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Paul Walker, Lewisham, London

I expected my first ton to be like my first shag. It kinda was – I got there in 20 seconds. But it turned out to be something of an anti-climax too. With 108mph showing on the speedo of my RD350LC (an hour after passing my test on a Suzuki TS125), I figured I was king of the road. The blur of warp-speed hadn’t appeared and I thought I had special powers in this respect (I was only 18 at the time and heard everyone nearly lost their focus at this heinous velocity).

As I rocketed past a doddery old man – I think he was driving a clapped-out Escort – I became acutely aware I wasn’t the only one motoring along. A Ford Sierra Cosworth passed close enough for me to smell the driver’s breath and rattled off into the distance, smoking like a bad ‘un with every gearchange. He was doing about 160mph while aiming a “get out of the fast lane you tosser” sign in my direction.

Elsie went, to be replaced by a GSX-R1100, which cost every penny I earned to insure, a month later.

Tony Harris, Birmingham, West Midlands

I was 16 and me and my mates had all just left school and got our Fizzy mopeds. One guy had just turned 17 and back in 1976 that meant you could ride a 250. He’d bought a Kawasaki KH250 and we’d gone out so we could all have a blast on it. It was on this long road near Partington, Manchester, called Lock Lane. Although it was a long road it had lots of junctions on it, but we were all set on doing our first ton. Not wanting to throttle off, I needled it to 100mph. . I was used to 40mph tops on my fizzy so it was like Start Trek stuff, it was warp speed. After hitting 100 I slowed down to take a left hander and realised K250s don’t handle too well; I couldn’t turn it and glanced off a parked car. I sped off and gave the bike back to my mate, but didn’t mention anything about the car. For the rest of the night we just couldn’t stop talking about the day and how we were all going to get our own 250s.

Simon Burns, Norwich, Norfolk

I was 21 and my mate had just bought a new Fireblade, so I went round his house to check it out. I had no licence and had never ridden a road bike before, although I had ridden loads of motor crosses and bikes off road. My mate asked me if I wanted to go for a spin and not one to back down from a challenge I reluctantly agreed. I was really nervous, but I couldn’t turn the offer down. I just thought I’d take it round the block and be really careful.

I got on the bike and soon realised it wasn’t so bad, but I had no idea how to steer at high speed. At the time this was probably the most powerful bike that had ever existed and before I knew it I was storming down this long straight doing 100 plus. I was so nervous I was sweating and shaking. I’d never ridden a bike that powerful, it was so light and fast. I was scared of the bike, I was scared of going so fast, and I was scared of getting nicked. . But it convinced me to get my licence and buy a big bike.

Matt Riggs, Brighton, East Sussex,

I only had a beat-up Suzuki GT185, but one day this geezer flipped his RD200 wheelieing outside the local shop. He was sitting on top of a drain cover and swearing he’d never ride a bike again. Ten minutes later I had greased his palm with my worldly savings and was the proud owner of a nine-month-old RD.

A few weeks later, on the way to catch the boat to Ireland with some mates, we met up with some older guys on big bikes. There we were, riding along the motorway on a sunny day like we owned it, my little RD humming along at 70mph.

Then, almost as if we passed a start flag, it turned into a flat-out drag race. I tucked in behind a Yamaha RD400 and let it suck me up to an indicated 105mph on the little RD’s clock face, the engine buzzing and my little gloved hand wringing the throttle to death. It was a timeless moment.

It’s almost like the first time you catch your old chap in the zip of your trousers. You don’t forget it.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff