Newb (at 40)
December 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm #4294
What’s up guys (and gals). My name is Jason and at (almost) 40 I’ve just purchased my first motorcycle. I have ridden other people’s bikes all my life, but never had the opportunity to throw a leg over my own any time I wanted to … until now.
I got a SCREAMING deal on a brand new QLink XF200. For those who don’t know what the heck that is, the XF is a Chinese supermoto knockoff of a Suzuki DR200. I did a lot of research online about the bike before making the purchase, more from the perspective of “why shouldn’t I buy this bike” as opposed to “what bike should I buy”, and couldn’t be happier. I knew to steer clear of a big (cc) bike for my first go round. Plus for what I paid for the XF I would have had to do a LOT of shopping to find a used bike for the same money (and I’ve got a 2 year warranty to boot). It’s not innovative, but it’s built with proven technology (rear drum brake anyone?). It’s cheap to insure, good looking (I think) and easily gets better than 75mpg. If I dump it and need parts that I can’t get from QLink, I can run down to my local Suzuki dealer.
I am a little over 6’3″ and about 230lb so I wanted to find a “big/small” bike. One that would be “big” enough for me size wise, but “small” enough in displacement to be unintimidating. Plus, I have a wife and two boys who may come to ride it.
If it doesn’t turn out to be an ideal commuting bike, or if I “outgrow” it, I can put some dual sport tires on it and ride it around our 62 acres.
I happily stumbled upon this forum and figured I’d join up. I’d love any advice anyone would care to give a newbie … as long as you’re not flaming about buying a Chinese bike. I figure I didn’t spend a nickel of anyone else’s money and the bike’s already in the garage, so it’s a done deal.
Happy (and safe) Holidays to all.
JasonDecember 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm #28920
I also started riding at 39 (just last May)…I had ridden dirt bikes when I was a kid, but nothing since…even after 25yrs away, I picked up the clutch work right where I left off…I had a blast this past summer riding all over the place, driving my wife nuts talking about bikes…
The SuperMoto is an excellent choice for a first bike…light and easy to manouvre, durable for the inevitable “oops”…as for the Chinese bike thing…they have come a long way in quality in the last couple of years, so I don’t think it is a huge risk…I know the training school that I went to has a Konker that they are totally amazed at is reliability and durability…that reminds me, take an MSF course or some type of basic rider course…it will definately help avoid bad habbits and probably point out some tips on getting your license…
Anyway, have fun and enjoy the riding…
Later.December 14, 2010 at 11:29 pm #28922
62 acres? Man, put some knobbies on there and we’ll all come visit!
Sounds like you did your research before buying so good luck to you. And as Madjak says, lookup your nearest training class and sign up. I’m amazed at the number of folks who have been riding for years who don’t take any classes and get stuck at the same basic level. Not only has training made me a better rider than a lot of these people, it makes me safer and increases my enjoyment level.December 15, 2010 at 1:10 am #28924
“two boys who may come to ride it” lol, Don’t let the boys on it or you’ll be waiting to take your turn again
… isn’t everything made in China now ?December 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm #28933
Thanks for the advice. I am going to take an MSF course, but it’s going to have to wait until the Spring. I’m in the Southern US (Arkansas) and I assure you, it gets cold here. I’m coming to understand that there are multiple MSF courses you can take. I suppose I would need to take the beginner course. Would you guys agree? I haven’t licensed the bike yet and don’t have my motorcycle endorsement. I’m hoping the course will help with the endorsement and possibly with insurance.
Yeah, we’ve found our own little slice of heaven here (building a house right now) with the land. Wildlife everywhere! We ride ATV’s around here a lot (and we each have our own). So, for the time being, the bike is all mine!
Funny story – When I told my wife what I was looking at, I told her it was a “small” motorcycle in the hopes that it would give her a little piece of mind. When the bike arrived she told me that she was relieved and I asked her “what about”? She said when I told her I was getting a small motorcycle she thought with my size I was going to look like a Shriner in a 4th of July parade on it. (Madjak, do they have Shriners north of the border?)
If all goes well, I’m already looking toward my “step up” bike in a year or two. Hyosung’s GT250 is a good looking hooligan bike with a rip-roaring, fire breathing, DOHC, 4-valve, 250cc V-twin. Beginning with the ’10 model, they’re even fuel injected (and I’ve got a local dealer).
JasonDecember 16, 2010 at 7:32 pm #28934
Which course depends on you and what experience you have before the class. The first level is the Basic Riders Class and is suitable for people who have never ridden before. It spends some time mastering basic skills such as finding the biting point in the clutch, walking the bike around (with and without power). It also spends some time in the classroom watching training videos. The next level up is pretty much the same class but without the clutch control or videos. The actual riding exercises are the same with very few exceptions.
So if you spend the next 3 months riding around your land then you might find the clutch control part boring but maybe the videos would be helpful? Personally I had never sat on a bike before so the basic class was perfect for me, though the classroom portion was boring. I had read Proficient Motorcycling before the class which covers the necessary street smarts needed to survive in much more detail than the basic MSF class. You can even download the BRC booklet and read that on your own.
Both classes typically let you take a test at the end for your endorsement but that varies from state to state so you might want to check with your local class what the rules are. And most insurance companies allegedly give a discount for those who have taken the training but I’m not sure how much that is.
Other considerations might be availability. In my location the BRC is offered frequently but the other class less so. Oh, and I’m not exactly sure what the next class is called these days. When I took it it was the Experienced Riders Class (ERC) but I thought it had been renamed Intermediate Riders Class but my local training company is still using the old name?
If you are riding during the next 3 months then there are plenty of materials out there to help you along.December 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm #28935
Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
A guy at work has a 200cc Lifan Chinese enduro- he paid about $1,300 for it new. He had to go through some extra paperwork to get the registration and title for it- I don’t think you can legally ride them on public roads in California, because of the clean air laws, even though it was mailed partly assembled from a warehouse in California to Kentucky.
He has rode his for 4 years with no problems- it had some extra valve noise and needed the valve clearances adjusted, but this is part of the normal maintenance. It has enough power for 55mph roads but not for faster roads. The light weight and low power makes it better for a beginner, and the insurance premiums are low.
Instead of rebuilding the engine, you can just bolt in a new one:December 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm #28937
Eon, thanks for the feedback. I’ve been riding all my life, so the clutch work probably would be boring. If that is the only difference between the basic and second step courses, then I’ll probably opt for the second step. You said you thought the class portion was boring. What did it consist of and what are the videos about? Oh, and thanks for mentioning Proficient Motorcycling. I’ll hit Amazon and get one coming my way.
JrojDecember 18, 2010 at 1:48 am #28938
The classroom portion is very important, probably the most important part of the whole class. But it is necessarily not as in depth as a book dedicated to how to survive on the streets. The classroom portion would consist of watching a video that tried to emphasize some point and then as a group we would discuss it. The idea is to get you thinking about certain scenarios and not just present you with an answer. In real life there is frequently no one right answer, there are pros and cons to each decision you make. You can download the BRC booklet and see what it talks about in there (the videos just back it up). Off the top of my head it covers SEE (Search, Evaluate, Execute), pre-ride safety checks, lane positions, ladder of risk and probably many other topics.
I found the classroom portion boring as I read everything before hand so I wasn’t having to think for myself. That may have put me at a disadvantage, I’m not sure, but either way I cannot recommend strongly enough Proficient Motorcycling. It really highlights all the potential pitfalls out there that can catch you out and ways to mitigate the risk. Kind of freaked me out at the beginning to be honest.July 12, 2015 at 1:25 am #29786
I am fit at 6'3" 215lbs, will be taking the riding course, will wear all the correct gear, will start out in less populated roadways, considering a used Kawasaki SV650. I thought it was funny when I read individuals in their 30's thinking they were too old. Age 58 is hysterical. Am I crazy or what?
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