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Eff Tee Pee
29,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard people ask what is a good first bike to get thousands of times.

theres a few factors that have to be considered here:

1) Are you comfortable on 2 wheels?? or have NO experience?

2) have you ridden dirtbikes? a lot? or a couple times?

3) are you able to control yourself?

4) do you value your life? and/or your investment (the bike)?

1. If youve never ridden before you should not only start on something small, but somthing used (250ex, 500ex). If youve never ridden before there are a few new concepts to get used to with a motorcycle:
left hand clutch.
right hand twist throttle, and front brake.
right foot back brake.
left foot gear change.
You will also need to get used to moving around on 2 wheels and keeping balanced. Not that its real hard, but may require some getting used to.

2. If youve owned a dirtbike, you should be alright with getting into a 600cc bike, or 650 twins like an Sv650 or Kawi 650R. However getting a smaller, and definately used bike is advisable. Streets are not the same as the trails. Theres many different variables and obstacles that you will have to deal with ALL THE TIME. Cars DO NOT see you. People generally drive like idiots. Road surface is a much bigger concern on a streetbike (holes, oil, sand, water etc). But if youve owned a dirtbike you at least have a handle on the controls, so you can concentrate on the dangers of the road. If you've ridden once or twice I would strongly suggest getting something that you wont feel bad about crashing. More than likely you WILL drop your bike. You might not crash while driving it, but its very possible that you'll drop it while going slow and manuevering (turning around, moving in your driveway etc). Motorcycles are much more heavy and therefore tippy when moving slow.

3. If your one who goes balls to the wall as soon as you get in a car, or drives like an idiot to impress/scare your friends, dont get a bike. Youre going to die. Motorcycles require a whole different level of responsiblility to keep your bike in good shape and yourself alive. The rush of speeding and the feeling of being in the open air can get you amped up and feeling high! This may cause you to take chances or ride above your skill level, which usually leads to an accident. Even once your getting used to the power and can go fast down a straight away, use caution in cornering. You need to really understand how the machine works in order to be able to use it properly. So many things effect your rides smoothness. The rider is number 1. but suspension, throttle control, braking techniques all keep your bike pointed where you want to go. BIGGEST THING HERE, is knowing and staying within your riding ability. The first time I went out of my skill level, I almost went straight thru a big turn on a highway..tyring to carry my 90mph from the strait thru the turn, and i ended up running wide and then lettting off the throttle cuz I got scared (BAD)!

4. How you ride has a direct relation to how long you live. Sure, even the best riders get into accidents that they "couldnt control", but maybe being HYPER-AWARE of your surroundings, would help prevent someone coming out of nowhere and killing you.
Get to know your machine and its power, as well as its stopping power. These can both help you avoid accidents. Practice hard braking from different speeds, because cars WILL cut you off. get to know where the most power is, in your revs. Also learn how to hold a steady throttle. "Chopping" the throttle can make you wheelie, run wide thru turns, spin the tire etc.

What it comes down to is being responsible. You may be the best rider out there, but if you dont pay attention, you're going to be the best organ donor or hood ornament.

I strongly suggest taking a safety course for beginners, and even for experienced riders (it will give you an insurance discount). Information can be found : <- there.

And for those of us who have done this...I recommend doing a racing school (<-for example, this is a New England area program). These help you to hone your riding skills and up your riding level, without the dangers of speeding on open roads full of idiots in cars.

Motorcycling is (to me) the most enjoyable motorsport out there, just be careful so you can keep doing it into old age.
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