Forum Replies Created
Yamaha Riva 50 / Salient (CA50)
Shoei full-face helmet, good leather jacket. I offered to show him some braking drills, but he hasn’t taken me up. I do think he has learned to keep his head up and watch out for unexpected maneuvers. But he still won’t admit his fault in the fall or take the time to learn proper braking techniques.
…you’ll most likely overwhelm a Ninja 250, and you are right, the V-rod is a poor choice for a beginner. Torque is intoxicating, and intoxicated riders tend to crash
A few bikes to consider:
Ninja 650R. You’ll have to get the fork modified for your weight and upgrade the rear shock, but if the bike fits you’ll enjoy riding it.
BMW FS800 ST. Great bike, and has enough torque to haul you around. If you can afford the V-rod this should be within your budget. You can get one with ABS and traction control if you want. BMWs are usually very cheap to insure.
Ducati 696. I usually would not recommend this bike to a beginner, but at 270 lbs you’ll slow it down enough to not get in over your head. Check with your local dealer’s service department and make sure you’re prepared to pay for the scheduled maintenance before signing on the bottom line.
The Triumph Street Triple is a hooligan bike. Stay away. Having said that, if my wife weren’t on the waiting list for a Ninja 250 I would have bought a Street Triple yesterday. Hooligan bikes are fun, but you need to develop your riding skills before getting one.July 7, 2008 at 3:41 am in reply to: Cruiser vs Sportbike, which is safer for a beginner? #8463
The pegs, the high handlebars, the low seat, the fat rear/skinny front tire combo, peanut tank, etc. all define cruisers.
I too wish there were more standards on the market. An SV 450 would be a great street bike and weekend track toy. I would love an updated version of the 1979 Honda CB400F I had long ago. How much would Kawasaki have to charge for a Ninja 450?July 7, 2008 at 3:33 am in reply to: Cruiser vs Sportbike, which is safer for a beginner? #8446
Ground clearance. If you get into a corner too hot, a standard/sport bike has reserves that can help you get through the corner. If you’re on a cruiser you are far more likely to touch hard parts and lose control. Of course, if you’re like me when I was a newbie, you’ll stand the bike up and slow down as much as possible before going off pavement, only to have your friend behind you laugh and say you were holding him up.
Riding position. You have very little leverage on a cruiser because you’re in exactly the wrong position to control your motorcycle. This makes quick transitions more difficult. An addendum to riding position unrelated to safety: When you sit on a cruiser all your weight is on your tailbone, which means every bump is transferred directly to your spine. You’re also sitting upright, which means the wind at highway speeds will tend to push you over backwards. I find cruisers extremely uncomfortable to ride. I also find supersport bikes uncomfortable on the street, but that is as much as reflection of my age as anything else.
Wheelbase. A cruiser’s long wheelbase makes it stable in a straight line, but slow to respond when cornering. Seems a simple matter to slow down going into corners, right? Usually, yes, but what happens if the trailer in front of you hits a bump, the door opens and thousands of ball bearings spill onto the road in front of you? Don’t laugh, it happened to me once. Being on a sport bike I simply steered around the danger. (Hint: Always know where the cars around you are located.)
Some people are more comfortable on cruisers because they can get both feet on the ground. Some people simply don’t like standards or sport bikes. That’s fine with me, just know what you’re getting into so you can be prepared. If you find standards/sport bikes intimidating for any reason, get a cruiser. You’re much safer when you’re relaxed than when nervous.
I’ve been riding since 1976, when I bought a KZ900. I’m lucky I lived through that. My second bike was a Honda CB400F, and I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve owned dozens of bikes through the years, and have come back to mid-size bikes as my favorites. My wife is on a waiting list for a 2009 Ninja 250. i know you’re into cruisers, but read Gary J’s four-part review of the little Ninja. Small bikes can be a lot more fun than larger bikes, especially on the street. They are easy to handle, easy to insure, and sip gas. A 250cc bike is a perfect starter size.
One of my coworker’s fiancee bought a GSXR 750 for his first bike. His best friend, of course, had to buy an identical bike. He had his first accident after about two months of riding. Fortunately he was not hurt badly, but he cannot admit the accident was his fault. Someone turned left in front of him, and he got on the brakes so hard he flipped the bike and flew over the handlebars. Just a bit of road rash, but nothing serious. What worries me was his reaction when I told him he crashed because he doesn’t know how to apply the brakes properly. He insisted he’s a good rider and the pickup truck driver was at fault. He doesn’t get it.