View Full Version : I want something with an engine
So, I'm considering buying a motorcycle, but I have no idea what to look for. Does anyone ride one? Have a recommendation on a begginner bike? I'm looking for a go-fast-fast-fast toy, not a commuter. Good place to take classes? How much should I spend? I'd be looking to buy used.
Any advice is much appreciated.
zion zig zag
03-21-2004, 08:11 AM
[JMO] If you want a fun go fast toy and are not concerned with comfort you want a sportbike. If you've never ridden motorcycles before I'd suggest the kawasaki ninja 250r. Great bike to learn on with that sportbike feel. Not fast as motorcycles go but you can out-accelerate most cars. Brand new they run about $3000, get one a year old, ride 6 months and then move up.
I've been riding sport bikes a long time and I could have fun on a 250r. Its so light you can throw it into turns easily, and it's not as intimidating as a 600cc/1000cc.
I just think that if you're into adrenaline like most guys on the board the 600's power is way too tempting to use and when you don't know what you are doing trouble comes quick. [JMO]
03-21-2004, 09:07 AM
Make sure that whatever you do take a MSF( Motorcycle Saftey Foundation) class. http://www.msf-usa.org/ I think they have classes all across the country. It is a solid organization that teaches good habits and the correct way to ride., and I think alot of the time, you can get an insurance break if you pass the class. Don't try to learn on your own or let your friends teach you. You will end up developing bad habits that will be very tough to break and could hurt you eventually if you get into sketcky situations. It's worth the $20 donataion or whatever it costs you locally to do it. Oh yeah, wear a helmet.
03-21-2004, 11:28 PM
flykdog and BH77 offer sound advice; both the MSF beginner and advanced courses are highly recommended and well worth it.
Buy a smaller bike - as suggested by flykdog - and learn how to ride it well. Too many squids feed their ego with horsepower, rather than feeding their brain with riding knowledge. However, like with skiing, mileage is an excellent teacher to build on the habits learned in the MSF courses.
I'm between bikes at the moment; but, when I do ride, I always wear a good helmet, full leathers, and road-race quality boots & gloves. I've fallen down more than once - I'm glad there are cows out there that are willing to give their skin, so I don't have to. Skin graphs suck.
A fun second bike might be a Suzuki SV650 or a Ducati Monster 750.
03-22-2004, 03:44 AM
Whatever your budget is, make sure to save about $800-1000 (it's easy to spend more) for good safety gear.
-Full face helmet, Snell rated
-Thick, well-made leather gloves
-Good hard-soled boots (so your foot isn't crushed under the bike when you wreck)
-Full leathers or Cordura suit. Lots of people ride in jeans. Jeans last about six feet in a slide on pavement.
Remember: there are two types of riders. Those that have gone down, and those that will go down.
The MSF course is an excellent idea. Ditto the Ninja 250. I learned on an Interceptor 500 and it was fast enough to make me soil myself. Modern 600 sportbikes are just insane.
Remember: you will dump your first bike three times. Once when stopped, once doing a low-speed maneuver, and one actual crash. So don't get anything new or expensive.
Thanks guys, looking around at safety gear and used prices has given me a pretty good idea of how much I want to spend. Ninja 250 is looking like a fun bike.
03-23-2004, 12:21 PM
If you're interested, I've got a Vanson jacket and pants available.
Avenger jacket, size 42 - black
Sport rider pants, size 32 - black
Both are in excellent condition.
03-28-2004, 11:12 AM
250 is nowhere near big enough. A good 80's 550 or 600 can be found for 1K and will have better performance and lower insurance. If you must go new, the GS500 is always a good starter bike, and SV650 isn't far behind. Remember that plastics=Insurance $$$. Take the MSF course, find a nice helmet that fits you (don't ebay it if at all possible) and have fun. I have a POS '82 550 right now, and it'll do 125, so don't worry too much about speed potential.
03-28-2004, 07:49 PM
Char's not a big guy, he'd fit on a Ninja 250. But they're not extremely common, and you can end up with an ex-race bike with a thrashed motor if you don't know what to look for.
Schuss is correct about the Suzuki GS550 being a good beginner bike. The other obvious choice is the Kawasaki EX500, and the Yamaha Seca II (600) is also decent.
The SV650 is a great ride, but it's a lot more bike and hasn't been around enough to be cheap.
If you can find a street-legal dirt bike (called "dual-sport"), those can be great fun to learn on, and you can crash them all day. Plus, skidding around in the dirt will teach you a lot about how motorcycles handle in bad situations. Suzuki DRZ400, a street-converted Honda XR400, or maybe a Kawasaki KLR250 if you're really low on cash and don't plan on riding freeways much.
There are a lot of good older bikes, but if you know nothing you're better off spending a little bit of money for something with modern suspension that won't need as much work.
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