No experience, no MSF school til spring
December 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm #3596MeithrasParticipant
but itching to buy now. I promise I won’t ride until I take the course in April. Honest.
Whether it’s now or later, I do have kind of a problem deciding what bike to start with. It will certainly have to be used because I don’t want to go much past $3k and nearer 2 is a lot more like it. When I started seriously turning my mind to this I decided I want 500cc or less but the fly in the ointment is that I’m 6’5″ 240lbs.
Is there a big frame + high seat + small engine cycle? I can’t find one. A friend recommended a KLR650 but that breaks my displacement barrier. Also my wife would really get turned off by the dirt-bike styling. And they aren’t exactly clogging up Craigslist like Rebels and Ninjas do.
I have not actually gone and sat on anything yet because I don’t want to talk to any dealer personnel until I get a lot more figured out and I also don’t want to waste a private seller’s time.
Vintage is just crazy, right? I love the 70’s look.December 3, 2009 at 12:44 am #23587MunchParticipant
First step to answer that question is …what style? Cruiser/standard/sport/dual sport?December 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm #23590eternal05Participant
All the same, I have so much sympathy for your position that I’ll offer you up my advice anyway!
Oddly enough I just made this post: similar post.
I’m a sportbike guy, but I’d been reading (and watching) so much about the DR-Z400sm that I test rode one and had to buy it. They’re super fun to ride, and perfect for tall guys like us. If you don’t like the styling, that’s another issue, but if that’s the case, then munch’s question about what style you are looking for needs to get answered before we can help you out.December 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm #23592MeithrasParticipant
my first choice would be a standard, second a cruiser. something that can carry saddlebags and get around town.
I am changing jobs, both come with a company vehicle but the new one I expect will be a lot more micromanaged so less/no personal use. Not exactly a commuter situation but not just for fun either. I don’t want to buy a car.
I really like the old Honda Scramblers, at least to look at… nobody said i was crazy yet.
thanks for helping outDecember 5, 2009 at 7:04 am #23609JtownJJAParticipant
The best advice I can give you is to take the MSF course before you buy. What if you really don’t like riding a motorcycle after all? Or what if it is more difficult for you than you thought it would be. Or, by riding the bikes provided in the class, it could shape your thoughts toward what kind of bike you would like to buy? Yes, it is a big pain to have to wait, especially if you can’t schedule the class in the near future, but it is the best route to take. If you live in a typical climate and you go ahead and buy now, it’s going to just sit in the garage anyway. I really suggest that you wait. I’m sure that most of the folks here would agree with me on this.
Of course if you decide to go ahead with a purchase, we won’t hold it against you. It’s just that the MSF course is such a valuable experience in shaping your own individual thoughts and ideas toward motorcycling.
Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.December 7, 2009 at 2:00 am #23625owlieParticipant
+1 for taking the MSF class first.
Like you, I had to wait several months between when I started thinking about riding and when I took the class. Honestly, the time will go by more quickly than you think, and you won’t be tempted to stupidly ride the bike that is just hanging out in the garage in the mean time.
Use the time in between to read up on riding skills and the different bikes. Get the “Ride Like a Pro” video and watch it over and over again while sitting out your couch making “vroom vroom” sounds. (well, okay, you don’t have to do the “vroom vroom” sounds if you don’t want to…) I found when I got to the MSF class, having watched the video several times, I was able to pick up some of the techniques a lot more quickly.
Best of luck!December 21, 2009 at 2:00 am #23789IBA270Participant
Stand by until you take the course…
BTW, there are plenty of bikes out there that will work. I really enjoy riding my wife’s Ducati Monster 620, and enjoy my Ducati 900SS, both of which are really small bikes. I also have a track only R6 with rear sets. I’m also 43 and I’m 6’4 and 240…and arthritic!January 22, 2010 at 5:17 am #24135SantaCruzRiderParticipant
Getting a permit and taking the DMV test may feel like a shortcut, but it can be a lot harder than it looks. I won’t even get into the safety issues (there are plenty here to address that). But from a logistics standpoint, you need to get yourself a bike to practice on. That means you need to take your BS-looking paper permit, convince some bike seller to let you test his bike to see if you want to buy it (good luck with that, because if you drop it and get hurt, the seller is probably screwed). Once you get the bike, you have to get it home (avoiding freeways and sunset, as your permit typically won’t let you ride on superslab or in the dark), Once home, you can call Geico and find out how much insurance costs for a new rider with a permit. Assuming you still have enough equity in your home, you can pay for insurance as a semi-licensed biker and you are ready to start practicing.
If you work at it, it is possible to teach yourself enough to pass the DMV test (which at least in Cali is tougher than the MSF class) and then you’re legit. Now you can bask in your success and try to ignore the fact that the lazy guys who took the MSF are all now getting discounts on their MC insurance, dropped someone elses bike on their first day and went bike shopping with a full legit MC license.
Different strokes…January 22, 2010 at 5:50 am #24133WetmelonParticipant
Depending where you live* you can get a Motorcycle Permit and ride, just teach yourself. But yeah, I would probably go for the MSF course. There’s lots I’m sure that you will only learn there.
*Like North Carolina
EDIT: By permit I mean a temporary 18 month permit that you have to pass the written exam to get, then to get your M endorsement, you have to pass the riding test as well.January 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm #24141IBA270Participant
Just out of curiosity, how does one “teach themself” if they don’t know WTF they’re doing to start with? The vast majority of motorcycle accidents/deaths in this country come from self taught riders. It’s unbelievably frustrating.
We see self taught people all the time in our classes who chose never to get a permit, got caught, and then decide to take the course to get legal. In word, generally….they suck at riding and are harder to teach because not only do we have to help them learn the proper way, we have to “undo” the bad stuff.January 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm #24136WetmelonParticipant
I was just pointing out his options, but yes, there’s no reason NOT to take the MSF.
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