| I am new to ridding in USA.
Started riding in April 2011 on my pre-owned 2007 Ninja 250.
I came from Cuba, where I rode for 23 years, in 1995.
Over there, we have very old bikes that must keep running, and for many people, they are the only way of transportation, of persons and anything else.
The toughest one that I remember was a drafting table.
There are no new bikes to buy, so, whatever you have must last for life.
My older brother, who lives there, has owned and ridden everyday since he bought it new, a German 1964 MZ ES 150.
It is a two stroke, 150 cc, to which he has replaced the crankshaft, piston and cylinder, plus tires and seals of shock absorbers, several times.
Still it has everything else original, including the clutch and gears.
That was the bike on which I learned to ride when I turned 12.
For many years, my brother and I shared maintenance and riding of the good MZ.
We have no idea of how many km/miles the poor thing has rolled over.
As for me, I was fortunate enough to had a Russian moped (Riga, like the Russian river) for 16 years.
Terrible little bike!!
I had to built many parts in the lathe and mill for it, which easily worked much better than the original ones.
I designed and constructed myself a whole clutch.
I was asked by owners of similar bikes many times why mine never broke. :)
The MZ and the moped are still rolling in Cuba today, since my nephew took over it after my departure.
In April 2011, I bought a 2007 Ninja 250.
My Ninja has been my very first bike in USA, and I love it.
It took me a long time and a broken down car to convince my wife that riding a motorcycle on the Expressway was not such a crazy idea.
These 15 years in USA with no bike have been rough!!
Summary after the first year of riding in Florida:
I did fall the morning of the first day of my second year owning the 2007 Ninja 250 (March 16, 2012), when a van did run a stop sign just in front of me.
I had started the bank to turn in that corner when I saw the van coming to hit me if I wouldn't brake.
My gear protected me but got no help from the van driver, who stopped, looked and continued without saying a word while I had the bike over my left leg.
The bike is naked, so it only suffered twisted forks and gears lever, which did not impede continuing my trip to work.
In my first year of riding, I have put 6,225 miles under my Ninja 250, without a mishap.
I want to thank all the fellow riders who have made and kept this website and all the good advice that I have found here, which have made this happy year of riding possible for me.