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First Time Bike Guy?


MichiganSRT8

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Hey guys for a while now I have been playing with the idea of getting a motorcycle. Ive always wanted one but since im a little older it seems like i might be able to make it happen, and the 13mpg from the jeep needs a rest :D haha. I have never driven one but have lots of experience around them as friends have them and my dad had a Harley Heritage Softail before he passed that he picked me up for years from school on it and I loved it. I dont really want a huge street bike and I dont think a 600cc bike is right for me cause ive never rode before. And I dont mind spending 2 grand or so on a bike that I will outgrow after a while and trade up to a 600 after I get some experience. I knew there are a few guys on here that ride and I want to learn from the people that actually ride then from a crappy salesman. I already went in and looked at a busa' seeing if he would try to sell it to me after I told him I never rode a bike before and he did! I left almost right away knowing that was too much bike for me, upset that the guy would actually try that on me. Right now I have been looking at primarily around '08-'10 kawasaki 250r's and a few Aprilia 125's ive seen on local ads. Few questions:

 

-I weigh around 205 (im thick but not fat haha) and 5'-11''

Is a smaller bike gunna let me get pushed around more?

-Anything to worry about with rebuilt titles besides normal worries like a car?

-What is too many miles on a bike?

-I'm fairly mechanically competent, how much maintenance do motorcycles need on average?

-a high mileage 250r sound good for a first time guy?

 

Any questions of comments are appreciated! I need to know as much as possible, as I said this purchase wont be made for like 5-6 months or more so I have alot of time to learn everything I need. Thanks!

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Well at 5"11 and 200 pounds I would just step into a mid size bike, assuming you are confident you will enjoy riding. Too small of a bike and you'll be trading up in no time, heck even if you were looking at Sporty's I'd say don't bother with an 883, just step up to the 1200. The good news is there should be lots of little bikes to pick from for the same reason, people buy them and almost immediately want to trade up. Then again, I ride Harleys, different mindset from the bikes you may be looking at.

I also suggest taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riders course, maybe even before you buy. That might give you some seat time, plus it could save your life.

It's a great feeling, and lots cheaper than therapy.

Oh, and I would avoid a salvage title like the plague. Maintenace is pretty easy, buy a book for the bike.

Bruce

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Well at 5"11 and 200 pounds I would just step into a mid size bike, assuming you are confident you will enjoy riding. Too small of a bike and you'll be trading up in no time, heck even if you were looking at Sporty's I'd say don't bother with an 883, just step up to the 1200. The good news is there should be lots of little bikes to pick from for the same reason, people buy them and almost immediately want to trade up. Then again, I ride Harleys, different mindset from the bikes you may be looking at.

I also suggest taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riders course, maybe even before you buy. That might give you some seat time, plus it could save your life.

It's a great feeling, and lots cheaper than therapy.

Oh, and I would avoid a salvage title like the plague. Maintenace is pretty easy, buy a book for the bike.

Bruce

Thanks for a quick response! Exactly like you said taking the Motorcycle Safety course I would most definitely take one before I even pick one up, I remember my dad took a class every year to learn anything new, don't think it was a safety class but I remember going with him.

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Dude I will tell you now I haven't been riding for too long (4 yrs) but I'd consider myself VERY knowledgeable with scoots I've built 5 including my current one :)

 

First and for most take the Motorcycle safety course FOR SURE!!! IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE :thumbsup:

 

Secondly, if you've NEVER ridden at your size I'd do a 500-650cc TRUST ME TRUST ME TRUST ME yes its a smaller bike not as much power as a HD 883, 1200+ BUT much better to start light on power and work your way up just like our lovely polishes ;) For right now I have a 550cc hardtail...now thats stock and mine is everything but stock haha but it has PLENTY of power even before I had the head ported. If I lay on the throttle it will HAUL my 135lb A** faster that a brand new 600RR and I can prove it!! Go old something from the 70's or 80's! If you drop it or have to lay it down (heaven forbid) WHO CARES about the damage to the bike YOU'RE LEARNING :cheers:

 

I've seen too many people get on to some big bike with a HAUL BUTT HUGE motor and they crash, ruin the bike, get a few more scars and broken bones to the list...I read an article in The Horse magazine and I think about it before every ride and force anyone of my buddies even thinking about riding to read it first and there is a quote in it that goes "Everytime you step over that seat if you're not willing to potentially give your life for that one ride then you have no business WHATSOEVER on a bike..PERIOD" VERY scary thought man but its the honest bare-bones truth!

 

Not trying to turn you off of it because riding is an INDESCRIBABLE experience it brings me peace, comfort, and a sense of being in touch with nature AND my machine more so than anything! It's truly, dare I say, almost spiritual event as well as an extremely dangerous hobby...start slow, start small, start safe...and trust me you can always add more POWA!!!The mods are as endless as our beloved cars and trucks

 

NOW ROCK ON MY FRIEND :rockon: Let us know what bike you decide on and have fun!!! :2thumbs:

 

 

For pics of mine you can look at them here: http://www.adamsforums.com/forums/new-member-check/14653.html

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Unless you plan to just putter around town, don't get a 250; it will be too overworked at highway speeds and thus a bit unsafe.

 

I'd suggest a plan 600-750 bike like a Honda nighthawk to learn on. Inexpensive, lighter, reliable, comfortable. Focus first on being a good rider, being aware of traffic, conditions, weather, etc, THEN decide if you want a Harley, crotch rocket or whatever. Or if you even really enjoy riding. :cheers:

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my first bike was a kawi ninja 636. IMO 600cc is a great starter bike... just be extra careful cause its not like crashing a car when learning to drive... it WILL hurt.

 

that being said I would stray away from rebuilt titles because generally they get one if there is frame damage...

 

otherwise you can crash a bike rash the plastics and throw new plastics on.

 

but frame damage is a no-no cause for all you know the dude could be welding the frame in his backyard... then god forbid it cracks again while your riding. I have a really good link for you let me look for it in my bookmarks and I will PM u

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I would take MSF for sure it helps with insurance in Iowa idk about Michigan though. My first bike was a ninja 250R at 16 and it was a blast! I put 6k miles on it then sold it about bought my current R6. another not bad starter bike is the SV650, the twin motor doesnt produce tons of horse but enough to trvel the highway without the bike screaming. the 250R would run hugh rpm at 65

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First if you're thinking of getting a bike to save money. Don't. Get one because you enjoy it and want to ride every chance you get. Saving money with a bike is a fallacy. (But that's the excuse I gave my wife to get one. :jester:) Things like safety equipment, a GOOD helmet, will cost several hundred dollars, stay away from the $49.95 special at the local Wally World, that is unless you have a $49.95 head, mine is worth much more to me, gloves, jackets, boots, etc. So it will take you a while to recoup what you spent for that stuff alone. Next, unless you enjoy being cold, wet and miserable, in Michigan, your riding season will be about 4 months long. Memorial day until just after Labor day. Give or take a few weeks. So you're looking at 5K to 7K miles per year, maybe. Plan on replacing the rear tire every 8K to 12K and the front every 15K to 18K miles at $100+ a pop if you can mount them yourself. Plan on close to $200 if you have a motorcycle shop do it for you. Drive chains, if your bike has one, last about 30K + or - a bit depending on how you ride and how well you maintain them, and cost $60+, and on, and on, and on. All these figures are a few years old, so I suggest you go to any MC shop or parts store and check todays prices.

 

OK enough of that. My suggestion. Start with something in the 400cc to 600cc range. For someone 6' tall and 200 lb they will probably be a bit cramped, but if the majority of your riding is 90 mins or less, you'll be fine. Most of the modern 400+cc bikes today can easily handle a 200 lb rider. So no problem there. Most twins are relatively smooth today, but you can't beat a 4 cylinder (IMO) for smoothness. Ride both kinds, see what you think. One more thing. You will be tempted to trade up to a larger/faster bike very quickly. DON'T DO IT. Stay with the smaller bike and hone your skills until maneuvering the bike becomes instinctive. The last thing you need in an emergency is to have to stop and think "what do I do now?" Go to an empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice. Practice emergency stops, lane changes, etc. Someday all that practice will save your life. After one season, you'll find you either love it or hate it. If it's the former, you'll be hooked for life. If it's the latter, you'll sell your bike and never get on another one.

 

Just for the record, I got my first bike in 1956. A Triumph Tiger Cub. A 200cc single, that vibrated so bad the rear view mirrors were useless and my hands were numb after a 30 minute ride. I LOVED IT. :D Over the years worked my way up to 450cc, then 750cc and 1100cc and finally a 1500cc GoldWing. After 50+ years, 1/2 million+ miles and 43 states, I stopped riding (reluctantly) 2 years ago. I loved every mile and miss it a bunch. My son in law now has the wing. I go over from time to time and go for a short ride on back roads, away from traffic.

 

Good luck, enjoy, ride safe.

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I've been riding something for 35 years and currently have 3 bikes.

 

advice I've read here is solid, take the safety course, the advance safety course and whatever else you can take.

 

I don't wear cheap i'll fitting helmets, a good basic (if it fits well) helmet can be had for maybe $200... my current helmet cost $400 or so. (Shoei)

I like the old Bell helmet ads "if you have a $10 head, buy a $10 helmet" and you could back then...

 

my brother in law bought a Honda 600 Shadow in 2000 for his first bike, it handles well and doesn't feel big at all but he has easily ridden on days long trips with me and had no problem staying with my GL1800 Goldwing.

 

check insurance prices, some bikes mike cost a lot more to cover than others...regardless of size of engine.

 

for sure I'd start by riding in very low traffic areas and watch every vehicle and expect them to pull out in front of you, particularly the ones turning left coming at you.

 

I've learned that what you're riding does not even register in most car drivers minds as a motor vehicle, it seems like they give about the same respect as they do a bicycle rider. (and that ain't good)

 

be safe.:thumbsup:

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actually will share it here as well great info for purchasing a used bike

 

Buying a Used Bike... : Kawasaki ZX Forums: Kawasaki Ninja Forum

 

Man that was a gold mine of info, being a rider my whole life that was a pretty detailed write up and re- fresher! As for what to buy and learn on I would recommend a Sport Touring bike all the way. Try looking at the Suzuki Bandit 600, there cheap, oil cooled, very easy to learn on and ride, and very easy to maintain via oil cooled! Take the two day courseand you automaticly get your license, don't waste your money on a permit! I have bought many bikes off of CL and have also bought two bikes from dealerships with a salvagetitle and did not have any problems! Just make sure that when you buy a bike you have someone with you who knows what to look for and keep you from buying the first thing you see. LoL

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thanks everyone! glad to hear all of these opinions, i need them! when i threw out the money numbers it was purely from what ive saw online not that im looking to get one cheap. trust me, mods and stuff on my jeep i know money is just a matter of time before its spent! haha

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Also wanted to add that the only reason I would be confident moving up to an R6 or something other than a 250cc is that I have respect for anything with wheels. I am now almost 22 and i have waited on purpose now to get out of my reckless stage. I went through my speeding and being in cars with well over 1000hp and have been through things i know i needed to be over with in order to be "adult" enough to handle a bike of its power. From what i have got from many people is that you can die on any bike and respect and knowledge is the first part, yes i understand the bike would be fast but ive had several friends die through crashes while i was a teenager, if im going fast it will be on a track. Thats how i do it on my jeep, and how i plan to deal with speed on my bike if i have one, don't want to endanger anyone else if i have "need" for speed. What in your guys opinion would be the pros and cons of going with a bike such as a yamaha R6?

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Also sorry to keep commenting on here but just want to get peoples ideas. What major ways are a ninja 6r, a gsx600, or R6 different from one another? in a way are they in the same class much like "sports compact" haha, sorry if im being an idiot, just trying to figure everything out so i just dont go out there like an idiot.

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If I recall 2003 and 2004 were the same bike pretty much and in 05 had the same body style with differnt forks and throttle body. for an 03 I would look to spend $3,000-$3,500 if it has some miles. but you can find some nice 05+ for 4-5k

 

Ok gotcha, thats what ive been figuring for an 03, i dont need something super nice and brand new for a first bike and neither do i want that cause i know ill beat the crap out of it at first. 03 was the first year with fuel injection ive heard too? is that right? and do you guys know any sites for better prices for gear and stuff? ive already seen a few that give some money off but im sure there is some wholesalers that bike guys know about, just like i know for parts for my jeep.

 

Thanks again for all the advice guys, already pulled a few books out to read over break when i get home. And looking up classes as we speak. Thanks!

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yes 2003 was first year of fuel injection. I get almsot all of my riding gear from www.sportbiketrackgear.com The customer service is top notch! and they are actually out of Michigan with great prices and selection

 

Nice! thank you, maybe ill have to take a trip over to their warehouse when i get off for break :D

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