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  1. #1
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    I want a motorcycle... am I a moreon?

    So I can't afford a new sports car, and all my friends who ride motorcycles have been crippled... BUT

    One of them bought a Kawasaki ZX14R and it's just so much better and faster than anything I've ever seen, it seems like a better buy than a sports car.

    Only problem is I really don't know how to ride a motorcycle, so I'd have to take the classes, buy all the accoutrements like leathers, helmet, etc, and of course I'd have to work my way up to the beast that is the Ninja (friends are suggesting a used 600).

    Any advice on doing this, or should I just ride my bicycle faster?
    “Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” - Susan B. Anthony 1896
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  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Buy another bicycle. Plenty of organ donors already out and about

  3. #3
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    If you have the money, good health insurance and life insurance go for it! A friend of mine has a BMW 650 - it is a really cool ride - kind of a Dakar type. Another friend of mine just died in a motorcycle wreck. I love the things but I'm not allowed to ride anymore. I just pedal fast as I can
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  4. #4
    T K
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    wasssabi
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    I say don't do it. I have been riding since 1984 and am to the point I am done. I just got a BMW f 650 like the one mentioned above and just don't enjoy it anymore. Todays car drivers are the worst ever! I recently had a carload of school girls almost run me off the highway. They were in the car singing an dancing having a good time and changed lanes right into me. Up until a few years ago there were the usual distracted drivers, eating, fiddiling with stereo, drunk or just not paying attention. Now, the amount of drivers I see messing with their mobil devices is shocking. I can't believe how many morons drive around texting or reading email or whatever. The biggest thing these dopes do is rearenders. If you are sitting at a stoplight and get rearended in a car you may tweek your neck. Get rearended on a bike you're f'ed.
    That Kawi you are talking about will do 100mph in first gear. I had the 600 and it did 80 somthin in first.
    Bikes can be a lot of fun I know, but just think long and hard if it is worth it.

  5. #5
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    The people who don't know anything about riding motorcycles always want the race bike! I agree with buy another bike. Unfortinately, as TK points out, it's the people in the cars that are the danger. Although I have to admit, I see plenty of motorcyclists riding in a manner which I don't consider safe. If you have a wife and kids, make sure you have plenty of life insurance if you care about them at all.

  6. #6
    Fecal indicator
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    not sure I see the wisdom of a non-rider/novice buying a crotch-rocket for a first ride.

    don't you need to develop some skills and work up to a high-perf bike...?

    the OJT could have a really steep learning / crashing curve.
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  7. #7
    Sculpture on 2 wheels
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    I road a sports bike for some years but after having kids I moved on from it. If I were ever to live in an area where the population is low like out in Wyoming or Montana I may consider it once more but never will I buy a motorcycle while living amongst millions of horrid drivers and potholes in the north east.

    P.S If you buy one be on the lookout for small pebbles in the middle of intersections they will take your wheels right out from under you.. Also curbs are not your friend if you get a foot peg or such mixed up with a curb at speed they will find you about 8 feet up plastered on a poll, wire or sign post. I had a friend get killed in this way as a car merged him right off the road into a curb he was ejected the wires supporting a electric poll cut him in half.
    Last edited by Bullvine; 04-28-2012 at 01:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Take your time, give it some deep thought and then go for it! I stopped riding for years and then bought a scoot (F800S) 3 years ago. In the last 3 summers I've ridden it from my home in Wpg to Boston, across western Canada and last year to the Gulf of Mexico. Those are trips I would never do in a car, but on the bike they became some of the most joyous experiences I've had. I ride my road bike on the streets with all those same distracted drivers and riding my motorcycle is no more or less dangerous...

    Edited because I realized that all I did was talk about my own experiences and didn't even address your question. No you're not a moreon. The things I thought about before buying: For the most part, it's a solitary pursuit-for me that was fine but if you have a family, (which I don't) getting time away may be difficult, it's much like road biking -once you buy the motorcycle it's all about upgrades ($$$), it's dangerous- even without worrying about distracted drivers and the endless amount of people who were telling me it's crazy to get a motorcycle.
    Last edited by Sojourner2005; 04-28-2012 at 01:20 PM. Reason: To stop talking about myself and answer the OP

  9. #9
    T K
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    wasssabi
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    Countdown to the "you could get hit by a bus walking across the street" argument starts now. tic tic tic.....

  10. #10
    You're Not the Boss of Me
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    Take the class before you buy and be sure you think it is for you. I ride a cruiser (a Honda VTX 1300). If it is what you want, then do it. But do it right. That means right trainer, right gear, and right safety-conscious "ride like you are invisible" attitude.

    You are not the complete master of your fate, but there are some decisions and riding "tricks" and tips that can significant stack the odds in your favor. Life is a safety continuum, with sofa-based web surfing at one end and climbing K2 (maybe) at the other, and both road biking and motorcycling fall somewhere in between, just like skiing, scuba diving, and a number of other sports which produce fatalities every year.

    This is a decision only you can make for yourself. There are people who consider every motorcyclist a moron. Their advice is not personal to you; it is their attitude about the sport. There are other people, perhaps, who might say "oh man, you gotta do it." Neither of those classes of people is right for personalized advice.

    There are a number of us on here with motorcycles, and a number who wouldn't be caught dead (ba dump bump) on one.
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  11. #11
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    Well your a total newb to MBs. I would suggest you limit yourself to under 400CC for at least a year. The fun of riding bikes is the riding, not the size of the engine, unless you have a small ***** but then you have other things to worry about. The bigger the engine, the chance of being killed in the first year. Learn to ride at a school and then find a club to ride with. The old guys who have ridden for years and are still alive will teach you a heap about staying safe. The BMW F650 would be a great second bike. The superbikes are drool worthy but get experienced first. Oh and wear a helmet no matter what the state laws are. Rubber side down!

  12. #12
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    As has been said...take the class first, then decide.

    You may still want a motorcycle, but not the one you originally wanted. For what it's worth the Kawasaki ZX14R is way more bike than anybody needs and if you are thinking that direction...DON'T!

    Start small and work up from there as you gain experience.

    The funny thing about those that are experienced riders/racers when it comes to motorcycles...many of them enjoy the Kawasaki Ninja 250 more than their high dollar machines because they have to work harder to get performance out of them...and on track days...it's not unusual to see some guy on a Ninja 250 smoking the larger displacement guys around the track. It's all about the rider...not the bike...kinda like riding a bicycle

    I do have a cruiser that I like to ride...my wife has a matching cruiser that she likes to ride. We don't ride that often any longer but do like to get out on nice weekend days during the summer.

    Overall though...take the class and if you like it buy a bike...but buy a smaller displacement bike than you want and you will still likely have more bike than you need/want.

    BTW...A Ninja 250 is faster through the 1/4 mile than most upper end sports cars.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    So I can't afford a new sports car, and all my friends who ride motorcycles have been crippled... BUT

    One of them bought a Kawasaki ZX14R and it's just so much better and faster than anything I've ever seen, it seems like a better buy than a sports car.

    Only problem is I really don't know how to ride a motorcycle, so I'd have to take the classes, buy all the accoutrements like leathers, helmet, etc, and of course I'd have to work my way up to the beast that is the Ninja (friends are suggesting a used 600).

    Any advice on doing this, or should I just ride my bicycle faster?
    I used to road race sport bikes back in the 90's. They are fun on the track, but aren't much fun on the road. Sitting in traffic when it's hot sucks, cleaning up the bug splatter sucks, and as soon as you start having fun - you are breaking the law.

    I wouldn't buy one for road riding.

  14. #14
    Failboat Captian
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    I have a 250 Honda. It's my first m/c and I've had it for about 7 years and really only use it for commuting. Definitely don't go bigger than 400cc on a sport bike as your 1st bike, or 600cc on a cruiser. You need to learn how to handle a m/c on something that won't kill you as easily. Put at least a few thousand miles on one, then work your way up. You wouldn't want to be on a liter bike (1000cc or more) until about your 3rd bike. They are just way too dangerous to you. Plus, they just look uncomfortable and like they are no fun on normal roads. A cruiser might be more fun as a starter bike. And you won't be tempted to try to push it too hard (and are less likely to accidentally twist the throttle an extra 64th and launch yourself into oblivion.
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  15. #15
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    I've been riding motorcycles since I was 16, in fact I got one way before I was interested in cars.
    I'd say take the class, learn in a controlled environment, and then take advanced courses or track days to learn skills to keep yourself a bit safer. Anything 500cc and under is good enough to start with. I avoid the city like the plague and keep my riding mainly in the country on the funner, less hazardous roads.
    Most accidents are caused by alcohol, a big no no while riding, if you're smart. Also failure to negotiate a turn is right up there, learning how to corner is a great skill, as is practicing panic stops. There are schools that help you practice both. Staying out of city traffic and keeping your head on a swivel and riding defensively is your best bet.
    Fast motorcycles are like guns, if you aren't trained and don't respect them even for an instant you can become dead real fast.
    As for the naysayers who think they are death machines, well lots of things in life are dangerous, stay home on the porch if you're afraid. Millions of people have racked up millions of safe miles on them, usually the idiots are weeded out real fast on a sportbike.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  16. #16
    What the Hell is going on
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    I've been thinking of a motorcycle as well. I'm thinking of a cruiser much along the lines of a Honda Shadow or Yamaha Star. I'm 6'2" and 235 lbs. Does my height and weight determine what kind of motorcycle I can ride?
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  17. #17
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    if you do it, you'll find that years of road cycling will help you maintain awareness in traffic, read the road surface conditions, and comfort on two wheels at speed.

  18. #18
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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    It gives me pause that you seem to be interested as a low-cost way of quenching a speed lust. That seems to be asking for trouble, but who knows.

    I started riding in September '10 and all I keep saying is that I wish I'd done it 20 years ago. But I live in CA where splitting lanes is legal and I live in L.A. where getting around in a car is a nightmare. So it's been a revelation to be able to go where I want, when I want, and never have to worry about traffic. Twice a week I commute to a client about 20 miles away and can take twisties most the way if I want, so I've been able to work on my cornering, etc., and a nice surprise has been taking day-long trips all around our surrounding mountains.

    On the flip side, drivers here are out of control, whether it's aggression or distraction. It seems like every day I witness a new low. So while I always say I wish I'd done it 20 years ago, I'm also kind of glad I had that 20+ years of driving experience and 10+ years of urban cycling experience under my belt before I even tried it.


    Quote Originally Posted by JaeP View Post
    I've been thinking of a motorcycle as well. I'm thinking of a cruiser much along the lines of a Honda Shadow or Yamaha Star. I'm 6'2" and 235 lbs. Does my height and weight determine what kind of motorcycle I can ride?
    That's V-Star.

    Your weight could be an issue if you get an underpowered machine like, say, a V-Star 650 (heavy bike, smallish engine). On the other hand, that's exactly what makes something like that a great starter bike.
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  19. #19
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    I say go for it. I love being out on 2 wheels. Just be smart about the bike you get. You don't need a race bike. I have a 99 triumph daytona 955i that I almost never ride any more. Its fun but only when I am doing 90mph on canyon roads. Get something usable but fun to ride. Don't be stupid and get a super fast bike that you don't know how to handle. Get a 600 and do some track classes and then track days after that. Once I got out on the track it made street riding really different. I see all the dangers now that I use to ignore. You notice things like run out or the lack of it on the street. I really want 2 now. One for the street that is allot more upright and I can pout hard bags on. And a track bike thats a dedicated race bike.

  20. #20
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    So I can't afford a new sports car, and all my friends who ride motorcycles have been crippled... BUT

    One of them bought a Kawasaki ZX14R and it's just so much better and faster than anything I've ever seen, it seems like a better buy than a sports car.

    Only problem is I really don't know how to ride a motorcycle, so I'd have to take the classes, buy all the accoutrements like leathers, helmet, etc, and of course I'd have to work my way up to the beast that is the Ninja (friends are suggesting a used 600).

    Any advice on doing this, or should I just ride my bicycle faster?
    I owned a motorcycle and rode all the time. When I saw bicyclists riding I wanted to be on my bicycle. When I was riding my bicycle I wanted to be on the motorcycle. Being married with 2 kids, and all the responsibilities, I sold the motorcycle. It was a really tough decision for me.

    If I can offer you any suggestions be careful what you buy. The Kaw is the epitome of FAST. I grew up with H1, H2 and then the mighty Z1 Kawasakis in the Seventies. Todays 600's blow away yesterdays liter bikes. If you've never ridden think twice about the big Kaw. I'm an insurance guy. Just for kicks call you agent and get a quote on the Kawasaki. You'll probably find if you're under 25 the insurance is more than the payment. Good luck
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  21. #21
    hold my beer n watch this
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    Don't start with a crotch rocket. you're gonna die but there is no reason to get there right now.
    Do take the MSF course.

    I'm in the camp of wish I had done it years ago. I started on a Suzuki Tu250. It is great around town. However, I quickly realized I needed something bigger and faster to commute on down the highway. I like the standard style bikes. I looked hard for a Bonneville but ended up with a Sportster XL1200C. There were no used Triumphs close to me at all. February is definitely the time to buy here!

    In retrospect, I would still start out on the little bike. My wife is riding it now. She will move up next spring. She does need a bit more riding experience before getting bigger and faster.

  22. #22
    corning my own beef
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    I'd like a motorcycle too, but for completely different reason. I'd love a '70s or '80s cafe style bike for motorpacing on quiet back roads. But a lot of the bikes of that style and vintage have been trashed or modified for racing.
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  23. #23
    The Gimlet Eye
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookiebiker View Post
    BTW...A Ninja 250 is faster through the 1/4 mile than most upper end sports cars.
    Ummmmm...

    I'm not sure what you consider upper end. A garden variety Mustang GT can beat one by over two seconds.

    A 911 can beat it by 3

    A Gallardo by 5

    My '08 4 door Accord is within 3 tenths of a second of the Ninja 250.
    Last edited by covenant; 04-29-2012 at 07:35 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
    if you do it, you'll find that years of road cycling will help you maintain awareness in traffic, read the road surface conditions, and comfort on two wheels at speed.
    I'll agree with this. I went from riding/racing bicycles to riding MCs in traffic with no issues. There's lots of similarity between pedal and moto powered rides.

    AFA the learner bike: Stick with something less than a sportbike. They're not the best bet for learning to control your right wrist. The 650 'Ninja' the Versys the DRZ series of bikes pretty much any of the boxer BMWs and etc are better bets. They're all have enough oomph that you won't 'outgrow' them too fast, but not enough that you'll get yourself into real trouble twisting the wrist too hard.

    I jumped right on my Dad's Gold Wing as my first bike. Was it smart? No, but no one talked to me about the MSF courses before I did it either. FWI've seen they're good things. :nod ...but they're just the start of your education for riding the road, not the be-all, end all.

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  25. #25
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    Do it! But don't get a Ninja 1400!! AS others have said, no one needs a bike of that displacement. I'd recommend something in the 600-800 cc range. I have a 2002 Honda VFR 800 with ABS that I love. GREAT bike- looks beautiful, fast, but is more geared towards comfort.
    Ordered and Fitted for my Custom DEAN Titanium frame on Sept 17th, 2008. Finally got it in Oct, 2010!!!

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