Hi from NYC
February 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm #3708
Just want to say hi. I’m new to motorcycles and will be taking the MSF course this April. I like cruisers and leaning on getting a Honda Rebel for my first bike. Eventually. I’d like to own a HD Nightster or sportster when my skills improve. I hope the school has the Rebel as my inseam is 28″ haha. Anyway, I’m excited and can’t wait for April.
Question: Have any of you bought a bike with just a permit? I’ve been driving cars for over 20yrs but never a motorcycle. Thanks and great forum.February 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm #24575JackTradeParticipant
…guarantee the MSF course will have a Rebel. I’d be shocked if it didn’t…
Re buying a bike with just a permit, sure…no problems there.
But people here usually advise against it.
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with owning a bike before you’re trained to ride it, but just that it’ll be hard for you to resist trying it out, and that can lead to, er, bad results.
Plus, you might find through the MSF course that motorcycles aren’t actually for you, and riding’s not really what you thought it was. Doesn’t happen often, but it does (a women in my BRC left halfway through the second day…she was doing kinda okay skillswise, but I think she just decided she didn’t really like it).
I’d say just wait until April (as hard as that is…and if you think that’s bad, just wait until you get your license, are riding, and have to wait until the winter weather clears so you can get out for a ride…I’m going crazy here in D.C., and Elwood’s videos of Miami aren’t helping!), take and pass the course, and then pick up your bike. Rebels are pretty common, so you’ll be able to find one quickly I bet.February 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm #24576SantaCruzRiderParticipant
I bought my current bike with just a permit. In my case, I had the permit prior to taking the DMV test and getting my Cali license — but I had been licensed in other states and was not a new rider. My comfort on the bike was a non-issue and when I test rode bikes, it was fairly obvious that I had experience. I was asked if I had a license, but no one asked to see it.
In your situation, you may get some resistance from bike sellers who may not trust you to take their bike for a test ride (I would be hesitant).
In the end, it’s way more fun to be a bike “rider” than a bike “owner.” I’d take Jack’s advice and hold off on the purchase until you have a full license and several days experience under your belt.February 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm #24577eonParticipant
I would also wait till after the course. It’s the only sensible thing to do, unless you are okay spending thousands on something you may never use. Not sure if you are planning buying new or used but I think buying your first bike without an experienced rider to help you is hard, especially going the used route. Having your license at least helps. I would also take course with an open mind as to what type of bike is for you. You may like the image of cruisers but find them uncomfortable to ride. Everyone is different. Personally I could not make up my mind what style of bike I wanted at first. In the end buying convenience had a lot to do what I bought.February 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm #24580CBBaronParticipant
For a first bike find a friend who know motorcycles to help you out shopping and try to find a cheap used bike in good condition. Just think of it as a trainer. You can ride it for a year or two before deciding on what you really want and you won’t loose much on the sale. Then once you are proficient shopping for yourself is no problem.
I also agree that waiting to shop until near or after your MSF will make it much easier to avoid making ignorant mistakes by riding on the road before you know what you are doing. Plus you may decide you hate the Rebel after spending the weekend on one.
CraigFebruary 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm #24581IBA270Participant
I’d wait…it might not be for you (yes, it happens every week) and your riding style/bike type may change after you take the course. There’s really not much upside in buying one before…February 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm #24582Gary856Participant
I bought my GS500 before I knew how to operate a motorcycle or registered for MSF class. I had been looking for a used GS500 for a long time (about 2 years – can you believe it?) and a clean one with a good price came along, and I didn’t want to loose that bike. I didn’t know anything about motorcycles and didn’t ask for a test ride. I just spoke with the seller, and felt comfortable with him and the bike. The seller rode it to my garage and parked it there. A week later I did a walk-in to a MSF class; there were two no-shows so I got right in. I didn’t touch my GS500 until the evening when I finished my MSF class. Luckily, it worked out well for me. Nevertheless, normally it’d be much better to buy after you’ve taken the MSF class.
Those Rebels are awfully small and low, even for someone with 28” inseam, but that’s just a personal opinion. I was totally underwhelmed by the 250cc Rebels and Nighthawks even during the MSF class. Ever considered a 500cc Vulcan?February 19, 2010 at 1:45 am #24587
thanks everyone for sharing your opinions and your encouragements. i considered the rebel after sitting at one at the NY Motorcycles show, the v star 250 is also nice. I guess I just don’t want to overwhelmed myself with something too much for me to handle. But like most of you said, I will wait until I complete the BRC course so I will have a more definite idea on what bike is best for me and what my skills can handle. I definitely would go for a cruiser type. Thanks again and I will continue to get more knowledge here and by watching some “ride like pro” videos.April 14, 2010 at 1:19 am #25733
hi, it’s me again and now i am a licensed rider the msf course was fun and i really like riding although it was tiring in the beginning doing all those exercises. now to find my first bike. it’s really tough, i’ve been looking at the rebels, the v star 250 and even the honda shadows 650. i think i’m just going to get a used one for now to hone my skills. i’ve been riding a bicycle on the streets for years but now need to get used to riding motorcycles.
thanks again for all you advice and opinions. i’ll definitely hang around and read all the helpful topics to get me on the right track to riding and getting my first bike.
happy and safe riding
georgeApril 15, 2010 at 2:27 am #25757owlieParticipant
Congrats on making it through the MSF class! And kudos on holding off on buying a bike until after the class.
Sit on as many of the bikes as you can before you buy one. Even if you are considering buying used, there is nothing to stop you from going to the dealerships to check out the current models. Let us know how it goes!
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