who here rides? (motorcycles) newbie looking for advice
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pne

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I really want to get into riding this summer, I've finally convinced my parents to let me buy a bike, but I need some pointers. I'd like to hear from some experienced riders, please post how long you've been riding, what you ride, and where you commute.

Questions:
-First bike? I'm really into sport bikes. I am 5"9 140lbs, medium build. I've been looking at the used market for a reliable bike that requires little maintenence (fuel injection), a smooth powerband, easy to control. Comfort and ergonomics aren't a big factor because it's not a daily commuter. Any recommendations? Also, are there any do's and don'ts for buying used?

-Safety? This is the part I'm most concerned about. I don't mind paying extra for the best protective gear, taking safety/riding courses, and I am a pretty safe driver who doesn't stunt or race, but I'm told riding requires you to be very defensive. How risky is it, and what can I do to ensure my safety?
 
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riffer

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Just fill out your organ doner card before you get one.

Being killed in an accident is the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders. That's why the police and medical professionals refer to them as "Doner cycles".

There are absolutely no precautions you can take to "ensure" your safety. Most motorcyclists are killed in accidents were they are not at fault.
 
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jesse_w

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Quote:

Originally Posted by riffer
Just fill out your organ doner card before you get one.

Being killed in an accident is the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders. That's why the police and medical professionals refer to them as "Doner cycles".

There are absolutely no precautions you can take to "ensure" your safety. Most motorcyclists are killed in accidents were they are not at fault.



The same can be said about cars, really. If you drive one, its the most dangerous thing you do by far.

That said, you do have to be more careful on a motorcycle. Take a course! Get a full-face helmet, leathers, gloves, and proper motorcycle boots. If you've never ridden a motorcycle before, don't buy one and get out on the street--I would highly recommend getting something you can bump around in the dirt with so you can push it and learn what you can and can't do in a place where a mistake won't kill you. (Can be more fun than riding on the street anyway.) I'm not particularly experienced by any means, so find someone you know who is! Motorcycles can be alot of fun, but the people who get killed doing it are the ones who just pick them up and go.

jesse
 
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rickcr42

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Quote:

There are absolutely no precautions you can take to "ensure" your safety. Most motorcyclists are killed in accidents were they are not at fault.


if i did not stop riding (wife imposed
) i would have ended up a statistic.If you ride respect the bike for what it is unlike me who drove like I was in a car.How I walked away from my last wreck,and final ride,was just pure dumb luck and one inch to the right I would have hit a telephone pole head first at 60mph while airborne.
 
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funch

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I started writing a reply, and realized that I have way more to share than is appropriate in this forum. Suffice to say, motorcycling can be tremendously rewarding: nothing like it. But it absolutely demands that you always be aware of what is going on around you. Be sure that you take an approved beginers course; MSF if they have them in Canada. Know your machine. Know your limits. Know your surroundings (traffic, road conditions, etc.). Knowlegde is survival!!
I haven't ridden for quite some time, but I used to live, eat, and breath bikes. If you're interested in more info, PM me. I'm no expert, but I've accumulated a lot of knowledge over the years.
 
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Yikes

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I’ve been riding for 26 years, for ten of those years that’s all I did (no car). First thing that you need to know is that if you ride you will crash, sooner or later you will crash. The best that you can do is optimize your chances. Make sure that your bike is well maintained and that you always wear the proper protective gear (Helmet, Gloves, Boots, Jacket ect.).

What I ride should have no barring on your decision upon a motorcycle. I am twice your size (6’7” and 300+ lbs.). I ride a 2000 Suzuki Hayabussa GSX1300R. I am 100% sure that if I would have had access to a bike like my Hayabussa when I was 18 I would have died when I was 18. When I was 18 I was riding a Yamaha XS850G. My 850 was slower than all but three of these motorcycles.

I wish that I were your size; you have the perfect build for riding sport bikes. I’ll list some bikes that would work well for a beginner to ride, but also a blast for experienced riders as well.

Suzuki GS500F New or Used
Suzuki Katana 600 New or Used
Suzuki SV650 and SV650S New or Used*
Honda 599 New or Used
Yamaha FZ6 New or Used*
Kawasaki F750S New or Used
Kawasaki Ninja 250R New or Used
Kawasaki Ninja 500R New or Used

Yamaha RZ350 LC (If I was your size I’d still be riding one of these) USED*
Yamaha FZ600 Used*
Honda Hawk GT650 Used*

All of these motorcycles can top 100mph most can reach 130mph. All handle exceptionally well. Bikes marked with an * are world-class handlers, they won’t give an inch on a curvy road.

Ride Smart! The key rule is that if you ever find yourself riding a specific way (fast, tricks, or stupid) because someone is watching, you should stop what you are doing! Ride for yourself not how you look or how others see you. Showing off is a quick way to become a statistic.

Good Luck!
 
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AlanY

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pne
How risky is it, and what can I do to ensure my safety?


If you actually look into the numbers, it's somewhat surprising... motorcycle riding is more dangerous than driving a car, but not enormously so. In 2002, 5.9% of road fatalities in Canada were motorcycle riders, which is greater than you'd expect proportionally (compared to car drivers) but not really that much greater. And to put it in perspective, that's only 172 people.

So as long as you're well-trained and careful, you should be fine.

That said, I lost a co-worker to a motorcycle accident just over a year ago. He was a young guy, but he had quite an angry streak, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was taking risks out there.
 
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cpw

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I've been in MC sales for the last 11 yrs and have been riding all my life (since 12).
I've become extremely jaded and doubtful about the survival skills of most humans.
For the last several yrs, the last thing I wanted to on my day off, was ride a bike. I'd rather golf or whatever...
However recently, i've been riding my '51 PanHead Harley (see Avatar) and I've rediscovered riding. I don't go fast but everywhere I go is an adventure.
Next week I plan to buy a Mtn Bike and go even slower. But I also plan to have even more adventures.
The first trick to MC riding is to figure out that the throttle goes both ways.
Enjoy and ride alone whenever possible (assuming some experience). Itcan be very liberating.
CPW
 
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fyrfytrhoges

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if you live in milwaukee or near it as i do, harley davidson is the only way to go. i have a vintage 1980 sportster 1000cc. id ride no other bike than a harley. the rest we just make fun of.....
 
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pne

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thanks yikes. By no means am I implying that what others ride should be something I'd consider, just curiousity. I wouldn't get on a hayabusa if you paid me, they scare the crap out of me. Any machine that can run an 11 second 1/4 mile needs to be treated cautiously imo. A year ago, before I started driving, I was intent on going straight to motorcycles. After a year or so on the road I realized the danger was in other driver's negligence, not my own, so now I'm a bit more cautious. Thanks for the suggestions. The Ninja 250 and the Yamaha FZ600 caught my eye. I'll do a little research..
 
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I started riding dirt bikes when I was just a kid around 11 or 12. In H.S. my first road bike was the Honda 600 Intercepter, I rode this bike for a few years, then I stoped riding for awhile, too many of my friends were going down in wrecks, so it freaked me out for awhile. Then in 95 I went out and bought a Honda CBR900. That was an unreal bike, plenty of power, and that motor could just keep on pulling. That bike would pull wheelies going down hill. I rode that for a few years and once again all my friends started to crash. So after mulling it over for almost a year I hung up my helmet in 2000 and havent looked back since. My number was coming up and I figured that the pay back for all the close ones wasnt gonna be real good.

That aside, if your buying used, first ask if the bike went down, a bent frame will give you big trouble at high speeds. Next, service records (oil changes, tune ups, any performance mods), then milage. You dont want a bike from a guy who used it to road race or drag race. The stress on the frame and engine wont be worth it.

And safety, remember you are on 2 WHEELS, they are on 4. Always, always, anticipate an idiot driver. The moment you dont, your road rash.

And a bike, wow if I was your size Id look for a Yamaha FZR400, but Im not so I always rode something big.

Goodluck and safe riding.
 
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Ttvetjanu

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Watch out for the white paint when raining, its VERY slippery. Other than that, riding bikes has been one of the best things I've done in my life so far. Its very fun, especially if you have friends you can ride with. I used to go and explore new places


Have fun!
 
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dd3mon

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jesse_w
The same can be said about cars, really. If you drive one, its the most dangerous thing you do by far.


This really isn't true at all... He said among motorcycle riders, a fatal accident was the most common cause of death, and he was right. Death by a fatal car accident is definitely not the leading cause of death for regular 4-wheeled car drivers (think cancer, heart disease, etc).

I just looked up some statistics, a motorcyclist is over 20 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a person driving any other type of vehicle. 35 deaths per 100million miles for motorcycles vs. 1.7 deaths per 100million miles for a normal car.

Now, I've always thought a sportbike would be alot of fun, hell you can get supercar (or better) performance for 1/10th the cost just for starters. However, my sense of self-preservation is a bit too strong for this. Not to mention my gf would disown me (she's a nurse who works in surgery). In fact just mention the word motorcycle to anyone who's worked in an ER before, you'll get an earfull for as long as you want to listen and more - I'll personally guarantee it.

Kinda reminds me of cigarettes, except you generally get a few decades until those kick in.

-dd3mon
 
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