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My First Bike...Daniel Rice

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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 have a new Saturday column called “My First Bike.” The subject of this week’s column is JE Pistons Daniel Rice, who has fond memories of his first bike, which sparked his passion for racing motorcycles.

Here is my "first bike" experience to share with you readers. My name is Daniel Rice, and I work at JE Pistons. I design the pistons for Factory Kawasaki, Factory Honda, the Pro Circuit team, SoBe No Fear/Samsung Honda and Yamaha of Troy, just to name a few. Before I was 15 the only thing I had ever ridden was a three-wheeler and a really old Yamaha 80, which I think had a metal gas tank. I met a guy in high school who let me ride his two-week old 1991 KX125 on a motocross track. I instantly fell in love with riding moto and had to get my own bike. My father being an ex-racer in the early 70s who stopped riding due to injuries was not happy about my enthusiasmto get a motocross bike, so I had to buy it on my own. I picked up a 1981 CR125 that was in bad shape for $150. After rebuilding the top end I got
it to run pretty good, but after my first experience riding was on a brand new bike, this bike felt horrible on the track. The shock seals were all shot and the shock had no oil in it. You really had to hang on to keep from getting bucked off the back. Somebody must have really wanted this bike pretty bad, because I didn't have it long before it got stolen. This motivated me to save up all my money over the winter (I grew up in Wisconsin, where you can't ride from October to April), and was able to buy a used 1990 Suzuki RM125 in the spring. This was my first "real" bike. I
loved that bike and rode it a ton. Soon I was smokin my friends on their brand new bikes. This bike had such an impact on me, my next two bikes were Suzuki RM125s, and I didn't own another brand till 1996. Although I haven't owned a Suzuki since, or hot pink pants, I still have fond memories of that bike.

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