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Posted: 8/20/2017 10:57:22 AM EST
I know there are a lot of enthusiasts on here, so this should be easy. I'm closing in on 37 and considering my first motorcycle.

Several times throughout my life I've considered buying a motorcycle. Well, OK just a few--but was pretty serious. I'm getting the itch again, but I've always backed off because I just assumed I'd get maimed or killed (and people around me helped me through that). But, it seems like it would be so much FUN. I'm still nervous though--and especially here in Utah. Of the 5.5 states I've lived in, UT by far has the worst drivers on the road period. The last time I went home to visit family, I felt like the aggressor the whole time on the road, and that's me driving pretty conservatively. My wife said the same thing when she went back to her home state, and she's always an even more careful driver.

I was actually considering a convertible or sports car, but I have two project trucks (a pseudo-restoration and a hot rod), and don't really want to sell one of those or add another car.

I'm thinking of signing up for a local MSF course. It's an evening and a couple days of classroom and riding, and they provide the bikes.

Mostly I just want something to ride back and forth to work, and I'd like something to maybe go out exploring back roads and trails and such. So I'm probably looking at a dual sport. I've looked at used stuff, and there is a TON here. There are a lot of KLR650's for sale, but the MSF course is done on 250's and with Utah's tiered license I don't think I could ride a KLR without re-testing. There are a couple new Yamaha & Honda's in the 250 range that look like they might be the right deal.

So, I'd like some advice to help me overcome the irrational fear and help me find something to look for in a suitable bike (the crash thread didn't help lol). I won't buy anything until after the MSF to make sure I like it. I've been on a Honda CBR600 (?) in a parking lot once, and rode a few scooters when I was younger, but that's it.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 11:18:25 AM EST
Take the course. It's fun, it's damn useful, and in most places it keeps you from having to do testing at DMV.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 11:19:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 11:24:25 AM EST by DnTrdNMe]
Just got my first this spring at 40. Midlife crisis? Maybe! Had considered one several times over the last 20 years, but did not follow through for many of the same reasons you mentioned.

So far feels like one of the most fun hobbies I've had. I rip around the local back roads, commute to work, and have taken a few short couple hour destination trips.

I did the MSF course and it was worth it. Mine was on a Suzuki DRZ, class starts pretty slow, but preps you for the test well.

Be cautious, be smart about gear and the risk of not wearing it, and understand that many other vehicles simply will not see you. I got comfortable way too fast and had a couple close calls that taught me a lot.

I ride strictly on road for now, I've moutain biked a lot for years to satisfy the off road itch. Sport bikes didn't feel right to me, neither did cruisers, I ended up with a KTM Duke 690. It's plenty quick for now, is light and easy to handle for a noob, handles great, but I'll probably be upgrading in the next couple seasons.

Go for it!
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 12:23:32 PM EST
I say go for it. Take the MSF, get the best gear that you can afford, pick up a CRF or WR 250 and have a blast.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 1:34:39 PM EST
Look at a drz 400. They can be found barely used for pretty cheap, supposed to be bulletproof, have tons of aftermarket, and can be set up for enduro, sumo, or dual sport.

I'm a ktm guy but I'm looking at a drz for gravel road riding myself.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 3:34:52 PM EST
I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should take the MSF BRC. And I mean everyone. It exposes you to something you may not have otherwise thought about, and even if you decide you don't want to ride yourself, it should at least give you increased awareness of those who do.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:19:47 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bondryan:
Look at a drz 400. They can be found barely used for pretty cheap, supposed to be bulletproof, have tons of aftermarket, and can be set up for enduro, sumo, or dual sport.

I'm a ktm guy but I'm looking at a drz for gravel road riding myself.
View Quote
The bike provided for my MSF class was a DRZ 400. Smoother than my Duke, but felt a little under powered . More versatile though, depends what you're after. It rode really nice and made the class and test a breeze.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:37:55 AM EST
Good info so far from these guys. The drz is a great bike. I have a 2012 wr450f and my recommendation is to get a 250. I have had some wicked shit, and the 450 still puckers my ass. It is very responsive, very light, and very twitchy. You can tune this out, but it is kind of made to be a badass dirtbike, not mellow and slow. 250 might be a bit better for someone new. DRZ is a great bike also.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 12:41:17 PM EST
Ride what the class has....if you like it find something in that same group.

Little duel sports tend to hold their value, generally have low miles on them, and are pretty well taken care of if you get from the original owners...only after they swap hands a few times do they start to need things.

Another good bike to look at are the Yamaha XT's....the older 225 is a very bullet proof bike.....check out Lois on the loose for some good reading on the bike.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 2:29:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2017 10:11:20 PM EST by ihon]
I've been riding just shy of 20 years. I started riding in my early 20's. Riding is dangerous, don't let anybody tell you otherwise. But so is driving a car, I regularly hear of people dying in wrecks on the news. Wrong way drivers on the freeway are common here in Phoenix. So there is a risk to everything. But you will crash sooner or later and usually sooner. The crash may be at 3 mph at a gas station like my second crash. Or flipping a dirt bike while doing an accidental wheelie at 20 mph in front of your friends like my first crash. But you will crash.

With that said, bikes are definitely one of the big pleasures of my life. I thoroughly enjoy it and can't recommend it enough. Take the MSF basic rider's course. It can teach you in a weekend what took me months if not years to learn. You can see if you like it (you most likely will) and you will get your license at the same time plus an insurance discount.

Get a entry level bike and buy used. I nearly traded for a KLR650 about a year ago as I wanted to get into doing some adventure riding. The deal fell through and I ended up getting a Suzuki DR650, which I am much happier with. Do put that on your list. I also have a Buell XB-12S Lightning and a Suzuki 1200 Bandit. The KLR or DR would be decent entry level bikes, although they are tall. So if you aren't, you might look elsewhere. Remember, you will crash it, so a cheap used one is better than smashing up a new one. If you get a bike that is 7-10 years old and entry level, they are cheap to get into and you can sell them for nearly what you bought it for. The 2008 DR650 I traded for was listed at $2200 and I just sold a spare seat that came with it for $200. I bet I could ride it for a year or two than sell it for $2200. Although I really think it is going to stick around for a long time as I really like the bike.

Get good gear. Remember, you will crash if you ride much as all. I ride with a helmet, boots, gloves, Motoport Kevlar riding suit (jacket & pants), and an airbag vest. I believe it is as protective as I can reasonably get. It is expensive, but you will crash sooner or later. I also believe impact protection is more important than abrasion protection. Road rash sucks, but impact is what kills and causes long term injuries. Impact trauma to the body & head is what kills motorcyclist, so get protection in the form of good gear. I regularly read about people dying because they weren't wearing minimal gear, usually a helmet. Good gear makes moderate crashes something you can walk away from with some minor road rash and bruises. It can make severe crash survivable (with your cognitive abilities nearly intact) when the crash would over wise kill you. Good gear also makes the ride more pleasant. In hot weather, a mesh jacket provides protection from the sun, bugs, etc. as well as the road. In cold weather, it provides warmth. I can't tell you how many bugs I washed off my full face helmet shield that other wise would have hit me in the face, gone up my nose or into my mouth.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 5:50:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2017 5:54:33 PM EST by ImTheGraveDigger]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ihon:
I've been riding just shy of 20 years. I started riding in my early 20's. Riding is dangerous, don't let anybody tell you otherwise. But so is driving a car, I regularly hear of people dying in wrecks on the news. Wrong way drivers on the freeway are common here in Phoenix. So there is a risk to everything. But you will crash sooner or later and usually sooner. The crash may be at 3 mph at a gas station like my second crash. Or flipping a dirt bike while doing an accidental wheelie at 20 mph in front of your friends like my first crash. But you will crash.

With that said, bikes are definitely one of the big pleasures of my life. I thoroughly enjoy it and can't recommend it enough. Take the MSF basic rider's course. It can teach you in a weekend what took me months if not years to learn. You can see if you like it (you most likely will) and you will get your license at the same time plus an insurance discount.

Get a entry level bike and buy used. I nearly traded for a KLR650 about a year ago as I wanted to get into doing some adventure riding. The deal fell through and I ended up getting a Suzuki DR650, which I am much happier with. Do put that on your list. I also have a Buell XB-12S Lightning and a Suzuki 1200 Bandit. The KLR or DR would be decent entry level bikes, although they are tall. So if you aren't, you might look elsewhere. Remember, you will crash it, so a cheap used one is better than smashing up a new one. If you get a bike that is 7-10 years old and entry level, they are cheap to get into and you can sell them for nearly what you bought it for. The 2008 DR650 I traded for was listed at $2200 and I just sold a spare seat that came with it for $200. I bet I could ride it for a year or two than sell it for $2200. Although I really think it is going to stick around for a long time as I really like the bike.

Get good gear. Remember, you will crash if you ride much as all. I ride with a helmet, boots, gloves, Motoport Kevlar riding suit (jacket & pants), and an airbag vest. I believe it is as protective as I can reasonably get. It is expensive, but you will crash sooner or later. I also believe impact protection is more important than abrasion protection. Road rash sucks, but impact kills. Impact trauma to the body & head is kills more motorcyclist. I regularly read about people dying because they weren't wearing minimal gear, usually a helmet. Good gear makes moderate crashes something you can walk away from with some minor road rash and bruises. It can make severe crash survivable (with your cognitive abilities nearly intact) when the crash would over wise kill you. Good gear also makes the ride more pleasant. In hot weather, a mesh jacket provides protection from the sun, bugs, etc. as well as the road. In cold weather, it provides warmth. I can't tell you how many bugs I washed off my full face helmet shield that other wise would have hit me in the face, gone up my nose or into my mouth.
View Quote
This is good advice ^^^

I've been riding since 1992 started with a 400cc Yamaha Seca. I don't know how many miles I've ridden and have owned many different styles, sizes and brands of motorcycles. Love them all for different reasons, at my peak I was riding 14K miles a year. I ride all conditions, weather and temperatures.....yes ridden while snowing and coldest I've ridden was 15* F. (That was the day I went down) I wasn't being stupid just tire was sooooo cold it had no grip, laid it down in a parking lot while leaning to straitening out. Took pictures of the tire.

I will say this that at some time you will go down and might not be your fault. How you prepare for that time with gear, training, and rider awareness gives you better opportunity to survive and come out of it standing. Even in the parking lot at low speed I was glad I was wearing the right gear and took the class as I knew what to do so the bike didn't land on me. I actually hit my head on the concrete (helmet shows where), leather jacket with elbow protection took the impact from my arm, pants didn't allow any rash however bruised my hip. Motorcycle had $4k in damage to it luckily I had none to myself due to my gear and rider training.

I took the safety class which also gave me a jump with DMV at the time and only had to pass the written as you learn the riding qualifications as part of the class. Don't be a snob and think they are just 250cc machines in the class and a joke. They are teaching you fundamentals, control and how to ride safely, your mindset going into the class is the first step on what you will get out of the class. Take the class it will pay off from knowledge.

Buy good equipment, like helmet, gloves, boots riding pants and jacket. Helmet just because it's expensive doesn't mean it will protect your melon.....and remember all the flames and art on them don't add safety or protection. Go safety and comfort first then go cool if they have one you want.

One last thing to share.......if you're racing down the freeway at 150mph in a 70mph zone please realize........that car IN your lane is coming straight at you doing 80mph. Things happen fast at 140/150 and can easily misjudge hurting you and others saw a lady go into a guardrail doing about 130mph on a Vmax. Don't be a squid please......
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 6:41:52 PM EST
Been riding since the 70's......you will go down !!! gear is your friend buy the best you can afford,particularly the helmet.

Start out with a smallish bike and work your way up as others have suggested.

MSF courses are a must!!!

Be careful out there you are the invisible man
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 8:30:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2017 8:31:55 PM EST by JaxShooter]
Going through the same decisions now. I did the MSF course back in June. I'm still on the hunt for the right bike. I've been close but so far they've eluded me.

My long-term plan is to find a nice parking lot to build out my own course to continue practicing the same drills we did in the BRC. 

@BlammO turned me on to http://www.mcrider.com. Check out the Youtube channel.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 12:53:37 AM EST
Also RoadcraftNottingham.  He hasn't posted any videos in 5 months, but he has a bunch of good stuff.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 2:40:18 PM EST
Start on something small and nimble. Buy the best gear you can or can't afford. All the most expensive gear is still cheaper than ONE trip to the emergency room. Think about your family too, remember, it's not just yourself you're putting at risk riding a motorcycle especially if you have a wife and kids to support.
That being said, go for it! Put a lot of miles on your first bike riding your neighborhood and back roads before you jump out into traffic. GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR BIKE BEFORE RIDING IN TRAFFIC!!!! Know that machine inside and out! Get to where making it do what you need it to becomes second nature!!!!
Riding CAN be dangerous and some things are out of your control. Reduce the likelihood of those things as much as possible. Treat every crossroad and intersection like a shooting gallery and you are the target.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 3:03:00 PM EST
I just recently got my lozenge, and I bought a klr650 for $2300, yes the larger bike is a little more difficult to ride than the small 250 I took the MSF on, but not by much. The klr is also "underpowered" for its size, and isn't a bike that can go over 100mph.

I love my KlR and as a new rider I am now quite comfortable on it.

My suggestion is the same as the others here. Get a bike, get used to riding it on back roads and such, and get good gear.

I would jump right in and not look back if I were you, IMO the bike is the best purchase I have made In my life and I don't regret getting it at all.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 3:41:31 PM EST
Lots of GOOD advice. I've been riding for years, lots of miles commuting on sport bikes. Will be looking again shortly.  Nothing in the garage now, but regularly ride friends' bikes. Shop the different online stores for deals on gear - like Motorcyclecloseouts.com

I recently road a friend's Husky Supermoto....dear God it was ridiculously fun. 

One important thing I always did with a new bike or even after new tires or working on it....

Empty parking lot and learn what the bike does when you panic brake.  Rear only, then front only. Then both.  It might save your ass one day.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:40:58 PM EST
I'm 45. Been wanting one for decades. I think I'm going to take the class. I rode a friends Rebel once... 1,2,3 brake turn around and came back . Didn't wreck.

It just looks like so much fun and seems like everyone has one.
Link Posted: 8/25/2017 2:21:02 PM EST
Just rode from Memphis to D.C. Love the open road and riding long distance on my own.
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 8:11:27 AM EST
The MSF class will tell you everything you need to know about whether or not you want to ride. You will know after that weekend if this is for you.

Then, follow all the great advise from everyone else in the thread.

And let us know what you decide!
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 9:42:12 AM EST
Lots of good advice above.

250 cc is too small unless you are a small guy.

Dirt bikes suck on roads.  Road bikes suck on dirt.  Dual sports suck at both.  

You really need to buy both and don't try to make one do it all, if for no other reason than the tires needed. 
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 10:03:21 AM EST
Wow, thanks for all the help! I've been pretty busy since I posted, but was able to read some from my phone this week and I really appreciate it. I'm hoping to take the class next weekend. This thread really gave me a lot to think about, and really helpful. I never even heard about the airbag jackets until now.

My commute is about as easy as it gets, 11 miles one way but it's all surface streets. There's a divided 4 lane major road that's 50 MPH (most people do 60 though) after I get out of the neighborhood, then it's two lane through the next small town at 45MPH, then goes up to 55MPH once I get outside of town. The last 3/4 mile or so is a kind of rough dirt/gravel road. The town is basically all residential, and there's a lot of traffic but for the most part I'm going against traffic for the commute. On our work site, we have probably 2-3 miles of dirt/gravel roads with very little traffic I could probably ride on over my lunch breaks for practice, but that means getting to work too.

My biggest concern with the commute is that we have a lot of big trucks going in and out of the neighbors' place at work. We also get really, really heavy wind here. Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere, but I suppose that's just a skill I'll have to learn.

I appreciate the suggestions on the bikes. That Suzuki 400 looks pretty interesting, so I will keep an eye out but the 250's seem like they're probably what I am looking at for now.

Link Posted: 8/26/2017 10:05:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2017 10:05:31 AM EST by iroc409]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Lots of good advice above.

250 cc is too small unless you are a small guy.

Dirt bikes suck on roads.  Road bikes suck on dirt.  Dual sports suck at both.  

You really need to buy both and don't try to make one do it all, if for no other reason than the tires needed. 
View Quote
I am on the larger side, tall and wide (trying to fix the wide part LOL). I guess maybe the 250's in the class will let me know what I think of them. I really like the look of the Suzuki mentioned.

The commute I have is pavement and dirt, at least a small amount. How do pavement bikes do on short runs of dirt?

I figure if I get into it, I'll probably eventually end up with more than one bike. I have 4 cars right now, though two are projects.
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 10:14:30 AM EST
You may want to look at the CB500X. You get some ground clearance and decent road performance. The Honda 500 engine is very beginner friendly as well.
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 11:34:21 AM EST
After reading your follow up posts I think a DRZ 400 sm would be perfect for what you are doing. If you were planning on riding fire roads and what not too then a dual sport like the DRZ S would be better. Check out continental tkc 80 tires, if I can find a pic I'll post one of them on a drz.




If your tall and wide a 250 will still work it will just be kinda underpowered. I'm short and wide and I have ridden a wr250 and it is just fine. Being tall is better anyway because I am 5'10" and have to lower pretty much every bike to be comfortable. Any bike you get after buying good gear you need to spend the money to have the suspension set up. A properly set up suspension makes any bike a better bike.

If you want something bigger or sportier look at the ktm 625's 690's, husqvarnas, or even used husabergs.
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 3:24:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2017 6:28:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2017 6:32:20 PM EST by iroc409]
I am registered for my class next weekend, so all set there. I went out and looked at some bikes yesterday.

The first was a Suzuki dealer. They didn't have any of the bikes mentioned here, so they recommended a new Husquavarna(?) 501. It was very light weight and seemed nice, but I thought it was a little tall, and at over $11k was a little out of the price range I'm interested in.

Then I went to Honda and looked at the CRF250L and CBR500X. I pretty much immediately liked the CBR500X. Just sitting on it, it feels just about perfect for me with height and seat comfort and weight. They only had new ones, but the dealer thought with some different tires the CBR500X will do exactly what I'm looking for. He also said they have some euro rally raid kit that will turn it more into an adventure bike, but I'm not sure.

The last dealer I went to had Yamaha and Kawasaki. I looked at the XT250, and the Versys 300 & 650 really caught my eye. That dealer thought the XT250 would do what I want, and it felt maybe a little nicer in the seat height than the CRF250L, but I think it might be a bit small. With the Versys, the 650 might be too big but maybe the 300 too small? Does anyone own one?

The Yamaha place has a used 2014 CBR500X with 3900 miles for $4k. Is that a good price for the bike? It looked like it was in good shape. I didn't see any scratches or anything. It won't have the ABS, but at almost half the price I think that might be what I'm looking for--if they still have it. I don't really want to buy anything until I've gone through the course. Do motorcycle dealers haggle as much as car dealers?

I'd still like to look at the Suzukis. I'm going to see if I can find any other dealers that might have them.
Link Posted: 8/27/2017 6:42:32 PM EST
You can try to haggle, but unless it is a really hard to move model, I doubt that you will have much luck. You may be able to negotiate for a first service though. The used 500X would probably be the best bike deal for you, someone else has taken the depreciation on it. I would skip the 300 Versys. 300cc motors are fine for smaller stature people, but will leave you hunting for more bike about time decide it is time to hit the interstate. Small engines will go fast enough but get buzzy at the top of the power band.
Link Posted: 8/27/2017 7:11:02 PM EST
Back in my youth I bought an 87-88 Honda XL250. I was working at the dealership and it belonged to the owner who continued to race "Senior" Hare Scramble races. It came with the 5 gallon tank already on it and always maintained. Fun bike and loved it. After that I bought a PC800. THAT WAS A SMOOTH RIDE !!
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 12:12:17 AM EST
Well, so far so good, no scraped elbows but it's just the classroom session.

Anyway, the CBR500X is still probably top on the list, though I haven't inquired to see if the used one is still there or found any others.

I did look at a dealer that had they more expensive stuff, BMW, Triumph, and Ducati. The BMWs and Triumphs I looked at were nice, but even the used ones were way out there (although I've found a few BMWs private party for OK prices).

Anyway, what does anyone think of the Ducati Scrambler? Probably not in serious contention, but it looks cool, and it sounds cool, and I think it's neat. Some say it's OK for a beginner bike? Probably not going to buy that one but it's... interesting?
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 6:04:57 AM EST
The Ducati would be a fun bike if you have some throttle control. But it is a light bike with quite a bit of HP. I bet that thing is a wheelie machine.
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 11:11:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/2/2017 11:22:44 PM EST by iroc409]
Much fun, so wow!

First day of the class down. Only 4 riders. They had another class that was Sat-Sun only that had at least half a dozen. Anyway, the class has been really good. No way I would have learned all this by myself. They started me out on some strange brand of bike from here in Utah with probably a Chinese 249cc V-Twin, ATK maybe? Anyway, they had a CB300F so I switched to that part way through the morning since it's much like the one I'm looking at. It's in a little bit of rough shape, bent brake handle and a couple scrapes. I think the clutch is totally out of adjustment because low speed is difficult. I seem to have taken to it pretty well and am pretty confident. Even think I had the Honda cracked all the way open in 2nd gear a couple times and I think the 300 might be a little small. The instructor hasn't called me on my shenanigans and I'm keeping proper distance so I'm not being unsafe about it, just building confidence with it. I rode a mountain bike in all sorts of weather (like the post office) when I was a teenager and crashed a lot, so maybe I've retained some of it. I've been mostly doing better than the other students I think, and they've even commented on it, so I guess that's good?

I do have a few issues to work on. The slow, tight turns are getting me and I'm terrified of "the box" on the test. I think part of it is the clutch on the Honda. It's not quite acting right, and so it's hard to get control of it at low speed, along with my lack of experience it's not going the best. The other thing I need to work on is some of my steering. I'm not sure I'm doing the press-lean counter steer thing quite right, and a few times I've had a less-than-optimal line with cornering. When I go into a lean corner it just kind of happens, I guess from bicycling, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it subconsciously or just not turning properly. I mean, it works, but not sure it's "right"--but I don't know if I can evaluate how I'm doing it wrong. I asked the instructor and I don't think he understood me. Oh, for the quick stops I'm also locking up the rear, and he says not using enough front brake (causing the lock-up). Something to work on I guess.

So, I liked it so much I called the dealer with the used CB500X. Just my luck... they still had it. So, I'm not sure if I should have but I bought it. The price was listed a little below KBB, if that means anything. They knocked a couple hundred off, which mostly I used for gear. I probably jumped the gun and spent a little more than I wanted (was planning on $1500-3k), but I really like this bike and haven't found any others. The guy at the dealer rode it to my house. I did take it out around the neighborhood tonight and did some practice in a church parking lot. We have a really low-traffic area, and within the first couple laps a cute girl in a pickup gave me the two finger wave, so I guess I'm in the club. It seems like it has enough power without being uncontrollable and I'm comfortable so far on it. The mechanic in back said it's been fully serviced including brake fluid, but not many miles on it. They suggested I leave the street tires on it until they are worn out, and then consider more aggressive tires. Driving it around the block really made me realize how out of whack the training bike is LOL, as the one I bought is really smooth and much easier to operate.

I really liked the Ducati, but couldn't bring myself to spend that much yet. I didn't want to spend as much for the new Honda, though I did want the ABS.
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 11:44:09 PM EST
Good deal man, have fun and enjoy the new bike.
Link Posted: 9/2/2017 11:59:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2017 1:20:13 AM EST by AR15Texan]
I just bought a Kawasaki 2018 KLX140G yesterday. There are plenty of good motorcycle safety books that will complement your MSF course. Checkout your local library.
Link Posted: 9/4/2017 6:40:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By inzane123:
The Ducati would be a fun bike if you have some throttle control. But it is a light bike with quite a bit of HP. I bet that thing is a wheelie machine.
View Quote
The Sixty-2 would be a lot more sedate - pretty much the same bike as the regular Scrambler but with a 399cc vs 803cc engine (and a few other cheaper components). That would be alright for a beginner. No way would I recommend a regular Scrambler to anyone as a first-ever bike.

I also do not recommend any Ducati to anybody who doesn't do all their own wrenching. Dealers and mechanics, generally, way over-charge for working on Ducs simply because of the 'mystique', if you will. The 2-valves are actually very easy to work on, but because people think otherwise, shops get away with absurd charges for basic maintenance. I know the 4Vs do have a few special needs, but still nothing I can see as justifying what some people charge. (I only have personal experience with 2V Ducs.)
Link Posted: 9/4/2017 7:01:59 PM EST
OP, we need pics of your new bike. Congrats on your new ride.

Once you are comfortable on the bike, start exploring your county and state. You will get to see sights that you would never see from a car. You will also bond with your bike and figure out what needs to change to make it fit you better.
Link Posted: 9/6/2017 11:42:08 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By iroc409:
Much fun, so wow!

First day of the class down. Only 4 riders. They had another class that was Sat-Sun only that had at least half a dozen. Anyway, the class has been really good. No way I would have learned all this by myself. They started me out on some strange brand of bike from here in Utah with probably a Chinese 249cc V-Twin, ATK maybe? Anyway, they had a CB300F so I switched to that part way through the morning since it's much like the one I'm looking at. It's in a little bit of rough shape, bent brake handle and a couple scrapes. I think the clutch is totally out of adjustment because low speed is difficult. I seem to have taken to it pretty well and am pretty confident. Even think I had the Honda cracked all the way open in 2nd gear a couple times and I think the 300 might be a little small. The instructor hasn't called me on my shenanigans and I'm keeping proper distance so I'm not being unsafe about it, just building confidence with it. I rode a mountain bike in all sorts of weather (like the post office) when I was a teenager and crashed a lot, so maybe I've retained some of it. I've been mostly doing better than the other students I think, and they've even commented on it, so I guess that's good?

I do have a few issues to work on. The slow, tight turns are getting me and I'm terrified of "the box" on the test. I think part of it is the clutch on the Honda. It's not quite acting right, and so it's hard to get control of it at low speed, along with my lack of experience it's not going the best. The other thing I need to work on is some of my steering. I'm not sure I'm doing the press-lean counter steer thing quite right, and a few times I've had a less-than-optimal line with cornering. When I go into a lean corner it just kind of happens, I guess from bicycling, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it subconsciously or just not turning properly. I mean, it works, but not sure it's "right"--but I don't know if I can evaluate how I'm doing it wrong. I asked the instructor and I don't think he understood me. Oh, for the quick stops I'm also locking up the rear, and he says not using enough front brake (causing the lock-up). Something to work on I guess.

So, I liked it so much I called the dealer with the used CB500X. Just my luck... they still had it. So, I'm not sure if I should have but I bought it. The price was listed a little below KBB, if that means anything. They knocked a couple hundred off, which mostly I used for gear. I probably jumped the gun and spent a little more than I wanted (was planning on $1500-3k), but I really like this bike and haven't found any others. The guy at the dealer rode it to my house. I did take it out around the neighborhood tonight and did some practice in a church parking lot. We have a really low-traffic area, and within the first couple laps a cute girl in a pickup gave me the two finger wave, so I guess I'm in the club. It seems like it has enough power without being uncontrollable and I'm comfortable so far on it. The mechanic in back said it's been fully serviced including brake fluid, but not many miles on it. They suggested I leave the street tires on it until they are worn out, and then consider more aggressive tires. Driving it around the block really made me realize how out of whack the training bike is LOL, as the one I bought is really smooth and much easier to operate.

I really liked the Ducati, but couldn't bring myself to spend that much yet. I didn't want to spend as much for the new Honda, though I did want the ABS.
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A CB500X isn't a dirtbike, put the samectires on it that it came with when it's time to replace them. Mild gravel roads are about what you can reasonably expect to do well on one of these. Trail riding isn't a good idea, you will total the bike just in cosmetic damage the first time to drop it off road-which you will.

Buy a cheap dirtbike or dualsport if you want to play in the dirt.
Link Posted: 9/14/2017 11:56:43 PM EST
I need to find a new photo host, I always have been using Photobucket. I have pictures, I will get them posted.

I passed the riding test with zero errors, the only one in my class. The little CB300F had a worn out clutch and was giving me total hell in the morning. Even the instructor, who was going to show me who's boss, ended up killing the bike 4-5 times in a demo and said he wouldn't hold it against me if I was fighting it in the test.

I've been practicing around my neighborhood a number of times, but not as much as I'd like. There are some really picturesque hidden backroads right by the house with no traffic I've ridden a couple times that are amazing (very hidden). I took one long ride earlier this week that I probably shouldn't have--but it was a great beginner road and almost zero traffic as it goes into farmland way past work. It has some nice easy corners, some back to back and some light hills. There were a ton of bugs on the way home though and that was gross, and I could barely see. I plan on taking some of the advanced rider courses for additional training after I've ridden some more. The bike seems super easy to control, and I am pretty confident with it--though I do know I need some practice. It's very mild-mannered. I can open the throttle all the way in 3rd or 4th gear and it gives nice acceleration but doesn't seem too fast at all. So glad I didn't get a 250 or 300--at least for around town.

I've got a ton of gear on order or here, and feel like I overspent but probably not. This stuff gets pricey. I just have an Olympia pants, jacket & gloves but I like them fairly well. I was looking really hard at the Hit-Air vests, but ended up ordering a Helite Turtle because of the integral back protector. I may look into a Motoport or Aerostitch down the road if for no other reason than speed donning/doffing (and the custom fit), but for now I think the Olympia is pretty good. I bought a Shoei GT-AIR helmet, though I'm a little concerned it's slightly too large (very, very slightly), but it's what the shop helped me pick. :(

The only thing I'm doing to the bike right now is a Puig windscreen and engine guards/crash bars, and a center stand. There are other things I'd like to do to it, but I think I should keep it minimal for now anyway. I also seem to have a slow leak in the rear tire, that maybe was there when I bought it that I'm going to have to address. The tires are in good shape, so I hope it's not them. I do read on the CB500X forums that these bikes really benefit from better tires--but not really looking into the aggressive off-road.

I don't feel too bad around small-town traffic, but I'm worried I'm over-confident. Terrified of interstate. So far it is a lot of fun, total blast--though I think I still have a healthy fear of what could happen.

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Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Buy a cheap dirtbike or dualsport if you want to play in the dirt.
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I have actually been thinking about doing this.
Link Posted: 9/15/2017 12:39:25 AM EST
The only logical answer is......go buy a new Yamaha R1.
Then flop a 50 shot of Nitrous on it.
that's what a real man would do........

In all seriousness, damn good choice you made. I would love a tool around cruiser just for giggles.
My current ride happens to be....Yep, a stupid R1. As of an hour ago, I did a highway tour of 92 miles around St. Louis on mine. I wish I would have bought a V-max instead.
Damn knee's hurt. Lost communication with muh buttcheeks about 40 miles ago, Every asshat wants to race you. ( that I love)
But I want a nice cruiser that I can wind out and give it all she has got, and not fuckin die in the process.
My R1 tries to kill you everytime you hop on it. I think that exact statement is even in the owners manual! "this bike will try and kill you everytime you start it" has its own chapter between turn signal usage and paint cleaning and care.
Your on the perfect bike. I'm 39yrs old. Been on bikes for 25yrs. NO ONE needs a modern liter bike. Its bragging rights. I wish I bought a 600...
Link Posted: 9/15/2017 8:18:32 AM EST
OP, don't over worry about the interstate. Yes, you are going fast, but all the traffic is going in one direction. You don't have to worry about someone turning in front of you.

As for the tire, it may not be a slow leak unless you are losing a lot of air. I bet most of the air loss comes from removing the pump from the tire, or from leakage when testing your pressure. It doesn't take much air loss to affect the pressure on the bike.
Link Posted: 9/15/2017 10:39:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By inzane123:
OP, don't over worry about the interstate. Yes, you are going fast, but all the traffic is going in one direction. You don't have to worry about someone turning in front of you.

As for the tire, it may not be a slow leak unless you are losing a lot of air. I bet most of the air loss comes from removing the pump from the tire, or from leakage when testing your pressure. It doesn't take much air loss to affect the pressure on the bike.
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It's not the speed I'm worried about. On the backroads ride I pretty much had it at highway speeds at some point, and most of it was pretty close. It's the bat-shit crazy drivers here. Worst in the 5.5 states I've lived in. There are tons of bikes around here, but it seems like most of them stay off the interstate. I'm sure I'll be there before long though. My wife is really pushing me to practice more before I get much in traffic, though I think I need to get out more. She's not so worried about me as the other drivers here, as she's of the same opinion (even in town).

The tire was down to 11 lbs, and I think lost 2-3 lbs in the last day or so--but I was using a different gauge as the first one is electronic and didn't fit the tire well. I'll keep an eye on it, and maybe see if the dealer I bought it from would check it out for me.
Link Posted: 9/15/2017 11:23:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2017 12:29:28 AM EST by shadawick]
I'll say up front there are some really beautiful bikes but I'll never own or ride one.

Working as an FF/EMT, I've seen too many wrecks. Some were other drivers (auto's) fault, some were bikers trying to ride bikes which exceeded their capability/experience or training and some, well they were just accidents.

First call yesterday, a 77 year old gentleman who had been riding for 30 years caught the "rumble strip," (so says the riders behind him) lost control hit a street sigh, stop sign then traveled about 40 feet airborne (still holding onto the bike per witness) only to center a 18" oak tree. Almost nothing about him or the bike was where it should have been. I don't like picking people up in pieces and having to hose down the scene to dilute human remains, fuel and oil!
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 5:33:00 AM EST
Getting down to 11lbs is bad. Don't screw around with a bad tire, order a new one and get it replaced asap.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 6:41:39 AM EST
Always, ALWAYS keep your eyes on the road in front of you scanning for threats.

You won't believe the speed at which things pop up in front of you while you're admiring the scenery.
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 6:59:35 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shadawick:
I'll say up front there are some really beautiful bikes but I'll never own or ride one.

Working as an FF/EMT, I've seen too many wrecks. Some were other drivers (auto's) fault, some were bikers trying to ride bikes which exceeded their capability/experience or training and some, well they were just accidents.

First call yesterday, a 77 year old gentleman who had been riding for 30 years caught the "rumble strip," (so says the riders behind him) lost control hit a street sigh, stop sign then traveled about 40 feet airborne (still holding onto the bike per witness) only to center a 18" oak tree. Almost nothing about him or the bike was where it should have been. I don't like picking people up in pieces and having to hose down the scene to dilute human remains, fuel and oil!
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What is a rumble strip?
Link Posted: 9/16/2017 10:05:59 AM EST
Very tempted to drive south today to check this sexy beast out.

Link Posted: 9/16/2017 3:36:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bhart89:

What is a rumble strip?
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Rumble Strip
Link Posted: 9/17/2017 9:01:52 AM EST
Think about all the motherfuckers driving crazy impaired, as in, north of .15 BAC. Yes, in the daytime.

Ride and dress accordingly.
Link Posted: 9/23/2017 7:14:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2017 7:38:41 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Striker:
I'm currently riding an 82 Goldwing 1100 as my 76 is still not finished. Neither is the 78 I bought after the 76. 
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Some say it will never end.

...but I've managed pretty well this year, though - got myself down to two bikes. And yes, they both run - in fact, they are both newer than either of my cars.
Link Posted: 9/23/2017 7:51:13 PM EST
Take the course, wear all the gear, all the time, and ride like you are invisible.   I love riding and plan on doing so, as long as I'm able.  Enjoy yourself. 
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