Safety Starting With the Bike

Posted at 3/27/2012 11:07:35 AM

morrisont

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Safety Starting With the Bike

Hi Guys,
I am about to buy my first bike.
Short version:
What style of bike and engine size would you guys recommend for safety and practicality (dont care about cool-ness) if my top three priorities in order are:
1) SAFETY (<600cc so I dont kill myself?)
2) AFFORDABILITY (ideally <$1500, definitely <$3000)
3) STORAGE (to carry stuff on commute: backpack, whitecoat, shoes etc)?

Long version:
My whole life, everyone has always exclaimed how dangerous motorcycles are, and they're right. Being a medical student, I know how many organ donors we get thanks to motorcycles. Just sayin it like it is. But that said, Im still going to get a bike. So if I am going to soldier on in the face of reason, I at least want to make sure I do it as safely as possible.

I figure the gear is important, but probably buying the right bike is even more important. I know my tendency to "push it" and take risks (hell, read the above paragraph) so Im thinking its smart to buy a smaller bike that most people wouldn't (i.e. a 250 even though I might "outgrow" as everyone says). What does everyone think? I will have a car as a backup commuter and the commute is only about 10 mins on a not so crowded highway. I am intrigued by dual sports cause I like the idea of off-roading (though prob dont have time for it) and I live in SD so Im right near Baja. I also like the idea of touring up the coast and I prefer sitting up-right (not bent over on the old crotch-rockets). I am open to any style though if it fits the criteria below.

In short, what style of bike and engine size would you guys recommend for safety and practicality (dont care about cool-ness) if my top three priorities in order are:
1) SAFETY (<600cc so I dont kill myself?)
2) AFFORDABILITY (ideally <$1500, definitely <$3000)
3) STORAGE (to carry stuff on commute: backpack, whitecoat, shoes etc)?

Thanks!
Tyler

Posted at 3/27/2012 11:54:41 AM

GAJ

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Here's a link that might be helpful for you...most of these bikes are within your budget used.

Number one and number three are good choices and have been made for many years so finding a good used on should not be too much trouble.

I'd recommend installing frame sliders if the bike doesn't have them already; plastic body panels are expensive to replace.

The two I'm recommending you consider look like sport bikes but the handlebar/footpeg positions are "standard" not bent over "supersport."

http://motorcycles.about.com/od/howtostartridin1/tp/Ten-Great-Beginner-Motorcycles.htm


Current bikes: F800ST, DRZ400SM

Past bikes, starting with the first in 1970: CB50, K75S, Seca 550, Nighthawk 750, TL1000S

Posted at 3/27/2012 12:18:35 PM

Easy Rider

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GAJ said:Here's a link that might be helpful for you...most of these bikes are within your budget used.


I have no problem with those recommendations........EXCEPT for the large amount of plastic body work on most of them.

The "standard" conservative recommendation for a first bike......and he sounds like a conservative-type of person......is a used 250 in decent shape.

Also gotta mention that a daily commute probably should NOT be in the cards until you have at least 6 months of other riding experience.....and a beginners school.....under your belt.

That applies to riding (anything) on the freeways too.

Don't believe EVERYTHING that you think.
--------------------
My bike:
'10 Kaw Vulcan 900 Custom

Posted at 3/27/2012 1:12:03 PM

GAJ

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I have ridden both a Ninja 250 and the 500cc Suzuki.

Both have plastic (frame sliders take care of that) and both are very newbie friendly.

For a 10 year old bike the Kelley Blue Book values for a Ninja 250 and a Ninja 500 are IDENTICAL.

The 500's would be a better value IMHO and no more difficult to ride.

The 500's weight about 50 pounds more but are still below 370lbs, so far from heavy.

Current bikes: F800ST, DRZ400SM

Past bikes, starting with the first in 1970: CB50, K75S, Seca 550, Nighthawk 750, TL1000S

Posted at 3/27/2012 2:50:13 PM

Easy Rider

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GAJ said:Both have plastic (frame sliders take care of that)


That depends on how bad the drop IS.
In many cases they do very little.

Don't believe EVERYTHING that you think.
--------------------
My bike:
'10 Kaw Vulcan 900 Custom

Posted at 3/30/2012 10:23:15 PM

Sober1

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Morrisont, I highly recommend that you buy or go to the library and get a copy of "The Motorcycle Safety Foundations Guide to Motorcycling Excellence, Second Edition." and read the entire book. I read it every spring just as a refreasher.

:rider:

Posted at 8/31/2012 4:09:21 PM

FRE

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First bike

Honda makes a 250 single-cylinder sport bike with ABS available; you might want to consider that if you haven't already bought a bike. However, because it is a new model, it may be impossible to find a used one. On the other hand, the increased safety the ABS provides should be considered.

Posted at 1/10/2014 2:55:38 PM

thesoapster

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Yep, the CBR250R is not only still relatively new (only made the past couple years now), it's in the class of bikes that, if put up for sale, disappears immediately!

Don't forget to take MSF BRC first! :)

Posted at 2/3/2014 2:20:58 PM

CasperO

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Basic Rider Course

First stop, right here: California Motorcyclist Safety Program

The most dangerous thing newbies do is not:

Buying the wrong bike,

Getting the wrong gear,

Taking too many risks,,,

Nope. None of those. The most dangerous thing newbs do is to not learn how to ride properly from the start. Maybe they do a little reading and then "Wing it",,, maybe they get some tips from crazy uncle Mike the biker who gives them great advice like "Never touch your front brake, or you'll go over the handlebars",,, or "Sometimes you just gotta lay 'er down".

Go the that website. Sign up for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation - Basic Rider Course. You'll get 16 hours of real instruction by real professional Ridercoaches. They'll provide the bike. They'll provide the &%^'ing HELMET. This is absolutely the only way to get started.

Please please please.


California Motorcyclist Safety Program

Posted at 2/15/2014 3:05:08 AM

kimberlypollman

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I have no problem with those recommendations..because i have use motocross suit with all body protectors and i have feel good. And sounds like.

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