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So, having read that one really long article, some even longer posts, what to look for in used bikes, and what some typical noobs have to say, i have come to terms with the fact i knew nothing, and now know little more then nothing about sport bikes, and that i am basically a typical newbie.

If you are still reading this, hopefully this next sentance wont scare you off either: I am 18, and possibly maybe considering to start to look at a suzuki GS500, or bascially any other 500cc (what does cc stand for, btw?). Is there a problem with this, what and why? I am fightened at the responses that last sentance might generate, but i will endure whatever for the hope of some solid advice. It seemed to me that is almost the standard beginner bike nowadays- wether it should be or not. . . my motives for buying a motorcycle, are gas prices, and just an overall intrest in them that i havent grown out of. I eventually would love to upgrade to a big bike, but i want to see if i have the same intrest after acouple years... Plus, i want that feeling of going VERY fast unique to biking, and i almost look up to ppl that i see riding on the highway, and i want that... respect, (for lack of better words). oh and ive never met a girl that doesnt think riding a motorcycle is hot. I guess it goes without saying, but i would perfer not a cheap piece of crap as my first bike (i bet ill get some responses from that sent.) cause i plan on having it throughout college (unless i come into a large some of money), but i think buying used would be a great idea for my wallet, so ideally i will do that.

I would also like either a good website, or a good person who will kinda teach me all the terms about sport bikes, or how the bike works in general. Like i said, i am 18, 5'11 and about 165 lbs, im not like jacked, but im althelically muscluar, which apparently makes a difference in a choice of bikes? I drive a 1992 Ford Exploder... Also, what are the differences between the brands? what are drawbacks and advantaves to choosing one over the other?

Any feedback is appreciated, however critical. Please try to find uniqueness in my case, and dont just give me the typical response.... haha thanks again. OH, and whats a troll??? i hope im not one!!!
-Garrett
 

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This sounds too good to be true. A reasonable noob? Can it be?

Welcome, Garrett. I hope you're sincere in your desire to start smart and stay alive. Let's take things from the top:

Motorcycle engines (as well as ATV's, and others) are generally classified by the cubic centimeters of displacement (the "space" inside the cylinders). Thus a 500cc bike has 500 cubic centimeters of displacement. Sort of like how cars have 4.2L, 5.7L etc.

I don't think a 500 twin is too much for responsible people to learn on. I learned on an old 600 (before they had fuel injection which makes a huge difference) and came out alright.

I'd recommend buying a used bike to start on. It doesn't have to be a beat-up POS, but a few scratches shouldn't be a deal breaker. You're probably going to drop your first bike. It's just part of learning. We've all done it. And I'll readily admit that I will probably have at least one more crash before I hang up my helmet. Hopefully it will be on a track, but you never know.

So if rule #1 is start small, then rule #0.5 is BUY GEAR!!! Dress for the crash, not the ride. Jacket/Helmet/Gloves/Boots at the minimum, and I highly recommend riding pants as well. Jeans shred like a wet paper towel when you hit asphalt.

Now you asked about the difference in bikes, and I'll just tell you that at this point, and for the first few years of riding, the only difference between them is looks and comfort. Pick the one you like based on that criteria, because most sportbikes are reliable if treated well, and no new riders (and not a lot of seasoned ones) can actually ride the bikes to within 75% of their potential. And when the margins of the top 4 manufacturers are probably within 1-2% of each other, well, you get my drift. Look at them and sit on them and make your decision based on that for now.

Anyways, I hope I've helped you out a little bit with that, and again, welcome! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First of all, thanks snakesht (and is that name by any chance from We Were Soldiers?)
Second, I am sincere in my desire to stay alive, thats forsure! haha... and as for starting smart, lets just say my ive learned alot from my past... haha. On a more serious note, thanks once again, and i encourage more posts/opinions.

I am fine with the idea of crashing, i can reconize that it is part of learning, and i had fully planned on buying ALL of the gear... if you want you can give me some ideas on decent (inexpensive) brands and models... i play hockey and mountian bike, 2 sports dependent on good gear, so i can respect that this sport requires some nice gear as well (and this stuff is potentially life saving, so i dont mind wearin it...espically while learning)

Ok, as u might have guessed, i have a few more questions...
1)how many cubic centimeters are in a liter?
2)how does the "space" in a cylinder create a more powerful engin?
3)how many cylinders does a typical sportbike have?
4)anyone selling a bike i might be intrested in? haha
5)anyone want to help me find a good way to tell my mother my plans of purchasing a bike... thats going to be harder then learning to ride...

Thanks again!
 

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Wow... I missed this thread earlier. I guess I was too busy with Charlie and his BS.


Welcome to the forum... I hope you keep your head on straight! You are definitely off on the right foot.

GS500 is good for a learners bike. I know a few people that started out on them. I actually still find them VERY fun to ride. You won't get bored.

I'll skip the rest, since Snake did a good job on that one.



As for the new questions...

1) 1 cubic centimeter (cc) = 1 milliLiter (mL), so since there are 1000 milli-Liters per Liter (just like there are 1000 milli-meters per meter), the answer is, 1000.

2) More space = more room for more fuel and more air, therefore a bigger boom. It is a combustion engine, so think of it like an explosion. Larger engines give you more room for the two main ingredients.

3) 2 or 4. Inline 4 cylinders and V-Twins are both very common.

4) Check your local papers, classifieds, etc. I'd recommend eBay too, but the scams outnumber the legit auctions 7:1, so unless you can actually go and look at the bike first, it is best to just avoid that route. There are also classifieds on the forum you may want to check out. (For more than just the bike... don't forget the gear!)

5) I don't think telling her your plans for buying the bike are the hard part. The hard part comes with proving to your mother, who watched ALL of your stupid actions as a child (and they NEVER forget), that you are now responsible enough to own a motorcycle without "Killing her baby". It's not really a sales pitch as much as it will be a demonstration. My suggestion would be to start off by explaining to her about your intentions to buy safety gear (and how each piece of gear will protect you) and your plans for proper training, such as an MSF course. Also explain to her that you have elected to purchase a good beginner bike, and the benefit of learning on that as well. Try to avoid any part of the conversation which may bring you around to how fast a bike is. And don't lie to her about anything. Remember, parents can tell when you are lying... they watched you grow up. Being honest is a great step toward proving how responsible you are.


Keep us posted!
 

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Once again, thanks for the support and compliments...

OK... well ive found a nice picture, of a GS500, and i made it my desktop, and wrote $5500 dollars next to it, cause im hoping to get a bike near that quality and gear, for around that price... if the bike is a few years old, do u think this reasonable? or am i way off? i kno gear can get pricy... so keep that in mind in your judgements/opinions...

I am willing to take about 2500 out of the bank, 1000 in graduation money (yeah, my family is crazy, big, and im spoiled) and then make either a chunky monthly payment, for a short amount of time, or (since im probably buying used), take the rest out of savings, and just take a little bit bigger student loan... haha. sounds like a good idea now, hope i wont regret it... if anyone wants to mail me some cash.... just private message me... haha

As for my questions, I kinda feel dumb... it seems like i already knew most of that, just not in the way it was presented to me... idk if that makes sense, but thanks alot for the answers... lets see if i can make myself look any more newbie-ish with these next questions (that are more specific to the GS500)

1) air cooled... what else is there? liquid cooled? what are the advantages? does it matter to me?
2)what does DOHC stand for...

and whats this stuff mean
3) 9:1 compression ratio....
4)BSR34 twin fuel system....
5)Final Drive: D.I.D 520VM, 110 links.....

"Try to avoid any part of the conversation which may bring you around to how fast a bike is."
haha thats probably some solid advice (all of it)

Thanks!
 

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I usually advise against taking out a loan for a bike to the younger crowd. One of your first major hurdles will be insurance. Bank note means full coverage. Full coverage on a motorcycle for a first time rider will usually raise your ins on the bike about 5x what it would be for basic insurance. Just something to keep tucked into the back of your mind.


$5,500 is on the high end of the price spectrum for a decent entry level bike and gear. The bike shouldn't cost you all that much. General rule of thumb is to budget about $1,000 for gear, but the price depends on what you get.

Make damned sure your helmet fits correctly. Go to a reputable dealer and get assistance with finding one for your first time out. It's one of those things that would take about 2 pages worth of typing to try to explain over the internet.


Liquid cooled would be the other form of cooling. The system works the same as in in a car. There is a "Water jacket" around your cylinders, which means there is a chamber filled with antifreeze (coolant). a hose runs from one side of the engine to a radiator in the front of the bike, then returns to the other side of the engine. Coolant is cycled via pump and the radiator is cooled via fans. The difference it would make to you, you probably won't notice. IMO, anyway.

9:1 Means that in that chamber, 9 parts of air will be compressed into one part just before combustion.

Don't sweat the technical names the manufacturers have for their fuel systems.

Final drive is the last part of the driveline connecting your engine to your wheels. On a motorcycle, this final drive would be your chain and sprockets. DID is a chain manufacturer. Links are self explanitory if you look at a chain. Even a bicycle chain. It is each solid section of the chain. This one has 110 of them. 520 is a width measurement, but someone else will have to jump in on what the number represents.



And remember... there are no stupid questions. Only stupid people. :twofinger (Southpark)



One last thing... A bank takes the amount of money you make monthly and figures in how much of that the payment would take. I forget the percentage, but I want to say they never allow it to exceed 25%. Anyway... if you do end up going that route, you will be MUCH more likely to get a long term loan with small payments than you are a short term loan with huge payments. It is more financially secure for them. How fast you choose to pay it off once you have the money is entirely up to you, though.

Start calling the insurance companies and getting quotes now. See which way (full coverage vs basic) would actually be viable for you, and make sure you can afford ins on the bike you are looking at. (The GS is usually on the cheap end of the spectrum, though, so I think you are safe there. )





EDIT: Had to correct a major technical brainfart. It's late and I'm on my way to bed. ;)
 

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(and is that name by any chance from We Were Soldiers?)
Winnah!!! I was given that nickname back in college when I exhibited some rather "unorthodox" flying tendencies. This is about the only place it's still stuck.

Anyways, glad to see ZX has been taking care of your questions. I think it's past his bedtime now, and around here, I'm his shift relief. So like he said, no stupid questions.

And ZX, the number in chains is as follows:
The first number is the chain pitch.
The second two numbers are roller width (insert decimal between the two numbers).
And you have to use the rule of 8's.

So a 520 chain would have a 5/8" pitch, and a 2.0/8" (1/4") roller width.
 

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Welcome :cheers:

They've lead you well so far :thumb:

If it hasn't been said, take the MSF.
 

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Thank you thank you thank you!

I see what your saying about the loan, i forgot that the bank actually takes a look into my income.... haha. Ok, good news about the price, because i was trying to guess a little high. I will be sure to go to a good store and find a correctly fitting helmet, but then i might come home and see if i can get some deals from the internet... if not, im sure a nice helmet is a worthy investment...

Thanks again for all the techinal answers...

Im going to go look around at progressive, and then maybe call some insurance companies, now. Just for some ideas, what do u guys pay (if u dont mind sharing) and what how do the coverages differ. My parents have been paying for my current insurance, as i do still live with them... and they would continure to put whatever that is towards the bike (i think)... ive never been in an accident or had a ticket... so well have to get some quotes....

snakesht... that is too funny.

How long is the MSF? i had planned on taking it, if that wanst made clear. is it like, one day, eight hours.... or like a week? 2 weeks?
i guess they have bikes to learn on?
 

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I will be sure to go to a good store and find a correctly fitting helmet, but then i might come home and see if i can get some deals from the internet... if not, im sure a nice helmet is a worthy investment...
:laughing::laughing: That's exactly what I always do. Local stores to look/test... internet to buy. Local stores never seem to even come close to internet prices.


Just for some ideas, what do u guys pay (if u dont mind sharing) and what how do the coverages differ.
I am nine years older than you and have 7 years of riding streetbikes under my belt, so what I pay now will only give you an idea of what you can look forward to quite a few years down the road. I'll tell you that when I was 18, Progressive wanted $1,300/year full coverage for a Ninja 250R, $2,000/year on a Ninja 500, $5,799/year on a 6R, and there wasn't an insurance company in existence that would write me a ticket for anything larger. Of course, I had one or two speeding tickets on my record at the time, too.

Given your age, I would say that basic minimum insurance will run about half of that.

I made them search about 15 types of bikes so that I knew what kind of a difference I was in for when I decided to step up.


How long is the MSF? i had planned on taking it, if that wanst made clear. is it like, one day, eight hours.... or like a week? 2 weeks?
i guess they have bikes to learn on?

Different MSF Courses vary in length... The basic is usually a 2 day course, 8 hours each. I think there is one below that which runs for 8 hours on one day, but they offer no real hands-on training for that one. I'd suggest the longer of those two.


After you take that and get some road time under your belt, there are always track days and advanced riding schools, too. I haven't taken any advanced courses or anything like that, and I don't think a lot of the people here have to be honest, but I want to in the very near future. Snake is all psyched about doing his first track day this summer. By the time you are ready to do something like that, you will have a better understanding of what it is. Like everything else riding-related... it is a huge amount of fun. You'll even enjoy the MSF.


And ironically, snake is right about the "shift" comment. We are both on during the afternoon, but I work until about 2AM, so I am usually online until about 6-7AM. This is the same time he is getting up and getting ready for work, so he pops on just as I am going to sleep. :laughing:
 

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Sigh...
Good news, and terrible news...

Good news: Insurance isnt all that expensive, and i could most likely afford it, progressive was telling me around $85-200 a month, depending on the coverage, and that was for a NEW GS500... And theres more good news, theres a MSF "school" very close to my house, and one of my dads friends works there!

Bad news: yesterday, i (once again) mentioned something about buying a bike to my mom, who was enthusiastic, because i rarely go thru with large plans... well today she realized that i am indeed serious about dropping 5000 dollars, when i told her i was going to go to the suzuki dealership, just to look around, and call gieco for some estimates. She kinda freaked, and told me that i was not goin to be able to buy one... period.

So i decied i should bring it up to my dad (my parents dont really talk much) and i got an even worse response, and i thought him of all ppl would be intrested/supportive. he said its impractical to be goign to college (4 hour drive.... or 20 mins on a bike...hehe) with it, because when i come home i would be bringing books and laundry, and stuff like that, i retorted with, "i can wear a backpack or something, and do my own laundry (duh?) and i said i could afford it without selling the explorer (to have in the winter) and he said that during the winter it wont make sense to have a bike at mizzou, and it would just be blowing money. and that i dont need one...

i dont kno what to say... i was so excited and now im kinda down about it all... i mean short of buying one with out them knoing, or compeleting going against everything they say, what can i do?
i was thinking about writing a letter... an emotional letter to my mom, and then another more serious one to my dad...idk... you guys have all been very helpful, so thanks alot, and im defianlty not giving up yet. i mean, i can always get one next year... or when im older...but i just want it NOW... u kno!? sigh....
 

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I don't want to encourage this...but when I bought my first bike I hid it in the back of the garage and broke it to them slowly (they were still pissed). I don't advocate this behavior "officially" but I encourage it for entertainment.
 

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She kinda freaked, and told me that i was not goin to be able to buy one... period.

So i decied i should bring it up to my dad (my parents dont really talk much) and i got an even worse response, and i thought him of all ppl would be intrested/supportive. he said its impractical to be goign to college (4 hour drive.... or 20 mins on a bike...hehe) with it, because when i come home i would be bringing books and laundry, and stuff like that, i retorted with, "i can wear a backpack or something, and do my own laundry (duh?) and i said i could afford it without selling the explorer (to have in the winter) and he said that during the winter it wont make sense to have a bike at mizzou, and it would just be blowing money. and that i dont need one...

i dont kno what to say... i was so excited and now im kinda down about it all... i mean short of buying one with out them knoing, or compeleting going against everything they say, what can i do?
i was thinking about writing a letter... an emotional letter to my mom, and then another more serious one to my dad...idk... you guys have all been very helpful, so thanks alot, and im defianlty not giving up yet. i mean, i can always get one next year... or when im older...but i just want it NOW... u kno!? sigh....


Wait... I am confused about something. You are 18 right? Legal age? Legally an adult?


Not meaning to encourage bad behavior or anything but, being the asshole that I am, if I were in your shoes I would just buy the bike and tell them how it is. If you are paying for it and you are 18, I don't see how they can stop you.


But don't listen to me. I just have a problem with authority.
 

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Shit i was expecting alittle better advice then that.... lol

Okay, well, i will go through with everything, and keep them informed every step, but like i said i will go thru with it... i was talking to my friends mom, and she said 2 day MSF classes are about 185 dollas? does that sound about right? but i need my own gear right?

Well i guess ill go shopping around tomorrow or sunday... and see how they take it...

BUT, heres what you two might not know.... i am still living in their house... which is where the bike would be kept for a while, and they are PLANNING on paying for room and board at college... so thats about half (if you didnt know).
It makes me nervous to go against that, and its almost like dissapointing, because if i have this money, not helping them pay that just makes me look like a worthless POS that is taking advantage of helpful parents. Also the financial situation of my fam, is barely stable... and my mom is like getting another job to help pay for MY college.. i would just feel so bad. Because of this, i was thinking i would try to do things alittle nicer, while shopping for the right bike kinda under the radar, i am goign to take my mom out to lunch or something, and just tell her the facts--> that i am LEGALLY capible of buying a bike, and that i have the money to do it. and see what threats she has... im a pretty obediant kid, so i think its about time i went a little out of line...

UH why am i talking myself out of this? damn. i really am afraid of my parents...or maybe thats respect? ahh what to do...
 

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Do your sums, write up a pro's and con's list and see what comes out of it. Talk to your Dad more, once you've done the list. He's the one to reason with. Your Mum is only going to be emotional about it.

I was always told I couldn't have one while I was living under their roof. Now, I moved out many, many moons ago, but only started riding when I was 34! :laughing:
 

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damn. i really am afraid of my parents...or maybe thats respect?
Don't take offense to this. Remember, I view things different than most. I have such a problem with authority that I tell people to go fk themselves when their sentences start with "you need to..." Regardless of what they were about to say. That's how bad I am.


Allow me to take a break for a minute... Snake, if you start saying I need to, I swear I will kick you right square in the nuts.


Anyway...

IMO, respect has nothing to do with following orders. Shitcanning your dreams because they said no has nothing to do with respect.

That being said... you should do what feels right to you. Listening to us as we tell you how to live your life seems even worse than listening to them. At least they are family.

Maybe find a friend or something who would store the bike for you? :dunno:



I am one of the lucky ones. Whenever I told my parents I wanted to do something, they were supportive. I had to pay... money was never handed out. But they were always there with advice and positive attitudes every step of the way. For 3 years when I was 14-17, my parents even spent every single weekend during the summer months trucking my ass around to races because I decided I wanted to race Motocross. My dad is a mechanic by profession, so he was always around to help me work on my bike and show me how to do things. Actually, he bought me my first dirtbike when I was really young, and he did it in a way I think only he could have done.

It was my 5th birthday. I had been riding for a couple of years at that point, but never owned one of my own. My dad takes me out behind the house and shows me this bike that is like... 3/4 missing. Most of the parts were in a crate. I spent the first week learning how to put it together and what all of the parts did. To most people that may seem cheesy, but what I learned from that was probably an even better present than the bike itself. That is the type of shit you keep with you forever, you know?

But anyway.. It is 6AM, and I am tired. It's showing, I am rambling on and getting way off subject, so I will bow out now before I forget what forum I am even on and start talking about DSF files or something. (Snake would still know what I'm talking about, though. )

Cookee had it right. Talk to your dad more. Moms are all insane. I'm 27 and my mom still looks like she is going to cry when I pull in on my bike. But then again, she was at all of my motocross races, so she knows how I ride (and crash). :huh: :dunno: My dad, on the other hand, is one of my best riding buddies.

Didn't I say I was going to bed? :huh: Okay, I'm really going now.
 

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ZX, you need to stop delving into life experiences on these threads. The more we know you, the less we like you :twofinger

On topic, though, fufu is in quite a bind. Knowing that your parents are planning on helping share the expense of college is something I wouldn't mess with. I think your best bet is to use the "economical" argument for getting a bike, and hope that they don't see through it. Like I said before, I hid mine in the back of the garage (is was a detached barn technically, but part of it was used as a garage) and then just kind of appeared on the bike one day. It took about a year before mom would actually say "have fun" when I was leaving for a ride. She always told me I could have one when I stepped over her dead body. So I wasn't exactly the most obedient child.
 
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