Motorcycle owners/riders: noob rider joining the world of bikes... advice?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TheStickman, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. TheStickman

    TheStickman Stump

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    Howdy

    I'm pretty interested in buying my first bike, used. I'm looking at a 83 Goldwing Honda GL1100, 36k miles, no title, needs clutch, carb needs attention, $425. From what I've seen, the clutch on a bike is relatively easy to replace and the carb can't be the hard to remove and rebuild and can't be that expensive to replace if need be.

    The state offers a *free* class on Saturdays for motorcycle riding. It's almost an all-day class that you just sign up and show up for. They provide all the equipment including bikes and safety crap. They do it in a parkinglot, lay out cones for different exercises and teach you the basics. At the end of the course, they give you the motorcycle endorsement sticker on your license right there.

    The car I drive expires this month, meaning I'll have to put it through DEQ again to get new tags. I'm not sure if it will go through, but even if it does, I want something that will get much better gas mileage and something fun to ride 6 months out of the year.

    I can't imagine that the riding learning curve is very steep considering that I've ridden a bicycle. I can't imagine workign on them is as difficult or complicated as a car, either.

    My commute to work is about 15 minutes in non-highway rush-hour traffic and I hardly go anywhere else (but I might if I get a bike and the mileage is good enough).

    I've been reading this online guide to 3rd party purchasing (http://www.clarity.net/~adam/buying-bike.html) which has a lot of great info.

    Here's some pics of the bike:
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    The more I read the more I'm inclined to just start saving up and buy a lighter bike to learn balance. I really don't want to let this bike go though because they're hard to find, especially at that price if an inspection returns only those two problems. Maybe I'll buy this one and fix it up and resell it while saving up for my own bike to ride. That might give me some experience in basic concepts in maintenance and repair. I'll be sure to take the MSF, though. It's either take a test at the DMV with no clue what I'm doing and pray I pass and then hop on a bike on the street with no street bike (some dirt bike) experience or take the MSF, get the endorsement without taking a test I know nothing about, and be given hands-on instruction in safety and operation by an expert. It's a no-brainer.

    As far as all the gear, I have the boots and a leather jacket already, but I don't have armor or even leathers for my legs. I don't have gloves and I don't yet have a helmet. I assume fingers are going to get f'ed up any damn way if I lay it down, so the gloves are just to cut the cold, correct?

    I'm completely open to suggestion about anything other than the helmet. I'm going to get a skull cap if my check of the law finds that they're legal in the state. I don't want anything in my face at all. No shield, no windscreen, no nothing other than maybe a pair of sunglasses. No, I don't mind swallowing a few bugs

    Can anyone comment on their experience with skull caps versus another open-faced helmet versus a fully closed-face helmet?
     
  2. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    Get something smaller than a Goldwing for a first bike.

    I've been riding my dual sport with a full face offroad helmet and it sucks ass. Get a full face helmet with a visor. I can't see how anyone could ride for any period of time with a skull cap.
     
  3. Phat_J

    Phat_J OT Supporter

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    You better have some good glasses for a half helmet. You would be surprised how much the wind gets to your eyes with even the tightest glasses. Also yeah get a smaller bike first. A used kawasaki 125 or 250 is a great starter bike and they are cheap.
     
  4. Vermincelli

    Vermincelli Banned

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    GET OFF MY LAWN!
    As for the bike, not just no but HELLLLLL NO!!

    1st, it's a tourbike so heavy and not easy to maneuver without experience riding, especially in stop and go traffic. Forget it. The first day you find yourself in stop and go traffic as a first time rider on a GoldWing is also the first night you will be looking to sell it.

    2nd, it's an OLD tourbike. You won't be able to get it serviced at a shop and parts will be a nightmare unless you already have a network to find them used through and experienced in motorcycle mechanics.

    3rd. No title. There's a nightmare waiting to happen. Wouldn't it be grand to spend all the money and time to get it running only to find out that it's stolen and it's confiscated from you with no reimbursement?


    Get something newer, smaller, titled, running, take the MSF course. Get at least a 3/4 helmet, full face or modular would be better. Those stupid skull caps are nice if it's hot but as others have pointed out, wind in the eyes is a bitch and as a new driver with no experience, much much much more dangerous.
     
  5. CARETAKER

    CARETAKER KANEDAAAA!!! OT Supporter

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    Hell A.
    1) Take the MSF basic course, or equivalent.
    2) Don't get an 1100 bike as your first one. Learn on a 250 or sub 500, NON supersport.
    3) Full-Face and shield, I highly recommend it. With a clear shield, you can't even tell there's something in front of you. Sunglasses WILL NOT protect your eyes, and you'll start tearing up even going 30-40. Or else, get goggles.
    4) Riding leather jacket. Mine has armor in shoulders and elbows. Regular, casual leather jackets are not as thick.
    5) Good denim or leather pants. I have Icon knee armor as well. Full fingered gloves are a must.

    6) Read Proficient Motorcycling.

    Stay alive and ride safe!
     
  6. TheStickman

    TheStickman Stump

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    Sweet, thanks for the input :)
     
  7. SBandit4

    SBandit4 If shit hits the fan, just make sure you have a go

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    It's not the bugs you should be worried about, it's the rocks that get kicked up by Big rigs and other such vehicles. Also the two times I went down, I land on the left side of my helmet. I can only imagine what would have happened if the helmet wasn't taking up all the sliding.
     
  8. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Even a big bug hitting you in the face will hurt like a bitch. I wear a full-face helmet, and I once caught one of those big yellow-and-black fuzzy bumblebees in the shield at about 50, and it hit hard enough to move my head back a bit. Can't even imagine how much that would have hurt with an open-face helmet. And like was already said, a full-face helmet doesn't impinge on your vision at all, and makes riding more enjoyable. Go ahead and stick your head out a car window at 45 for about 10 minutes wearing just sunglasses, and then rethink your skullcap and sunglasses plan. And always remember: dress for the crash, not the ride. Also, I highly recommend something waaaaaay smaller than an 1100cc Goldwing for a first bike, that is a big bike, not something for a n00b.

    Also, I jut noticed that you are in Oregon. Whereabouts are you located? I know this isn't what you are looking for, but I have my Piaggio BV200 scooter for sale in the Salem area. It's my first ride, bought in new in Summer 2005, and I'm looking to sell it and move up to something bigger, probably a used Shadow 750. The scoot is fun to ride, perfect for in town stuff, gets 60+ mpg, and tops out around 80 mph. Just rode it to work the other day, which is in Hillsboro, pretty nice ride, kept up with traffic on I-5 no problem. Anyways, just throwing that out there, look for BV200 scooter on the Salem craigslist if you're curious.
     
  9. TheStickman

    TheStickman Stump

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    I live / work in Beaverton but i'm not looking for a scooter. Thanks anyway SD. :)
     
  10. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Hey, just figured I'd throw that out there. I used to live out by Washington Square off of Scholls Ferry Road in the apartments behind Big Red's until late last year, I know the area. Once you get something and are ready for some fun, there's a good ride out there that I know of. I used to head down Hwy 99 to Newburg, then come back on Hwy 219 back out to Scholls, nice curvy road up over the hills between Beaverton and Newburg, really fun ride. Especially if you don't buy that Goldwing....
     
  11. Bavarian3

    Bavarian3 OT Supporter

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    goldwing :eek3: thats nuts man.
     
  12. TheStickman

    TheStickman Stump

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    Yeah, I know that road. I have friends who live in Dundee. I used to have an old '83 Celica GTS that I used to race that way to their house.

    In any case, I'm not interested in any kind of sport bike at all, big or small. I want a cruiser. Got any suggestions for a "starter cruiser"?
     
  13. TheStickman

    TheStickman Stump

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    Meh. I've ridden them a few times, I don't see what all the fuss is about. Back in the early 80's, it'd take full throttle clutch drop to get the front end off the ground but with today's bikes being much lighter and the engines more efficient pumping out WAY more HP than they did back then, some smaller bikes you can wheelie with half or three quarter throttle and NO clutch.

    Is it a problem if I'm not concerned about 1100 CC's for my first bike? :noes:

    What's everybody so worried about with starting on a bigger bike?
     
  14. Bavarian3

    Bavarian3 OT Supporter

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    im not talkin about power, thats all in your responsbility. you said it, its heavy, and huge. if you feel comfortable on it thats all that matters, ride safe and take it easy.
     
  15. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Yeah, I've looked at a lot of those, as a cruiser is what I want. Look into Honda Shadows in the 600 or 750 range, you can find those for a pretty good price, and they have a good look to them. Also check for Yamaha Viragos and V-Stars, and Suzuki Bandits, Marauders, and Boulevards. The Harley-Davidson Sportsters are nice also, and come in 883 and 1200 sizes, but they aren't cheap, even for a used one. The Viragos are going to be a little older, but aren't too expensive, same with the Bandits. For the others, they've had longer runs, and several different sized engines, so finding one with the right engine and cost shouldn't bee too hard. How much are you looking to spend on a bike, by the way?
     

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