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First motorcycle questions

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by bassturtle, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    So for the past 6 months or so I've been kicking around the idea of getting a bike. Never driven (I've already been corrected by a friend that says your don't 'drive' a motorcycle you 'ride' one) one and I guess I don't know where this desire is coming from. Maybe a quarter life crisis?

    Anyway, I'm wanting to be on the cheap for a first one. I'm thinking about $1000-$1500. I like the look of older standard bikes. Don't like the looks of Ninjas and other sport bikes. A friend of mine has a Honda 919 and I love the way that looks, but it's a lot out of my price range.

    I've been looking at Kawasaki KZ650 and 750s. I know where there's a 750 for under a grand that needs a starter. Also been looking at Honda Shadows - although those used usually push up toward $2k. I've also got my eye on a Yamaha XJ750 seca for about $1000 in the next town over.

    You guys have any other recommendations in my price range?
  2. jsbass


    Sep 3, 2006
    I know nothing at all about bikes.
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    first, take the MSF!

    second, get ready to spend some money on protective gear (over $1000): helmet, jacket, pants, boots, gloves, winter gear, summer gear, rain gear, etc.

    i tell everyone this: if you are too "cool" to wear gear, you deserve everything ya get when you slide (dress to slide, don't dress for some stupid "pride").. google around on road rash, skin grafts and what can happen even going as slow as 20mph.

    i commute just about every day on my little Ninja (55+mpg).. i love it.

    i really think YOU are the type that would do well on a bike.. you have always struck me as a responsible person.


    good luck
  4. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Don't do it. Everyone I know has crashed at least once.

    One guy, my old boss, is now semi brain damaged and pretty much is f&#^kd up vegtable and he wore a helmet.

    Usually it's some other idiot that hits you.
  5. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    oh and don't be afraid to get a used bike!! you will drop it!! i'm not saying while riding or whatever, but you will drop it!!! :D it happens to all of us! ;)

    get some insurance, too!! i have my ninja with full coverage with Statefarm (they have become SUPER competitive) and pay like 12 a month for my bike (i get lots of discounts because i have my homeowners policy and my Xterra policy there also..)
  6. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Yeah, that's the first order of business. The local safety counsel offers two classes and one of them ends with the actual license test.

    Part of the reason I'm trying to keep it in this price range is so I can also afford riding gear. Thankfully, I have a couple of friends who want me to ride bad enough that they're willing to give me some stuff too.

    I really appreciate that, man!
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Well, you're already signed up for a class so I guess this link is already taken care of.... http://www.msf-usa.org/

    All the bikes you've suggested would be great for you to start out on. Be CAREFUL out there! I commute also, my bike has over 70K miles on it and runs like a S-O-B. Have fun, be careful, get the right gear, make sure the bike's in good working order.

    Scorpion makes some very comfortable helmets for low, low prices. I love mine.
  8. My first bike was a big single (Yamaha XTZ660)

    I prefer the thumpers as they're very visible, don't go too fast (100mph downhill with my chin on the tank) but tons and tons of torque.

    They tend to have high seats so may not be useful if you are not 6'+

    And yeah, whatever you get, you will drop it :D I dropped mine in the atlas mountains in morocco. no great damage done to either of us though.

    When riding, always expect the car drivers around you to do something unpredictable and stupid, and always, always the lifesavers (looking over your shoulder) before any manoeuvre.
  9. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    No one sees you...you are invisible...remember that while riding.

    I've come off a bike at over 140 MPH while racing...with the best of protective gear you stand a much better chance of surviving. The worst that happened to me was soiling my pants from have the crap scared out of me.

    Make certain that you buy not only good gear, but also that it is fitted correctly. It's great if someone wants to give you some gear, but make sure it fits.
  10. Don't buy a Hayabusa :eek:
  11. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Yep, a slower bike is a perfectly good one to learn on, and gets you the cool factor pretty much as well as the bigger bikes. Plus, with a inexpensive one, you afford to buy decent protective clothing as well - don't skip on protection, it's perfectly possible to get a life-lasting disability from not wearing enough gear, plus the gear you buy for your first bike will last you years!

    The best advice for a new biker probably is always to assume the cars are out to get you - many drivers simple don't understand how fast a bike can react nor can judge the speed/position correctly.
  12. CrashBang


    Jan 1, 2008
    Newton, MA
    Try a Honda Nighthawk 600. Good size for learning. Also remember there are two types of riders, those who have dumped and those that will dump. I am in the former group and still love it. Helmet, boots and leather are a must, and when else will you get an excuse to wear chaps.
  13. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Thanks for all the advice, guys. We have pretty harsh winters around here, so this won't be something that I can ride year round. I'm hoping, however, that whatever bike I get will pay for itself by the end of summer in gas prices.

    Oh and yeah, I looked at Nighthawks online too. Great looking bike, but wasn't able to find any localy yet.
  14. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Here's a pic of the XJ750 I was looking at. I'm not a fan of the color or the two headlights, but I've read really good things about them as far as reliability goes. Plus, it's a shaftie and I've been told they're nice for a first bike.

  15. I rode a Nighthawk S (late 80's version) for several years. Great bike, reliable as a Swiss watch, faster than greased lightning, and a joy to maintain (shaft drive - something to consider seriously, keeping a chain drive balanced correctly can drive a noobie nuts).

    If I ever got another bike (it has crossed my mind), it won't be a sport bike sadly, the missus has made it clear it will be a tourer, like a Goldwing.


    ...probably for the best, I'm gettin' a bit too aged for scraping the knees out of my jeans.

  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Older bikes like that - you have to be particularly sensitive to wear items or stuff that deteriorates. Gas tank rusted? They're expensive and they rust from the inside out - if there's even the tiniest bit of rust on the exterior of the tank you gotta be real careful. Fork seals and tires are rubber and deteriorate.

    Don't expect to save money by using a bike. Yes, they tend to get lots better gas mileage than a car, but they cost a lot more in tires and other maintenance so they end up being more expensive to operate on a mile for mile basis.
  17. vbsurfer3001


    Jul 25, 2005
    First thing I'd say is get a 500 or smaller for your first bike, until you get used to the balance & weight. Dropping your new bike on it's side at the red light is more than a bit embarrassing, it's dangerous. Second, wear your helmet and NEVER ride in shorts, hot parts & skin are a bad combo. Stick to the less traveled back streets, go slow and resist the urge to open it up and corner etc. Until you have really learned to ride the bike, it's just asking for trouble. Have someone teach you to lean & counter steer on empty roads before you try it on your own. I learned the hard way, I totaled 3 street bikes before I was 21.

    Most importantly watch out for BLUE HAIRS! Old women & men will not see you & if they do, probably won't care. Bikes get NO respect on the road so ride accordingly, everyone IS trying to kill you.

    Other than that....HAVE FUN ;)
  18. Croox


    Sep 16, 2007
    South Side Chicago
    BIG +1 i too that class to get my "M" endorsement

    I'd look on craigs list for a used 80s MIJ bike and ride that around, my brother got a suzuki for like 800bucks and its a nice bike. and good for a new rider.

    also for riding your local Harley dealership may offer a training course for you to take, just to throw it out as an option

    and watch out for the idiots around you, and I'd say wear a helmet and earplugs that wind whipping around your head can do some serious damage to your ears. but when riding cutoffs a tank top and flip flops is a skin graph waiting to happen (rider or passenger)
  19. Get good gear. A ninja 250 is the best bike ever made to learn to ride on. Ride defensivly and you will have lots of fun. Also, I went over on mine without my jacket on and have some nice road rash on my shoulder and I got a major concussion destroyed my helmet. I was going less than 20 miles an hour.

  20. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That's the kind of wreck story that makes me very nervous riding my bicycle. As a motorcyclist I am aware of how much hurt is there, on a bike I'm not wearing armored padded gear and the helmet is flimsy compared to my moto helmet.

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