Forum Replies Created
How to Get Started on a Motorcycle
March 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm in reply to: wear a helmet, no matter how stupid your state laws are #29336
The last study I looked at, think it was the Hurt report done in 1981, said there was a 29% reduction in fatalities with a helmet. The protection afforded by a helmet has improved dramatically since 1981 if you consider a full face ECE 22.05 or Snell M2010 approved helmet. Still most riders do not wear them if they wear a helmet. Most cruiser riders prefer a 1/2 helmet, some of which are not even DOT approved. 39% of head impacts are to the face and chin. I have not seen a helmet study that considers they type of helmet but if there was one I think the protection of a good full face helmet would raise the figure of 29% a lot higher.
Not wearing a helmet or gear is simply Darwin’s theory in action.
“Let me get this strait, the helmet law is to protect a brain that lacks the judgment to protect itself unless it was forced to?” – Seinfeld
Most bike models have an available DIY service manual from the traditional vendors of Haynes and Clymers and now Cyclepedia [ http://www.cyclepedia.com/ ], which is offering online manuals for most bikes. I would recommend the Cyclepedia over the others as the on-line format offers advantages like updates, cross linking subprocesses and larger illustrations and pictures which provide more detail than the small, grainy black and white photos in the paper manuals. What ever manual you chose it will pay for itself the first time you save a trip to the dealer or avoid getting scammed on a service estimate. They are all written in a way to guide the newbie through a process like adjusting the valves, removing a wheel, or other task. Also most bike models have an Internet forum dedicated to just that one model, e.i. SV650, which allows owners to share service information and other advice. Do a Goggle search on your bike model with the word forum added.
Given your height I think you would like the versys or vstrom.
But if this is a first bike you might be better off buying used and cheap instead of new and expensive. A bike will depreciate ~20% just driving it off the lot. It’s usually better to start on a used bike because your going to drop it a few times. Also after riding it for a year or so you will have a better idea what you really want. Consider a Kawasaki Ninja 500R with less than 30K miles. They are comfortable to sit on even if your tall like me and deliver the most performance for the buck – they’ll still take you from a standing start to 60mph in less than 4 seconds and are a blast to ride, but a good reliable used one won’t cost you very much. One of the best motorcycling values.
Also consider installing frame sliders or engine bars, these will allow the bike to rest on its side without damaging the bike. This small investment will save you $$ in repair bills when you tip over/drop your bike. All new riders and even experienced ones knock over and drop their bikes. Fairings can be expensive to repair.
Check out http://www.ex-500.com for more info.
Proficient Motorcycling is an excellent book to start with:
It’s best not to buy a used helmet. Helmets are disposable, that is after they have been crashed, the shock absorbing foam compresses and they cannot be reused. They typically have a life expectancy of less than 5 years.
The best source of helmet info on the net is http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-helmets/motorcycle-helmets.htm