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motorcycle? (Read 18522 times)
xxkid123
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motorcycle?
Aug 1st, 2011 at 8:17pm
 
okay, so i'm thinking of learning how to ride a motorcycle instead of a car. however, i don't know how safe they are, and i don't know any major brands/models to get (in the far future of course). what i'm aiming for is better maneuverability (legally cutting traffic), more MPG, and cheaper than a car. does anyone who ride one know any safety issues (again, getting in a crash with a Hummer H1 doesn't sound like fun in a motorcycle), or is this not an issue (i would assume being in a motorcycle and open you would notice other cars much easier, thus making it less likely to get in a crash). also, how expensive are they really? could i get a decent one new for 5000 (USD)? i know a Harley costs several grand, and a vespa is gold plated scooter. is this price going to change in upcoming years (i'll be able to officially start learning to drive in a year or so, and by the time i can actually buy one will be when i'm graduating from college).

or am i better off getting a Toyota corolla and calling it done?
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Masiakasaurus
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #1 - Aug 1st, 2011 at 9:23pm
 
My cousin was in a small accident with a Toyota Camry on his. The fender of the other car was bent, but it didn't need to be replaced. My cousin's arm came off and needed to be reattached. The problem isn't with your visibility, it's with other people not noticing you. You have the be twice as good to watch out for people who aren't watching for themselves.

As for expense, you can get a pretty good used motorcycle for $2,000 and $7,500 for a really good new one.

I have my eye on one right now, actually. And I'm on the same timeline you are. Grin
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Bill Skinner
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #2 - Aug 1st, 2011 at 10:35pm
 
X2 what Mas said.  Both my brothers ride, one like Harleys, and Triumphs, one like BMWs and Moto Guzzis...both have been in accidents caused by someone in a car not paying attention. 

A Honda Rebel is a good starter bike, not too expensive, good gas milage, pretty reliable, not too great a top end speed, but fast enough, around 75 if memory serves.

Weaving in and out of traffic is a REAL BAD IDEA.  Bill
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #3 - Aug 1st, 2011 at 11:51pm
 
Hi, Kid;
   My first vehicle was a motor cycle, a tiny Harley manufactured in Italy.  A motor cycle is loads of fun, gets great gas mileage, and the insurance is cheaper.  However, they're difficult, dangerous, and uncomfortable  (sometimes very much so) to ride in inclement weather.  Also, check the stats.  You are in much more danger driving a cycle than a car.  In fact, you are 16 times more likely to die in a motor cycle crash than you are a car crash.  If your dream is to have a motor cycle you'll get one no matter what I write here. Not everyone who drives a motor cycle dies.  Just be very careful. 
http://www.massgeneral.org/children/adolescenthealth/articles/aa_motorcycle_safe...
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xxkid123
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #4 - Aug 2nd, 2011 at 12:00am
 
Thanks for the link ratman, as well as everyone insights. I'm not exactly after a motorcycle, however anything drive would be great, and a motorcycle looks like cheaper alternative.  Howell, a year. Or so more until I'm legally allows to get a permit, although there is a great driving school nearby.
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Steven
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #5 - Aug 2nd, 2011 at 1:07am
 
What rat-man said!! I've owned several.

Drive like you are an invisible Granny on your way to Sunday services and you may live with all major parts still attached ..or not.

There is extreme danger and extreme fun involved. Good luck.

PS I was a road-rash king and lucky to get out with all my parts still attached. Still like them though.
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #6 - Aug 2nd, 2011 at 5:14am
 
Wear High visibility clothing, fluro orange or yellow works best!

Also relfector strips, anything really
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #7 - Aug 2nd, 2011 at 5:58pm
 
Hallo there!
I come from a family of bikers, in fact my great grandfather, of which I said on a different thread, had one of the first motorbikes, the 1917's Frera.
His son had several bikes, a pre-WWII Zundapp, and a couple of Harley WLA that were easy to be found after the war.
My dad owned more than 40 bikes, from German war bike to Japanese speed monsters, in the 70es; he was also a good off-road pilot. But he managed to buy 3 Moto Guzzi, the 1952's Airone 250cc, the 1969's V7 700cc, and the 1973's California 850cc.

I begun riding motorbikes when I was 6, so it's almost 20 years since I begun. I've had 12 different motorbikes (13, if we count the California that I inherited from dad), but have used more than 30.
When I was 12, I had the most exciting experience of my (motorized) life, because I was choosen with other 39 kids for a 2 days of race. In fact, a big sponsor was choosing pilots for the CIV (Campionato Italiano Velocità - Italian Speed Championship), and I happened to finish 6th within the pilots of my Region. We used Aprila RS 125cc with improved engines, that gave the lightweight bike a maximum speed of about 185 km/h.
As I grew up, I changed my mind, from speed to traveling, and I now own a 1986's Moto Guzzi Florida 350cc, which I use 365 days a year, with any weather.

Now, to the bad part.
I've been involved in 13 accidents since I was 6.
I had A LOT of luck. None of these accidents happened in the circuit (we were running at Magione, in Umbria), but in the traffic.
I caused none, but have been hitted twice by cars.
The last one could have been very dangerous (I was travelling on the highway), but luckily I was on my Florida, which is an old-style motorcycle (LOT of steel, LOT of weight, LOT of stability and solidity), and managed to keep control of the bike.
Not to boast, but I have a lot of experience in riding motorbikes. That surely help.

If I can give you some advices: avoid stupid behavior, such as zigzag on traffic; DO NOT buy a Vespa, for it has the engine on the left side, and does not turn well. Begin your biker career with slow, lightweight bikes. Buy a bike with 3 disc brakes. If it has the ABS, it's better (but you've to ride it slow until you get in touch with it).

I begun with a 38cc, then used lots of 50cc, a 125cc, the 350cc, and thanks to this graduate experience I've had no problems when I rode 500ccs, or the big and heavy California.
Motorcycles are one of the most beautiful things on Earth, but they can be very dangerous.

A close friend of mine, who used to race in rallies, died in my hands while I was trying to save him.
We had a bad accident because he was willing to show me how good he was in riding a powerful car under the rain.
I tell you, there's nothing more stupid than to die in a car or bike accident.
Life is worthless so drive carefully, and follow a safety driving course, there're hundreds of them organized by Companies.
Greetings, and V-lamps  Smiley
Mauro.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #8 - Aug 2nd, 2011 at 6:08pm
 
By the way... my Florida in Hungary, 3 years ago...
...going back there the next week! woo-hoo!!!

...


... and the California I inherited from dad when he got ill (he now can't ride anymore, he's paralyzed) - and sorry for bad video quality!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOW4lBJQlG0

...yes, I LOVE old motorcycles, love the smell of oil and gas, the boast of ancient engines, the flickering of heavy steel frames and the rumble from those silencers!
Motorcycles are emotions, for me!
Greetings,
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #9 - Aug 4th, 2011 at 3:48am
 
Personally, I have always loved motorcycles but in many ways they are not particularly practical as everyday transport and the bigger the bike the less practical. I don't know of anyone who has taken up motorcycling purely because it was a cheap option who has remained a long term rider.

Everyone mentions the danger factor and rightly so. But also keep in mind that there is no more weather dependent vehicle than a motorbike, much more so than a bicycle. On a bicyle you're doing 15 mph and generating your own warmth. On a motorbike you're going 35 mph or considerably faster and stuck right out there in the wind. As soon as it rains, unless you've got full weather gear, you're wet through and freezing. As I remember you're in Pennsylvania, so winter motorcycling is not only 10 times more dangerous because of the ice but even a short ride will have you exposed to hypothermia. Conversely in summer, leathers and a full face helmet can be insufferably hot.

Do your sums and work it ALL out. Don't be fooled by the apparently low fuel costs. For that matter don't be fooled by the apparent low cost of very small cars. Medium sized cars last a lot longer and repair bills for small low production run cars can be real killers.

Having said that small 'twist and go' scooters can be very handy in heavy traffic, a real buzz to ride. Harleys are great but for the experienced only.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #10 - Aug 4th, 2011 at 4:07pm
 
Amen to that, Aussie.
You're 100% right.
I use my Florida through all the years, and I can say winters are VERY long on a motorcycle. I do not use any dedicate clothing, only my leather jacket, or any similar heavy clothes, and, if it rains, a waxed raincoat that we usually use when we test boats and ships in winter.

Xxkid123, I agree with Aussie, start with a scooter and then see: if you enjoy riding, you can always turn to a heavier motorcycle.
But if you begin with a heavy motorcycle, and find no fun with it, it will be a worst deal.
Let us know! (in the meantime, I've just finished my daily customization on the Florida - it's much more different by the bike you see in the picture, now that I've inherited the California, the smallest bike is growing into a dirty rat-chopper-bobber-war bike  Cheesy)
Greetings,
Mauro.
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #11 - Aug 5th, 2011 at 4:33pm
 
When my Dad taught my sisters how to drive he pretty much had one min point to get across, "When you are driving, always assume every one else is an idiot."

Driving a bike can be pretty safe just do your best to stay on backroads and off the major highways and such.
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #12 - Aug 5th, 2011 at 5:34pm
 
For a first vehicle I would go with a car. Not just because of the safety issue, although that would factor in. When you want to hang out with friends a car is more practical. Or dating. A motorcycle would work but not every woman is going to want to ride on the back of a motorcycle. Also moving from one apartment to another in college, it's really nice to have a car. There are a lot of good reasons to have a car. Whereas a motorcycle is mostly for fun. The gas mileage really isn't a huge deal unless you do a lot of driving or your driving a real gas hog. I can almost guarantee after getting caught in some bad rain a couple times or in the blazing sun the whole motorcycle thing is not going to be quite as cool as it seemed at first. They make great second vehicles when you can choose between car or motorcycle as opposed to being forced to ride them all the time no matter what.
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xxkid123
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #13 - Aug 5th, 2011 at 7:24pm
 
hmm, yeah i guess i'll go with a car first, although i'll probably work on getting a license for both. riding a motorcycle does look like fun.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: motorcycle?
Reply #14 - Aug 7th, 2011 at 4:12am
 
While turning your motorcycle, remember to always look at the direction you are going: the bike follows the biker's eyes  Wink
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