Newbie has some questions - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Newbie has some questions

Hello everyone.

A little background about myself and my plan. I have never ridden a motorcycle before, I have never even been a passanger on one. I have been fascinated with them for probably the past 17+ years. I have known anyone that owned a sportbike and my only experience up close even being near a bike was with tourers and cruisers.

In the next year or so I plan on taking a MSF and buying a bike. Top speed really isn't important to me at all, I just want something that handles well and is pretty cost effective. I am a pretty good mechanic (cars) and not intimidated by technology. I was leaning towards a Ninja 250 but am open to suggestions...suggestions?

I also have some gear questions.

Boots. Are engineer boots okay on a sportbike or are they a foot amputation waiting to happen?

Chaps. Do they offer any sort of protection?

I figure gear will probably run about $1500. Is that a good estimate?

What is involved in the 600 mile tuneup? How different is working on a sportbike from a car?

Thanks for everyones help.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 10:47 AM
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Whatever you considered spending on chaps please do your self a favor and spend it on something useful like scotch tape Forget the chaps. Good helmet, Gloves, Jacket / pants (or one piece suit) & some good riding boots. $1500 should cover this easy. The Ninja 250 is a good beginner, and if you search this topic you will find tons of info. The MSF is a must. I wouldn't even atempt to ride without it. Bikes and cars apart from both being internal cumbustion engines are pretty much different to work on. Not impossible mind you, but different.
Good Luck
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Re: Newbie has some questions

Originally posted by stonecoldcrazy
I figure gear will probably run about $1500. Is that a good estimate? certainly *could*. But there are deals to be had. For example:

Regardless of whether you were to get a suit...or jacket & leather pants...along with your gloves, boots & helmet...bought could realistically spend as little as $750. Shop around.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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I pretty much figured that chaps were for show only.

I completely plan on taking the MSF before riding.

Thanks for the link. Gear cost is more intimidating than the bike cost because you can by a used bike but there is no way I am going to buy used gear.

You didn't answer if engineer boots were okay. I will assume no and just put everything into a gear budget.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 11:09 AM
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i'm familar with engineer boots, but if they are steel-toed, avoid. steel toed shoes are great in a warehouse, bad idea any place where a vehicle could run over them.

as stated, if you spend $1500 on gear, great. but if you want something safe, you don't need to go that high.

agv sells nice 2-piece suits for under $500 (if you shop around).

agv, hjc and a few others sell great helmets that can be found for under $400.

boots, some places have some agv 580's or alipnestar 511's for under $100 (hard to find).

gloves, agv has gloves that will work for like $40.
you can also do what i did. agv qr3 on sale for 299 (lists over 5), held gloves 179 (regular price, hard to get a deal on held gloves, but worth every cent), daytona winner boots, used for $125 (list for $280 or so), and dainese v-storm leathers (465, used, lists for like 1200).

btw, excellent choice in bike. the ex500 is also good as well.


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 11:20 AM
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new rider

Also there are a variety of bikes out there, both used and new, that are great for starting out on. Find one that feels right for your size. You've gotten good tips on the gear here, although I would say for learning you need to really focus on the Helmet, Jacket, Gloves. Until you know that Motorcycles are right for you, engineer boots are probably fine (But like Tony says... no steel toes).

Also if you are mechanically inclined concerning cars... you will most likely find motorcycles a joy to work on. Things are, for the most part, much more accessible, and you pretty much never have to lie underneath them for hours at a time. If considering a new bike, 600 mile service can vary significantly by make, but if you are comfortable with how a valve train works, then there is really nothing to be concerned about... you can do it all yourself, just maintain receipts for supplies that you buy and take meticulous notes of what you have done and when you have done it, in case you need to make a warranty claim. Sometimes you can negotiate the first service into a new bike sale. As far as looking into new bikes, let me say the Suzuki SV 650 can accomodate new riders as well as advanced riders, is a great value and twins rule. Sorry, but I have to promote the twins

Enjoy, riding is about as fun as life gets.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 11:20 AM
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Something I have found invalueable.

I am very glad that I raced my car a lot before getting a bike. Doing something like that really teaches you how to react while under duress, becuse when racing you are usually under duress. Driving at the limit. So it teaches you many good riding habits that transfer to the street and even bikes. Things like rev-matching, quick acceleration, and realistic cornering speeds. And it's easier to learn how to race a car with less chance of something bad happining. If I would have started racing on a bike I would have totaled it about 3 or 4 times because of newbie mistakes I made, that when made in a car were only track spin offs.

So I'd suggest finding some local car clubs in your area and finding some good lapping days for your street car. It really changes your whole outlook on driving.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the boots. Unfortuantely all the boots I own are steel toed so I will be buying some new ones. At least the gear isn't as expensive as I first thought.

I will keep my mind open when it comes to buying a new bike. I just don't want to get in over my head. I have ridden in and driven some pretty fast cars, but like I said no bikes. At least I have probably another year before I make a final descision.

Last edited by stonecoldcrazy; 07-24-2002 at 11:34 AM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2001
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The SV650 is a great bike. VERY versatile.
The Suzuki GS500 is a good starter bike. Used are as little as $1,000 to $2,000.

Consider getting a used bike first. You save money and you just won't know what kind of riding you'll want to do till you ride for a while. If you buy a used bike at a good price, you can usually get your money out of it when you want to move on.

The thing with boots is the lighter in weight they are the less momentum they develop in a crash. The steel toes can crush right into your own toes.

Chaps keep the wind out. That's about it.

For me, I'd say maybe:
Helmet $300
Jacket $250
Gloves $100
Boots $150
Maybe pants, another $250

Try used for jackets and pants.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
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steel toes

a bit off topic... BUT I just have to say that, although it is sometimes beneficial to be more flexible than rigid, in general anything that is going to cause steel toed boots to destroy your foot is going to destroy you foot anyway.

I just think that it is important to have better feel on the shift lever than steel toes provide.

I'll get my coat....

and, I agree, a good used bike is the best idea, after all there are two kinds of riders......
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