Good beginner motorcycle?

If your topic has nothing to do with Spyderco, you can post it here.
User avatar
Macaulay
Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm

Good beginner motorcycle?

Postby Macaulay » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:49 am

Hi all! Just got my M1.
I need a bike because my commute to school takes me along either the 405 or 1, which get congested like they need mucinex (canNOT wait to glide through stopped traffic), and I can't afford car insurance/gas anymore.
Also, nothing beats the visceral feel of operating a bike!

One of my friends races, so his opinion's a bit skewed. More on that later.

Anyway I've been on the Internet a lot and I found that regarding beginner motorcycle there are two general schools of thought.

1. "Over 250cc is evil! Ahh!" (Excepting SV500, cruisers)
or
2. A beginner motorcycle is not defined by simply engine size alone, but how beginner friendly the package is as a whole ie. Power band, torque curve, riding position, etc.

My friend is firmly in the latter. He let me take a (very short, slow) spin on his baby... A beautiful white CBR600 RR. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, (actually not that hard...but I'm no Valentino Rossi!) but I could see myself getting in trouble with the stresses of traffic (California drivers, man)

My friend says I should start with a Ninja 650 or Monster 620/696.
I like that idea, but just wanted a bit more input. (Sat on the R6 at a dealership though... Fits me like a glove!)

A bit about my riding experience. I've road cycled for years, (arguably more dangerous) and I got a perfect score on my motorcycle class evaluation.

Thanks for reading!
"████ ██ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ █ ██████ love █████ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government."

syphen
Member
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:05 pm
Location: Canada

Postby syphen » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:55 am

As long as your willing to be responsible, you can start on a 600.

I started on a 600 but after riding for a few years, I downgraded to a 250. I became a better rider because of it.

My vote goes to an older CBR600F4 or CBR600F4i.
Great all-rounders that are as happy on the track, touring or doing the daily commute. Cheap to buy, cheap to fix.. reliable as all heck!
Too many Spydies to list!

bartvdb
Member
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:06 pm
Location: belgium

Postby bartvdb » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:25 am

sv 650

46Alpha
Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:08 am
Location: New Hampshire

Postby 46Alpha » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:09 am

Don't let engine size determine your first ride. You can get into trouble just as quick on a 250cc as you can on a full blown 1000cc bike. The best safety you have is between your ears. Go easy on the throttle and any bike is east to ride.

Your friend is smart. Both of the bikes he listed might have 600+ cc engine displacements, but they're twins vs in line fours. A huge difference in how they put that power to the ground. Same as the sv650.

The best recommendation I can give is most manufactures have their top flight race replicas (cbr600rr, yzf r6, zx6r, gsxr600) they also have other bikes that don't sport the newest moto gp inspired tech. Some great ones to look at are the previously mentioned cbrf4 and f4i and the sz650, yzf600r, fz6r and some of the naked bikes that are getting so popular now.

Some other things to remember:
-Buy used for your first bike. There is a higher chance you'll bin it in your first few years and plastics on a sport bike can be pricey to replace. Dumping a used bike will hurt your wallet and pride less.

-Check insurance BEFORE you buy. I've seen a lot of after sticker shock. Sport bikes generally cost FAR more to insure than cruiser style bikes.

-ATGATT. Learn it, know it, live it. Plan on having a few extra hundred for gear. IT WILL SAVE YOUR A$$. Rossi, Spies, and Stoner don't wear flip flops and a tank top, neither should you. If you follow Moto GP, maybe you saw what happened to Simoncelli at Sepang last season. Please, please, please invest in some quality gear and wear it.

Ride safe, keep the shiny side up :cool:

2cha
Member
Posts: 1459
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Philadelphia suburbs

Postby 2cha » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:47 am

My first was an '81 KZ 650 with a lot of miles on it--this was back in 93. I started with a used bike because that's what I could pay cash for. Because I had no money, and the bike was used, I also had to learn how to maintain it--while it's nice to be able to work on your own car, I think it's essential on a bike, if only so that you are more aware of the mechanical condition of the bike. On a bike, your personal physical condition depends upon your ability to identify impending mechanical problems with the bike.

User avatar
Evil D
Member
Posts: 21123
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: Northern KY

Postby Evil D » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:48 am

Turbo Hyabusa! They say experience is the worst way to learn because it requires failure to learn the lesson so go big, wear leathers and a helmet and go for it lol.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

User avatar
Macaulay
Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm

Postby Macaulay » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:21 pm

Thanks for the answers guys, I knew you'd all be cool!
Looking at those used bikes you mentioned... Hopefully I lane a good deal soon.
Evil D wrote:Turbo Hyabusa! They say experience is the worst way to learn because it requires failure to learn the lesson so go big, wear leathers and a helmet and go for it lol.
Only two kinds of riders, those that've crashed and those that have yet to? :P
sounds good to me :
"████ ██ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ █ ██████ love █████ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government."

User avatar
Scottie3000
Member
Posts: 1013
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Goldsboro, NC

Postby Scottie3000 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:36 pm

The 650 class twins from Suzuki and Kawasaki are great. I had a Suzuki SV650 for about 3 years and I loved it. It had enough power to not outgrow either, but a lot more comfortable than a full super sport 600. $5400 brand new in 2005 too.
On order: Maxamet Native 5
Current pocket hog: S90V Para2
Next up: Something Blurple

dmon
Member
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 10:39 am

Postby dmon » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:56 pm

My 'diaper' bike was Suzuki GS550, 4 cylinder, 6 speed. She was my perfect beginner's nanny. Love and miss her alot. But any bike of similar type would serve the purpose great.

me2cyclops
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:17 pm
Location: Buford GA

Postby me2cyclops » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:57 pm

I recommend a ninja 250 I had one as a daily driver for 5 years
cheap, cheap parts, reliable, 75mpg, 5 gallon tank
and the absolute easiest bike I've ever been on I had 5 friends borrow it to take the driving test (all of them owned much bigger more$$ bikes)
light enough that in the mountains the bigger "faster" bikes could never pull away from me :)

User avatar
Macaulay
Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm

Postby Macaulay » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:14 am

I definitely need to try me out a ninja 250

Perhaps I'll end up on one after all!

It's definitely nice to have all this input from experienced riders.
"████ ██ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ █ ██████ love █████ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government."

User avatar
Waffle
Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:39 am
Location: Anaheim, CA

Postby Waffle » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:17 am

I have been riding for a little over 7 years; consistantly!! Not weekend warrior(no dig intended), not only in the summer.. but as my main source of transportation.

I started with a Honda CBR 1000cc. I took the motorcycle safety course. Passed my written test, and the rest is history.

Don't let anyone choose a bike for you. You need to choose it based on what is best for you. I chose my bike based on comfort. Looks were a close second. I was originally obsessed with the Yamaha R1. After sitting on it, it just didn't feel right. I recommend you go to a dealer, not to buy new.. just to get a feel for your options. Be patient. I know it's exciting, but you want to buy a bike that is perfect for you.

When a friend of mine expressed interest in getting a bike and started riding, I rode with him to keep an eye on him. He started with a Kawasaki 250cc. The newer, sporty looking one. Needless to say, in a few months, he was over it and sold it. He then decided to buy a Triumph Daytona 675. Decent rider, but from observing his riding, he didn't look too confident. He is a little on the stumpy side.. when he's at a light, he is on his tippy toes. I cringe when I see people like that. I recommend you get a bike that allows you to have both feet firmly on the floor.

You also need to be confident, but not over confident. It's a fine line that you need to walk(or ride), and for me, it's always been about staying in my comfort zone. You have to be aware at all times.. don't hot dog! People are going to look.. it's hard not to. Motorcycles; sport bikes in particular, are very very sexy. You need to stay focused though. Car vs Motorcycle typically doesn't end well for Motorcycle.

People are on cell phones.. women do their make-up. Truthfully, motorcycles sneak up on you. I've been in a car many times where a motorcycle has come out of nowhere. I ride as if no one can see me. If there is room in front of me and a car is ahead in the next lane, I expect them to come over. 9 times out of 10, they do.

There is nothing else like it. I got rid of my 1000RR and found myself back on a bike, this time a 600RR. Plenty of bike, just had to adjust the less power and less weight. I ride it now consistently, rain or shine. I ALWAYS wear my leather jacket, gloves, and a helmet. I typically wear denim jeans, seldom wear khakis. Jeans are no match for leather pants, but they will save some skin if you do happen to go down. I do not have boots, though it would be a wise investment. Spyderco > Boots. :)

I don't know what city/state you ride in, but that also has a heavy impact on riding. I am in Southern California. I commuted daily from Anaheim/Buena Park to Glendale, through 5 fwy, 710 fwy, 60 fwy and so on... all of which riddled with pot holes, big rigs, distracted drivers, debris, you name it. Slick roads, most things you can think of. I've even accidentally run over a dead possum. I felt bad, even though it was dead. I was on a fwy transition and as I was corning there it was, right in my line. You just never know.

I am rambling. I am just trying to share my experience. If you have taken a rider safety course, good for you. If you haven't, I HIGHLY recommend it. I do not regret it. In California, all one has to do in order to ride a motorcycle is pass the written. Now there are limitations: No riding on the fwy, no riding at night and no passengers. That's how I remember the permit restrictions when I first started. Those may have changed since then. Point is, there are a lot of inexperienced guys out there, going way too fast, showing off, riding recklessly... w/only permit. The fact that you have M1 tells me you passed some sort of riding test, the question is; how extensive was the test?

I think I'm done. If I can think of anything else, I'm sure I'll add to it. I sent you a PM as well. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. I'm not trying to come of as a know-it-all by any means, just sharing my experience. As I said before, stay in your comfort zone. My best friend's dad who rides, told me that same thing when I started riding. He has been riding for 40+ years. He is very wise, very experienced and his experiences and advice have worked for me!!

Ride safe. Two on the floor at all times.
[Waffle]

This world is made of.. Love and Peace

User avatar
dgulbra
Member
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:05 pm
Location: Minnesota

Postby dgulbra » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:02 am

My first bike was a Yamaha YZ 50 when I was 5. My first road legal bike was a Yamaha XT 250. Now I drive a 1731 cc Victory Vegas with a 40hp nitrous kit. Just make sure your comfortable on the bike and that is not too powerful for your skill level.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants

User avatar
araneae
Member
Posts: 4806
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: A lil more south of the Erie shore, Ohio

Postby araneae » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:45 pm

My wife and I both ride and are relatively new to it (3 yrs). The first bike we bought was a Suzuki Savage 650. Its a cruiser, its easy to handle, light and was a great bike to learn on. Its got enough get up to move when you need to, but its not at all intimidating. Its also ridiculously cheap to insure. It was a great beginner, and If it was a couple inches shorter (I'm 6ft), I'd ride it forever. My wife is pretty happy with it.

We just got a 1978 Honda cx 500 that is a physically larger bike and it handles like a dream. I love it, but I'm partial to the old Japanese bikes.

I'd say be patient and find a bike you are very comfortable on, that you can see yourself riding for at least a few years. Don't let friends sway you, its going to be your bike and your arse in the saddle. Sit on a lot of bikes, you'll find one that works for you. Look at insurance rates, if you are a young male, a sport bike might cost you a lot more than a standard or a cruiser. If you haven't taken a motorcycle safety course, do it. You will get a discount on your insurance and learn some things that could save your life. Many community colleges offer the course now. Be safe.
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
-Nick

Just got: Ikuchi

The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

User avatar
araneae
Member
Posts: 4806
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: A lil more south of the Erie shore, Ohio

Postby araneae » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:47 pm

Also, I have heard good things about the sv650. One of my safety course instructors spoke very highly of his.
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
-Nick

Just got: Ikuchi

The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

User avatar
Macaulay
Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm

Postby Macaulay » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:14 pm

I love hearing these stories!

To answer some questions, yes I did take the motorcycle safety foundation course- it was a lot of fun!
The YZF250 theyhad seemed really dinky to me which is why I'm hesitant about a ninja. (or I was)

I'm going to try some bikes today, maybe even a cruiser!
"████ ██ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ █ ██████ love █████ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government."


Return to “Off-Topic”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests