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Old 02-02-2006, 05:17 AM   #111
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Default Re: Excellent Point

I'll remind you that we live in a lazy culture. Who has time to learn how to, gasp, shoot?

Shotgun. The only choice in home defense for an apathetic nation.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:36 AM   #112
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Default Obligatory Hawk Plug

A Honda Hawk GT (NT650) will be every bit as competent as an SV650 for the first few years of anyone's riding life, and they're getting derned cheap. They were way ahead of their time: in the company of SV650s, Hawks are still thoroughly modern bikes. (And nobody doesn't like a single sided swingarm).

They'll grow with you as your skills develop, too. There's a dedicated crew of weirdos out there to help with maintenance and modification - check out HawkGT.com and HawkGTForum.com.

My Hawk was my first bike, and it's still my only bike almost five years into riding. In fact, it's my only vehicle, period. I commute daily, ride year round, do plenty of hour-long freeway drones out to the twisties, done several 300 mile one way tours, did a couple track days last season, and haven't had a lick of trouble with it. It was bone stock when I got it, and I've been learning to ride, wrench and fabricate as I go, not out of necessity, mind you, but to realize its performance potential and to make it my bike. I put a Monster tail section and underbody exhaust on mine, and I have a GSXR600 front end waiting to go on - they're extrememly adaptable.

And they're getting very close to 'vintage' status, if you care about that sort of thing. Not to mention the endless stream of 'what kinda bike is that?'
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Old 02-02-2006, 06:13 PM   #113
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Small first isn't always a good idea. For instance, it takes a real pro to be effective with a .410 shotgun, so early shooters who start with one get frustated and quit. Same for dinky little scoots. Besides, there's always a good chance you might get over taken and squashed by a soccer mom in an Expedition. Get too little the first time, you'll be back in no time selling and buying something else and losing money (unless you buy Harley, of course). Middleweight, low seat height, enough power but not too much, reliable, ...Ok, get an 883 Sporty.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:10 PM   #114
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

My first bike was a H1 Kawasaki 500cc 2 Stroke Triple. I bought it from a guy when I was living in Kissimme Fla. It was bored out twice because the oil injection system failed twice and he had it geared down.

As you know 2 Stroke engines don't have very much low end or mid range grunt. Then when they reach their power band the power comes in all at once. This bike makes an excelent first bike for a number of reasons.

With out much low end or mid range power the H1 forces you to become proficient at easing out the clutch slowly and making sure you give the bike enough throttle at take off otherwise you kill the engine.

When the bike does reach it's power band in first gear the bike will teach you to plant you're feet firmly on the foot pegs and to lean forward to help keep your hands on the handle bars while using your arm muscles to keep your arms bent (not straight). Otherwise the bike will take off from under you and you will be left hanging on to the bike only with your hands on the handle bars. Your body will be in a flying position like super man, with your arms straight out in front of you, your face and chest flat on the tank, and your lower body will slide off the seat causing your legs to fly straight back behind you. (The seat is flat.)

You'll be acelerating so hard down the street that you'll be hanging off the back of the bike horizontally like superman and you won't be able to let off the gas until the engines power band starts flatening out enough for you to pull yourself up like you're doing a pull up just enough to pull yourself up an inch so you can then twist your right wrist forward. Only then can you start to pull yourself forward enough to get back upright on the bike. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

The Kawasaki 500 Triple built up my confidence in cornering because it had horible cornering clearance and you could go around a corner at a moderate speed and the foot pegs and muffler would be dragging and scrapping every time. So a novice rider never had to worry about over powering the tires of that era.

The H1 was also a great first bike for drag racing. The designers of the bike tilted the 2 Stroke triples engine at a substantial forward lean, putting extra weight on the front of the bike. While acelerating the bike would hit its powerband, lift the front wheel about 2 or 3 inches off the ground (with me on it.) and leave it there for awhile as you speed down the street.

The guy I bought the bike from used to race guys on built 750 Honda's for pink slips and then sell their bikes back to them. The Honda guys were always pulling huge wheelies and backing off the throttle to keep their bikes from flipping over. The guy I bought the bike from would just lean forward, give the bike about two thirds throttle, dump the clutch and then floor it. He only weighed about 85 lbs. so the bike would stay down and just leave a long black tire patch as he blew away all comers. Of course nobody would race him when word got around how unbeatable he was.

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Old 03-28-2006, 07:23 AM   #115
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

A rider should first take the MSF rider course. They supply the bike and this allows a newbie the feel of a small bike as a reference point. Plus the skills learned in the course are crucial to enjoy motorcycling regardless of the type of bike they end up riding. The first bike should be comfortable to the rider and the rider should not have to lean to one side to plant their foot on the ground.
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