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Old 03-18-09, 06:44 PM   #26
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Let me be the first to say "Holly dead thread Batman!".

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Old 03-18-09, 06:56 PM   #27
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Take the msf course. When I took it there were a couple people they failed. One rider was so bad I didn't want to be near him during the riding drills.
Agree. If you don't already know how to ride, you owe it to yourself to attend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation class. They won't teach you everything you need to survive on the road, but you definitely need to know everything they teach! Once you've completed an MSF RiderCourse, don't assume that your training is done. In fact, it's just begun! Ride for a couple of months, then consider a racetrack-based training program. Something like the California Superbike School, Jason Pridmore's STAR Motorcycle School, or if you're in California give my boss a call. Even if you don't plan to ride on the track or race motorcycles, you will learn a lot at one of these programs. I know that for myself, riding on the track made me a significantly better rider.

You should also familiarize yourself with the Hurt Report, so you'll have some understanding of the types of things that will increase your risk of getting killed. The data is somewhat old, but most of the conclusions still apply.

When planning your purchase of a motorcycle, don't forget to factor in the cost of safety gear. You'll want a full-face helmet, gloves, jacket, boots, and pants. Lots of guys buy a cool-looking jacket and figure they'll buy boots and pants later. Bad idea: the legs and feet are parts of your body most likely to be injured in a motorcycle crash! It's easy to drop a lot of money on gear: $300 for a jacket, $300 for a helmet, $75-100 on gloves, $250 on pants, and another $200 on boots isn't unreasonable. Figure $1000 to get decent, if not great, gear.

As others have suggested, a 1999 Kawasaki ZX-6R is a lot of bike if you've never ridden before. I rode for a couple of years before buying a 600cc sportbike and even then I damn near killed myself a couple of times. Also, keep in mind that as a newer rider you will drop or crash the bike at some point. Sportbikes will full fairings are generally expensive to repair. Each body panel will cost $400-600 or more to replace; even dropping the bike in a parking lot can scratch 2 or 3 panels. Older bikes may be significantly less reliable than newer bikes. My first motorcycle was more than 10 years old; I was constantly battling electrical gremlins, which made the bike significantly less enjoyable to ride.

The Suzuki SV650 that somebody else already mentioned is a much better starter bike in many respects. There will be slightly less power than a 600cc sportbike, the V-twin engine will rev slower and deliver power more linearly than the ZX-6R, the riding position will be more comfortable, and there is less plastic to replace when you drop/crash the bike. Linear power delivery is definitely a good thing for a beginner. At the racetrack, I absolutely love the way an inline 4-cylinder engine explodes with power when it finally winds up into the power-band. But that same characteristic gets a lot of people into trouble, too...
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Old 03-18-09, 07:05 PM   #28
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i found that riding a bicycle well helped with the motorcycle learning...the only new stufff was the throttle control...i went with a 4 cyl but not a race replica, the insurance on those was too much, as well as the advice off others.

If you do very well with the msf course the ninja 650 / er-6n, and SV650 are nice bikes that you won't get bored of...cheap to insure good all arounders naked/standard seating 2up and touring possible.
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Old 03-18-09, 07:05 PM   #29
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New Suzook TU250



0r, one of these used, can be had for about 2000.00:



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Old 03-18-09, 07:40 PM   #30
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I've been riding since I was 13, so over 40 years.

I can tell you that everyone, and everything out there....is always trying to kill or maim you when you're on a motorcycle.

I agree with others that school or even a good year of dirt riding will probably be the best thing you could ever do to hone street riding survival skills. Invaluable others will come from close calls you may survive if you're lucky.

Warpspeed bikes like the one you're considering, have a very nasty habit of whispering into your brain that they can go much faster than you're currently going. They also like to show-off. If there are girls around, you will not be in control of the situation.

I've had a lot of different bikes. I have found the Kawahondazukies Dual-sport 650 thumper type bikes to have the best seating, power, and suspension ergonomics for maximum street surviveability, with the added benefit of being able to go from street to gnarly trail. They will often reward many street bike riders with their suprising hole shot capabilities.

Also what San Rensho brought up....countersteering...the physics of gyroscopic precession of your motorcycle's wheels that cause your bike to want to go the opposite direction that you turn your handlebars when going over about 40mph....can't be stressed enough. Learn about it...study it closely...make it your friend.

That said, riding has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my life, except for the street sweeper "thing".....but I lived.

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Old 03-18-09, 08:46 PM   #31
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I've no great wisdom to add, but my two cents: I was told when I first started riding that most bad accidents happen not in the first six months but after that, up till the second year or so - because by then you have the skills and confidence to ride more boldly, but not the wisdom and experience to know when to play it safe.


as others have said, you will go down. Every single person I ever met who rode had two common tales to tell: what kind of bike they had, and their injuries (which they pulled sleeves and pant legs up to reveal - not pretty).

My advice: think about how cool it is to go fast etc etc. Then think about your poor mother coming to identify the pizza you'll leave behind in the morgue. Have fun, but don't be stupid.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:08 PM   #32
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let me be the first to say "holly dead thread batman!".

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Old 03-18-09, 09:20 PM   #33
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Best advise I ever heard about street riding?

Ride like you're invisible.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:21 PM   #34
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Something old, something new, something blue, something borrowed.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:23 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wernmax View Post
Best advise I ever heard about street riding?

Ride like you're invisible.
That is The Second Best Advise.

First Learn to Use Both Brakes at the same time.

I was Lucky and rode 28 years accident free.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:23 PM   #36
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Old 03-18-09, 09:31 PM   #37
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You are a *** if you don't come over and ride my bikes.

The missus will be most pleased with the Santa Fe scene for shure.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:38 PM   #38
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Best advise I ever heard about street riding?

Ride like you're invisible.
I think an attitude that's somewhere between "I'm invisible," and "every last one of these vicious ****s is actively trying to kill me" is the best.

Very similar to riding a bicycle on the road, actually. Just faster and even more "in" traffic.
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Old 03-18-09, 09:45 PM   #39
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That is The Second Best Advise.

First Learn to Use Both Brakes at the same time.

And, BEFORE the corner

In the winter, watch out for the patches heating oil trucks slop on the road after they
fill the house. Same for Toll Booths.....One of the easiest fall-over situations for the
unprepared
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Old 03-18-09, 09:45 PM   #40
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And since we're turning this old-ass thread into a picture thread, the Lil' Bast-ard:

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Old 03-18-09, 10:13 PM   #41
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Modern sportbike are so fast and corner so well, that riding at even "semi-legal" speeds on the public roads is boring, assuming you have good skills. Many newbies don't have good skills why insurace on a $10,000 supersport bike can be over $1500/year for a new rider. Unless you want to pay to go ride at a track day, and risk falling at 50 to 130 mph, then riding on the street isn't that exciting after the newness wears off.

Assuming you buy the bike anyway, take and pass a MSF class, buy a good jacket, pants, boots, gloves, and helmet before you riding. If you buy new plan on spending about $1000 just for the gear.
I'll agree with this part of Merlin's post 100%. As a life long road and dirt rider, AMA Road Racing License Holder, and (in a few short months a factory certified Suzuki and Yamaha Tech) I advise against getting the ZX6 (or any modern sportbike) as a first bike. An SV650 or even the new Ninja 250 (If you must go sport bike) would be better choices. Take the MSF course BEFORE buying a bike. And if you decide to buy a bike a good helmet, jacket, gloves and riding boots are the Minimum gear you should have on ANY time you throw your leg over the bike.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-18-09, 10:17 PM   #42
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And since we're posting pics...

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Old 03-18-09, 10:42 PM   #43
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Heres my DR while it still looked new, pre-knobbies and being set up for Dual Sport events.
Out of the 20 or so bikes Ive owned, this was by far and away the most fun
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tHuNdErHiEfeR.jpg (67.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 03-18-09, 10:43 PM   #44
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Oooh, it's bike picture time.

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Old 03-18-09, 10:45 PM   #45
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#2 (work still in progress)



#3

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Old 03-18-09, 10:49 PM   #46
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I still miss the 250 I had on loan!
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Old 03-18-09, 10:54 PM   #47
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I still miss the 250 I had on loan!
It'll make its way out to your new "block" one of these days, don't worry.
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Old 03-18-09, 11:15 PM   #48
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I think an attitude that's somewhere between "I'm invisible," and "every last one of these vicious ****s is actively trying to kill me" is the best.
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And, BEFORE the corner
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Old 03-19-09, 07:26 AM   #49
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That is The Second Best Advise.

First Learn to Use Both Brakes at the same time.

I was Lucky and rode 28 years accident free.
I have to disagree. Learn to use the front brake ONLY.

The rear brake provides very little braking since as you brake, all the weight of the bike and rider go onto the front tire.

Using the rear brake will not slow you down significantly and will only get you into trouble because you will lock up the rear and skid which can quickly lead to a crash.

The other reason for training yourself to use the front brake only is that when you are in a panic situation, your body will automatically do what it is trained to do. If you only use the front brake, then in an emergency, you will hit the front brake. No amount of "thinking" that in case of an emergency, use the front brake only will get you to do it if you haven't practiced it every time you ride.

The first thing I was taught before going on the track was to use the front brake only. Most racers use only the front brake, with the exception of the real hotshots like Haga and Rossi that lock up the rear in a corner entry on purpose to point the bike into the corner. But those skills are way beyond any street rider.

The only exception to the front brake only rule is when you are in something really slippery, like gravel, sand or grass. In that situation, it's probably best not to use any brakes at all, but if you have to, just use the rear brake lightly.
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Old 03-19-09, 07:30 AM   #50
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The brake debate will depend on the specific bike...sportbikes have much more forward weight distribution than cruisers.

I am generally front brake only, but use my rear brake for the following:
- uphill starts
- riding with a passenger
- riding in gravel/dirt
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