Matt Knowles' Motorcycles
I took my first ride on a motorcycle in 1979. The bike was a ratty Honda CB360 that was owned by my wife's father, and after receiving very brief instructions from my brother-in-law, I was off and running. I dropped the bike several times that day since my instruction didn't even cover such basics that you have to down shift through each gear before coming to a stop. Still, I knew that I was on to something big here. A couple of months later I purchased my first motorcycle, in fact my first motor vehicle of any kind, a brand new shiny red Kawasaki KZ400. I was in love with my new found freedom, and since then motorcycles have been a huge part of my life.
I've commuted, toured, raced, and sold motorcycles. My travels have taken me as been as far north as Alaska, as far south as Texas and as far east as Ohio. I've even ridden a motorcycle in Hawaii. I've ridden on the road, on the track, in the dirt, and occasionally through rivers. For over 250,000 miles and 32 years I've been loving, cussing, riding, crashing, repairing, buying, selling and dreaming about motorcycles.
On the left are links to each of the bikes that I've owned, in the order that they were purchased. Below I've listed a summary of the bikes I've owned, along with two other great rides I had, as well as some general motorcycle links.
- 1979 Kawasaki KZ400 - Purchased new in 1979, presently owned but awaiting restoration.
- 1980 Yamaha Venturer - Purchased new in 1980, sold in 1983.
- 1982 Yamaha Vision - Demo unit purchased in 1983, traded in on '83 Vision in 1984.
- 1983 Yamaha Vision - Purchased new in 1984, sold around 1994.
- 1986 Suzuki GS550es - Purchased new in 1986, sold 1988.
- 1986 Kawasaki KLR650 - Purchased used in 1989, sold in 1990.
- 1990 Suzuki Katana 750 - Purchased new in 1991, sold in 1999.
- 1999 Triumph Sprint ST - Purchased new in 1999, presently owned.
- 1997 Kawasaki KLX300 - Purchased used in 2001, presently owned.
- 2000 Kawasaki Lakota - Purchased new in 2001, presently owned.
- 2001 Kawasaki KLR650 - Purchased new in 2001, presently owned.
That makes 4 singles, 3 twins, 2 triples, and 2 four cylinders. Or looking at it by brand, 5 Kawasakis, 3 Yamahas, 2 Suzukis, and 1 Triumph. Maybe some day I'll own a Honda, Ducati, or BMW but don't be looking for a Harley in my garage. I'll take performance over style any day.
1985. My first time on a racetrack. The famous corkscrew at Laguna Seca. California Superbike School. No speed limit. A very quick GPz550. A huge grin from ear to ear. If you haven't been on a race track, what's stopping you?
In 1997 I went on a dual sport ride on Kauai. Above, we're parked looking over Waimea Canyon from the opposite side that most tourists see. On the right, I'm following the leader through a sugar cane plantation.
General Motorcycle Links
(model specific links are found on the individual pages)
- Rider - For those of us who still like to read the printed page.