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Tips for getting first motorcycle?

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

  1. Apr 7, 2018 at 1:54 AM
    #41
    cgs2k2

    cgs2k2 Ohio Member

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    Get something small enough to learn on, but not so small that you will outgrow it in a month. 200 is way too small. 400 would be good. 650 would be fine too in most applications.
     
    HarrisonHopper and Krazie Sj like this.
  2. Apr 7, 2018 at 4:03 AM
    #42
    Dutch110

    Dutch110 Well-Known Member

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    Returning to the Taco fold and shopping for the next one.
    I raced a CBR1000 for a season back in 04 I think? Great bike. Power delivery was like a sewing machine. But after many years racing and doing track days on 600's I could never get used to the way it had to be cornered - drive it in deep, square off the turn, and finish it with the throttle / slide. It was a hoot at 8/10 pace but when I turned up the wick I would fall back into my 600 cornering habits. And the wheelies on the throttle were addictive. Definitely a rider issue, not a bike issue, lol. I have to agree with you on the RC8R. Put a few laps in on a buddy's and it was just meh. Great looking bike, but in the limited time I put in on it I could never quite get used to it. Do you spend much time at LRRS? JohnnyB is a buddy of mine from up there who runs pit out / starting. Great guy.
     
  3. Apr 7, 2018 at 4:47 AM
    #43
    DoubleRGirl

    DoubleRGirl Hello Kitty Edition

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    Yeah that's where I just got licensed

    I had a blade a couple years ago, it was great for the street. Always in the power. I don't think I'd like it on track, especially since they're all pretty small up here
     
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  4. Apr 7, 2018 at 5:50 AM
    #44
    AR15xAR10

    AR15xAR10 #blackriflesmatter

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    On the contrary, i don’t really think you “outgrow” small bikes unless you do a lot of highway or distance riding.

    I have just as much fun on my small bikes as i do my big bikes
     
    Dutch110 likes this.
  5. Apr 7, 2018 at 5:55 AM
    #45
    AR15xAR10

    AR15xAR10 #blackriflesmatter

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    Heh, wouldn't you like to know
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    Please refer to my build thread (click signature picture)
    My lovely girlfriend just got her first bike as well:

    6BFE8804-10E4-4CD5-9ECD-AF2046215D9B.jpg


    And on the issue of wearing gear, just get a textile or denim motorcycle jacket with armor, some decent jeans, gloves, over the ankle boots (with no saftey or steel toes), and a good helmet. Take it from someone who has gone down in a tshirt, jeans, gloves and a helmet, 2nd degree burns are not fun.
     
    Coolerman likes this.
  6. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:06 AM
    #46
    Coolerman

    Coolerman Well-Known Member

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    IMO with Helmets you generally get what you pay for. The more expensive the helmet, generally the lighter and more comfortable it is to wear.
     
  7. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:14 AM
    #47
    irayfz6

    irayfz6 TTC #0249

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    Been there, done that. I went down wearing a t shirt and jeans as well. Thankfully I was smart enough to be wearing helmet and gloves. I didn’t put on all my gear, because I was just going on a short ride. Wrecked two blocks from my apartment. I spent several hours in the hospital getting gravel removed from my knee and shoulder.

    OP, I highly recommend a good, sturdy riding jacket (and wear it every time you get on the bike).
     
    AR15xAR10 likes this.
  8. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:18 AM
    #48
    AR15xAR10

    AR15xAR10 #blackriflesmatter

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    Well i made the mistake of not getting a summer jacket. I wore my winter/mid season jacket for as long as i could stand it into the summer until i just couldn’t take it anymore. Trust me 98* weather and sweating into your fresh second degree burns on the ten minute ride back home while the whole one side of the bike gets covered in your blood, is not fun. :(

    That being said, i did not turn into an ATGAT nazi, but i tell everyone else to wear their gear, even if i’m still an idiot at times
     
    irayfz6 likes this.
  9. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:33 AM
    #49
    cgs2k2

    cgs2k2 Ohio Member

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    I agree that small bikes are a ton of fun. I've had a bunch of mopeds and Honda 200s and they are great, but use is limited. You'll wish you bought a bigger bike when you have to jump on the highway but your bike sounds like it's gonna explode at 70mph.

    To me it's a case of "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it." I have a 650 now, and IMO it's the perfect all around size.

    *Your girl's bike looks killer btw!
     
    AR15xAR10 likes this.
  10. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:41 AM
    #50
    AR15xAR10

    AR15xAR10 #blackriflesmatter

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    Thanks! Its perfect for her, since she believes the only way she can ride is if she can flat foot at every stop :rolleyes:

    Plus she doesn’t even want anything to do witg highway or distance riding at this point. So the fat tire TW200 seems perfect.

    Plus, i love that its still carbureted, has a manual joke and a manual petcock. Perfect learner bike for her. She even wants to learn how to work on it :D
     
    cgs2k2 likes this.
  11. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:43 AM
    #51
    cgs2k2

    cgs2k2 Ohio Member

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    Hell yeah! I have a 1976 Yamaha XS650. Carbs and manual everything. I love it. Working on it is cheap and easy and a great way to break into moto mechanics.
     
    AR15xAR10 likes this.
  12. Apr 19, 2018 at 9:57 AM
    #52
    Krazie Sj

    Krazie Sj Resident Jackass

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    This^

    It's all based on your head shape. The helmet I really wanted caused hot spots on my forehead. I could have gone next size up and still had it fit properly, but I found another helmet by another brand for the same price and went that route instead. (Original Helmet was an HJC RPHA 11, awesome helmet, ended up getting an Icon AirFrame Pro instead. Another wicked helmet.) You don't need to spend $1000 on a helmet. Mine was $380 CAD. (Originally $500-600) Hit up Revzilla (FortNine for us Canadians)

    I never get on the bike without full gear. You never know what dipshit is going to run your ass over in a playground zone doing 20. It's not just highway speeds shit happens.

    As for bike size? It's not so much the CC's as the power it puts out. A 600 CBR is as powerful as my 1200 Bandit for HP. (Torque mine destroys it) I'm also a proponent of getting a bike you won't outgrow too fast. My 1200 is my first bike. She's a beast. But I don't have to use all of her power.

    And don't get sold on type. Try all styles. Touring, sport, cruiser. Find what's comfortable and feels natural. I always wanted a cruiser for the look. Loved it. Rode bikes. Turns out I hate the riding position and love a sport bike. (Even though mine is fairly upright currently)

    Dual sport? Meh. I've heard that most people spend about 80-90% highway riding to do maybe 10-20% off roading. Just food for though.

    Finally. Do the course. Absolutely. You learn...SO MUCH. It's ridiculous.
     
  13. Mar 12, 2019 at 7:34 AM
    #53
    AR15xAR10

    AR15xAR10 #blackriflesmatter

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    UPDATE:

    14000 miles in. Still beating this thing like i stole it. Paid it off 11/18, and haven’t ridden it as much since. But I plan on using it al summer
     
  14. Mar 12, 2019 at 7:46 AM
    #54
    Easy bleeder

    Easy bleeder Well-Known Member

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    The best advice I can give you about getting a bike, is don't get one. Its not a question of if you get into an accident, its when will you have an accident. But that's not what you wanted to hear so my next piece of advice would be to take out a large life insurance policy...…….:fingerscrossed:
     
  15. Mar 12, 2019 at 7:55 AM
    #55
    canaduh

    canaduh Active Member

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    Get a cbr 600. Used. Even the f4i. More than enough grunt for a learner but not crazy enough to keep you happy for a couple years. You'll love it
     
  16. Mar 12, 2019 at 9:12 AM
    #56
    RCBS

    RCBS "Cause I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag."

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    What will the purpose be OP? Commuting? Weekend rides? Hooning around town? Road trips? Ripping twisties? All?

    What you need from the bike will help determine what type and model will suit you. If you aren't planning on doing a lot of dirt, get something for the street. You can always pick up a used dirt bike for trails and whatnot.

    Know. Your. Limits. This applies to ANY bike, road or dirt. You are a beginner, your limit is quite low. This does not mean you need to start with a 250. This means that no matter what you are on, you need to acknowledge your skill level and apply that to your riding. You could absolutely get a liter bike first out...so long as you ride it at your experience level. I once was told..."Lot more fun to go fast on a small bike than to go slow on a big one."

    In 2012 I purchased my first street motorcycle. No previous street experience besides the occasional ride here and there. Many years of dirt experience...most of my life. I took the MSF new rider course. It's a good thing to do. It made me a better driver, even in my truck.

    After much research, I settled in on the Triumph Street Triple 675. Over & over I read about how much fun they were to ride. No real complaints other than price were ever uttered. Intended use was exploring/riding the lovely rural two lane highways in my area. I am blessed to live quite close to some excellent riding. My idea of excellent is lots of altitude change and as many corners as possible. Tighter & twistier...the better.

    Those first couple rides....wow. Excitement, fear and joy all at the same time. I got it late summer of 2012 and only logged a few thousand before season was done. I didn't have enough seat time to get comfortable yet. Following spring I started to 'learn' the bike a little better and started to get more comfy in the seat. I spent that summer increasing My Limits. There is no 'safe' way to do this outside of a track environment. As you gain experience and refine your techniques, you will be able to carry more speed. It took me a while to trust the tires. My dirt background was showing. Lots of rear braking and 'riding' the rear tire, which I still probably do more than I should. I forced myself to start dual breaking to try and improve my habits. There's a ton of great videos on youtube that you can learn from. Fist and foremost...Twist of the Wrist. It's getting dated now, but the science absolutely still applies.

    Several years later I still have the same bike. It's never been down or dropped. I feel completely comfortable riding it now with the exception of the higher ends of speed that it is capable of. The bike still has quite a bit of potential that I am unable to use. I think I have reached my personal limitations on the bike and do not push beyond them much anymore.

    Group riding. Great fun! Don't think that 'more riders will be more visible'...on a bike...you are invisible to other drivers...just adopt that thinking straight away and you'll be better off. You have to be responsible for yourself *and all the other motorists around you. Group riding is also more dangerous than riding solo. Why? What other bikes and riders will you be riding with? Will your skills and bike be matched to the others' capabilities? What happens is...someone tries to keep up and rides beyond their limits, which are not the same as the others in the group. Seen it first hand. Someone in our group tried to keep pace with a Sumo on a very demanding road. He went down. Only a Sumo keeps pace with a Sumo in the tight stuff...there is no amount of power that will overcome their ability to corner at speed. I have handed a CBR1000 it's ass on a tight road...even with a more experienced rider piloting it. Lots of power, but nowhere to use it. My bike is quite agile and excels in that environment...but it still won't pace with a Sumo...maybe if Rossi is riding it? Know. Your. Limits.

    Gear. I am admittedly not ATGAT. I am mostlyGAT. lol Won't touch it without at least long pants, boots that lace up ankle, jacket, gloves, helmet. If I'm feeling frisky, I wear my riding pants. The gear can be expensive, like anything. Any big motorcycle stores near you? Go there and start trying on helmets. Comfort is priority one. If it's not comfortable, you won't want to wear it (dunno what laws are where you are). Also, it will be a distraction for you if the fit is off or it's loose and buffeting in the wind. Bell helmets fit my head best, so that's what I wear. I also like a SNELL rating, which is a little better than standard DOT spec. As far as pants, gloves, jacket, etc...try several brands and styles on to see what you like best. Loose clothing sucks at 85 on the freeway with no fairings...learned that one the hard way. I like the 3 season jackets as they can be worn from 45*-90* by removing layers. Mesh is your friend in the summer heat...lots of mesh.

    Well, I've babbled on quite a bit...if you take one thing away...

    Know. Your. Limits.

    Best of luck. Motorcycling is a true joy that can set you free from the daily meh that life throws at you. It's therapeutic...it really is.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    Redeemed, HerT4R and EubeenHadd like this.
  17. Mar 21, 2019 at 11:05 PM
    #57
    kodiakisland

    kodiakisland Well-Known Member

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    Going through this with my daughter right now. She rides my Indian Scout fine. She took her MSF course with a Harley Street 500 and felt it was too small and under powered. I'm thinking we are going to look at two bikes and go from there. The Honda Rebel 500 ABS and the Harley 883 Iron. Might even just give her my Indian and get myself a new bike. Haven't decided yet and it will be more up to her and what she is comfortable on. Life is fun when you start riding with your kids.
     
  18. May 15, 2019 at 10:05 AM
    #58
    kingston73

    kingston73 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely check out Webbikeworld.com, LOTS of helpful reviews of gear there. I'd recommend for a helmet actually buying or at least trying on in a store, helmet sizes aren't universal and different brands can fit very differently.

    I'm personally an All The Gear All The Time person, I've crashed on a bicycle enough to know how bad road rash hurts. I tell high school students who think they want a bike to think about what it would feel like to drag your hand on the pavement going 10 mph. enough said...

    As far as what bike, that's been answered here a lot already. FWIW my current bike is a 1979 honda cx500 that has an unknown number of miles on it. I've had it about 10 years and have personally put at least 20,000 on it in that time. Honda ftw!
     
  19. May 15, 2019 at 10:45 AM
    #59
    cgs2k2

    cgs2k2 Ohio Member

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    I get that. I had a lot of fun on my honda 200 - different type of fun than i have on my 1200 harley. BUT for everyday use, if you want to be able to travel really any distance comfortably and safely, the bigger the better (to an extent) IMO. Not being able to keep up with traffic on certain roads, or getting fatigued from riding in hilly terrains where you need to drop down gears every 100 yards loses its luster after a month or so.
     
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  20. May 15, 2019 at 11:04 AM
    #60
    EubeenHadd

    EubeenHadd Bit of a derp

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    You could also consider the Vulcan ABS. It would slot directly between the Rebel and 883, and I understand their ergos to be supremely adjustable for all shapes and sizes.
     

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