Im so confused….
July 16, 2008 at 10:21 am #1732HawkParticipant
Right….So ive been really into bikes for a couple of years and i thought to myself, Hey i want a motorcycle.
The only problem being is, is that im getting a lot of mixed mesages.
Ive never rode a dirt bike(too poor) But i really want to use a motorcycle as my 1st vehicle.
Ive been told not to go for a 250, and ive read the articles here and now i dont know what to do.
Ive been told that dual sport bikes are a good choice….But after reading the articles and listening to other people i dont know what to think any more :S
please help. ThanksJuly 16, 2008 at 1:01 pm #8871MattParticipant
These are descisions you are going to have to make for yourself.
However, some input from a biased source (aka me).
Learning on a bike bigger than 250 is unnessicary, and is going to be less forgiving. The 250s are very forgiving bikes that rarely scare you. On a bigger bike, more of your limited amount of concentration will be spent on the bike, and less on riding and the other road users.
Anyone who tells you a 250 is too slow, won’t be fun, etc, has either not ridden one, or not pushed it anywhere near as hard as it can go.
A 250 cruiser, a Ninja 250, a dual sport 250. all will serve you well, the choice is simply which style you find more interesting and comfortable.
As a first vehicle, I personally am weary of motorcycles as the first vehicle. There is a lot going on as a new driver. There is even more going on as a new rider. Other road users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and yes, motorcyclists) do some pretty stupid things that endanger you, in a car or on a bike. Learning to drive a car first (and putting a few years on it) gets you used to reading road trafic. You won’t be surprised by the cabby with his left turn signal flashing that immediately streaks right across three lanes of traffic, you’ll have seen it coming.
My father taught me to drive a big Explorer (1994). Sight lines sucked, you had no idea where the back end was, brakes were terrible, steering was totally numb, and the V6 made enough power to break the rear tires loose with any amount of jealousness on the gas pedal. It was a hard vehicle to drive. But it really made me work and be a better driver. You had to plan, you had to be smooth, and you had to be very aware of your surroundings.
I wasn’t allowed to drive the family sedan (a sporty little ’89 mazda 626) for over a year. By the time I was allowed to drive the little car I was pretty good driver. But I still had two accidents in my first three years of driving (hydroplaning in the slush and snow, and making a left hand turn without paying sufficient attention). I am very glad I made those mistakes in a cage.
My 2 centsJuly 16, 2008 at 3:28 pm #8885ShannonGParticipant
If a motorcycle for your first vehicle is your only option, then don’t let anyone tell you a 250 is not enough. It’s plenty. And make sure you take a riding course.July 17, 2008 at 4:48 am #8937AmorylParticipant
a big part of my job is driving my ’97 ford e250 cargo van to customer’s houses often 40+ miles each way on both highway AND city, and (rarely) into downtown chicago. it’s got blindsides up the wazoo, it’s slow to accelerate, it’s bouncy and loud, and for such a huge eyesore, it’s darn near invisible to soccer mom’s in their Lexus SUV’s (the winner of my most hated vehicle on the road award) who’ll happily cut me off, ride up my backside, stop in my blind spot, I’m usually bigger, tougher, and much less valuable than these $50+ k status symbols, but my work van is my lifeblood, If it’s in the shop, I’m not making money, if I’m not making money, my van doesn’t get fixed, resulting in not making money….so I drive like everyone is actively trying to kill me every moment of the day. and I’ve found I’ve become a MUCH better driver. I’ve slowed down long before a “sudden accident” because I could see what was likely to happen, I’ve had trainees stop playing the “bet you a dollar that mini van’s going to cut me off” game, and I’ve gotten out of blockages that’d almost certainly caused huge pile-ups, time and time again. I couldn’t imagine trying to learn all this on a bike…July 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm #8944CityHunter357Participant
I truly respect folks opinions about the wisdom of starting on a 250, but for me, I based my bike purchase as a result of careful research, calculated risk assessment, and common sense.
Research: I have many friends who are experienced riders, I talked to the instructors at my MSF course, I read books, magazine articles and web articles on different bikes. The overwhelming consensus of opinion between these sources that I found was that a beginning rider should get a bike with the intended purpose in mind. I’m primarily going to use mine for commuting and the route I have pre-plotted doesn’t use freeways, but does put me on 55-60 mph roads.
Risk Assessment: I’m 36 years old, not 16. I’m built for comfort not for speed. I also know that a cruiser with a 650cc engine isn’t going to have the same power characteristics as a Ninja 650 or a CBR 600. If really wanted to start out on a sport bike, I’d probably have gone for a Ninja 250 or something, but since I really like cruiser bikes I went with something a little larger, not too overpowering, that I wouldn’t outgrow in 3 months.
Common Sense: Hey, I’m a new rider, zip experience. Am I going to go out and get that really screaming Harley Davidson V-Rod?…..No! Power notwithstanding, I can’t rub that many nickels together! At least for me, my bike purchase decision was based on a pretty good understanding of my own riding capabilities, how much I could afford for the bike and the associated costs (insurance, gear etc), and re-sale value.
The Choice: 2004 Honda Shadow Aero 750. At $4,300 I think I got a decent deal.
I can only sat that this site has been invaluable in terms of the research value for bikes, gear, maintenance etc. I’ve also found that the “Idiot’s Guide to Motorcycles” (also mentioned on this site somewhere) very helpful in evaluating bikes…It even gives you a pretty interesting snippet of history of motorcycles!
–“You don’t get to be old bein’ no foo, see? Lotta young wise men that’s deaaad as a motha!#@% ain’t they?– Richard Pryor as “Mudbone”
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