General Question

squirbel's avatar

What advice would you give a prospective motorcycle owner?

Asked by squirbel (4292points) March 27th, 2008 from iPhone

I am a female who loves bikes and I have this crazy image in my head of driving the guys at work crazy by getting off my bike and shaking my hair out after taking off my helmet. :D haha!

What practical advice should I have as a bike owner?

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19 Answers

Riser's avatar

As I mentioned earlier; do not allow inexperienced passengers to ride with you. The most common mistake of a “green” rider is to motion their body away from the ground while making a turn instead of the correct motion toward. Your body counter-shifting the motion of the bike could result in your death. I have a friend who is sans an arm and leg because of a reckless passenger. No matter how exciting it is do not do it!

In that same breath of things I would also suggest even deny experienced riders a backseat until you are confident and competent on your baby, alone.

Good luck, you’re making me really miss my bike.

judochop's avatar

Learn to ride first and foremost. Consider what kind of riding you will enjoy the most. Willit be country roads or city riding or long trips to the coast & such. If you are looking to be comfortable then get a bike with a good seat and good center balance with handle bars that are up much like you will find on a touring bike. If you are looking to take corners and speed is your thing then you will find yourself on a “crotch rocket.” These bikes are fun but really hard on your lower back for long trips and too fast for the city. With almost any bike you buy you can find all kinds of fairly unexpensive modifications that you can do to improve the way your bike feels and handles. Just make sure you learn to ride first. Almost too often you don’t get a second chance in bike accidents.

squirbel's avatar

Helmet, eh? Guess you didn’t read the comment under the question? :)

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Learn to lay it down! (that means that while you are in motion, you put the bike on its side on the ground and slide)

Get someone to let you practice on a junk bike. Lots of protective gear. You should know when to stay with the bike and when to get away.

Be Safe

Cardinal's avatar

Buy life insurance and take good training lessons and learn to ride. What do squirbel’s know about motorcycles. (ha ha)

SCO's avatar

take the MSf course class. Always wear protective gear (head to toe). Ride within your limits. Don’t let anyone influence you to do something out of your limits, it’s ur life not theirs. Learn the basics before jumping into anything further. Never assumed drivers sees you on the road. Stay away from driver’s blindspots! Be safe out there!

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

@squirbel, My apologies. I actually had read it, but to my defense I have the flu and I haven’t been thinking clearly lately. Sorry ;)

squirbel's avatar

Awww poor baby! I hope you feel better soon, and I was just ribbin’ ya… ;)

andrew's avatar

To those of you with bikes:
Do you wear full protective gear every time you ride? Just padding on top?

Riser's avatar

I used to wear a lot of padding in LA but on the weekends (less traffic) I’d go in jeans and a t-shirt (obviously always with a helmet)

Angelina's avatar

Wear leather. A friend of mine got into an accident and wiped out, so now he’s got scars all up and down one arm because he was wearing a t-shirt at the time.

Response moderated
pattyb's avatar

take the motorcycle safety course, get a bike that fits and feels just right for you, always wear leathers, and always assume that nobody can see you while you ride. Be aware of the fact that most first time riders have a very high chance of getting in some kind of accident thier first year. Its a terrific pastime and there is nothing like it, but it does come with very high risks.

blippio's avatar

put a headlight modulator on any bike you get (makes you more visible…caveat: check with your state, some require a unit that shuts off at night)

computertron's avatar

I think it is important to note that the 600cc machines of today are by no means learner bikes, they are fire breathing, 9 sec quartering, rockets, that few people give the proper respect. For your experience to be a good one, it is important that you get the right bike for you. Unfortunately, I would have to know more specifics to make a recommendation but dual sports are a lot of fun and easy to ride, although they are not ideal for freeways.
Other than that, riding safely is a matter of learning to read traffic and driver’s head movements. Buy some good gear, boots, pads, and a good jacket you feel comfortable in are worth their weight in gold and are often priced accordingly. Fashion leather is by no means durable enough to protect you in an accident. As much as I hate to sound like a mother, if you have never ridden before, MSF safety courses are a good place to start and they count for your license test in many states.
Anyway, good luck and have fun. I have not owned a car since I bought my first bike five years ago… there is really no going back.

squirbel's avatar

@computertron : thanks for bring that point up. I actually don’t want a “fire breathing machine”. What should I get? I just want to commute, but scooters look like they are for old ladies. I’m not a speed freak in any way, shape or form. When I started looking, I was looking at the Suzuki Burgman 400.

I don’t want a putt-putt either; is 400cc’s putt-putt?

computertron's avatar

You mentioned that you were interested in the katana and hayabusa in your other question so I am going to conclude that you like the suzuki look. My first bike was a bandit gsf-600, it was a comfortable and reliable bike that did anything well. I had 6 years of dirt bike experience before riding this bike, however, so with no prior experience it might be a little fast and most importantly a little too heavy at 450 lb.
As an alternative the GS-500 is a reliable learner bike that recently got a much needed facelift to look like her sportbike sisters. On another note, you might want to check out the DRZ-400. Those bikes are tame enough not to be intimidating and they are light as well, plus wide handlebars make for easier bicycle like handling. I would say overall 400cc is a good start.
As a caution, I would shy away from the cruiser type bikes, they tend to be heavy, slow steering, and have bad brakes. These things are fine on the freeway, but around town they become dangerous.

Quandry's avatar

If you have never riden a motorcycle, take a class. It will teach you safety and awareness and the proper skills to ride safely.

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