The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, well I've wanted a bike for a while. I've held off mostly because my ex told me she'd break up with me if I got one :p and also, well, because I'm just afraid of dying. Lately, though, I've been reconsidering getting one for coming to and from work on nicer days, cruising the beach, and holding me over until my Elise comes! :D

Anyhow, I'm gonna have to take a class to learn how to ride, and I'm gonna have to get licensed or whatever. Does anyone have any weekend programs that they recommend? I'd prefer to do it all in one weekend if possible. Would appreciate in addition any tips for getting experience quickly once I've got the bike.

Then there's the issue of the bike. What would be right for me? I'm a big guy - 6'2, 215. What should I ride? I was thinking of something in the 750cc or 900cc range - mostly for the physical size of them. I've sat on some of the 600s, and they just don't feel right. Would I be getting myself into trouble with a bigger displacement bike? Ok, and what manufacturers do you guys suggest? I love the look of the Italian bikes, but I don't really want to spend that much for my first bike. I'm probably gonna beat it up a bit. I'd really like to keep my budget under $10k, although I don't mind buying a used bike to do so.

Oh, just a ps... I'd like the color to be yellow [& optional black] to match my truck and SY Elise. Not sure what's available in those colors!

Thanks for feedback!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
What kind of bike are you looking for? Sport bike? Cruiser? Naked bike? I'd be reluctant to buy anything with a lot of nice bodywork for a first bike since the odds are very good that no matter how careful you are you'll drop it a couple of times while learning. My advice would be to buy a nice used naked bike to learn on and then sell once you've developed some skills. The odds are also good that whatever catches your eye now will not be what you decide you really want once you've got some experience under your belt. Kind of like buying an Elise as your first car only to realize a few months later that you're a torque-loving burnout freak and that you should have bought that Viper instead.

The MSF class that's taught in most states is usually scheduled as one week night and both days the next weekend.


Do a search for a thread started by Shay2nak asking almost the same questions. There was a ton of good info there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ok, andy, I'll check for that thread, thanks! Regarding the bike itself, I prefer a sport bike. Didn't know they made yellow cruisers! ;) What manufacturers do you like?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Steve,
Below is the listing of centers in FL that teach motorcycle safety. These are weekend course and they teach from the ground up. I'd never been on a bike until I took my course. If you pass you get an exemption on having to take the motorcycle license test at your DMV. You need to do this before you go any further. They'll provide bike and usually have helmets as well.

http://www.msf-usa.org/index_new.cf...D9F5E&pagename=RiderCourse Info&state=Florida

http://www.msf-usa.org/

These classes fill up fast.

As to bikes, said it before, I'd highly recommend the Suzuki SV650, this is more/less a naked bike been built for years so you can get used ones inexpensively, you won't outgrow the bike quickly and it's great track bike should you decide to go that way. It's a v-twin and I personally love the power and torque of the twins. Kawasaki makes a nice 4 cyl standard type bike but don't remember the name of it, Honda has the Hawk as well, I'd advise against a bike with lots of fairings, very expensive to fix. My first bike stupidly was a brand new Triumph Sprint, by the end of the week I'd dropped it three or four times stalling out on hills.

Don't know what your after, tho suspect you wouldn't be interested in the Harley or Harlely clone type cruiser, massively heavy, poor handling and no go.

Also, when time comes spend the money for decent quality lid $300 plus. I'd also recommend vanson's perforated leather jacket for your climate, seen enough slide injuries in the er to tell you the leather is a must.

Email me if you have other questions, I can talk bikes ad nauseum

Cars are great BUT NOTHING equals riding a sportbike on twisty roads or a race track absolutely nothing!

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
I agree with the recommendation of the SV650 and although its power will be more than enough even for a big guy, the SV1000 might be a more comfortable fit and still be manageable by a beginner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,270 Posts
Ditto to Chris' suggestion of MSF and Ditto to the SV650, great starter bike, although I'd consider a beater 200-250 CC generic bike initially so you wont feel bad if it gets scraped, then graduate into a SV650 or similar bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
transio said:
What manufacturers do you like?
As far as sport bikes go, I don't think you can go wrong these days if you know what characteristics you're looking for and you at least sit on every model you're considering to make sure you fit.

The best thing about all but some of the more exotic Italian bike is that sport bikes are a commodity these days. Cheap and easy to find. Worst case scenario is that you realize you bought the wrong bike after two months. No problem, sell it and but what you really need. Maybe you'll lose a thousand or two thousand bucks on the deal. A bad parking job in the Elise will cost more than that.

No, I take that back. Worst case scenario is that you buy a bike that's way over your head, get unlucky while goofing around and die. But that's an easily avoidable situation.

Personally, if Honda ever gets their **** together and makes a VFR that's true to the spirit of the original Interceptors or the RC30, then I'll be first in line to buy. Ouch. Did I just say line?:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
andykeck said:
rio is that you buy a bike that's way over your head, get unlucky while goofing around and die. But that's an easily avoidable situation.
That's my biggest fear, and the Hayabusa is a very tempting machine...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
transio said:
Wow, that's significantly cheaper than I expected! This is more my style in terms of looks, though: http://www.suzukicycles.com/Products/GSXR750K4/Default.aspx (EDIT: the yellow / black version)
That's one hell of a bike. Some say it's the best balance of the lightweight 600s and the hi-power liter bikes, which is interesting as it's virtually the last 750cc sport bike available. I'd also say that ought to be your second bike unless you enjoy replacing bodywork on a regular basis until you learn how to deal with all the crap the the public streets can toss at you.

The gixxer, like the other top shelf sport bikes, is probably a little twitchy for beginners. That's the sort of bike a newbie can easily end up about a half second behind on the controls and then next thing you know, you're doing some sort of superman-style leap into a guardrail...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
andy, thanks for the additional info. Of course, having never ridden a bike, I have no idea how each "feels". Would you suggest definitely NOT getting a GSX-R 750 as a first bike, then? I mean, bodywork costs aside. Would you say that it is significantly more dangerous than the SV series to learn on?

Oh, btw... the V-Twin has an exhaust note like a Harley, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Gixer, no way would I recommend as a beginners bike, things happen way way quicker on a hi perf sport bike than any street car. Look on ebay, and cycletrader, you'll see loads of gixers and r-1s for sale wrecked with a couple hundred miles.

The v-twin has an exhaust note like harleys depending on what pipe you get, but you won't get the "potato potato" sound of a harley engine.

busa's fun for straight line riding but certainly not something to learn on.

If you absolutely positively have to get a sportbike I'd recommend a couple year old honda cbr600, it's still way too much bike to learn on in my opinion (keep in mind a good 600 is maybe a onlly a couple tenths slower than a 1000 cc bike, 0-60 in the 3.9 range)

Steve KISS, keep it simple - you'll be a lot happier picking up the sv or similar naked bike after you drop it (and you will) than a faired bike.

Chris
Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
transio said:
andy, thanks for the additional info. Of course, having never ridden a bike, I have no idea how each "feels". Would you suggest definitely NOT getting a GSX-R 750 as a first bike, then? I mean, bodywork costs aside. Would you say that it is significantly more dangerous than the SV series to learn on?
Yes. Ignoring the bodywork, it will be a much more difficult bike to learn on. It's kind of like how we all shake our heads when a sixteen year old get gets some hot Porsche or something and promptly wrecks it, except the kid has the benefit of seatbelts, airbags and a big metal cage designed to protect him. You may be more mature than that kid, but you come to the motorcycling world missing a reservoir of judgement, skill and 'muscle memory' that is essentially the same problem that the teenager faces.

One reason you see so many hot sportbikes for sale with only a thousand miles on the odo is because somewhere along the line, the owner scared him/herself half to death by getting in over their heads. Look at how many of those bikes have 'some damage'. For every bike like that that you see, there's probably another one just like in in the junk yard, totalled.

Some people _do_ successfuly learn to ride on too much bike. I know, I was one of them. Two things got me through my most dangerous phase. 1. Luck. 2. Some riding friends that made sure that when I was with them, there was no pressure to keep up and they did that by slowing down to a pace that must have driven them nuts. I still thank them for that. Not everbody has that same luxury.

What has sucked some guys I know into buying too much bike is that they didn't want to ride some dopey slow bike. I can tell you that the slow bike will still whip a car, bad. And being out on _any_ bike is still very cool. That's something that not many people do, and even fewer do well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,985 Posts
There's not really any point to this, but here is my favorite story about motorcyling ever written.

Some people will tell you that slow is good -- and it may be, on some days -- but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba....
Hell, let's add this, too.

This motorcycle is simply too goddamn fast to ride at speed in any kind of normal road traffic unless you're ready to go straight down the centerline with your nuts on fire and a silent scream in your throat.
 

·
Supporting Vendor
Joined
·
4,290 Posts
That Norton is sweet.

I vote for a SV650. Then in a coupla years, get yourself a Triumph Speed Triple. Or an Aprilia Tuono. They should fit your size better than most Ducatis or MV Agustas. The naked/streetfighter bikes are really a cool class of bike - full on performance with a stripped to the bare mechanicals look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,610 Posts
I don't think I can add much more to what's already been said.

One thing, you don't really need to start with a new bike. You can also get a cheap "beater bike" to learn on and then move on.

http://www.cycletrader.com/

Bike ergos are a pretty personal thing. It's probably better to head down to a motorcycle mall and try sitting on the various models.

When you feel you're ready, the Aprillia RSV Mille may be a good choice for taller riders. It's rather spacious than a Ducati or MV.
On the Japanese side, I think Susuki and (maybe) Kawasaki offer more space. Again, it's really a very personal thing.

Eventually, you may want to go to a cornering school. The MSF class will teach you the basics and they even have an advance class where you use your bikes, however, cornering schools will go a little deeper into throttle application, braking, cornering, eyeing, etc. But they can be a bit expensive.

Here's an example of a cornering school:
http://www.cornering.com/us/keiths_corner/index.shtml\

and one of the popular books:
http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcracing/code/bookreview.html

Hop this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,610 Posts
Oh , almost forgot. Surviving on a motorcycle requires more than the "I'll be careful" attitude.

It's more of an ability to identify potential traffic scenarios (ie: moving through blind spots, approach an intersection with opposing traffic about to make a left turn, etc), and adjusting your speed and lane position before something happens.

Minor brain farts can be expensive (referring to two weeks ago when I drove over a fallen palm tree branch causing the MV to drop and breaking a lever. )
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top