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Hello, and a question(s)

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Zedwardson, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Zedwardson

    Zedwardson n00b

    Apr 26, 2012
    Thanks all, still months away, but the yamaha XT250 is tempting for there is a dealer close by, I could spend time learning how to ride a bike on trails and so on and not asphalt with cars on the road.
  2. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

    Aug 6, 2011
    very true! My wife had one but i liked to ride it.
  3. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

    Mar 1, 2012
    Trans-national vagrant
    My first bike was a TU250X (pretty sure it was a '95) that I bought while stationed in Japan. It was a blast to ride around town, quite reliable, and very easy to ride. It had two disadvantages, though. The small size that made it so easy to ride also meant the riding position got a bit cramped, even for me (5'7", 30" inseam) on a long ride and it was just not able to keep up on larger roads. It topped out at about 90kph in top gear, wide open on a flat road. I don't know if Suzuki has changed the motor any since then, or if the US model is different, so that may no longer apply. Anyway, it was a great first bike as long as you're aware of its limits, and now that I'm living in another congested city I kind of wish I had it back...
  4. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Jul 20, 2011

    Learning in dirt before riding much on the street is an excellent idea. Unless you grew up riding a BMX bike
    or something of that sort, you have a lot to learn about the dynamics of riding a 2 wheeled vehicle, and
    riding the dirt is the very best way to do that.

    The XT 250 would be a very good choice for your first bike.

    Don't forget to buy the best safety gear you can afford, along with the bike.
  5. livo

    livo Been here awhile

    Mar 26, 2012
    West of Brisbane, Australia

    This ^^^^ +1
    I think a lot of people getting into riding forget to factor in the gear costs and then skimp on it.
  6. mapleleafalumnus

    mapleleafalumnus Demigod

    Oct 26, 2008
    Frozen Wasteland
    Older bikes can be quite reliable. I suggest the 1980s Honda Shadow 700cc series w/shaft drive. Those bikes have: low maintenance, good power and handling characteristics, great reliability, relatively low seat for shorter riders, great gas mileage due to overdrive, buyer's price won't break the wallet.
    I love the fact that you want to be debt free before buying, and I applaud your decision to do the MSF route. Happy riding!!! :clap
  7. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

    Feb 12, 2007
    I agree dept free is the way,but took me 5 years to save 10k for my 2011 bonneville.
    I road a 99 sv 650 for that time, paid cash ,and it was just fun.
    But I really wanted a bonneville! :D
  8. Zedwardson

    Zedwardson n00b

    Apr 26, 2012
    I plan on taking the class first, then buy all the gear first, THEN save for a bike. :evil

    Of course, I will have questions on safety gear in time, but i understand that you do not need to invest in gear for the classes, as they provide helmets.

    On the helmet I was going to go with a full face Snell-certified helmet that fitted my head. I am still researching what is better, the full body one piece gear that not leather, or leather jacket and leg protection. I was leaning towards the one piece as it would give me a peice of mind that my whole body is protected. (Assuming gloves and boots of course.)

    So I was thinking
    Full face Helmet
    Full body suit (May change, as i have not done full research)
    boots - no laces

    What other gear do I need?

    But I am still researching that.
  9. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    not-so important

  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    May 28, 2008
    Huntsville, AL
    I would not recommend going overboard on riding gear at first. Since you have no riding experience, you really don't know what gear will work for you. You could spend a fortune on gear and end up with stuff that just doesn't work well for you or the way you end up riding. I'd go relatively inexpensive and then up grade when you have a better Idea what you really want. I'd recommend the following:

    Full face helmet. The Snell certification is worthless IMO but then that's one of those controversial subjects. Make sure it fits snuggly, it will loosen up after you wear it for a while. I'd get a bright helmet to be more visible to other motorists.

    Vented/armored/ waterproof textile jacket, preferably in a bright color to make yourself more visible.

    Riding pants that are reasonably protective. Kevlar Jeans with Knee armor would be a relatively inexpensive way to start and then you could add something better later and the jeans would still come in handy for those shorter rides. There are also plenty of choices in textile or mesh pants if you choose to go that route.

    Sturdy motorcycle gloves. Eventually you'll need tow or three pairs, one for hot weather, one for cold and maybe one for in between.

    Motorcycle Boots

    Also consider this, if you buy gear and then lose a lot of weight, it may no longer fit properly. A loose fit means that the armor may not stay in place and do it's job if you decide to "crash test" your gear.
  11. Zedwardson

    Zedwardson n00b

    Apr 26, 2012
    Well the first step is to find a helmet that fits my head.

    A buddy was willing to give me one of his helmets, but a HJC XXL was too small for my head. :huh

    The world would be full of suck if I cannot get a helmet to fit my head.
  12. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Nov 28, 2006
    In the sand
    In some states, DOT is more important than SNELL. It might be a legal requirement. Full-face is a good way to go, and not just for crash protection. Bugs, gravel, rain, hail, birds, and other things bouncing off your face can be a bit distracting while trying to operate a moto.

    If you're having trouble fitting a helmet, you could always call someplace that specializes in helmets and give them your head measurements. They could probably suggest sizes to try from that. All of my helmets have been DOT full-face models, BTW, and I don't think I've ever spent more than $150 for a helmet. My latest one was found on sale at Motorcycle Superstore for $70. It's quite comfortable and light, if just a bit loud.
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Sep 8, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    The best advice you can get is to get some dirt riding under your belt before riding on the street much.
    It teaches you a LOT of skills that will keep you safe on the road:
    Automatic reactions,
    To NOT over ride your sight lines,
    To watch where you are going, study the surface of what you are riding on,
    Just how much you can use each brake, and what happens when you get it wrong,
    How to be out of control and save it,
    The feeling of loss of traction in the back.

    A 250cc dual sport is great, its cheap used, can be sold for little or no loss, does not break when dropped.

    After a lot of bikes over many years, I now have a tw200 which is great in the sand/mud and not so great on the street, and I have a TU250 which is great on the street and not so great off road.
    The TU250 will do 80 mph or more, its comfortable, nimble, needs very little looking after, gets 80 mpg, and is a real hoot to ride in any situation.
    I have done 12 hour rides on it, and at 6 feet tall its comfortable for me.
    The wife enjoys riding on the back (and she is not little) and the bike handles it fine.
    Its as easy to own as a bike can be, as easy to ride as a bike can be, and for me, its about as much fun as you can have on a motorcycle.
    They do not seem to wear out, or have problems, and a good used low mile TU is about $3000.00.

    Both the TU and the TW need a sprocket change to be nice on the street, both are geared very low, the TW i can understand but the TU I do not, its geared stupid low, maybe for the MSF training.
    $16.00 for a 16 tooth front sprocket makes it much nicer.

    Unless I was interested in mud holes, thick endless sand, or big hills, I would not pick the tw200, any other 250 dual sport might be more balanced between street and dirt.
  14. ShadySmurf

    ShadySmurf Does Own Stunts

    Aug 26, 2010
    Hey man,

    I haven't seen anyone talk about DRZ's. Take a look and see if there are any DRZ400SM's in your area. I think that is a perfect 80/20 bike. Sit's upright, turns awesome, can hit pavement and not slowdown for the dirt transition.

    Everything else has been mentioned, do your MSF, get your gear, then get your bike. Take it out to some dirt, or a field, somewhere with no people. Practice what you learned in the MSF course. Once you get comfortable, look for some people to ride with. I wouldn't wait a whole year before finding someone to ride with. Other people may be able to teach you different things, and build some great friendships.

    Side note- you are on a dual sport forum here, no one is really going to recommend a different kind of bike :deal That said, they are the greatest bikes made :D
  15. cantspell

    cantspell Lost in a good way

    May 9, 2012
    celibate county
    Im glad your starting with the gear. to me the most important thing about gear is to get stuff you will use. I know riders with top to the line helmits that thay dont ware. If I knew I wasn going to crash any given day I would stay home.

    just to add one more to the list I like the KLR. light cheep reliable good resale if you by used good for around town or around the world.

    It seems to me that new riders ofen drop bikes in parking lots drive ways and such so Im a big fan of crash bars on what ever you get. then if the bike takes a nap you just pick it up dust off your ego and go.