MY FIRST REAL DIRT BIKE
By JOHN SITARAS
MY FIRST REAL DIRT BIKE
BY JOHN SITARAS, MARCUS HOOK PA
(Hey Hunk, this is a copy of a letter I sent to Terry Good at MXworksbike.com. Thought you would like it.)
Thank you for your dogged persistence in finding the machines and stories featured on your site. Please express the appreciation of racers everywhere to your (probably) long suffering wife who keeps it together while you chase parts, people and bikes all over the world.
The Honda CR125 has a unique story to me and it is worth reading, so here goes.
My older brother by two and half years was into cars and bikes. My father did not want us on motorcycles, so we started on minibikes and worked our way up.
Since my brother had more money then me and was bigger and stronger, I got my ass kicked consistently on our favorite practice track. He had a Suzuki 185 Enduro and I had a Kawasaki 90 street bike.
While I was getting smoked and listening to my brother's fat yap, there were two things going on that he was blissfully unaware of. Firstly, because of his equipment advantage, I was becoming a much better rider while chasing him. Secondly, I was saving my money for a CR125. It cost $816.00. This represented 816 hours of work busting suds at a local diner at a dollar an hour. I dreamed of the day that I would bring home a CR and shut him up for good.
When I had saved 500. dollars, (500 hours@#$%&!!) he told my father that I had saved it. With a sinking heart I faced my father who asked if this was true. I thought he would tell me to do something useless with my hard earned cash, like put it in my college fund. I mumbled “Yes, it was true.”
He then asked how much the bike cost.
"How long did it take?"
"About 9 months."
"Where is the dealer for these things?"
"16 miles away."
"Let's go for a ride."
The next thing I knew, we were on our way to Taylor Honda, where my father marched into the showroom, accosted a salesman, turned to me and said, "Tell him what you want!"
In a fog, I said we wanted to look at a CR125, and did they have one in stock?
Dad interrupted that we had not come to look, did they have one or not. Salesman said yes and I then got the shock of my life when Dad told him to write it up. My father is a successful businessman and that was one of the few times he didn't negotiate the price.
On the ride home Dad said to me, "You, of all people, saved $500 for something you really wanted. I could not let that pass without a reward. You don't owe me anything; take the bike and have a good time."
The next time my brother Lou and I went to the track, I whupped his ass six ways to Sunday and from here to hell and back. Often. With a big, stupid smile on my face. The Honda CR125 is long gone, but I still have a piece of the original magnesium side plate and sometimes get asked what that piece of junk is on top of my bureau and why do I save it after 36 years?
Terry, I am sure that you understand.