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Discussion Starter #1
Well, my girlfriend has decided she no longer likes riding on the back of the 9 and wants to learn to ride herself. I think that's pretty cool so I'm trying to get her in the MSF class as soon as there is an opening.

We decided to stop by one of the local dealerships in town here to look at some bikes for her. This dealership is expensive and I don't particularly like the people who work there but they have a great selection of bikes, gear, parts and accessories so I like to just go there and check things out in person before I buy it from somewhere else. Anyway, we are looking at bikes and I am showing her a couple of Kawi's (250R and 500R) and she seems to like them. I go over to check out the helmets and leave her to look at the bikes. I come back about 10 minutes later and one of the salesman has convinced her that a brand new 6R is the perfect choice for her and that she will have no problem riding it. Now keep in mind that she has never ridden a motorcycle before in her life. She looks at me and starts telling me that she thinks she should get a new 6R. She says the salesman told her she would be ok if "she just goes slow for a while". My plan was for her to get a used 250 or 500, ride it for a season or two, then, if she's ready get a 600. I look at the salesman and tell him he shouldn't be recommending bikes like that to new riders. He tells me I must be one of those start out small, waste a lot of money on several bikes, then get the one you want people and I tell him yeap, because unlike you I care what happens to her.

After that we just left. Luckily, I was able to convince my girlfriend that the salesman was a bumbling idiot and that I don't think she should start out on a new 600.

So....Anybody else ever run into stuff like this? By the way, I don't put all bike salesman in the same category as this guy, I know quite a few who are serious enthusiats and care about the sport and those who represent it.
 

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First of all, I want to say "right on" to you for starting your girlfriend on a smaller used bike. :) I too am one of those people who has been around motorcycles long enough to know that putting a new/inexperienced rider on a fast new bike is a very expensive and dangerous thing to do.

I had a similar experience at a bike shop just a couple weeks ago. I was "bench-racing" with some local guys and a couple of the salesmen at a nearby shop, when a rather short (aprox 5' 3") middle-aged guy walks in. He immediately walks over to a brand new CBR 929 and tries to sit on it. Needless to say, it was all he could do to get both feet to touch down. He was bouncing back and forth from one foot to the other on the very tips of his toes (like a ballet dancer). We all see this and realize that this guy must be out of his mind if he thinks that he could ever SAFELY ride a 929. A young salesman comes out from behind the counter and goes over to talk to the guy...so we all listen in on the conversation. The guy tells the salesman that he wants to pay cash for a bike and he likes this one (a red & black 929). Well, the young salesman, smelling his commission, tells the guy that they can lower the suspension 1" and he'll be fine. The guy agrees, hands his credit card to the salesman, and continues his balancing act on the new 929 he's about to own. After watching all of this go down I can't resist striking up a conversation with the guy. I ask him how long he's been riding. He says "I just got my permit yesterday and this is my first bike!" My jaw hit the floor, as did everybody else's. We spent the next 2 hours explaining to this guy why that bike is not right for a beginner and for someone his size. Eventually, he sided with us and decided to look at a "smaller" bike. He thanked us for being so honest and helpful and decided not to get the 929.

Once he left we called the new salesman over and sat him down. Needless to say, he was a little pissed off at us for ruining "his" sale. But once we explained to him the moral obligation he has as a salesman to ensure the safety of the people he's selling bikes to he began to understand why we did what we did. He didn't want that guy to get severely hurt, or worse, die! But he had let his greed get the better of him. And unfortunately, I think this is too often the case with salespeople. They put the $$$ before the person. :(
 

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:rolleyes:

Well, my first ride was a RF900 Suzuki, sport/tour, but 900 none the less. Probably way too much ride, but I was insistent since I would be carryin ga passenger. The entire sales staff was pretty set against this purchase. Now I love them all because of their concern for my safety instead of their paychecks.


I went to a couple of other dealers before I bought and none of them tried to dissuade me in the slightest.....JERKS!!


P
 

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All of the Salesmen I ran into were like that too.

First, Kawboy, I agree with slaintedan! Right on for tlaking her down and starting her small. Your reasons are the same reasons I won't ride my GF on the back of my bike when I go running on rides in the local twisties. I don't want to ever have to put myself in the situation where I have to ride to the hospital with her in the same Ambulance. I care about her to much to put her and her family through that.

Second
I asked everyone's opinion on here beofre I even looked at a bike. I knew I wanted a 600, but I've seen some cool 500s. Heck I'm even thinking about getting a 125 or 250 dirt bike, just for fun. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever buy a new car again.

Good luck, and Get her in the MSF course ASAP! Women love those coruses! Out of 12 in my class, 8 were female.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
slaintedan said:
First of all, I want to say "right on" to you for starting your girlfriend on a smaller used bike. :) I too am one of those people who has been around motorcycles long enough to know that putting a new/inexperienced rider on a fast new bike is a very expensive and dangerous thing to do.

I had a similar experience at a bike shop just a couple weeks ago. I was "bench-racing" with some local guys and a couple of the salesmen at a nearby shop, when a rather short (aprox 5' 3") middle-aged guy walks in. He immediately walks over to a brand new CBR 929 and tries to sit on it. Needless to say, it was all he could do to get both feet to touch down. He was bouncing back and forth from one foot to the other on the very tips of his toes (like a ballet dancer). We all see this and realize that this guy must be out of his mind if he thinks that he could ever SAFELY ride a 929. A young salesman comes out from behind the counter and goes over to talk to the guy...so we all listen in on the conversation. The guy tells the salesman that he wants to pay cash for a bike and he likes this one (a red & black 929). Well, the young salesman, smelling his commission, tells the guy that they can lower the suspension 1" and he'll be fine. The guy agrees, hands his credit card to the salesman, and continues his balancing act on the new 929 he's about to own. After watching all of this go down I can't resist striking up a conversation with the guy. I ask him how long he's been riding. He says "I just got my permit yesterday and this is my first bike!" My jaw hit the floor, as did everybody else's. We spent the next 2 hours explaining to this guy why that bike is not right for a beginner and for someone his size. Eventually, he sided with us and decided to look at a "smaller" bike. He thanked us for being so honest and helpful and decided not to get the 929.

Once he left we called the new salesman over and sat him down. Needless to say, he was a little pissed off at us for ruining "his" sale. But once we explained to him the moral obligation he has as a salesman to ensure the safety of the people he's selling bikes to he began to understand why we did what we did. He didn't want that guy to get severely hurt, or worse, die! But he had let his greed get the better of him. And unfortunately, I think this is too often the case with salespeople. They put the $$$ before the person. :(
You got it bro! It was obvious the salesman was only concerned with the money.

Ya know, I have always wondered why new riders buy a large bike they have no business being on. They go into a dealership and take the advice of a salesman who they think knows best. I imagine this is the case with the vast majority of new riders who have never been around bikes or people who have bikes.

I'm glad you were there in the shop that day, you may have saved that guys life!
 

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I'm totally in favour of starting off on a smaller bike, especially the Kawi 250 & 500 twins which are narrow and nicely balanced as opposed to a somewhat porkier and top heavy 600R. As far as salesemen, I know a guy who had trouble finding a dealer that would sell him a Blackbird XX, since he had only ridden a GS 350 (or something or other) for a year before trying to buy the CBR. He finally ended buying a low mile one from a private seller. I know this is usually not the case though, because I can remember looking and dreaming at 900RR's, when I was 16, and the salesman trying to sell me on it. If it wasn't for the cost of insurance, which was like $4500, I might have been riding one. I was a pretty wild teenager back then and had a fondness to drink quite a bit (i'm Irish-Canadian,what can i say!:p) whether I was driving or not and I think I would certainly have been killed... on any bike, let alone a 'Blade.
 

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First off, you're a good man, Kawboy.

Second, I know a couple of ladies who want to learn on my R6. I'm like "hell no!" Of course they understand that I don't want them (or my baby :)) to get hurt on a bike thats too big for them, but, there's still that "cool factor." They both have access to a early '80s Honda tourer (400-500cc I think) and luckily they know the difference of being smart and riding a crappy bike, and being dumb and dead.
I wish more new riders had the same common sense as these ladies. (I never thought I'd say that)

Ride Safe
 

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Repeat sales, now there is a concept the salesman should learn! Of course this is coming from a guy who will probably end up with a new f4i as a first bike. What can I say it is just soooo beautiful. Hopefully a lot of respect for the bike will keep me safe.
 

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Yes, it does sound like the salesman was out for the money. Thats how he makes his living; don't blame him for that. Instead, congratulate yourself on being more informed than he is or will be. I wonder what he rides...IF he rides....
 

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Kawboy, Let me guess your were at Gio's. I purchase 2 bikes from them in the 80's and 90's. I only bought there because they had the left over I wanted at the right price, an 81 GS650 and a 87 concours.

I agree with your approach for several reasons. I agree a mature rider can learn on a 600 or even a 750 but what if she decides riding is not for her, has trouble with the weight and drops the bike etc. I started on a 90, then a 450 then a 650 and 1000. any sane person will take at least a season or 2 to out grow a good 500 sportbike, like an EX500. A 250 may or may not be too small only she can know that. at any rate the risks and costs are much lower starting off small. As for repeat sales, they create brand loylty and a whole host of other things manufactures need. Most saleman can never think beyond a commission!!

Rick
NCVFR
 

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Not all salesman are like that. I went into a dealership today to fill out an application. A guy (who rides a Harley) walks in with his son, who starts sitting on the sportbikes. He was on a ZX-6R, and he was about my age (maybe 16 or so). A salesman walked up, asked if he had ever ridden before, the kid shook his head 'no', and the salesman immediately pointed him to a 250R.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
NCVFR said:
Kawboy, Let me guess your were at Gio's. I purchase 2 bikes from them in the 80's and 90's. I only bought there because they had the left over I wanted at the right price, an 81 GS650 and a 87 concours.

I agree with your approach for several reasons. I agree a mature rider can learn on a 600 or even a 750 but what if she decides riding is not for her, has trouble with the weight and drops the bike etc. I started on a 90, then a 450 then a 650 and 1000. any sane person will take at least a season or 2 to out grow a good 500 sportbike, like an EX500. A 250 may or may not be too small only she can know that. at any rate the risks and costs are much lower starting off small. As for repeat sales, they create brand loylty and a whole host of other things manufactures need. Most saleman can never think beyond a commission!!

Rick
NCVFR
Actually I was at Cycle Center. Not sure if you remember, but they used to be called Salem Cycle Center, but they opened a pretty big dealership in Roanoke a couple of years ago. I am familiar with Gio's. Apparently, something happened a few years ago and they no longer sell new bikes. Not sure why. Basically all they do now is service and accessories. They may have a few used bikes but I haven't been there for a while.

Take care.
 

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I started small with a used kawasaki GPZ 550. When I went to one dealership around here I chose to look at 600's for a step up bike. The guys there were telling me that they didn't have enough horsepower and I needed something bigger!! I was like, How much horsepower do I need? I won't be out redlining the thing aroung town. They were telling me they were baby bikes. I called them dickheads and went to another dealership. The GSXR-600 is fine for me. It's not like they go to school to sell motorcycles, so don't be as stupid as they are.
 

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New Riders experience with bike salesmen

This is my firs t post here and as I have just received my motorcycle license I am looking for a sportbike and wanted to let you know what I have experienced.

First of all, I am 39 years old, 5'10", 215 pounds. I workout 5 to 6 days a week and am quite muscular. Why do any of you care? Well, when you walk into a dealer and they see what you look like and you tell them you are looking for a sportbike, you get the following:

"You will be bored (that is the exact word one of them used) with the 600 after 2 months of riding and looking for something else"

"No, the 929 is definitely not too much bike to start out with, you look like someone who can handle it"

"I'll show you the 500R but you will be bored with it within a month. The 6R (this was at a Kawi dealer) will last you more than 2 or 3 seasons and you won't get bored of it"

This is just a small collection of the things I have heard. NOT ONE of the dealers, even knowing the extent of my riding experience, tried talking me down to a 500 or 250. Honestly, I would not go with a 250, but would consider the Ninja 500R.

Like the CBR guy said in an earlier port, after all of this, the two bikes I really like are the CBR600 and Gixxer600. I have taken lessons at a motorcyc;e school here on LI and still plan on taking the MSF. In the NY Metro area there are two places to take the course, one on LI and one in Yonkers and that is IT! So, the wait is quite long.

Thanks for listening to yet another long boring post about someones experience with bike salespeople.
 

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I was brave one day and I stuck my wife on my ZX-9R, gave her a run-down of the controls and maneuvering, and let her have at it in a big empty parking lot. I couldn't get her off the damn thing! The look on her face when she shifted into second was priceless. I even set up a slalom course for her and she nailed it. That's when she decided to get her own bike, and I agreed. We went to one of my fav dealers here in Jacksonville, Regency Kawasaki about 15 min before they were to close (not intentional) and talked to one of their sales guys. They got a showroom full of 6Rs, 9Rs, and 12Rs. I was all set for the guy to try to sell her on a 6R (so that she could keep up with me of course) but he took us straight to a lonely EX500 and next to it a ZX-6. This is a good salesman. We ended up talking for more than a half hour after they closed up the place. Well we ended up not buying from Regency, not because of them but because we came across a 95 EX500 in excellent condiditon, with 12000mi, custom paint, ignition advance, jet kit, D&D stainless exhaust (goddamn loud! and shoots flames!) and a $2500 price tag. Less than half of a new EX500. Last weekend she completed her MSF course, with a 92 on the riding test and 2 wrong answers on the written. Here's to biker chicks and sensible salesmen!
 

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salesmen....

Looks like you don't need any advice from any of us. You pretty well put the salesmen in his place. Hate the salesmen, nah, he or she was just doing there job "sales" To say that there are some "caring" salesmen out there, hell, yea but far and few.

Here is a good question to ask, "has your girlfriend even ridden a bicycle?" Does she have any experience at all? Before we go offering our love ones "smaller bikes"......

As far as my wife, who has never driven even a bicycle...... My answer would be no. Even with the MSF course behind her, it would still not be enough experience for her and others. Why???? If they have never driven even a bicycle, how the hell are they gonna balance a motorbike? I would offer just that..... "a bicycle" first, and once experience has been learn, couple of years maybe, then maybe a motorcycle.

I came to a motorcycle with 8 years of dirtbike riding, 5 years of riding a bicycle, Hell, I had never been on a "sportbike" but I can honestly say that I had enough "experience" to start out on a damn R1!!!! Should we all start out on begginer bikes???? no... You should say, depending on your level of experience you maybe should start learning how to balance and ride before getting on a "powered" motorcycle

Starting them on a smaller bike is very good advice for Novices..... hint..... (begginers), but not a person with NO EXPERIENCE at all. I started out on a tricycle, bicycle, minbike, dirtbike, then motorcycle..... See the pattern. Yes, we all love our girlfriends, wifes, etc. but also look at there level of experience before you start them out even on smaller bike. :D
 

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telling it all.....

ZX-9 FOREVER R said:
I was brave one day and I stuck my wife on my ZX-9R, gave her a run-down of the controls and maneuvering, and let her have at it in a big empty parking lot. I couldn't get her off the damn thing! The look on her face when she shifted into second was priceless. I even set up a slalom course for her and she nailed it. That's when she decided to get her own bike, and I agreed. We went to one of my fav dealers here in Jacksonville, Regency Kawasaki about 15 min before they were to close (not intentional) and talked to one of their sales guys. They got a showroom full of 6Rs, 9Rs, and 12Rs. I was all set for the guy to try to sell her on a 6R (so that she could keep up with me of course) but he took us straight to a lonely EX500 and next to it a ZX-6. This is a good salesman. We ended up talking for more than a half hour after they closed up the place. Well we ended up not buying from Regency, not because of them but because we came across a 95 EX500 in excellent condiditon, with 12000mi, custom paint, ignition advance, jet kit, D&D stainless exhaust (goddamn loud! and shoots flames!) and a $2500 price tag. Less than half of a new EX500. Last weekend she completed her MSF course, with a 92 on the riding test and 2 wrong answers on the written. Here's to biker chicks and sensible salesmen!
I am happy for you.....
The MSF course is good, but its not gonna replace "experience" in riding. My wife will stay on the back, and that is ok..... cuz that is what she likes to do....ride on back. I read alot were the guys are "glad" their girlfriends are learning to ride, and some of them have "no experience" at all. I hope were are not pushing our loveones off the back of "our" bikes cuz it is irritating for us for them to be on our backs.

I read just as many comments of.... " I wished my girlfriend or wife would get her own bike and get off mine" as much as.... " my girlfriend who has NEVER been on a bike just rides so well....."

By the way, when my brother's wife goes, we ride slow, and ride in places were there is not alot of traffic. Why? She has the "least experience" amoung us. I recommend the same no matter how well she seems to "ride"

AS you and I know experience..... comes with time, not with a 2 week course and paper test behind us :) :D
 

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I agree. Fortunately where we live it's pretty rural. As a matter of fact there's a route some friends of mine came up with and it's about 100 miles round trip on back roads with >mile long straights and smooth sweeping turns and very little traffic. (out in da boonies y'know). I rode it last week and it's real laid back if you want it to be. Scenic too. This was all her idea and she's totally psyched about it. Me to, now I have a built in riding buddy. And I think she likes me.
 
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