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Old 07-02-2008, 04:48 PM   #1
lrredsoxfan06
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Default I'm NEW to all of this...ALL help appreciated!!

Hello everyone!

I am an 18 year old, turning 19 in September, looking to buy a bike for next summer and had a few questions the veterans here might know the answers to, or may be able to point me in the right direction. By the way, I am 6' 3", roughly 200 lbs.

A little about myself though first..I ride dirt bikes, four wheelers, etc. a few times a week, every week. I know motorcycles are different than dirt bikes, but they are on the same page for the most part. I've been riding for about 3 years now, so I do have a little experience.

While reading the questions, I am looking to get a bike for gas prices, to go to school and work, and enjoy the ride. I am NOT looking for something like a Huyabusa, or something fast, just something to start out on, nothing high on insurance, etc etc.

My Questions:
1. What type of bike would be a good starter bike for me?
Please keep in mind that I am 6' 3", roughly 200 lbs.
2. Roughly how much would a bike under 500cc cost in insurance yearly?
I am 18 years old with no motorcycle experience. I do have a car, 2 years experience with that, but I don't know if that will effect anything.
3. About how fast would a 500cc bike go?

These 3 questions are good for now, and all I can think of right now. If I come up with anymore, I will post them.

Thanks in advance for the help and I'm looking forward to contributing to this board!
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:31 PM   #2
lrredsoxfan06
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After posting, I decided to browse for some gear and accessories to kind of familiarize myself with some stuff..but I came up with another question.

4. What brand, style, etc. of helmets, jackets, etc. are the BEST quality?
My first bike will be bought before next summer, so I don't want the TOP TOP of the line gear, but I do want nice stuff to start out with.

Again, all help is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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Used Ninja 250r. They can be had anywhere from $700 up to $2k, get 70 mpg, and are perfectly streetable.. There's no 500cc = X speed algorithm, there are a lot of things (including how the bike is geared, power to weight ratio, yes even aerodynamics) that will determine top end. Any bike north of 250cc will go faster than the law permits.
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:44 PM   #4
lrredsoxfan06
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The price range of $700 - $2000 for a starter bike definitely is managable, and what I was looking for honestly. It's not too much, not too low to get a nice bike.

Thanks for the information on the 'cc' thing. I just remember in class one time, my teacher got to talking about motorcycles, and he mentioned a 1300cc bike was capable of about 250 mph. After that, I figured there was a little algorithm or something, lol.

Now you mentioned a Ninja 250r, but what about a Buell? Are they too low end, or what?
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Old 07-02-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrredsoxfan06 View Post
I just remember in class one time, my teacher got to talking about motorcycles, and he mentioned a 1300cc bike was capable of about 250 mph. After that, I figured there was a little algorithm or something, lol
Mebbe in outer-space. Or turbo'd to the Moon, at the very least. You sure he wasn't high on crack? Was he ever a Boeing Engineer, or Wildfire Smoke-Jumper? Does he look something like a young Michael Douglas (on Steroids!)?

The only 250mph+ 1300cc normally-aspirated bikes that come to MY mind are NHRA ProStock - and they get a teardown every 1/4-mile or so............
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:46 PM   #6
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Default No Puny Girly-Man Bike For YOU!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrredsoxfan06 View Post

Thanks for the information on the 'cc' thing. I just remember in class one time, my teacher got to talking about motorcycles, and he mentioned a 1300cc bike was capable of about 250 mph. After that, I figured there was a little algorithm or something, lol.
There is an engineering formula that can take frontal area, drag co-efficient, rolling friction, and a few other variable and come up with an accurate top speed for any given horsepower. But, obviously, it's nothing as simple as 1300cc's = 250 mph. For example: A Honda VTX with 1800cc's can barely make 100mph, a Honda CBX with 1000cc's can come close to 200mph.

While I'm all for the neato 250 Ninja for FNGs, I think you should go for something bigger, a 500 Ninja or it's equivalent if you're into a sportbike, or a 500-650 veritical twin (Triumph Bonneville, etc.) if you want a standard. Or, you might be able to find a used Dual Sport you could afford if you want to take a ride down a dirt road or non-technical trail from time to time.

Here's why I think you can skip the "Beginner Bike" phase: 3 years saddle time on the dirt. Unlike most riders, you aren't going to sh|t your pants the first time the rear wheel starts to slide. You've got all the bike handling skills and control muscle memory already in place. I wish the MSF had a full day of dirt riding in their course, dirt riders who transition to street tend to do really well (Hayden Bros, a bunch of others). Yes, the street is different and presents new challenges, but they are not the challenges that will get a total novice into trouble versus a seasoned dirt rider. You aren't going to drop your bike, are you? Wheelie into a ground loop? Fixate on a tree at the outside of a curve apex? Nah, I didn't think so.

Buying used bikes is not like buying used cars, where the price is the price without much variance. Spend some time looking, and you can find a gem at a ridiculous price, You'll find some guy who's old lady told him to get "that POS motorcycle out of the damn garage NOW!"

Gear: got a CycleGear store near you? I'm not saying necessarily to buy there, but it's a great place to see what's on the market and get a feel for quality versus price, leather versus textile, name-brand versus store brand. Once you narrow it down and get your sizes, buy there or online, depending on the price.

Insurance? Well, we have our own handy-dandy in-house Insurance Dude, Mr. Acecycleins, aka: Kirk. He may or may not cover your area, but he'll tell you what a good price should be. Be sure to have some smelling salts handy. 18 years old + motorcycle = GIGANTIC PREMIUMS!!! How about it Kirk, $800/month about right? (Just kiddin).
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Buying a used bike that you don't need full coverage on will save you a bundle on insurance. Liability coverage on bikes is pretty cheap.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:55 AM   #8
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Buells are fairly expensive, and except for the Ulysses, might be too 'small' for someone 6'3".

We have a 'newbie' post floating around here somewhere that addresses bikes and gear.

You didn't say how far your commute was going to be. My advice for you: KLR650* or DL650 ('Wee-Strom') and Joe Rocket gear. Helmet: Find one that fits. Spend the money required to get the one that fits. I prefer a full-face hat.

Seeing that you are in Maryland, i should point out that your choice of bike should account for operation on the Interstates and other hi-speed routes. *The KLR might not be the best choice.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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Go get a used Suzuki DR650 for about $3000. It will go anywhere. It will get great mileage and the insurance will be under $400 a year for everything.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:43 AM   #10
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The transition from dirt to street works pretty well as others have said. Just remember you can use your front brake a hell of a lot more. While others are correct in saying that there is no formula for cc to top speed, the answer is almost surely more than enough (OK, maybe not on a Honda Ascot). For what you're looking for, it's hard to imagine getting over 100 mph is too terribly important, most bikes of that size will get up to that range, the 500cc ninja significantly more.
As far as gear goes, think about what kind of weather you're going to ride in. Hot weather (90+) requires perforated or at least well ventilated gear. Cool and wet weather is completely different. I've been pretty happy with the Teknic Spider, which converts from lined fully waterproof to mesh armored jacket in about a minute. Get what works for your budget and the conditions you think you'll ride in, but definitely get and wear the gear.
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