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Small Motorcycle Advice....  
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1711 times:
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I want to buy a small motorcycle. Yes a small one. I don't want a big one so I don't want to hear that I need to buy the biggest I can afford. I have heard that before and I know it is bad advice. I don't have much experience and would like to build my skills on a small and easy to handle machine. I have heard good things about Honda Rebels. Some friends of mine loved the ones they had and they said it was a great bike to learn on. Does anyone out there have any thoughts about Honda Rebels or any other small bikes? I will probably want to buy a bigger bike eventually, but I will make that decision when I am ready.


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1690 times:

The best advice you'll ever get is to take rider training from a professional training school. You will learn skills that will save your life. Also, you'll get to ride their bikes, and see what you like. Back when I took my course, the instructor said to take a dirt bike over the small cruiser bikes, since they were easier to ride.

User currently offlineGordonsmall From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2001, 2183 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

My advice is to get a Suzuki Bandit or Honda Hornet.

I just got rid of my GSXR-1000 in favour of an un-faired Honda Hornet 600cc and I have to say I'm loving it. It's knowhere near as quick as the Gixxer but it's a completely different riding experience and when I'm out on the Hornet I don't feel like I'm taking my life in my hands round every corner - I'm also a lot more likely to keep my licence.

I'll probably get rid of the Hornet after the current summer season and go back to a sports bike for next year but there's a good chance I'll go for a half-way model such as a Fazer 600 or 1000cc or something similar, as I've heard only good things about them.

Regards,
Gordon.



Statistically, people who have had the most birthdays tend to live the longest.
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1679 times:

Probably not what you want to hear but a 250cc is way too small. It'll be too light and you'll regret it. Don't even think of trying to haul a passenger with that.

I've been riding cycles of some sort for almost 20 years. My first on-road bike was a 1982 Suzuki GS450 - which I still have, though not my daily driver anymore. That was a really good bike to learn on, but still weak in the knees - especially with a passenger.

I recently completed my MSF class and we rode the Buell Blast. It's an EXCELLENT bike to learn on. Very light and nimble - and also forgiving. It has ample power, but not enough where it'll easily get away from you.


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1676 times:
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Quoting Avt007 (Reply 1):
The best advice you'll ever get is to take rider training from a professional training school.

I'm doing that in two weeks....

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
un-faired Honda Hornet 600cc

Never heard of it.

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 3):
Probably not what you want to hear but a 250cc is way too small

I had a 185 in high school. It was ok for putting around town. It was bigger and more manly than a scooter.

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 3):
I recently completed my MSF class and we rode the Buell Blast

I never even thought about that bike. I'll have to check it out.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1672 times:

If you already have your cycle license go test ride one. I think they even had a promo recently where you got a free sport bag or something if you test rode a Buell. There's also a lot of them on the used market; people buy them to learn on and unload them a year or two later.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1666 times:

The Honda Rebel is a 250, a good entry-level bike in my opinion. A 250 is not overpowered, in fact it can just barely kill you.

I've had a few bikes over the years and the Honda (mine was a 350 twin) was the most reliable. Of course I compare it with things like BSA and Ducati!

Be extemely careful in traffic. Dumping the thing on a gravel road is a non-event compared to centerpunching an SUV. Also, I see you are a student pilot. If you ever want to become a professional pilot remember this:

You can tell them in the interview that you are a skydiver, hard-hat diver, amateur bomb disposal technician, traffic cop in Baghdad, or just about anything else but DO NOT mention the motorcycle. They will not hire you. I am dead serious about that.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1658 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 3):
Probably not what you want to hear but a 250cc is way too small.

I think it all depends on how one plans to use the bike. 250cc is plenty if all you are doing is running around town, with the occasional trip to the outskirts. Long distance interstate travel is out though, because (at least in my case) the top speed tends to be in the 65 - 70 mph range.


User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3723 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1656 times:

You're making a very wise decision and will become a better rider because of it. A 250 is indeed adequate, depending on the particular 250 and also depending on your needs. For example, in SE Asia, a 125 is adequate for 2 people..
I am not a big fan of sport bikes but I do very very much like the Kawasaki Ninja 250. Enough power for the freeway, good brakes, very reliable, ridable for tall people and cheap to maintain and just zippy enough to interest this 30 year rider. Not meant for cross country tours, although some have done it, but enough for almost every other task. http://forums.ninja250.org/
I have heard a lot of people say the Rebel is under powered but I have never ridden one so consider that a rumor, but be forewarned there, not all motors of the same size produce the same results.
Part of your decision will rest on your size and the ergonomics. Hopefully your school will have 2-3 different types to try.
It is a shame we don't get any of the 400cc range in this country. Many consider the old Honda XL350 the ideal all-arounder.
Good luck, you are making a good decision.

[Edited 2007-08-07 18:58:38]

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1649 times:

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 8):
Many consider the old Honda XL350 the ideal all-arounder.

I figure any bike that can get me to the top of the onramp at freeway speed is fast enough. If it will just barely get me to a hundred miles per hour that is probably okay. Motorcycles on public roads at speeds in excess of about 80 MPH are very Darwinian.

I loved my Honda 350. I loved BSA and Triumph 650s but their performance was in the same range. They were light and sporty and very handle-able. The brakes sucked as compared with today's bikes. I'm getting kind of interested in that Honda myself.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1641 times:
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Quoting Mham001 (Reply 8):
Many consider the old Honda XL350 the ideal all-arounder.

I had a 76 Honda CB 360 once and it was very cool. I rode around town in high school and a bit my freshman year in college. I later got too wrapped up in cars to care much about bikes. Now it is something I would like to get back to.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 9):
I figure any bike that can get me to the top of the onramp at freeway speed is fast enough. If it will just barely get me to a hundred miles per hour that is probably okay

I have driven old Diesel Mercedes that barely can do that. I had a 72 220D with only 57 hp.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
If you ever want to become a professional pilot remember this:

Don't ever intend on doing it for a living. I am very happy with my career choice.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
They will not hire you. I am dead serious about that.

Did you make that mistake yourself?

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 8):
I am not a big fan of sport bikes

I don't like them either. From what I have read and what I have been told they are the hardest to learn on.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
Be extemely careful in traffic. Dumping the thing on a gravel road is a non-event compared to centerpunching an SUV.

Or having that SUV hit you!

Every person I have known who was involved in a serious bike accident (hospital stay required) was doing something dumb. I know riding a bike is not the safest thing in the world, but I think many injuries are due to the wreck less behavior on motorcycles. For example. Last week I saw two kids, under 16 which means they don't even have a drivers license, riding a old Honda up and down the street at 60mph plus. They didn't stop at the stop signs either, they were almost struck by a car at the intersection near my house. Both had no helmets or any protective gear, The bike had no lights, no signals, and no license plate. That is reckless behavior. I see people riding tricks in traffic, that is dangerous. I saw a guy riding wheelies in downtown St. Louis on a busy two way street, reckless. My best friend, Gerry, was tossed off his bike by a huge pot hole he didn't see while doing some sort of standing up on the bike while it was moving.

My aunt and uncle have ridden since 1979 and 1974 and never been in a serious scrape. Of course you still have to ride within your skill level and pay close attention to the road and those around you. But I wonder how many accidents are caused by people acting stupid on their bikes. Being a high school teacher I have seen a fair amount of kids injured by big sport bikes and no training.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8465 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1637 times:
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Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
half-way model such as a Fazer 600

The Fazer 600 is a fabulous bike! I have had one for 3 years and I love it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/andzz/IMG_2250.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/andzz/IMG_2254.jpg



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1635 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 10):
Did you make that mistake yourself?

Nope. Saw guys do it in an interview. HR red-X'd them as soon as they walked out the door.

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 10):
I am very happy with my career choice

Good on ya! Aviation makes a very satisfying hobby.  Smile

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 10):
Every person I have known who was involved in a serious bike accident (hospital stay required) was doing something dumb.

Dumb is certainly the short route to the hospital in any endeavor.

As you can see from my post (Reply #4) in this thread...
Sad Day For CA Law Enforcement (by Itsjustme Jul 31 2007 in Non Aviation)
... I came along just after this. I don't know what this guy did wrong. I assumed that he was at least a former motor officer. Other than riding on the 101 at all in that kind of traffic, I don't know what mistake he made, but I do know the results. At least 13 vehicles ran over his bike, and possibly him. His front wheel hub was a hundred yards from the rest of the front wheel and a quarter mile away from the engine and tank of his bike. It was very sobering.

Maybe I am excessively cautious because I learned my two-wheeling in motorcycle heaven. The only road I rode was California 1 along the Mendocino coast before it became infested with motorhomes and Volvos. Mostly I rode well graded dirt logging roads and steep rolling grassy hillsides. The occasional trips down 101 past Santa Rosa were nerve-wracking and not pleasant.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineWolverine From Germany, joined Aug 2006, 412 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1628 times:

I don't know if it's available in the US, but I had a Kawasaki ER-5 Twister. It's a bike which is perfect for beginners, or people that don't like a big bike. It's easy to handle, 50 PS, 500ccm, makes 160km/h. Fun to ride...


Face your fears, live your dreams! (No Fear)
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1628 times:

Consider a large scooter. They're not just the tiny, underpowered "toys" of years past. You can get them with 150 cc, 250 cc, 400 cc, and 600 cc engines.





User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1621 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):
Consider a large scooter.

I consider them far less safe than a motorcycle but I would like to see some statistics.

The relatively tiny wheels do not handle potholes, pavement drops, trolley tracks and what have you nearly as well as a real motorcycle. I feel a lot less safe on them.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineWolverine From Germany, joined Aug 2006, 412 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1619 times:

Here's a picture of my bike...
Big version: Width: 640 Height: 479 File size: 166kb
The Motorcycle, I had some years ago



Face your fears, live your dreams! (No Fear)
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5743 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1619 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):
Consider a large scooter.

Suzuki Burgman


User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):
Consider a large scooter.

Sorry, but  vomit 


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6166 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1610 times:
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Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):
Consider a large scooter. They're not just the tiny, underpowered "toys" of years past. You can get them with 150 cc, 250 cc, 400 cc, and 600 cc engines.

A friend of mines dad rode his Honda Metropolitan from Sullivan, Illinois, near Decatur, to Indianapolis. All on back roads. He told me he did it just for the fun of it. He loved that thing. When he died (of a heart attack) it was at his funeral. He was a wealthy man who could have bought any bike, but just loved scooters. I once saw a Honda Metropolitan with Arkansas tags and a side car in a parking in Suburban St. Louis. Even if that guy came from far north Arkansas that is far to ride on a scooter. I thought maybe it was trailered up here, but the road gunk and bugs on it made me think it was ridden the whole way.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 15):
trolley tracks

Don't have that problem near where I live, but regular railroad tracks are everywhere.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
Maybe I am excessively cautious

nothing wrong with that.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1607 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 18):

You triggered a memory I had utterly forgotten. A friend and I were standing alongside Calif. 128 where it runs through redwood groves along the Navarro River - our Beezers parked down by the river. Along comes some kid on a Cushman Eagle:



He rides past us looking as cool as he can, gets to the next corner and heels the thing over like Mike Hailwood. Scraped the frame on the pavement all the way around the bend.

The next twenty cars that came along wondered why these two dumb teenagers were rolling around in the road laughing.

I guess there are scooter guys and not-scooter guys.

Note: The blue bike pictured is NOT a vintage Harley XLCH.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

Quoting Gordonsmall (Reply 2):
My advice is to get a Suzuki Bandit

I will second that. The Bandit 600 is a nice bike. The Suzuki GS500 is also a good bike. I have owned one in the past enjoyed it. The Ninja 500 is also a great bike that can be had fairly cheap. If you want something a little larger, the SV650 is a great deal. I haven't ridden the DR400SM, but the dual sport version was a fun bike. The older Honda CB550's, and Nighthawk 600/650s can be had fairly cheaply as well. Some of the smaller dual sports, such as the Kawasaki KLR250 and the Yamaha XT225 can be good deals, too. I would stay away from the older Buell Blasts, as I have read that they tend to be mx hogs and the dealers do not support them very well.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
If you ever want to become a professional pilot remember this:

Do you think that might be changing, due to the increasing popularity of motorcycling? I have mentioned in recent interviews and recieved offers from most of the companies. In many cases, one of the guys on the other side of the table also rode.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1600 times:

Quoting Lowrider (Reply 21):
Do you think that...

I'm always spring-loaded to believe that half of what I know and two thirds of what I say are outdated.

It wasn't any "wild ones" image of the biker or anything, it had only to do with safety record over retainability.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1589 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 14):

Cool, I've never seen a side car for a scooter before, though I've seen trike conversions:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v685/ShyFlyer/DSCF0057.jpg

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 15):
I consider them far less safe than a motorcycle but I would like to see some statistics.

I'd agree with you regarding the smaller scoots, mainly in the 125cc and smaller range. I started out on a 50cc scoot and found it very "twitchy" at speeds above 30mph. My current ride (pictured below) is 250cc and I find it rock solid all the way up to its max speed of ~70mph. So far, I've put 2700 miles on it:


I'm not sure if accident statistics would differentiate between scooters and motorcycles though.  Confused


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1588 times:

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 23):
My current ride (pictured below)

Well the main difference between that and a "real" motorcycle seems to be whether you swing your leg over forward or astern. Wheels look very similar to some pretty sporty bikes.

When I think of scooter I think of a rope-pull starter and really bad welds.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
25 Post contains images AsstChiefMark : Get a Honda Reflex scooter like this one.
26 ShyFlyer : Yeah, pretty much. Also scooters feature a somewhat lower center of gravity (or so I've heard) and Automatic CVT. I've seen those. Not a pretty sight
27 L410Turbolet : Big scooter "far less safe" than overpowered 600ccm regular bike? That's just nonsense. Of course we can discuss whether it's becuase of the motorcyc
28 SlamClick : Which is exactly why I never said that! I did say this: Reference is, of course, to Charles Darwin and his "survival of the fittest" or, more to the
29 2H4 : I agree that scooters are less safe than motorcycles like the Fazer, Hornet, etc, but I'm speaking purely from a handling standpoint. I believe that
30 Post contains images Checkraiser : Just to be fair, not all Harleys have forward controls. Many are retrofitted after the fact. Many of the Japanese cruisers have them as well (my brot
32 Post contains images AsstChiefMark : This used to be a state of the art scooter in the 1970's and I think this is what you meant: Surely you know this is the new state of the art:
33 MCOflyer : Mark, is that a wizard? Hunter
34 Falstaff : I have heard and I believe that motorcycle riders make better drivers because they are more conscious of things around them. I would think that would
35 MCOflyer : I like this thread as I might sell my car when I hit the open road. Hunter
36 Post contains images AsstChiefMark : No. This is. Oops. Wrong pic.... This is.
37 ShyFlyer : It may have been the XCiting 500, which features a 500cc engine, whilst mine is the XCiting 250. They both look the same, except for a few minor exte
38 2H4 : True enough.....the Street Rod, for example, comes stock with mid controls. I think the vast, vast majority, though, have forward controls. Wow. I'd
39 Andz : One reason I could never ride a Harley (the other being that I think they are crap)... I could not get into the whole poseur mode.
40 MD11Engineer : Falstaff, Take an older (1970s) BMW R45 or a R65. You can get one quite cheap, they are easy to maintain (traditional BMW 2 cylinder opposed engine),
41 Rlwynn : Yamaha SR500. .
42 Falstaff : I would love to have one of those. I always liked those BMWs. A friend in college had the R45. Finding one around me is not so easy. They are far and
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