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Old 05-13-2004, 06:03 AM   #41
JoelReiter
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Default Re: New Rider

Many years ago I went on a 3-day ride with some buddies. I had an aging Honda 305 Scrambler. The other bikes on the trip were a new Gold Wing, a Triumph 750 Triple, and a Honda SL350. The guys on the big bikes were afraid we would slow them down.



We didn't. We cruised plenty fast enough to keep them happy on the interstate and we ended up waiting for them in the mountains.



I like the idea of you getting a Ninja 250. Once you learn to ride it, it will keep up with anyone riding legally on anything. Before you learn to ride, no crotch rocket on earth will disguise your lack of skill.



A Ninja 250 is WAY faster than a 1967 Honda 305 Scrambler.
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:38 AM   #42
gbrummett
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Default Well said

Of all the comments listed I think your steps are the best. Good post!
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:13 AM   #43
kcracker
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Default Re: New Rider

It has been said before by people wiser than myself, "Learn in the dirt first." I didn't...I don't know if that would have been better.



What I do know, TAKE THE MSF Beginner Rider's Course!! You get an opportunity to learn on someone else's bike. You get a chance to actually ride. And you get a chance to look at the bikes and get an idea about what you want.



Many people have recommended dual sports and/or sport bikes. It seems to me that you would be very limited in your choices based on your height.



I learned to ride by rolling out of a dealer's parking lot. I walked in and paid cash for a bike that I could afford. I loved it! Was it a Ninja or go faster bike, Nope. Was it a monster cruiser with tons of torque, Nope.



It was a Honda Rebel. I cannot say enough good things about the bike. It has the lowest center of gravity of any bike I've ever sat on. It gets 50+ mpg. It corners on a dime (see low CG). Oh and one other thing...it was the only bike that my 5 foot 3 inch girlfriend could flat foot. Never underestimate the advantage of being able to flat foot.



It's not the hottest motorcycle on the planet. It is 250cc, but it will get you where you need to go. You basically get what you pay for...a cheap bike that you can ride on the freeway (just don't count on breaking the speed limit by much). And an Excellent learning tool.



Oh...sombody linked to beginnerbikes.com. Good Call. They are giving you the straight scoop.



Okay...too much bull and not enough bottom line.



Get something LIKE a Honda Rebel (preferably used).



Get the best safety gear you can.



Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundations Beginner Riders Course.
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:24 AM   #44
Neal
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Default Re: Dirt Bike

The dirtbike approach is GOOD advice.The current range of 125-250 cc 4 stroke" playbikes are good trainers for the street.I believe honda makes a CRF150 that should fit you well...or the Yamaha TTR series.
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:31 AM   #45
Neal
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Default Re: second that

My neighbor is a very experienced off roadrider,5'5'' and approx 150 lbs and is tickled pink with his first street bike (at age 45)--a Kawasaki KLR-250. This would be a great two birds with one stone buy.You could practice in the dirt and ride it to work/school.
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:38 AM   #46
donzi
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Default Re: Dirt Bike

CR 250 makes a perfect starter bike...........
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:37 AM   #47
sv1000rider
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Default Re: New Rider

My first bike was a 1995 Honda Nighthawk 750. It had the qualities I wanted in a first bike which were (in no particular order):



1. Low seat height

2. Unintimidating and smooth power yet very responsive if you needed it

3. Cheap to insure

4. Reliable and easy to maintain

5. Comfortable over long distances

6. Inexpensive

7. Fairly cool



I sold it for almost as much as I paid for it but the lessons I learned on it during the two years I owned it were invaluable. I definitely think it's smart to start out slow and work your way up the motorcycle food chain. Good luck and be safe!



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Old 05-13-2004, 10:06 AM   #48
leinj
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Default Re: New Rider

I agree with a lot of the comments so far - Ninja 250/500 or GS500 (personally I like the older style better). See GSTwins.com for more info on that bike.





Two bikes I don't recommend: Nighthawk 250 and SV650. I started on the Nighthawk - no power, poor handling, no brakes to speak of. The Ninja 250 is a much better buy in this category. And I upgraded to an SV650S about 4 weeks ago. I LOVE the SV, perfect bike for me, but remember I've ridden for several years and taken the MSF course, am a little bigger (5'10" 160 lbs), and a little older (24). The SV's height, weight and performance would all be very intimidating for a new rider.





Best bet? I'd say pick up a Ninja 250. Low seat height, light weight, but it has enough modern (post 1960) motorcycle technology to be a fun and safe learning machine.





Last note: Go to MSF course, and buy the best helmet/jacket you can afford. And have fun!
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Old 05-13-2004, 10:24 AM   #49
Neal
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Default Re: MSF class

What classifies as "special occassion"?
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Old 05-13-2004, 10:27 AM   #50
SuperBill
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Default Re: New Rider

Well, Anonymous, youÂ’ve gotten some good advice, and if you follow some of the more thoughtful suggestions, youÂ’ll be able to minimize your chances of getting hurt. Now hereÂ’s something nobody else has said: Motorcycles are dangerous! If you ride long enough, you WILL get hurt!



You should never use the words "motorcycle" and "safety" in the same sentence.



If you are a young man, the testosterone poisoning will almost certainly cause you to do something stupid on a motorcycle.



If you ride on public roads, someone in a car will almost certainly do something stupid to your motorcycle.



There are no "fender-bender" accidents between a car and a motorcycle - the score is always "Car 1; Motorcycle 0".



Contusions and concussions suck, but road rash is the worst – ever wonder what your elbow bone looks like when all of the skin is scraped away?



It is easy to love motorcycling – it happens to most of us on the first ride. But don’t go into it thinking you won’t get hurt. Go to a motorcycle event sometime and check out all of the guys walking around with limps. Next time you’re parked next to a guardrail, think about what it would feel like to slide under the rail and into the posts at 30 mph...40 mph...60 mph. Next time you’re at a stoplight think about what it would feel like for the pickup truck behind you to "bump" your motorcycle at 5 mph.



Scared yet? No? Then welcome to the club! And remember SuperBill’s simple rule for motorcycle survival: Throttle GOOD – Brake BAD!









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