Beginning to ride, a thanks to all
May 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm #3986
Hi, i want to say thank you for the tip i received here for the Idiot guide to motorcycling.
It is a well written book and does have really a lot of useful tips.
btw. i think i will settle for a scotter. I have seen a nice suzuki scotter.
But i think these are not really seen as bikes.
Does anyone of you ride a scotter by chance?May 22, 2010 at 11:01 pm #26666RabParticipant
Glad you enjoyed the book; I too, think it’s a great introduction to motorcycling and a handy reference for the early days of your motorcycling “career”.
Scooters are fine as far as they go, but realize that unless you have a 250 c.c. or higher scooter, you’ll be limited as to where you can go with it (no freeway riding). I would advise against the 50 c.c. class scooters as they just dont have enough power (max. ~30 mph); go for at least a 125 c.c. instead.
Yes, you’re right, scooters have their own sub-culture which is distinct and separate from the motorcycling sub-culture.
Bear in mind though that “scooting” can be just as dangerous, so be sure to wear appropriate protective clothing if you do go the scooter route.May 23, 2010 at 12:27 am #26668
I noticed that i pronounced it wrong.
I was thinking of a suzuki burgman 400, that has already 400cc.
That should have enough power for me.May 23, 2010 at 2:18 am #26670RabParticipant
The Burgman is a very highly rated scooter.
You might also want to check out the Kymco Xciting and Yamaha Majesty.May 24, 2010 at 2:52 am #26689VeritechVF-1SParticipant
I own both a scooter and a motorcycle. Personally, I feel that Aprilia makes great scooters and I have a blast riding my Scarabeo 250. They don’t make that model anymore, but check out Aprilia’s website and see what you think of the models they currently offer.May 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm #26703
I have a 500cc scooter and have ridden with guys who have the Burgman 400. That is a great scooter and would make a great first bike. I’ve found that the larger class scooters (400cc and above) don’t fit into a nice classification. They are not part of the scooter sub-culture and they are not really bikes but they are no more different than a cruiser is from a sport bike. But none of that matters if all you want to do is ride.
I ride with a group that is mostly cruiser riders and some of them have admitted to me they had a scooter prejudice before they started riding with me. Now they know they cannot keep up with me in the twisties and want me to lead rides.
As you ride you will learn what type of riding appeals to you and you will slowly find a group who have similar tastes. Honestly that is much more important that what type of bike you have, so if a 400cc scooter appeals to you I say go for it.May 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm #26707
omg.. i am really divided at the moment. I just can up my mind.
This scooter looked really nice but i am not sure how a ride for a long time is.
I know that dual bikes are good for beginners, since you can do 2 things at the same time (road/off road) but i am not sure if thats what i want to do.
What i like is to have a bag on the bike to store things and to make a tour and drive to work.
So right now the scooter is on my list (i will check out the other ones too), or a Suzuki GS500F or a Kawasaki Ninja.
One trouble i have is, to determine how much cc i need to flow with traffic and what would be an overkill for a newbie.
One thing for sure, it can not be to heavy.
Like i said, so far i did not settle for a particular one. I just know i want to ride.
You know, that on a side note, i am now over 40 and all my life i pushed motorcycle to a further day to one day make the license. Now i want one and i will do my license soon. Here in the states its much easier.
In my country in europe it costs much more and takes longer.
I am really pleased with all these commends since they give me other insights and other angles to think about how to make a better judgment.
ThanksMay 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm #26709
LOL…I was in the same position as you 2 years ago. I was so undecided the two bikes on my list were the Ninja 250 and the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 (cruiser), but I somehow ended up with a 3 wheel scooter. That shows you how undecided I was! These days I want a dual sport. I still want that Ninja 250 but that will have to wait.
Your needs (storage, touring, commuting) are pretty common and don’t rule out many bikes but obviously some are more suited to those tasks than others. I would say large scooters are very suited to those requirements as they have great built in storage and fantastic weather protection. The down side is they are expensive and have lots of breakable plastic in case of a drop. They are also typically heavy so make sure to check the weight of that Burgman before you decide to buy.
I will add that the handling of scooters is supposed to be poorer than an equivalent motorbike as a lot (most) of them have what is called ‘unsprung’ weight. This means the engine is not mounted in the frame like a bike but on the back wheel but I’m not sure how significant this is for a beginner. Can’t say I’ve felt any handling problems but it may be I will only notice this difference when I get a regular bike.May 24, 2010 at 11:07 pm #26711Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
“How much cc will I need to flow with traffic and what would be an overkill for a newbie. One thing for sure, it cannot be too heavy”
The 250cc Kawasaki Ninja will go over 100mph, but it is not the best choice for a passenger or longer trips. The 400cc Suzuki Supermoto is also fast enough for interstates, and it is a little better with a passenger, but that narrow stock seat will feel rough if you do a couple hundred miles plus in one day. The KLR-650 Kawasaki is a better dual sport for long trips and a passenger, but it is quite a bit heavier than the other two bikes listed here, and it is a little too powerful for a beginner, but it is great for someone that started out with dirt bikes and is used to dirt bike style handlebars. People often ride these across South America.
The main things I would consider- how much time are you going to be on the interstates? A 500cc Kawasaki Vulcan cruiser or 500cc Suzuki or Kawasaki sportier bike are probably better choices if you are going to be at 75 mph a lot, and your choices for small bikes is greatly widened if you will mostly stay on 55 mph roads without a passenger. Also, it is wisest to buy an old 250cc dirt bike and learn to slide it sideways on wet grass first- it will save your second bike and your body from some possible major damage while you are learning. One last point to repeat- take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginners class first, and see what you think about the bike they give you to train on.
Scooters- very practical, if you can handle the looks of them. Some have the engine mounted on the swingarm, for lower costs and poorer cornering. The 500cc Yamaha T-Max has amazing handling for a scooter, with a sportbike-like frame, and it is quite expensive for a scooter.May 24, 2010 at 11:42 pm #26716
i think that might be a stumbling block for me, the price. I am somewhat limited in what i can spend on a bike so it might not be a scooter, but i don’t want to rule it out. You never know.
I think it will be mainly for me, so not necessarily a passenger.
Rather to buy a pure dirtbike i would prever a dual. Is 250cc alot for these kind of bikes?
Well, my plan was this.
First do the written test to get a permit for training, then attend a training course. Can’t remember which one it is, but it cost about $200 and doesn’t require me to take it again at the DMV.
Plus, it give a basic training. I think that is what you meant.
Since i never really rode a bike i need that. None of my family here have a bike so i am alone in what i do.
Also i have to find a place to buy a bike. I am not sure if i want to respond to add via craigslist. To buy a car is already hard.May 25, 2010 at 12:19 am #26717
Since you are in Europe you will have a lot more choices available to you in the small bike segment. Most of the contributors on this forum are based in the USA and over here the choices are depressingly limited. I would make sure to check some local websites to see what bikes are available to you. The price structure may be completely different also since scooters are more popular over there so may sure to check around.
I understand how difficult it is to get started. I also had no-one local to help out when I started so I bought new from a dealer as it made life easier. More expensive but simpler. Also I know that it is much harder to get your license there (I am from the UK myself) but it will make you a better rider because of it. It was very easy to get my license but I continue to take training classes. It takes a long time to get really good at this and I will be learning for a long time yet. Your training is just mandatory, that’s all
Best of luck with everything. It is a bit overwhelming in the beginning but very exciting as well. I’ve made a ton of good friends from this and had some amazing experiences. Looking forward to reading about your future exploits.May 25, 2010 at 12:49 am #26718
Oh, i think i said it wrong.
I am from europe, more precise, from germany.
But i live in Los Angeles now.
Thats why i said its easier here then there.
Honestly, i think i might choose to buy new as well as i am not that technically savy to judge if that would be a good buy or not. And if its new, it has warranty too.
I looked into two bikes right now more closely.
Suzuki SV650S and Yamaha XT225 (250).
I think off road can be fun, but i am not sure how good these seats are.. Have to test that.
Right now, before i even buy anything, i have to make the license and then or before, buy a helmet and some other gear.
I checked Arai helmets as they are supposed to be very good (airflow, material etc) but price. Well, since its the head that they are protecting i assume its a good investment.
p.s. i always want to visit the uk, but never made it. But every time i fly over its very cloudy.
Take care, nice to talk to you all.May 25, 2010 at 2:18 am #26720eternal05Participant
I’ve been through two Shoei helmets and an Arai, so don’t think I’m biased against the “high-end” helmets. What I will say, however, is that the money you pay doesn’t translate to the safety of the helmet. Those helmets are expensive because of their aerodynamics, their venting, and their comfort, not because they are safer. A $100 Scorpion EXO-700 or $65 EXO-400 will protect your head just as well.
The catch with helmets is that every manufacturer’s helmets fit a slightly different shape of head. Don’t just buy a helmet online if you can helmet. Try to go into a local dealer and try on all the helmets you’re interested in. At the very least, try on a helmet from each brand you’re considering so you can figure out whether their head shape and sizing will work for you.
Good luck!May 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm #26722IBA270Participant
I’ve owned Arai (s) Shoei (s) HJC, Nolan, Bieffe…surely there are more in there.
eternal is right on the money; helmet technology is very, very good and most any helmet on the market will do a good job of protecting you. DO NOT sacrifice fit for price. Buy the helmet the fits you the best, and make sure that you understand what good fit is. There really is more to it than being “snug” and not being able to turn your head side to side in the helmet without it moving, or that you can’t pull it off while it’s on your head.
IMO…and it’s the same mistake I made when I started riding…don’t buy your helmet online. Your chances of being dissappointed are very high. There is simply no way of knowing how well it will fit you until you try it on and wear it around the store for a while.
It’s an expensive lesson to learn, and since I’m not the sharpest tool, it took me a few times…May 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm #26725WeaponZeroParticipant
Agreed when it comes to price. I’ve owned and worn enough helmets to know that when you go above a certain price bracket, you’re not really getting a whole lot more for your money in terms of things such as safety features or build quality. In fact I’d even go as far as to say that, based on my own personal experience, there are only three helmets in existence I’d be willing to plunk down more than $300 on.
1. ICON Airframe – Without a doubt the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn for my head shape. Of course it wasn’t broken in, but the quality was top notch and the ventilation was amazing.
2. Shoei RF-1100 – Another comfy helmet for my head shape and I love the “Shoei-ness” LOL if that makes sense. You can really feel it.
3. ICON Variant – Haven’t tried it on but I love the look and the features, and if it fits anything like the Airframe I’m sold.
With these three being the exceptions, you won’t ever again find me plunking down more than $300 on a helmet. In fact my next helmet, assuming it’s not one of these, will either be an ICON Alliance SSR or Shark S900.
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