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Old March 22 2013, 08:04 AM   #1
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I'm getting a motorcycle.

Hey folks. It's been a while since I've posted substantially here but what with some new movie about some ship and her crew coming out in a few weeks, I found myself drawn back to ol' Blue. And I thought I'd share what I feel is a pretty significant development in my life. Yes, as the title states, I am in the process of acquiring a two-wheeled motorized vehicle known as a motorcycle.

Why, some might ask, would one remove themselves from the compartitively safe confines of an automobile (henceforth refered to as a "cage") for the exposed position of one traveling by motorcycle. In California traffic no less. Trust me, I've gotten the "It's so dangerous!!!!" reactions from several compatriots, and while I completely accept that I am putting myself in just a touch more peril than a driving a cage would, I have my reasons. And they are as follows:

Saving $$$: Any bike I get will be cheap and will likely be bought with cash or a loan with a hefty down payment. We're talkin' $30-50/mo payments at most. My wife and I both have our own cars, yet with our short commutes, the gas mileage those cars get ends up being less than exemplary. My 4 cylinder Accord gets me an average of 20mpg, and I fill up at least twice a month. Same with the wife. With current gas prices, that means we spend about $200-240 on gas per month. A bike, however, would get me an average of 50-60mpg and that's on a 2.5-3 gallon tank. Now we're talkin'.

Warriors Watch: I'm part of an organization called The Warriors' Watch Riders. We're a group of military veterans and civilian patriots who seek to honor our returning service members. We do so by meeting them at the airport or at a restaurant while they're having dinner with their totally-in-on-it family and surprising them with a welcome home motorcycle escort. Nearly all of the members ride, but there are a few of us who don't who drive our cages in the processions. I'm usually piloting my dad's lifted Jeep Wrangler and running interference for any impatient cagers who may disrupt the procession, and I help make a spectacle of the whole thing with the siren mounted on the Jeep. That part is fun and all...but not quite like being up with the guys at the front on the bikes. I'm with the Warriors' Watch Riders and I'd like to actually be...a rider!

Because...I want to: That's really why we do just about anything we choose to do, isn't it? Ever since I've been with the WWR I've become fascinated with the idea of riding one myself. And when I realized it can also save us some money...even better! The idea of being able to hop on my bike and motor over to the store or actually make my commute to work fun really excites me, as does the prospect of really becoming a part of the brotherhood of the guys who ride with WWR. If you asked me about 5 years ago if I thought one day I'd long to be a "biker" I'd have thought you were crazy. Now, it's something I can't wait to do.

Anyway, sorry for the long windedness of all of that, but I'm just excited. I signed myself up for a MSF training course along with my dad. Next step from there is to head to DMV and turn in my certificate in exchange for my new license...and then it's off to find my steed. I went to a dealership today and got the feel for a few bikes I liked, and all I can say is I felt right at home on a 2012 Honda Shadow RS. I'll keep this thread updated with my progress (the class is April 3, 6-7) but in the meantime, I'd love to hear any tips any riders here may have to offer.
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Old March 22 2013, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

No tips but when you get one, post pics and be safe!
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Old March 22 2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

I absolutely will, on both counts!
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Old March 22 2013, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Excellent! You are in for a real treat. Biking is exciting on a personal level, educational in the sense that bikes do require a fair bit of maintenance, something which you'll learn as you go along, and also a great social activity. I have made friends I hang with regularly just wandering around the supermarket. Bikers have a tendency to just walk up to each other and start talking bikes. You'll get used to that.

The RS is a 750 right? That's a pretty substantial piece of machinery for your first bike. I won't lecture you beyond saying, go easy to start with. I'm sure they'll teach you well on your course, but that's a powerful machine that can easily get away from you if you are not careful. It takes a while to grow in confidence, and you can't be taught experience!

Good luck. I look forward to seeing some pics as well
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Old March 22 2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Well, Flux, welcome to the riding ranks. My advice is buy what you want at the price you can afford. I always thought my 1100cc V-Star Classic was my "entry level" bike or it was my "1st. bike" and that I'd be getting a Harley soon. Well, that was 7 years, two houses and 3 cars ago. I like the big crusers and want a Harley Fat Boy or a Heritage Soft-tail, but the V-Star is a good compromise (for now). Listen, learn and be cautious. Forget making eye contact with someone in a car wanting to pull out. Watch their front tires instead, will tell you far more than someone who can be easily looking through you or beyond you...

Have fun, pictures are a must!

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Old March 22 2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

A friend who rode once told me there are 2 kinds of motorcyclists. Those that have wrecked, and those who will.

Be careful.
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Old March 22 2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Good luck and have fun. I know a lot of guys who ride and for them it's a meditation of sorts and a great deal of fun.

I had a chance to ride some friends bikes bit when I was younger, but I never got to the I feel like I know anything point. (Took my thrill seeking nature to piloting)

Enjoy the classes, and the ride...
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Old March 23 2013, 04:41 AM   #8
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

I used to ride, but gave it up. Sold my last bike when I was at Ft. Polk, LA.

I had decided that I didn't want to have deployed 4 times to 2 different war zones, just to return home and be killed on my bike because of impatient and unattentive ar drivers. I also lived down a dangerous rode where loggind trucks and cars sped their asses off (a logging truck had killed a family in a car about 2 months before I got to Ft. Polk on that road) as if they were on a straight and flat highway!

It wasn't worth it to me anymore. But I did enjoy riding when I did ride. Have fun with it, but please don't become like alot of riders and you become the danger in the road. You know what I mean, weaving in and out of traffic, passing illegally, speeding and doing wheelies because you think its cool (saw a guy do that and dumbed his bike with his girlfriend on the back...it was an ugly scene!) But it sounds like you're getting a cruiser not a crotch rocket (I assume this because of the group you ride with. Most of those groups are mainly cruiser guys that I've seen).

So have fun and be safe!
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Old March 23 2013, 05:29 AM   #9
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

I recommend covering yourself in bubble wrap. It's what I would do.

Also, be safe and have fun!
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Old March 23 2013, 09:22 AM   #10
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Pingfah wrote: View Post
Excellent! You are in for a real treat. Biking is exciting on a personal level, educational in the sense that bikes do require a fair bit of maintenance, something which you'll learn as you go along, and also a great social activity. I have made friends I hang with regularly just wandering around the supermarket. Bikers have a tendency to just walk up to each other and start talking bikes. You'll get used to that.

The RS is a 750 right? That's a pretty substantial piece of machinery for your first bike. I won't lecture you beyond saying, go easy to start with. I'm sure they'll teach you well on your course, but that's a powerful machine that can easily get away from you if you are not careful. It takes a while to grow in confidence, and you can't be taught experience!

Good luck. I look forward to seeing some pics as well
That's funny that you mention that a 750 seems like a lot of bike for me starting out. One of my WWR buddies just told me he thinks I should go bigger. I think the Shadow is plenty big and I can't exactly go smaller, being 6'3" anyway.

Sigokat wrote: View Post
I used to ride, but gave it up. Sold my last bike when I was at Ft. Polk, LA.

I had decided that I didn't want to have deployed 4 times to 2 different war zones, just to return home and be killed on my bike because of impatient and unattentive ar drivers. I also lived down a dangerous rode where loggind trucks and cars sped their asses off (a logging truck had killed a family in a car about 2 months before I got to Ft. Polk on that road) as if they were on a straight and flat highway!

It wasn't worth it to me anymore. But I did enjoy riding when I did ride. Have fun with it, but please don't become like alot of riders and you become the danger in the road. You know what I mean, weaving in and out of traffic, passing illegally, speeding and doing wheelies because you think its cool (saw a guy do that and dumbed his bike with his girlfriend on the back...it was an ugly scene!) But it sounds like you're getting a cruiser not a crotch rocket (I assume this because of the group you ride with. Most of those groups are mainly cruiser guys that I've seen).

So have fun and be safe!
Yeah, definitely going with a cruiser. I like the laid back riding position, those sports bikes look so uncomfortable having to be all perched on top of the thing. I definitely plan on keeping it legal and safe. Lane splitting is legal here in California but I doubt I'll do much of that until I am incredible comfortable riding.

I just found out that I can actually just go get a permit following a written test and ride before getting the license. My class isn't that far away but I think I might just have to go get the permit and accelerate the process of getting behind the handlebars of my own bike. Here's a pic of an example of my current dream bike...same color as my Honda Accord, too. I plan on getting some sort of Honda bike so I want to get a license plate frame that reads something like "My other Honda is a 750cc" or "...has two wheels" or something along those lines.

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Old March 23 2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Flux Capacitor wrote: View Post

That's funny that you mention that a 750 seems like a lot of bike for me starting out. One of my WWR buddies just told me he thinks I should go bigger. I think the Shadow is plenty big and I can't exactly go smaller, being 6'3" anyway.
Yeah, I tend to be cautious, probably because of the conditions I am forced to endure. I ride at least 30 miles a day, on 60mph winding single lane Cornish roads and have to ride in all conditions as I don't own a car. If I had started out on a 1000cc bike, I can see myself having gotten into some problems. They are not easy to handle when you're keeping up with rush hour traffic in driving rain and wind, in the dark, with other people's oncoming headlights blinding you. Some nights literally the only thing I can see is the tail lights of the car in front of me, and following those is the only way I know i'm still on the road.

I imagine the experience is somewhat different in California though, so it could well be I am overcautious for your situation.

Beautiful bike by the way. Have fun cleaning it
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Old March 23 2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

getting a bike that's comfy to be on is important. some sports bikes aren't as uncomfortable as they look, the worst bike ive had a go on was some harley looking thing with really high handlebars and far forward footrests, was almost unridable. though that one in the pic looks fine.

riding a bike isn't that dangerous in itself if you're a sensible rider, from my experience the danger is people in cars not paying attention. good luck!
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Old March 23 2013, 07:03 PM   #13
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Like others have said....be safe. Be far more defensive than you would be in a car, because some people just don't see bikes.

Also, don't be one of those riders who think they can be stupider than normal because other drivers should be looking out for them. Lots of crotch rocket jockeys around here.

Be more careful of rocks, potholes & R/R tracks that you might not give a second thought to while in a car.
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Old March 25 2013, 07:37 AM   #14
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Keep the shiny side up
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Old March 25 2013, 09:48 AM   #15
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Re: I'm getting a motorcycle.

Personally not something I'd ever consider. Just don't be one of these motor-revving idiots out trying to make the most noise humanly possible. I swear there are at least 3 different dudes on my street who make it their mission in life to set off every single car alarm they can when they ride by. South Park nailed this one.
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