919 okay for newbie - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 39 Old 05-12-2006, 08:39 PM
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919 okay for newbie

I have virtually no riding experience. I will be taking the MSF training class soon. Afterwards, I am considering buying this bike.

Is there any reason why this is a bad idea for a new rider?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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post #2 of 39 Old 05-12-2006, 09:05 PM
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I was off bikes for 20 plus years.......100 miles on the 9er was like a trip back in time....

THe 919 is a good first bike but be forwarned.....Its got the power and speed to ruin your day if you let it.

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post #3 of 39 Old 05-12-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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new rider suggestion

For what it's worth, here is my two cents worth. I recommend a few hundred miles, and several crashs on dirt bikes before you climb on any street/sport bike.

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post #4 of 39 Old 05-12-2006, 09:45 PM
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If you get one you will LOVE it!!! 919s ROCK!

post #5 of 39 Old 05-12-2006, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jratbike
For what it's worth, here is my two cents worth. I recommend a few hundred miles, and several crashs on dirt bikes before you climb on any street/sport bike.
I agree. My first bike was a 650 Nighthawk back in '85. It was considered a big bike back then, but I first rode my friend's XL350 for a while, before going to a street bike. Even then, it was typical to recommend a 250 or 500 as a first bike. Nowadays, IMHO, new riders are always starting off on too big, or too fast sport bikes, and some have payed the ultimate price for that decision.

I always cringe when I hear a young kid enthusiasticly stating he wants to get a CBR954RR, or Gixer, or similar sport bike as soon as he learns to ride a bike. The 919 is indeed easy to ride, though, and rather light feeling....but I would worry that those characteristics may be deceiving to a new rider who may underestimate it's potential due to inexperience.

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post #6 of 39 Old 05-12-2006, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegjumpflyer
I was off bikes for 20 plus years.......100 miles on the 9er was like a trip back in time....
That's my story as well, Pegjump. I did my own peg-jump back about 20 years ago and stuck with ATVs all during the interim. The 919 was my first venture back into the world of 2 wheels. The size of the motor can be deceiving both good and bad.

Good - tho it is a 900, it is very tame and predictable vs. most of the sportbikes out there. I rode my friend's '03 R6 and it was what I call "explosive". The 919 has a lonngg smooth power band that starts low and is pegged out at about the RPM the R6 is just coming on strong. Nice and moderate. I like to call it a hybrid - halfway between a cruiser and a race bike. Nice and predictable.

Bad - the ample power it has WILL get you into trouble quick if you're not conservative with the right hand. It has it's negative suspension issues but, again, if you don't try to ride it like a race bike you'll be fine.

I would rather start out with a little more than enough and settle into it rather than get good at riding it and wish for more bike.

You can't go wrong with the 919 if you respect it.

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post #7 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 06:50 AM
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Ya for a 1st bike I would go and buy a cheap old one to learn on. Class is great if you never ridden before. Hate to buy a new bike that you love and lay it down. A crappy bike and you lay down due to learning you don't care. 919 is a great bike, I have lots of experience on bikes and I have laid mine down twice in the past year just by not respecting the bike. Live and learn..

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post #8 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 07:39 AM
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There are far better bikes to start on, there are far worse bikes to start on. It can be done but I would get somehting used and cheap first to get your baptism of dropping it in your driveway & clutch learning experience out of the way. Plus since you have never ridden before starting used & cheap will get your feet wet without alot of cost, then you can deciede if you want to keep doing it & may better know which type of bike you want,,,dual sport, standard, cruiser, sportbike, tourer, etc.

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post #9 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 08:01 AM
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Do not start on a Hornet.
Do not start on any machine that has that much power.
An older 500 has more than enough beans to get you used to dodging all the rubber and metal coming your way. A dirt bike/dual purpose is an excellent way to get going. If you are lucky enoug to have some country around you, my humble oppinion is to stick with the sticks.

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post #10 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 08:05 AM
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The 919 is a light, fast, agile bike that will reach out and bite you if you don't respect it. Go to your local motorcycle junkyard. They often have small engine bikes that run for dirt cheap. Buy a 500 or less and put 2-3k miles on it. Throw it down once or twice and then when you really have developed your skills then go buy a 919.

It'll break your heart if you lay it down because you hit a bump, popped the clutch, and jerked the trottle.

-Kes

post #11 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 08:59 AM
 
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The Hornet was my first ever bike. I've never been on a dirt bike.
My only previous experience on two wheels is flying up and down small downtowns in Italy on Vespas and other scooters.
Hornet is perfect for newbies IMO, just treat it with respect.
I ride it thinking that is a lot of bike for my experience and also not trusting all the other motorists out there.

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post #12 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 01:52 PM
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my 9'er is my first and only bike. I was looking for something smaller when i came across this bike. It is an awesome machine, but you need to respect it. Only a few months and a few thousand miles I went down hard and had to spend much time rebuilding her. I now have 10k miles on it and am just starting to really know how to ride her. Good luck.
You have come to the right place to ask 919 question!

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post #13 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 09:00 PM
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The 9er is an awesome bike - and it's got everything you need and more. But I have to agree with many on here, by suggesting you consider starting out experiencing something more tame until you get your feet under ya. After you get a stronger feel for street riding, then you will naturally progress up to something else.

Cudos for stepping out and taking the MSF course. There are too many riders out there that didn't start out the smart way. Ride safe, and wear your gear. You'll never look back!

post #14 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 10:10 PM
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I started with an 83 Kawi KZ440. Slow? Very. Great for learning on? Definitely. I still have the bike because it's fun to ride around town. I didn't have to worry too much about dropping it (which I did do) because parts were cheap and it was hard to get up to speeds where I'd get seriously hurt. Also, it turns out a highside is near impossible with only 30 hp.

I strongly recommend starting with something smaller, lighter, and less powerful. The 919 doesn't have the crazy top-end rush that full-on sportbikes do, but it has way more than enough midrange to get you in trouble. Get yourself something you won't be mad about dropping, because you'll probably drop it. The 9r is expensive to fix if you drop it, it's harder to pick back up than my old 440, plus it's much easier to drop it in the first place. It is a forgiving bike, and it's easy to ride, but it's also easy to ride badly.

I will always advocate a small bike for new riders. It's more fun to learn to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. The season is just starting, check your local classifieds!

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post #15 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewRider
I have virtually no riding experience. I will be taking the MSF training class soon. Afterwards, I am considering buying this bike.

Is there any reason why this is a bad idea for a new rider?

Thanks for any thoughts.
I think plenty has been said here about how the 9er can get away from you real fast. It loads on speed in a manner that unless you have driven the most exotic and powerful of sports cars, you may not have ever felt before in your life. That said. Should you get one? maybe... should it be your first bike? If you are under 30 years old... no. Get something you can learn on. You will tip over, drop, go down in a turn too fast or on gravel, hit something or someone & you may die. It's going to happen.. doesn't matter who you are. and it really doesn't matter what kind of bike either. Get one that isn't all wound up and pissed-off like a mean insect (Hornet). Now, if you are over 30.. say way over, at least in your mid 30s... and you have the self control to take it easy, approach it in a very methodical and adult way.. and most importantly, (I really can't stress this enough.) you are a good driver. If you can operate any motor vehicle deliberately and proficient, then sure. Get a 919 and just take it easy. You will still probably go down or drop it.. but chances are better you won't have it all pissed-off and ready to fight for it's life (and yours) when it does happen. At that point, it's only about the money to fix it.... and hey, it's only money! If you are one of those people that doesn't judge speed well, both yours and others, gets in auto accidents, bounces over curbs, hits mail boxes, doesn't know how to manage a vehicle in a slide. Doesn't get traction or steering or counter steering. You panic when things get hairy and your first response is always braking.. and hard! Then stay off motorcycles. You have to meld with the machine when you ride a bike. It's more like flying then driving a car. If you just want to look cool, pick up chicks, save money on gas or get street credit by riding a bike... DON'T! You really have to love inertia and motion to "get it". All those other benefits come secondary!

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post #16 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoCycho
I think plenty has been said here about how the 9er can get away from you real fast. It loads on speed in a manner that unless you have driven the most exotic and powerful of sports cars, you may not have ever felt before in your life. That said. Should you get one? maybe... should it be your first bike? If you are under 30 years old... no. Get something you can learn on. You will tip over, drop, go down in a turn too fast or on gravel, hit something or someone & you may die. It's going to happen.. doesn't matter who you are. and it really doesn't matter what kind of bike either. Get one that isn't all wound up and pissed-off like a mean insect (Hornet). Now, if you are over 30.. say way over, at least in your mid 30s... and you have the self control to take it easy, approach it in a very methodical and adult way.. and most importantly, (I really can't stress this enough.) you are a good driver. If you can operate any motor vehicle deliberately and proficient, then sure. Get a 919 and just take it easy. You will still probably go down or drop it.. but chances are better you won't have it all pissed-off and ready to fight for it's life (and yours) when it does happen. At that point, it's only about the money to fix it.... and hey, it's only money! If you are one of those people that doesn't judge speed well, both yours and others, gets in auto accidents, bounces over curbs, hits mail boxes, doesn't know how to manage a vehicle in a slide. Doesn't get traction or steering or counter steering. You panic when things get hairy and your first response is always braking.. and hard! Then stay off motorcycles. You have to meld with the machine when you ride a bike. It's more like flying then driving a car. If you just want to look cool, pick up chicks, save money on gas or get street credit by riding a bike... DON'T! You really have to love inertia and motion to "get it". All those other benefits come secondary!
Now that's about as good and thorough a reply you an get!

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post #17 of 39 Old 05-13-2006, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anti-Shadows
my 9'er is my first and only bike....Only a few months and a few thousand miles I went down hard and had to spend much time rebuilding her.
Case and point. /lol

BTW, with that avatar, I hope you post more often!!

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post #18 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 08:36 AM
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I don't know why I didn't mention this one in the first place. The Suzuki 400SM. Great bike to learn on, and to learn the fundamentals of street riding. Also, you can carve the crap out of canyons on this one, but a giant handfull of throttle wont flyswat you into the opposing lane or over the side. Bit on the expensive side for a starter, but you would need surgery to remove the smile from your face.

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post #19 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdaa
I don't know why I didn't mention this one in the first place. The Suzuki 400SM. Great bike to learn on, and to learn the fundamentals of street riding. Also, you can carve the crap out of canyons on this one, but a giant handfull of throttle wont flyswat you into the opposing lane or over the side. Bit on the expensive side for a starter, but you would need surgery to remove the smile from your face.
Dave>>Nice reccomendation. They only down side would be if the new rider is on the short side. ...Inexperienced riders like to have both feet firmly planted on the groung and these bikes are tall as in seat to ground.

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post #20 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 08:49 AM
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I appreciate all the responses. Thanks.

I'm in my upper 30's.

My primary concern, obviously, is safety--as opposed to just money issues. I realize that a new, relatively expensive bike--of whatever size--will be heartbreaking to wreck.

But my question is primarily regarding my own safety.

My question to those who suggest I start on a smaller bike is: Would I be SAFER on a 599 as opposed to a 919? (Perhaps even a 599 isn't small enough--but hypothetically, would you agree that it'd be safer?)

Does it really all come down to my own self-control? As long as I am mature enough not to go faster than I can handle?

Or is there something more that I don't understand? For example, is it a realistic possibility that my wrist could slip and I might accelerate faster than I would on a smaller bike?

Thanks again, everyone.

post #21 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 09:15 AM
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Safety is a primary concern, you should not be worried about throttle slippage only throttle control. You could get into almost as much trouble on a 250cc bike as you could on a 900cc machine. I think what a lot of us are saying is that in the event of a unfortunate fall or tip over a used beginner bike would be a better choice. That first scratch or worse with a new bike is really hard to swallow.

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post #22 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 09:44 AM
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At your age, you should have all the piss and vinegar pretty much out and under control. The 599 you mention is a great bike also. You must be of the mind that while you are aclimating to your new steed and exploring the new found freedom you've just aquired, everyone around you, from bugs to birds, dogs to Dodges Accuras to asssholes are gonna be trying to kill you. Not because they don't like you. It's because they don't see you. The affect of plentiful power can be intoxicating and it will take your age and experience on Earth so far to be able to keep this great feeling in check so that Maynard and his Mazda runnning the red don't get the upper hand on you. No matter what you choose, I think I can also say for others, the most important tenent is always self preservation. I am now knocking on wood. All of us long time riders have seen our share of close calls. Some of those memories are burned in with a branding iron. But they are just that. Close calls. In so many of the instances, it is the experience, the waryness(sp?) the desire to stay out of the "statistic column" that pull the handlebars just that much to keep us from being a hood ornament on that oncoming Ford van drifting into our lane around the right sweeper we are in. You will have all the time you need to learn if you set your minds to it. Plus, you will see some of the most amazingly stupid things that others do on the road while staying safe within your own alertness. You will have buckets of fun and be safe. Zis ist an order!

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post #23 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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Fine for a beginner

I had never ridden a motorcycle in my life before I bought my 919. Three years of research finally led me to this bike. I have to note tho that i am 33 years old and mature enough to respect the power of a full sport engine.

So far I have put 600 miles on it and am ready for my first tune up. Break-in is a no-brainer when you are first adjusting to the bike. The handling and position is very easy for a beginner, just be very aware of the power behind that throttle. It is touchy as would be any sport bike, so you need to be very gentle with it until you are assured you are used to it.

Aside from a skipped gear once in a while (i sometimes pop it into N when I meant to hit 2nd, duh). I highly recommend it tho, I am so happy with my 919!

Good luck and be safe.

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post #24 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 01:07 PM
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My first ever street bike was a ducati 900ss. I was 25 and thought it looked cool and that I would be cool. I crashed on day 2. It was then in the shop for 3 months. After that I would ride it slow and it was not comfy and I felt stupid every time I got around the Ducati guys. I was a poser. Now I am 34. I got the 919 because of the simpleness and dependability of the Honda. I considered myself still a novice when I got my 919. I now have about 5000 miles on it and I am totally happy. From the first ride on it, I felt more comfy than I ever did on the ducati. they are not in the same class of course, but non the less. I'm not saying to get a 919 as your first bike. It was however mine and I never regretted it. My 2 cents.

post #25 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 01:28 PM
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A little late to the party here on this thread, but I would have to agree with the majority here in saying that the 919 is a little much for a beginner bike. I'm not saying it's impossible as others here have done it. Just respect the machine regardless of displacement as you can and probably will lay it down if you've never ridden.

I'm glad you are planning on taking the MSF course. If it is one where they supply the bike you will more than likely be out on a 125 or 250 machine. Plenty fine to learn on and safe in the ham fisted arena of which the 919 is not!

As you know there are hundreds of different choices of motorcycles from meek to wild, cruiser to sport. Don't just jump into the game because a bike looks cool, take your time and learn the ropes first. You will have plenty of time to jump on a rocket but remember it's your life and possibly someone elses at stake if you make the wrong decision.

Now that I've stated my opinion good luck and welcome aboard! Keep us posted as to your decision.




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post #26 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 01:28 PM
 
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Great comments from all.

Back to my original post, get or borrow a dirt bike for your first hours on a bike. Nothing can teach you how it feels when the front end is getting ready to wash out. Nothing else can teach you how to keep from locking up the brakes, and what it feels like when you do. They teach you how to slide under power and under braking. What a low side, and a high side feels like. Most importantly, they teach you how to crash!!!

In short, there is nothing like a dirt bike on dirt to teach you how to handle any bike in most situations.

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post #27 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 05:08 PM
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Little late here to, but rode dirt bikes for 4 years till I got a street bike. The dirtbike thing helped me out a bunch. My first street bike was a 1978 cb750. That was fun with my driving test but I managed. Went from a cb750 to the 919. You just have to know your limits....and skills....

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post #28 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 06:38 PM
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A 78 CB750, Adam? No kidding! I learned on an '81 CB750K (my bro's old bike). I gotta say, those things were just huge for a beginner bike. You don't worry about dropping it since it's old and kind of beaten down already, but the brakes were crap, the suspension was crap, and picking it back up after dropping it was a BIATCH. Fun bike, though. I'd do it all over again if I could.

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post #29 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 08:47 PM
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Hmmmmm I had a 1975 CB750F(Brand Damn New). Small world. But I actually began riding on a 1968 Honda Trail 90.

IN THE DIRT

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post #30 of 39 Old 05-14-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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My parents were 13 in 1975.......... now I understand the forever speed

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post #31 of 39 Old 05-15-2006, 07:44 AM
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Newbie--

I'm sorry to disagree with everyone, but I'll tell you that a 2003 919 was my first bike. I highly recommend it--even as a first bike. I also recommend that you take the motorcycle class (uh, I didn't...) and that you proceed very cautiously at first. No your limits, and learn the fundamentals of riding.

I can tell you that regardless of the bike you get, you will always want more, so while everyone has the integrity of your skull in mind, I vote for the integrity of your wallet. Get the 919, or you will end up wanting to get the 919 later. Yes it's fast, but no, you won't outgrow it.

If you aren't an idiot, which I'm sure you're not, or you wouldn't be looking at a 919, then you'll be fine.

Despite what most people seem to be leading you to believe... The 919 is manageble, so use caution, but don't be afraid to buy one. I passed the IL riding test on it (barely--it's a little bigger than I would have liked), on my first try, after practicing in a parking lot for 2 hours. Yes it was stupid, but yes, I passed, and I've managed not to crash mine in 3 years.

Incedentally, mine is for sale, and I'm moving to Indy, which is about 3 hours form you if you're not mistaken... shameless plug... :001_smile:


http://jacksonville.craigslist.org/mcy/160727326.html

post #32 of 39 Old 05-16-2006, 08:46 AM
 
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bikes and bicycles

I just wanted to add that although the 919 is my first motorcycle, I have been cycling my whole life, and I used to race mountain bikes, single speed class.

Granted there is a weight difference of, oh i dunno, 450 lbs? Still, the balance of having grown up and spent 30 years on 2 wheels was akin to the experience I hear alot of dirtbike riders talking about. The same things apply, banking in turns, weight shifting, feeling when the rubber is sticking and when it isnt, learning how to crash and how to avoid it, using the brakes to be fast instead of just to slow down, etc.

I suppose I shouldnt promote the idea that riding a motorcycle is like riding a bicycle... but it worked for me.

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post #33 of 39 Old 05-16-2006, 08:49 AM
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Incedentally, mine is for sale, and I'm moving to Indy, which is about 3 hours form you if you're not mistaken... shameless plug...

Yes........

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post #34 of 39 Old 05-16-2006, 08:58 AM
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Newrider: Have you looked at the 650 Ninja? Sporty, nice and light with power and not a lot of plastic to break.

post #35 of 39 Old 05-16-2006, 08:49 PM
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Newrider: Have you looked at the 650 Ninja? Sporty, nice and light with power and not a lot of plastic to break.
I've seen it. It looks sweet, I must admit.
It's moderately cheaper, but still sad if I drop it.
The real question is, will I be safer on this bike?

post #36 of 39 Old 05-16-2006, 09:09 PM
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Come to think about it...I did drop my first bike a 500 ascott 3-4 times while I had it......rash sucks new or not.

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post #37 of 39 Old 06-04-2006, 11:44 PM
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My 2c worth.

The question seems to keep coming back to "will I be safer on...." etc.

You will be safer on ANY bike that you can control easily / properly AND don't try to do anything you're not comfortable doing.
Within reason.
Motorcycles by definition are an inherantly unstable machine.
That is, if you do nothing at all, the bike will fall over. You have to be pro-active in keeping the bike upright.
(for comparison, a car won't fall over if you're just sitting in it, this is an inherantly stable machine)

How safe it is, is entirely up to you, the rider.
Some bikes are easier to manage than others, so the question really ought to be, "which bike will I find easier to manage with limited experience"

If you're a complete beginner, never ridden a motorized cycle of any sort, then perhaps, visiting a few bike shops and having a sit on a few different makes / models to try them out for fit might be worth your while.
Physical fit is probably more important for a complete novice.
A bike you can comfortably put both feet flat on the floor, and rock gently side to side without feeling too much weight is likely to instill a greater "sense" of control in the first place.
A proper test ride would then help confirm suitability.

Me, I learned basic balance, clutch / throttle control on a cheap dirt bike, then once I had the "basics" working in a kind of automatic way, (do you usually think about every muscle you move while changing gears etc? , a learner does) I moved up to the bigger road bikes. Small capacity dirt bikes tend to be a bit tall in the saddle, but are generaly a lot easier to learn the very basics on because they usually lighter, but I'm six foot so "tall" bikes are not really an issue for me. If you're shorter in the legs, then go with a small capacity bike you CAN get yer feet down on first.

Like I said, just my 2c . Get on a bike, any bike, take professional lessons, learn to control it properly and safety will be in your own hands.

post #38 of 39 Old 06-05-2006, 05:14 AM
Milites Gregarius
 
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ok gotta throw in my 2cents (late or not)
The 919 is a SWEET bike... she also is an evil temptress.. that will convince you to do hyper legal speeds and to learn to pop wheelies and do stoppies.
I didn't see anyone mention her little sister the 599.. that I think would probably make a decent starter bike.. if you had to have something relitively new an issue with the old beater bikes is they tend to need some wrenching which is fine if you have the inclination (I do most of the time... )
the dirt bike recomendations are great.. in you have a truck or trailer or live where you can ride off road with out hauling the bike first. other wise its parking lot time.. learning to ride on the street and your dealing with a new set of controls ..making sure it stays up right.. some non-intuitive control techniques and oh yea.. trying not to get run over by the cagers that either dont see you or are deliberitly trying to run you down.
so I reccomend a smaller bike to start.. dirt bike if you can else get a small street bike and procced with caution directly to the nearest large empty parking lot.

Mitch
'83 Suzuki GS750E
'02 Honda 919
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post #39 of 39 Old 06-05-2006, 07:33 AM
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My question to those who suggest I start on a smaller bike is: Would I be SAFER on a 599 as opposed to a 919? (Perhaps even a 599 isn't small enough--but hypothetically, would you agree that it'd be safer?)


At your age, you should have all the piss and vinegar pretty much out and under control. The 599 you mention is a great bike also.


The 599 is mentioned.....twice.

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