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Tips for getting first motorcycle?

Discussion in 'Motorcycles' started by Superman, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Apr 5, 2018 at 7:41 PM
    #1
    Superman

    Superman [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking about getting a motorcycle for a while now and I'm looking for advice on a few things.

    I think I would probably want a dual sport especially to start out.
    • New or used?
    • Size?
    • Brand recommendation with good support community/mod options (sort of the "Tacoma of bikes")?
    • Tips for riding at night on highway?
     
  2. Apr 5, 2018 at 7:42 PM
    #2
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    Joe,
    How old are you and how long have you been driving. Ever taken a motorcycle course?
     
  3. Apr 5, 2018 at 7:44 PM
    #3
    DoubleRGirl

    DoubleRGirl Hello Kitty Edition

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    I like that you are thinking dual sport, lots of fun and very forgiving

    I always buy new because I don't trust what people do to them.

    If you're tall enough the klr or dr650 cruise on the highway
     
  4. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:01 PM
    #4
    EubeenHadd

    EubeenHadd Bit of a derp

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    You'll probably drop your first bike, and dropping a new bike sucks. I'd go used.

    Smaller bikes are easier to ride and far more forgiving of mistakes, which are very easy to make when you're starting out.

    If you're talking small dual sports, the tw200 is hella easy to ride, with any of the 250 class dual sports being just as approachable, just taller. The next size up would be a DRZ400, standard or supermoto. But I've had tons of fun on a TW200, so that's my recommendation.

    If you're on a small bike, interstates, tollways, expressways, etc. all suck, so you'll be stuck in the right lane. Mind you, anything over 400ccs should feel fine, just a bit slow.

    TL: DR; Used, small, TW200, don't.
     
    Superman [OP] likes this.
  5. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:07 PM
    #5
    Roughneckin

    Roughneckin Well-Known Member

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    Doesn’t matter what bike you get the most important part is knowing how to ride it safely. My course saved my life at least twice that I know of, plus no idea how many times it did without knowing.

    When it comes to which bike try sitting on a few and checking out demo days once you have your license.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:10 PM
    #6
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    Seriously, they're super valuable and build better habits than learning from Uncle Jimbob haha.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:17 PM
    #7
    2.slow

    2.slow A Bored Engineer

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    I’ll be the third voice telling you to make sure you have a safety course under your belt. In my neck of the woods, those courses may also give you the opportunity to ride several styles of bike, which might help steer you in that direction.

    I’ve only bought used, and that’s what I recommend.

    Size? With bikes, engine size isn’t a single determining factor. Look more at horsepower rating, and weight. I’d keep a first bike at no more than the mid-400 pound weight, and at that or below, 65-70 HP is more than enough. My recommended bikes below have 30-45 HP, which is ample for making it on the interstates, and is more forgiving.

    If you’re heading in a more sport bike route, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is a fantastic, and affordable learning bike. Excellent community and knowledge base at ninja250.org. Great communities around the KLR650 as well. For naked bikes, the SV650 is a real do-it-all option that can keep you entertained for a while.

    Dual sport bikes, like it was said above, are pretty forgiving and very easy to manuver. Both are big benefits for new riders.

    Use YouTube to learn basic maintenance.

    Riding at night? Keep alert, don’t ride when tired, or in a rush. Look for animals.
     
    Superman [OP] likes this.
  8. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:26 PM
    #8
    Sterling_vH111

    Sterling_vH111 IG: @Sterling_vH111

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    All said above is great advice / info. And as far as the “Tacoma’s” of motorcycles, Yamaha is know for being one of the most reliable manufacturers out there.

    I’d buy used for a first bike, and get a 250-450cc dual sport.

    The street legal Yamaha WR250R is a great “type/class” of bike for you to look for in my opinion.

    4strokes will also be a lot more forgiving of a power band to learn on.
     
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  9. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:41 PM
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    DoubleRGirl

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  10. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:53 PM
    #10
    Sterling_vH111

    Sterling_vH111 IG: @Sterling_vH111

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    Haha, Honda’s as well.
    My limited experience with Kawi/Suzuki has ended with the feeling of... cheap.
    Ktm/Husky are probably the most most high performance out of the box, but reliability for me has left some desired.

    And I am 90% basing my advice off of dirtbikes/dual sports. Don’t dabble into street stuff too much.
     
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  11. Apr 5, 2018 at 8:56 PM
    #11
    Speedytech7

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    Yamaha feels like quality, my Harley's have felt like quality. My Honda is strange, it never stranded me but it didn't always run so well and I swear a part fell off of it every time I rode it. Next bike of mine with be a WR450F
     
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  12. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:07 PM
    #12
    Dutch110

    Dutch110 Well-Known Member

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    Plus 1000 on what others have said re taking an MSF safety course. Also, I think you are making a good decision on going dual sport for your first bike. Like others have said, you will make rookie mistakes and a dual sport is a lot less costly to repair then a bike with bodywork. Something to consider. And don't underestimate the ability of a good, low horsepower bike ridden well. The KTM in my avatar I built as a supermoto to play around with on smaller tracks and also to instruct with at track days on shorter tracks. It was a total hoot. And was a good tool to use to check the ego's of more than one student who thought hardware could overcome software deficiencies :D
     
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  13. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:14 PM
    #13
    TACORIDER

    TACORIDER Just another statistic

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    Please take a riding course especially if you have never ridden. Biggest thing is always have 1-2 exit strategies while on the road and look out for other drivers. DO NOT trust them to look out for you. After riding around Dallas and all DFW I’ve had many cut me off and come in my lane. Please be careful and learn the basics before hopping on and going. KLR is a good bike, I used to sell quite a few of them. I’m partial to Honda but also depends on your budget. KTM has some nice ones and if I could afford it I’d go BMW. As for riding at night what are your questions? Ride safe
     
  14. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:25 PM
    #14
    buckmaster243

    buckmaster243 I don’t know what to do with my hands

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    Definitely take a safety course. Road rash hurts... bad! I’ve rode my whole life in the dirt and I still learned so much from the class that I took. There’s just so many things you don’t think about. If I were in your shoes I’d buy a wr250r. When looking at bikes I would say to look for:
    6 speed
    Fuel injected
    Electric start (and kick if possible)
    A comfy seat (hard to find on a dualy)
    Bigger gas tank for range
    Lighter weight for ease of riding.
    Light bikes are nice for off-road but sketchier on the road. Try having a semi fly by you the opposite direction at 60mph on a 2 laner.
    All bikes are fun. Even mopeds can put a smile on your face! Get one and ride it.

    6481E336-BFA5-4218-9AC1-CC050AA1AE15.jpg
     
  15. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:26 PM
    #15
    Superman

    Superman [OP] Well-Known Member

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    23 years old, never taken a motorcycle course. I've been driving a car since I was 16, was part of my school's autocross build team in college. I have some experience riding dirt bikes here and there at my cousins house when I was a teen. Enough to be able to get on and ride, no jumps or anything though
     
  16. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:29 PM
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    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    I don't know what roads are like where you live but if they're even a fraction as busy as here I'd strongly urge you to take a beginners course and intermediate. They really help get you adjusted and make smart choices for your safety. I took my courses in the middle of winter and it was awesome cause there were hardly any people and I got lots of one on one time with the instructors. They basically set you up to pass the licensing test too which is awesome.
     
  17. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:29 PM
    #17
    Roughneckin

    Roughneckin Well-Known Member

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    Probably the worst sound in the world is when the nurse is headed towards your room and you can hear her trying to loosen the bristles of the new brush she’s about to use to take care of the leftover pebbles still in your skin.

    Anyways ummmmm buy good leathers.
     
  18. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:32 PM
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    Radarninja

    Radarninja Safety 3rd

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    A dual sport is the worst of both worlds. Street and dirt. Very fun but not super great at either.
    The KLR 650 is a tank of a bike. Lots of parts, inexpensive, and forgiving. I sold mine after around 60,000 miles.
    I’d say it’s a good starter bike.
    Good luck
     
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  19. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:37 PM
    #19
    Superman

    Superman [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I definitely plan to take at least one course. I'm totally cool with wearing high visibility jackets and taking it easy lol
     
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  20. Apr 5, 2018 at 9:46 PM
    #20
    Juforrest

    Juforrest Dumb!

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    Take a course! Buy the best gear you can afford. Remember that the helmet protects your head, don't buy a cheap one.
     
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