New to motorcycles and need some advice
May 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm #3940yester64Participant
i just found this website and i am glad i did.
I still have to make my license since i do not have one right now, but i think that should not be that hard.
I am driving for over 25 years cars without an accident.
Ok, i had my angels.
But the reason i want to ask here is this.
What is the absolute essential to have. My guess is, a helmet and some gloves.
Do you need pants and jacket as well (leather?).
Also, i am thinking of buying a small bike first. And i came across a Honda Rebel. It has a small engine and i think it should suffice for my daily commute to the job.
Btw. i live in Los Angeles,CA. So its seldom rainy.
Is this a good bike for beginners, or is there other bikes their better?
Thanks for helping me.May 9, 2010 at 2:10 am #26296madjak30Participant
I would read the story about road rash on this site…I don’t know if I would say pants are essential, but definitely recommended. As for the rest, a good full face helmet, riding gloves with proper reinforcement, and I would say that a jacket is essential. Living in LA area, a mesh or a jacket with a removeable inner liner would work and I would also pick up some boots that atleast cover your ankles. The rebel is a good learner bike, but I don’t know if it would keep up to freeway traffic…I was down there a couple of weeks ago and freeway seems to move at 75-80 mph and you want to be albe to speed up a little if you need to, not be maxed out already. But if you are not planning on using the freeways, then the rebel will work great.
Good Luck, and remember…Safety First…ATGATT (all the gear, all the time)May 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm #26298RabParticipant
Get yourself down to your local book shop and pick up a copy of “The Complete Idiots Guide to Motorcycles” (or get a used one cheap from Amazon). It’s a great introduction to all things motorcycle.
I agree with what madjak30 said. The Honda Rebel is a perfect bike to learn on, but your realistic top speed on that bike is 60-65 mph. It can go faster flat out, but gets buzzy and uncomfortable above 65. In fact, you’ll have to change down a gear in order to keep it at 60-65 going up long hills.May 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm #26302SantaCruzRiderParticipant
The best protection money can buy is something along the lines of the full leather race rigs that you see at professional motorcycle events. Below that, it becomes a matter of compromise where you need to balance a variety of factors that include: comfort and practically, your budget, your tolerance for risking injury and your comfort with riding unprotected (if you ride pre-occupied by the thought of not having a certain piece of gear — you’re dangerous).
My person minimum is the following:
— DOT full face helmet (I’ve purchased name brand, comfortable ones on sale online for $55)
— Thick leather gloves (I have 2 pair that extra pair that have armor and I picked up for $15 ea online)
— Armor jacket (I went leather for $100, but have seen decent quality textile for $75 or less online)
— Ankle height leather, cap toe boots (my favorites are HD, but I’m good with $50 construction type as well)
Now this is my putzing around town MINIMUM and I personally feel comfortable in the belief that it is enough gear to help me avoid most of the avoidable injuries that might happen at 30-40 mph. When I hit the highway (commute), I add MC textile overpants with separate knee/shin armor. They are a bit goofy looking when I get off the bike (look like a dorky wannabee snowboarder), but they add a huge amount of lower body protection in the unfortunate occurance of an uplanned slide down the highway. I got them on sale online for something like $60.
If you look at the list above and are not particular about color/style, you could probably put together a kit of helmet, gloves, armored jacket and leather boots for $200. It won’t be the ultimate setup, but I’d argue that it will provide MUCH more protection that going out in T-shirt, sneakers and bareknuckle.May 10, 2010 at 12:52 am #26306yester64Participant
I thank you all for the input.
60-65mph sounds not much, but i think its ok for me. For a start at least, or perhaps something a little more powerful.
As far as the gear goes, yes it makes sense. So i will put some money into that as well.
So much to think about it.
Not sure about the bike so far. The Rebel was one that looked good, but i take any advise for a good bike.
Thanks again.May 10, 2010 at 1:54 am #26307gitchy42Participant
What bike you should start on really depends on what you want to ride in the future. Since you are asking about the rebel, I’ll assume that you like cruisers more than sport bikes, touring or dual sports.
If you like cruisers there is the Honda Rebel 250, Suzuki GZ250, Suzuki TU250, Yamaha VStar 250 (I think this used to be called the Eliminator), and a bunch of older 400cc and 500cc bikes. Out of this collection the TU250 stands out as having a more upright position as well as fuel injection with the old-school standard look. From what I have read, out of the 250’s the Rebel has the least power.
Just my 2-cents worth….
NateMay 10, 2010 at 9:05 am #26315eternal05Participant
Everybody is entitled to their own gear practices, but I personally can’t understand wearing less than full gear:
-Full face helmet
-Armored, abrasion-resistant jacket
-Abrasion-resistant pants, preferably armored as well
-Gloves, preferably gauntlet
-High boots with foot/shin/ankle protection
Yes, it can be hot on hot days, and it can take a while to put on. Yes you don’t get the “wind in your hair” feeling that, admitedly, feels great. But if you don’t gladly wear all this stuff, you haven’t had the pleasure of even a low-speed crash. Just trust me. When you hit the ground at a mere 20mph and find that your kevlar-reinforced riding pants tore, leaving with you with mild road rash in places, you’ll never wear regular jeans again. Same goes for common omissions like boots: the most common (though non-fatal) injuries are to ankles and shins, mostly from dropping bikes on them. Invest in a solid pair of riding boots. That’ll come in especially happy when you lowside and your bike comes down on top of your unprotected lower leg and grinds it to nothing against the asphalt. I have a buddy who has one leg as a result of a 25mph slide.May 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm #26322CBBaronParticipant
The MSF course minimum is helmet, gloves, shoes/boots covering the ankles, and long sleeve shirt and pants.
My commute is 8 urban miles, no speed limit above 35MPH but still I consider my minimum to be:
Full face helmet
leather or similar motorcycle gloves
abrasion resistant pants
I just think about what would happen if I wrecked at 40MPH and its not hard to convince yourself to armor up.
In LA mesh jacket and pants are probably a good idea. Try to get some with ballistic nylon at the contact points.
CraigMay 13, 2010 at 10:47 am #26408AmorylParticipant
I think Kawasaki made the eliminator, a little 125cc thumper, the VStar 250 used to be the Virago 250May 17, 2010 at 6:34 pm #26505RabParticipant
Yes, I can personally vouch that even a low speed crash can hurt like hell and for a long time.
Wear all the gear all the time (ATGATT).May 17, 2010 at 9:23 pm #26512Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
This guy did not wear the proper gear- notice he is slurring his words some, probably from at least a partial concussion, even though he was going slow when it happened:May 18, 2010 at 12:04 am #26518gitchy42Participant
Good call, and thanks for the correction!
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