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New to bikes

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by Jeff S., Aug 1, 2004.

  1. Jeff S.

    Jeff S. Carson Valley

    Jun 28, 2003
    Bozeman, MT
    I would like to know a place on the internet where i could go to compare bikes. I'm thinking about getting a superbike. I plan on taking the rider safety course, then buying a really cheap bike. After a few months and after I become a decent rider I want to get a superbike with a 600cc engine. I like yamaha, but truthfully, I know nothing about bikes.

    I guess I would just like to find a place on the internet like GT only for superbikes instead of guns. Any imput from you folks would be well appreciated. Thanks
  2. BikerGoddess

    BikerGoddess Got hairspray?

    Mar 8, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    Hi and welcome :)

    When I was looking for my bike, I did a Google search on 'beginner bike' and then looked up the ones that were mentioned several times on the manufacturer's website. Narrowed it down to three, then called dealers.


  3. Ok, I am repeating myself but here goes-
    Think about getting a dirt bike first. If you learn to ride off road, you will learn more about traction, braking, throttle control, in 6 months then you will learn in years of riding a street bike. It will make you a much better and safer street bike rider. Plus, when you fall down, it hurts less on the dirt. I know.
    Then take a Motorcyle Safety foundation course, or other safe riding course.
    And please buy and always wear a premium helmet. Eventually it will save your life, or keep you from spending the rest of your life eating through a tube. I know.
  4. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

    Jun 24, 2002
    San Diego
    Forget about the dirt riding unless that's something you want to do in addition to street riding.

    As for the bike after the learner biker the 04 Suzuki GSX-R 600 has won the 600 comparison in every bike mag this year. I have one and I gotta say, it's pretty freakin sweet.

    For the starter bike a mid to late 90's Suzuki GS500 fits the bill nicely.
  5. 45acp4me

    45acp4me Pissed puppet

    May 11, 2001
    Farmington, MI
  6. You know what they say about opinions...

    Mine is this...

    1) Gear is King! You cannot wear enough high quality safety gear. I wear (as a minimum) long pants and boots, my armored (perforated) leather jacket (top half of my leathers) and my Helmet and armored gloves. I always wear this stuff, even when it's 100+ degrees out.

    2) regarding starter bikes... I hate to see people get into crappy bikes for their first bike if they are buying new. You're going to learn faster on something that you feel comfortable on. I would pick up a used Suzuki SV-650 and ride it for one full season, or at least 15,000 miles of real riding, not freeway commuting. City streets and twisties, and a couple of track days, and then go bike shopping once you have a more realistic idea what you want and can handle. BTW, the SV-650 is a blast to ride, and on a really tight road will embarrass most current supersport bikes if it's setup properly.

    3) Training Training Training... It never stops. Start out with an MSF or similar course to get the basics but sign up for a track school ASAP to learn proper cornering technique. The biggest chunk of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents, which means an inexperienced, or otherwise improperly trained rider (this has nothing to do with how long one has been riding, it has to do with whether one was actually taught how to ride) does something stupid, or is a victim of unfortunate circumstances. I hate to say it, but most of the wrecks I've seen involved big heavy cruiser bikes and guys who were new to riding and had no clue. I ride a sportbike and have easily avoided similar or even much worse situations without crashing, but my bike weighs 300lbs less and has double the brakes and double the power. I'm not saying sportbikes are immune to crashing here, because I've seen several really stupid (and some fatal) accidents that involved them, but they were mostly people going WAAAAAAAAY too fast.

    The other big bone-head move I see people do is hit a corner at a speed they aren't comfortable with and try to hit the brakes mid corner and they either high-side (bike stands up and catapults them) or they low-side (bike loses traction and slides into the guardrail) which is bad either way. The thing is that on a modern sportbike, with (warm)modern sticky tires on, you can lay it over till you're dragging the pegs before the tires will break loose, but these guys have never been on a track, so they don't know to shift their weight inside and hang off to give their tires a bit more of a break and rail the corner. That's where the training comes in.

    I'm one of the few people that doesn't have big issues with newbies starting out on 600 sportbikes. They are light, they handle nice, they are fairly easy to ride once you have the hang of it, and they brake wonderfully, all of which can save the life of the new cyclist, provided the newbie has taken the proper steps to learn the basics of how to use these traits. The SV-650 meets all the same criteria without the blistering top end that todays 600 sportbikes have. It's got a nice smooth 650cc twin that sounds really nice with a free flowing pipe on it and it's a bit easier to see around you when riding due to the handlebars rather than clipons (clipons mount directly to the fork tubes) Around here they can be had for between $3000 and $4000 for a nice one with low miles.

    The only drawback to scoring a nice shiny Yamaha R-6 or Kawasaki ZX-6R or whatever sportbike as your first bike is that you will enevetibly drop it, and when you do you will rash up the bodywork, so a naked bike like the Ducati Monster, or the aformentioned SV-650 makes more sense in that respect.

    Newbie riders take heed! Stay away from Literbikes, or the 900-1000cc sportbikes. Examples include the Kawi ZX-9 & 10, and the Honda CBR 900, 929, 954, and 1000, the GSXR 1000, and the Yamaha R-1. These bikes have between 130 and 160 horse power and will kill you in short order. If you insist on getting one as your first bike, please let me take out a Life Insurance policy on you with me as the sole Beneficiary.
  7. bassman-dan

    bassman-dan NRA Lifer

    Jan 29, 2004
    Quagmire, Louisiana
  8. I guess I hit a nerve.
    I rode street bikes for 20 years before ever swinging a leg over a dirt bike. Dirt bike riders are a different breed. I started riding dirty in addition to riding street because my 2 nephews started.

    Lots of street bike riders are secretly intimidated by dirt bikes. Its a new world for them. The seats are way up off the ground. But I swallowed my pride, put on m/c boots and a chest protector, and tried it.

    Guess what? Its a blast. No cars to worry about, or stray dogs. Cops? Nope. Ride as fast as you dare. You think you know what its like to have a bike move around under you from street riding? No you don't. You also don't know much about traction or throttle control from street riding. You can dare to ride your dirt bike near its limits. You aren't doing that on your street bike, unless you are racing on a track.

    I thought I knew it all about bikes. Hell, I had owned and ridden dozens of street bikes, from sport to touring. I learned alot in my 2 years in the mud.

    You know that most of the successful pavement motorcycle racers in the last 30 years credit their dirt track, or off road riding as the reason for their success. People like Freddie Spencer, Ken, Curtis and dad Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, all of the Hayden brothers, spent major time riding off road to hone their pavement skills.
  9. I started out on the dirt too, but I doubt that someone is going to go through the expense to get all kitted out to run in the dirt (and it's spendy, even when you're talking a decent used bike) so that they can ride for a few years and then get their motorcycle endorsement. My wife and I are saving up to get Dirtbikes, as we both used to ride them and miss it. It's just a big deal unless you already have the truck to haul the thing, and the gear to wear, and the know how to rebuild the top end every season, or the money to pick up one of the newer 4-strokes, and all that. I love riding over on the dunes, but I wouldn't give up my sportbike for it. I'd rather buy a streetbike and pay for trackdays.