I'm getting a motorcycle.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Flux Capacitor, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    Jul 6, 2005
    No tips but when you get one, post pics and be safe!
     
  3. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I absolutely will, on both counts!
     
  4. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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 :)
     
  5. Q2UnME

    Q2UnME Commodore Commodore

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    Inman, SC
    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!

    Q2UnME
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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

    Be careful.
     
  7. RevDMV

    RevDMV Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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...
     
  8. Sigokat

    Sigokat Commander Red Shirt

    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!
     
  9. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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

    Also, be safe and have fun!
     
  10. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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, 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.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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 :p
     
  12. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    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!
     
  13. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    May 19, 2005
    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.
     
  14. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Keep the shiny side up
     
  15. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    Now I'm all worried about you as well!
     
  17. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, don't worry about me, I know what i'm doing. I love it in fact. :)

    Thanks though!
     
  18. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    Wear all your gear, all the time. If you're complaining about it being hot, get a mesh jacket that has all the armor in it. Long pants, boots, gloves, helmet. Every time.

    Also, I wouldn't buy that bike, personally. Eventually, maybe. Starting out, get yourself a cheaper one and ride that for at least one season. Make sure you like it and are comfortable with the bike before getting something nice, shiny, and expensive. Plus, if you make a rookie mistake and drop it, or even screw up in a parking lot, you'll feel better about it if it wasn't new, and already had depreciated or had scratches on it. Trust me, get a starter bike.

    Go on Craigslist or wherever, and find a cheaper used one. Can probably find a mid-2000s Shadow no problem, and for very cheap. I checked, there are a million used ones in your area, all in the $3500-4000 range, and can talk them down from there. Used ones will likely have custom mods too that will save you money (chrome, backrest, windshield, bags, highway bars, whatever).

    Ride that for a year or two, and then sell it back for just about what you paid for it, or trade it in, and THEN get a new(er) bike. It'll work out much better that way.

    My first bike was a 1979 Honda CB750, and got it in 2004. Rode it two years, just to get comfortable, and sold it for 200 more than I paid for it. Then got myself a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT, and love it. It would have been WAY too much bike starting out, though, and I'd have ruined it.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually did just find a bike similar to the one pictured above, only 6 years older at a 2006 model. The dealer has it listed at $5499 but Blue Book on it is $3950. I contacted them and brought this up and they said they're willing to negotiate. If I could get the bike for below or near Blue Book I'd be happy. I'm going to go over with a buddy of mine who is a long time rider to check it out with me.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    shiny! hope you like polishing ;)

    i could never really see the appeal of cruisery-shaped bikes, but to each their own. and they probably make more sense in a country with big straight roads.

    if money was no object, (and you had more riding experience) what would be your dream bike? i always find answers to that question interesting