Motorcycle Catch-All

I think you people just like saying "crotch rocket". Sick, sick, sick people.

My only advice is that once you've purchased your bike, avoid pickles. I reason to believe having pickles and riding your motorcycle are mutually exclusive.

Aetius wrote:

My Yamaha C3

I am not trying to disdain your ride in any way... I'm intrigued by it and would consider getting one.

That said, I'm laughing at how often they use words like "Cool", "Trendy", and "Style" on the features page. You would think they could just say "115MPG. 'Nuf said."

Are scooters that don't say Vespa on them cool now?

LilCodger wrote:

That said, I'm laughing at how often they use words like "Cool", "Trendy", and "Style" on the features page. You would think they could just say "115MPG. 'Nuf said."

They could also have mentioned why the scooter is a better choice than the latest sportbike. Can someone explain to me what, if any, advantages there are for a scooter like this over a motorcycle?

I wouldn't mind getting one of these.

Something about a Russian-made WW2 Nazi bike clone really appeals to me. Plus, the fact that it doesn't get abover 65mph would keep me out of trouble.

Funkenpants wrote:
LilCodger wrote:

That said, I'm laughing at how often they use words like "Cool", "Trendy", and "Style" on the features page. You would think they could just say "115MPG. 'Nuf said."

They could also have mentioned why the scooter is a better choice than the latest sportbike. Can someone explain to me what, if any, advantages there are for a scooter like this over a motorcycle?

Off the top of my head: Storage, gas mileage, and dirt cheap. These are all incrementally so over a small 250. Judging from the guy I passed this morning, comfort might very well be an issue as well.

LilCodger wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:
LilCodger wrote:

That said, I'm laughing at how often they use words like "Cool", "Trendy", and "Style" on the features page. You would think they could just say "115MPG. 'Nuf said."

They could also have mentioned why the scooter is a better choice than the latest sportbike. Can someone explain to me what, if any, advantages there are for a scooter like this over a motorcycle?

Off the top of my head: Storage, gas mileage, and dirt cheap. These are all incrementally so over a small 250. Judging from the guy I passed this morning, comfort might very well be an issue as well.

You forgot Insurance.

Yeah, motorcycle insurance is pretty rough.

ZaneRockfist wrote:

It will cost a few grand, but the amount of money I'll save on repairs, insurance, and gas will completely offset it within a year.

Have you actually looked into the insurance costs though? With your limited driving history I would expect that insurance for a motorcycle would be significantly higher than insurance for a car. It's a common misconception that since a cycle is usually cheaper than a car that insurance must be cheaper too. The insurance companies take a lot of factors into account when assigning costs, including the expected frequency of accidents (much higher on cycles) and the expected medical costs of said accidents (again, much higher on cycles). I'd suggest you go to one of the big insurance companies website and run the numbers. Put in the details of your car and the bike you want and see what the results are. Don't be shocked if the bike works out to be 2x-4x the cost of the car per year.

I've tried to push the purchase of a motorcycle past the finance committee on several occasions and been thoroughly rebuffed each time. The CFO also works in a hospital and sees trauma cases that involve motorcycle accidents. Based upon those experiences, my requests for funding have been denied.

I do get to fly airplanes though, so it's not a terrible tradeoff.

I bought this bike new in 1994 when I was your age:

IMAGE(http://www.cobrausa.com/images/bike_hvf750magna.gif)

I rode it as my only transportation for 6 years or so. I put about 75k miles on it before selling it. In that time:

- I was in 2 non-minor accidents. Both not my fault, and I was *extremely* lucky to walk away from them.

- I was rained on miserably many times on the way to work. You'll be cursing the weather every time it gets a little cold, a little warm, a little wet, or a little foggy.

- I was only able to purchase whatever was small enough to fit in my backpack. I would occasionally get creative by stuffing groceries into my jacket to get them home when I accidentally overbought.

- I carried my helmet and wore a leather jacket *everywhere*. It does get to be a bit of a pain in the southern California summer heat.

I also had a ton of fun riding it. I sold it when I rode it on a freeway one morning and no longer felt invincible.

-Fan

Yup. The more I read of this thread, the more it sounds like a 22 year old kid trying to get peer validation for making a retarded decision.

If you want to do it, do it. There are literally hundreds of folks who make the same boneheaded decision and live to tell about it. That said, this is probably the wrong place to come for validation.

It is for sure fun, exciting, and the kind of juvenile irresponsibility that is part of growing up, but it isn't a particularly sound fiscal decision. It isn't very practical irrespective of current gas prices. It's just the sort of knuckleheaded stuff young folks do because they're young and don't yet have the sense to know any better or care.

My recommendation would be to get an inexpensive, but reliable car with decent gas mileage. Use that for your primary transportation. Then, when you have enough money to be able to purchase a motorcycle with cash (never, EVER, finance your "toys"), get one and treat it with the respect of a dangerous hobby. Do the math and figure out exactly how much cash this hobby will cost you and reconcile yourself to spending it. But don't imagine it is a practical decision.

AnimeJ wrote:

You are 22, haven't driven in 4 years, and drove for two years only at that. You are an extrodinarily inexperienced driver

My general rule (and that of my fathers, go figure, he was right) is that you're not an "experienced" driver until you have 5 years of daily driving under your belt. Like a martial art, there are certain "muscle memories" and automatic functions that develop over time when you drive. No matter how good you think you are, 5 years is the minimum time a person devlops these esscential skills.

I've been to two "advanced" driving schools (they taught off-road, shooting, and offensive driving to give you an idea of what I mean by "advanced") and I was always amazed at the lack of basic skills people lacked when driving a car. I had several that couldn't rescue a car from a skid, which is a BASIC skill. I think several people suffered from "mass transit syndrom" or the fact they could use a bus or subway to commute everyday.

----

Now that I am off my soapbox, can anyone here reccomend a good starter crusier bike? I want to eventually buy a HD Fatboy, but I don't want to drop a 20k bike while I am learning either. There has to be something comparable in size/dimentions (I am 6"/240, so no itty bitty bikes) but much cheaper (under 10k? - less is more ) I went to the Triumph website, but they don't give you any idea of price (the America and Rocket III looked comparable to what I want, but what do they cost?)

Shoal07 wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

You are 22, haven't driven in 4 years, and drove for two years only at that. You are an extrodinarily inexperienced driver

My general rule (and that of my fathers, go figure, he was right) is that you're not an "experienced" driver until you have 5 years of daily driving under your belt. Like a martial art, there are certain "muscle memories" and automatic functions that develop over time when you drive. No matter how good you think you are, 5 years is the minimum time a person devlops these esscential skills.

I've been to two "advanced" driving schools (they taught off-road, shooting, and offensive driving to give you an idea of what I mean by "advanced") and I was always amazed at the lack of basic skills people lacked when driving a car. I had several that couldn't rescue a car from a skid, which is a BASIC skill. I think several people suffered from "mass transit syndrom" or the fact they could use a bus or subway to commute everyday.

----

Now that I am off my soapbox, can anyone here reccomend a good starter crusier bike? I want to eventually buy a HD Fatboy, but I don't want to drop a 20k bike while I am learning either. There has to be something comparable in size/dimentions (I am 6"/240, so no itty bitty bikes) but much cheaper (under 10k? - less is more ) I went to the Triumph website, but they don't give you any idea of price (the America and Rocket III looked comparable to what I want, but what do they cost?)

Go to Hap's They are a varitable wealth of info.

Paleocon wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

You are 22, haven't driven in 4 years, and drove for two years only at that. You are an extrodinarily inexperienced driver

My general rule (and that of my fathers, go figure, he was right) is that you're not an "experienced" driver until you have 5 years of daily driving under your belt. Like a martial art, there are certain "muscle memories" and automatic functions that develop over time when you drive. No matter how good you think you are, 5 years is the minimum time a person devlops these esscential skills.

I've been to two "advanced" driving schools (they taught off-road, shooting, and offensive driving to give you an idea of what I mean by "advanced") and I was always amazed at the lack of basic skills people lacked when driving a car. I had several that couldn't rescue a car from a skid, which is a BASIC skill. I think several people suffered from "mass transit syndrom" or the fact they could use a bus or subway to commute everyday.

----

Now that I am off my soapbox, can anyone here reccomend a good starter crusier bike? I want to eventually buy a HD Fatboy, but I don't want to drop a 20k bike while I am learning either. There has to be something comparable in size/dimentions (I am 6"/240, so no itty bitty bikes) but much cheaper (under 10k? - less is more ) I went to the Triumph website, but they don't give you any idea of price (the America and Rocket III looked comparable to what I want, but what do they cost?)

Go to Hap's They are a varitable wealth of info.

Thank's P. And on the note of insurance - If a Car is the primary means of transportation for you AND you have a motorcycle, insurance is generally low. If you have only a motorcycle as a primary means of transportation, it skyrockets.

Shoal07 wrote:

Thank's P. And on the note of insurance - If a Car is the primary means of transportation for you AND you have a motorcycle, insurance is generally low. If you have only a motorcycle as a primary means of transportation, it skyrockets.

Yup. Mostly because folks who understand that bikes are toys have the sense not to ride them in rush hour traffic in the middle of thunderstorms. Folks who *need* them don't generally have a choice.

Rob_Anybody wrote:

Don't buy a Ducati. Kick ass bikes, but their maintenance costs are ridiculous.

This is the truth. You can't even do your own oil changes without having a degree in Italian engeneering.

Buy the rattiest rat bike you can find out of the want ad/ craigs list. The reason being that you will drop your first bike in a slow speed turn at least once. Spend the money that you would have on a spanking new bike on a good helmet, jacket and safety equipment. But the most important thing you can do is to modify your mindset. When I get on my ride I immediately start thinking that there is some cardriver out there who is actively trying to kill me even if they don't know it. On one occasion a driver decided to pull into the lane I was in without looking or signaling. I whacked the throttle, just miss getting pasted and pulled in front of her. At the next stoplight I turn around and she's behind me. She sees me looking at her and start's screaming "I didn't see you!" Like it's my fault she didn't turn her head while she changed lanes. This is the kind of attitude you are going to have to deal with when you get out on the road.

Indignant wrote:
Rob_Anybody wrote:

Don't buy a Ducati. Kick ass bikes, but their maintenance costs are ridiculous.

This is the truth. You can't even do your own oil changes without having a degree in Italian engeneering.

Buy the rattiest rat bike you can find out of the want ad/ craigs list. The reason being that you will drop your first bike in a slow speed turn at least once. Spend the money that you would have on a spanking new bike on a good helmet, jacket and safety equipment. But the most important thing you can do is to modify your mindset. When I get on my ride I immediately start thinking that there is some cardriver out there who is actively trying to kill me even if they don't know it. On one occasion a driver decided to pull into the lane I was in without looking or signaling. I whacked the throttle, just miss getting pasted and pulled in front of her. At the next stoplight I turn around and she's behind me. She sees me looking at her and start's screaming "I didn't see you!" Like it's my fault she didn't turn her head while she changed lanes. This is the kind of attitude you are going to have to deal with when you get out on the road.

Let me guess. Cell phone.

I just purchased a motorcycle for the first time last Tuesday. I've always wanted one, but always questioned if I could truly be responsible with it. I'm 31 now, and I think I've gotten beyond the feeling invincible stage and really have no desire to weave through traffic at insane speeds. I did take the MSF beginner course prior to picking up the bike and I highly recommend it to any prospective rider. Excellent information and it lays down a nice foundation of skill that has helped tremendously in this first week.

I bought a Suzuki Vstrom DL650

IMAGE(http://JJF.smugmug.com/photos/336172098_Wmtgg-M.jpg)

I was considering the Ninja 250 that you are looking at, but the '08 models are sold out everywhere and no dealership I spoke with would be getting any more until the '09s. Those that had them were throwing on as much as $1,500 in dealer markup which is absolutely ridiculous, but apparently someone was buying at that price. Anyway, these bikes are a lot more powerful than you think if you have never ridden before. Even coming from the Honda Nighthawk 250s they used in training to the Vstrom has been a serious wakeup call. Driving out on the road in traffic is a hell of a lot different than the controlled parking lot environment from the MSF course. I've purchased all the gear (boots, gloves, jacket, pants, helmet) and it is still scary out there. I probably seem like an overly cautious freak to a lot of people around here as the traditional moto attire seems to be T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops, but it's kinda cool riding around looking like a cylon.

I'm a newbie to the moto world, but still I'm just going to stress that you are careful and always assume the cars around you have no idea you are there. I've dropped the bike twice at standstills. Once on gravel (evil stuff I will be avoiding in the future), and once when I didn't give it enough gas on take off and just kinda tipped over. Luckily I had installed Givi crash bars the day before so they absorbed all the damage and the bike itself is fine.

I'm having a ton of fun still, but it's so much more stressful than driving a car. Not sure if I can manage it everyday as I had originally planned for commuting.

Indignant wrote:
Rob_Anybody wrote:

Don't buy a Ducati. Kick ass bikes, but their maintenance costs are ridiculous.

This is the truth. You can't even do your own oil changes without having a degree in Italian engeneering.

Buy the rattiest rat bike you can find out of the want ad/ craigs list. The reason being that you will drop your first bike in a slow speed turn at least once. Spend the money that you would have on a spanking new bike on a good helmet, jacket and safety equipment. But the most important thing you can do is to modify your mindset. When I get on my ride I immediately start thinking that there is some cardriver out there who is actively trying to kill me even if they don't know it. On one occasion a driver decided to pull into the lane I was in without looking or signaling. I whacked the throttle, just miss getting pasted and pulled in front of her. At the next stoplight I turn around and she's behind me. She sees me looking at her and start's screaming "I didn't see you!" Like it's my fault she didn't turn her head while she changed lanes. This is the kind of attitude you are going to have to deal with when you get out on the road.

This man speaks the truth. Assume that no driver can or will see you. Hell, I've had cars pass me and proceed to change lanes into me. I don't know how they could have missed me, but they were oblivious.

Oh, and don't wait to take the safety course after you have your license. Not only should you take the safety course before you do any kind of riding, but by taking the safety course it also waives the need to take the driving test at the DMV. (At least in California it did. I assume in most states it will.)

Indignant wrote:
Rob_Anybody wrote:

Don't buy a Ducati. Kick ass bikes, but their maintenance costs are ridiculous.

This is the truth. You can't even do your own oil changes without having a degree in Italian engeneering.

Buy the rattiest rat bike you can find out of the want ad/ craigs list. The reason being that you will drop your first bike in a slow speed turn at least once. Spend the money that you would have on a spanking new bike on a good helmet, jacket and safety equipment. But the most important thing you can do is to modify your mindset. When I get on my ride I immediately start thinking that there is some cardriver out there who is actively trying to kill me even if they don't know it. On one occasion a driver decided to pull into the lane I was in without looking or signaling. I whacked the throttle, just miss getting pasted and pulled in front of her. At the next stoplight I turn around and she's behind me. She sees me looking at her and start's screaming "I didn't see you!" Like it's my fault she didn't turn her head while she changed lanes. This is the kind of attitude you are going to have to deal with when you get out on the road.

I hear you. I got run off the road twice in the same day on the way to work. First was a guy that decided he wanted into the hammer lane right where I was, nevermind that it was clear road in front and behind me. Next was a lady on her cell phone that changed lanes in an intersection. Dad told me when I started riding that the best mindset when you're riding is to be paranoid. Basically think that everyone is out to run you off the road, and you're about where you should be.

Grumpicus wrote:

I think you people just like saying "crotch rocket". Sick, sick, sick people. ;-)

Crotch rocket!
Crotch rocket!
Crotch rocket!

Ok, I got that out of my system.

Tkyl wrote:

I don't know how they could have missed me, but they were oblivious.

If it makes you feel any better, people sometimes cut into my lane even though I'm in a car. A lot of drivers just aren't aware. And let's face it: everyone makes mistakes from time to time. On a motorcycle you're just a lot less protected from mistakes.

Also, what's amazing to me is that given that bikes are physically small and have a narrow profile front and rear, why do so many American bikers dress in low visibility colors? I see a guy on a black bike and wearing black leather jacket, blue jeans and a black helmet- it's like he wants to disappear in my field of view.

CannibalCrowley wrote:
Marsman wrote:

I use it to commute and drop-off/pick-up Lil'Bean from daycare. She has a matching full-face helmet and she loves to ride with me.

How old was she when you started taking her on rides? My daughter is still too young to go much further than the end of the driveway; but I'm trying to ballpark when she might be ready for longer trips (even though she insists that she's ready now).

Beanie is 7 and she is now able to reach the pegs and stand up. Before that, it was just rides around the neighborhood. She uses my belt as a hand grip and I have a high sisiy bar that she can sit back against.

Funkenpants wrote:
Tkyl wrote:

I don't know how they could have missed me, but they were oblivious.

If it makes you feel any better, people sometimes cut into my lane even though I'm in a car. A lot of drivers just aren't aware.

I drive a bright red Pathfinder and this happens. "Just aren't aware" should be replaced with "just want you to die so they can get on with the cell conversation already."

CannibalCrowley wrote:
V-O wrote:

Second, I've always ridden cruisers or early 80's kinda-sport bikes, I would never recommend a 250 as you will outgrow it really fast, try something in the 600 to 750 range.

That's horrible advice to be giving a new rider, especially on that doesn't even have any experience driving. A new rider on a modern 600-750cc sportbike is pretty much the definition of a SQUID. It's like telling a new driver to buy a Lamborghini because he'll outgrow a sedan too fast.

Maybe I should clarify. In the 600 to 750 range I mean a cruiser or standard type bike (Yamaha Seca from the early 80s, maybe a Hawk or something similar), not a bullet bike. I have too many friends who were talked into a 250 as a starter bike by a salesman and regretted it three months later. I wouldn't be caught dead at highway speeds on anything as small as a 250 with truck traffic and crosswinds pushing me around.

This is not a bash against sport bikes as I've ridden half a dozen or so. Just something about the amount of power in combination with the light weight that scares the bejeezus out of me.

I want one of these next (probably make a good starter bike) http://www.ural.com/.

V-O wrote:

Maybe I should clarify. In the 600 to 750 range I mean a cruiser or standard type bike (Yamaha Seca from the early 80s, maybe a Hawk or something similar), not a bullet bike. I have too many friends who were talked into a 250 as a starter bike by a salesman and regretted it three months later. I wouldn't be caught dead at highway speeds on anything as small as a 250 with truck traffic and crosswinds pushing me around.

If you are looking for something with speed, you will quickly outgrow a 250cc bike. However, if you are just looking for something cheap and easy to ride, you can't do much better. You do however have to worry about crosswinds. They have a tendency to push your bike more than they would a larger bike.

If you are looking for something cheap, easy to ride, just around town, and cheap on maintenance just buy a moped. Throw a milk crate on the back and you've got ample storage. Better value than a starter bullet bike in my opinion.

V-O wrote:

If you are looking for something cheap, easy to ride, just around town, and cheap on maintenance just buy a moped. Throw a milk crate on the back and you've got ample storage. Better value than a starter bullet bike in my opinion.

I would disagree, but I'll leave it at that.

Funkenpants wrote:

Also, what's amazing to me is that given that bikes are physically small and have a narrow profile front and rear, why do so many American bikers dress in low visibility colors?

Hey I'm all for high visability, but I just can't wear bright leathers. It's kinda ghey.