Motorcycle Catch-All

You've been on a waiting list since 2001?!

My company gets employee pricing on Ducatis and I have really, really wanted a Scrambler for a while. We have save a sh*tton of money during covid because we haven't traveled or eaten out at all. Thing is, though, I haven't ridden a bike for real since my trip to Vietnam in '99 and haven't daily since college in the 80's. Bikes have changed, the road has changed, and my skills have rusted. Is this "too much bike" for me and is it really necessary to get a "starter bike"?

Paleo: I'm not a super risk-adverse guy, but I'd suggest something smaller to start. One bad turn or excessive grab at the throttle and you could be in way over your head; I'm a new rider as of last year and have made all of those mistakes. I think of myself as methodical, physically and mentally fit, and careful, and have been grateful for my GZ250 and not a bigger displacement bike when things have gone less than perfectly.

TheHipGamer wrote:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/eLxkpHo.jpg)

She's a 2021 Rebel 500 ABS

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Nice! Did you give her a name yet?

TheHipGamer wrote:

April seems pretty far away...

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Agreed. Will be out on a ride as soon as we get some 50 to 60 degree weather here in the midwest and put on my layers.

Paleocon wrote:

Thing is, though, I haven't ridden a bike for real since my trip to Vietnam in '99 and haven't daily since college in the 80's. Bikes have changed, the road has changed, and my skills have rusted. Is this "too much bike" for me and is it really necessary to get a "starter bike"?

Bikes now are so much better than they were in the 80s. Technology has taken us very far.

Rusty skills can be dusted off by either taking a "welcome back" MSF course, or just some good solid, focused practice. If you prefer a book to learn things, "A Twist of the Wrist II" is easily the gold standard. They're also a related FMV-esque movie that's completely worth your time.

As for what to get / where to start, that's all up to you. You'd be surprised how many "starter" bikes are a f*ck-ton of fun (looking at my Ninja 400).

trueheart78 wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Thing is, though, I haven't ridden a bike for real since my trip to Vietnam in '99 and haven't daily since college in the 80's. Bikes have changed, the road has changed, and my skills have rusted. Is this "too much bike" for me and is it really necessary to get a "starter bike"?

Bikes now are so much better than they were in the 80s. Technology has taken us very far.

Rusty skills can be dusted off by either taking a "welcome back" MSF course, or just some good solid, focused practice. If you prefer a book to learn things, "A Twist of the Wrist II" is easily the gold standard. They're also a related FMV-esque movie that's completely worth your time.

As for what to get / where to start, that's all up to you. You'd be surprised how many "starter" bikes are a f*ck-ton of fun (looking at my Ninja 400).

I have noticed. I think the last time I was on a "real" bike was before antilock brakes were a thing and the GS750 I used to ride was pretty unforgiving particularly in the rain. I imagine newer bikes are many times more capable, but also a little bit more forgiving.

Even just the tires are better. If you're up for a discussion on maybe what's changed throughout the years, Highside/Lowside (A RevZilla podcast) had a live episode where they discussed some of those things.

Hosted by Zack Courts and Spurgeon Dunbar, with Jen Dunstan and Ari Henning.

First is news, followed by the "Best Era" topic at 26:32, then the early 80's come up when they talk about the "Worst Era" (note: not necessarily bad, just... not the 70's). So much has gotten better in the past 40 years it's absurd.

Feel free to watch or listen, they are bike nuts (whether you like who they work for or not, which is basically CycleGear).

I got to drive an old, unmodded 86 Honda Prelude on the track recently and it scared the sh*t out of me as the braking distances were about five times what I am used to in a modern car. I actually had one of those as recently as 20 years ago and I am both surprised and disappointed in how spoiled I have gotten with how easy it is to drive a modern wonder.

It's funny because I remember old farts back in the day talking about how much easier it was to ride and maintain something like my old Japanese GS than the death machine Vincents they used to ride back in THEIR day.

Take a safety class
Take a safety class
Take a safety class
Take a safety class
Take a safety class
Take a safety class
oh and Take a safety class

I can't stress it enough, especially if its been a while since you have been on 2 wheels.

I agree on the recommendation for a safety class as a good refresher if you haven't ridden in a while, particularly if you're riding on roads. I feel the roads have gotten crazier over the years (I'm pretty old). I never enjoyed street bikes as much as dirt, nowadays I avoid them as much as possible. That's all a personal preference though.

Scrambler is an 800, I run with a few folks with Desert Sleds. Very similar to my Tiger in power and capability. The power can get you in quick trouble, but also will be plenty of bike to ease and grow into over some time.

I'd ask 2 things:

  • How comfortable are you on a bike? Nervous about it? Then get a smaller used bike with less power that you won't accidently rip the front wheel off the ground when you need to react quick and don't have the instinct. You will have to react quickly to a situation using instinct. If you're confident, then Scrambler is a fine bike with plenty of power, yet not too much.
  • How well can you control yourself? Me? I have no control. My ass hits the seat and I'm 20 years old again. I want to still be riding dirt bikes well into retirement so not taking so many chances is an important thing for me now. So I run with tamer bikes to force some control on myself. If you have control of yourself, a powerful bike isn't an issue. I guarantee even on a 250 or 500 there will be performance left over you will not have the skills to use, especially on modern bikes.

Bonus point - right now bikes are still at a premium, so if you felt the Scrambler ends up too much for now, no problem dumping it with very minimal loss. Also, easy to sell a smaller bike if you find you still got the mad skills you once had

Edit - looking back at this I'm not sure I'm helping, but at least adding a perspective? Bikes are a very personal thing is maybe the biggest takeaway. Ultimately, when you're out there, it is you... and the bike.

TheHipGamer wrote:

It's the dead of winter here in MA, but the Honda Rebel 500 I'd been on a waiting list for at my local dealership finally became available in December, and I took delivery yesterday!

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/eLxkpHo.jpg)

She's a 2021 Rebel 500 ABS, and I opted for the fabric removable saddlebags and stays (obviously removed in this pic, but they nicely slide off and on and have shoulder straps that I think will make them really nice for small road trips), passenger seat, upgraded main seat, fork boots and covers, tank side and top pads, headlight cowl, and official cover. Considering adding a rear rack, but I dislike the look of the OEM rack and am sitting tight for now.

April seems pretty far away...

That's a money shot right there! Nice framing. Good luck fighting the urge to mod and farkle while you wait for April lol!

Some people love large displacement bikes. I’m in love with smaller displacement bikes because I just enjoy how agile they are. Also, doing triple digits on the street is madness. I’d rather ride my small, slower bike fast than a fast bike at a slow (for it’s cc) speed.

As for getting back on a bike, you can also just practice. I know in the states you can pull up to a DMV that does motorcycle tests and just use that testing area for your own personal practice. If you have access to a long driveway (like I do), you may even be able to do so there. Or just pick a parking lot that’s not in terrible condition. Buy some Crayola sidewalk chalk and bring a tape measure, and make your own course. You can find details about how the DMV’s is laid out, online. There’s also some YouTube channels that have good practice guides (I like the MotoJitsu guy a bit, but mainly his pamplet/book with decent level-up-style instructions). Just remember they’re aimed at beginners. What’s important is to get your muscle memory back and pick up newer techniques that you might not be aware of (see Trail Braking).

Lastly, follow Fortnine on YouTube (if you don’t already) and just enjoy the content.

One more classic, good video, just because.

Yeah. I will definitely take a safety course once the weather gets better. I just found out that the Harley dealership on the other side of the bay actually rents bikes. The roads out that way are far less congested and the ride out to the shore is really nice. I might end up doing a couple weekend rides with rented bikes before I decide if I want to take up a garage space with my own.

Paleocon wrote:

I just found out that the Harley dealership on the other side of the bay actually rents bikes. The roads out that way are far less congested and the ride out to the shore is really nice. I might end up doing a couple weekend rides with rented bikes before I decide if I want to take up a garage space with my own.

That is a wonderful idea. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/120/google/313/sparkling-heart_1f496.png)

ToxicWaltz wrote:
TheHipGamer wrote:

It's the dead of winter here in MA, but the Honda Rebel 500 I'd been on a waiting list for at my local dealership finally became available in December, and I took delivery yesterday!

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/eLxkpHo.jpg)

She's a 2021 Rebel 500 ABS, and I opted for the fabric removable saddlebags and stays (obviously removed in this pic, but they nicely slide off and on and have shoulder straps that I think will make them really nice for small road trips), passenger seat, upgraded main seat, fork boots and covers, tank side and top pads, headlight cowl, and official cover. Considering adding a rear rack, but I dislike the look of the OEM rack and am sitting tight for now.

April seems pretty far away...

That's a money shot right there! Nice framing. Good luck fighting the urge to mod and farkle while you wait for April lol!

Indeed! All that I'm doing is putting a behind-the-license-plate box to hold my registration and paperwork, and adding some small crash bars just in case. Otherwise, GPS notwithstanding, I'm leaving it as is.

trueheart78 wrote:

Lastly, follow Fortnine on YouTube (if you don’t already) and just enjoy the content.

Fortnine videos are so good!

Cross-posting from the Win of the Day thread.

After a very long time since being on my motorcycle, I took time out yesterday to get my gear ready, with the goal of just going across town for tacos. 45 degrees is not wonderful riding weather, but with enough layers and wind protection, it worked out well. Once I got back on the road I remembered why I love riding and took a 2 hour detour ride before getting tacos. I cannot wait to get back out there...

Also, tacos were still dope.

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I like how the chip basket matches the helmet and jacket colors as a bonus.

I’ll be out a bit on Tiger tomorrow ignoring yard chores if all goes well.

New toy day! (It's a CRF450RL)

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This is my first dual sport. Done a ton of road riding on my old YZF600R, but never owned a dirt or dual sport bike. Got some dirt-specific lessons lined up to learn everything I don't know about off road riding in the next month.

Looking forward to a lot of time in the mountains this summer.

Now I just gotta buy a thousand accessories!

This makes so much more sense now.

Progress! Arizona legalizes lane filtering.

As always, it is important to note the differences between lane filtering and lane splitting. Lane filtering, which is what Arizona just approved, allows motorcycles to move at low speeds between stopped traffic. California remains the only state that allows lane splitting, in which motorcyclists move between traffic at speeds above a stopped or slowed pace.

Just gonna drop some nature porn from some of my recent Colorado rides. Did a couple of random exploration trips, and then did the whole BDR a couple weeks ago.

Done a lot of mods on the bike in the last few months, the big ones being a new 5 gallon tank which gets me roughly 200 miles of range, a nav/charging tower, and the Mosko Reckless 80 luggage, which is just awesome!

Planning to take 5 or 6 days near the end of Oct to head down and ride the UT BDR next.

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Serengeti wrote:

Just gonna drop some nature porn from some of my recent Colorado rides. Did a couple of random exploration trips, and then did the whole BDR a couple weeks ago.

Wow awesome pics, looks like a ton of fun. I haven't ridden out that way, yet. Are you doing solo trips mostly?

ToxicWaltz wrote:
Serengeti wrote:

Just gonna drop some nature porn from some of my recent Colorado rides. Did a couple of random exploration trips, and then did the whole BDR a couple weeks ago.

Wow awesome pics, looks like a ton of fun. I haven't ridden out that way, yet. Are you doing solo trips mostly?

Solo for the most part, but definitely like riding with others as well. Virtually all of my buddies who ride are on trail bikes that aren't road legal, so they don't really do the longer, BDR-style trips. I did get my wife on a dirt bike about a month ago, and she's loving it so far, so hopefully she'll be down for some touring next year. Already have a reservation at our local dealer for a CRF300L Rally for her when they get one in.

In June, I started looking at getting some with more power than my Ninja 400. I wanted something more comfortable and that could handle rougher roads (or even dirt). I headed to the local Triumph dealer (they do test rides) l and saw a lot of great bikes.

What caught my eye was way more powerful than I thought I wanted: a Scrambler 1200 XC. It fit me almost perfectly (seat was a tad high). They had a 900 version, but being smaller, it just wasn’t as comfortable for me. So, after a couple of test rides, I brought home the 1200 XC.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/fJxH8NC.jpg)

With a lower seat on it, hand guards, dresser bars, and heated grips, I’m ready to keep it out and about in chilly weather. I absolutely love it.

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Oof, how is that muffler heat pipe on the leg? Is it more recessed than it looks?
Looks flipping sweet though!

fangblackbone wrote:

Oof, how is that muffler heat pipe on the leg? Is it more recessed than it looks?

To give you an idea, I’ve had it for a few months and this is the first time outside the showroom Ive thought about it. I don’t notice it at all.

fangblackbone wrote:

Looks flipping sweet though!

Thanks! <3

What's that, you want more nature porn pics from my bike travels? Well, sure, I can oblige!

Here are a few panos I took. Not sure why a couple of them have what looks like lens artifacts, but they're still pretty cool. These are all from various passes in the San Juan mountains, except for the first one which is from somewhere on the Uncompahgre Plateau.

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I really like the look of the new CL500. Might need to put one of them in my garage next year...

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