Motorcycle Recommendation...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by JohnE, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    I was wondering if anyone here knows ehough about motorcycles to offer some advice and recommendations.
    I'm looking to buy a used bike, but have no experience riding, so I don't want anything to big or powerful. I'm interested in something like a Ninja. That style at least...not sure what it's called. Any help? Thanks.
     
  2. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    ok, so you're looking for a sportbike, and it'll be your first bike. How much are you looking to spend?
    some of the older 600cc bikes like the yamaha FZR, honda CBR F1 and F2 wouldn't be bad choices, though the EX500 would probably be a better choice.
    head on over to www.msf-usa.org and get signed up for a class before you do anything.

    also check in on the new rider forums over at www.sportbikes.net and www.cycleforums.com
     
  3. Bryce

    Bryce Stunt Coordinator

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    So in other words you don't want something like this:
    Superbike [​IMG]
     
  4. DarrenH

    DarrenH Agent

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    Hi John,
    My first bike (and current for that matter) was a 1984 Honda VF500 - the red white ond blue one. Great bike to learn on, picked it up cheap, small enough to handle yet big enough to have some fun with. You can also get Ninjas at around 500 or 600 cc (don't really know their line that well to quote exact figures).
    As for having no experience riding, as mentioned above, check out the motorcycle safety courses. I took the PA one, was great, istructors really helped, and you get to ride on their cb125's (which are like nothing but good to learn on). Plus there is an insurance discount. Good luck!
     
  5. Mat_M

    Mat_M Stunt Coordinator

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    My first and present bike is the Kawasaki Ninja 250. It's the smallest engine for a sportbike sold in the U.S. I didn't want to spend a huge amount on a bike, so I went with the little 2-fiddy.

    Recommendations:
    (1) Take the MSF course
    (2) Don't ride without gear
    (3) Practice practice practice
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Do not attempt to learn how to ride motorcycles on a sportbike. For that matter, stick to the MSF course and determine after you have completed it what you would like as a first bike. (If you haven't ridden a bike before, it's a bit risky to attempt to do so on anything larger than 250cc. So learn how to operate and ride a motorcycle before buying anything.)
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I have to respectfully disagree with jack, the smaller sport bikes are fairly neutral and designed for beginners, the two fiddy and ex500 are the classic beginner bikes.
    I personally learned on a ratty FZR600, not the best starter bike but I'm still here.
    Now if you mean something like an R6, I wholly agree with you jack.

    I also forgot to mention in previous posts, take the amount you can spend on a bike, and pull out about 800 bucks, you need to budget for proper riding gear also, it's much more expensive than you would expect. You're going to need a helmet, I'm an AGV fan, the demon runs about ~150 online but you'll need to be fitted locally. HJC's are also inexpensive and not too bad, get a DOT and SNELL approved lid, IMO the rest of the money you pay is for comfort. You'll need GOOD riding gloves, don't skimp here, your hands take it hard in a crash, trust me. $60 would be on the cheap end. You'll need some boots, don't have to be race boots but something like the sidi tempor (I believe) has good protection but looks like a hiking boot, at about $80. A jacket, leather is best, but a textile will do if you can't afford leather, 150 ish for a textile, you can get some nice leather for $300 bucks, if you're a small guy www.bimoto.be has some killer prices on dainese. you need some kind of riding pants, leather again is best, many ride in thick denim jeans... denim lasts about 3 inches on concrete, at the very least I'd consider "draggin jeans" they're lined with kevlar... about 80 bucks a pair
    there will be misc. stuff you'll want for the bike too, stands are handy.. but that stuff can wait.

    lastly, buy what you can used. www.newenough.com is GREAT.
     
  8. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Well I've set my budget in the $2500 - $3000 range. Hopefully I can get set up with a bike and gear for a beginner in that range?

     
  9. Mat_M

    Mat_M Stunt Coordinator

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    A few others who ride 2-fiddies in the Phoenix area and I frequent this board:

    http://ninja250.kingston.net/board/

    It's a place where tons of 2-fiddy riders from all over the world post. If you want to find out ANYTHING about the Ninja 2-fiddy, this is the place.
     
  10. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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  11. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    http://www.msf-usa.org/

    Sign up for and take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCourse before buying anything.

    You want a sportbike. Check out the above sites and www.sportbikes.ws for some good pointers.

    My personal recommendations would be the following:

    Honda Hawk GT 650
     
  13. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    I'm glad to see folks strongly recommending training and good riding gear. I cringe when I see people riding in sneakers, t-shirts, or gawd forbid, shorts! A helmet is a no-brainer. When I rode, my own rule was that if it was too hot to wear full armor, it was too hot to ride. Period. It helps to think of it not so much as a question of "if" you'll need it, it's more a matter of "when". Without spending too much money, I had good luck with the Joe Rocket line of gear.

    Once you get past certification, helmets are pretty much a matter of what fits right. Riders tend to find they have either a "Shoei head" (round) or an "Aria head" (oval), so try both types before you buy.

    Good luck and do take a safety course. The things you learn can save your life, like: Learning to use the front brake! Many newer riders are afraid of it, but without a huge handful of it in a panic stop your stop length goes up tremendously. Learning swerve maneuvers, etc...

    "The motorcycle riders involved in accidents are essentially without training; 92% were self-taught or learned from family or friends. Motorcycle rider training experience reduces accident involvement and is related to reduced injuries in the event of accidents."

    This page is a good resource for improving your odds.
    http://www.motorcycle-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

    It looks like you're getting some good advice on bikes. I was a Norton, Triumph, and finally a BMW guy but I don't think that's what your looking for, so I'll leave that to the others.
     
  14. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    You can find a nice Honda Nighthawk 750. It's easy enough to ride for the beginner and you won't be looking to sell it in 6 months looking for something faster.

    The Suzuki GS500 is also a good choice.

    I also recommend looking for a GOOD helmet. I wear a Shoei TZ-1, which is MORE comfortable then my more more expensive Shoei RF-900 was, but with less ventilation.

    I recently purchased an HJC AC-3 open face helmet for the summertime here in Vegas.

    Depending on how hot it gets where you live, VENTILATION is also key in a helmet. Wearing a full-face helmet without decent ventilation in Las Vegas is like riding in an oven.
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  16. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Good choice, Philip. The Triumph Speed Triple is an amazing bike of that style. I think I'd take it over the Ducati Monster S4.

    I got a chance to swap bikes with a Triumph Trophy 1200 owner on a ride down the PCH from Monterey to Cambria, and I was very impressed. If I was still riding that probably would have been my next bike. My BMW K100RT was fast with all the Luftmeister/CC speed goodies on it, but the Triumph was much more surefooted to the point of inspiring some seriously easy knee dragging confidence.
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    the BMW is a nice ride, my old man bought a 76 R90 /6 about a year ago in nearly new condition, I like the boxer engines. Maybe someday when I'm old I'll have a big BMW tourer [​IMG]
    I'm not a big fan of the monster.
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I wouldn't buy a Triumph, I had a friend who had a very bad experience with a Daytona. The engine threw a rod 1000+ miles from home on a long trip, and he ended up in legal hell for years, finally suing under Virginia's Lemon Law. Gave me a bad taste for Triumph's. Not necessarily the engine blowing up, that could happen on the one in a million Honda, but how Triumph Corporate handled the situation was reprehensible.

    Beautiful bikes though, and good performing as well.

    Personally I think the GS500E is more of a sport/standard than a "standard". Another great bike to look out for is the naked Kawasaki ZR-7 or half-faired ZR-7S Sport-standard. From what I've read it absolutely KILLS the Nighthawk 750 in every respect, and it's absolutely goregeous. May be tough to find used, though, owners are Honda Hawk loyal.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Still, Philip, it's hard to think of a 750cc machine, even one as pedestrian as the air-cooled Nighthawk, as being a beginner's bike.

    Also worth noting, there's no such thing as a "cheap" motorcycle in this day and age. Things have changed so darn much since I cut my teeth in the '60s on a Honda S-90 (remember the Age of the Tiddlers?).

    People coming into the sport now are always amazed to discover that motorcycles are basically priced like cars.
     
  20. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the great advice guys. I'm really excited about this. The great thing is, after talking to one of my buddies about my plans, he's decided to jump on board and learn to ride too. We're going to start with a safety course next month some time, and then we'll start shopping.[​IMG]
     

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