Do you remember when you got your first bike? For most of us, it’s one of the best days of our lives. Thanks to the support of our friends at Spy Optics, we’ve decided to start a new Saturday column called “My First Bike.” The subject of this week’s column is Uni-Filter’s Tom Gross, who has fond memories of his first bike that sparked his passion for racing motorcycles.
I got this minibike for Christmas back in 1969 when I was eight years old. It was my first bike with an engine in it, and I would ride it every day at my house in Pomona, California. We had a track that went all the way from the front of the house, down the driveway, to the backyard. It had jumps and even a mud hole.
When I got home from school, I would jump on my bike and ride it until dark. The minibike was a King 500 with a Briggs & Stratton 3 hp engine. I used to ride that bike to death! I repainted it a couple times (don't tell my mom). But in the later years, I would ride it down the street, jump off the concrete curbs, and ride it down the sidewalks. My best friend had a minibike too, so we rode together all the time. After the mini, I got a Kawasaki 100, then a Hodaka 125, Husky 250, Honda, and a Harley. But that minibike was the most memorable Christmas gift I got as a kid.