Concidering a bike.

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by Usingmyrights, May 2, 2007.

  1. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    Due to gas prices, and the distance I drive each day, I'm concidering getting a motorcycle. I just started researching it and figured I might as well ask on good ole GT.

    First question is about size. My commute of about 90 miles round trip has me going 60+ for probably about 65 miles of it, with about 40 of those miles around 70. The rest is around 45, with some lights. From what little I've seen tonight I'm worried about a smaller bike being able to hand those speeds, for that amount of time. OTH bikes around 600cc don't seem to be recommended for new riders.

    Suggestions for comfort is appreciated as well since I'll be spending roughly an hour at a time on the bike.

    Am I correct in that most bikes get around 45-50 mpg? Thats about what I'm looking at to break even in fuel savings cost vs bike cost. Of course I'll have something of value to show for my money in the end. I'm simply talking monthly exspences. First couple years would be break even, then the savings really kick in, and I can always sell the bike and get some money back.

    I know that rider size makes a difference too. I'm 5'11" and 150lbs. I'd like more of a sport styled bike but am wondering about comfort after being on one for an hour.
     
  2. Esox357

    Esox357

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    Just entered the motorcycle world, I personally went with a 600cc bike, never rid in my life. I have a little over 200 miles on my bike in 3 weeks time and love it. You need to go slow when learning to ride and did exactly that, I had a buddy that had the patience to help me out and ride with me. I am signed up for the Motorcycle safety course in 4 weeks. Personally I wanted a 250cc but was talked out of it and glad I was because I would have wanted a bigger bike pretty quick. I have no regrets buying a 600cc.
    Now from an economic stance and just to commute than a 250cc would be ideal and would get you from point A to point B without any problems. I would base them off your budget and go from there. Esox357.
     

  3. stmcelroy

    stmcelroy Holster Maker

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    I just picked up a 2005 Kawasaki ZZR600 that was like new with less than 3,800 miles on it last week for $5200.

    This is my first real street bike, and i am loving riding it. I've put 150 miles on it in 4-5 days of riding, and have found it to be a great first bike.

    The riding position is between sport bike and touring bike, and is super comfortable. Some have even said this is one of the most comfortable sports bikes out there, and it works for me.

    If you are responsible and cautious a 600cc bike would be fine, just remember to keep an eye out for people in cars and wear as much gear as possible.

    Steve
     
  4. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    Yeah, I'm not looking to go showing off with it, but don't really want to be ashamed of it either. I was worried about the 250 handling the "higher" speeds for that duration of time, since what I've read said it wasn't really a highway bike. I have no plans to see how fast I can go, but wouldn't mind it having a little bit of "get up and go", behind it either. Only motorized 2wheeled experience was on a mini-bike with a top speed of upper 20s.
     
  5. buddylee28

    buddylee28

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    Since you're going to be on the freeway I'd forget about a 250cc bike altogether. I think the top end on some of those is about 70, and they're in no hurry to get there. I started out on a Suzuki SV650S, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that to others. It never did anything to scare me, and it had plenty of torque/speed for daily riding. Be very careful which 600cc you pick though - they're not all comparable. I would stay away from something like a CBR or GXR (a true racebike!) as they are much faster than their engine size would make you believe.

    The MSF course is an absolute must, as others above have mentioned. I took the class without ever having been on a motorcycle before in my life. I left the class feeling comfortable (not "good" but comfortable) on a bike.

    A friend of mine bought a CBR600 and jumped on without taking the class. One shattered wrist later, and he sold the bike and will never ride again. Too bad, because we lost a biker due to lack of training and poor choice of first bike.

    You mentioned gas mileage. My SV consistently got 50 mph, and I didn't ride it conservatively (had fun with it).

    If I had it to do over again I'd get the SV650 (naked version) versus the "S" version which hurt my back after a few hours. There are plenty of other good choices out there too..

    Good luck!
     
  6. NotAMonte86

    NotAMonte86

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    The Ninja250 may be the peppiest of 250's (except maybe the new Hyosung), but even they aren't recommended for such high speed travel. Even if you could find a bike suitable for 70mph and 90miles each way, I think that's too fast and too much distance for a beginner. I'd rather see you start on a beginner bike and ride it around town so you can gain some experience, while still driving a car to work. Depending on how much research you do, you can buy a used bike and end up selling at a small loss, break even, or even make some bucks. The Jacksonville area has plenty of used bikes for sale.

    I agree with the first part... the MSF class was my 1st real experience with bikes and it helped greatly. I always highly recommend the class.

    And the 2nd paragraph... it's a shame to see that happen. I'm disappointed with inexperienced riders who want to be cool and start off with a 600cc (or more) sport bike. Then bad things happen. Too many squids out there riding bikes that are too powerful and have touchy controls. I hate going onto Craig's List or CycleTrader and seeing that nearly every single sportbike has damage ranging from road rash to salvage titles. The only reason so few of them have salvage titles is because the rest of the wrecked bikes weren't insured.

    PS- I'm not saying BuddyLee's friend was a squid. If I started out on my current bike, I most likely would've ruined it by now.
     
  7. 357glocker

    357glocker

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    I have a Ninja 250 that I used for your exact reasons. My commute is 50miles round trip and all hwy speeds of 60-70mph. I've gone on 200 mile rides before and it's not too bad, but the arse will start to get uncomfortable. The 250 ninja does not have a problem reaching 70mph and sustaining it. It still has some left in it to get up to 80 pretty easy and it can top out right at 100mph. I put close to 9000 miles on it this past year and the bike is still in great shape. The only downside to using this as a commuting bike is it is very light. Wind will push you around a bit more than on a bigger bike. If you are not comfortable with a motorcyle at all a 250 is very forgiving. If you don't think you will have any problems with a bike starting on a 600 won't be a problem. I just picked up a YZF600r last week and there is a huge difference between this bike and my Ninja. If I was to stick to commuting only I would keep the 250 however riding became a hobby also so I jumped up to a 600 class for more power. Just some thoughts.
     
  8. J.R. Bob Dobbs

    J.R. Bob Dobbs Nerd

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    If you're doing it to save money, I suggest you reconsider skipping the 250. It's the only bike that will give 70+mpg, everything bigger will probably give in the 40s. My little Rebel 250 had no trouble maintaining 70mph for extended periods though there was little left for passing. The Ninja makes about 2x the power of the Rebel.

    Because, you must also take into account ADDED costs for a bike vs a car. Most significant, is that a set of tires will only last about 6000miles. Replacement tires will run you $250-350 a set depending on how much of the tire change you will do yourself. This can really offset the gas savings.
     
  9. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    Its 90 miles round trip, so only 45 each way. I was going to practice with it around town (I'm actually out in Keystone now so fewer cars to deal with). I still work in Jax though, I don't know if your familiar with the area but there's a pretty good straight away from 218 in Middleburg, all the way down 21 (Blanding), up until you hit downtown Keystone. Only one light and few turns. That'd be well over 50% of my daily commute.

    You said "even if I could find a bike", are most bike unable to handle this type of riding? I assume your in the Jax area, so do you have any recommendations on who to take the class from? I looked around a little last night and saw a pretty wide price range, and was wondering which would be the best way to go. Also looking for tips on buying a used bike. I'm guessing that most people my age (23) are going to have ridden then pretty hard.
     
  10. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter

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    Most decent powered bikes get ~40mpg.


    I commute on a bike 55 miles one-way three times a week.

    Here's my logic:

    Firstly, get a powerful bike... for SAFETY. My exposure (lots of miles) and the crazy dynamics of rush hour make for an unpredictable ride each day. I am generally aware of most traffic around me. Let's say 90% aware of what's behind me an 100% aware of what's in-front.

    when SHTF, I prefer to ACCELERATE to a hole in traffic that I know is 100% safe, versus grabbing brake and hoping that my hole doesn't close or that I don't get rear-ended. Only a decently powerful bike will give you that ability. IMO, if you want better odds of surviving the street, get a capable bike. I ride a ZRX1200R. I've only had two street bikes... both were 110+hp ZRXs with 80 ft-lb of danger escaping torque to grunt me out of trouble in an instant without the need for downshifting or clutch-slipping.

    I also buy expensive tires, $250-300 for a set... every few thousand miles. IMO, it's well worth my safety.



    I DO NOT ride the motorcycle to save money. Premium unleaded, tires, and maintenance make it more expensive than a compact car. I cummute on the motorcycle TO SAVE TIME using HOV lanes and it makes a PITA daily commute fun and exciting. Those are my reasons.

    IMO, the 250cc streetbikes are UNSAFE due to an inability to quickly accelerate out of trouble and into a safe-spot. You may as well bring a bb-gun to a Bosnia street shootout. Get a capable bike, use your head, and don't ride beyond your skill level.

    IMO, it's foolish to attack several miles of traffic on anything less than a 600-750cc bike, minimum.
     
  11. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    Is that 6000 miles on a hard rubber or a soft rubber tire? If I'm riding 90 miles a day, that addes up pretty quick. I'd be looking at a tire change every 4 months or so (plan on riding the bike about 60-70% of the time to work) based on 6000 miles. OTH I'm probably spending about $250 a month with the current gas prices.
     
  12. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter

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    6000mi is about the norm for a grippy sport-touring tire that is a good compromise between wear and performance.

    Weighing a couple hundred dollars against your ass is a risky bet. Get quality matching tires with a good reputation for performance.
     
  13. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    I know that my safety is worth a few hundred dollars. As I said I'm a total newb, and just started researching last night. I didn't know if 6000miles was for an aggresive sport tire, or just your average tire.

    Could anybody give me idea of the average cost to maintain a point A to point B sport bike? I'm not mechicanically stupid, and I'm still going to be keeping my truck if the bike needs to sit a day or two while being worked on. As mentioned, if I'm breaking even at first I'll be happy, because in the long run, I'll still be getting better mileage after everything is paid off (if I don't buy outright), and I've got something that I can sell and get some money back on.
     
  14. buddylee28

    buddylee28

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    With most Japanese bikes maintainence is just changing the oil til 25k miles or so before you need to do other things. Get something like a Ducati and you'll be spending a lot more dough on servicing unless you can do it yourself.

    You'll burn up tires on whatever you end up with.
     
  15. J.R. Bob Dobbs

    J.R. Bob Dobbs Nerd

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    6000 miles is for a standard tire. That's how long factory replacement tires lasted on my 250, 750, and 1100. High performance tires will go significantly less miles.
     
  16. J.R. Bob Dobbs

    J.R. Bob Dobbs Nerd

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    ...and since you mentioned payments, I'd strongly recommend buying used, ESPECIALLY for your first bike. You'll save a ton of money, won't need as much insurance, and won't risk damaging a brand-new bike if you drop it while learning.

    Check your local listings in craigslist.com and cycletrader.com and you'll find lots of bikes for sale, many of which have always been garaged with low miles.

    I've only bought used excellent-condition bikes, and so far have sold each for what exactly I paid when it was time to "upgrade". FYI I've only been riding 2yrs, and ride about 1000mi per month, strictly for pleasure and errands. Started small and bought bigger as I felt I was using the max out of each smaller bike, it takes longer than you might expect to get competent.
     
  17. 357glocker

    357glocker

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    The '04 Ninja 250 I have is for sale! Contact me for details if interested. Shipping or pick up will have to be arranged.
     
  18. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    For my fat ass (210-lbs), the Ninja 250 can get up and sustain 80-MPH on the highway, but after 50-MPH, acceleration is very rough, but believe it or not, the damn bike rides very nice and stable.:banana:

    However, Daisycutter is correct in saying that the Ninja 250 (which is the most powerful of all currently available 250-cc bikes) is marginal for the freeway because you don't have any oomph left to accelerate out of harm's ways. Can you do it? Sure. Is it wise? No.

    I would recommend nothing less than a 500-cc bike of some sort. The 500-cc (Ninja 500, Suzuki GS500) has enough oomph yet small enough to be a great commuter and also fairly amenable for beginners to ride.

    DON'T BUY NEW!!! You defeat the whole purpose of economy then. Buy used and buy cheap because you're going to beat the crap out of it anyway.

    And yes, motorcycles are more maintenance intensive than cars. The engines put out more power per displacement and work harder than an auto's engine. Tire wear is also a lot more. If you're easy with the throttle, you can milk a good 9000-miles out of a sport touring tire (rear, of course). The front tire will last easily two or three times the rear.

    Since that you will be riding on a daily basis, take into account a goodly sum for proper riding apparels too. You're not going to be a weekend warrior so you'll need gears that are functional and protective against both the elements and against possible mishaps.
     
  19. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Jr Member

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    Well I went to a few places today, and was going to look at some Suzuki's. Didn't even get a mumbled "hey" when I was in the dealership, even though they stocked some of the bikes I was looking into. After several minutes of listening to one salesmen BS with a customer (I work in sales, and even though I'm new to bikes, I can tell when its just BS talk), and walking by another on the way, even stopping a second right in front of him to look over a bike, I left.

    Went across the street to the Harley dealer, and they were very friendly and nice. The admittedly new saleswomen was showing me a couple 1200s, and didn't suggest a 500 they had there. I must say that I liked the upper model Buell, but its alot more then I'm looking to spend.

    So while I'm keeping an eye on the classifieds, I'll be hitting the dealers to try to see different models/options, and gain some knowledge. Anyone know off hand where there's a Kawasaki dealer on the westside of Jax, or OP area? I'm also looking for another Suzuki dealer, because I'm not going back to the one on Wells Rd again.
     
  20. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter

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    Jeez, I wish the salesmen would treat me like that.
    As soon as I walk into a dealer I usually get shackled with some new salesman that looks like THIS GUY and won't STFU or even let me breathe.