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Old 05-27-2008, 06:59 PM   #1
N5TJD
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Default An Intro and questions on the MSF course

Hello, (yet another) new guy here. My name is T.J. and I live in Northeast Texas. I've been seriously looking into getting my Motorcycle license and buying a cruiser styled bike. My first question is for those of you that took the MSF course, how hard was the "on bike" portion? I just watched a short overview of the course on their website and it looks like it will be a little challenging. I'm not expecting or wanting a cake walk, but it makes me a little nervous as someone who hasn't ridden in 9 years.

My history.... I got an old 1977 Honda Express scooter when I was in 3rd grade. I grew up in a very rural area with miles of lightly driven roads around me. I drove the wheels off that thing. In a years time I put 7,000 miles on that thing. In fourth grade, I had saved up $50 and bought a 1979 Honda 100 my cousin had used and abused and was just looking to get rid of. Me and my dad rebuilt it including fabricating new side panels, welding up a straight pipe exhaust, painting, making a new seat covering from a old Ford truck seat vinyl, some engine work, etc etc.

I rode that bike from when I was in 4rth grade into my early high school years. Even though it was set up as a dirt bike, I spent hours and miles on the road. It could get me up to the mid 60mph range, but I was happy cruising the back roads at more reasonable speeds. If I had to guess, I would have to say I rode at least 20,000 miles on that bike. I wore out several sets of tires.

Of course as time went by I started wanting a drivers license and a pickup truck. As I started to drive cars and trucks the motorcycle got used less and less, until one day, a friend of the family asked about it. His son was getting into motorcycle repair and wanted a cheap project to work on. So, I sold it to him for what I bought it for all those years ago. $50.

So now I am 24 and my daily driver is a Dodge 3/4 ton diesel truck. I never outgrew my love of going on "joy rides" I've been known to travel hundreds of miles in a day. Now with diesel so high and costing me $120-140 to fill up, I'd like to buy a motorcycle. Foremost for the fun of being on two wheels again, and a side benefit of maybe saving a little in fuel and mileage on the truck...

I am still looking at potential bikes. I haven't settled on one yet... my biggest priority is taking the safety/training course and then getting my motorcycle endorsement first...

So that is a bit (well, a whole lot) about me. I invite your thoughts and comments. Excuse my ramblings.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:00 PM   #2
sachiwilson
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Read the sticky threads - they have a ton of info for new riders, about bike selection, gear, the motorcycle safety course, and just about everything you might need to know.

The MSF course is a bit tricky at times, but it's not that bad. Don't fret about it.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info... as they say, R.T.F.M.

That said, I haven't decided on what I want. I have been eyeing the Suzuki line. Ultimately something in the 1500cc area would be nice, like the Suzuki C90, but a guy down the road has his 2006 C50T for sale, it only has 2700 miles on it and he is asking $6,000 (close to kbb). It is in great condition visually and I've heard it can be a pretty good starter bike.

My penny pinching side likes to buy once and grow into it. My newbie-just-starting-out side says a smaller bike might be a good idea. The two haven't quite reached an agreement yet.

I called MSF and got the info for local courses 60 miles away in the middle of June. I'm just taking my time and doing my research. Thanks again.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:08 PM   #4
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Sorry, I just had to laugh at that one - the thought of an 800cc motorcycle as a "Starter" bike....................
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:42 AM   #5
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Can't have fun with under 100 horsies either!
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:15 PM   #6
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No one is born knowing everything we all have to learn so excuse my comments if they seem silly to those more experienced or redundant for forum regulars.

I understand from my scooter days long ago even 50ccs is quite capable of killing you. I do not for one minute think 800cc is small. I do feel it is smaller in comparison to all these larger 1500cc+ machines therefore given the opportunity to purchase one in good condition for a fair price it might make sense. Even though it is still large, it might still be in a manageable range that could still be used to learn on. At 45hp at the wheels it deserves respect but it is no 100hp monster, longrider.

Rag on me all you want guys, it doesn't bother me. I've got thick skin. It is one thing if it is done for fun or to make a point, but if it is just nothing more than picking on someone, that I have no care or patience for.

Thanks for the information...and opinions.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:10 PM   #7
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Nah, nah - none of that - it's just the irony of thinking of an 800cc bike nowadays as a "beginner's bike".

I've got a friend of mine, toured ALL OVER the Southwest and parts of Northern Mexico back in the '70s on a Yamaha 175 WITH his Wife on the back, and a pile of gear strapped to it. Back then, that bike was knocking at the door of the "mid-size" category. Nobody even makes a streetbike that small nowadays (for the US market), and "mid-size" has been reclassified as 1200-1600cc...................
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:23 AM   #8
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N5TJD,

A thick skin is a good thing to have around these guys, but they are a good-hearted bunch. Quite sweet, once you get past the sour, chewey outer skin.

My recommendation for you is either the Suzuki SV-650 (not the SV-650S), the DL-650 'Wee-Strom' or the Kawasaki KLR-650.

You can find them used for fairly cheap and all are huge fun, and very capable. Obviously, the SV is more street oriented.

The only reason I would suggest you avoid a cruiser to start with is that many folks that buy the 'baby' version of a 'real' cruiser almost always decide they need to upgrade, and not long after they start riding.

Good luck!
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