My Brother Wants To Ride

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by High Country Herb, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    When we were kids, we rode dirt bikes. They were usually 80 to 100cc 2-strokes. I think he may have ridden a 175 or 250 a time or two. Later, he bought a 400cc sport quad. I went toward dual sport/street riding, and now ride a 750 Aprilia supermoto.

    25 years later, he has inherited my Uncle's BMW F800ST. I've never ridden it, but the numbers look similar to my Aprilia, power to weight wise. It's no Hyabusa, but it isn't exactly a beginner's bike either. It's well set up. My Uncle built it to make the Mexico to Canada run in 24 hours. He got cancer, and never did it. That was 3 years ago. So now my little brother, age 46, has taken possession of it.

    Resized_20210916_103039.jpeg

    At least it is visible! :lol3 It comes with all the riding gear, some of it brightly colored as well.

    I suggested that my brother take the Basic Rider Course before he even rides the bike on the street. He was neither here nor there about it, until he found out that taking the course allows you to waive the riding portion of the DMV test for the M1 endorsement. Whatever his reasons, I'm glad he is receptive to it. I am going to push him hard to take that course. It did wonders for my wife's riding skill, who had a similar riding background before she took up street riding. She has been riding about 5 or 6 years now, and is still happy on her DR350SE.

    So, I'm a little worried. Am I about to gain another riding buddy, or lose a brother?
    #1
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  2. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Are we doing bets?
    Riding buddy for a while as long as the weather's nice, then something scary will happen and then enjoy your new BMW :D
    #2
  3. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    :lol3

    He has been saying he wants a Harley Sportster for a couple of years, then this came into his sights. Honestly, he can't afford the maintenance on his diesel pickup. He'll probably ride it until it needs work, then sell it for pennies on the dollar to pay for a check engine light on the Cummins. Then it will be back to square one pining over the Harley...
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  4. FW190Pilot

    FW190Pilot Adventurer

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    What an opportunity! Assuming you like your brother and already do stuff with him, I see some cool times on the road coming for you and him. I wouldn't sweat the bad stuff as much as I would look forward to the good stuff. The basic course is the first step in training....maybe you two can take an intermediate or advanced class together somewhere.
    #4
  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That's a great idea! It might encourage him to continue learning good techniques, rather than stopping after the BRC. I'm sure I'd benefit from it too. I have about 25 years of street experience, and was impressed by how my wife learnbed as much in two weekends as I learned in my first 10 years.
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  6. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Maybe look around and find a old 350 or 400 for him to start on
    That one looks to nice

    Make some excuse about maintenance and get it to your house.
    Keep it safe for a few months....
    Keep him safe as well.
    #6
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Yup. It's been sitting for nearly three years. It might need the fuel system drained, valve check, etc.

    The only extra bike I have is a 250cc 2-stroke trials bike. There's an off road park half way between our towns, so it might be a good place to become re-acquainted with gearing and balance while we do the "maintenance" on the BMW.

    My wife isn't going to loan him her DR350, since they don't get along very well. It's all I can do to keep her from getting him in a headlock during Thanksgiving dinner. :lol3
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  8. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    I dont know wherw you are but I just misswd a nice 250 Nighthawk for 800 just because I didn't say I wanted it.fast enough...and I mean by just not closing the deal.

    So consider an older bile as an investment in protecting him and the BMW...sell it at a small loss when he learns to ride it well enough that you can give him the other bike with some confidence he isn't going to bin it in a week
    #8
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Probably true.

    So if you want the bike, make sure he knows you’re interested. You’ll have to pay more than pennies, but you could end up with a nice bike.
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  10. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I would need to sell a bike to buy a bike. I'm out of room.
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  11. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    I'd ride that other bike for you for awhile....no charge
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  12. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious Supporter

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    Among my friends and I, its an unwritten rule that we don't encourage a buddy to ride, but if he gets a bike then we get some rides in together. Your brother is in the second category, This is a fun opportunity. I would say no riding to work, no riding in big cities like LA or Frisco. Other than that, enjoy this great time riding together. Life isn't forever like your uncle sadly proved so focus on making adventures and raise a glass to your uncle who never made it.
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  13. oldoval

    oldoval Pleasant as fuck

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    My brother rode dirt bikes as a kid like me, then moved on to other things. Once I got my first street bike at 16 I was hooked for life and have stayed very active since. Like yours, my brother decided to get back into motorcycles (street bikes specifically) in his 40s. About 4 years in, a left turner caught him out. Totaled bike, broken clavicle, ribs, hamburger shoulder. He walked away with his life and a $60,000 insurance settlement, but his wife vetoed him ever owning another motorcycle. A shame really, I'd always dreamed of getting to do a tour with my brother. It's a scary thing watching someone you love do something you know can be life altering/ending. The rewards if it works out are pretty sweet though. Good luck Herb.

    .
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  14. melville

    melville Long timer

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    Was your uncle Swedish? I do appreciate the Hi-Viz on that.

    I'm going through a bit of this with my younger (20) son who just passed his BRC and now has an MC endorsement. He has no (running) bike yet but I'm feeling some need to have two running bikes myself like I had for a while last summer.
    #14
  15. Camcow

    Camcow Been here awhile Supporter

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    My brother has been my riding buddy for the last 27 years.

    Do yourself a favor and get some helmet comms. Sena or Cardo. Don’t bother with the high end ones, just get the midrange set. You’ll be able to give him live pointers on anything he’s doing wrong on the bike.

    Our best conversations are while we’re out riding.
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  16. rob1313

    rob1313 Still learning

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    This is great advice. When my girlfriend was new to riding we did this as well. I was able to give on the fly pointers and advice. Her riding improved quickly. This was of course after she took the course.
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  17. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    Not sure if it is compulsory or not in your area, but fair play on the rider education aspect he will learn from this, and could keep him out of trouble.
    Another bike. :hmmmmm
    Well i see the reason i suppose in case he drops the tidy BMW but in reality, he is the thing needs conserving, and The BMw though not a starter bike perhaps, its not a feisty handful as such, and if he is anything like competent he should stay on it with a little initial caution wile he gets the feel of it .
    I suppose a cheap run around road bike, if you can find one cheap could be an idea, but it could do two things. It could be he uses the old bike a few times, then its sat doing nothing until it gets in the way and he nearly gives it away without really using it enough.
    or he will fall in love with the old bike, and just leave the BMw in the shed as a yellow ornament.
    Believe it or not i have seen the latter on more than a few occasions.
    choice of old bike for my view of things is an easy one.
    Buy a Suzuki GS500e they are cheap everywhere and basic, air cooled simplicity and in a half competent frame, a real basic bike with enough performance for most scenarios.
    Another bike would be the slightly more complex water cooled kawasaki 500 ER or Ex series these are a bit quicker than the GS500 and tend in the uk to be slighly more expensive.
    i think the 500s are an often overlooked class of bike these days, the current glut of 650s stealing the old 500s place today but the 500s are a good choice non the less.
    #17
  18. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    When I started riding again a few years ago I came across an F800ST. It was love at first sight until I folded my 32” inseam legs into the seating position. Nope. Didn’t even make it out of the parking lot.

    If it fits him, let him ride. But I don’t think it’s a good bike to learn on regardless of engine power. My recommendation is to sell it and let him buy the Sportster he’s always dreamed of.
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  19. Karlfitt

    Karlfitt Long timer Supporter

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    I know it's different but...

    I started my son on dirt bikes.
    When he turned 16 and got his license with motorcycle endorsement I had him take the beginning rider course .
    The bike he rode on the street was my R 1100 S, very similar in power and weight to the F 800 your brother has inherited.
    I was not overwhelming power wise for him.

    Your brother (like my son) will still need to build experience on the street.
    #19
  20. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    Interesting thread. I can relate because I was like your brother in 1999 except I was 50. I raced amateur motocross well into my 30's until I got hurt and decided my career was more important than my weekend hobby. I sold everything off and concentrated on my career. 15 years later my oldest son wanted to ride so I bought us both sport bikes, thinking we would ride together. A few months later he was a road racer so we never did ride together except for in our transporter going to Daytona or wherever. He became an accomplished pro for several years until he had to find a real career.

    Back at the beginning, I bought myself a 1998 Ducati 900SS. I never took a course in the early days and I admit it took me a couple years to get comfortable riding on the street. Eventually I took a few track day schools at Loudon and that helped a great deal. But still, street riding is a different skill. I still have that old Ducati, but after maybe 4 years I started riding a KTM 950 Adv. I rode that all over the continent for maybe 70k miles. Today I mainly ride a 2016 Honda Africa Twin. Still after a few months not riding anything, it takes me a few rides to get comfy in the street again.

    I don't think a mid-size street bike like the BMW 800 is too much motorcycle for your brother to start on. The bike appears well set up for sport touring and it's relatively small for a sport tourer. If he ever has a yearning for actually road tripping, he probably couldn't do better. :deal :D
    #20