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To motorbike, or not to motorbike?

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  • Ultrarandom
    replied
    I love my bike. My life has been significantly enhanced since getting it. It's cheap to run, $20 will last me a week and a half on petrol, meanwhile in the Skyline Id be lucky to have 100 last me as long on my regular routes.
    I'm only on my L's about to get restricted and riding a Honda Spada but love it.
    I wouldn't recommend it to everyone though. If you fear the whole idea of motorcycles, don't get one. You are going to be a danger to yourself. Just like over cautious drivers, over cautious riders are a danger to themselves and others. I don't mean pay no attention to the road for obvious reasons but if you are over cautious, chances are you'll mess up. After a while it all comes naturally though and like previously said, the clutch is generally only used for taking off and slowing down once you've got a bit of experience with shifting, I havent used the clutch to go through the gears in some time now.

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  • eastcoastdrifter
    replied
    Get a bike man you wont regret it either will your wallet if you use it to commute to work and back... I hate being on my Ps (ive been riding motorbikes since I was 5 now 26) I really want a RC8 *drool*
    though I dont mind my CBR
    Last edited by eastcoastdrifter; 17-08-2012, 08:47 PM.

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  • tekkentool
    replied
    Originally posted by DanielLR View Post
    Grab one of those minibikes for a few hundred and just mess about with it in the few blocks around you, you'll get a taste of biking, its pretty safe (going fast on something small should make you uncomfortable enough to slow down and stop you wiping yourself out.)
    Don't...do this.

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  • DanielLR
    replied
    Grab one of those minibikes for a few hundred and just mess about with it in the few blocks around you, you'll get a taste of biking, its pretty safe (going fast on something small should make you uncomfortable enough to slow down and stop you wiping yourself out.)

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  • 1great8
    replied
    Originally posted by mutton_wizard View Post
    if you still haven't mastered a manual car then theres no way in hell you should be even thinking about getting a bike.
    Honestly knowing how to drive a manual car is nothing like riding a motorcycle and i actually believe that people who havent driven a manual vehicle have a easier time picking up how to ride a bike. Riding a motorcycle basically forces a person to pay attention because so many people are scared of how dangerous they are. People tend to pay more attention to what they are doing when starting to ride. Operating a trigger clutch is completely different from a car. also after you become experienced with riding most people only use the cluth to take off. slip shifting is quite normal on a bike. I honestly dont believe that someone is worse off for not knowing how to drive a manual car. they are 2 completely different beasts all together.

    on a side note having seen friends of mine go down several times and even get tboned and live with injuries ranging anywhere from scratches to broken bones and torn ligaments. i cant honestly say that while there is a greater chance of death. i believe that a accident is a accident and any time you get in one there is a tremendous chance of serious injury. my one recommendation if you decide to ride is a loud exhaust. im not sure about where you guys live but in most states there are no noise ordnance for bikes so louder exhaust will help for other drivers to notice you and keep an eye out for you
    Last edited by 1great8; 30-07-2012, 07:17 AM.

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  • CodyNZ
    replied
    how about this, intsead of buying a bike, get a mini or similar small car and a 1300 hayabusa engine, shove it in the front and you'll be sideways more than straight ways

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  • Jenga
    replied
    Pre-learners was a fun course. It's pretty dry for people who have done a lot of bike riding, but it's great for people who are new to bikes. The instructor there kept correcting all my dirt bike habits (two fingers on the clutch and brake, stuff like that). Enjoy it.

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  • brentos
    replied
    Booked my pre-learners course today

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  • Dug
    replied
    Great thread!
    I have read all the comments and there is some sound advice there.

    A bit of my riding history
    I rode a bike for 5 yrs before I got a car, we are going back to 1984 here. Started with a 125cc Honda twin, then a brand new VF750F then the VFR750F in the time of owning these bikes I clocked up many thousands of K's and came off each one once resulting in cosmetic damage to the bikes and dented pride and new respect of the risks involved.

    I replaced bikes with cars mostly for cost reasons,( insurance for a new bike and chewing though tires) then 10 yrs ago at a more mature riding age I got a GSX750R (slingshot) 1988 model. It has been cheap thrills, I third party insure it and have kept it upright in that period for Sunday back road blasts.

    Unlike yourself I have never known personally anyone who has died from a bike crash and most of my friends, my dad and uncles have had bikes, so I don't know how that would have effected my riding decisions.
    But I am sure it would be a factor.

    The fact that you are putting this much thought into the decision is a good thing, awareness of risk is an important part of being a good rider.
    If you get a bike start small and ride often till it is an extension of your body, explore its limits but stay within yours.

    Modern bikes are awesomely capable in experienced hands and require the controls to be used with finesse, this is where lots of km's on a small bike comes in.
    They are easy to ride, but hard to ride well. There are extra things to consider like gravel from road works, wet white lines, damp roads in shady areas, all of which can have you on the ground before you know what has happened.

    Panic braking without panicking is probably the hardest one to learn. Weight transfer on a bike under heavy braking is extreme to the point where even using the back brake any more than a little bit can have it locking up.
    How hard can I brake in a corner? When do I stop maximum braking in a straight line and backing off to turn or swerve?

    Use tight twisty back roads to practice late braking for corners, start conservatively and build up skills over time. Racers say that late braking is the last skill you master so don't get gung ho to start with or it will end in tears.
    The misses is always telling me off in the car for using my brakes late in traffic or when coming up to intersections, old habits die hard
    I suggest it because it teaches you repeatedly the feel of weight transfer rabidly to the front wheel and easing off the brakes smoothly into a corner so that in an emergency stop it will be second nature.
    It also becomes a fun element of riding. Not much fun for a pillion though.

    Good riding gear is an investment, if you will be doing a lot of open road riding then a cow suit is well worth considering.

    Bikes are great, I highly recommend them for the fun factor and the biking community is very friendly.
    It is a different experience riding a bike fast over a car, in a car it is the car that does all the work you are just along for the ride being thrown around in the seat like a sack of spuds.
    On a bike you need to move your weight around forward, back, side to side in a way that just seems the natural thing to do in time. Once gear change and brake operation is second nature it really is the most amazing sensation hurling yourself though the countryside astride a bike.

    I have given myself more grazes, bruises and bumps to the head in the past 3 months getting back into mountain biking doing down hills on a hard tail than a life time on a motor bike
    When I think back at my younger days on a motor bike there is an element of good fortune to that, so never take a bike for granted and riding like you are invincible will catch up on you one day.

    Get something second hand and see if it is for you.

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  • R.Bugan
    replied
    I'm 17 and since i have begun to ride i am more cautious most people look for cars but not bikes, i always look twice to make sure there are no bikes. =) one step at a time, becoming a better driver =)

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  • 5lander
    replied
    im going through the proccess of buying my second bike, a 99 YZF-R6. ive left my 91 CBR600 in qld with my parents and i want one down here in vic. ive noticed that ever since ive started
    riding my driving and paitence has improved immensely. im more alert and far more active in regards to how i take corners and looking through bends and such.

    i have also been servicing my bike by myself but sometimes things happen that require a little more practiced hands and such. ive utilized a bike forum im on to not only meet people in my area but also egt to know the work shops in the area and where they reccomend to go for parts.

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  • brentos
    replied
    Well i have decided to get off my butt and finally start making moves towards getting my licence.
    I started to purchase riding gear, got jacket and gloves, laybyed helmet etc.
    Next i have to do the pre-learners course and after this finally get my licence.
    I have decided on one of these for my first road bike:


    Its a 2012 Suzuki DRZ400SM, i wanted the dual-sport because i already do a small amount of riding offroad, but i wanted something that was reasonably safe on-road as well, so a dirtbike with road tyres seemed like a sensible option. All that is required to change between on-road and off-road is changing the tyres. I love the look of it as well, plus they go alright too

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  • R.Bugan
    replied
    i just recently bought a bike. The bike itself was $500 but needed work. You said that mechanical know how is not your strongest point so I would say buy a nice 250 (ninja?) and work your way up. As Rake said the gear is extremely expensive, I bought mine second hand for $220 but brand new was $1250. I got for that, Carbon fiber gloves, High cut racing boots, leather pants with pads and knee guards when taking sharp corners and a thick leather jacket with pads. I was lucky to find a deal like this but they are rare and few. The gear does not fit 100% as i recently gained too much weight =). I would say buy gear that will fit you perfectly, the better you feel with the gear the more comfortable you'll be with the bike and riding it. My bike is 1100cc and without gear I am the most cautious person on earth, but with the gear you feel safer and are willing to take corners a bit lower. This may sound like I'm saying that it makes you want to go faster, but i am not. You will be more willing to learn to corner fast and react faster, in turn making you a safer rider. The key is feel so if you decide to go through with this i too have to wear glasses while i ride, make sure your helmet will accommodate enough room for your glasses. =)

    Have fun =) the experience is great as long as your safe, I always drive safe and at the speed limit...until I am up north somewhere on roads where I am with nobody else. Also last thing, Do not buy too big of a bike, this 1100 is my first and i regret it because it weighs 570 lbs, the only reason i have it is because it was really cheap and it is a tourer so insurance is a bit cheaper.

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  • Greeny
    replied
    As usual Rake, thank you very much for all the great information!! It really is extremely helpful. Im gonna head out to a bike shop soon so i can go make some more decisions. Also got to figure out what kind of bike i want to get, so i guess ill be asking round and checking them out as well

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  • Rake
    replied
    I'd say $1,500 would be a fair budget for a first timer to get gear.

    Your Helmet will be the most critical piece. They cost a lot (Some over $1,000 on their own) and you need to find the one that fits you right, and it needs to be one that meets standards. I spent just under $500 on mine, a Shark RSI. Having a good helmet is handy too as you can use it for track days in the car

    Boots. Boots are tricky if you've got funny sized feet, like me. I tried on a LOT of pairs before finally finding a pair that fit well and that I liked, a pair of Alpine Stars which was around $350.

    I have a Dri-rider textile jacket. Perhaps not as protective as Leather, but it has a weatherproof + insulated liner that I can have in for cold weather and remove for hot weather, has pockets, etc. That was worth maybe $300 odd. Leathers will probably cost more, as will jackets with more armor.

    Jeans. Kevlar jeans are a good choice. They're longer and thicker, essentially having 2 layers (the second being kevlar of course), thicker means greater protection in a crash and it makes cold riding more tolerable. They are also a looser fit and longer, so you don't expose your ankles when you're in a crouching position, they cover your boots, etc, which means more comfort on the bike. But at the same time they still look good enough that, once you shed your jacket, it looks like you're just in a shirt and jeans. Kevlars may cost $150-$300 odd, so it's not all that different to expensive designer style jeans. It's handy to get atleast a couple of pairs, as you may spend a fair bit of time in them if you ride often.

    Gloves, probably the cheapest piece. Many different types, textiles and leathers, armoured, some designed for summer (light, allows air circulation etc) and others for wet and winter (keeps water out, has suede/rubber to wipe the visor dry, keep your hands warm etc). Lots of options so consider your riding. $50-$150 perhaps.

    Of course, over time, you'll want to get more. Maybe you'll want a leather and a textile jacket, summer and winter gloves, different visors (eg I got a tinted one recently), and so on. But yeah, your shopping list should consist of atleast one of each item described. Then, over time, as you get more experience (and more money ) you can grow your apparel.

    That was a lot of retail stuff, you may get better deals by shopping around, finding stuff on special, and so on. But if you're impatient, just wanna get on the bike, want to try stuff on before buying (highly recommended) then it may be worth the extra to go to a proper bike shop.


    As for a Bike budget, it really depends on the bike you want to buy. Bikes are cheap relative to cars you buy, but remember bikes are fairly high-maintenance, they crave TLC, so you want tools, you'll be buying parts for it (or paying someone else to do it), consumables like chain lube, insuring / rego'ing it, and so on.
    Last edited by Rake; 05-06-2012, 07:28 PM.

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