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Posted: 8/25/2004 12:44:28 PM EST
I'm a freshman in college(University of North Dakota) and the way to get around up here is on a bike. I know for a fact that I dont want a chopper/moped/Harley style bike, but that I want a sport bike/crotch rocket. The only problem is I know NOTHING about bikes. Nothing other than what I've seen on American Choppers
So what are the ins and outs of the bikes? What do I look for? What is too much/not enough? I'm probably going to buy used because obviously I cannot afford the current new prices. What are things I should look for? What kind of gear should I buy? Are there any good websites out there that would cover info for the noob? Any suggestions?
Thanks a lot for the help. I look forward to being schooled!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 12:52:51 PM EST
1) Take an MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) course, then get back to us.

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

3) Wear a helmet at all times.

4) Realize that wearing anything other than full leathers is just like riding naked. Jeans give you NO protection from road rash.

5) Insist that your stupid bimbo passengers wear safety gear too. You would feel like crap for the rest of your life if you kill somebody.

6) Have fun, don't let the anti-bike pussies freak you out.

Former road racer and canyon carver,

-Z
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 12:53:09 PM EST
Buy a used 600, be it a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, or Yamaha.

The modern 600 "sport bikes" are:
CBR600R / F2, F3, F4
FZ 600, FZR600, YZF600, R6
600 Ninja, ZX6
GSXR600, RF600

The "other" 600's are:
600 Katana
600 Bandit

A used SV650 would be a great bike.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:24:56 PM EST
Helpful info so far, thanks a lot! Like I said I know nothing so keep it coming if you're willing!
I appreciate it.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:27:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Buy a used 600, be it a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, or Yamaha.

The modern 600 "sport bikes" are:
CBR600R / F2, F3, F4
FZ 600, FZR600, YZF600, R6
600 Ninja, ZX6
GSXR600, RF600

The "other" 600's are:
600 Katana
600 Bandit

A used SV650 would be a great bike.




+1 on the SV650 but make it a S and not the naked model
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:29:53 PM EST
Get a Busa and put me in your will.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:32:22 PM EST
Crimson Trace offers really good advice. Like the part about taking a riders course? DO IT.

And for another opinion, I am a bike pussy, and advise against them as transportation. You'd be better off with a Honda Civic. But assuming you're like I was at college age and that last part went right by without slowing down, the next advice I can give is:

DO NOT GET A CROTCH ROCKET FOR YOUR FIRST BIKE

As CT mentioned, you will eventually crash if you have a bike. Having more bike than you can handle just makes this happen a lot sooner with greater consequences. For example, if you buy a top of the line 900 CC rocket you can't handle, it will probably only take about a month before you enter a corner at a speed you can't make. So, assuming you got to have a bike, consider something less than rocket ship fast. If you hate the cruisers look f or something between the cruiser and crotch rocket. They're out there I think.

Whatever. I know you'll do what you want. I know your type. I WAS your type. I lived through it so maybe you will too.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:33:17 PM EST
Nobody who knows anything about motorcycles calls sportbikes "crotch rockets". FYI.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:33:29 PM EST
Morticians love young guys like you on crotch rockets
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:34:40 PM EST
I think that MSF rider course should be required, they say the worst way to learn how to ride a bike is to teach yourself and having your friend teach you.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:36:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 1:37:59 PM EST by markl32]
+1 on MSF class. If you do not truly understand "counter steering" you will kill yourself at some point.

+1 on the 600 starter bike. All previously listed are good first crotch rockets. You will have at least two years before you approach the limit of any modern 600.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:42:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 1:45:16 PM EST by Nozzleman]
If you've never had a bike before I wouldn't recommend that you start out on a crotch rocket! That much performance to a newbie will only get you in over your head and dead. Start with a medium sized (400cc) sportbike first. Learn the skills that you will need to survive, then get the perf-bike next year.
(from a 35 year riding vet/racer)
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:43:58 PM EST
Yes I plan on taking some type of a course before I buy anything. That's a no-brainer. and NO I dont plan on picking up a top of the line bike, that's also asking for trouble.
I'm not totally stupid when it comes to motor vehicles though, I have no accidents/tickets with my couple years of driving a fairly fast car and was tought well the rules of the road AND physics(such as taking corners too fast). I plan on being as safe as I can, thus why I asked for help first before I went out and did anything! I've read all replies and considered everything that was said so far.
Thanks again though, I know my age linked with 'sport bike' is a taboo but that's why I'm asking questions.
Thanks
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:45:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By markl32:
. You will have at least two years before you approach the limit of any modern 600.



+1.

The ONLY place my R6 can get anywhere CLOSE to its limit is at the track. And even then I am the limiting factor. The damn thing doesn't even clean up until 5K rpms. No real power until 9000.

Sounds like a perfect bike for a beginner, right?

Ironically, I find litre class sport bikes much easier to ride around town.

-Z
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:47:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By jimmybcool:
it will probably only take about a month before you enter a corner at a speed you can't make.



The rider fails before the bike 99% of the time.

A fear of sport bikes is no more rational than a fear of guns. Be in control, know your limits.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:47:58 PM EST
+1 Suzuki 650. Low power band and easy to control. Great starter bike you will not easily outgrow. Frankly F the 400 or anything smaller than a 6. Just keep the rpms low and take it slow until you get used to it.

For forums, you can type <name of bike> + forum into google. For example R6 forum.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 1:56:37 PM EST
Speaking of different size bikes, the only other aspect I would consider is the PHYSICAL size of them. Sometimes, the smaller CC bikes are built for smaller people (go figure). Not always.

You need to fit yourt bike. If the bars/pegs and seat don't fit you it sucks. And I stand by the concept of a bike that isn't over your head in performance. Hell, you wouldn't give a new car driver a 70 Cuda with a hemi right? Well, that would be safer than giving a new rider one of the faster bikes made today that are SO much faster than what they had when I rode.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 2:02:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Marksman762:
I'm a freshman in college(University of North Dakota)




You do know they don't make snow tires for bikes, right?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 2:08:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

-Z



That is nonsense. The equivalent to saying that you will accidentally shoot yourself sooner or later.

It all boils down to the 3-S's. Skill, Safety, and Sense.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 2:10:54 PM EST
Yellow attracts attention, especially the ladies! Babe magnet!

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 2:13:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

-Z



That is nonsense. The equivalent to saying that you will accidentally shoot yourself sooner or later.

It all boils down to the 3-S's. Skill, Safety, and Sense.



You, sir, are naive.

The statistics and odds say different. It may not be a spectacular 100mph get-off, but if you ride enough, the odds aer that you WILL crash.

The point here, is to prepare for the inevitable with proper gear. Or are you one of those mental giants who runs around with a beanie bucket or worse no helmet at all and a wife-beater shirt?

It is NOT equivelant to shooting yourself. This is a poor analogy.
Shooting oneself is totally under your own control. Crashing involves variables totally out of your control, like other drivers who don't see you.

-Z
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 2:15:48 PM EST
Emm...I'll never, ever crash that bike above. I love it too much. The only close call I've had is someone slamming on their brakes, but then I switched lanes and went around.

They are more manuverable than cars so its a little easier to get out of trouble, ime.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:14:07 PM EST
Calling a sport bike a crotch rocket is like calling a magazine a clip. Makes you sound like a dumb ass.

Take the MSF course.

Always wear a full face helmet. If you don't wear one and crash at high speed it is possible that you would survive but probable that you won't look the same afterwards. You can always wear long pants and long sleeves to cover up the scars on your arms and legs but you would never get used to people staring at your disfigured face.

A used 600/650 would be a good start.

Don't try to do the tricks that you see other riders doing unless you are tired of the bike you are riding and are ready to buy another one. The guys that can do a five mile wheelie on the fwy have crashed a lot of bikes learning that skill.

Keep up with the maintenance. You will eventually get into a situation where you need your brakes to work 100% or as stated above find yourself going too fast in a curve and need your tires to preform properly to save your ass.

Don't ride the bike after you have been drinking.

Thats all I can think of right now.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:23:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

-Z



That is nonsense. The equivalent to saying that you will accidentally shoot yourself sooner or later.

It all boils down to the 3-S's. Skill, Safety, and Sense.



Two kind of riders in the world. Them's that have dumped. And thems that are gonna dump.

And I agree with CT. The gun analogy is BS. You can control your weapons and maybe even your bike. You can not control all the variables of road condition and traffic. Eventually, something will happen and you will dump. The only question is - do you get hurt badly or not?

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:57:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By sgtar15:
Morticians love young guys like you on crotch rockets



Nope, too many are closed casket
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 5:00:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 5:01:30 PM EST by Combat_Jack]

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

-Z



That is nonsense. The equivalent to saying that you will accidentally shoot yourself sooner or later.

It all boils down to the 3-S's. Skill, Safety, and Sense.




Whenever you get on a bike, expect that you will end up sliding down the road on your back, and dress accordingly.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:05:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 6:08:25 PM EST by Marksman762]
Again, good advice given, stuff I was looking to hear.
Sounds like a 600 is a good way to go after I get proper training. My family and friends ride dirt bikes a lot so it may be wise to try out my friends street legal 250.
What type of gear will I need to ride safely? Obviously a helmet, but what else?
I'll still have a car, so Duh when it comes to winters and/or bad weather. I've just wanted one for a while(fun, cool factor) and at this campus, it really is the best way to get around. Parking is the best, cost is the best, and the cops are cool with them.
I intend to be as safe and as cautious as I can be but I also understand accidents do happen. I plan on being prepped for it.

Edit: I'll refrain from saying Crotch Rocket
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:13:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:
1) Take an MSF (motorcycle safety foundation) course, then get back to us.

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

3) Wear a helmet at all times.

4) Realize that wearing anything other than full leathers is just like riding naked. Jeans give you NO protection from road rash.

5) Insist that your stupid bimbo passengers wear safety gear too. You would feel like crap for the rest of your life if you kill somebody.

6) Have fun, don't let the anti-bike pussies freak you out.

Former road racer and canyon carver,

-Z



+1
Motorcycle mechanic for nearly twenty years and part time road racer.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:15:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Marksman762:
What type of gear will I need to ride safely? Obviously a helmet, but what else?



To be as safe as possible you want a full face helmet, a solid leather riding jacket with armor, a heavy duty pair of riding gloves, a pair of leather pants with armor in the knees and hips, and a pair of riding boots with armor around the ankles.

What I usually ride in is the helmet, gloves, and jacket. I know if I go down the pavement will tear through my jeans in about 1/4 of a second and give me really bad road rash.

Also when getting a jacket make sure you get one with a liner. When it gets hot you'll be glad you can take it out and when it gets cold you'll be happy you can put it back in.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:20:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 6:54:51 PM EST by Sweep]
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:21:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 6:26:17 PM EST by triburst1]

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

-Z



That is nonsense. The equivalent to saying that you will accidentally shoot yourself sooner or later.

It all boils down to the 3-S's. Skill, Safety, and Sense.



You, sir, are naive.

The statistics and odds say different. It may not be a spectacular 100mph get-off, but if you ride enough, the odds aer that you WILL crash.

The point here, is to prepare for the inevitable with proper gear. Or are you one of those mental giants who runs around with a beanie bucket or worse no helmet at all and a wife-beater shirt?

It is NOT equivelant to shooting yourself. This is a poor analogy.
Shooting oneself is totally under your own control. Crashing involves variables totally out of your control, like other drivers who don't see you.

-Z



Nope, I wear a full face helmet and a full suit when I am actually going out to ride. I have never crashed and I do not putt around. My dad has been riding for 35 years and has never crashed a street bike. Motorcross, however is another story.

Alot of people crash but SOME NEVER DO. Simple fact. Why would you tell someone that they WILL crash. They might someday, but it is not inevitable.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:23:55 PM EST
I agree..

Wear the helmet and suit to be prepared, but it is BS to say that EVERYONE will eventually crash. It's simply not the truth.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:28:31 PM EST
Get a will!


Yellow attracts attention, especially the ladies! Babe magnet!


Yellow does attract attention! Expect to be stopped by the local law enforcement! It is always fun to check in chase with a street bike (for all 30 seconds). Even though they can outrun my squad, they can't out run my video camera or my radio!

Have fun on it, but be careful! Worked too many accidents where the rider got to know the pavement and they never seem to agree with each other. (Pavement ALWAYS wins!)

Nick
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:38:30 PM EST
North Dakota?

Isn't it colder than a witch's tit in a brass bra about half the year there? Lots of that white stuff on the ground for long periods of time? You're going to freeze your butt off. Buy a used jeep.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:39:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:40:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 6:46:01 PM EST by triburst1]

Originally Posted By Sweep:

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Crimson_Trace:

2) Accept the fact that you are going to crash at some point.

-Z



That is nonsense. The equivalent to saying that you will accidentally shoot yourself sooner or later.

It all boils down to the 3-S's. Skill, Safety, and Sense.



You haven't been riding long have you?



Nah, only 9 years or so on the street.

I was riding legally to school when I was 16 and I've been ridining dirt bikes since I was 12. That is a total of 13 years. I'm a real novice.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:42:12 PM EST
My first bike was a 1991 CBR600. I personally did fine riding a sportbike that could have easily killed me with speed, however, I wasn't your typical 19 year old. Don't take chances and expect trouble all the time. You'll find on a bike that you are watching everything around you like a hawk. You will or should be nervous in the beginning. After riding sportbikes for almost 13 years, I've never crashed, but I don't take any chances or try dumbass stunts.

Your best bet is to take a course (MSF) and learn the ropes. I had a private individual teach me, but I know I would have learned more with a course. I've just been lucky.

No one take tell you what to do, but my advise is to always wear a helmet and protective gear. I haven't 100% of the time, but again, I've been lucky. Also, riding passengers can be risky. I avoid it at all cost, simply because they can fuck you up when you least expect it. The put there feet down, they lean into turns, ect..

There is one thing that will kill you, especially if you're young, that's insurance.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:44:09 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:46:17 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:49:42 PM EST
Find yourself a used Ninja 250. They're hella cheap, get good mileage, insurance is dirt cheap and its alot faster than you'll think. What's more fun, riding a slow bike fast or a fast bike slow?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:52:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:54:15 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:03:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:20:39 PM EST
Wearing leathers sometimes is like wearing acondom sometimes.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:28:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 7:41:41 PM EST by SorryOciffer]

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Emm...I'll never, ever crash that bike above. I love it too much. The only close call I've had is someone slamming on their brakes, but then I switched lanes and went around.

They are more manuverable than cars so its a little easier to get out of trouble, ime.



The problem is it's the one you WONT see that will likely get you. Kinda like the saying that "the ARTY shell you dont hear is the one with your name on it." sorta thing.

Loving a bike too much has NOTHING to do with it.

As far as bikes I would go for a 600 standard of some sort, a bandit600 , SV650, Even a 750 STANDARD, not sportbike, hell, a NINJA 500 would be a great bike and has ALOT of hop up potential believe it or not for when you improve, all the while keeping your insurence low.

Speeking of insurence, check it out. It may cost you a damn fortune to just put one on the road depending on your record. ALWAYS wear a helmet, even if your state says you dont have to. Get the safety course and the defensive drivers traiing course, these should give you a discount on your insurence, for most anyway.

Buy a quality leather jacket and USE IT, even when its warm out. It wont be so bad when your up to speed and it will help you not be a walking skin graph. A GOOD pair of gloves, preferably kevlar lines, not a thin little pair of lamb skin driving gloves. As was said earlier, a HIGH quality name brand helmet. If your in college you have to mch invested in your head to have your head look like a grated hard boiled egg if you dump hard. BUt a pair of jeans that are kevlar lined. They are expensive and made especially for riding, you pay about $125 or so but it is better than having your johnson ground off while sliding down the road. NO flip flops, NO bare feet, NO shorts. You'd think that people would have enough sense not to do those things but guess again. DONT take a drunk passenger for a ride. 1.) they'll make a mess if they puke. 2.) Drunks have a hard time controlling their movements, you dont want one to throw off the handling of your bike if they are flailing around, pass out, or are trying to be a dumb ass.

S.O.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:33:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:47:34 AM EST
Bump!
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:55:02 AM EST
GET A DUALSPORT!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:22:35 AM EST
I heartily second the remarks concerning getting good training, getting a used 600 or SV650, and always wearing a full face helmet.

I would recommend you consider an Aerostich suit instead of leathers. They're expensive but cheaper than skin grafts. IMO they are better in warm or wet conditions than leather, while being nearly as protective. They come in one or two piece models, and are ideal for commuting or longer rides. Sometimes you can get them used and save some money. They are made of Cordura and Gore-Tex, have impact padding and retroreflective material, and have good venting for warmer weather. Out of about 80,000 miles of riding I've been down once (hit some oil in the rain) and didn't get a scratch, largely because I was wearing my 'Stich suit and a good helmet.

The safety books by David Hough are excellent, and more thorough than the MSF course. I also like the Keith Code books and video. I've taken the four Keith Code schools and feel they've made me a safer rider by improving my accuracy of machine control. The interface between a motorcycle and its rider is subtle and complex, and the more you understand about why the machine behaves as it does the better off you'll be.

If you start making longer jurneys I've found an electric vest and Fog City acti-fog shield inserts to be invaluable.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:43:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By Headless_T_Gunner:
Calling a sport bike a crotch rocket is like calling a magazine a clip. Makes you sound like a dumb ass.



I thought I was the only one who thought that.

I'm a Honda guy but the SV650 from what I read and hear makes a great starter bike. It has a huge following and as a result has many aftermarket parts to choose from. The bike makes an excellent bike for the occasional track day as well.



I didn't have a chance to read all the posts but MSF is a must.

Throttle control is key and with your more potent sportbikes more so. A lack of TC can get you in trouble quick.
Most importantly, keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down!

Link Posted: 8/26/2004 9:45:16 AM EST
Ya know, this whole thread has devolved into the debate about if you can always avoid an accident. Yeah, if you are watched over by a guardian angel.

I had to leave a bike at about 60 when I was young. Since it was gonna hit a Volkswagon Bus that pulled out in front of me I thought we needed to part company. Was a good decision I think since I walked away (but hurt like hell and lost a tooth).

For myself now, well, I'm reaching an age where if I dumped a bike at speed it would take a while to heal. Not an old man yet (49), just becoming too aware of my own mortality. So, as much as I loved bikes in my younger days - no more. Sold my last one about 4 years ago. Realized I had owned it for almost 2 years and put less than 1000 miles on it. Every time I thought about going someplace the back of my mind would wonder if today was the day some butthole would sideswipe me and end my mobility as I know it.

If the roads were empty I'd ride again. But since I have no control over the other guy in a 2 ton vehicle and perhaps having a bad day or gabbing on the cell phone or whatever, well, I'll take the truck now. Even if they sideswipe me I'm walking away.



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