new to sportbikes, and to here. joinin airforce and buyin a bike - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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new to sportbikes, and to here. joinin airforce and buyin a bike

well, i'm 20, from socal, goin into the airforce. i want to buy a bike, since it can travel with me. I have read that alot of people recommend starting with a smaller bike like the 250s, 500s, or older 600s. I am looking into 2008 R-6's. i fell in love with the gray one. I know, i know. but, ive been on dirt bikes, BMX, and almost anything I can find with 2 wheels. i can ride a dirtbike with ease. I only own a wimpy 110cc pit bike now, though. i know dirt is 1000X different than street, but I think I have the capability and patience. shouldn't I be fine on a 600? or am I WAY out of my league?
my friend recently purchased a new 07 or 08 gixxer 600 as his first bike. i'm not sayin i'm great at riding or anything, but i think my skills on a bike are better than his, and he has gotten along fine. not to mention, i don't want to have to mess around with trying to sell a bike if I get stationed in Europe or somewhere crazy. I'm going in to be an Engineer, I am highly mechanically inclined, and in no way a wheelie-er or stunt man, I just want a bike a I can ride and have for a long, long time. Are there any suggestions from the vets? Also, is there any riding gear that surpasses the rest? I have heard good things from Alpinestar, and would probably grab a Shoei helmet. I want to do this the right way, the safe way. the military also will train me in motorcycle safety, and I will probably teach myself on the base. I did search, but I just wanted a more personal opinion, if thats alright.

THANKS!

Last edited by AFdude; 04-10-2008 at 09:41 PM. Reason: because :P
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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I am also signing up for MSF class. but, is there any cheap cheap bikes that I could ride for a few months a get rid of real easy before I enter the air force? like 1000 bucks or something i can get rid of really fast? i donno much about 250s and 500s and stuff. ive been reading the threads in here and i'm leaning farther away from the R6, just because I HAVE never ridden a sportbike. I will know better after the M/C class, but everyone is sayin you will lay it down once so i'd rather do it on a crap bike.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:34 AM
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Welcome

I'm surprised to see someone on here actually talk themselves out of getting a brand new 600 or bigger for their first bike.

Actually, I always recommend early-mid 90's CBR600's if you can't find a decent 250 or 500. Then there's the SV 650's, GS500's and a handfull of others that are good for learning on. When it comes to used bikes, if you get a good deal and ride them for a year without doing too much damage you can easily sell them without taking much (if any) of a loss.

As far as gear goes, I've never had anything alpinestars so I can't tell you how their quality is, but they seem pretty popular. I've got Joe Rocket track gear and Icon street gear. I've got Icon Timax2 nylon jackets, Icon Motorhead boots, Teknic SMT gloves (warm weather), Icon Timax Gauntlet gloves (cold weather). I can give you input on any of that stuff. Helmets, I have a Shoei RF-1000 (track), a KBC VR2 (street) and an Icon Mainframe (backup). The important thing with helmets is that it is snell approved (check the list on this site don't just trust the sticker) and that it is comfortable.

Good luck, and ride safe!

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
-Will Rogers
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 06:08 AM
 
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I'm not going to try to talk you out of a 600, but I will try to talk you out of a new bike. The chances of you crashing it in the first year are almost certain. Really, its in the 90% according to insurance companies. Its not that big of deal, wear your gear and enjoy yourself. Most everyone here had a crash. The few who hadnt, will. Get a beater of a bike, whatever size you go with. Just get something cheap, preferably pre-crashed for you. Use it for a season. Chances are you can sell it for what you bought it for, or maybe even make some money on it.



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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AFdude View Post
I am also signing up for MSF class. but, is there any cheap cheap bikes that I could ride for a few months a get rid of real easy before I enter the air force? like 1000 bucks or something i can get rid of really fast? i donno much about 250s and 500s and stuff. ive been reading the threads in here and i'm leaning farther away from the R6, just because I HAVE never ridden a sportbike. I will know better after the M/C class, but everyone is sayin you will lay it down once so i'd rather do it on a crap bike.
This is an excellent idea and one that I strongly endorse.

Plenty of $1000 and less "beater bikes" out there to learn on. I think any late 70's early 80's 4-cylinder bike would be a good learner- Kawasaki KZ-550, Yamaha Seca or Maxim 550 or 650, Honda 450, 550, or 650 Nighthawks, Suzuki GS 550 or 650 etc.

Really quick and easy to sell. And you'll probably be able to sell it for what you bought it for.

A lot easier to stomach throwing a $1000 beater down on the ground a couple of times rather than a nice, new $9,500 bike.

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son." - Vernon Wormer.- Dean, Faber College.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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cool, thanx! I will look into the Icon stuff, it seems legit. As far as bikes go, I like something I can work on too. never worked on one before. I love the idea of a $1500 bike I can mess around on and then sell for like 1200 or something. I dont know anything about older bikes, maintenance, wear n tear, etc. are the kawis and suzukis and hondas and stuff pretty much on a level playing field or is there one bike in particular that would suit me? I'm 5'10, 130lbs. i cant wait to get goin on this, this whole motorcycle enthusiast world seems incredibly friendly and helpful. so thanx!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 10:59 AM
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AFdude, Icon actually makes mil-spec vests (link) that eliminate the need to have a safety vest on when you are going to be riding on base, and also have a sleeve for your ID with a clear cover so that you don't have to fumble around with that at the gates. I know there's a company that's got some new Army jackets out now, not sure if they are making anything for the other branches yet. I just happened to see them on display yesterday when I picked up my new jacket.

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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cool that would work great, thanks! should I be wearing leathers under the vest? I have taken a spill at ~45mph on my dirt bike, and was picking my sweatshirt out of my arm for a week. also, i'm not sure exactly how thick my pants will be that I have to wear on base, but should I be using something under them? are there special riding jeans or something other than full on leathers? maybe something underneath? im thinking the best way to learn will be to take it to a track and see what it takes before i fall, just so i know how far to push it, instead of learning that boundary on the street. any ideas?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 01:05 PM
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Definitely wear a jacket underneath. Leather is best, but I've been wearing nylon jackets for a while now (I've had the Icon Timax, and I've now got 2 Timax 2's). I've gone down with the Timax on, albeit at slow speed, and it held up great. As far as pants go, I used to wear the Timax pants, but anymore I just wear jeans. Not the safest route to go, but it's a risk I take. There are plenty of overpants and specialty pants that you can buy, but I couldn't tell you what's best. Browsing through the "Gear" part of the forum might yield better results. Obviously the safest way to ride would be in a full leather suit, but that's not exactly a reality for a lot of us.

As far as starting on a track, you're asking for trouble. Take an MSF, then tool around for a while until you're used to the bike. Then find some gentle curves to start out on until you get comfortable leaning the bike. Or you could go all out and go to a performance riding school, but you'll still need to have the basics down for that to do you any good.

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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As far as starting on a track, you're asking for trouble. Take an MSF, then tool around for a while until you're used to the bike. Then find some gentle curves to start out on until you get comfortable leaning the bike. Or you could go all out and go to a performance riding school, but you'll still need to have the basics down for that to do you any good.
Strongly disagree here. The track is simply the best place to learn. Just remember that it is not a race, there will always be people who are much, much faster than you, so go as fast as you feel comfortable with. If you are going to learn to ride its best to do so under controlled conditions. No worries about gravel, deer, cars or cops. The exact same dozen turns each time, so you can get them perfectly. And lots of expirienced instructors to help you out. What can be better than that?

And hey, if you do wreck, there is an ambulance that is less than a minute away.



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