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my first bike
jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
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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.

You don't deserve my sig.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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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
Member #5,145
October 2004
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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

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Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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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. :)

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jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
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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

You don't deserve my sig.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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Do these bikes you are talking about sell for less than $4000 brand new? ???

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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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
Member #302
April 2000
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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).

You don't deserve my sig.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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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?

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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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
Member #7,536
July 2006
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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
Member #476
June 2000
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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.

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jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
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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.

You don't deserve my sig.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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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
Member #302
April 2000
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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.

You don't deserve my sig.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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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
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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You could probably trade your piano keyboard straight up for one.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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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.

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Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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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.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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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
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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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
Member #1,881
January 2002
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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."

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

jhuuskon
Member #302
April 2000
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'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.

You don't deserve my sig.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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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.



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