- Im a new rider. What kind of motorcycle should I get?
- The common wisdom is that you should buy a used bike for $1 to $4k
depending on what you can afford. A naked standard bikeone
without expensive fairingswont suffer much damage when you
drop it. When you have a year or two of experience, then youll
know more about what kinds of motorcycles there are, how you ride, and
what you really want.
Check out www.beginnerandbeyond.com.
Check out this list of 25kW Motorcycles
in the Netherlands, Belgium, and most of Germany.
- What are the different kinds of motorcycle?
- Touring, Sport-Touring, Sport, Standard, Cruiser, Enduro, Dual-Purpose,
Click on a bike for more info about that type.
- I want a Cruiser. Why should I get some cheap standard?
- City driving is the most dangerous sort, and generally speaking the
bikes we (the MSF) recommend for beginners tend to be relatively light
weight. We usually prefer standards to cruisers for new riders, because
the bike design and rider position give better control and better visibility,
but the Rebel isnt actually a bad choice. The other thing
to recall, however, is that your first months of riding are when you
are most likely to be involved in some sort of accident, serious or
otherwise, and for that reason, we usually recommend that you start
with an inexpensive used bike, because in a year, youre going
to have an inexpensive used bike anyway. By following this recommendation,
you avoid some loss.Al Moore
A typical Harley Davidson weighs hundreds of pounds more than a good
standard bike, even a stodgy BMW. If you dont have the balance,
strength, or experience for a big Harley, then youll get in over
your head much more quickly than something more manageable.
- I want a Sportbike. Why should I get some cheap standard?
- The Air Force never lets some guy fresh out of ground school fly an
F-16. He has to fly gliders, Cessnas and T-38s for a while first. What
makes you think youll be able to handle a sportbikelet alone
get safely near its limitswithout prior experience on a machine
more suitable for a beginner?
If youre young, meaning under about 28, your insurance for a sportbike
will be very expensive. Spend your money on track schools; that will
teach you to wring every ounce of performance out of a bike. Then, with
a few years of experience under your belt, get that Yamasukida CZX600fx4ii.
Youll appreciate it all the more.
- So what's so great about standards?
- I really feel that they are a superior motorcycle for non-track use.
Given that they are hugely more comfortable than an equivalent sportbike,
usually have better midrange, and only give up a little bit of handling
and top end, they make a lot more sense. Especially the handling...
if you're beyond the handling limits of one of these bikes, you need
to be on a track. Cycle World apparently agrees... they named the BMW
1200GS and Yamaha FZ-1 the world's best streetbikes. rhanz
- I want a Short Bike.
- Try the Home of the
- I just purchased my first bike, 2002 Honda CBR600 f4i.
- Be careful with this bike. It's very smart and follows your every
move, knows your every mood. Stay smooth and calm around it, and don't
get overly excited. If it thinks you're scared of it, it will try to
- How do I tell whether a used motorcycle is in good shape?
- Check out the Used
Motorcycle Evaluation Guide.
- What's a good mileage range for a used bike?
- Check out KBB or the NADA guides for the average mileage on the bike
you're looking at. Hint: Don't go for the really low mileage bikes either.
They'll probably need work too, from sitting and rotting.Mark
- Whats a Rat Bike?
- One that has been spray-painted flat black and patched together with
bondo, bailing wire, and a prayer.
See the Rat Bike Zone.
- What are the different engine configurations?
- Check out my page on motorcycle engine
- What are these configurations all for?
- Each is a different solution for the task of putting a small, large,
powerful, efficient, loud, quiet, smooth and jiggly engine into a motorcycle.
An engine with more pistons has smaller components that can move more
quickly, but is more complicated.
- What's the difference between torque and horsepower?
- Let's go back do a quickie review of physics.
- So what's the best motorcycle?
- There are many good bikes out there, each built with some purpose
in mind. There is no one best motorcycle for everyone.
- Why are BMW air-cooled engines called boxers?
- Funny Answer: Read the story about the Spagthorpe
Real Answer: The pistons
move in and out at the same time, like boxers fists.
- How big does a twin have to be to be big?
- Big Twin has a special meaning in the Harley world. It
means one of the Harley engines that has a separate transmission, whereas
the Sportster has unit engine/transmission construction. A Sportster
engine modded to the same displacement as a Harley full dresser would
be a big twin, but it wouldnt be a Big Twin. Mark, DoD
- Does the crotch rocket style generally come with better handling
(compared to a standard street style) or is it all looks?
- Oh yeah, Its night and day. Handling, brakes, power, the works.
Thats why people buy sport bikes.
- How comfortable is that leaning forward posture, especially
if you are on there an hour or more? Is much of the weight of your torso
braced on your arms?
- Different models have different amounts of forward lean and different
foot peg position (also important for comfort). Your comfort on a particular
bike depends on the length of your arms/legs, the position of the various
controls, your physical condition, and how you sit. At speeds of 45+
mph the wind supports you quite a bit. I can ride all day at freeway
speeds on my VFR but the VFR has a relatively mild lean and low foot
pegs compared with say a Ducati 996 or a GSXR-750.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of shaft drive and chain
- Chain Drive is light, highly efficient, inexpensive, and allows
you to relatively easily change your motorcycles final drive
ratio. However, it requires regular lubrication, cleaning, and tension
- Shaft drive is heavier, almost but not quite as efficient, somewhat
expensive, and makes it impractical to change the final drive ratio.
However, the maintenance intervals are much farther apart.
- Should I get a motorcycle with ABS? Cant a skilled rider stop
faster than ABS?
- A skilled rider on dry pavement, yes. But in the wet, things are different.
Read the IBMWR article No
Fault Braking: A Real-World Comparison of ABS Systems.
- So what kind of motorcycle should I get as a first bike?
- Here are some suggestions. This is not an all-encompassing list. I
would recommend against a big Harley-Davidson or BMW, or any sportbike
600cc or larger. If youre small, get a small bike; if youre
big, you can get away with starting out on a bigger bike.
- BMW F650, airhead R-bike, or K75
- Honda Nighthawk, Hawk, or CB-1
- Kawasaki EX250 or EX500
- Suzuki Bandit 400, GS500, or SV650
- Yamaha Seca II 400
- Where can I buy a used motorcycle?
- Heres a whole list
- Can you dicker the price on a new bike?
- So what all do I have to do to get a new bike?
- Take the basic MSF course.
- Get the license endorsement.
- Get gear (helmet, pants, jacket, gloves, boots).
- Get the bike inspected.
- Get the bike insured.
- Get medical insurance.
- Get the bike.
- Get license plates for the bike.
- So how do I make sure that this used bike Im buying is legit?
Not a perfect model, but a thief would have to both have sold the bike
before owner reported it stolen AND would have to have a decently good
fake ID, but the desparate seller would be willing to comply. Would
also only take about an hour or two, only a little longer than a normal
trasaction. Nicholas C. Weaver nweaverATcs.berkeley.edu
- 1: Go down, inspect bike (full anal inspection), inspect
title. Record VIN, plate, engine #.
- Record/photocopy buyers drivers liscence.
- Call police autotheft dept on cellphone. Phone in Vin, plate,
engine serial #. They will be able to tell if its stolen, and should
be able to say if it is salvage. Likewise, ask if they can verify
drivers liscence #/name/address association. they might not,
but they might.
- Pay for bike with cashiers check. Take posession of the
- Is it Beamer of Bimmer?
- That depends on whether you're talking about cars or motorcycles.
According to the Boston
BMW car club, it is important to make the distinction. BMW car is
a bimmer and a BMW motorcycle is a Beemer or Beamer.