bikes. To me, that was where it was at.
After pushing my LT80 to the limits, I eventually talked dad into getting me a dirt bike.
He came home with a 1984 Honda XR 200 (for him), while I got a 1974 Honda XL 175 (see below).
Believe it or not, I was thrilled! 😉
I learned to ride on that bike.
Yeah, I went down more times than I’d like to admit, but it was fun. Besides, I was finally on a dirt bike.
My brother got some type of Suzuki 100 dirt bike. I can’t remember what exactly it was.
He wasn’t thrilled. He wanted back on four wheels.
After a about a year, I was able to talk my dad into giving me his dirt bike.
I, too, was cool with this hand-me-down.
I rode his bike for a while before dad started to get the itch.
From there, he sold the 1984 & 1974 Honda’s (and my brother’s 19-something Suzuki) and picked up two more dirt bikes… and a new quad for my brother.
My brother got a Honda TRX 300.
Dad got himself a 1993 XR250.
I got a 1993 XR200.
All was good. Until…
One evening ride ended with a broken shoulder and a cracked rib… for my dad. He hit a dear as he was turning into the driveway to come home.
He was done.
Too old. Too tired. Too broken.
The good news? I got his bike 😀
I spent most of my high-school years riding the XR250.
It was a great bike. I loved it.
But after a couple more years of riding, I was ready to upgrade.
This time, I wanted a race bike.
I still remember coming home one day towards the end of my senior year.
He did it.
He got my a new, 1999 YZ250. The bike I had literally dreamed about.
It was all that I wanted.
Two-stroke. Blue. Beautiful.
It was the last bike my dad would buy me.
After a while I eventually raced this bike. I landed (and didn’t land) my first double. First triple. Won my first overall. Went on numerous trips to the dunes with my buddies on this bike.
But then something happened…
The four stroke began owning the 250 class.
I could remember learning to ride on four strokes. For me, they were easier to throttle, easier to predict… and now they sound as (arguably) cool as the two-stroke.
In 2001 I sold my YZ250 and bought myself a new YZ426F.
I THOUGHT I loved my 250. But the 426 was an amazing machine… a bit of a hassle to start, but amazing.
I rode that until I decided to trade it in for another new bike.
Back to Honda. This time, it was a 2003 CRF450R.
And this is where my story turns tragic.
After many hill climbs, stoppies, doubles, crashes… and even an engagement on this bike… it was over.
I sold the bike in 2005 and didn’t ride a dirt bike for another 13 years.
I did, however, try my hand on pavement.
But as impressive and as beautiful as this bike was, pavement wasn’t for me.
After owning a couple years, once again I found myself without a bike.
In the back of my mind, I was done riding.
I lived in the city and didn’t have time to go out every weekend.
My wife and I had our hands full raising two girls. And when was dad supposed to find time to ride!?!
But, as it turned out…
we moved… to the country… to the dirt… to the trails…
Time to get a bike.
I found this 2015 CRF450R on Craig’s List in June of 2018.
It was bone-stock and well taken care of.
And now… I’m riding again.
Still addicted. Still spending more than I probably should.