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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, new to this forum, but I just had a few questions that I couldn't get answered anywhere else...

Anyways, I'm 20, been driving a car for 5 years, and have just now decided to take the MSF course before I turn 21. (the week before) But anyways, after I take the course I'm kinda (really) interested in getting a Ninja 500R. I have *almost* plenty of money saved up, but the thing i worry about is the fact that the only experience I'll have before getting it is in the MSF course. I don't know anyone who even has a license (much less a bike), so I don't have anyone whose bike I can ask to practice riding on. Should I just buy the 500R and pray I don't do something stupid with it? (drop it, flip it, re-start the Cold War, et al...) Or what? rent a bike?

P.S. Just some other random question... Is it easy to flip the bike end-over by using only the front brake? Cause...I used to do that on my bicycle going downhill once in a while... rough stuff....
 

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The MSF course should be enough to get you started riding. Just take it easy and dont do anything stupid right off like try stunts.

Don't forget GEAR EXPENSES.

You can expect to pay at least $250 for a mesh jacket, an inexpensive helmet, and a set of gloves. Prices only go up the better the gear you want.

If you manage to flip the bike using the front brake you flipped an endo... and had to have been trying to do one. You are probably not gonna lift the rear wheel off during normal riding, and even with panic braking you are more likely to lock the front wheel, which is almost as bad. What I'm trying to say is... NO.

By the way... great choice on the 500R. Excellent first bike.
 

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Congrats on the wise choice of entering the MSF COURSE! I took the course and it was a great learning experience and helpful. Don't sweat it!!! Also, at the MSF COURSE they provide you with the bike and helmet, just don't forget to buy gloves. Good choice on the starter bike but after awhile you're going to want a 600cc. Just my 2cents that's all. Good luck!

:D :D :D :D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yeah, clothing prices worry me, but I figure I'll worry about getting the bike first. I'd look pretty dumb having the gear but no bike :) I also worry about the MSF course...I don't want to buy gloves, boots, etc, use it once at the course, then end up not getting the bike for one reason or another. I guess I could sell them on Ebay, but I think I'm just gonna try to get by with stuff i can find at home (the course is next wednesday)

And yeah, I did some (a lot) of research about what bike I was gonna get, and had it nailed down to the 500R or the GSX1300 Hayabusa... heh heh...j/k

But in the end I'm gonna go with the 500R ;) The Suzuki 650s or whatever it is looked nice too, but it was more expensive....plus i kind of wanted the "ninja" name... but now the voices in my head are talking about the Suzuki... crap. now i dunno.

And you don't need to worry about me doing tricks...just the concept or riding at 65 mph with nothing between me and the asphalt scares me enough, let alone doing somethign stupid like that. And I've pretty much resigned myself as a nerd, so doing tricks won't increase my status, so I won't even try. ;)
 

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Your choice of bikes sounds good. As far as gear, the MSF course will provide you with helmet, gloves, and, of course, the bike. Jeans, boots, and a jacket/long sleeve shirt will be fine. You won't be going more than 20 mph during the course. Wait til you take the course and pass, then go buy your bike and the necessary gear.

Treat the bike (be it the Ninja or the SV) with respect. Learn what it can do. Learn what you can do. Wear your gear. HAVE FUN!!!!! Take your time. You'll be amazed at how quickly you become proficient at riding. I started from scratch last October with a Suzuki Bandit 600s and now have 7500 miles under my belt now. I love riding. Wish I didn't have to work (and it wasn't 100+ degrees outside everyday:mad: ) so I could ride more.

Best of luck in the course and on the road.:cool:
 

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http://www.sportbikeworld.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=230565#post230565

It's a bit of a drive for you . . . and only a 250 . . .

As for gear: I still don't have my bike and I've got my helmet and jacket on order, I'm shopping for gloves and pants, and I've already got my boots.

Having the gear ahead of time is a good plan so you're not tempted to ride without it and get into a bad habit.

Good luck, be safe, and have fun! :thumb:
 

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banpei said:
Yeah, clothing prices worry me, but I figure I'll worry about getting the bike first. I'd look pretty dumb having the gear but no bike :) I also worry about the MSF course...I don't want to buy gloves, boots, etc, use it once at the course, then end up not getting the bike for one reason or another. I guess I could sell them on Ebay, but I think I'm just gonna try to get by with stuff i can find at home (the course is next wednesday)

Sh*t,

that's the best way to make you buy a bike:D I bought my Pascal Picotte Shoei, Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket and gloves, 6 months before I got the bike. Otherwise, I would have put it off, and put it off. If you have something invested, you'll be more apt to seriously get a bike. Otherwise, you'll be a guy who's always at the dealer/searching the want ads dreaming about your bike.

Gear it SO important. I had a 70 mph lowside on June 12 and because of my gear, only two broken bones in my hand. No road rash; no concussion; etc......I know gear is important, but keep in mind you can transfer gear from bike to bike. Yes it's expensive, and it sucks when you're on a budget but trust me....it wil be worth it. You'll likely lay down the bike eventually just by the laws of statistics. Hell, I bought a Teknic leahter jacket THE DAY I had my lowside. Sh*t, it's fine; and I'll use it when I get my next bike (scuffs, dirt, grass, and all as a tribute to "breakin' my cherry" in a crash). Good luck man, and keep it in perspective.:thumb:
 

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Black_Snowman said:
http://www.sportbikeworld.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=230565#post230565

It's a bit of a drive for you . . . and only a 250 . . .

As for gear: I still don't have my bike and I've got my helmet and jacket on order, I'm shopping for gloves and pants, and I've already got my boots.

Having the gear ahead of time is a good plan so you're not tempted to ride without it and get into a bad habit.

Good luck, be safe, and have fun! :thumb:
spoken by a wise-man:thumb:
 

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Never sacrifice the gear. Go for good quality stuff particularly helmet gloves and boots. Get a new Helmet not used, you can't tell if a used Helmet has been dropped or used as a soccer ball.

You can get good clothing, leathers, ballistic fabric etc by watching the buy and sell sections of this and other websites. I think there is an internet dealer in used bike clothing out of Texas and they have good deals.

If you are riding a bike, you will fall off. If you don't want to fall off, don't ride. Get the gear.

Re: front brake, it is pretty close to impossible to go end over by braking alone. You could pitch yourself forward on the bike and lose control. To avoid that always count "1" when applying the front brake regardless of circumstance. That almost one second will provide a smooth transfer of weight of bike and you forward onto the front tire and it will also reduce the possibility of an out of control lock up.

Ninja 500, Suzuki GS500 and SV650 are all good choices. My pick, the SV650.

Remember, Get the Gear First. Road Rash hurts, for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ninja500r

Okay....so I'm gonna get the 500R. Thanks for all the help you guys. I posted the same question on cycleworld.com and got one reply, and that was from some guy describing in detail how to do an endo...so...not too helpful. I think the only reason I was looking at the Suzuki was because the riding position looks more crouched and well...uh...it just looked kinda cooler than the ninja. And that's a bad reason to want a bike that costs a $1000 more...right? Cause the ninja's kinda upright, yes?

I'm gonna take the course next week, make absolutely sure I have the $, then go buy my gear and clothing. Good advice snowman about the clothes, before the bike. Very insightful. I'm hella excited about all of this.

Heh...one thing that kinda bothers me is whenever I tell friends and other ppl about this whole thing, the first thing they all automatically say is "oh! I know someone who died on a cycle!" And they say it like it's an everyday thing too... It's like I'm surrounded by Dr. Dooms... Did anyone else get that from their friends when they first started riding, cause it's kinda unsettling to me...

And don't even ask about what my mom thinks about all this...

And heh...yeah...Minnesota is kinda far...
 

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I still get the "I knew someone that died" as the first response all the time. These people are usually people that have never ridden and never plan on it.

And knight... that would fall under Murphy's law... if it can happen, it will.

And yes... I bought my gear first as well. Be sure to leave it around in plain view to taunt you until you get that bike. ;)

Let us know how it all goes. :cool:
 

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limegreen6R said:

And knight... that would fall under Murphy's law... if it can happen, it will.

And yes... I bought my gear first as well. Be sure to leave it around in plain view to taunt you until you get that bike. ;)

Let us know how it all goes. :cool:
Murphy was an optimist:D My life is Murphy's Law.

And getting gear and leaving it lying aroud......believe me, it will start talking to you. "Try me on, one more time. When are you getting the bike? I feel so sheltered".
 

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Banpei, the MSF instructors will tell you the same thing you heard here, about getting the right gear. Boots that cover the lower leg, no big heels, snug fitting coat, adequate pant protection, gloves, helmet that is DOT & Snell approved, etc.

You will be fine. I had no experience (well, a little, but not much) before taking the MSF course. I took it then bought a bike. It teaches you respect.

Honestly, I do not know you at all, but from what you have said in this thread, I believe you have respect for riding, respect for safety, and respect for constructive advice, and some humility. Keep that, especially the humility, and you will keep the black side down.

You are light years ahead of many of your peers. :cool:
 

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Many of us have been injured and if you ride, you may be injured. Even if we do everything right there are greater hazards facing us than automobile drivers, including automobile drivers.

When we have an accident, the chances of serious long term injury and death are higher. We do it anyway. We work to increase our skills and vigilance. Don't ignore the doomsayers; statistics show they have a point. If you don't expect and plan to fall off, don't get on.

I have received the same comments you mentionned for over 35 years of riding and expect to receive the same over the next 25 at which point I hope to be among the hundreds of thousands who are living proof that we can survive motorcycling and have a better life for it.
 

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my class starts aug 22;) cant wait!!!!!!!

i was practicing on my friends gsx 600 for a while. There is just too much to learn to have a friend show you or learn yourself. I cant wait for the course to get it right. trying on your own is cool but i believe if you dont take the course your living on borrowed time. I put down my friends bike goin only a few mph around a turn, and OWWWWWWW lol. i thought he would be pissed instead he was happy he got to drive my car home from the hospital, and he said "that was the coolest thing ive ever seen":twofinger

im sure that could have been avoided with proper training instead of that macho "i dont need no stinkin lessons" attitude.

gl with whatever u do. I can now proudly say i am one of the"one who have been down", no longer a "am waiting to go down" rookie:thumb: NEVER AGAIN got it all out my system;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
:) Thanks for all your help guys. I guess all I can do now is just wait till I take the course next week...make sure I'm not getting in over my head... Heh...now it's all I'm thinking about. I drive on the hwy in my car, and try to imagine doing this on my bicycle, and it just f***ing blows my mind. The thought of getting my skin forcibly removed at 65 mph does bother me, but everyone who know friends who've died or have gotten hurt were doing something stupid (tricks, racing, no shirt, et al...) So I think if I keep my head straight I can manage all of this. But thanks again everyone for all your help, and I'll let you know how it goes! :)

-Chris

P.S. One last question...I might be getting ahead of myself, but is there haggling at the motorcycle dealership, like at car places? Or do bikes pretty much go for MSRP, bar none?

P.P.S. And am I not seeing something or is there really no fuel gauge on the 500r?
 

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In Canada, the markups are so low that there is not much haggling over the price of the bikes. More room for deals on accessories and aftermarket stuff. I worked for a Snowmobile/ATV dealership for a couple of years and the mark ups were low. We relied on parts and service sales for a big part of the revenue. Back then an Indy 440 XC would go for $6+K and we would make a little over $1K on the deal which is not much after set up and prep costs, financing inventory etc etc.

Keep an eye on the manufacturers websites so you know in advance when the good financing deals etc and cash back deals are on.
 

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Many dealers expect you to haggle, and you'd be a fool not to.


No, no fuel gauge. You do have a trip odometer, and a reserve in your tank, so when you run out of fuel, turn the fuel valve on to reserve, and you know that it's time to go get gas. At this point, check your odometer. This way you will know approxamitely how far you can get on the main portion of your tank. (Just remember to turn the valve back to run after you get gas, because if you run out on reserve, you're gonna be pushing :p)
 

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Everyone else has made all the major, good points already. You'll know after the MSF course whether this bike thing is for you (likely given your current attitude). Get the gear after the course and start looking for a bike. Don't forget about insurance. You can start getting quotes on that given your intended choice of bike.

The end of August, beginning of September starts the season where bike prices get a little softer as dealers want to get rid of inventory from the summer. New bikes left over at the dealers can be really discounted in October if you can wait that long. Shop around and be willing to haggle within reason.

You know that the hills between Santa Cruz and San Francisco offer some of the best riding on the planet almost year round. Just be careful of the traffic. I used to worry about what would happen if ...... while riding at 65 mph. That doesn't happen any more. After you've built up your skills and confidence, a day at a track can really do a lot to increase your abilities at higher speeds. There are lots of people offering track days at the tracks in your area as well. When the time comes, I would particularly recommend a novice day from www.keigwin.com to start.

Have fun!!!!
 

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Liter bikes after MSF course

Wuz up fella's i've been reading alot of the posts on msf courses and new riders and i have been wondering even if it may sound crazy, has anyone ever started of on a liter bike such as an r1 after a msf course and if so, how was your experience with such a powerful bike vs little experience ive never heard of anyone starting of on powerful bikes and was wondering. Hit me up with any reply.
 
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