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 one of our avid readers named PJ. I could never get back in touch with him to find out what his last name was but I really liked his story. Let's see what kind memories PJ has of his first bike, which sparked his passion for racing motorcycles.
I’m pictured here at age 14 with my 1973 DKW 125 Enduro, this was my first big bike in the late 70’s and this was given to me by my father who used to ride and swear by this bike. Notice the leading link front end suspension. There are no conventional forks here. This was a swing arm with a shock up front that traveled up and down. The engine was really solid and had about as much compression as a modern KX500. You had to jump on the left sided kicker with single kicks to get it to fired up and this bike had enough power to run with most Japanese 250’s back then and if you look closely it is pretty tricked out. All the metal (tank, fenders, etc) was replaced with plastic, the bars were replaced, and the seat was shortened and custom made. This bike was pretty heavy but I used to fly this thing pretty far through the air and it jumped really well. The landings were a bit harsh though. Although it did not turn very well at high speeds, it handled pretty well overall.
The funniest story about this bike was the time that it stalled on the trail. After a short while we got it fired back up, put it in gear, and the rear wheel spun backwards….perfectly! Somehow, the timing was 180 degrees off and the motor ran backwards. I never saw my dad laugh so hard, we were killing ourselves laughing!
We eventually donated the bike to some kids in the neighborhood in the mid 80’s, but I’ll never forget “The Deek”