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Posted: 10/4/2004 6:46:11 AM EST
I've decided I want to get a motorcycle sometime between now, and spring of next year. I've never ridden one in my life, but I plan to take the MSF class before I get the bike. I've always looked at the "crotch rockets" and drooled, so I'm planning going to get one of those. I've been leaning towards the Kawasaki Ninja 500R (also known as the EX500). I'm looking at them used, and it looks like I can get one that's 3 or 4 years old, with 10k or less miles, for around $2-3k. I'm probably going to use it to commute to and from work in the spring, summer, and maybe some of fall. I doubt I'll ride it in winter. Any comments, or advice from you guys would be appreciated. Especially something besides "don't kill yourself", because that's all I seem to be getting from my friends, except the one that rides MC's already.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:52:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By jaqattack02:
but I plan to take the MSF class before I get the bike.



You're already on the correct track right there - just keep on using your head.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:55:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 6:55:52 AM EST by jaqattack02]
Taking that class and buying good riding gear (jacket, gloves, pants, boots, helmet) are the 2 most consistent things I've read everywhere.

Any of you ever ridden a Ninja 500R? I was hoping someone might have an opinion on it.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:58:20 AM EST
Bike choice depends on your style, how old are you how big are you? I am 5'11" and weigh 200lbs. My first bike was a VFR750F it was comfortable, and quite powerful, but just not enough so I uppded to a CBR900RR w/pipe and flat slides...it has sweet mid to upper power ranges and at the time was one of the best bikes out there.

I would also recommend taking a road course class, something that gets you on a track....
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:01:03 AM EST
The Ninja 500R is a great starter bike for someone with little or no experience. Also keep your eyes open for an older SV650. They are reasonably forgiving for the newer rider.

MSF is the best step you could possibly take. You might have to wait for a course because they fill up quickly.
MSF's home page

Check out this site for some good information on sportbikes. Several riders there with 30+ years experience.
www.supersportbike.com
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:08:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:09:45 AM EST by ajm1911]
My first bike was an EX 500. I loved it easy to ride, your not too streched out like some other sport bikes, pretty powerful for a beginner, lots of bolt on goodies and easy to maintain. IM me if you have any specifics. Also a big +1 for good gear. If you get in a wreck, hopefully not, it will save you alot of time out. My wreck I broke my collar bone but had almost no road rash
good links for kawasaki EX 500
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:08:48 AM EST
Dude get an RC51 those things can do like 205mph.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:11:37 AM EST
Spare no expense on safety gear. If you carry CCW think of it like selecting a gun that you can count on. Buy the best helmet, jacket, gloves you can afford. Riding pants are also a good expense. DOn't be one of these yahoos who rides in tanktop/shorts/flip flops and no gloves. If you so much as fall over at a light (plant a foot in oil, it happens) you will hurt yourself.

For first bike, a 500 is ok, you may very quickly wish you had something bigger. I would probably push you towards a 600 (AFTER the MSF class) depending on how big you are.

My first bike was a Yamaha SECA II (600cc), and it was a great starter bike. However, any bike I buy from now on will be MUCH more powerful. I also learned on that Yamaha that I am not a fan of very aggressive riding positions. That bike is a "Standard" and it was as aggressive as I will ever go (I am almost 6'3" and am NOT a lightweight though).

Sit on a BUNCH of bikes before you buy. Once you are licensed, ride as many as you can (friends, dealers, whatever).

shooter
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:13:19 AM EST
Do not drink and ride. I won't even have one beer when I'm out riding. I have friends that ride completely toasted.

Let me reiterate the MSF course. You'll find friends that will tell you that you don't need it. One day you'll be attending their funeral.

Something like 75% of motorcycle wrecks involve alcohol on the part of the rider. Remember, it doesn't have to be you that fucks up. Someone can pull out in front of you and those 2 beers will slow you down just enough. In a car it's a fender bender, on a bike you're dead.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:13:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:23:03 AM EST by Shadow_Warrior]
I would recommend riding a dirt bike first, this will allow you to make all the mistakes on dirt and learn how to correct them before you ride street. One thing that is very important when riding street/dirt, brake control is everything. Learn how to use engine braking followed by your mechanical hand/foot brake.
I have a 01 Honda RC-51 / street and race a Honda CR250F/Dirt
You cant go wrong w/ Honda's and newer Suzuki's
In my opinion the Ninga 500 is something you probaly outgrow rather quickly.
Best advise if you get a street bike is maybe ride at night where there isn't any traffic. This way you can focus on riding and getting used to the road instead of looking out for everyone else.
Belive it or not ebay has some smokin deals, also check around for last years model track bikes w/ 6-7 thousand miles, you can pick them up for $3000-4000 for the 600's.
Good Luck man
Shadow
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:26:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By jaqattack02:
I plan to take the MSF class before I get the bike.



Best decision you'll ever make...


I've been leaning towards the Kawasaki Ninja 500R (also known as the EX500)...used...


Excellent choice...

You're off to a great start. You should do fine. Don't ride beyond your abilities. That's when you'll get yourself into serious trouble. Don't be afraid to take it easy. Don't be afraid to hang out at the back of the group when you go riding. Falling a little behind is far better than killing yourself trying to keep up. When you get the urge to go all out, schedule a track day and do it that way.

Other than that, I'd say get some good gear. As for a helmet, I have found that KBC makes some of the best helmets with all the great features like removeable pads and liners, good ventilation, light weight, low noise and exceeds SNELL and DOT requirements. You can pay an arm and a leg for a Shoei or an Arai ($500-1000), but you can get a KBC that'll do as good a job for $200-250. The most important thing is to find the brand that fits your head, they're all different.

Motorcycle boots are another must, in my opinion. It's hard to walk around with a shattered ankle. I really like the Sidi Vertebra II's that I have. They're very comfortable and offer some of the best protection. You can find the Vertebra II's or Vertebra Airs for $200-250 tops.

Definitely get a good jacket (preferrably leather, unless you're in a really hot climate and you need mesh or textile). Shop around for good deals at places like www.terra-powersports.com, www.newenough.com and www.motorcyclecloseouts.com.

Get some good gloves as well. Get riding pants if you've got the cash. Otherwise, at least wear good jeans. They're going to get shredded and you'll have some road rash, but they're better than nothing.

Above all, enjoy! Once you ride, you won't want to get back into your car.

(I currently ride a K4 GSX-R750. I used to ride dirt bikes and ATV's when I was a kid. I then rode a Ninja 250R and a Honda Nighthawk 750 before I eventually moved up to the Gixxer 750. I loved the little 250R. You should have a blast on the 500R. A really good rider on the 500R or even a 250R will smoke riders on bigger bikes in the twisties.)
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:28:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:37:14 AM EST by michaelj1978]
I started riding when I was 22, I'm almost 26 now. Here's what to expect....


I wanted a bike since I was probably 16, but very glad I waited until I had some car driving miles (probably 200,000 by now) under my belt. I first took the MSF safety class and ended up liking bikes so much I purchased one 3 days later. It was a 92 ex500 (same as the ninja 500's except mine had 16 inch tires and a slightly different fairing). I paid 1,800 for the bike and a helmet with 10,000 miles on it, and it looked like new. I then put 12,000 of my own miles on it, lowsided it once and sold it again for 1,500. Not a bad deal if I say so...

I moved onto a 2002 Suzuki SV650S, Don't get me wrong, the EX was a nice bike, especially to start on, but the SV is just so much better. Suspension, brakes, engine are years ahead of the EX, and you can find a standard SV model for around 3,000 with 10-15K miles on it. I would say go for it if you can find one for that price. The motors on the SV run strong and last long. I have 10K on mine and it runs better now than it did 5,000 miles ago. The SV's and their following also give you much more information when you want to do modifications on your bike, like brake work, suspension and engine work. There is a whole website much like this one dedicated to the SV.

www.svrider.com

Take a look on there, even register and ask questions. Everyone on there really likes to help out.


Another thing to take into consideration when getting a new bike is insurance. I believe that even though the EX is inferior to the SV, the insurance companies still classify the EX as a sportbike while they classify the SV as a standard. This will make a big deal when it comes to saving money on insurance. Right now my limits are maxed on coverage, 500 deductable, and I'm paying 280 a year for the SV. The EX I paid roughly 500 a year.

Gear: Look at gear as insurance. You'll think 1,000 is a lot to spend on gear. But if you crash, (most people will at least once), 1,000 of gear is nothing compared to what it costs for a trip to the hospital. Hell it's about 1,000 just for the ambulance ride alone. It won't save you from bad impacts, but it will save your skin. Skin grafts and treatment are expensive, plus you don't want your ass skin sewn on your arm.

When I lowsided I had all my gear on and from looking at the damaged gear I probably would have had a broken ankle, broken toes, road rash bad on my knees, hands, and upper body. I can still use all that gear as it held up well, and the 1,000 I spent probably saved me 5,000 of medical bills.

Start slow, work your confidence level up. Ride with people who are willing to go your pace, don't ride over your limits, listen very carefully to tips at your MSF class and enjoy it. Even with all the risks involved I could never imagine myself without a bike in the garage.

Read: Read books like Proficient Motorcycling, and Sport Riding Techniques. You can find them in your local barnes and noble or online and the things you take from them will really help you develop good habits and riding style.

Here's a list of my gear and appoximate prices:

HJC CL12 helmet. About 250 (key is for a snug fit, they'll break in over time and loosen up)
AGV padded, carbon knuclke gloves (100)
Fieldsheer mesh jacket (100) (make sure you get CE approved armor)
Cordura jacket and pants (can't remember manufacture as I'm at work) about 300 for both
Sidi Race Vertebra boots 280.

For the bike, get a pair of intuitive PRO frame sliders. Will help save the frame, fairings, radiator.

Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:29:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:31:28 AM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By jaqattack02:
I've decided I want to get a motorcycle sometime between now, and spring of next year. I've never ridden one in my life, but I plan to take the MSF class before I get the bike. I've always looked at the "crotch rockets" and drooled, so I'm planning going to get one of those. I've been leaning towards the Kawasaki Ninja 500R (also known as the EX500). I'm looking at them used, and it looks like I can get one that's 3 or 4 years old, with 10k or less miles, for around $2-3k. I'm probably going to use it to commute to and from work in the spring, summer, and maybe some of fall. I doubt I'll ride it in winter. Any comments, or advice from you guys would be appreciated. Especially something besides "don't kill yourself", because that's all I seem to be getting from my friends, except the one that rides MC's already.



Your first bike should be in the 450-650cc, preferably made before 1990...

You want minimal plastic, so avoid a 'rocket' for the first one, you WILL drop it, and you WILL wreck the fancy plastic trim...

Get an older bike for around $800-1000, learn with it, and sell it to another newbie when you're done...

They're reasonably fast, easy to work on, and as a bonus you can get more bike for less insurance (a GS-650ES will cost much less than a GSXR-650, for example)....


That is a $800-$1,000 bike: 1986 GS550ES
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:30:14 AM EST
If you get a street bike with lots of fiberglass body work, make sure to get rail sliders. It will help avoid buying new if you lay it down or drop it. They're alot cheaper than new body work
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:30:59 AM EST
The EX500 is a good solid bike. The twin cylinder engine is pretty tough and is very dependable as long as no major mods are made to it. The power comes on smooth and at a very manageable level. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE EX IS A SLOW REVVING TWIN AND YOU MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO RIDE ANY NEWER INLINE 4 LIKE YOU WILL RIDE YOUR EX! I have a 2001 EX race project bike and yes they are easy to work on. Dont' sweat the year model. The only changes you'll notice in the entire EX500 line is the change in body work styling 87-93 looks gay, the 94's through current all look the same, a little tougher and wider.

GET GOOD GEAR. When I raced CMRA/WERA Sportsman I had more money tied up in gear than I had in my bike. Its the only reason I can still walk without a cane. Always remember that you are invisble to cars. THEY DON"T SEE YOU! Ride accordingly.

Enjoy!
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:43:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By kuhlewulf:
Always remember that you are invisble to cars. THEY DON"T SEE YOU! Ride accordingly.



Actually, it's more along the lines of "THEY SEE YOU... AND THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL YOU! Ride accordingly."

The SV650 is definitely a better bike than the EX500. But it's also going to be more expensive up front. I bought my Ninja 250R for $1000, rode it for a year and put on I don't know how many thousands of miles. When I was done with it, I sold it for $1000 (which was still a good price). I figure I basically had a free motorcycle for the price of gas and gear.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:45:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:47:09 AM EST by Admiral_Crunch]
I'm taking the MSF myself in 3 weeks, and I've done tons of research on bikes, and although I have never ridden one, from what I've learned, I just can't see ever outgrowing something with the power of a Ninja 500 (or maybe an SV650 tops), unless I wanted to get out on a racetrack. It can easily break 100mph, and it'll out-accelerate almost anything on 4 wheels other than some sports cars. What more do you need? In what situations would it not have enough power? Is it to save from having to shift gears as often? Problems pulling up steep hills? Or is it just mainly thrill-seekers and dare-devils that want that much power because they can?

And I don't advocate outlawing powerful bikes or anything like that. I just want to know why people who don't race choose to buy them.

Serious question, here. No flames intended.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:06:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
...I just can't see ever outgrowing something with the power of a Ninja 500 (or maybe an SV650 tops), unless I wanted to get out on a racetrack...



You'll find that having more low-end grunt is really nice for highway driving. It's nice not having to downshift to pass on the freeway.


What more do you need? In what situations would it not have enough power? Is it to save from having to shift gears as often? Problems pulling up steep hills? Or is it just mainly thrill-seekers and dare-devils that want that much power because they can?


All of the above. It's also nice to be able to get from corner to corner in the least amount of time on the racetrack.


I just want to know why people who don't race choose to buy them.


Becase we're all wanna be's. Why did you choose to buy an AR-15 when a bunch of other non-military style rifles will do?

Seriously though, it's just a different type of ride. I loved riding my little 250R around. It was great in the twisties. But the Gixxer 750 is a lot of fun too. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd have an Aprilia 250R for the track, a race-modded Gixxer 750 for the track, a 600 supersport for the tight twisty's, a 900RR for a stunt bike, a literbike for fast tracks and long windy roads, a jet bike for the heck of it, and an MV Agusta F4 to look at....


...for now, the Gixxer 750 will do.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:14:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By ajm1911:
If you get a street bike with lots of fiberglass body work, make sure to get rail sliders. It will help avoid buying new if you lay it down or drop it. They're alot cheaper than new body work



I wish I would have had these. I haven't layed my bike down but it has fallen over twice in a parking lot. Just the few inches it slide on the pavement chewed up several spots on the bike.

BTW, if you are looking for a 2002 Suzuki Katana 600 with 4,200 miles I have one for sale.

www.cwcu.org/ecar/02katana.htm



Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:20:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 8:24:58 AM EST by DriftPunch]
Bar none, the finest motorcycle in the inexpensive category is the Honda Nighthawk 750 from the early-mid 90s. Don't let the ccs fool you, it's not a race engine. They gave it hydraulic lifters so the valve lash adjustment period is a big old NA (sweet). My first bike was one of these, and it was comfortable enough for me to go 300+ in a day. I scraped a peg every now and then, but as long as you keep the riding sane you'll be fine.

I sold it fairly quickly as I really had no business with a motorcycle at that time (didn't even have furnature). When things became more stable, I went back into the market looking for one, but got a '89 Honda Hawk that poped up for sale instead. The Hawk is nice, but my ass misses the Nighthawk after about 20 minutes.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:24:22 AM EST
I'm a big fan of the Honda VFR.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:27:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By soupersnake:
You'll find that having more low-end grunt is really nice for highway driving. It's nice not having to downshift to pass on the freeway.

All of the above. It's also nice to be able to get from corner to corner in the least amount of time on the racetrack.



Good points. Thanks for the reply.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:35:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Bar none, the finest motorcycle in the inexpensive category is the Honda Nighthawk 750 from the early-mid 90s.



That was one I immediately took a liking to as well. Low maintenance is very appealing to me. I also would prefer a naked standard. The beginner bike forum I read is generally against them as beginner bikes, though. A little too much power, and a little too heavy, etc.

Did you have any problems with the power, weight, or handling when you were starting off with it? Would you recommend it as a starter bike for someone with no experience?
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:43:22 AM EST
Rule #1 - YOU ARE INVISIBLE TO CARS!
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:46:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Bar none, the finest motorcycle in the inexpensive category is the Honda Nighthawk 750 from the early-mid 90s.



That was one I immediately took a liking to as well. Low maintenance is very appealing to me. I also would prefer a naked standard. The beginner bike forum I read is generally against them as beginner bikes, though. A little too much power, and a little too heavy, etc.

Did you have any problems with the power, weight, or handling when you were starting off with it? Would you recommend it as a starter bike for someone with no experience?



I realize I'm not the one you asked, but I used to ride a Nighthawk 750, so I'll answer your question. When I first rode the Nighthawk, I thought it had a ton of power. To me, it was like a rocket. It had a lot of good low-end pull and I could easily hit 140 indicated. Compared to my Gixxer 750, it's a slow poke.

The Nighthawk was hands down the smoothest bike I have ever ridden. No vibration whatsoever. And the riding position is very comfortable. A little sporty, but you could ride for hours on end without getting uncomfortable. If I ride my Gixxer 750 for 3+ hours, I start to hurt. The only negative is that the Nighthawk was pretty heavy. I really didn't find it to be much of a problem though, and I was only 5' 7" and 135 lbs when I had that bike.

I honestly wouldn't recommend it as a first bike, though, primarily because it's so heavy. I would suggest an SV650 as one of the best all around bikes that you can ride as a beginner and still get a kick out of when you become more experienced. If you go to a track day, you'll find that many very experienced riders use an SV650 as their track/race bike platform. It's a forgiving bike that still has plenty of kick. The challenge is finding a used one as few people who have one want to get rid of it.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:48:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Rule #1 - YOU ARE NOT INVISIBLE TO CARS! THEY CAN SEE YOU AND THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU!



There. Fixed it for you.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:49:01 AM EST
Ninja 500 is good, my first bike is my GS500.


Most important thing: Dress like you plan to crash every time you get on. Cause you will do it sooner or later, even if you are just riding to the store to buy a burrito.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 9:00:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Bar none, the finest motorcycle in the inexpensive category is the Honda Nighthawk 750 from the early-mid 90s.



That was one I immediately took a liking to as well. Low maintenance is very appealing to me. I also would prefer a naked standard. The beginner bike forum I read is generally against them as beginner bikes, though. A little too much power, and a little too heavy, etc.

Did you have any problems with the power, weight, or handling when you were starting off with it? Would you recommend it as a starter bike for someone with no experience?



The power is managable, and probably has less get in trouble power than the EX500. The engines redline is 8,600 if memory serves me correctly, probably directly due to the hydraulic lifters. The reality is that I never even approached it, as the engine is all torque, and it's kind of silly to rev it out when you can just upshift and get nearly the same accelleration.

It's really not that heavy when compared to most bikes, but is a good deal heavier than than the EX and others. It has to be heavier as it is simply a bigger bike. You are eye to eye with 2wd suburban drivers. This may give you the illusion of being very heavy, but it's not the overall weight as much as what weight it has having a higher center of gravity. You should be able to find the raw weight on the web somewhere. I'm 6'1'', 185 and had no issues.

The only real problem with it is that insurance companies are cc oriented, and while they might night consider it a sportbike, it will be significantly more expensive than a 500cc bike.

I promise you one thing, if you ride one after you buy whatever you buy, you may kick yourself. The only think I like better about my '89 Hawk is that it's much skinnier than the Nighthawk, and my shed only has a typically sized entry door. The Hawk goes through with a little mirror adjustment, whereas the Nighthawk would probably not make it.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 9:16:49 AM EST

The only changes you'll notice in the entire EX500 line is the change in body work styling 87-93 looks gay

While I was researching, I found out they also added disc brakes to the rear in '94 when they changed the styling. It used to have drum I think.

I did some checking on insurance, it looks like around 750 a year, which is good for me, considering I still have tickets on my record from when I used to do stupid things with my car. Fortunately, 2 of them come off next year, and I turn 21 in a couple months, which should also drop things a little bit.

Someone asked how big I was. I'm about 6'0", maybe 6'1", and 225#. Hopefully by the time I get the bike, I'll be able to get back down to 200#. It's hard to do when you work a desk job.

Someone also mentioned the advantage of low end grunt from a hight displacement motor on the highway. That's why I'm looking at the 500 instead of the 250. I was also considering the Suzuki GS500, but I read a Motorcycle Consumer News article that compared it to the Kawi, and the Ninja blew it away. I figure if it's made it 15, almost 20 years without any major changes, it's gotta have something good going for it.

I should be good to go for riding partners. 2 friends of mine I used to work with both ride. One has a Honda Shadow, and the other hasn't ridden in a while, but he's looking at getting a new Ninja as well. Although he's looking at either the ZX-10R or ZX-12R They are both good guys, and I'm sure they'd be more than willing to go at my pace, just to have another guy to ride with.

Thanks for all the help so far guys, I appreciate it, and keep it coming!
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 9:21:38 AM EST
I forgot to add, the reason I'm looking at bikes like the Ninja, is I'm not looking for something to go cruising on, I'm looking for something to go out on a weekend and hit a twisty road on. It sounds like the Ninja 500R is great for that. Personally, I think I'd rathe have a light bike with less power, than a heavy one with more.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 9:31:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By soupersnake:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Rule #1 - YOU ARE NOT INVISIBLE TO CARS! THEY CAN SEE YOU AND THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU!



There. Fixed it for you.




Link Posted: 10/4/2004 10:03:00 AM EST
I have had dirt bikes for years, but cannot get the balls to pick up a street bike.

Primary reason: My mom drives.

75 years old. Would put two tires right over me & a bike and would not even notice.

My mom, and a million other seniors, tool around all day long. Not knocking all seniors, but give me 20 minutes and I can find you a dozen who should not be on the road.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 10:16:20 AM EST
Dude, from a more seasoned rider, this is what I recommend. No matter how good you think your going to be, a person will ALWAYS lay their first bike down. Period. Wether it be in the garage going 0 MPH, or rounding a corner on gravel going 5 MPH.
Get a bike in the paper for under $1000. Ride it for at least a year, learn from your mistakes, then gradute to a better bike. There's nothing worse than forking out $8K on a dream bike, and laying it down only to realize that it'll cost another $1,500 to repair. Or just leave in the scratchs, for you to see everytime you walk into the garage.
As far as type of bikes go, let me first say this, you'll never see a 40 year old on a rice rocket. Reason? becuase he's out of the "Hey look at me, I'm FAssttt!" phase... and has went on to comfort. (don't get me wrong, Wings, too, have a lot of power, the're just more candid about it. One major thing you'll find in bike reviews, is comfort. They talk about how long you can ride, confortably, without having to take a break. I'm on my second wing, and that's where I'll stay. There's just something about a feel of a bucket seat, front foot pegs that resemble the action of a lazy-boy recliner, the comfortable grips, and that all so awsome stereo... Oh, and when you want a smoke, go ahead and light up, you are pretty protected from the wind behind that full windsheild.

On a side topic, Its always humored me when these guys that live in these texas summers, on a 95 degree day, will pull up to the stop light in a bright red go-fast bike, with full leather pants w/red strip, a thick black and red leather jacket, some red leather gloves, and a full face, red, tinted helmet. These are the guys that have riden for less than a year. THey will learn, next summer, not to get out the leather from the closet.... Don't get me wrong, wearing protection is important... however, theirs a trade off. and that fine line is in favor of the more experienced rider.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 10:21:43 AM EST
another good website is www.sportbikes.net

i got a CBR600F4i as a first bike, and it's a lot of bike for a new rider, contrary to what people think.

i've thought about getting a little ninja 250 to ride hard on a practice high speed turns and such.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 10:26:24 AM EST
Beginner Bikes


I started (and am still riding 6mos later) a Yamaha Virago 250. I like cruisers, and this gets me around well enough, at 65mpg.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 12:58:48 PM EST
All good advice here. I just wanted to put in a plug for my favorite overlooked beginner bike, the Yamaha FZR400. Only imported 88-90, you can't help but buy a slightly to mostly beat example for cheap money. $2-3K depending on condition.

Much like an EX you won't mind dropping it (unless it's a rare pristine example), it's relatively short and light, it's not overpowering at only 400cc, and if the clip-ons haven't been moved under the triple clamp by some racer wannabee, pretty comfortable.

Unlike an EX, it has a real sportbike frame with exemplary handling similar to an early CBR. It sounds and rides like the inline 4 that it is, but with only 400cc power you get to actually use the gearbox, which is a lot more fun. The plastic is a bit racier, too, with twin headlamps up front, etc.

Parts aren't a problem if you join the FZR400 Yahoo group and there are always some for sale there, too.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 2:39:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By mike_of_austin:
Dude, from a more seasoned rider, this is what I recommend. No matter how good you think your going to be, a person will ALWAYS lay their first bike down. Period. Wether it be in the garage going 0 MPH, or rounding a corner on gravel going 5 MPH.



Exactly.


As far as type of bikes go, let me first say this, you'll never see a 40 year old on a rice rocket.


Wanna bet?


Reason? becuase he's out of the "Hey look at me, I'm FAssttt!" phase... and has went on to comfort.


Are you saying that all mature riders have moved over to Goldwings? There are a lot of posers out there on sportbikes, but there are just as many on cruisers. There's nothing wrong with either type of bike; each has it's purpose.


(don't get me wrong, Wings, too, have a lot of power, the're just more candid about it.


And the 450 hp turbo'd Hayabusa's aren't?


One major thing you'll find in bike reviews, is comfort. They talk about how long you can ride, confortably, without having to take a break.


And they talk about handling, suspension, braking, acceleration, tuning, lap times, etc.


I'm on my second wing, and that's where I'll stay.


Good for you.


On a side topic, Its always humored me when these guys that live in these texas summers, on a 95 degree day, will pull up to the stop light in a bright red go-fast bike, with full leather pants w/red strip, a thick black and red leather jacket, some red leather gloves, and a full face, red, tinted helmet. These are the guys that have riden for less than a year.


What?! These are the guys who have their head on straight, or at least will still have their head on straight when/if they go down. They are experienced and/or smart enough to know that asphalt doesn't take kindly to exposed skin and bone. The guys you see in full gear are more likely to be experienced riders who aren't stupid enough to go out in shorts, tank top and one of those stupid looking clamshell excuses for a helmet that don't protect your face at all. It's hard to chew food when the asphalt has chewed your face up and broken all your teeth. You don't usually get that with a full face helmet.

BTW, what's the fascination with red?


THey will learn, next summer, not to get out the leather from the closet....


Yeah, they'll reach for the textile gear with CE approved armor next time because it's cooler than leather. But they'll be glad they wear gear again next year because they're still smart enough to remember that in a contest, asphalt always beats bare skin.


Don't get me wrong, wearing protection is important... however, theirs a trade off. and that fine line is in favor of the more experienced rider.



This is almost laughable. All the wisdom and experience in the world can't protect you from all the possible things that can, and will, go wrong while riding a motorcycle. Experience is not going to keep your butt from getting peeled off when you go down after an unexpected oil slick appears in the road in front of you, or when you learn mid-corner that a formerly clean roadway is now covered with a thin layer of sand or gravel. And its not going to keep a concrete curb from spreading your brains along the gutter when you slide into it headfirst. A $1000 or so will get you most of the gear you need to help prevent, or at least minimize, the injuries you sustain when something does happen. I don't know about you, but my skin, my limbs, and my brains are worth more than that.

I ride in Las Vegas in the 115 degree summer heat and it's not that bad with textile gear. It's not a big deal as long as you keep moving. I'd rather be a little uncomfortable at stop lights than have to go through skin grafts.

I've been riding motorcycles for over 15 years and it still cracks me up to see fools out riding their motorcycle in shorts, flip flops, a wife-beater tank top, and one of those stupid clamshell WWII-era Nazi-style excuses for a helmet that have been so popular lately.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 2:56:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By soupersnake:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Rule #1 - YOU ARE NOT INVISIBLE TO CARS! THEY CAN SEE YOU AND THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU!



There. Fixed it for you.



Riding a motorcycle in an urban environment is probably akin to combat. People are trying to kill you and if you are not on your game, they will. Bikes are alot of fun but remember Your ass is swinging in the breeze evertime you are on one. What would constitute a fender-bender in a car can be 6-months in traction or forever in a box for a motorcyclist.

One thing I learned when I rode was how to look in people's eyes to see any recognition that they were aware of my presence.

Good luck and stay safe.

Link Posted: 10/4/2004 3:12:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By mike_of_austin:
Dude, from a more seasoned rider, this is what I recommend. No matter how good you think your going to be, a person will ALWAYS lay their first bike down. Period. Wether it be in the garage going 0 MPH, or rounding a corner on gravel going 5 MPH.




I didn't lay my first street bike down. But I had a two years of dirt bike experience, and 8 years of three wheeler, made a difference. Get a dirt bike first it may save your life!!!!

After riding crotch rockets for 8 years I laid a year old Triumph Sprint ST down in a ditch doing a U turn. I hit some gravel. The Last bike I had was a 99 Hayabusa with a chip and pipe. Its the fastest production bike ever built. I had to sell it cause I was going to kill my self on it. Going fast will eventually kill you. Not having experience will get you killed faster. If you want to be a good street rider, ride dirt first!
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 3:35:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By RS_Coyote: If you want to be a good street rider, ride dirt first!



Having ridden on the street for almost 18 years, and in the dirt for 5 years before that, I cannot stress that point enough! Riding in the dirt will allow you to work out the kinks in your ability in a lower-speed, less populated and hectic environment. Dirt riding also gives you an excellent sense of traction and your ability to modulate it. Good luck, and happy riding. And ALWAYS dress like you are gonna eat pavement.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 4:09:07 PM EST
Yo' Jaqattack02,
RB chiming in.
I learned on an old '82 Nighthawk 650. Very tame, very dependable, no surprises.
That was ten years ago. Now I have an EX-500 ('87). I like it a lot. Very tame, very dependable, no surprises. Except with my bro-in-law last year.
He was riding up to Laconia for bike week with some of his friends and invited me along. How could i say no? He has a big cruiser and some of the other guys had Harleys. I believe he disrespected the little white bike. He never said anything bad but once we got up there he commented, "that little bike really goes don't it?".

Yes it does. For a 500CC twin it has a nice power band. I am (over) 40 now and i still have fun. So there, to all the nay sayers. I am 5'7", 175# and never had a problem keepin' up with, or leading, the pack. And this was carriing all my luggage and a sleeping bag.

Now I'm in love with the Honda Spirit 750. Another smaller engined bike with a nifty power band. I just can't afford it right now so i look and lust. Oh, incidentally, the EX is for sale (to subsidize any future purchase) if you're interested e-mail me. Of course you're all the way down there in VA. Drat!

Best Regards,
RB

And whether the cars see you, or not, THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOU! believe it.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 10:01:05 AM EST
The road is full of idiots that don't look where they are going, i was cut off by one such idiot. I have 3 steel plates in my arms as proof. I'm very lucky to be alive, the impact totally shattered my left humerous (upper armbone) and cracked my left radius and ulna on left arm. Wasn't wearing a helmet (cause i'm too cool for that... right?) Anyway, could have just as easily been my head that shattered. Totaled my new '03 HD 1200S. (i think that hurt more than anything). happened last october and as coincidence would have it i pulled a piece of glass out of my arm TODAY. point being.... watch out for the other guy.. he's not watching for you. be safe. good luck.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 4:26:00 AM EST
Lucky for me, I already try to do a lot of the stuff being mentioned here, and in some other things I have read. Stuff like look out for everyone else. After having a couple accidents due to other people being idiots, I try to look out for everyone else so it's less likely to happen again. Another thing I've seen mentioned is to look through turns while riding. I do that in my car too. It just makes sense to look ahead of you in the turn, and not just sit and watch directly infront of the car.
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