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Need Help... I Have Motorcycle Fever  
User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2572 times:

So for the longest time I've wanted to learn how to ride and actually buy a motorcycle. Now that I (kinda) have the money and live in a place where I could actually ride a lot I am thinking about pulling the trigger.


So first things first I will take a MSF safety course. I have no other means of actually learning to ride and if I pass the class I get my motorcycle certification as well.

Does anybody have any experience with these classes in terms of what to expect?

Where are the good online resources for an aspiring rider online? I've found some decent websites and message boards with info for newbies... but I want to make sure I am getting all the best info/advice out there. and ideally finding a good community to be a part of.

One thing I am pretty adamant about is having the right gear to begin with, even though my primary use would be a 10-15 min commute on city streets at


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3303 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2549 times:
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I don't have much experience with motorcycles personally, but I have many friends who do. If I can give you the one piece of advice I have heard from them all, it's this: For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, do NOT start out on a 900cc bike. Buy something small. Something you know you can handle. My friend's brother bought a Honda CVR as his first bike, and had a very, very serious accident within a couple of weeks, despite his assurances that he knew how to handle it.

I have a Ducati 998R waiting for me if I ever move to Switzerland, but if I decide to drive it, it sure as hell won't be the first (or the second, or the thrd) bike I drive.

TIS



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User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8838 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2530 times:

Quoting desertjets (Thread starter):
So for the longest time I've wanted to learn how to ride and actually buy a motorcycle. Now that I (kinda) have the money and live in a place where I could actually ride a lot I am thinking about pulling the trigger.

Oh, man that is familiar. I had the motorcycle bug for years, and what finally cured me was an accident that only by the grace of God, fate, or sheer dumb luck I managed to walk away from (pardon - LIMP away from). The cops and every other witness agreed that I should have died. I actually went under a car (a Range Rover). My helmet got jammed between the car and the pavement and I got dragged about 20 meters.

And I had done nothing wrong. I was riding along and some dumbass pulls out right in front of me from a side street - taking evasive action I fell off the bike and slid off into opposing traffic, where I met the Range Rover. To this day I'm amazed my head did not seperate from my neck when my hemet got pinned.

That's what cured me - the realization that if someone else screws up, YOU are the one to take the hit, and you have very little protection.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, do NOT start out on a 900cc bike. Buy something small

Absolutely. A 250 is MORE than enough to get you into trouble. I've ridden a number of 1100s and 1200s, and that's just ridiculous. For me a good 600 was the ideal - once you had several years of riding a 125 or 250.

My favorite bike I ever owned was a 1990 Kawasaki 600 ZZR (wasn't the one I wrecked, luckily)

[Edited 2010-05-25 10:23:55]


Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2516 times:
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Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, do NOT start out on a 900cc bike. Buy something small.

Remember, engine capacity is not necessarily indicative of motorcycle weight or ease of handling. I've ridden 1200s that are lighter and easier to handle than certain 650s.

First and foremost, choose a machine that fits you. This might seem obvious, but nobody ever seems to consider fit beyond seat height....and there's a LOT more to proper fit than just seat height. Reach to the handlebar, for example. Distance to the footpegs. Brake lever reach and angle. Etc, etc, etc.

Choose a machine that positions you properly. A racing position (like a CBR or GSXR) doesn't make much sense if you live in an area with nothing but long, straight roads. Fatigue and discomfort is distracting and unsafe.

Choosing a cruiser-style position (like a Harley) is not the smartest thing to do if you live in an area with lots of twisty roads. With your feet sticking out ahead of you, you are unable to unweight the seat and adjust your weight distribution.

Finally, when you DO consider engine size, remember that an engine will only produce as much power and torque as is commanded by the rider. My first machine was a CBR600....quite fast and considered to be a high-performance motorcycle. The only riding I had done prior to getting the CBR was riding a moped in a driveway when I was in 6th grade. But I rode with discipline and respected my limitations. Lo and behold, the bike never tried to kill me or fling me off the road.  



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User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2478 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
That's what cured me - the realization that if someone else screws up, YOU are the one to take the hit, and you have very little protection.

one of the things I keep reading, is it isn't if you will crash/down the bike but when. Hence why I think it is going to be important to invest in the appropriate gear. I'm not going to be that guy on a 'Busa wearing a tee-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops riding like an asshole.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
Absolutely. A 250 is MORE than enough to get you into trouble. I've ridden a number of 1100s and 1200s, and that's just ridiculous. For me a good 600 was the ideal - once you had several years of riding a 125 or 250.

I keep reading that and pretty much agree. I just wish the selection these days in the 250cc class was better. Essentially you have mini-sized cruisers like the Honda Rebel and Suzuki GZ 250 and sportbikes like the Ninja 250.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 3):
Remember, engine capacity is not necessarily indicative of motorcycle weight or ease of handling. I've ridden 1200s that are lighter and easier to handle than certain 650s.

First and foremost, choose a machine that fits you. This might seem obvious, but nobody ever seems to consider fit beyond seat height....and there's a LOT more to proper fit than just seat height. Reach to the handlebar, for example. Distance to the footpegs. Brake lever reach and angle. Etc, etc, etc.

That'll be something I'll consider for sure. Hopefully the MSF course will help in that regard. At the end of the day the bike(s) that appeal to me most are the "adventure-touring" bikes. Standard seating position, geared a bit more towards, comfort but still reasonably light and nimble.


but again at the entry level there isn't much choice out there. If I could find one I'd get a Suzuki TU 250.... afaik it was only sold in the US for MY2009. It has a higher seat height than the 250cc cruisers, standard style seating position, and ditches the carbs in favor of fuel injection. Style wise it is more akin to the Japanese standards from the 70s and 80s -- rather than trying to look like a mini-Harley.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2451 times:
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Quoting desertjets (Reply 4):
I'm not going to be that guy on a 'Busa wearing a tee-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops riding like an asshole.

Excellent thinking!   

I can count on one hand the number of rides I've gone on without a full protective jacket in addition to my gloves and helmet.

Quoting desertjets (Reply 4):
At the end of the day the bike(s) that appeal to me most are the "adventure-touring" bikes. Standard seating position, geared a bit more towards, comfort but still reasonably light and nimble.

How tall/heavy are you?

I really like your idea of going with an 'adventure-touring' machine. The upright riding position combined with the footpeg placement (not too far forward or aft) makes for very confidence-inspiring, surefooted handling.

You might check out some used examples of the Suzuki V-Strom and the single-cylinder BMW 650GS.

If you're on the smaller side, that single-cylinder BMW will actually provide a pretty decent long-range machine.

Another option, if you want something cool and different, is the Ducati Multistrada 620. There are considerations, such as a higher maintenance cost and higher price (I see 620s listed for $4000-5000 used), but the 620 is an impressively lightweight, flickable, yet docile machine that sounds incredible and is a blast to ride. The longer-travel suspension of the Multistrada allows you to carve turns even when the pavement is broken and lumpy. A very fun machine, indeed.



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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2444 times:
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Almost forgot - if you'd like a sportier, more unique option, check out used Ducati Monsters. Shoot for a 2001-2006 Monster 620 or 695. The downside is the cost of belt inspection/replacement...plan on spending about $500 or so every 6000 miles. Expensive, but just about every Monster owner you'll meet considers the cost of ownership well worth the sound of the engine and riding experience.

It seems like Monster 620s and 695s of that era typically sell for around $3000-5000 with reasonably low miles.



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User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2439 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
How tall/heavy are you?

My driver's license says I am 5'9" and 160#.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
I really like your idea of going with an 'adventure-touring' machine. The upright riding position combined with the footpeg placement (not too far forward or aft) makes for very confidence-inspiring, surefooted handling.

You might check out some used examples of the Suzuki V-Strom and the single-cylinder BMW 650GS.

If you're on the smaller side, that single-cylinder BMW will actually provide a pretty decent long-range machine.

One of those or the Kawasaki Versys would be my step up bike after the 250. Though TBH I think the BMW adventure tourers are ugly... save the R 1200 GS.... but I don't have R 1200 money.



If/when I buy a bike I think I'll end up with a basic 250. I see Rebels, Nighthawk 250s, GZ 250s for ~ $2000 on Craigslist on a fairly consistent basis.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2353 times:
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Quoting desertjets (Reply 7):

If/when I buy a bike I think I'll end up with a basic 250. I see Rebels, Nighthawk 250s, GZ 250s for ~ $2000 on Craigslist on a fairly consistent basis.

Those are some excellent choices my friend! It's evident you are using a lot of common sense here.    Something that a lot of new riders tend NOT to use!

I started riding at age 8 on a little Honda CT-50 and moved up gradually.

You'll know when you are ready to move up to more powerful machines, just don't rush it. There's no doubt in my mind you'll have a lot of fun on any one of those 250's. Be careful when you get on the freeway with that small of a powerplant. Don't be afraid to ride in the rain too. Just go out on your residential street, if you live on one and just go up and down, maybe making a few turns and increase your stopping distances etc. Get with your MSF instructor on things like that.

And one last thing that I cannot stress enough: RIDE LIKE YOU ARE INVISIBLE! NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT ANYONE CAN SEE YOU!

I currently ride a Harley Electra Glide when I'm back in the US or Australia, but will be purchasing a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure and no, they most certainly are NOT ugly, but they are a lot of fun. Test ride one when you get a bunch of miles under your belt!

You're now entering a big, wide, wonderful world Desertjets.....WELCOME!   



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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2350 times:
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Quoting fridgmus (Reply 8):
will be purchasing a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure

Oh man....I'm jealous!



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User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2334 times:
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Quoting 2H4 (Reply 9):
Oh man....I'm jealous!

If you want one and money is a problem, there are LOTS of used ones around and most are in great condition since most people never take them off-road. You can get one for a good price, you just have to look for it. They're out there! Don't look for one all kitted out. Get a basic one and kit it out as your wallet and your tastes allow.

I test rode both the GS and the GS Adventure. What a difference between the two! The GSA is heavier and with the 8 gallon fuel tank on that beast, you're really top-heavy. Just know that it's there and ride accordingly.

I like to ride long distances so I'm going to get the GSA, plus I ride alone a lot and like the reliability of the Bimmer and I do plan on going off-road. Not hard core stuff, mostly dirt roads, gravel tracks and wadi's etc. Just need to figure out WHERE I'm going to get it. Either the USA or hopefully, Australia! (I'm trying to emigrate).   

Happy and Safe Riding to all!

F



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlinelowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2315 times:

Quoting desertjets (Reply 7):
If/when I buy a bike I think I'll end up with a basic 250. I see Rebels, Nighthawk 250s, GZ 250s for ~ $2000 on Craigslist on a fairly consistent basis.

I am a bit late to the thread, but the latest object of motolust for me has been a Suzuki DR400SM. A perfect bike for around town, day trips, and other short range riding. They are light, reletively efficient, and easy to handle.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 5):
You might check out some used examples of the Suzuki V-Strom

This will be my next bike, as finances force me to be motorcycle monogamous.

Quoting desertjets (Reply 4):
Hence why I think it is going to be important to invest in the appropriate gear.

Stay away from all black gear too. Make yourself easy to be seen.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2313 times:

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 8):
Those are some excellent choices my friend!

I just wish there was more choice in relatively new bikes in the 250 cc class. I'd rather not by a 25+ year old Japanese standard to avoid the mini Harley look the 250cc cruisers have.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 8):
There's no doubt in my mind you'll have a lot of fun on any one of those 250's. Be careful when you get on the freeway with that small of a powerplant. Don't be afraid to ride in the rain too. Just go out on your residential street, if you live on one and just go up and down, maybe making a few turns and increase your stopping distances etc. Get with your MSF instructor on things like that.

I live at 5000+' , I have my doubts that a 250 cc standard/cruiser is going to have enough power to keep up w/ 65-70 mph traffic on the freeway. Luckily the highest speed limit on my commute is 35 mph.

Quoting lowrider (Reply 11):
Stay away from all black gear too. Make yourself easy to be seen.

I figured as much.... and if I wear it every time I ride black gear could be rather uncomfortable (looking at the near 90 degree temps forecast for today.)



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 2301 times:

Quoting desertjets (Thread starter):
One thing I am pretty adamant about is having the right gear to begin with, even though my primary use would be a 10-15 min commute on city streets at

What you need to determine before all else is what you intend to do with the bike. I'll get into the big versus small down below. Do not buy under what you need or you will be eternally unhappy with the bike. I am in that situation now. If your plans are just the commute you describe then a 250 to 650 machine is more than adequate, you might even consider a Bergman scooter so you don't even have to bother shifting that many times in city traffic. If however, you have plans to go anywhere more than 50 miles from your home bring something along to keep from grinding your teeth down due to the long term vibration you will experience from running the small engine at high rpm for long periods to keep up with highway speed traffic. Again this is where a Bergman might come in handy for you if the weekend getaway is just a few times a year. Rather than engine size I would recommend you look for a bike that has a good weight and balance ratio. That is, not too heavy, and a good low center of gravity. When you go to your safety course try and get a chance to ride on both the sport and cruiser bikes they should have in stock and you'll see what I mean. A cruiser will give you a low center of gavity and is usually pretty docile. A sport bike will give a much higher sense of gravity and therefore more of a sense that it is going to "tip" at slow speeds which is what you find in town. A cruiser will not be adept at cutting in and out of traffic but that should not be your primary goal to begin with. You need to be in the right lane just plugging along until you gain some experience. The brakes and clutch will be your best friends until you gain experience and the throttle will be your worst nightmare. Nothing worse than realizing you just accelerated into an even worse situation.

As to the riding course, they have to have their own bikes, don't take one that requires you to bring yours for if you are brand new you will surely drop the bike in one of the slow speed turns they will have you doing. Watch the sport bikes, they will get dropped more during this kind of manuvering than the cruisers because once again their center of gravity is higher and without experience the rider will always feel as if it is about to fall over.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
I don't have much experience with motorcycles personally, but I have many friends who do. If I can give you the one piece of advice I have heard from them all, it's this: For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, do NOT start out on a 900cc bike

   My first bike was and old KZ 1000, from there it was a Honda CB900 custom, from there a 1991 Honda CBR1000, and then my Hayabusa, now I've downgraded to an 800cc Volusia and hate it. A smaller bike limits your top end but a Hayabusa (not recommending it for a first time rider) can accelerate just as slowly. It all depends on your discipline. If you are going to act like a fool (not you personally) then no matter the size of the engine it will end the same way. I've never understood the reasoning of buying a smaller bike just because you are an inexperienced rider. As long as you practice discipline while riding then 250 or 1200 cc's won't make much of a difference. If you're going to buy a sport bike and start thinking you can pop wheelies and balance stoppies, tank stand, and ride 100+ mph down the freeway weaving in and out of traffic then you're doomed no matter what bike you select.

Firgure out what you need to make you happy. Avoid big heavy bikes such as Goldwings and Electras until you get used to the balance issue. Lots of storage comparments just equals more ways to throw the bike out of balance even on the straight and level. Figure for the first year that whatever you put on the bike is what you can fit in your backpack or tank bag.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 1):
My friend's brother bought a Honda CVR as his first bike, and had a very, very serious accident within a couple of weeks, despite his assurances that he knew how to handle it.

Well that doesn't tell us much. Did he hit something or did someone hit him? Back to desertjets, when you ride the surface streets keep a constant eye out for people pulling out of driveways, parking lots, and side streets. Try to make eye contact with them as soon as possible to ensure you both know you are there. If you can't (idiots with cell phones) watch that front wheel. If it moves the slightest don't hesitate to hit the horn and flash the lights. Start thinking about evasive manuvering or stopping if distance/speed allows. If you are on a smaller cc bike your best bet is to slow down because in truth, you can hardly out accelerate a dog much less another motor vehicle.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
Absolutely. A 250 is MORE than enough to get you into trouble

That depends on how disciplined he is with the throttle. A Hayabusa can accelerate just as slowly as a 250cc machine can. It all depends on how smart the rider is.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 8):
Be careful when you get on the freeway with that small of a powerplant

I would avoid getting on a freeway with anything less than a 450cc machine. Your pride will be sore at having to stick to the right lane and being passed by everyones grandmother not to mention how sore your ass will be after an hour or so of high rpms and the associated vibrations. 250's are no fun on the open road.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 8):
Don't be afraid to ride in the rain too.

   I would caution you to approach any wet highway with extreme caution no matter what level of experience you have. Roadways just wet with a passing shower can be like ice with the water/oil mix. If you can avoid riding in wet weather that would be my advice. Aside from messing up the bike with dirty rain water there are the lowered visibility problems with rain on your visor not to mention those folks who have trouble seeing motorcycles on clear and sunny days. More than once I've seen a motorcycle rider disappear in the mist left by a passing 18 wheeler. Stay out of the left lane period. Think about the times you've been driving and a vehicle coming the other way threw a big shower of water across the guard rail. Now think about sitting on a bike and getting hit with that!

Quoting desertjets (Thread starter):
One thing I am pretty adamant about is having the right gear to begin with, even though my primary use would be a 10-15 min commute on city streets at

As to equipment, get comfortable equipment. I've been riding since 1978 and I've found that the most expensive rarely equates to anything other than the most expensive. For city riders though there is one piece of equipment that actually might make sense. It is an airbag jacket. Kind of expensive but in a slow speed accident it might actually do what it boasts.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/airba...acket/motorcycle-airbag-jacket.htm

Good luck, enjoy yourself. Remember the bike is no place for daydreaming. Try to not ride when you are pissed off or very frustrated as that leads to bad decision making. Don't be prodded into showing off. Let the other idiot hurt himself by showing off. Don't attempt anything unless you are confident you can handle the bike. Don't let others try and tell you to buy smaller than you really need for what you really want to do. There's nothing worse than realizing 6 months in that you bought too small and now are either stuck with it or have to aquaint yourself with another bike all over again.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8226 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2281 times:

My desire to have a motorcycle was killed when I was about 10 - my father pointed out an acquaintance when the family went out to eat one night. The guy had lost an arm in a motorcycle accident when he was young and I still remember thinking about having to go the rest of his life that way because of a single accident.

Then I learned to drive a car and it was beaten into me that I needed to watch out for motorcycles in the "blind spots". I could understood that fairly easily, but it did add to my concerns about the cycles.

Then I married a physical therapist who had treated a lot of accident patients, including motorcycle patients. Third strike for me.

So if you get one, stay safe, never trust an car driver (especially one using a mobile phone) and avoid blind spots!


User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2255 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 2):
Absolutely. A 250 is MORE than enough to get you into trouble.

Yep. I can get up to 70mph on mine easily. The acceleration all the way up to 50 or so is very quick.

Quoting desertjets (Reply 4):
I'm not going to be that guy on a 'Busa wearing a tee-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops riding like an asshole.

What really makes me shake my head is this ones that put a helmet on when wearing a tee-shirt, shorts, etc. Now they'll be alive to suffer through the painful and lengthy recovery.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 8):
RIDE LIKE YOU ARE INVISIBLE! NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT ANYONE CAN SEE YOU!

Yes, yes, absofreakinlutely YES! The most important piece of safety equipment is the rider's attitude. Ride like people are trying to kill you.

Quoting lowrider (Reply 11):
Stay away from all black gear too. Make yourself easy to be seen.

This is something I wish more riders would do, ESPECIALLY at night. Even if the gear that you choose is black (or any dark color, there are high visibility vests and such available (and really cheap) that you can put on over your gear. If riding at night, reflectivity is very important. Even though my bike is orange, and my jacket is lime green, and I use my high beams during the day, and reflective material at night, I still have people who don't see me.


One more thing I'd like to add: One hazard I never considered - birds. The other day I hit one. It was a small one, and it "bounced" off the top of my helmet, but it could have been worse had I not had a good windshield on my bike and the bird had been lower.


User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2243 times:

Craigslist is taunting me today.... http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/mcy/1761712739.html

Good thing I don't have the money. Plus I have heard mixed reviews about the V-Strom or any other 650cc V-twin Suzuki as a beginner bike.

Quoting dxing (Reply 13):
Good luck, enjoy yourself. Remember the bike is no place for daydreaming. Try to not ride when you are pissed off or very frustrated as that leads to bad decision making. Don't be prodded into showing off. Let the other idiot hurt himself by showing off. Don't attempt anything unless you are confident you can handle the bike. Don't let others try and tell you to buy smaller than you really need for what you really want to do. There's nothing worse than realizing 6 months in that you bought too small and now are either stuck with it or have to aquaint yourself with another bike all over again.

days like today when I slept like crap are days I take the car.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineflybaurlax From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2240 times:

Quoting desertjets (Thread starter):
Does anybody have any experience with these classes in terms of what to expect?

MSF provides bikes for you to ride. I took it in Simi Valley, CA. They were friendly and professional. My friend had taught me how to ride a few months before I took the course, so I already knew what I was doing (mostly), but I still learned a lot from them. There were many first time riders in the course and they were catching on quick. It's definitely worth doing. All you have to bring is a helmet, boots, and gloves. They teach you the basics, and basically just get you comfortable on a bike.


Now, about getting a bike and what size, don't focus on restricting yourself too much.

Quoting dxing (Reply 13):
That depends on how disciplined he is with the throttle. A Hayabusa can accelerate just as slowly as a 250cc machine can. It all depends on how smart the rider is.

This is very true. dxing is right on. I started riding on a 1983 Honda CM 450E. That thing was amazingly fun! It had enough power to respect it and use it wisely, but it also wasn't too powerful to get scared by it. I don't think I would have taken anything smaller on the freeway. I also know a lot of friends who bought a 250 and outgrew it real fast. My second bike is a '94 Honda CBR 900RR. I have had it for 3 years and I'm still surprised every time I ride it how much power it has. I have not popped a wheelie or done anything stupid like that, because I know I won't be able to land it. Don't get something where you will outgrow it and regret that you purchased it. Even though I have a very fast and powerful bike, I rarely use all of the throttle. Just because the bike can do something, doesn't mean you have to. Again, dxing is right, it's all about discipline.

In the end, just get what you are comfortable with, and go with something that YOU like.



Boilerup! Go Purdue!
User currently offlinelowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2231 times:

Quoting desertjets (Reply 16):
Plus I have heard mixed reviews about the V-Strom or any other 650cc V-twin Suzuki as a beginner bike.

The Vstom might be a little tall, but with it would probably be ok. One of my first bikes was a Kawasaki KLR 650. Wish I still had it. For your first bike, don't buy anything you aren't willing to drop at least once.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlinedesertjets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7776 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2158 times:

So as a reality check I quickly priced out insurance through my current auto insurance provider to see how much coverage would cost. I was generally surprised with how cheap it could be, but the basic coverage seems rather basic. For my provider it was $95 regardless of bike... but the coverage was the bare minimum. (I did all the quotes based on a 2006 model)


The entry level sport bikes I quoted were the Kawasaki Ninja 250R and 500R, as well as the Suzuki GS500F. They ran upwards of $500+/yr for the higher levels of coverage and around $250/yr for moderate coverage. Not really a surprise on this.

The 250cc cruisers were not surprisingly half as much to insure (quoted for the Honda Rebel 250 and Suzuki GZ 250). With the Rebel costing $219/yr for the same level of coverage that cost $520/yr on the Ninja 250.

For shits and grins I ran a few other quotes with some surprising and not so surprising results.

My beloved V-Strom DL650 ran upwards of $635/yr. Not surprising considering it is a considerably more pricey bike and perhaps a tad much for a new rider.

The BMW F650 GS (the old model with the 650cc single) came in at $360/yr. Not an overly pricey bike but the BMW rider demographic probably plays a huge part here.

Lastly the red-headed stepchild of the H-D family the Buell Blast. 500cc single standard bike. Coverage costs $360/yr.... not too shabby looking considering these bikes can be found for dirt cheap.



With all this in mind, what are your guys thoughts on the Buell?



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2146 times:

All I'm going to say is, I hope you enjoy riding your bike. I'm very jealous.

My girlfriend told me I'm never allowed one because "I don't want to see you get hurt because I love you too much"

  I can't argue with that unfortunately, so go have fun while you can  


User currently offlinelowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2141 times:

Quoting desertjets (Reply 19):
With all this in mind, what are your guys thoughts on the Buell?

Pretty benign. An interesting starter bike, but with a lot of potential, depending on how resourceful you are. Check Bike Bandit before you buy for parts cost and availability.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

Quoting desertjets (Reply 19):
My beloved V-Strom DL650 ran upwards of $635/yr. Not surprising considering it is a considerably more pricey bike and perhaps a tad much for a new rider.

      Contrast that with my Hayabusa....full coverage...$1775.00 a year! It was worth every penny as I got it all back when it was stolen.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 20):
My girlfriend told me I'm never allowed one because "I don't want to see you get hurt because I love you too much"

   You do know there are more fish in the sea??       But then I always had a problem with anyone I was dating saying "I love you but you can't do this....".


User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

Wow.    Insurance (State Farm) on mine runs just under $200 per year. That's with a multiple vehicle discount though.

User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2070 times:
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Quoting dxing (Reply 13):
  I would caution you to approach any wet highway with extreme caution no matter what level of experience you have. Roadways just wet with a passing shower can be like ice with the water/oil mix. If you can avoid riding in wet weather that would be my advice. Aside from messing up the bike with dirty rain water there are the lowered visibility problems with rain on your visor not to mention those folks who have trouble seeing motorcycles on clear and sunny days. More than once I've seen a motorcycle rider disappear in the mist left by a passing 18 wheeler. Stay out of the left lane period. Think about the times you've been driving and a vehicle coming the other way threw a big shower of water across the guard rail. Now think about sitting on a bike and getting hit with that!

Excellent points dxing, however, I still maintain that ALL riders should learn how to ride in the rain and be proficient at it. In the winter, absolutely not as water can freeze even if the roads are dry, but when the weather gets decent, then riding in the rain shouldn't stop you. I've ridden a lot in the rain, mostly not by choice, it's happened on numerous trips I've made, but I'm not going to let it stop me during my journey.

Your MSF instructor can tell you much more in a good learning environment.

Because, after all......It's the journey, not the destination!



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
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