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sartorius 01-31-2010 05:52 PM

Possible future rider, practical questions

I've never ridden a motorcycle (just a little scooter once), but I've got the bug. I'll sign up for a beginner class in late March and see how much I like it before I get all crazy and think about getting a starter bike.

What I'm wondering about right now is just some practical stuff, and I'm guessing it might vary person by person:

1. If you take the bike to the store, where do you put your helmet? Or do you carry it inside with you?

2. How cold does it get before you stop riding? I imagine 20°F gets damn cold at 70 mph even with appropriate gear.

3. How easy is it to steal a motorcycle?

Basically, I want to get a better sense of what I'd be getting into and the reasonable limitations of a motorcycle.


pushrod 01-31-2010 06:25 PM

Dan, Welcome to the site!

First, I should point you to the 'New Rider' "sticky". Use the 'Search' feature. Pack a lunch.

To answer your questions (and, bear in mind the type of bike you choose makes a difference in all three answers):

1. If you have a helmet lock or saddlebags that are large enough, you can leave the hat with the bike. If it's really ugly, you can also leave it with the bike. Do not hang it off the rearview mirrors, 'cause you can damage the interior. Do not set it on top of the gas tank, 'cause escaping vapors can damage the interior.

2. It's a question of exposure. If you have the proper gear, if the bike has a fairing, if you have electrically heated clothing; how fast and how far you are in the weather - all apply to the answer. Also, if it gets much below freezing, you need to worry about ice on the road.

3. Very. If you are really worried about it, chain your bike to something that cannot be moved. If the bad guys REALLY want your bike, they'll probably still get it. Just make it difficult, and they'll probably go look for an easier target.

You need to tell us where in the world you are located.



Dr_Sprocket 01-31-2010 06:45 PM

A muscle man, I see.

1. Where I live, I often leave my helmet on the ground. Never had it stolen. If you leave it on the bike, it might fall off. My Buell Ulysses has a built-in passenger backrest, so I set it on top of that. No probs. In the city, it would probably be stolen.

2. I ride regularly down to about 27 degrees (F). I have a heated jacket liner and heated grips and hand guards that keep the wind off. I would ride my old bike without all this stuff down to 27 degrees, but it was uncomfortable. Now, no probs.

3. Super easy. Three guys and a van can "relocate" your bike in about 20 seconds. You can get LoJack for bikes. There are other means of theft deterrent such as brake locks, chain locks, engine immobilizers, etc. but any thief that wants your bike (or your car) could easily take it.

A Star Ride 01-31-2010 07:38 PM

Welcome and good advice above alot has to do with where you live, and:

1. I'm not as worried about damaging the liner in my helmet as I am it falling & getting damaged, I hang mine on the highway peg, so it cant fill with water if it rains, and has a short distance to fall if it did. I have a helmet lock but they're a pain in the rear.

2. Do your best to stay dry & warm, it there aint ice, go. I wouldnt recommend trying to match riding gear with your bike though, your gear will likely last several bikes, and when selling your old ride the new owner may not want or need what you have that looks great with it, and sizing issues too.

3. again, depends where you live, I leave the key in mine the majority of the time and arround here no problems but that can vary by model & location drasticly. If your not set on a particular "dream bike" consider insurance cost into your decision, a bike high on the theft list will be more costly to insure.

Good luck hope we helped

seruzawa 01-31-2010 08:03 PM

It's pretty easy steal motorcycles. Ride a rat bike and seldom will anyone bother it.

sarnali2 01-31-2010 10:31 PM

1. I carry my helmet in with me, I am not a trusting person and I buy high quality gear. having my $400 Shoei sitting in some ******* kids bedroom as a trophy would piss me off to no end

2. cold is rellitive, you can freeze your butt off at 50 degrees if you're only wearing a jean jacket, gear up and you can ride down into the teens however below freezing then ice is the problem not cold

3. very easy to steal a bike, try to park in lighted well traveled areas or locked up inside however if someone wants it bad enough it's gone. Buy lots of insurance.

Dr_Sprocket 02-01-2010 05:14 AM


Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 233388)
1. I carry my helmet in with me, I am not a trusting person and I buy high quality gear. having my $400 Shoei sitting in some ******* kids bedroom as a trophy would piss me off to no end

Good point. I should probably be less trusting. Perhaps, I'll try to be so in 2010, with my new Arai. ;)

sarnali2 02-01-2010 06:34 AM

A good friend of mine lost a really nice Shoei with American flag graphics, I think it was a Scott Russel or Jay Springsteen replica, whatever it was a cool looking helmet. He left on the tank bag of his KLR and went in to pay for gas, when he came out it was gone, that quick.

Some kid probably has it sitting in the corner of his room and my bud's out $400+....

A Star Ride 02-01-2010 07:51 AM

Also if your lid gets lifted, ya cant get home (legally in most states), that would suck worse then locking keys in the car. Now you need to bug a friend or family member, who has a helmet, and your still out $200.00 (at minium).

trenttheuncatchable 02-01-2010 09:46 AM

1. I always carry mine with me when I ride alone. If my girlfriend and I are on a day trip, we use a cable lock, and thread the cable through the helmets and jackets. But those trips mostly include stops where there are a bunch of other motorcycles parked, so our bikes don't really stand out.

2. I don't usually ride when it's below 40 degrees fahrenheit. Remember that with the wind chill, it's usually ten degrees colder on the bike than off it.

3. While it's relatively easy to steal a bike, it really depends on the neighborhood you're in on how likely it is to get stolen. When I first got my bikes I used to put a disc lock on the front, and I got an alarm. Now, when I park at work, I don't worry about it anymore. But I live and work in a decent neighborhood, and I park my bikes in the garage.

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