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    Thread: Motorcycle Forum FAQ and Frequently Asked Rookie Questions

    1. Vortex Media Group Staff Tim@VMG's Avatar
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      03-31-2007 11:15 AM #51
      Quote, originally posted by jakub89 »
      im almost 18, is it to early to get a street bike i have never driven a street bike by my self but i have driven many dirtbikes and quads, i want a bike so it can get me around. still have fun and be less then a car. any advice?

      Well...
      There are a couple of things that spring to mind right away. As far as your experience with dirtbikes goes, that will give you knowledge of how to operate the controls of the machine. Aside from that, though, just about everything else is different from a dirt bike to a street bike. How it will respond and turn, what the right and wrong things to do with your feet and weight, etc. They're all different. Also, dealing with traffic, road hazards, etc, is something else you'll have to learn.
      There are plenty of bikes out there that are cheap, will last forever, and be good to get you around, while still being fun. Just about any UJM (universal Japanese motorcycle) from the '80's or '90's should fit your bill. They're not expensive, fairly easy to work on, and are all over the place.
      Please, though, don't fall in to the trap of thinking you "need" a sportbike or something "really fast" to get anyfun out of it. You don't! Someone told me when I started riding that being on a motorcycle wouldredefine what "fast" is to me. And it did. 45 or 60 or 65 on a bike feels nothing like it does in a car. And in addition to that, any bike is going to be faster than most cars. I ride a 14 year old stodgy "sport touring" bike with less than 70 HP that will still suck the doors of any car I've ever driven.
      The biggest and best piece of advice I could give you, though, would be to take the MSF course. It will give you a good feel for a road bike, and it will also teach you some basic street survival skills that everyone on a bike should have.
      Good luck!
      -Tim
      The artist formerly known as SilverSLC
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    2. 03-31-2007 11:53 AM #52
      Quote, originally posted by SilverSLC »
      Well...
      There are a couple of things that spring to mind right away. As far as your experience with dirtbikes goes, that will give you knowledge of how to operate the controls of the machine. Aside from that, though, just about everything else is different from a dirt bike to a street bike. How it will respond and turn, what the right and wrong things to do with your feet and weight, etc. They're all different. Also, dealing with traffic, road hazards, etc, is something else you'll have to learn.
      There are plenty of bikes out there that are cheap, will last forever, and be good to get you around, while still being fun. Just about any UJM (universal Japanese motorcycle) from the '80's or '90's should fit your bill. They're not expensive, fairly easy to work on, and are all over the place.
      Please, though, don't fall in to the trap of thinking you "need" a sportbike or something "really fast" to get anyfun out of it. You don't! Someone told me when I started riding that being on a motorcycle wouldredefine what "fast" is to me. And it did. 45 or 60 or 65 on a bike feels nothing like it does in a car. And in addition to that, any bike is going to be faster than most cars. I ride a 14 year old stodgy "sport touring" bike with less than 70 HP that will still suck the doors of any car I've ever driven.
      The biggest and best piece of advice I could give you, though, would be to take the MSF course. It will give you a good feel for a road bike, and it will also teach you some basic street survival skills that everyone on a bike should have.
      Good luck!
      -Tim


      this is after i get the bike right?
      also, is there some kind of book a can get at DMV to pass the knowledge test?


      Modified by jakub89 at 9:04 AM 3-31-2007

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      05-12-2007 05:54 PM #53
      Yet another "would this be a good first bike gnahgnahgnah" question which I imagined will be followed by nay and yay sayers...
      First of all, yes I took a full motorcycle course (shocking I know) that included 30 hours of riding, 20hrs closed course and 10hrs in traffic. So I guess somehow I got the theory and practiced a bit... although that was last summer.
      Bikes I've had the dubious pleasure of riding:
      Honda CB125T, closed course only, learned that unlike a bicycle, do not reach for the right hand side lever when entering a turn too quick. In the rain. I actually had fun on the thing, in a sub-60km/h, 5 feet wide circuit kinda way.
      Honda 450 cruisers (Nighthawk and derivatives): one word: eewwwww.
      Honda Magna 750 (I think that's what it was): why are my feet so far ahead?? And I kept going for the non-existent 5th gear. Absorbs Montreal potholes like no other though!
      Suzuki GS500: that thing was fun!! Comfy riding position, I found myself slowing down, downshifting a couple gears and twisting the throttle to catch up with the group, opening it (a bit) in tunnels, definitely the best I've ridden (although it may have to do with the others being ****ty. But there's something about that CB125...)
      So what I've been looking at:
      Suzuki DRZ400-SM. Just looks like damn good fun. Will probably cringe and start crying the first time I put on its side on a dusty corner. And will cry everytime I have to take an highway.
      Suzuki SV650. See above post, delete highway ranting, add "damn that exhaust is ugly".
      Wiser choice (so this is actually what I'm really considering):
      Honda CB-1
      Used, fairly cheap, uncommon, inline 4, 400cc (those cylinders have to be puny!), 50hp of pure fury, bone dry naked.
      Would likely be repainted flat black (bitch all you want), a set of wire spokes wheel with a meatier front tire (if possible, yes, only for looks) with black spokes and red rim (again, bitch all you want).

      Honda Bros
      Outta nowhere, one side swingram coolness from the eighties, and V-twin lack of power. Also comes with hideous 3-spoke wheels like the CB-1. Back when neon apparel was all the rage...

      Buell Blast
      Just because I like the other Buells... Also cheap, but newer!

      Thoughts, comments, address to the nearest asylum?

      Modified by strapontin at 2:56 PM 5-12-2007


      Modified by strapontin at 3:04 PM 5-12-2007

    4. Member Viss1's Avatar
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      05-30-2007 09:22 AM #54
      For the FAQ, how about popular parts sources? My local shop is a bit pricey.

    5. Member 16veebunny's Avatar
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      06-22-2007 02:01 PM #55
      Quote, originally posted by bxr140 »
      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.

      Unfortunately, those are almost impossible to find in the USA.
      I have a VFR750, and I don't think I'll ever need anything else
      Also, as far as a first bike goes, I started out on a 1985 Honda VF500.
      Amazing starter bike. Smooth, easy to ride, good geometry, and incredibly easy on you.
      Fast enough to not get boring quickly, either. I took it up in the mountains and wasn't isntantly dusted off, in fact I led part of the ride.
      Anyway, they're cheap & reliable.
      Taylor R
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      81 Yamaha XS650 Pile
      91 GTI 2.8 Hillclimber
      98 Ducati 748 Track Bike

    6. Global Moderator BHB's Avatar
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      07-24-2007 07:23 PM #56
      Current: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi 4x4, 2013 BMW 650GS Sertao, BMW 1150RT
      Gone: 2010 Audi S4; 2008 GTI; 2007 Audi A6; 2004 Audi allroad 2.7T; 2001 Audi A6 2.7T; 1999.5 Mk4 Jetta VR6; 1991 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 4x4

    7. Member KeiCar's Avatar
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      09-11-2007 05:16 PM #57
      Tell me about leaning in a turn. Should you always lean your body upright, while leaning the bike in a slow turn? In a fast turn do you do the same yet lean over with the bike?
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    8. 09-11-2007 05:53 PM #58
      The most important thing is to look where you're going. Your body should react and adjust accordingly.
      Let's Go Jets/Mets/Nets

    9. 10-17-2007 03:52 PM #59
      Seeing how this is Q&A and im a newb at bikes. I have a 97 CBR600F3
      Q: I want to lower it cause god didnt bless me with long legs. How would i go bout doing this(where to go/where to look for lowering stuff)?

    10. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      10-17-2007 07:14 PM #60
      Quote, originally posted by blackbomer1.8T &raquo;
      Seeing how this is Q&A and im a newb at bikes. I have a 97 CBR600F3
      Q: I want to lower it cause god didnt bless me with long legs. How would i go bout doing this(where to go/where to look for lowering stuff)?

      Do an ebay search for lowering links, dogbone, or some variation thereof. The front is easy, you just loosen up the forks in the triple tree and lower it. The rear needs a new piece that lowers the swingarm, if you look underneath your bike you should see a piece of metal that looks like, well, a dog bone.
      -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."

    11. 04-25-2008 09:23 PM #61
      [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]


      Modified by cbrvroom at 12:51 PM 4-26-2008

    12. 08-19-2008 01:22 AM #62
      I suggest a bike under 50hp and 400lbs.
      A 600cc super sport is usually too heavy for a beginner to be at ease with. Its more fun to start small, you don't have to worry as much about your throttle, clutch, brake, and slow speed balance control. A smaller bike is more forgiving in all these areas.
      Don't let anybody say you are a pussay for starting smart.
      The argument that you will inevitably get a bigger bike so you might as well get it now may save you some trouble. But, can deprive you of the ability to test the limits of the bike and develop your skill. Going fast in a straight line is not as fun as fast curves. You can easily put the SS's to shame in the twists on an ex250. Ninja 250's hold their value very well, you also get 50mpg.
      I know 6'+ guys who have comfortably ridden for hours on a ex250. The 08 and up are said to be less comfy than the original.
      Riding a slow bike fast may be more fun than a fast bike fast.

      The probability of dropping your first bike is very high, you may regret buying a bike with expensive full fairings.
      Twist of the Wrist 2 is a good riding theory book
      try to buy a bike in December when no one wants to ride
      watch out for loose gravel
      paint on roads is slippery when wet
      oil from cars covers the middle of lanes, watch out for this when coming to a stop and in the wet.
      the key to making sharp turns at slow speeds is counterbalance. shift your weight to the opposite side of the lean. this stuff is learned in MSF and CBT(UK)
      Modified by bclassd at 10:25 PM 8-18-2008


      Modified by bclassd at 11:41 PM 8-18-2008

    13. 09-28-2008 10:29 PM #63
      I'm looking at a '92 Ninja EX500, and I've just started looking at Ninja's in general. Could anyone give me some advice on any common problems or defects they've noticed for the bikes? I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I actually go see the bike, so if you have tips or suggestions for me I'd really appreciate it.

    14. 10-04-2008 11:59 PM #64
      EX500's are great, but you'd be better off with a 2nd generation, which is '94+. 2nd gens have rear disc brakes, 17" wheels, and their transmissions are built a little better. Go to: http://www.ex-500.com/index.php You will find all the info you want about these bikes. Check out the FS section, a lot of great deals, good luck! The 500 is a great bike! [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    15. Member mad8vskillz's Avatar
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      12-03-2008 01:50 PM #65
      read the tips section on http://www.msgroup.org/
      plenty of good ideas and tips
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    16. 04-13-2009 06:08 PM #66
      great thread for us beginners. Thanks guys!!!

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      04-20-2009 08:01 PM #67
      This should be required reading for those wondering what kind of gear they should be wearing. I might say it's a tad lenient, but still has some great guidelines.
      http://www.motorcycle.com/ride....html

    18. 05-07-2009 05:26 PM #68
      Hey Guys, quick rookie question on riding position:
      What is the best position for your left foot on the pegs? Is it best to position under/over the shifter (like you are about to shift)? Or just keep the foot back away from the shift-lever altogether (until you are ready to shift)? I have been experimenting with different positions but wondered what the consensus was so I can learn the correct habits early.
      I am in my first 500 miles and picked up a lot of useful information from you guys so I appreciate it!

    19. Member Triumph's Avatar
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      05-07-2009 08:29 PM #69
      Quote, originally posted by JoeArlo &raquo;
      Hey Guys, quick rookie question on riding position:
      What is the best position for your left foot on the pegs? Is it best to position under/over the shifter (like you are about to shift)? Or just keep the foot back away from the shift-lever altogether (until you are ready to shift)? I have been experimenting with different positions but wondered what the consensus was so I can learn the correct habits early.
      I am in my first 500 miles and picked up a lot of useful information from you guys so I appreciate it!

      The rule is that you ride on the balls of your feet, but I don't consider it any great sin to ignore this for most types of riding. Just don't keep tension on the shift lever if you aren't getting ready to shift.
      -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."

    20. 05-28-2009 11:39 AM #70
      Just a note for anybody looking for a starter bike:
      I just picked up (like a month ago) my first bike. I got a good condition '81 Suzuki GS450L. I spent $750 on it, its really light, easy to ride, reliable, and plenty fast. (Im 6'2" 190 lbs athletic build)
      My buddy rode it, he has been riding forever and has some sick bikes, and he's 240 lbs and he said its still plenty fast. he actually really liked it.
      really comfortable, great starter IMO. I recommend it or something like it.
      I also saw some ppl asking about gear. My suggestion: do like I did, go to a local shop that is willing to just be helpfull without just trying to sell you the most expensive stuff, and have them help you find the gear right for you, and fits right. If I had just ordered something online, I would have ordered a L to XL, when in fact Im a med, almost a small. Jackets are to fit tight on the body, cause when you sit down there will be excess material. that is also why they are shorter than average.

    21. 07-29-2009 08:02 PM #71
      Just got my first bike (Suzuki GS500) and loving it.
      I have done a few rides at night now and have come up with my major newb question: should I operate the high beams the same as in the car?
      I ask because when I get outside the city/suburbs there is so little light that when I switch to low beam to avoid blinding oncoming motorists I can't see ANYTHING! Experience or none not being able to see in front of you is an issue, and I got to thinking whether I can recall other cycles turning their highs off when I am driving at night. Am I blinding people by not turning them off or is the one light on my bike easy enough for them to look past/not as bright as it appears from my perspective.
      I'm still a bit hesitant to ride at night but now that I have my license (thanks to the MSF course) I can ride to friends houses and such without worrying about the time.

    22. Vortex Media Group Staff Tim@VMG's Avatar
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      07-29-2009 09:09 PM #72
      Quote, originally posted by 2Slo2Run &raquo;
      Just got my first bike (Suzuki GS500) and loving it.
      I have done a few rides at night now and have come up with my major newb question: should I operate the high beams the same as in the car?

      Yes, because they act basically the same as a car - if you are running the high beam, you'll blind oncoming traffic.
      Quote &raquo;
      I ask because when I get outside the city/suburbs there is so little light that when I switch to low beam to avoid blinding oncoming motorists I can't see ANYTHING! Experience or none not being able to see in front of you is an issue, and I got to thinking whether I can recall other cycles turning their highs off when I am driving at night. Am I blinding people by not turning them off or is the one light on my bike easy enough for them to look past/not as bright as it appears from my perspective.
      I'm still a bit hesitant to ride at night but now that I have my license (thanks to the MSF course) I can ride to friends houses and such without worrying about the time.

      It's good that you are cognizant of this, because one of the big risks of riding at night is out-riding your headlight (that is, riding so fast that your light doesn't light far enough for you to be able to see hazards).
      The first thing that I would check (don't know if your bike is the faired one or the naked) is how the headlight is aimed. On a lot of naked bikes, it is really easy to have the headlight get bumped and aimed too far downward, which would result in not being able to see well. Check that out and see if it helps.
      The second thing that you can do is add some auxiliary lighting of some sort to your bike. This is what I did on my BMW, as I just wasn't happy with the amount of light I was getting, and I love the peace and calm of riding at night. I ordered a set of Hella FF50 auxiliary driving lights from http://www.rallylights.com There are plenty of other solutions too, like motolights and some others, but the Hellas were only about $100 for a complete kit with a switch and relay and such, and they throw a LOT of light. I have them aimed low and slightly outward, and they make me feel SO much safer riding in low light.
      Here's a pic from my install:

      -Tim
      The artist formerly known as SilverSLC
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    23. 07-29-2009 11:35 PM #73
      Thanks man, that is what I was thinking but I wanted to ask anyways. Rather ask here than just guess on the street. The bike is a naked, so I might have to look into some lighting like that. Actually going out right now to see if the light should/could be tilted upwards more. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

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      08-17-2009 01:37 AM #74
      Just finished the MSF course today.
      I *highly* recommend this to anyone thinking of two-wheeling.
      I don't have much to say on the beginner-bike debate, except my typical statement on the subject (which got a few chuckles at the MSF class):
      You're better off as a beginning motorcyclist if your *car* is *much faster* than your bike. You'll be less likely to try anything stupid.
      Hop on a Honda Nighthawk 250 and aim for a stoplight and you'll see what I mean. Is it yellow? Will it be yellow soon? Decision time!
      (Seriously, I am a wiser pilot of both the S4 and the R60/6 because of this. The Audi's about 2 seconds faster than the BMW in the 1/4 mi. If I move up to that R100/7 I've been thinking about- I'll have to go RS2 spec to keep the S4 out front...

    25. 11-24-2009 01:37 PM #75
      (I'm considering taking an MSF course)
      Q: What can I expect at an MSF course? What should I bring? What if I've NEVER ridden a motorcycle before? What if I've never SAT on a motorcycle before?
      Q: Is there such a thing as a newbie bike thats too old (mid 70's)? ARe there features on a bike that should be considered when looking for a newbie bike (disc over drum, light weight, etc...).
      Q: How do you size yourself for a bike (I'm 6'4", 200lbs)?


      Modified by Daedalus at 1:55 PM 11-24-2009

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