my first bike
Matthew Leverton

I bought a Honda Rebel today. :-X

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GullRaDriel

Are you planning to change the color ?

Oh well, perhaps you like the blue ^^

Arthur Kalliokoski

Practice them guitar chops more and you'll be a chick-magnet! ;D

verthex

Where I'm from, people care about surfboards. ;D

edit:

This is what I ride, although mines 9'4" and its a little dinged from last summer.

Andrus-92-LARGE.jpg

Neil Black

Awesome. I want.

GullRaDriel

Neil: Ball sucker ;D

Neil Black

Only if the balls are motorcycles.

Which would be weird.

GullRaDriel

You have strange habits ^^

Neil Black

I never said I didn't.

StevenVI

Now you can save your kinda-girlfriend when she gets kidnapped by the Mad Angels.

Bob Keane

I bought a Honda Rebel today.


Girls bike, which explains the color. Real men drive Harleys. :P

Matthew Leverton

I thought I was buying this:

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juvinious

Very NICE! I was pondering a cruiser for a while then I changed my mind.. I'll be getting me a Kawasaki 250R 2010 later on this year if all goes well. Then I'll get a cruiser down the road. What perfect timing too spring is great for riding. Remember ATGAT and happy riding.

Chris Katko

So are you gonna be one of these guys now?

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=z_3Rl-MGcJY

decepto

That's a beautiful bike.

Tomoso

I knew I recognised that bike from some where...

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Matthew Leverton

This is how I drive too:

video

:-X

Arthur Kalliokoski
Bob Keane said:

Girls bike, which explains the color. Real men drive Harleys.

No. Girls prefer pink. Which is explained by that old riddle:
Why do baby girls wear pink booties and baby boys wear blue booties?

To keep their feet warm.

This is how I drive too:

Pretty impressive for your first day. 8-)

kronoman

congratulations on your first bike!!
having a motorcycle is fun, is great, I own 5 right now, including 2 harleys
so well, that bike looks good, but needs some custom work to make it your own
add some custom mirrors, chop the fender, do something to it to make unique
and ride safe :)

/me riding this summer , route 86 , argentina

video

Arthur Kalliokoski

Kronoman! You been lurking all this time? ;D

kronoman

Kronoman! You been lurking all this time? ;D

no, in short finished college, then I was riding away from Buenos Aires in summer bliss for 3 months, I busted 2 ribs in a motocross crash around january, and then I returned last monday after a trip around small towns visiting old friends... so I was just checking the news in the Allegro world :)

again, that Rebel 250 would make a sweet bobber ride!

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Thomas Fjellstrom

Geeze, I was wondering if you got bitten by another dog, then died...

GullRaDriel

To the OP: Except the color, I admit that I would be pleased to have a moto like your in my garage ^^

I don't have the license for more than 125 cm3, but heh, even with 'just' 125 cm3, it's enough for me to go in my mountains ^^

I plan to buy one soon. You're a lucky guy. (but you have strange color choice !)

;D

jhuuskon

18 horsepower...

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edit:

Bob Keane said:

Girls bike, which explains the color. Real men drive Harleys.

Harleys are too slow for real men.

Chris Katko

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My 1972 Honda CB350, I had to rewire everything and it needs some points and some TLC. But the engine only has ~14,000 miles on it. The headlights are obviously swapped in on this picture, I still have the real one.

Steve++

Organ donor.

Arthur Kalliokoski
jhuuskon said:

Harleys are too slow for real men.

The fastest bikes are too fast for anybody with sense.

bamccaig

I would like to get a bike eventually. I'd like to have a crotch rocket and a jockey-shifted chopper. ;D The jockey shifter because it's 1337, as demonstrated by Jesse James, who said that he likes jockey shifters on his bikes so that nobody asks to ride them. 8-) I should probably get a smaller bike to start so I guess it's fortunate for me that I probably can't afford a crotch rocket or decent chopper...

Ride safe, ML. :)

Samuel Henderson

My parents have a GoldWing GL 1800 that they bought a few years ago. They also have a BSA Lightning (which is about 38 years old) which they are currently trying to sell.

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I'm very tempted to buy it from them, although it needs work to get it to run.

Matthew Leverton

but you have strange color choice

The Rebel only comes in two colors (also black), but a) they didn't have any in stock, and b) the blue is more easily seen.

But I really got it because it matches my eye-color. :o

Arthur Kalliokoski

I think the blue looks nice, I really do. But 18 horsepower? /me snickers into his sleeve

Matthew Leverton

But 18 horsepower?

Yeah, I was disappointed when I tried pulling the boat with it. :(

verthex

Yeah, I was disappointed when I tried pulling the boat with it. :(

The Prius has 90. An old East German car named the Trabant had 26.

Note the image is cad.

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bamccaig

Actually, the CBR125R looks both affordable and like a decent first bike. :o Unfortunately, it would only be usable for about half the year around here (usually, this year as an exception, snow from December to April and usually rain from April to July).

What about in Illinois, ML? How is the snow/rain there throughout the year? I can't imagine riding a bike in the rain is any fun (and probably a lot less safe too).

Arthur Kalliokoski

Yeah, I was disappointed when I tried pulling the boat with it.

How fast does it go, really? Does it have trouble doing 55 mph against a 20 mph headwind? Can you pull out in traffic in the city without having a bunch of people behind you honking horns?

[EDIT]

Is this a "try out motorcycling before spending way too much money" thing? Also it would be easier to horse around in parking lots etc. until you get used to it.

Matthew Leverton
bamccaig said:

Actually, the CBR125R looks both affordable and like a decent first bike.

That bike isn't sold in the USA. Its engine is smaller than the Rebel's, but probably has comparable top speeds (~ 80mph).

The weather is good enough to ride from March through November (minimum temperature of 50F/10C). I wouldn't ride in the rain, but most days are clear.

How fast does it go, really?

Wide-open, it goes 85 max. I wouldn't run it at that speed though, as I'm sure it's very unstable and unsafe. There are YouTube videos of people taking it out on the interstate at that speed.

I was driving yesterday (and it was very windy like usual) and I had no problems going highway speeds of 55mph, including up hills.

Quote:

Is this a "try out motorcycling before spending way too much money" thing?

Basically, yes. I only have one weekend of driving experience, and I want to minimize the likelihood of death due to operator fault.

Chris Katko

Yeah, I was disappointed when I tried pulling the boat with it. :(

Wait. Seriously, 18 hp?

My 1972 CB350 has 36 hp in proper tune. :o And my friends 250cc Ninja had the same hp.

I only weigh 130lb (and rising thanks to weight lifting or fat eating) and I wouldn't recommend anyone "normal" size to go lower power than that.

From what I hear, 250cc is for 55 mph. They can go above that but you're typically winding the engine out so high that it's unbearable for highway distances and traveling. If you're a big guy, something closer to 500cc is the minimum (whereas for me that would be a rocket engine).

Overall, good for you! Those things are loads of fun and there's really no substitute for the feeling. Just be careful because 4-wheel drivers these days are very inattentive.

[Append]

One more thing. I drove my friend's (2006ish) 250 Ninja and I was amazed by how much better it handled than my 1972 Honda. The weight is comparable but it's all in the bottom so the moment of inertia is almost nothing--which means it's very easy to lean. The thing also drove so smoothly that I felt like I was gliding. And I really mean that.

juvinious
bamccaig said:

Actually, the CBR125R [honda.ca] looks both affordable and like a decent first bike. Unfortunately, it would only be usable for about half the year around here (usually, this year as an exception, snow from December to April and usually rain from April to July).

You should look into the Kawasaki 250R as well.

Neil Walker

Are you going to hand over the website, code, passwords, etc to somebody for when you inevitably have a horrendous bike crash ;)

Matthew Leverton

They are written on the inside of my helmet. :-X

bamccaig

That bike isn't sold in the USA.

I meant for me. ;) Strange that they don't offer a similar model on the American site. Illinois isn't very far from Canada though. You could have just gone for a road trip if you wanted to. :)

juvinious said:

You should look into the Kawasaki 250R as well.

It's apparently the Ninja 250R[1]. :o However, it's about $1400 more and probably more than twice as deadly. Right now, I'd prefer to save money and stay conservative. :P Besides, I'm not a heavy guy (give or take, 5'9" / 125 lbs) so a heavy bike would only make it harder to stay in control. Plus, Honda has a great reputation for reliability whereas Kawasaki does not.

References

  1. On the Canadian Web site, anyway.
piccolo

Hmm A nice green would been better.

hope you went shoping for some presses(out fits) match the colors.

Im currently working on spreying my bike green and black. just wait until there is some more sun light after 5:00.

make sure you drink lot of milk and eat solid food cause going down on a bike is way diffrent from crashing in a car.

if it was not for my diet and training i would long dead many of times.

Samuel Henderson
bamccaig said:

What about in Illinois, ML? How is the snow/rain there throughout the year? I can't imagine riding a bike in the rain is any fun (and probably a lot less safe too).

My parents are alread riding their Goldwing. If the roads are clear, they ride. They do have crazy waterproof and insulated riding gear through. Plus their gear actually plugs into the bike to keep them warm.

I'm assuming that's probably not an option for Matthew ;)

My dad claims the rain doesn't even bother him, for the most part the windshield does a pretty good job at keeping his face dry.

When I had my scooter driving in the rain was terrifying at the start. Once I got used to it though it wasn't so bad. The traction didn't seem that different anyways.

bamccaig

When I had my scooter driving in the rain was terrifying at the start. Once I got used to it though it wasn't so bad. The traction didn't seem that different anyways.

You got rid of it? :o

I would just not like getting wet... :-/ I almost never wear a jacket outside of winter so it would just be me and my hoody (though I guess the air flow while riding a bike would probably change that)...

Samuel Henderson
bamccaig said:

You got rid of it?

Yeah I sold it after buying my car. I wore a leather jacket which kept me pretty dry even in a heavy rain. My legs still got soaked, which was annoying.

Like I said, my parents spent quite a bit of money on waterproof+insulated+heated gear.

That seems excessive to me.

Vanneto

No pictures of you actually on the bike? :-/

kronoman

Matthew, now your next purchase should be proper riding gear.

A good motorcycle jacket (not just a leather jacket, but a motorcycle jacket, i.e a Icon http://www.rideicon.com/), pants, boots, gloves, and a good helmet (I suggest SNELL certified), and take a riding course.

That way you will be always safe and enjoy your motorcycle.

I have been riding motorcycles and mopeds since I'm 13 years old, and I only had some minor crashes and 2 broken ribs last summer on a motocross course.

Riding in summer #2 :)
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Matthew Leverton

I took the MSF's Basic RiderCourse last fall, which is how I got my license. I never had ridden before I took the course. Three days later... they give me a license. ;D

It's actually a little scary how easy it is to get a license. I suppose the bad drivers just weed themselves out quickly.

I'm getting a Snell certified full face helmet tomorrow. The rest of the gear, I'll make do with what I have for now (regular leather jacket, gloves, and high ankle covering shoes.

bamccaig

I just found out that in Ontario you can get a beginner's motorcycle license (the ability to ride solo with 0.0% BAC) just as easily as you get your beginner's car/small truck license. Except with the latter, you have to have a mature, experienced, licensed driver in the passenger seat. :o So in theory, I could get licensed to ride a motorcycle in a day or two (depending on how big the guide for the written test is)... :D

relay01

I think your going about it the right way ML. Start with a somewhat inexpensive starter bike and move up from there.

When I was looking for bikes, the Rebel was one of my choices. The problem was I'm 6'3" and 220lb. So the bike wasn't a good fit for me.

As of yet, I still have no bike. :(

jhuuskon
juvinious said:

Actually, the CBR125R [honda.ca] looks both affordable and like a decent first bike.

It's a piece of crap. 16 stinking horsepower. It's a strictly 16-year old girls' bike. :)

My parents are alread riding their Goldwing. If the roads are clear, they ride. They do have crazy waterproof and insulated riding gear through. Plus their gear actually plugs into the bike to keep them warm.

I'm assuming that's probably not an option for Matthew

I'm guessing your parents are old?

relay01 said:

I think your going about it the right way ML. Start with a somewhat inexpensive starter bike and move up from there.

I think he's going the wrong way. You don't learn anything about riding big bikes from a Rebel 250 that you wouldn't learn from a 50cc moped. The transition to a big bike is still huge and the 250 is a useless step in between.

bamccaig said:

It's apparently the Ninja 250R[1]. However, it's about $1400 more and probably more than twice as deadly.

WTF?

People have a weird assumption that motorcycles have only an on/off throttle.

bamccaig
jhuuskon said:

It's a piece of crap. 16 stinking horsepower. It's a strictly 16-year old girls' bike. :)

13. >:( I think Matthew's has 16 hp (though it's a bit heavier too).

jhuuskon said:

I think he's going the wrong way. You don't learn anything about riding big bikes from a Rebel 250 that you wouldn't learn from a 50cc moped. The transition to a big bike is still huge and the 250 is a useless step in between.

You learn how to ride a motorcycle and be confident and you still get some of the cool factor and efficiency. You won't learn how the weight or power affects the handling, but the rest should be the same. ::)

jhuuskon said:

WTF?
People have a weird assumption that motorcycles have only an on/off throttle.

No, but they do have manual transmissions with foot-operated gear selector and hand-operated clutches and I'd rather learn to ride one with a small engine so there's less room for error. ::)

I currently have limited experience with manuals. The first car I ever drove was a Nissan NX1600, but it was my uncle's car and I was very nervous about hurting it so I had a hard time getting going. I didn't really do any gear changes. I only circled a campground driveway (away from the actual camps) once. That was before I got my license. After I got my beginners, I drove my parents' old VW Rabbit once or twice. We have a four-wheeler that I've driven, but the clutch is automatic. That's about it. I've been driving automatics (against my will!) for the past 5 years.

On top of that, the larger the engine, the heavier the bike, and as I said I'm not a big guy so I don't want a big bike that is going to take me for a ride. At least not until I've seen how a smaller bike feels. That bike might be too small, but there isn't a 250 sport bike from Honda available in Canada... :-/ The next step up is a 600 for almost CAD$10000! I don't have that kind of money to spend on a vehicle that's only practical for about half a year.

Here's a review of the 2007 CBR125R from some experienced Canadian riders:

http://cmgonline.com/content/view/303/57/

To summarize, they basically say that it's decent for the money, but they'd prefer a bit more power (mind you, I think they're also heavier than I am), saying that it struggles on the "major" highways (and hills, if you don't downshift). I only have 90 km/h[1] and under roadways around me. They're also experienced riders so they're used to handling bigger bikes. They seem to all agree that the bike is perfect for a beginner. :-/

References

  1. 105 km/h in practice.
juvinious
jhuuskon said:

juvinious said:
Actually, the CBR125R [honda.ca] looks both affordable and like a decent first bike.

WRONG! I didn't say that, it was bamccaig. I just mentioned the kawi 250R... get your postings correct. :P

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

No, but they do have manual transmissions with foot-operated gear selector and hand-operated clutches and I'd rather learn to ride one with a small engine so there's less room for error. ::)

The weight difference between a 250, 350, 450, is about zero because on many models it's essentially the same engine with bigger bores. Moreover, my 1972 Honda CB350 weighs the same as a 2008 Suzuki GSXR-750 (racing motorcycle). As long as you get a generally light-weight one, you're fine. But if you buy a really low-end one, you will very quickly get bored with it (and might do stupid things to try and make it interesting). At the very least, you'll sell it (wasting a little money) and buy a bigger one.

But if smaller engines make you feel more comfortable, go ahead! That's important too. :)

jhuuskon
juvinious said:

WRONG! I didn't say that, it was bamccaig. I just mentioned the kawi 250R... get your postings correct.

You really think I would manually go through the trouble of attributing a quote to the correct person?

That's right, I don't. Blame Matthew's script.

bamccaig said:

No, but they do have manual transmissions with foot-operated gear selector and hand-operated clutches and I'd rather learn to ride one with a small engine so there's less room for error.

It's a sequential, not manual.

A 50cc moped has those too and guess what? They work exactly the same as in big bikes.

Kick it down to downshift, lift it up to shift up, neutral lies between first and second and always slam gears in. Congratulations, you now know how to ride a sequential. (I'm not kidding, they break if you try to ease gears in.)

Quote:

On top of that, the larger the engine, the heavier the bike, and as I said I'm not a big guy so I don't want a big bike that is going to take me for a ride. At least not until I've seen how a smaller bike feels.

I jumped from the 125cc Yamaha RD125LC (24hp) to a 120hp Suzuki GSX-R750W with a year of not riding at all in between and it didn't take me for a ride and I'm only 169cm/75kg. Also, the heavier engine moves the center of gravity down, a lot. The 240kg GSX-R was only marginally more difficult to handle than the 110kg RD, while the 50cc, 50kg Tunturi Tiger moped wasn't any different from the RD (it's marginal weight was offset by very high center of gravity).

A Hayabusa is actually very easy to handle even though its huge, heavy and blazingly fast. Once again, big engine -> low center of gravity. (A friend of mine has one, it's fucking awesome.)

You're all a bunch of wussies, that's all there is to it. :P

Matthew Leverton

Do these bikes you are talking about sell for less than $4000 brand new? ???

bamccaig
jhuuskon said:

It's a sequential, not manual.

Actually, it appears to be both. >:(

jhuuskon said:

A 50cc moped has those too and guess what? They work exactly the same as in big bikes.

Kick it down to downshift, lift it up to shift up, neutral lies between first and second and always slam gears in. Congratulations, you now know how to ride a sequential. (I'm not kidding, they break if you try to ease gears in.)

As I said earlier, I've driven four-wheelers, but they were clutchless (or more than likely the clutch was automatic). I'm familiar with the process, but I've never done it with a manually operated clutch (nor on two wheels). I don't particularly want to learn to do it with a powerful engine that's going to roll the bike over top of me if I'm Doin' It Wrong. :P

jhuuskon said:

I jumped from the 125cc Yamaha RD125LC (24hp) to a 120hp Suzki GSX-R750 and it didn't take me for a ride and I'm only 169cm/75kg. Also, the heavier engine moves the center of gravity down, a lot. The 240kg GSX-R was only marginally more difficult to handle than the 110kg RD, while the 50cc, 50kg Tunturi Tiger moped wasn't any different from the RD (it's marginal weight was offset by very high center of gravity).

A Hayabusa is actually very easy to handle even though its huge, heavy and blazingly fast. Once again, big engine -> low center of gravity. (A friend of mine has one, it's fucking awesome.)

You're all a bunch of wussies, that's all there is to it. :P

So you also started with a 125cc. ::) Honda doesn't offer any affordable bikes more powerful than the CBR-125R in Canada. If they did I would definitely consider them. Yamaha's similar models are twice the price, and I don't trust any other manufacturers.

jhuuskon

I'm not saying you should buy a Hayabusa straight up. Around here anyway you can ride a moped when you get 15 and 125cc's when you're 16 (with the respective licenses (M and A1 classes) of course). You can't get the full license (A class) until you're 20 (or 21 if you haven't got the limited A class when you were 18).

It gets even more complex: If you have the A1 before you turn 18, you get the limited A for free once you turn 18, and the full A when you turn 20.

I started with the moped when i was 13. When I turned 16, I got the license for the RD. When I turned 18, I sold it and bought a car. After that I think I rode only a friend's NSR125 around the block before I first rode the GSX-R when I was 20.

You'll learn the basic skills with a moped because the controls are the same. What you won't learn on a moped, nor on a Rebel 250 for that matter, is when and how to apply the greater power reserves of big bikes.

Do these bikes you are talking about sell for less than $4000 brand new?

Probably not, but then again ask any experienced biker and he'll tell you not to buy a brand new bike until you've paid your dues (=dropped[1] it at least once), anyway. Very old biker proverb: "There's two kinds of bikers: Those who have dropped, and those who will." Me? During the three summers I had it, I crashed the RD once and dropped it twice.

References

  1. Dropping means having the bike fall over, one reason or another, without crashing into anything (other than the ground, that is).
Arthur Kalliokoski
jhuuskon said:

During the three summers I had it, I crashed the RD once and dropped it twice.

Just curious, were those the result of cars pulling out in front of you?

Matthew Leverton
jhuuskon said:

Probably not, but then again ask any experienced biker and he'll tell you not to buy a brand new bike until you've paid your dues

I shopped around for a used bike, but everything was either very old (and I don't know enough about bikes to know junk from good) or very big. The Rebel was cheap and has good enough resale value that I could sell it next year and not be out much.

But I definitely would not buy a 125cc bike. It wouldn't be able to go on the highway... I'd rather have a little scooter.

bamccaig

But I definitely would not buy a 125cc bike. It wouldn't be able to go on the highway... I'd rather have a little scooter.

Everything I've read suggests that the CBR125R can manage 100 km/h (62 mph) without problems. It can theoretically do more than that, but it might struggle and will vary... That's highway speed around here. Freeway speed is more, but I don't go on any freeways (the only ones around here are in Michigan and Southern Ontario).

:(

I checked with the dealership and right now I can get a brand new 2008 CBR125R for CAD$3500 minus a CAD$900 rebate.

I see that there's a 2009 Kawasaki 250N for sale in town for $4500, but that seems kind of expensive for a $5000 (+ tax, etc.) bike brand new. :-/ Shouldn't the value depreciate as soon as you drive off the lot? Does anyone have anything good to say about Kawasaki reliability?

???

I guess I can stop at the Kawasaki dealership tomorrow and see what their Ninja 250R's actually sell for... :(

Thomas Fjellstrom
bamccaig said:

That's highway speed around here.

If you like driving up to 20km/h slower than the rest of the traffic sure. Almost noone does the 110km/h speed limit on major highways here, instead they usually do 120km/h or even 125 or higher. So 100km/h isn't quite fast enough.

Quote:

Freeway speed is more

Really? Thats odd. AFAIK Freeways are just in town highways... And usually have the highway 110 speed limit, or something lower.

jhuuskon

Just curious, were those the result of cars pulling out in front of you?

The crash was, yes. At a parking lot, fortunately a one without asphalt.

and I don't know enough about bikes to know junk from good

A rule of thumb: Suzukis can survive an atomic blast. Others, well... The other japanese are almost as reliable. European makers, not so much. But japanese bikes have zero cool factor because everyone and their neighbour has one, italian bikes (Aprilia, Ducati, MV Agusta, Benelli, etc) OTOH are most awesome in regards of looks, performance and comfort (i'm talking about sport bikes obviously so it's very much a relative concept) but unfortunately they're also expensive and unreliable, but if you're serious about standing out, get a Triumph (the Daytona 675 looks good and sounds absolutely insane). Just don't expect it to stay in one piece for more than a weekend at a time.

bamccaig said:

Everything I've read suggests that the CBR125R can manage 100 km/h (62 mph) without problems.

However it will take it literally a minute to accelerate there.

Were I in the market for a bike of my own right now, I would consider the Suzuki SV650s. It's cheap, abundant, has a very nice torque curve, cheap to insure and looks edecent to boot.

bamccaig

A motorcycle review site said that it'll still accelerate faster than the average car. It just won't keep up with bigger bikes. It certainly won't take a minute. ::) It's 0 - 60 (which I'll remind you is highway speed) is apparently under 16 seconds, which will challenge most cars and trucks.

jhuuskon

Yes, it can barely defeat the Fiat Uno 1.1 i.e.S. I had. But not most cars, not even the average car. Just the sluggish ones.

Not to mention the fact that its top-heavy weight distribution (small engine, remember) and narrow fairing make it quite unstable at those speeds. Ick.

bamccaig

Certainly faster than the average user accelerates. ::) At least around here. I always leave them in my dust in my '95 Grand Prix (3.1L V6).

Matthew Leverton

You could probably trade your piano keyboard straight up for one.

bamccaig

The keyboard's not for trade, but you can have my Neo FreeRunner and EeePC... :'(

OICW

Hey, what? You need just day or two to get the licence? Just pass a written test and that's it? You get the licence and can drive a motorbike or a car, eventhough you haven't rode/drove it before? Around here you have to attend to a driving school. You're required to pass 28 hours of car drives, attend some ammount of lectures and then pass a written test followed by a driving test.

Anyway congratulations on your bike ML.

Arthur Kalliokoski

I thought they'd have to do a couple of figure 8's and maybe a slow slalom through some cones without touching their feet to the ground. Around here you can renew your automobile driving license without any test if you haven't had any tickets.

bamccaig

In Ontario, there is a graduation based system now (for both class G[1] and class M[2] vehicles; I'm not sure about other classes). See here for details.

References

  1. Cars, vans, and small trucks.
  2. Motorcycles and similar road vehicles.
Matthew Leverton

To get a car license here at age 16, you have to take a minimum of nine weeks (45 hours) of classroom training, taught via the public school system. And then you need 6 hours of driving with a licensed teacher and 25 hours of driving with parents. If you wait until you are 18 or 21, the rules are relaxed. Something like that anyway... new laws keep making it more strict, and it varies from state to state.

Regarding a motorcycle license, if you are over 18 (21?) and have a regular car license, all you need to do is pass the written test and the driving test. Both of those are very simple...

The only way to fail the driving test is to drop the bike. That's an automatic fail. Otherwise, it's hard to accumulate enough strikes to fail. The four tests I had to do at the end of my three day class were:

  1. Figure 8 in first gear between two narrow lines, then

  2. Immediately speed up into second gear and swerve around an obstacle without braking.

  3. Accelerating in a straight line up to 18mph, then stop as fast and in the shortest distance as possible.

  4. Take two turns in second gear without crossing the lines.

Tests 2, 3, and 4 are ridiculously simple. Anybody with five minutes of training could pass them.

The first test is hard for a beginner, but going outside the line and putting your foot down is only a 5 point penalty. It takes 21 points to fail. So I didn't even try to do it properly.

The only other way to fail is if the instructors kick you out of the class for a) doing dangerous things on purpose or b) doing lots of dangerous things by accident.

Chris Katko

Figure 8 in first gear between two narrow lines, then

Immediately speed up into second gear and swerve around an obstacle without braking.

Accelerating in a straight line up to 18mph, then stop as fast and in the shortest distance as possible.

Take two turns in second gear without crossing the lines.

My driving test was even simpler (because we have so little traffic compared to say, California).

All I had to do was go around the building the "long" way (all within viewing distance of the main place) and make sure the instructor could hear me switching gears and see me click my signals on. Then I had to make it back. Success. ;D

However, I am in large favor of more advanced driver's testing for both motorcyclists and car drivers. People on the road know too little, not too much.

Quote:

Figure 8 in first gear between two narrow lines, then

My Dad got his license in Ohio. We moved to Cali and he went for his license again and had to do all those tests. Unfortunately, he bought a 1990 1000cc Ninja which is as long as some small cars. They told him to do the figure eight and he just looked at it with a bewildered expression and said "You want me to do what?" O_o And the instructor replied, "Well... normally people bring smaller bikes."

jhuuskon

'Round here the motorcycle licenses (A1, limited and full A) require some lessons, the theory exam (a series of multiple choice questions and a set of photographs with a "can you do x? y/n" questions), the handling exam and driving exam in traffic.

The handling test has some fixed set of tasks of which three is picked at random. If I remember correctly my handling test included a "figure 8" test, emergency braking (Full stop from a certain speed within a specific distance) and a slow driving test (a fixed distance travelled in a straight line with a minimum amount of time that needs to be spent without fully stopping). Touching the ground, stalling or dropping is a failure, three tries per test.

I performed the tests on a Yamaha DT125R. Anyone who has seen one knows it's a very tall bike (though not even close to how tall big bore motocross bikes are). It wasn't very easy considering enduro bikes are usually designed for people a lot taller than me.

Matthew Leverton

However, I am in large favor of more advanced driver's testing for both motorcyclists and car drivers. People on the road know too little, not too much.

I'd rather see people take motorcycle awareness classes. It's pretty much a given that at least one person per intersection doesn't even see you on a bike.

I joked with the instructor that while we were learning about how to avoid semi truck blind spots in our class, the people taking the CDL classes in the parking lot next to ours were learning how to seek and destroy bikers.

Ben Delacob

Congrats on the bike Matthew! Starting with ~250 or less is definitely the way to go.

That said, bigger bikes still do have some merit on the freeway. A really light bike will be more difficult with crosswinds at high speeds. It's also useful to have the option of accelerating forward instead of only falling back when a car does something stupid like begin to change lanes without seeing you.

BAF

Up here, you need to take a written test to get your permit. Then you need to log a set minimum of drive time and take a 5 hour clasroom safety course then pass a road test to get a license. If you're under 18 and within 6 months of getting your permit, it will be a provisional license for that remainder of time. Afterwards its a junior license until you're 18 (17 if you took a driver education course at school or whatever). But they're changing the laws here to make it more strict, not sure on the specifics though.

Anyhow, once you have a driver's license, it again takes a short written test to get a motorcycle permit. Then you can take a 3 day training course (like Matthew did), and upon successful completion, you're given a class M designation on your license, which lets you drive a bike.

It's different if you're going for only your class M license, but I have no clue how that works.

bamccaig

So it sounds like I'm now considering a 2008 Honda CBR-125R (new from dealership)[1], a 2008/2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (maybe used if the current buyer falls through; otherwise, maybe new if the dealership gives me a number I can handle), or a 2008 Yamaha V-Star 250 (used, lady driven). I haven't talked to the Yamaha owner yet so I'm not sure if the bike has been sold yet. I still need to check with the Kawasaki dealership to see if they have any 250Rs and whether or not the price is doable for me. I also still need to get my M1 license and check with my insurance company on rates for the aforementioned bikes. :P

References

  1. It's sounding like it won't handle the highway well, but fortunately the First Nation reserve that I pass through has taken control of the old highway and dropped speed limits down to 70 km/h max. so if I had to I could always take that route to the city.
Matthew Leverton

Do you buy everything I do? ???

I made a bet with somebody who shall not be named that you specifically would look into buying a bike as a direct result of this thread. I won. ;D

Do not buy anything less than 250 if you ever plan on riding out of town. My Honda Rebel is the bare minimum I would ever want to take out on the highway. It's fine on flat stretches, and can easily do (more than) the speed limit, but up hills it maxes out at 55-60 mph full throttle (maybe 65 if there's no wind).

But before you do anything, call your local colleges and see what kind of courses are available. It looks like the CSC sponsors things in Canada. You may be able to get a license via that before you even have to buy a bike.

Thomas Fjellstrom

Well if you're looking for training and a deal on insurance, take a course with the CAA or (in alberta) the AMA. In some cases it can chop your insurance in half.

I made a bet with somebody who shall not be named that you specifically would look into buying a bike as a direct result of this thread. I won. ;D

I figured you and Yves talk regularly. Probably the only thing that would make him rub off on you so much. ;D

bamccaig

Do you buy everything I do? ???

I made a bet with somebody who shall not be named that you specifically would look into buying a bike as a direct result of this thread. I won. ;D

Yeah, I was going to comment on that earlier, but didn't want to draw attention to it. :P Sorry for always stealing your thunder. :-X Before your thread, I had assumed that decent motorcycles were too expensive for me still and never gave it any thought. It was on the maybe sometime in the future list. You showed me that it might be feasible now.

It may not happen still. I haven't fully committed to it. I have to see how feasible it is first (before buying a bike I need to see what my insurance company is going to do to me; then I need to see how hard it's going to hit my savings).

Do not buy anything less than 250 if you ever plan on riding out of town. My Honda Rebel is the bare minimum I would ever want to take out on the highway. It's fine on flat stretches, and can easily do (more than) the speed limit, but up hills it maxes out at 55-60 mph full throttle (maybe 65 if there's no wind).

Yeah, I've gotten this impression. My dad, who used to have a 125 cc bike in his younger years, said the same thing. Get a 250 if I'm going to get one because smaller is too slow and bigger is too fast. However, I don't technically need to ride on any roads faster than 80 km/h (about 50 mph) so I could probably get away with a 125 (there are two highways that run in parallel, one a replacement for the other, and the other now has severely reduced speed limits). I'm in the process of debating the money right now (which bike is the best that I can afford, if any).

But before you do anything, call your local colleges and see what kind of courses are available. It looks like the CSC sponsors things in Canada. You may be able to get a license via that before you even have to buy a bike.

The community college definitely has a motorcycle training course available. I plan to give the college a call on Monday to see if I can register for it. The Honda dealership representative told me that it's backed up like 3 months though. The CBR125R allegedly has a rebate on until the end of March because the fiscal year for Honda ends March 31st and they're trying to move the old stock. If I wait I'll apparently be paying more. Similarly, the used Yamaha will probably go pretty fast, if it hasn't gone already. The used Ninja 250R already has a buyer. :( I can wait and see what comes up or I can rush into a purchase and hope it works out. On Monday I also plan to visit the Kawasaki dealership to price up a 250R through them.

I'm currently studying the official MTO motorcycle handbook (debating whether I should buy another copy of the official drivers handbook too[1]). I'm considering going in to take the written test sometime next week (maybe even Monday). If you're suggesting that I could wave the fee by going through the training course then I'm not sure it's worth waiting. I definitely intend to take the course though.

I'm a little concerned about having to pay again to upgrade to an Enhanced Drivers License if I do get my M1... :-/ That will be annoying because I just got it last year.

In other news, I just discovered "counter-steering" (in the motorcycle sense) or push steering. :-/ At first I thought the handbook was wrong, but after a little bit of YouTubing the bikes I'm looking at, I stumbled upon a demonstration video that explained it. Once he said it, and demoed it, and didn't die, I figured there must be something to it and started to ask Google. :-/ Mental note: listen to the handbook above intuition.

References

  1. We're also tested on that and it's possible I'll be asked about signs or situations that I've forgotten about and don't encounter in the area. I guess it's been something like 6 or 7 years since I last studied it.
piccolo

Make sure you bockel up your Helmets. it be a shame to lose any allegro members to carelesness on the streets.

I can vouch for Helmets bsave lives mine save my live when a hit and run female car drive ran a light and side swiped me at the intersation.

if it was not for the helmet being on realy good.

the force woule have make it come off and the back of my head would be like a smashed water mellon. not because any thing rolled over it. but because of the shear force i hit the groud. my back hit first then my head was following like a sling shot. i tried to stop the back of my head from hiting the pathment by stiffing my neck. but it was not enough the the impack rang trough the back the helment like some kinda of kunfu attack. right at the mounment i was like daaaaaaaaaammm. be cause i was dead sure the force would haave crushed my head if it was not for the helment.

from that day that was my favorit helmet. i was so mad when on a diffrent day i was playing pool at a club and some pick up my helmet by mistake and left me with thiers.

just remeber bike acedent aint not joke pratice safety and look out for the stupid people in the cars

BAF

Make a thread about buying a house next, and see what happens. ;D

bamccaig
BAF said:

Make a thread about buying a house next, and see what happens. ;D

You know, I could use a house... ;)

Thomas Fjellstrom

I think Matthew needs some B.C. Hydro.

Arthur Kalliokoski

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BAF
Quote:

So that's where those extra bolts were supposed to go? Shoot....

jhuuskon
bamccaig said:

In other news, I just discovered "counter-steering"

This bugs me to no end. How people have to "discover" something that happens naturally?

Arthur Kalliokoski
jhuuskon said:

This bugs me to no end. How people have to "discover" something that happens naturally?

How else do you describe them finding out about the natural phenomenon?

Old joke:
Son: "Dad, is it true that Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity?"
Dad: "Yes son, it's true."
Son: "Well, what did we do before the law was passed?"

Steve Terry

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... NOTHING beats my first bike ;D

Arthur Kalliokoski

[edit] zomg

jhuuskon

How else do you describe them finding out about the natural phenomenon?

I don't mean it in that sense. What I mean is that it's the only way you can turn the bike at speed and it occurs naturally, subconsciously. You don't have to specifically learn it. (Perhaps with the exception that it isn't obvious that by using conscious effort for countersteering one can manouever the bike quicker at speeds.)

Anyone who has ever been on even a bicycle countersteers subconsciously.

bamccaig
jhuuskon said:

I don't mean it in that sense. What I mean is that it's the only way you can turn the bike at speed and it occurs naturally, subconsciously. You don't have to specifically learn it. (Perhaps with the exception that it isn't obvious that by using conscious effort for countersteering one can manouever the bike quicker at speeds.)

Anyone who has ever been on even a bicycle countersteers subconsciously.

I've never ridden a motorcycle before. I don't think I've ever done it on a bicycle. I'm almost certain I haven't. If I have then it was so subconscious that I didn't even know I was doing it.

jhuuskon

Have you ever dodged a sudden obstacle on a bicycle? Yeah, you've countersteered.

Neil Black

What is countersteering?

bamccaig

Went to see the Yamaha V-Star today. :) Coincidentally, the seller lives right down the road... :o It looks and sounds good, not that I would know the difference. It also looks a little bit small though (size-wise). I'm not sure. My dad seems to think it's the best option. I'm leaning towards the Kawasaki, but the dealership confirmed today that it'll be $5000 + tax + dealership fees: probably close to $6000 to get it off the lot, and they don't even have any to look at. I'll have to put a down payment on it for them to have one shipped from the warehouse before I can even see it.

The V-Star is $4000 "firm". I have to stop by the Yamaha dealership tomorrow to see what a new one would cost. I just noticed there is a 2007 CBR125R in the classifieds for $2000. I'm rather torn. My dad seems to be pretty excited about me getting a motorcycle now too, even though he's trying to fight it. :P I don't think he approves of a "crotch-rocket" though, even if it is a sorely underpowered one. The 250R looks plenty fast without being insane. That's why I'm leaning towards it... It also looks racer cool, but then the V-Star has the almost rebel look to it. :-/

The seller of the V-Star (who is a chick, and a hot one at that... :o) said that insurance would probably be around $600. Or maybe that was her (with full coverage). Tomorrow I plan to stop at the insurance company for some quotes which will probably influence my decision most. If I can insure the Kawasaki without killing my savings then I might just spring for it... They seem to have decent resaleability if you keep them clean and well maintained (though I guess that's true for all 3 of the bikes I'm looking at).

What is countersteering?

In terms of motorcycles, based on my purely theoretical understanding, it's where you push the handlebars the opposite direction of where you want to turn (it's also called push-steering). This causes the bike's weight to shift, causing it to lean. You then center the handlebars again and you're turning! Or something like that.

Quote:

When initiating a turn, you must apply forward pressure to the
handlebar on the side that is in the direction of the turn: to turn
right, push the right-hand handlebar; to turn left, push the left-hand
handlebar.

Quote:

Another way to remember how to counter-steer: if you want to turn
right, start by pushing the right-hand handlebar; if you want to turn
left, start by pushing on the left-hand handlebar.

jhuuskon

FFS. Get a used Suzuki SV650s. They're cheap to buy, insure and maintain, foolproof, and in five years when you've finally outgrown it (instead of the five days it takes to outgrow a CBR125 or a 250cc "custom") you can sell it without much lost money. Also they come with 75 horsepower and an rotating right handlebar so you don't have to stress the bike to its limits just to keep up with traffic.

Also, they don't sound like sewing machines, which is a plus considering that if you want the racer looks, you need some sound to go with it or people will confuse you with a 16 years old girl.

edit2: My opinion: If you really want to go with less than 600cc (as stupid as it is), get an older 2-stroke. They're cheap any way you look at them[1] and at least they can keep up with traffic.

edit3: fixed a typo.

References

  1. inb4 pistons: 2-stroke street bikes don't wear nearly as much as dirt bikes. The weekly piston replacement thing only concerns race trim dirt bikes that extract around twice the amount of power from the same size engine.
Arthur Kalliokoski

sowing machine:

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sewing machine:

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Thomas Fjellstrom

I wonder if its similar to how I steer when I'm riding with no hands. Of course I mostly just use my own weight to handle the turning. Lean the bike way over, and balance atop to keep steady. I can manage > 90deg turns :D probably not very impressive, though I could do it even when I was 260lbs, of course the bike I have is a pretty beefy mountain bike, its rather heavy. Have to say though, you need a lot more room to turn if you don't actually turn the handle bars, or be able to balance with the pedals almost touching the ground, even then though, I find I take up half the road doing so on a regular pedal bike.

bamccaig
jhuuskon said:

FFS. Get a used Suzuki SV650s. They're cheap to buy,...

Better than CAD$6000 cheap (new)?

jhuuskon said:

...insure...

For a newly licensed rider under the age of 25? I've heard that insurance for a 125cc or 250cc is already going to suck for me, at least until I turn 25 and get fully licensed. Apparently you're now forced to insure motorcycles all year round, for whatever stupid reason. On top of that, I also have to keep a car running and insured so that I have a bad weather/winter vehicle.

jhuuskon said:

Also they come with 75 horsepower and an rotating right handlebar so you don't have to stress the bike to its limits just to keep up with traffic.

From what I've been able to find, the SV650 does 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) in about 4 seconds. The quarter mile in 12 seconds at 170 km/h (100 mph), and it'll apparently do 208 km/h (130 mph), give or take (there are differing models and obviously lots of model years so who knows what these specs apply to). Considering the fastest road in the country that I'm aware of is about 110 km/h I think that's way overkill. Most of Northern Ontario is rural with poorly maintained roads. There are lots of twists and turns and very few efficient straight line highways in Ontario. You don't want to be on two wheels that go from 0-60 in 4 seconds. Certainly not for your first fucking bike.

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R goes from 0-60 in under 8 seconds, the quarter mile in 16 seconds, and has a top speed of 154 km/h (95 mph). That's plenty for a first street motorcycle. It'll more than keep up with traffic and it hopefully won't even kill me doing it.

The Yamaha is probably much slower than that, but it's a cruiser, not a street bike. Apparently it's top speed is around 136 km/h (85 mph), which again is plenty to keep up with traffic.

I'm all for fast and loud and cool, but I'm also for being conservative and taking things one step at a time. There should be opportunities to get a bigger bike in the future. The smaller bikes seem to hold their value really well so in a year or two when I decide I want something bigger I can hopefully sell whatever I do get and make most of my money back.

juvinious

I suggest you pick up the book Twist of the Wrist II. Excellent read more inclined towards the street than the track and will help you be much better biker.

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R goes from 0-60 in under 8 seconds, the quarter mile in 16 seconds, and has a top speed of 154 km/h (95 mph). That's plenty for a first street motorcycle. It'll more than keep up with traffic and it hopefully won't even kill me doing it.

I'm going to tell you from first-hand experience, if you're not light-weight and/or planning on doing highway travel, get a (slightly) bigger bike. The 250 holds around 10,000 RPM at 70 MPH. Any idea how much vibration comes out of an engine at 10,000 RPM? You'll rattle your teeth out of their sockets if you drive on the highway for more than 30 minutes. Your joints will physically ache.

bamccaig

I'm going to tell you from first-hand experience, if you're not light-weight and/or planning on doing highway travel, get a (slightly) bigger bike. The 250 holds around 10,000 RPM at 70 MPH. Any idea how much vibration comes out of an engine at 10,000 RPM? You'll rattle your teeth out of their sockets if you drive on the highway for more than 30 minutes. Your joints will physically ache.

I'm light weight (125 lbs) and I only have about a 20 minute drive on the highway. The highway is officially 55 mph (though people drive closer to 65 mph).

** EDIT **

Insurance through my current broker (liability and theft)(assuming an M1 license):

  • 2008 Honda CBR125R: CAD$1100/year.

  • 2008 Yamaha V-Star 250: CAD$1200/year.

  • 2009 Kawasaki Ninja (*cue gasp from broker*) 250R: CAD$1200/year.

I'm leaning towards the Ninja... :-/ My dad seems to be leaning hard towards the V-Star though... This could be interesting.

Matthew Leverton

My insurance is $20/month. Yours shouldn't be too much higher...

I wonder if its similar to how I steer when I'm riding with no hands. Of course I mostly just use my own weight to handle the turning.

Countersteering requires hands to steer in the "opposite" direction. There's no way to turn quickly at mid to high speeds by just leaning. You can make wide turns by leaning and shifting weight, but countersteering is absolutely required for real turns.

On a bicycle, I think the learned behavior is a quick twitch in the opposite direction, followed by a lean, and turning in the same direction.

Everybody does it... except for the kids just learning how to ride a bike. Why do you think they crash on turns at the beginning? Because they haven't figured out countersteering and their parents probably aren't smart enough to tell them about it.

Around 30mph, it seems to be very pronounced and easy to do. As soon as you turn in the opposite direction (which is natural), the bike dips toward the curve. By shifting your weight, you can maintain a good speed.

If you cannot convince yourself of it, try steering with one hand at minimum speeds of 10-12 mph. Think about which way you want to go and push in that direction.

jhuuskon

Bambam, I thought of an elaborate and lengthy explanation exposing your flawed reasoning but chose not to since it's probably not going to make any difference.

So instead I'm just going to reiterate: You're a goddamn wuss. Riding easy on a 174hp Hayabusa isn't in any way different from a 21hp 1983 Yamaha RD125LC, but the extra horsepower and torque allow you to accelerate out from some nasty situations that would result in a crash on a 125cc. Even the 70-something hp of the SV gives you that benefit but a small displacement 4-stroke won't. Come on, grow a pair!

Arthur Kalliokoski

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bamccaig

video

I really like the part about feeling comfortable running as fast as you can and just throwing yourself at the pavement. ;D Funny he didn't actually mention a helmet though... :P

jhuuskon said:

Bambam, I thought of an elaborate and lengthy explanation exposing your flawed reasoning but chose not to since it's probably not going to make any difference.

So instead I'm just going to reiterate: You're a goddamn wuss. Riding easy on a 174hp Hayabusa isn't in any way different from a 21hp 1983 Yamaha RD125LC, but the extra horsepower and torque allow you to accelerate out from some nasty situations that would result in a crash on a 125cc. Even the 70-something hp of the SV gives you that benefit but a small displacement 4-stroke won't. Come on, grow a pair!

Truth be told, the main reason I'm looking at smaller bikes is because they're cheaper. A lot cheaper. And easier to find. The whole reason I'm looking into motorcycles right now is because ML showed me how affordable a bike can be.

The insurance is also a LOT less for smaller bikes. When I went in to get quotes today, the broker literally gasped out loud when I said "Kawasaki Ninja". ;D She expected the results to be unbearable and was very surprised by the quote I was given.

Matthew Leverton

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My helmet. :o

Trent Gamblin

No frickin laser beams?

Dario ff

No pictures of you riding the bike, or wearing the helmet, or using both? :-X

Matthew Leverton

I only do one at a time. :-/

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

The insurance is also a LOT less for smaller bikes. When I went in to get quotes today, the broker literally gasped out loud when I said "Kawasaki Ninja". ;D She expected the results to be unbearable and was very surprised by the quote I was given.

It's only 600cc and above that have insurance hikes.

bamccaig

It's only 600cc and above that have insurance hikes.

I haven't found a sport bike yet with an engine's displacement between 250 cc and 600 cc. :-/ Certainly not in Canada/USA.

Chris Katko
bamccaig

A 500 is practically a 600... ::) Suzuki conveniently offers no suggested price on their Web site (not the Canadian Web site anyway) and the nearest dealer is over an hour drive away. The Kawasaki Ninja 500R is apparently over CAD$7000.

juvinious
bamccaig said:

The Kawasaki Ninja 500R is apparently over CAD$7000.

And apparently the last of that series in 2009. They are phasing it out and marketing the 600 in it's place.

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

A 500 is practically a 600...

Except on the grounds of insurance price and horsepower. ::)

The 500cc Suzuki has 52 hp. The 500cc Ninja has 59 hp. The 600cc Suzuki has 125 hp. Meanwhile, I see new 2009 500 Ninjas on eBay for $3,600.

bamccaig

eBay?! :o You want me to buy a motorcycle on eBay?! ::) By the time I get it shipped, probably for a few thousand dollars, and likely over the border, through customs, pay duty, etc., it'll probably be September; which I guess will be good because I'll have the whole off season to fix all of the things wrong with the "mint condition!!!!!111" motorcycle. ;D

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

By the time I get it shipped,

Why would you ship it? It's a motorcycle. Drive it.

10 minutes of searching got all of the following information:

2005 Kawasaki Ninja 500R; 3,073 miles; $2,000 to $2,700 (Buy It Now).

The Bike

Directions

But if you'd rather pay more than twice that, there's nothing I can say at this point.

juvinious

I personally wouldn't go with the old ex250 models (2007 and below) as the kawi 250r was completely redone from engine to body in 2008... which includes a nice gas gauge. If you want more information between the differences of the two you can view a very good write up here.

In fact, a good deal of resource and information for kawi 250's can be found here, I'd highly recommend reading through that site.

bamccaig

Thanks, juvinious. I'll definitely be reading through both of those sites.

** EDIT **

The rest of the gear, I'll make do with what I have for now (regular leather jacket, gloves, and high ankle covering shoes.

Based on what I've been reading, you should expect to spend up to $1000 on proper safety gear for motorcycling. It sounds like a really good idea to have since you really can't prevent other drivers from wrecking you. It seems having "armor" will give you a better chance of avoiding maiming or death. Have you invested in better gear since you posted this or do you ever intend to?

Arthur Kalliokoski

Leather clothes and high top boots are more to prevent abrasion when sliding along the pavement than to provide impact resistance.

Vanneto
bamccaig said:

It seems having "armor" will give you a better chance of avoiding maiming or death.

Nothing except the helmet helps for serious injuries. Basically, if you hit something or something hits you at a high speed, you're dead. Period. Oh the adrenaline. ;D

bamccaig

If you survive it will probably be after sliding across the pavement for a few hundred feet. :P A jacket doesn't help you much if you aren't wearing the pants to match it. Plus, most leather jackets are probably designed with form before function whereas when it comes to motorcycle gear you'd probably prefer it was designed for its intended purpose.

In the motorcycle gear that I'm looking at, there is impact padding in all the major joints, etc. There is also a back protector (extra) that fits inside the suit. It might not prevent injury, but it should protect you from a lot more than just a plain leather jacket would.

VizViz.jpg

http://www.aerostich.com/aerostich-suits/roadcrafter-one-piece-suit.html

If you get it in high visibility coloring like I'm planning to then you'll also be easier to see than with black leather (albeit, a yellow, one-piece suit would probably look kind of silly on a cruiser).

:-/

Matthew Leverton

If you crash a motorcycle and hit something immediately upon flying off the bike, you're going to be in bad shape no matter what. Otherwise, if you hit the ground cleanly (especially when low-siding), the proper gear will save you a lot of skin. You may still have plenty of broken bones.

But obviously it's more risky riding a bike and crashes are usually not going to end well. However, I've read stories about bikers walking away from accidents without a scratch, while the person who caused the accident was dead on impact. So there's no sure thing.

And no, I don't have proper gear yet. I have leather jacket and gloves, but they aren't reinforced with any sort of armor. I'll be upgrading my leg and feet defense within the next month.

I'll be geared up properly by the time summer comes and I'm doing 180 MPH on the bike. :o

bamccaig said:

If you get it in high visibility coloring

I'm pretty sure that's a biohazard suit. :o

Arthur Kalliokoski

I'll be geared up properly by the time summer comes and I'm doing 180 MPH on the bike. :o

Changing the final drive ratio won't get that kind of speed with only 18 horsepower. :P

jhuuskon

Oh my god...

That suit...

BWHAAAHHAHHAHHAHHAAHA!

A yellow one-piece suit doesn't actually look silly. It merely screams "I'm a grown man riding something made for teenagers yet I'm scared out of my mind!"

Scotchlite. My riding suit is pitch black but it's got scotchlite seams. With just a $2 flashlight the thing lights up a like a christmas tree. At noon it's not at its best, (then again I'd argue that a solid black lump is more noticeable than anything else that would blend with the colorful shop windows), but as soon as the sun sets (you do remember I live quite far up north and even though the sun does set per se, it doesn't get actually dark at night during most of the summer), even the dipped beams of cars make the suit stand out.

Behold, my riding jacket (I also use it for various wintertime outdoors activities):

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Matthew Leverton

Changing the final drive ratio won't get that kind of speed with only 18 horsepower.

A horse can easily run 10 MPH. I've got 18 of them. ::)

Arthur Kalliokoski

So these guys will leave you in the dust? Well, 20 mulepower actually, but I bet it's close.

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[EDIT]

This page says a mule can get up to 15 mph (Which I know is way off, more like 45 for a fast specimen)

http://a-z-animals.com/animals/mule/

so multiply by 20 for a top speed of 300 mph.

bamccaig
jhuuskon said:

Oh my god...

That suit...

BWHAAAHHAHHAHHAHHAAHA!

A yellow one-piece suit doesn't actually look silly. It merely screams "I'm a grown man riding something made for teenagers yet I'm scared out of my mind!"

I just think it's smart to be prepared. I certainly don't want to permanently hurt myself riding a motorcycle (I'm the kind of person that would rather be dead than paralyzed). Every motorcyclist evar seems to say that traffic doesn't see you. I'm still thinking about it, but if I do end up getting the Ninja 250R then I'm limited to red and (the more expensive) lime green (blue and black are obviously not very easily seen in low light). I'm guessing the green will show up best at twilight and night (around here it does get dark and our roadways are at best poorly lit; our highway is only lit at intersections, and that's only the main highway), but probably still not very well.

It seems all safety advice involving motorcycles says to wear bright colors to make yourself more readily seen. I figure the best way to do that is go with high visibility colors for your motorcycle gear. Finding a one-piece (which is apparently supposed to keep you more dry in wet weather) with padding that is offered in very bright colors sounds like a good fit. I'm not decided on it yet (it isn't CE approved, apparently), but it does look like a good option to consider.

In response to your argument that a 600cc (and up) sport bike is a good first bike (or not too big for a new rider):

http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Why_sportbikes_are_NOT_beginner_bikes

Thanks again to juvinious for the link(s). They've been awesome reading so far.

Matthew Leverton

So these guys will leave you in the dust? Well, 20 mulepower actually, but I bet it's close.

Yeah, but think about how often they have to stop and pee or poop. :-/

Arthur Kalliokoski

Tell 'em to do it at the rest stops cuz I ain't stopping for nuthin'. It makes it hard to spit the chewing tobacco at 300 mph though.

Chris Katko

A horse can easily run 10 MPH. I've got 18 of them. ::)

But do two chained horses run 20 MPH? Or twice as strong!

I think what you've got is an 18 horse super-beast tractor puller on your hands! But it still won't go faster than 10 mph. :'(

Matthew Leverton

I attached a plow to the front, a set of blades beneath, and a wagon behind. So now I can plow the snow off the fields, cut grass, and bale hay at the same time (weather changes that fast around here).

So, you are right: it does have the strength of 18 horses. However, I do it all at 180 MPH. :-X

jhuuskon

Bambam, if you're scared enough to actually believe such foolish arguments then maybe, just maybe you should scrub off motorcycling as a bad idea to begin with. ::)

bamccaig

You should post a video of you on your bike, jhuuskon. :o

Vanneto
bamccaig said:

It seems all safety advice involving motorcycles says to wear bright colors to make yourself more readily seen

And I thought Canadian cars had headlights. :P But I guess I can see your point seeing as how most Canadians are drunks who cant drive. :-[

But as you put it so nice and stupidly "I would rather be dead than paralyzed" I have a better one "I'd rather be dead than seen riding in that foolish green thing". ;D

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

It seems all safety advice involving motorcycles says to wear bright colors to make yourself more readily seen

I honestly wonder if that actually helps prevent accidents. Other than wearing bizarre colors such as construction orange or green, people aren't going to inheriently see you more than usual. The girl that hit my Sebring two semester ago, stopped at a stop sign, proceeded to not look around at all, and then go. She t-boned the driver's side of my Sebring. I got a radiatior in my face. I climbed out of my car duke's of hazard style and the girl goes, "I'm so sorry! I didn't even see you!"

A 6 foot wide, white Sebring with black stripes, rims, and door guards blaring music in broad daylight with no visual obstructions around.

If she can't see that, there's nothing that can you can wear except strobe lights that's going to help you. The issue is, if you do get hit, it's gonna be bad. So always wear armor, and always assume every driver is just as bad as this girl and think of an exit strategy.

bamccaig
Vanneto said:

But as you put it so nice and stupidly "I would rather be dead than paralyzed" I have a better one "I'd rather be dead than seen riding in that foolish green thing". ;D

It's yellow... ???

I honestly wonder if that actually helps prevent accidents. Other than wearing bizarre colors such as construction orange or green, people aren't going to inheriently see you more than usual. The girl that hit my Sebring two semester ago, stopped at a stop sign, proceeded to not look around at all, and then go. She t-boned the driver's side of my Sebring. I got a radiatior in my face. I climbed out of my car duke's of hazard style and the girl goes, "I'm so sorry! I didn't even see you!"

A 6 foot wide, white Sebring with black stripes, rims, and door guards blaring music in broad daylight with no visual obstructions around.

If she can't see that, there's nothing that can you can wear except strobe lights that's going to help you.

That almost happened to me a while ago. I was driving down a street that I've been taking to work for about 6 months. There's a church on the right and cars are always parked along side of it (:-/). The church is on a corner though. As I was approaching the corner, I saw a black Durango pulling up to the intersection and I just knew he wasn't going to give himself time to see if it's clear. Young Drivers of Canada taught me to predict that though so I was slowed down before I even approached the intersection and was able to stop in time. He pulled out right in front of me though.

Not that you could have avoided your accident. Sometimes there's just no avoiding it. A few weeks ago I was lost on the outskirts of the city trying to find my way back to familiar streets. I made a left turn onto a side street and a Suburban [that rolled through a stop sign] nearly T-boned me. I don't know where the fuck this kid was looking, but it wasn't where he should have been. He pulled out while I was right in fucking front of him. Ridiculous. He missed me by a few feet and it was sheer luck. There was nowhere for me to go.

That was a bad day. I was then attacked by a couple of loose dogs down that street that chased me (from the front of the car) all the way up the block and back (cause I had to turn around). When I finally got home, I discovered that I had a flat tire. >:(

Both times I was driving my '95 Grand Prix (also white).

The issue is, if you do get hit, it's gonna be bad. So always wear armor, and always assume every driver is just as bad as this girl and think of an exit strategy.

Yeah, that's really all you can do. Try to avoid stupid drivers by being overly defensive and wear as much protective gear as you can. :-/ I wish I had a racing harness in my car, but I guess for that to work effectively you probably need a helmet and a neck-brace strapped to the seat (I'm not intimately familiar with racing gear so feel free to correct me).

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