Forum Replies Created
Crash Course: How To Safely Fall Off A Motorcycle
May 22, 2010 at 2:50 am in reply to: What would you have done differently buying gear in the beginning? #26646
I am a cruiser rider. And love my open face EXO-100 Helmet, Removable ear covers for when it’s cold, snap down hidden visor. It’s like a lego helmet. Fits great. Start with it late spring till early fall. LOVE IT! Bought it at the dealer. Figured size matters, wasn’t going to do the whole try it on, get my size then order it online thing.
Spring and Fall went for an EL Cheapo china made HCI full face helmet. Fogs up and is hot in the summer, but nice when it’s colder out. Bought it at a crappy motorcycle clearance place that constantly changes it’s name and goes out of business
I bought a great leather jacket, no brand name at the dealer, good leather, lots of ventilation zippers down both sides of the front of the jacket and down the back.
Chaps I bought online, asked lots of sizing questions and still had to get them altered. Kinda cheap leather, but if you can’t feel it and see it first… well that’s what you get.
Rain Suit – bought Frogg Toggs Leap Frogg outfit. Man nice and light, breathable and easy to stuff into a tiny spot in the saddlebags. BUT DAMN the melt like butter on the pipes. They make a heat patch, but really watch these things near your pipes.
I’ve added a heat patch to all my critical close to the pipe places and recommend them still. Well made good sizing, fits right over the leathers and boots, and good to go in minutes. They now sell boots Frogg Leggs that are heat resistant… should solve most of the melting issues.
In general my recommendation is, BIKE SHOWS, go try it on, everybody all the dealers from all over are there with all kinds of brands. Try it on see if they fit. Online prices, in person to see and feel and check the quality. That’s where I bought my gloves, my son’s jacket, my son’s helmet.
I start 2up riding fairly soon after riding. I’d taken the course and ridden a season.
I ride an older 750 shadow.
My son rides with me he’s a big kid 180lb, I’m a heavy guy, lets just say I’m a little over that.
I find my best advice is, ride like it’s your grandma on the back, do the turns very upright. The bike is a LOT more unstable at slow speeds. Then slowly as you quit bonking heads, start leaning more and more into the corners. I prefer to have my passenger neutral on the back of the bike, not leaning with me, not fighting the corner, just only leaning as much as the bike. To me it’s like the bike that weighs 180lbs more. Which I prefer to someone actively controlling the steering with me.
I started riding last summer, took the course bought an old honda shadow.
The bikes your looking at are all great starter bikes,
the Virago 250/star250 is the lightest and easiest to control, but the least amount of power at 21HP. I would NOT take that on a freeway… it would be better as an around town bike, and I hate to say, you’ll be wanting more bike in 6 months.
The s40 650cc actually is the next lightest and second powerful bike on the list, and the closest to our webhosts 250 Ninja that he raves about as a great starter bike. (The 250 ninja is 355lbs, and 37HP). The s40 is 381lbs dry, Single cylinder with HP of 31, 33.6 ft/lbs of torque. and 5 speed belt drive. The belt drive is nice there is less maintenance with a belt than with a chain. The only complaints I hear is that it’s thumpy being a single cylinder. But great over all starter bike, works for the back roads and the freeway and will take you where you need to go for the next few years. I would seriously recommend this as a starter bike, or the older version the suzuki savage which is the same bike but a 4 speed.
the vulcan 500, 439lbs dry, 46 hp and 33 lbs of torque 6 speed chain drive. This is really a detuned sport bike in cruiser clothes, the liquid cooled inline engine is right out off the ninja 500. The weight is a bit more, and the HP a bit higher, it’s peppier than the other 2 bikes, but it’s not my first pick because of the chain. Chain drive bikes in my opinion are a bit of a pain, they need to be lubricated constantly, where shaft and belt drive bikes are just get on and go.
Overall I would go S40
I think you’ll find as you ride, that there are those who ride rain and shine every non winter day, and those that ride on the sunny weekends and on the odd nice warm summer evening. Both bikes are well cared for, and well maintained, I think you just are looking at a weekenders bike.
I bought an older bike too, mine was from Kijiji a 1985 honda shadow 750, in amazing shape, but 35,000 miles on it. Very well cared for. I checked mine just like you that it had not been dropped, that the handlebars lined up to a straight steering front wheel, and that all the lights worked. With it’s dual tail pipes I made sure that i felt an equal pressure out of both of them when it was running, (less pressure from one would mean not firing well on one of the cylinders), I checked the tires and fork seals to make sure they weren’t cracked. Then I had a long time motorcycle rider take it for a spin, testing the brakes and steering and the gears. I got a green light so I bought it.
I’ve put 4500 miles on mine in my first year of owning a motorcycle, rode it till the snow flew, started the first melted day the roads were dry. Think I’ll beat that this year, but I just love being out on the bike. And really no major issues at all with the bike.
I’m a big guy, about the same height and weight as you. I was more into the cruisers than sportbikes, but the 250cc’s from the MSF (well gearing up course in Canada actually) was just too small to consider. I looked at 650 savage, and 650 vstar, but wanted cheaper, so I ended up with an older 1985 750cc shadow cruiser, it was in mint shape, well kept, a bit high on the milage, but looked after.
Its been great to learn on…. and it’s got a lot of speed there if I want it. it’s nearly double the HP of the newer 750cc shadows.
But it all really comes down to you and your control. I’m an older guy now 38, and I just took it REALLY easy as i learned, got better, tried a passenger, tried some highway, and now I feel really comfortable on the bike. I don’t have a problem scraping the pegs into the twisties, and even doing that with a passenger on the bike.
the real trick even with the magnets is to ride quickly up the cut in the pavement and stop suddenly at the end. It’s not just the position of the bike on the induction loop, but the movement over it that creates the electric field. If it is a sideways 8 pattern cut in the pavement ride up the middle, if it’s just a large circle go up one side of it. Just keep the speed up until the last second.
It’s true it doesn’t change the light immediately, but at least where I am, if you look on the cross street, you will see the walk, don’t walk start to flash, that always happens before the light goes red.
If you ride the lines, you won’t need the magnets, I ripped quite a few from old hard-drives and came up with some wickedly strong magnets, but the real test was to go out, park the bike and just try to trigger the loop with the magnets, and it doesn’t work.
Even the commercial version of the magnets, explains all about the loops and advises you to ride the line of the loop and keep the speed up.
So at least from my experiments the magnets really don’t do anything, but i just don’t get stuck anymore either.