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    Thread: Motorcycle Forum FAQ and Frequently Asked Rookie Questions

    1. Global Moderator Paul@VWvortex's Avatar
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      03-21-2003 07:22 PM #1
      Ladies and Gentlemen (Paul takes off his top hat)--

      I thought with prime riding season right around the corner we might compile a list of suggestions for the frequently asked questions in the Motorcycle forum.

      Permit me to start:

      Q. I want to buy my first bike and have no experience but think riding looks like fun. What is the first step??

      A. Pick up the phone and call your local MSF office and pay the money to take the Motorcycle Safety Course. Great first step.

      Next???


    2. 03-21-2003 07:31 PM #2
      Don't buy a 700+ cc SPORTBIKE as your first bike.

      Start out on something smaller, less powerful, ie.
      gs550e
      ex500/ninja
      SecaII
      Dual Sport's (KLR, XR..etc..)

      Take it slow and easy at first, alway's roll into the throttle, don't just dump it like a car...


    3. Senior Member FlashRedGLS1.8T's Avatar
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      03-21-2003 08:02 PM #3
      Q: What should I wear when I ride?

      A: Please wear all of the proper riding gear. And this includes:

      Full face helmet (SNELL and DOT approved)
      Riding jacket
      Gloves - Full finger gloves,
      Pants - Sturdy pants! (Some will say jeans, I say riding pants)
      Boots - Over the ankles atleast, riding boots are better protection though.


    4. 03-22-2003 02:00 AM #4
      Q. What should I look for when buying a used bike?
      A. http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html

    5. Member
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      03-24-2003 02:20 PM #5
      To find the MSF class nearest you, go to http://www.msf-usa.org

    6. 03-24-2003 02:47 PM #6
      Q: Where can I find some more information on a good bike to start on?

      A: Visit http://www.beginnerbikes.com/, bonus, they have lots of tips for new riders too.


    7. 04-29-2003 04:43 AM #7
      Quote, originally posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T »
      Q: What should I wear when I ride?

      A: Please wear all of the proper riding gear. And this includes:

      Full face helmet (SNELL and DOT approved)
      Riding jacket
      Gloves - Full finger gloves,
      Pants - Sturdy pants! (Some will say jeans, I say riding pants)
      Boots - Over the ankles atleast, riding boots are better protection though.

      I like a more memorable version of this advice, which goes something like this:

      One day you may find yourself sliding along the road, at speed, after an unexpected dismount.

      When that day comes, the only thing protecting your skin from the road will be whatever gear you felt like putting on before you turned the key!


      Modified by TravelnBill at 10:45 AM 4-29-2003


    8. Member Air_Cooled_Nut's Avatar
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      07-06-2003 04:12 AM #8
      To add:
      If you're riding along and your helmet feels wiggly, it's not because of the wind buffeting you just the right way, it's because you didn't secure the chin strap!
      95 Jetta GL 2.0L, chipped, intake, exhaust, compression, cam, close-ratio w/Peloquin, etc.
      72 VW Squareback, rag top, 2.0L, parents original owners
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      06 Ducati Sport Classic 1000...only motorcycles can feed the need for speed

    9. Member grilledpickle's Avatar
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      07-11-2003 09:16 PM #9
      DCI Ambassador

    10. 08-20-2003 03:38 PM #10
      Good info. Thanks guys.

    11. 10-23-2003 11:49 PM #11
      Good feedback for us first timers

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      11-13-2003 11:41 AM #12
      Once you have completed the basic motorcycle program + 500 miles (trouble free - right!) then you are ready to:

      Take the experienced riders course - especially if it's raining on the day you signed up. Some review of the basic course but also some excellent techniques that you will use to keep your butt alive. Plus you're riding and challenging yourself = fun

      If you are lucky enough to have your state police offer their motorcycle officer course (to civilians) take it! It's not a pass/fail class usually. When I finished the graduation was something like: you didn't drop your bike - good job.
      It was well worth the time and a good confidence builde r.

      Remember: TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING and keeping your head out of your butt are the only things that will keep you alive.

      Don't ride while impaired - that means NO DRUGS , NO ALCOHOL , and DON'T RIDE WHEN TIRED OR ANGRY . Also don't go faster than you are comfortable with just to keep up with friends...

      Give your bike the same respect you would a running chainsaw.
      When used properly it can be wonderful - in careless hands it can be terrible.

      Don't ever let yourself get cocky - that's when you WILL learn you weren't as good as you thought you were (the hard way ).

      Find good friends to ride with that are as concerned for your welfare as you are.

      I've been riding only since '98- not so long as others out there. I have good friends that give me a hard time if I even think about not wearing a helmet and have had many wonderful experiences and memories as a result of the MSF course I took in the summer of '98.

      I didn't mean to lecture when I started this post but motorcycling is a topic that's near a dear to my heart and I wish only enjoyment for anyone looking to get into motorcycling. (lecture over)

      Best of luck and keep the rubber side down-
      John

      2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg 57,000 miles
      2000 Polaris Victory V92C 23,000 miles


    13. 11-19-2003 05:51 PM #13
      If you think lethers are hot try sliding down the road in shorts, t-shirt and a beanie......

    14. 01-10-2004 04:00 PM #14
      In traffics and towns you are not noticed by drivers always be ready with the brake and feet on the pegs.


      hang on when you go past large trucks the wash of wind will knock you right off your bike


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      02-01-2004 12:21 AM #15
      dont wory about the cc. get the right fitting bike. if you legs are sticking strait out the sides get a bigger bike... youl learn hoe to control the horsepower. if you fit fine on a small bike at least get one that is respectible...r6 gsxr6 636... remember your getting a streetbike for a reason. just my 2 cents. actual value may vary...

    16. Member DeeJoker's Avatar
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      02-27-2004 10:20 AM #16
      No hotdogging. You don't need to pop wheels or do endo's or a superman. Who, exactly, are you trying to impress??

      (future '04 FZ6 owner... heh heh)


    17. Moderator Rockhead261's Avatar
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      03-07-2004 08:19 PM #17
      If you ever wonder if you're going too fast, you probably are.
      Cary

      '13 Sierra Denali 2500 CC D/A
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    18. 05-23-2004 03:22 AM #18
      Question: What can I do for full face safety if I wear glasses (assuming that full face helmets are not compatible with glasses)?

      Let's Go Jets/Mets/Nets

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      05-24-2004 11:33 AM #19
      Quote, originally posted by GT Eye »
      Question: What can I do for full face safety if I wear glasses (assuming that full face helmets are not compatible with glasses)?

      Your assumption is wrong. I wear a full-face helmet and glasses. Have had no problem with either Arai or HJC helmets. My brother wears a Shoei and wears glasses.


    20. Member G60 Carat's Avatar
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      06-17-2004 08:36 AM #20
      In regards to new riders

      #1 Take a MSF Course of some kind, you will take the basics taught with you the rest of your life. So important, this stuff will save your life!

      Second and just as important! A little saying among people who know what the **** they are doing is "Dress for the crash, not for the ride" I don't car if it's 30C (86F) outside, I wear my Helmet, Gloves, Jacket, Boots, and Riding Pants (jeans are not gear, ask me I know! wanna see my legs?) A full leather race suit is the cats a**, but kinda pricey, and pretty much wrecked if you get caught in a good down pour. I prefer Textile suits for everyday stuff, and the leathers for those special "Red Mist" days.

      Now I have never told anyone a Ninja 250, or GS500, etc. (insert dog slow bike of your choice here) is a good first bike! Why? Cause if you are at all agressive, you will hate it! You want a bike for the speed. I can't say what bike is best for you. If you are looking for a fast sportbike, and it's your first bike go with a 600cc (GSX-R, CBR, ZX-6R, R6). They are fast enough for anybody, and still easy enough to handle if you have half a brain. If you are really scared of getting hurt, get a SV650, almost as fast as the 600 Supersports, but much cheaper and even easier to handle. Considered by many to be the best value in motorcycles today!

      After a few years on your middle weight, you will know if you are ready for a bigger bike. A bike a like a GSX-R 1000, or R1, can put you down hard if you have don't have any experience. Things happen the same way as on a 600, they just happen faster!



      Modified by CanCBR at 1:41 PM 6-17-2004

      | Rust | Zip-Ties | JB Weld | Bad Idle | Scrapes Ground | Rubs when Turning | Busted Ass Door handles |

    21. 07-09-2004 10:55 AM #21
      Quote, originally posted by Air_Cooled_Nut »
      To add:
      If you're riding along and your helmet feels wiggly, it's not because of the wind buffeting you just the right way, it's because you didn't secure the chin strap!

      Or it's the wrong size!

      Q: How do I know a helmet fits properly?

      A: A new helmet should be snug but not tight! There is a little give as your new "hat" breaks in. Put it on and shake you head like you are saying NO.... then nod as if you are saying YES. If the helmet does NOT move, but is not uncomfortably tight.... it's the right one.

      Also remember that helmets sizes vary between brands and models and the SHAP of your head is as important as the size.
      Some are more round... some are more egg shaped etc.

      A comfortable helmet is one of the most important parts of riding. If you must buy one online, find the SAME hat at a shop first. It is a huge liability for dealers to take a return on a used helmet.... even if you just bought it that morning.

      Do it once and do it right!

      IMO Arai makes the best fitting helmets out there.... but your head may be different than mine!


    22. 07-09-2004 10:58 AM #22
      Q: Do I need to "hang off" the bike as I go around the turn?

      A: If you have to ask... NO! Hanging off is a last resort for squeezing thenths of a second out of your lap times and has no place on the street. It's probably one of the last skills you'll need to worry about.


    23. 07-09-2004 11:02 AM #23
      Qo I need to wear ear plugs?

      A:This is a personal choise and has little to do with how loud your pipes are. Wind noise inside a decent helmet at 60mph is near 100dcb plus! Not to mention the air buffeting that messes with your ear drums and can screw up your equilibrium!!

      This WILL damage your hearing and will make you more tired and distracted. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you'll never turn back!


    24. 07-09-2004 11:08 AM #24
      Q: I'm going for a long ride (anything over 1 hour). What should I have along.

      A: The single most important thing to a rider is to stay hydrated! I wear a "camel back" type drinking device and pound water all day. In the summer (especially here in Georgia) it gets hot and humid. I wear full leathers all the time, and I sweat a lot! My jacket is perforated, so a lot of it evaporates almost instantly wile riding. You loose a ton of water that way. This makes you tired, slows reaction time and will not let you deal with the heat nearly as well. Drink LOTS of liquids.
      I mix 1/4 apple juice with 3/4 water. Adds a little sugar!

      Did I mention ear plugs?


    25. 07-09-2004 11:36 AM #25
      Quote, originally posted by dts »
      To find the MSF class nearest you, go to http://www.msf-usa.org

      Q:The MSF coarse near me is booked for months... what can I do?

      A: Although their classes fill up pretty regularly, just show up at the time and place. There is a VERY good chance that someone didn't make it to the class and you as a standby can get in!! This is especially true if the weather looks poor. The class will go on. You may get a little wet, but that's more than worth it!


    26. 08-13-2004 03:48 PM #26
      depends when and where.....
      Quote, originally posted by DeeJoker »
      No hotdogging. You don't need to pop wheels or do endo's or a superman. Who, exactly, are you trying to impress??

      (future '04 FZ6 owner... heh heh)


    27. 09-08-2004 01:29 AM #27
      Not sure which bike to start out with? Check out this thread on a different forum... LOTS of good info here

      http://www.totalmotorcycle.com...=1434


    28. 10-25-2004 04:58 PM #28
      Great thread for those who want to start riding and on what type of bike.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1601147


    29. 12-30-2004 03:58 PM #29
      If the faster people in your group are not waiting for you at x roads, and turn offs, they do not have your interests in mind. The first thing that was drilled into my head by my friends when I started riding with them was, If you are slower than us, we will wait up. If you try to be as fast as us, we won't.

      In other words prove to us you have safety in mind and we'll make sure you have fun. Show us you don't care about being safe, you're on your own.

      Its now three years later, I still ride with the same group of guys, and there is nothing better. Well I mean that you can do with a group of guys.


    30. 01-14-2005 01:05 PM #30
      Many things others have said: Dress for the crash, ride at your own pace and know your limits, take the MSF class and buy a bike that fits you right.

      I can add to always check your tire pressures and carry emergency contact info on you at all times.

      Dave


    31. Member
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      01-25-2005 04:17 PM #31
      The forums at beginnerbikes.com appear to be dead. You can also find a good forum for new riders at http://www.sport-touring.net -- the forum is called "beginner's garage."

    32. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      02-02-2005 01:07 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by dts »
      The forums at beginnerbikes.com appear to be dead. You can also find a good forum for new riders at http://www.sport-touring.net -- the forum is called "beginner's garage."

      Not only the forums, but the website itself with all of the articles is gone. Many have moved over to these two forums:
      http://www.beginnerbikers.org/
      http://www.beginnerandbeyond.com/

      They have a larger community dedicated to beginners than the S-T website (although S-T is great too).

      -Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

      I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called, "The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down."

    33. 03-11-2005 11:04 AM #33
      Another option is to check out the Rider's Edge courses at some Harley-Davidson dealers. They're more expensive than MSF, but usually nowhere near as booked. They teach on the Buells, so it's not like you're riding a full-fledged hog... But the safety principles are the same, no matter what type of bike you're riding. There's also an advanced course for experienced riders. Check it out at http://www.harley-davidson.com...en_US.

    34. 04-07-2005 07:34 PM #34
      I'm taking the MSF course now!

      I have NO idea what I'm doing when it comes to purchasing motorcycles ... (well aside from what I'm learning in the course) - are we allowed to post questions in this FAQ thread?

      btw I stand 5'4" w/ a 29" inseam (not waist) or so ... looking for a used bike around $500. I'd prefer not a cruiser like a harley but more along a regular sportbike or crotch-rocket style ... suggestions?

      250cc is probably more than enough for me at this point. As for brakes it seems that completely separate (not linked) is preferable ...

      And I still have to buy the gear (borrowing a friend's for the course). I hope I pass the riding test ...

      Thanks!


    35. 05-02-2005 07:38 PM #35
      Figured I'd post up my list of first bike suggestions. C&P from another thread, with a few additions. Note that these are geared towards the sportbike enthusiast. There's a whole slew of standards and semi-cruisers for those who swing that way.

      -----------------------------

      As always, the SV650 (not the S) is just about the best all around newbie/first bike. Its got enough newbie-freindlyness (not the best in that respect, mind you) for most first timers, but has enough in reserve to satisfy pretty much every desire a sportbike rider has. Hell, there are race series devoted SOLELY to the SV.

      The ninja EX series (250/500) is a great way to go, although everyone understands they're not going to win any beauty contests. There's PLENTY of ways to beef up these bikes into race machines too, so don't sell them short. Ninja 500s lap all the time at trackdays in the fast group.

      If you can find one, a honda VTR250 is another really good first bike.

      The Suzuki GS500 is a great alternative, and the new one (the one with fairings) has a lot of GSXR inspired visual cues, which is good for those who want that modern sportbike look. (Note that fairings do increase insurance…)

      The Ducati monster 600/620 is a decent first bike and, of course, has that "Ducati" thing going on, if that's your bag.

      The Honda Hawk 650 is another good machine, with a single sided swingarm to boot. Wanna stand out? Get one of these.

      The newer four cylinder naked bikes (599, FZ6, etc.) are a still a bit aggressive all around for a newbie (and a bit on the expensive side), but if it comes down to one of these or a race rep, I say get one of these.

      The VFR 400 has the single sidsed swingarm, an engine tone that will turn heads of Harley guys, let alone sportbike guys, AND it has gobs of resale value, not that you'd ever sell it. Wanna REALLY stand out? Get one of THESE.

      The FZR 400 is another cult race bike, so its got plenty of potential, while still being relatively tame in stock form.

      Following the 400 theme, the bandit 400 is a very cool option.

      And older ninja 600E, while being a bit on the porky side, is still on the fringes of fitting the bill.

      Something like a CBR F2 is even better than a current race-rep, although IMHO you'd pay more for one than its worth.

      There's also the katana lineup...full fairings, but easy on the geometry.

      Bandit 600. Been around since dirt, and its just about as reliable.

      Late Edition Edit: The new Ninja 650R. Love/hate looks, modern technology, plenty of long-term capability.



      Modified by bxr140 at 11:25 AM 6-8-2006


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