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Old 03-13-2002, 11:33 AM   #41
ErricZ
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

My first bike after my MSF course was a 1979 Yamaha XS1100, I don't want to hear that starting on big bikes can kill you immediately, I thought it was a good way to learn to handle the power and be sane.
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Old 03-13-2002, 11:46 AM   #42
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

All of the Comments written here are EXCELLENT.



I have a Girlfriend, whom wants to start riding, and the First things we agreed on was 1) MSF Course 2) At least a 3/4 Helmet and Leather Jacket and Pants. These were bought even before the Course. We are still looking for appropriate footwear.



We also went to see bikes. We wanted to see the Suzuki SV650 due to the Strong recommendaion at MO, but the dealer is 30 miles away [I live in Miami Beach]. Went to the Yamaha/Kawasaki dealer, they had just 'dumped' Kawasaki, and only about 40% of the floor space was devoted to bikes. The Salesman wanted her to get the mid-sized Cruiser, as he believed the smaller Virago was "just too small for her" - she is 5' 4" and weighs 115 lbs. ! Went to Honda - She was not impressed with the Rebel, as she thought it too small - and the Dealer had just opened-up for business 1 1/2 months before, and I had to find them at Hondas' web-site, as not even the Yellow Pages had them listed. When we asked about changing the handlebar, the Dealer suggested we not even try it due to the cables not being long-enough. Went to see the Ducati M620, and they had none in stock, but the bike had a seat height of 30.5 inches, and set-back foot controls, as per the brochure, and I did not know enough about their reliability nor did the Dealer inspire Confidence with a 700 square foot area and no mechanic in sight. None of these dealerships had any other customer traffic, and it was Friday afternoon.



It appears, to me, that the Riding Insdustry is not doing a very good job of training both new and older riders, nor inspiring much confidence. The dealerships have a buy it and leave attutude. And many magazines look-down at beginner bikes, as most of the articles are on the biggest and fastest bikes. This makes many Riders buy bigger bikes than they should. Also it is about time that we considered ALL of us Motorcyclists - not Riders whom ride Harleys or Something-Else. There is really no room for Snobbishness in this Sport. We should all be encouraging the beginners. And we should all understand budget-limitations, and Correct Fitment.



We finally went to the Harley Dealership on Saturday, and they had their act together - whether You like Harley or not. They had a Beautiful Store with All of the Gear needed, the Riders Edge Program for training, HOG and LOH for Continued Support, and the Buell Blast, which made sense as the First Bike, even though it does not get great reviews - but they offer a one-year trade-up program towards a bigger Harley or Buell, where you get 100% of what You paid for it, [and it may take half that long to get the bike of Your Choice...], up to MSRP. While we were there, they had a HOG barbecue, and my Girlfriend got to talk to some of the Ladies. She saw and talked-to Women Motorcyclists, and they were very nice and encouraging to Her. This is what made the Difference. My Girlfriend did not feel alone, and She knew that there would be after-sales support and encouragement. With me, or without me in the picture [I have to be realistic!].



While I did not agree with the Lady that Suggested a Softail instead of the Buell or a Sportster Hugger, it was at least an Independent View. When my Girlfriend passes the MSF course, I believe She will get a Buell Blast - and if She has a good-time, She will trade-up from there.



I hope this is the Safest and most-logical way, but Motorcycling is Dangerous, and ALL of us should be as responsible as possible. The best way to achieve this is through correct Gear and Training, and buying bikes that Fit the Rider Size and Experience.



Happy Trails!
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Old 03-13-2002, 12:53 PM   #43
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

Let me weigh in, in the Clueless Old (45) Fart category. I live in the Florida Panhandle, where the few corners we have are covered with the prettiest white sand you'll ever see.



My first bike was a 1988 HD FXR, bought for a great price in '92. I had previously ridden a buddies' neglected CB750K to the gas station, where I discovered what riding on dry-rotted rubber can do. Picking the bike up from between my legs, I rode it home. A month or two later, I found and bought the FXR. Why a Harley? I figured that, if I did not like motorcycling, I'd be able to sell the bike without too much loss.



After six years of owning and messing with the FXR, I decided "I liked riding too much to own a Harley". My quote, go ahead and use it. So when I sold the FXR (at a decent profit!), I went out and bought what I felt was the best all-around bike, a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST. Used, with pipe, bags, RaceTech'd front, etc. I'm now saving my pennies to go to a school.



So, what do I think the New Riders section should have?



1) A discussion of the differing characteristics of bikes. My FXR was much easier to ride than the CB750K, a K1200RS or even my Sprint. Low CG and good grunt at low RPM were the biggest reasons. Hard to stall, hard to drop. Bring up the fact that the 600s mentioned above do have a bunch of power, but how often do you see 12000 rpm around town?



2) Riding techniques, for all kinds of riding.

3) Accident reports, with analyses.

4) Servicing gimmicks and recommendations.

5) How to tell when something ain't right, such as alignment, cables are sticking, chain is shot. You know, the things you don't realize have happened because you are always using them.

6) References to print media and other e-sites that contain helpful information.



You guys have a great site already. I'm sure, especially now that the BLM is aboard, that you'll do us right.
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Old 03-13-2002, 01:36 PM   #44
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

yeah; if you live [who not to listen to]
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Old 03-13-2002, 02:11 PM   #45
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Default Big bikes okay?

Maturity is one thing, but throttle control and panic reactions are another. If a new rider gets spooked and accidently grabs a handful of throttle the consequences on a high HP bike will have greater amplitude than that of a low HP bike.



It'd be great if we could gather all the "100hp is low enough for a new rider" guys, bring them to a moto cross track (if they've never rode on the dirt), and perch them on a CR500.



I would wager they'd get beat by other newbies on XR200s because it's not nearly as difficult to go fast and push an XR200 to its limits and not die, as opposed to pushing a CR500, and definately risk being thrown off.



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Old 03-13-2002, 02:11 PM   #46
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

As a 30 year rider, and a currently teaching MSF instructor, I of course have my two cents to contribute...

It's always advisable to look towards those who already do comething well:



Activebike.com has been mentioned numerous times here, and for good reason. That was the best, most cerebral motorcycle related site on the internet. I weep for its demise, and long for another site to pick up where Activebike left off (are you listening, MO.com?) Someone here mentioned the post-mortem crash reports Activebike did, those were tremendous.



In every MSF class I teach, half of the students already own, or intend to buy, a bike whose capabilities far exceed their own. I always throw in a brief lecture about the subject, but it's not what they want to hear. The misconception that a 600 sport bike, or a 1200 Sportster is a suitable mount for a beginning rider is widespread. How about all of us with experience do our part to try and demolish this myth.



Stress the importance of proper gear, and let beginners know that they need to budget around $1,000.00 for all the gear and accesories to be properly equipped.



Look to Moto publications who already have effective safety related articles; most notably Motorcycle Consumer News, and the BMW Owner's News, who both retain the services of David Hough.



Stress the importance of proper education, both formal and experiential. Track schools, MSF-type courses, dirt riding, and simply putting in a lot of milage (especially with prudent, experienced companions) are all of great benefit to the novice rider.
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Old 03-13-2002, 07:23 PM   #47
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Default Re: Ear plugs

What?! I can't hear you.
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Old 03-13-2002, 07:37 PM   #48
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

"MO needs some hot nudie chicks to pose for an MO calendar (that features and SV650 on the cover)"



I 2nd the Porn on Bikes idea.



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Old 03-14-2002, 03:51 AM   #49
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

I agree. The industry doesn't handle beginners and progression well. There are some good small bikes (Rebel, etc.) But what's out there in between the teenie tiny bikes and really roadable ones? My wife in small (4' 11.74") and the Rebel was the only thing she could deal with, seat-height wise. She needs something faster with similar proportioons, and it's just not out there.



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Old 03-14-2002, 03:53 AM   #50
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Default Re: New Riders section at MO

Geez, I gotta get a spell checker.



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