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Johnny Monsoon
'99 Honda Blackbird



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   Posted 9/19/2006 7:19 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm generally retired (maybe semi-retired?) from the motorcycle boards, but due to recent events concerning a future rider I'm compelled to try to bestow a bit of opinionated knowledge upon our new, and potential riders. While I absolutely expect a certain amount of criticism and some mild disagreement to the finer points of this post, I would expect that the overall theme, the very nature of the post, will be supported across the board, regardless of the style of bike our more experienced riders are straddling.

Let me be frank. A new rider has no idea what they are getting into. You simply cannot compare it to any other experience you've ever had in your life; and very often you'll find that the lessons you've learned thus far in life will steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to a motorcycle. To further muddy the waters, there are several aspects of motorcycle selection that lend to the purchase of an inappropriate bike. There's the perception that you can translate your life experiences (like fast cars or lots of bicycle experience) into motorcycling. You can't. There's also a (very Americanized) misperception of value (get all the horsepower you can for each greenback spent), and the equally flawed idea of some divinely imparted skill. There are two types of bikes in this world: There are those which we desire, and there are those which we should desire. Seldom are the two the same machine. As a new rider it is extremely easy to confuse the two.


Perception vs Experience:

We (salty, crusty, old, seasoned... you pick the adjective) riders see the difference. That ability comes with experience, and that's just something that we have a surplus of, and you new riders simply don't. It does not, in any way, shape, or form make you new riders less intelligent, nor does it make you stupid at all. Don't misunderstand any of this as contempt for our newer riders.


The Value Fallacy:

A new rider generally wants their money to go as far as possible. A potential motorcyclist is also either going to be a very careful person, or quite daring. Oddly, both types of personalities will point a new rider to a larger bike. No one wants to buy a bike, only to replace it the very next season, right? Right. The problem is that there's a big part of this equation the new rider doesn't ever seem to believe: you'll sell that initial purchase for very near what you paid for it. And that starting on a smaller bike will not only make you a better rider, more capable of controlling your machine, but that it'll also make you a faster and safer rider. This singular idea will also act as a sort of insurance for that dream bike you'll wind up with in the future. You wouldn't jump into advanced trigonometry without having an understanding of algebra; a long and happy career in motorcycling is built on the same sorts of stepping stones. The great news is that you'll enjoy all the small steps in motorcycling.

The Power Fallacy:

This one is a little difficult to address, since our threshold of what is acceptable has changed dramatically, and is so vastly different from style to style. Let me start about 15-20 years ago. Back then, 'sportbikes' were more of a standard with a fairing. They were considered (and actually classified) as 'superbikes'. They were for extremely experienced riders or professional riders only. Older riders considered these far beyond the capabilities of most mortal men; and were rocketships compared to bikes made 10 years prior. Consider that for a moment. Now consider that all of those bikes are heavier, slower, and worse handling than many modern 'average' bikes available today. Please, let that sink in. Ponder this progression in the last 20 years. Consider too, that horsepower numbers have generally doubled in that time on bikes of as little as 600cc; putting extremely potent engines into extremely lightweight chassis. That makes for a very potent motorcycle.

Now, that isn't quite the end of the story. A 1400cc pushrod V-Twin (say from Harley Davidson) may not make as much power as a 900cc Ducati V-Twin engine. A 750cc I-4 (Inline 4 cylinder) from a 1982 Kawasaki will not produce nearly the horsepower as an I4 Kawasaki Ninja 636. CC is not a clear indication of performance. Look for power to weight ratios, but don't get caught up in spec. sheets. This is the point where most riders revert to the 'value' scale. They think that they should be the most horsepower per dollar available. Don't fall into this trap. ANY experienced rider will tell you there's more fun to be had on a lower powered, lighter bike, and that they're much better machines to learn on. If you feel that you need more for your money, skip the power specs and look at how well the bike is appointed with suspension and brakes instead. Again, any experienced rider will tell you that the best way to make your bike faster is to improve the rider. After that, then look at suspension and brakes, then look at upgrading the engine. Also, look at versatility. As a new rider you will be much better served with a bike that'll multi-task since you'll likely discover the riding you thought you really wanted to do has turned out to be different from the riding you enjoy actually doing. Value comes in many forms, please don't limit yourself to horsepower; it is a silly thing to focus on and only has merit if you're going to live your life at the track (and even then, only after a considerable amount of track time).

The ,'TheBike is Only As Fast As You Make It Fallacy:'

We know you don't want to die. We really do. We also know that you think you're mature, or careful, and that you have the ability to control any machine thrown at you. You're a motorcyclist (or a potential motorcyclist) and as such probably have more bravado than the average human. This is where you need to stop and listen to the folks who've been riding for a while. This is a lot like someone telling you what a particular kind of pain feels like. You can hear it all day long, but until you experience it for yourself, you really can't quantify it.

Motorcycles are fast. They're fast and as a new rider you'll find that once underway, they're hard to control. Here's an example:

Do you remember when you were a kid and you had that bike with only a coaster brake (where you 'pedal' backward to stop the bike)? You became used to that. Eventually you got a little older, and you wound up with a bike that had a rim braking system. Remember that first time you tried to stop, wound up pedaling backward and barreling straight ahead? That's the feeling of a motorcycle (any motorcycle) the moment you forget where that lever is; just once.

Now consider that that you can either start on a modest motorcycle, that'll propel you along at the pace of a performance sedan, or you can do it on a motorcycle that'll accelerate faster than an exotic supercar. Don't forget that you'll only have two wheels instead of four, and that leaning will induce inputs to the controls of a motorcycle. Lower powered bikes are more forgiving and easier to deal with. An accidental input can easily be deadly on a bike that's too powerful for a new rider; and that can happen nearly instantly. Make no mistake about it; motorcycling is a deadly serious activity. It is of utmost importance that a motorcyclist does everything within their control to ensure they've mitigated as many risks as they possibly can; and one of the most important ways to do this is to choose an appropriate motorcycle for your skill level.

The Head vs. The Heart

"Get the one that makes your heart beat faster!" is the mantra of many; and while a motorcycle is a very emotional purchase, I can say, with some authority, that the motorcycle that meets the needs of the rider, even at the expense of the aesthetic preferences of the rider, will be much more satisfying than a pretty motorcycle that functions poorly for its intended purpose.

I want a Ducati 999R. Not for any other reason than I simply love the motorcycle. It, to me, embodies the high-performance, top-notch, hand-built motorcycle experience. But, it would be a terrible choice for me. It would be enormously uncomfortable for most of my riding; there's not anything near twisty enough out here to make use of even 1/10 of it's potential, and it simply wouldn't do at all as a commuter bike. Getting the machine that works well for me dictates that the Ducati is not on my top ten list. I'd love to own one, but it'd be largely garaged, and since the motorcycle in my life must perform well as a commuter, daily driver, and high-mileage touring rig, a bike like the Ducati would be a foolish choice at best. Too many new riders tie up the entirety of their finances in a motorcycle that doesn't work well for them, or that they found out they've outgrown or have simply changed direction. See Demenshea's post on transitioning from a cruiser to a Sport-Touring mount.

I have purchased motorcycles based solely on an emotional level; simply out of lust. I have also purchased motorcycles based solely on practicality. I find the ones I have enjoyed the most are the more unlikely ones that were strongly favoring the practical side. The quirky looks of many of these became endearing qualities. It is far easier to truly love a bike that works well, than a bike that pleases only your aesthetic appetites at the expense of performing its required duties. You'll simply have to trust us on this point.

Please know that it is of the utmost concern that riders and potential riders are safe and grow to become responsible models on the streets. None of this is meant to stifle anyone's free will, free choice, or most intimate desires concerning motorcycles. It is, instead, aimed at the new rider coming to MCUSA seeking knowledge and advice. We all hope to see you riding for many safe years to come.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

-Samuel Langhorne Clemens

Post Edited (Johnny Monsoon) : 9/20/2006 2:35:38 AM GMT

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Well Enuff
--- Regaining my sanity --- one ride at time



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   Posted 9/19/2006 10:28 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

Johnny Mon,

I see you made good use of your recent short absence to put together a very useful essay. Although some may not agree w/ everything you say, those certainly are certainly well thought-out points to consider. I've been using my scooter to look for a motorcycle to purchase by next spring. My desires have gone from big to little, fast to slow, new to used and seemed to change daily when I first started my search.

Your treatise above has given me some orderly guidance for further consideration. Thanx.

Drop in more often

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TheTinyGiant
homegrown foreigner



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   Posted 9/20/2006 11:10 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Mods: I would be happy to read Johnny's essay in the "stuff you didn't know that you didn't know" sticky.

I have just one thing to add: Everything Johnny says here is exactly in line with what your insurance company already thinks. They base their entire business on identifying and evaluating risk.

To them, you are a rider with ZERO years experience. You have probably never had to deal with them on these terms before, because your parents loaned you their experience when you were first insured to drive a car. If you weren't that lucky, then you know what I'm talking about.

Add to that primary risk any additional risk and the rates climb exponentially.

For me, the difference in cost between new and used was significant. -- I bought used.

For me, the cost difference between sport and standard was huge. -- I bought a standard.

For me, the cost difference between under 500cc and over 500cc was insane. -- I bought under 500cc.

To a new rider, I'm sure this sounds like a lot of compromises, but I ended up with a hugely fun bike that I can afford to enjoy on any terms I please. It goes faster than I ever imagined with close to 50HP. It'll likely never get stolen, a big factor in a city like LA. I've never dropped it, maybe partly because I'm not afraid to drop it; it has no bodywork to injure, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to fix. Its all mechanical; no comps means I can wrench on it to my hearts desire.

Now here's the kicker: For an embarrassingly small sum of money, I get to be a member of the club. Not just a member, but a full participant. My bike is no less fun in a curve. My bike draws just as many (if not more) desiring glances. It gets me there just as quick with just as big a smile on my face as anyone I've ever seen. I've begun to feel sorry for the people I see who've spent (no exaggeration) 10 times more than me to have the same amount of fun.

I'll admit: when I first got interested in bikes, new, italian and sexy were my primary motivators. I'm sure they are for a lot of people. It took me a while to look under the surface. When I started paying attention to SUBSTANCE, which is what I think a lot of what Johnny is talking about, I found that all of my needs could be met by something much more humble.

I'm not saying new, italian and sexy will never be in my garage, but for now, I can't imagine a better choice than old, japanese and manageable... My insurance company strongly agrees.

My 0.02 on a great thread.

--J


1974 Honda CL450
TheTinyGiant Website

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ianisme
Typical Bloody Brit!



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   Posted 9/20/2006 12:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Definitely worthy of sticky status, especially as this addresses the single most common question in this forum. Some good points made in the follow up too. I just hope that people actually accept the advice and not dismiss it simply because they have already set their hearts on something wildly unsuitable. I know some people have started successfully on R1's, but they are the minority and are not a good role model.


Many believe the new Boeing is a retrograde step.

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sesand
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   Posted 11/1/2006 11:11 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good stuff, bro! I learned to ride this spring on a Ninja 250 (after the MSF rider course - highly recommended) and I couldn't have made a better decision. My friends all told me to go bigger, since that is what they did for their first bike, because they didn't want to get tired of it and then sell it later. I bought a new Ninja 250 anyway because I was able to pick it up at MSRP (almost unheard of at most dealers in April) and it came highly recommended from my MSF instructor. A few months later, I had put 2000 miles on it and decided it was time to upgrade, ONLY because I wanted something more comfortable for touring (and the 28" seat height is bad on my legs at 5'11" for long periods of time, but great for building confidence). I bought a 97 VFR 750, and sold the Ninja for 200 less than when I bought it (and probably could have gotten MSRP if I wanted to wait a little longer) through craigslist. All I lost was about $500 in the whole transaction (300 for tax, title, and registration, 200 on "self-imposed" depreciation). The Ninja was sold in a week (and would have been sooner, my schedule permitting). Truth be told, I would still own it if I could afford two bikes, and I would do it exactly the same if I had it to do over again, the only thing I might do different is look for a used one instead of buying new. The only reason I preferred new was because I wanted the warranty to cover anything that went wrong, since I knew absolutely nothing about fixing a motorcycle.
Oh yeah, remember my friend who told me to start out with something bigger because I'll get tired of the "little bike?" He admits I ride better than he does, probably because the Ninja taught me how to ride, and didn't kill me in the process. The best $500 I ever spent!
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Emmet
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   Posted 12/9/2006 1:51 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Nice writeup, I do plan on riding my way up in displacement to a cb750 and then to a widdleweight sportbike in a few years,-- a literbike is OUT of the question.


Remember: No matter where you go, there you are.

-Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

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bikerchix1
1100 Honda Ace



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   Posted 1/2/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
JM I think your article is absolutely correct. I am a newbie and I've been learning to ride for a little over a year. I went shopping
one day after I had been practicing riding on a 125 Suzuki and purchased a 500 Kawasaki. I thought I was ready to tackle a
bigger and faster bike. I did not consider that I had just been riding in the yard and around the block a few times. When I went in
to purchase my new bike, the salesman did not ask me if I new how to ride. In my opinion they should get a riding history.
I feel that they could have discouraged me from getting two large and fast of bike for my experience level. After only a week
and several drops, and one bad wreak I new I made a big mistake. I was not going to let the wreak discourage me from learning
to ride, so I did what I should have done to start with. I traded my bike for a 250 Honda Rebel. I immediately started having
fun on the used bike because I wasn't worried about dropping it or having it throw me. I learn how to ride my bike at my own
pace. I never let anyone try to get me to ride above my level. I now ride a Honda 600 VLX delux. I love it and I am completely
comfortable with this bike. It is a great ride. Thanks for your advice. I hope all newbies read your advice and don't have to
learn the hard way like I did. This spring I plan to take the msf class. bc1 yeah yeah


600 vlx delux red and sassay

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ABN505
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   Posted 4/1/2007 4:55 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good Article, Johnny. Thanks. I am considering getting a used 04 Suzuki Intruder Volusia as a first bike.
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Johnny Monsoon
'99 Honda Blackbird



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   Posted 4/13/2007 11:28 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
ABN505 said...
Good Article, Johnny. Thanks. I am considering getting a used 04 Suzuki Intruder Volusia as a first bike.


That's a great city/backroads bike! I'll tell you that I sure wish I was getting the 80+mpg that that little machine gets. It is sure to be fun; just remember to ride your own ride and not get caught up in peer pressuring from the other cruiser type guys. They are generally all about displacement and chrome, but I'll tell you that your bike is a lot more fun than a huge bike that makes too much noise with too little go; especially around town!


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

-Samuel Langhorne Clemens



“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

-Samuel Johnson

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Boldchick
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   Posted 4/24/2007 6:59 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I really loved reading that essay but it did not commit to a make or model. Right now I am considering a Buell Blast, Yahaha Virago 2007 and Harley Davidson 883 Low rider XL. The Harley is more comfortable but heavy and expensive, the Virago is affordable but not as comfortable and the Buell Blast is not comfortable for me but my husband said it is safer for me because it is lighter, the exhast is out the back (he worries I will burn my legs). His requirement is a bike we can ride together so the Virago is good for me just taking the motorcycle rider course. I really need to hear from someone who can direct me. Perhaps there is a better bike for a beginner I have not seen yet. I go out daily looking for bikes I want to purchase within 30 days. I am a safe car driver but I always wanted to learn how to ride and keep a motorcycle before I die and hopefully not die because of this want. Please help.
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Johnny Monsoon
'99 Honda Blackbird



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   Posted 4/24/2007 9:23 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Boldchick, I appreciate your comments. You noted that I did not commit to any particular bike, there's a reason for that. This message is timeless; it outlines the attributes a new rider should look for in a motorcycle. Every style of motorcycle will have some of these attributes; some will have more, some fewer, but the overall idea is to ensure that the guidelines are presented to the potential rider. Models change, makes alter designs, and to that end, it would be extremely difficult to have a meaningful read if I just focused on particular models.

Of the many bikes suitable for beginners, I may advise you to look past the Blast. The Blast has had pretty constant issues for a great many years, and they never have been resolved. I am unimpressed with this particular bike. While it does check a great many of the newbie-friendly boxes, in the more global sense I'd opt for other bikes.

One thing that stands out in your post is that you're letting others influence your decision on a bike you like. I understand that your husband is wanting you to get a bike that you can ride with him (becasue most men I know find this a dream that never gets fulfilled); but he also needs to realize that you have to ride for yourself, and that his needs and desires are going to be secondary. That will allow you to find a bike that fits you correctly and that you are comfortable on.

If you really like the Blast, I'd urge you to take a look at the BMW650GS. They can be had, used, for not much money, and they have great brakes, nice equipment, a low ride height, great power delivery, and all this is wrapped in a very reliable package. They can be fitted with pure street rubber to meet your road needs if you don't ever plan to leave the paved world. You should also be able to test ride this from your local BMW dealer.

Take your time, find what you like, and work from there. Post in the newbie section as often as you feel and you'll get a pretty wide scope of answers that'll help you narrow your search.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

-Samuel Langhorne Clemens



“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

-Samuel Johnson

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Marck NY
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   Posted 5/8/2007 3:18 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
im new and id like to know what you think would be a good bike to begin with. its not the first time i ride (125cc and 250cc) a bike but im thinking of getting a kawasaki zx6r as my first real bike. what do you think?
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flickmeister
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   Posted 5/9/2007 4:25 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

Marck NY,

I think it's way too much bike to start off with. You will become a far better rider and have more fun if you start off with something smaller. I'd suggest a used Kawasaki EX500 or the standard model SV650. My personal favorite is the SV. It's a great learning tool but as you acquire the necessary skills, you won't outgrow it and become dissatisfied. I've been riding and racing for over forty years and the SV was tons more fun than most of the hyperbikes I have owned. Hope this helps. Cheers, Jack

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RadarO'Riley
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   Posted 5/14/2007 10:04 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I feel compelled to throw in my favorite bike, the Suzuki Savage, or Boulevard S40 as it is now called. With 652 cc's it has good torque, although it is a single, It is light enough to handle, has a good center of gravity & is not expensive. I am buying a bigger bike after riding a Savage for 3 yrs (after returning to riding after 15 yrs off). But, I am not selling my Savage, it is perfect for "dancing" down country roads, it will go with the big boys & handle almost anything except high winds. I recommend at least sitting on one before buying your new bike. 


   RadarO'Riley

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HockeyFan
XL883C / 9433 miles



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   Posted 5/28/2007 9:17 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the great post JM - I've asked a lot of people (including instructors) what they think is a "good first bike" and I've gotten a variety of responses.  Your article helped put all the opinions in the correct perspective.

Post Edited (HockeyFan) : 5/29/2007 4:34:46 PM GMT

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triggersd
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   Posted 6/6/2007 6:23 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thank you. Thank you very much for your thoughtful post. I feel as though I should show it to my family members so they know I'm performing proper due diligence so I end up with the appropriate motorcycle to fit my skill level and ambitions. Excellent post.

I haven't yet introduced myself and will do so in the correct thread momentarily. My name is Ken. I live in San Diego and am researching before I make the plunge and finally purchase a motorcycle. I look forward to enjoying the open road on a motorcycle! I also appreciate the opportunity to a decrease in my unleaded gas consumption!


Although I haven't perused this forum in great detail yet, I hope this thread is representative of the attitude throughout. ..

Cheers!
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SOCALMOE
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   Posted 6/9/2007 11:16 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
New riders, do not spend a couple of G's on a bike and a few dollars on protective gear. Most all want to look cool while riding; please keep safety in mind first. There is no such thing as a small/minor accident on a bike. If possible take riders course, hlped me tremendously!
God's Speed and keep it rubber side down!
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Excorsa
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   Posted 6/18/2007 10:28 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
This was great. All your comments are great. I'm actually looking at the Yamaha FZ6, but after reading all your comments, I'm beginning to wonder if I should go smaller? I have ridden cruisers many a times, but never a sport bike.

Post Edited (Excorsa) : 6/20/2007 7:30:18 PM GMT

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2Nyce
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   Posted 6/25/2007 6:56 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I'm a sportsbike fanatic, but I really want to get a cruiser that I can ride around town on and save the KawZx9 for the track. What would be a good fit for me?
2Nyce
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ines fur mich
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   Posted 6/25/2007 3:06 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
thnx for all the info... i just joined today and was thinking of trying out a new harley custom 1200 but i think i'll go a bit smaller...like something from kawasaki... thnx for the help...
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Firefemmelolita
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   Posted 8/8/2007 6:09 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I am a newbie, for my first bike i got the suzuki S50 Boulevard. Slightly bigger engine than i need, but the size of the bike is awesome... small, light and totally managable. I never feel like it is too much to handle but at the same time, it can get me out of a jam if i need too.

Johnny - is that the kind of thing you were talking about or do you think I went to big for my first bike? I am about to do my first cross country trip with it (early sept) and dont want to go if I miss judged my ability with this bike.
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Johnny Monsoon
'99 Honda Blackbird



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   Posted 8/9/2007 7:53 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Firefemmelolita said...
I am a newbie, for my first bike i got the suzuki S50 Boulevard. Slightly bigger engine than i need, but the size of the bike is awesome... small, light and totally managable. I never feel like it is too much to handle but at the same time, it can get me out of a jam if i need too.

Johnny - is that the kind of thing you were talking about or do you think I went to big for my first bike? I am about to do my first cross country trip with it (early sept) and dont want to go if I miss judged my ability with this bike.


I think the S50 is quite reasonable for a newer rider. While I still have an issue with the foot-forward design, I think that you could have done far worse. If the bike fits, and you feel comfortable and confident on it, then you're doing well already.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

-Samuel Langhorne Clemens



“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

-Samuel Johnson

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4daze
Registered Member



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   Posted 8/16/2007 12:19 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I put this out under another topic but it seems applicable for the this "newbie" category as well...

I am going from Dirt to Street (got my liscense thru MSF) and have ridden several bikes but would like some advise before buying. So far I have ridden...

  • Trimph Sprint St - great bike- in budget-too much bike?
  • BMW R1200gs- great bike-not in budget-worth the money?
  • Buell XB12 Ulysses- good bike-I suspect the learning curve would be a little steeper-good for the newbie?

I also looked at, but did not ride...

  • Suzuki Bandit-lacks style but seems to be a very good bike (for the money)
  • Yamaha FZ1 - may be more sporty than I want (comfort wise)

What do you all think?

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Johnny Monsoon
'99 Honda Blackbird



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   Posted 8/23/2007 8:59 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I think this is the wrong thread to jump into, but I'll give my two cents on the matter because you've asked:

All of the bikes you're looking at are far too much for a new street rider. While I absolutely agree that starting in the dirt is by far the best way learn to ride, going from dirt to street will require an entirely different set of skills to be developed that you've never dealt with on dirt. Starting smaller is always a better option. I'd heartily recommend a DS bike for you since it'll be closer to your dirt bikes, yet still quite capable on the road. I think you'll also appreciate the ability to take it offroad if the notion takes you.

I'd look at the Versys, the KLR or DR, an F650GS, or a used VStrom 650.


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream."

-Samuel Langhorne Clemens



“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

-Samuel Johnson

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sandmanfvr
2007 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe



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   Posted 10/10/2007 6:59 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I have to post in here, after reading all of the "new rider" posts/topics. I will be getting my MSF done, but I have rode stuff in the past when I was younger, actually did some moped riding in traffic, so I know the basics of cornering etc. I made a topic on the Shadow 750 vs. the Triumph America. Now I think I might be going to far. I got a topic, if you want to read the stuff I posted, but I am starting to wonder where I should go.....
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