Greetings from a New Rider – Washington DC
July 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm #3213
After following this site (and the great advice contained therein) for about 6 months after taking the MSF BRC course and getting my license (I’d never been on a motorcycle before), I finally took the plunge and picked up my first bike, a used 2006 Buell P3 Blast (or “the cube” as it’s known now…thanks Erik.) in January of this year.
I’ve been riding since and have put about 800 miles on her. I recently took the MSF ERC skills practice course, which I really enjoyed and highly recommend; a great chance to practice the stuff you learned in the BRC w/o the pressure of the test, and additionally there is some new stuff introduced…most useful being riding with one hand. I found in particular that the course improved my low speed manuevering significantly, and I can now do “the box” flawlessly w/o any fear at all.
I’m looking to upgrade to a bigger bike in the fall, but am still enjoying the Blast. I’m the rare rider out there that actually likes standards most (there must be like 10 of us total in the U.S.), so I’m looking at the Suzuki Gladius (the SV650 replacement) as my next ride, though I haven’t ruled out the Buell XB9sx…
I’m really appreciative of the advice and viewpoints on this site, and especially everyone’s generally sober view of motorcycling and motorcycles. One of the things that really amazed me when I got into the world of motorcycling was how cavalier many riders are about an inherently difficult activity that stands a good chance of seriously hurting or even killing them (e.g. “My first bike? Yep, gonna need at least a 600cc sportbike!” or “Jacket? Why? It’s hot and this leather vest is plenty.”). This site and the people here are an antidote to that mindset, and to me, that’s really cool…thanks to all.July 28, 2009 at 11:03 pm #21020MunchParticipant
D.C . your a brave one! Let us know how your travels find ya!July 29, 2009 at 2:35 am #21025JtownJJAParticipant
Welcome to the forum. By what I’ve read of your comments so far, I think you’ll be a great addition to the group! (Sorry to see they’ve cubed your bike, though.)July 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm #21044USViking79Participant
Do you like the Kawasaki ER-6n? The Gladius looks like a great bike too.July 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm #21051
Re bikes, I’ve looked at the ER-6N, but didn’t like the gauges (all digital, Ducati Monster style). I know, kinda dumb reason to reject a bike, but I figure I’ll be staring at them a lot.
I *really* wanted a SV650 (the standard, non-faired version), but they replaced it with the Gladius before just as I was ready to buy. Too bad, as I loved the chunky look.
I am glad though that sport-oriented standards are starting to get more popular here. They’re everywhere in Europe, but for a long time now, it’s been pretty much either cruisers or sportbikes here in the U.S. I really liked the Honda Hornet (which came here as the Honda 599 a few years ago), but it’s no longer available.July 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm #21078
Hi there. Nice to find another DC area rider in the mix! Regarding the ER6N and Gladius, the two bikes seem close enough in performance that gauge preference might just be a fine preference to go by. There’s a good comparison review here: http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2009-naked-middleweight-comparison-88345.html
I agree, the Hornet seems like a great bike. I really like my Versys, but I’d have preferred a Hornet (the ER6N and Gladius also weren’t available when I got my Versys, so I had to go to a quasi-dual sport for a close-ish equivalent of a sport-oriented standard). Now if we could just get more sport standards with ABS.
(Speaking of the Hornet, there’s a gorgeous one that recently went up for sale here in Bethesda: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/mcy/1291734739.html)July 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm #21082
…is one cool bike. How were you able to find one? When I was first looking around at dealerships in the area, they all told me they’d occassionally get one and it’d be gone in day. They seem like a perfect do-it-all-bike that’s especially well-suited to the varied environments of the D.C. area…easily fight it out with the cabs downtown, or enjoy more relaxing surroundings in Great Falls. : -)
How do you find the height of the Versys?
That is a sweet Hornet; I really wanted to get a new next bike, but that one looks in pristine condition, and that yellow is a great color. Hmmm…July 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm #21084zeppelinfromledParticipant
I wasn’t a huge fan of the digital display on my ninja 650r (ER-6F) when I first started looking at it, but I love it now. I guess it’s just personal preference. Seeing my speed digitally took a little getting used it, but not that much.July 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm #21085
I found my Versys last year at Criswell Powersports up in Gaithersburg. As luck would have it (for me at least), it was the week they they were closing down their shop, and I got the Versys for dealer’s cost. From their perspective, they were about to lose money on it as their inventory was about to be loaded on a truck and shipped back.
It is a fantastic do-it-all bike. Handling is great, so a pleasure to carve around back roads. Plenty of power and good ergonomics and wind protection, so it does well on the betlway and 95. And I can’t think a better bike for city riding–tall height gives a good advance view of traffic nuttiness, and the suspension does a great job with DC’s many potholes.
At first I wasn’t crazy about the height of the Versys. I’m only 5’8″ with a 30″ inseam”, so I can’t fully flat-foot it at stops. But now I don’t even notice it–just balance on the balls of my feet or flat foot it on a single foot without even thinking about it. The only time I grumble about the height these days is on the rare occasion I am parking the bike on a significant incline and am walking the bike into place without being fully flat-footed.
If you’re seriously curious about the Versys, I’d be happy to meet up some time and let you take it for a quick ride. Happy to help a BBM neighbor scope out bike options
(And yes, that Hornet looks incredibly pristine and awfully nice in yellow.)July 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm #21087
DCJohn…thanks for the offer; very kind of you. I just might take you up on that at some point….I’ve always liked the Versys styling, and now that they’re becoming more readily available (sat on one the other week at Coleman Powersports), maybe I should add it to my consideration.
I’m 6’0″, so the height would be okay for me. That windshield is a nice touch too…doing beltway speeds on my Blast is a real chore after a few minutes…I have to do my best impression of a flat track racer, tucking in so that my helmet’s chin bar is nearly touching the speedo. :-0
That’s one of things I like about the Gladius…you can get a small windscreen for it. Not big, but big enough to provide some protection and give it a Ducati-style look.
On the other hand, you guys have all sent me back for another look at the ER-6n…that comparo article is great, and it’s nice to be able to see them together like that. I do like the angularity of the ER-6n more than the organic look of the Gladius, and love it that Kawasaki has adopted the Buell exhaust-under-the-bike concept.July 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm #21092EddiepowerfmParticipant
I was in D.C. for the 4th of July weekend, really about 5 days. There were so many motorcycles, I was missing my Kawasaki. Seems like it would be fun to ride in your city.
Keep Rockin!August 11, 2009 at 4:03 am #21492
It is a great city to ride in. Sure, the potholes can be nasty, and city traffic anywhere can be a nuisance, but there’s a ton of great site-seeing to do by bike. I particularly love the range of things–from the downtown scene and historic monuments to scenic rides through Rock Creek and along the Potomac. There’s also fantastic winding roads through the country in nearby central Maryland. I also love, just for practical matters, how much easier it is to finding parking in DC on a bike (versus car).
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