Any Riders/Bikers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vladimir, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    I am taking a class to get my motorcycle endorsement this weekend. I am really excited, I have wanted to do it for years but could not because of my parents :rolleyes:. They made the mistake of always telling me if I got a motorcycle they would stop paying my insurance, they should have said I had to move out first :D. To be fair I paid my insurance after university, but lacked time and knew I was heading to Russia.

    I kind of want to start with a street bike because I know a cruiser would be great, so for my first cheap crap bike I would rather get the one I am not positive I will like, since selling it and changing won't be a big deal. :D

    Unfortunately here highway is crucial so think I need 500cc+ which limits my options. That being said the main freeways here are flat and 60MPH so a 250cc might do it, particularly on a lighter street bike.
  2. mncarpenter

    mncarpenter Member

    Nov 14, 2009
    Get the biggest bike you can afford and handle. More power is a good thing, and more weight is actually easier to handle on the highway. Bigger bikes tend to sell better,( in case you ever decide to leave and come back to the States)ride better and will haul passengers better-girls.750-1000cc, minimum, IMO.Bigger is better. I have ridden off and on all my life, and find small bikes to extremely frustrating. Don't buy into the notion that a smaller bike is a better first bike.


    JUNKKING Well-Known Member

    Agreed!! From the pics you have posted you seem to be a fair sized boy. A small bike just wouldn't be comfortable for you or serve the purpose. A smaller lighter bike on the highway will actually be harder for a new rider when a truck passes you and you feel the wind from them. Like mncarpenter said a smaller bike isn't always good for a new rider.

    Also please be careful and practice before going on the highway. Those classes for riding are a great thing and will teach you the basics to get a license ans head on down the road. The bad thing about them is they have really small bikes that are very manuverable not like a bigger bike. If the classes you are refering to are like the ones they give here at the community college they also offer an advanced class once you get your license. The advanced class is a very good class to take. Even some people that have been riding for years can learn in the advanced class. Good luck with your trek into biker world and remember it isn't always you that makes it unsafe it is the carelessness of people driving 4 wheelers that have no clue what being on 2 wheels is like. Bottom line is, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT!!
  4. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    As soon as you get that MC indorsement, take a Motorcycle Safety Class, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, is the one I recomend. They provide the bike, you provide the personal gear, you don't need to own a bike to take this course. Like the others have said, buy at least an 800cc to start with. Remember one thing though, you, and your bike, are invisible! No one out there wants to kill you, but they will, because they can't see you! I've been riding for over 42 years, and have covered most of the U.S. on a bike.
  5. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    Been a rider for 35+ years. 44% of crashes are single vehicle, meaning the bike by itself. Of that, in 70%+ the rider failed to negotiate a curve or turn, or struck a roadside object, and of that, 60% were determined to have been traveling too fast.
    Of these stats, large cruisers make up the majority of the incidents.
    And finally, 70% were new or inexperienced riders with less than 6 months riding. Big bikes are great, but NOT necessarily better, and DO require more skill, especially at speed.
    Just a word of caution.
  6. Been riding "legelly" since 1976 (actually been riding on and off road since 1969 at age 9 but that would be a long story of police chases and such) and today ride the HD that is my avatar. IMHO buy a bike that its you. IF a bigger person, buy a bigger bike since you do not want to be riding something that is straining under your size to keep up with traffic. A bike of at least 500cc or bigger would be the best to start with IMHO for reasons stated above. Take that motorcycle course stated above if for no other reason it will lower your insurance rates and you will learn what to expect out there on the roads. Another maain thing I will say is if you buy one ride as though every vehicle on the roads with you is out to run you over, in short ride defensively! From personal experience, I know that many people in autos are driving as though motorcycles are not even on the roads. They classify them with bicycles and do not give bikes the respect they deserve as to right of way.
  7. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    Thanks guys! I am starting real cheap, I will not buy a bike until I find a job, but it doesn't have to be a good job. I am so far just searching craigslist in the 1000-3000 range, as such I don't think I will get much more than 500cc, and I may have to even drop to 250. I think it would be okay as really all my driving will be around here in about 40MPH zones, and if I get on the freeway it is very flat to Seattle. I will definitely want to upgrade someday when I have the money, but my first goal is to make sure I enjoy it enough to make it worth it, and probably more importantly spend some time on a sport bike and cruiser to see what is more applicable for me in the area.

    My understanding is even 250cc will get you to freeway speeds, just not up a steep hill. I am a big guy, but not huge (anymore :D), about 250-260 range.

    I am actually back in the states now (need to update my location!). I think my initial goal is to see what I like, that and I will not buy a bike until I am employed, but I am not going to get a good job quickly- so I am buying used and cheap. I figured 500cc would be suitable to start, at least I can climb a hill on the freeway that way! Assuming I like it, which I am sure I will, I will definitely upgrade once I get a little more settled into a good job, and then I will pick something out that is a little nicer :D.

    I will have to look into the advanced classes. I know they offer them. I can learn a lot from my dad too, who has been riding bikes in law enforcement for about a million years!

    The class I am taking is much more than the state-required for a license. They will give me a certificate that will get me my license, but there is much more work involved. It is three days, two of which I think are just about all day. I think at least 8 hours of classroom time and 8 hours of riding time. Might be more though. Of course that's not all I need, but I feel like its a good place to start. Much better than just showing up at the DOL, taking the quick test and heading out :D. My initial requirement, since as I said I am shooting cheap, is 500cc, but frankly I'd go down to 250cc if I had to.

    These are interesting statistics. I may have to throw these at my dad (where did you get them?) I know riding is dangerous, I think my dad is the only guy in his unit who has not been in a serious crash yet. Of course they ride a lot more in almost entirely city-traffic and in a way different style, so they have a higher chance of crashing ;).

    Definitely, I know that issue with other cars being stupid! In Washington you actually do not have to insure a bike, so I probably will not. I may get the minimum coverage for damage I could cause, but I will have to look into it. That is one reason for getting a bike, mostly for fun, but I can save on gas, time (carpool lanes here are open to bikes, not sure if that is true everywhere), and I am hoping I can drop down the insurance on my car to one of those "I almost never drive it levels" :D.
  8. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I agree with everthing you've said. I like to use the term, road conditions, rather than the word speed. Yes, speed can get you into all kinds of trouble. And speed kills. But most accidents occure when a rider is not paying attention to road conditions. Pot holes, loose gravel, sand, rocks, critters, wet pavement, and deminishing radius curves all spell troube for the rider who is not paying attention. They may be well within the posted speed limit, but under a lot of situations speed is not the problem, so much as it's the lack of SA that gets you in trouble. You might say that the rider was going too fast for the curve. But the speed limit was posted, and the rider wasn't paying attention, so the rider was not looking at road conditions. The road condition in this case is the curve that has a lower speed limit.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  9. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Knoxville Tennessee
    My first bike was an old Kawasaki 550 LTD. 550 4 cylinder that was more than enough bike for me to get started. If I was you I would lean more to the mid rage cruiser as your first bike. Something like a Honda Shadow or one around that area. I have a friend with a 750 Shadow that is a really nice comfortable bike to ride. He is a bigger feller too so dont worry about the size. Oh yeah one more thing, if you decide to go with a bigger bike or even with a Crotch Rocket remember this, just cuz the damn thing is fast dont mean you have to go fast. That is one of the biggest problems today with new riders. They go out and get themselves a 600 cc crotch rocket and think that cuz its 600cc its not a barn burner.
  10. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    The MAIDS(Motorcycle Accident In Depth Study) reports 37%, but that's Europe. The HURT report, and several others, particuarly in CA., show down to 25% and as high as 50%+ overall.
    Web bike world has a good one( showing that 80% of single fataities left the road on a curve. No stats on the riders experience though.
  11. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Heres a pic of my bike.

    I was doing a tunup and changing out the chains. The gas tank is also off along with the ignition.

    It is real. And works pretty good. But crap on a rainy day.

    I've been riding it since 1968. Shes on her 4th motor now. And believe or not , that's a 80cc motor.
    It's legal to drive in the city, but because it's classified as motor asist (has petals ,ha ,ha) I can't legaly drive it on the highway. Go figure.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  12. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    You want to get at least some liability coverage. You don't want to file bankruptcy because you bump some guy's BMW. :eek: Not worth risking it.

    That said, your home owner's/renter's insurance may cover you on vehicles that don't require insurance. But check before you assume.
  13. Rastminikov

    Rastminikov Former Guest

    Feb 10, 2009
    LMAO! As a biker myself, that advice isn't that great (IMNSHO). Most people vastly over-estimate their abilities (even riders) and a new rider would not be best served by jumping on a 750-1000cc bike. Perhaps cruisers are a different animal, but anything like a Kawa ZX10R or Yamaha R1 - heck, 600s are still too fast for newbies - would be pure suicide. First over-enthusiastic twist of the wrist and the rider is out of control...

    I ride a 955cc Speed Triple, which is more than fast enough. Guess what I started on? An 80cc dirt bike. Rode it for years (on road too, hehehehehehe) and could still wheelie it uphill even when I was 20. Thing was fun, but didn't have the power to get away from me as much as a 600 or 1000 would. My 955i would be a nightmare if I'd never ridden before...

    First Bike:


    Current Bike:

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  14. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    One other word of caution, and frankly it disturbs me. A greater percentage of riders than cagers(car drivers for the uninitiated) that crashed were found to have a fairly high percentage of alcohol in their system.
    Does anyone in this day and age really need to be told about drinking and operating a vehicle?!?!?!?
    ESPECIALLY riding?
    Bad enough the cagers don't see you, but to add alcohol to the mix is just plain stupid, if you like living.
    And yes, I do drink. Typically in the evening on a weekend, when I'm not driving and the gun safes are locked.
    Sorry, not really preaching, just venting. Most on here would understand, not much different than with guns.
    Nice Triumph!
  15. mncarpenter

    mncarpenter Member

    Nov 14, 2009
    I think Vladimir said he was looking for a cruiser..highway bike.

    That can happen on any motorcycle, I know , I watched my Mom wheelie across the farmyard and subsequently dump my Suzuki 125 when I was a kid. Like others have said, learn to ride, take some classes, I took some riders classes to make it easier to get my motorcycle license 8 years ago and was pretty surprised how much I learned. And like I said I've ridden most my life. I hit a car head on with with that Suzuki and broke my leg in 3 places when I was 14. I rode my 1959 Harley Panhead chopper into a ditch at 80 when I was forced off the road and was able to ride it back onto the shoulder, mostly because the bike was heavy and stable enough to stay upright. I hit a deer at 4 am with a Kawasaki 900 when the rascal appeared out of nowhere and slid down the road a good ways on my right side, spent 2 weeks going to visit the burn unit on a daily basis for a pick and scrub. My wife rode her Sportster off a curve at 50 and stayed upright through a beanfield and fell over at about 15 mph when she panicked and let go the handlebars. I got to watch that one from behind her on my bike-not fun. She was unhurt,she was also wearing leathers , a good helmet and shield.. A smaller bike might have gone down earlier and results not so good. She bought a Lowrider after that, bike weighed about 725 lbs and my wife is 5-1 and is just a little bitty thing. Rode that bike great once I put short rear shocks on it and lowered the front end.The size of your bike has little to do with the space between your ears or your skill in handling a motorcycle.
    I've ridden many many miles without incident, and appreciated the 750 lb bike I ride when riding across South Dakota with a 30 mph crosswind,or through Minnesota in a thunderstorm or 2, and the power it has to get around trucks on a 2 lane highway, avoid idiots turning into me and run smoothly running down the road. I've ridden a Kawasaki 500 triple for hundreds of miles at a stretch and was so beat up when I got off the bike I vowed to never ride the thing again. Fighting wind , the bow wave from trucks, and the vibration made what should have been a lot of fun, pure misery.

    Funny how folks generally buy bigger bikes eventually...:D