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My First Bike...Jeff Layman

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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 Saturday column called “My First Bike.” The subject of this week’s column is Tucker Rocky’s Jeff Layman, who has fond memories of his first bike, which sparked his passion for racing motorcycles.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my dad came home one day with a shiny new Kawasaki 350 “Bighorn” in the back of the van. He was sort of reliving his youth after not having owned a motorcycle since he won the Alaskan state scrambles championship when he was in the air force on a BSA Gold Star back in the ‘50s. A year or so later, Yamaha came out with the original Mini Enduro, and without a doubt it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen! I absolutely had to have one, and my dad made me a deal; he would match me dollar-for-dollar until I’d earned enough to buy one.
 
I shined my dad’s shoes, picked weeds in the garden, and just generally did kind of chores around the house I could to earn 50 cents or a dollar. By the time Christmas came around when I was 8, I didn’t have enough saved for my half of the Mini Enduro, so I didn’t think I would get one. Of course, my parents had bought one months before and hid it in a friend’s basement, and they planned to put a bow on it and give it to me Christmas morning. I must have known something was up, because I remember getting my parents up at some ridiculous time of the morning to open presents. They made me wait in the kitchen before letting me into the living room (to get time to set up the 8mm movie camera to record my reaction), and the memory of walking in and seeing my very own GTMX60 (the second-year version without the headlights - it actually had motocross number plates!) sitting beside the Christmas tree is still very clear in my mind, over 35 years later. I pretty much freaked out and ran right back out of the room to hug my mom, who was behind me in the kitchen! Classic film, to say the very least. The rest, as they say, is history!!
 
Check out that killer style! Maybe I should have been a road racer!

If you work in the industry and have a story you would like to share with our readers about your “first bike” experience, contact Fubar: mikef@racerxill.com.

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