Shentar and the missus get a bike

Shentar

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I'm starting out in the world of motorcycles. So far, I've done a lot of reading about various topics to try to figure out whats what as I dip my toes into the motorcycle world. This thread will have some questions of mine and some thoughts. I'd love feedback.

Background: A g/f wants to get a motorcycle. She's wanted one for a while and has decided that its time, and she has a few hours of road time and descent amount of dirtbike time. Her friend convinced her that a Suzuki GSXR600 is what she wants. I've always been midly interested in a sport bike, but I have always had this idea that if I get on a bike, I'll die. Her and I talked about things for many months, and I've decided that, because its something she wants, I need to be okay with her being on a motorcycle. She took the MSF course this summer, and I thought that the first step for me would be to take the class and learn to ride a motorcycle. Knowledge will, hopefully, put fears to rest and give us, yet another, thing that we can share in together. I take the MSF class this weekend, and I've been reading about motorcycles and gear for a couple of weeks.

She still wants a bigger bike, so to compromise, we will get a smaller bike to begin with and share it. She wants her GSXR, so while she saves up for her bike (will take a year+), she can use the smaller one to learn. After that, the beginner bike is my bike for me to do with what I please.

Gear wise, I have new motorcycle gloves and an old helmet (Snell M2000). I'm going to get a new helmet, probably a Shoei RF-1200, a textile jacket with armor, textile pants with armor, and some good riding boots. Most of the gear will probably be Alpinestars, just because.

First Motorcycle: Its between the Yamaha R3, Ninja 300 ABS, and KTM RC390. I sat on the Ninja 650 and CBR500R, and they feel heavy. I think the smaller ones would be better to start with, but argue with me.

Now, of those, I really want the RC390. I've not sat on one, but I like the looks and the fact that its more powerful (so I can use it for longer) and has ABS standard. I'd rather have a bike that is fun and I can grow into it. I like the idea of keeping a bike for a long time and really being able to get the most out of it before moving up. Yamaha R3 sounds good and has done well on all the comparison articles I read, but I kinda want a bike that has ABS while the little lady and I learn. Ninja 300 has that and, from what I read, has the same performance as the R3 but is a little more revvy. The resale on the Ninja 300 will probably be better than the R3 so it might be easier to sell in a year or two after we have our confidence up. People will always be looking for beginner Ninjas, is my thought.

So, what do yall think about bike choice? What do people usually upgrade to after something like a 250/300cc sport bike?
 

jasonof2000

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Are you planning on buying a new Ninja? If so, why? You can get a used one for next to nothing, then sell it on for almost depreciation. Same thing applies to the Honda 250's.
If you do want new why not the Honda 300's?
http://rideapart.com/articles/worlds-best-beginner-bike-2015-honda-cbr300r
http://rideapart.com/articles/review-cb300f-top-pick-beginners

If you are adamant about starting on a smaller bike don't let ANYONE talk you out of it. Going more powerful than you can handle is a stupid, stupid idea. There is only one person here who would of argued with you, and he's been banned for 5 days. Also don't listen to anything he says.

As for gear, these guys have good deals:
http://www.motorcyclegear.com/

Don't worry about your next choice. Just learn to ride and get good. Also learn about what you want, and what you can realistically afford (cost and insurance). You may discover that a smaller bike works just fine for you.
 

Redliner

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This.
Also, good on you for not forgetting about gear. :thumbsup:
On to specifics: the R3 has ABS too (our local site says starting November) and I think it revs a little higher, while being marginally lighter and having a more power. This should be no surprise, since it has a bigger engine.
I don't know the market in CA, but haven't you considered the Honda CBR300R? It's a bit cheaper and has ABS but is a single-cilinder.

Stupid suggestion: have you considered the KTM390? :p
It is probably terrible, but I like the way it looks. :lol:
 

Shentar

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Are you planning on buying a new Ninja? If so, why? You can get a used one for next to nothing, then sell it on for almost depreciation. Same thing applies to the Honda 250's.
If you do want new why not the Honda 300's?
I'm not dead set on buying a new Ninja 300, but around here there is hardly any difference in price unless you go with a salvaged title. I'd like to not do that. If there is only a couple hundred dollars difference, I'd rather get a new bike. I do my own maintenance and I like the idea of knowing that the bike hasn't been dropped and that its had proper maintenance. Its weird, but I see used bikes with a few thousand miles at the same dealer with new bikes, and the used bikes go for the same price. I'm watching the market in the area though. I like the fuel injection and that its will have better performance.

My other thought on the Ninja 300 vs 250 has to do with resale. The 250 isn't made anymore, so the 300 will eventually be the beginner bike like the 250 seems to be. I can afford a little nicer bike.

As far as the Honda CBR300, its what I initially wanted without knowing anything about bikes other than Honda made reliable ones. After learning a little, all of the reviews say its the slowest of the beginner bikes with its power down low in the rev range. The Ninja 300 has power in the higher range. The g/f and I have a Miata and we love the high revving, even if we aren't really going that fast. Its just fun. We have to share this bike, and because she does have experience already, I'd like to keep her engaged with the smaller bike for a little longer. I think she might not get bored as fast on the Ninja. Also, she just doesn't like Honda bikes.

If you are adamant about starting on a smaller bike don't let ANYONE talk you out of it. Going more powerful than you can handle is a stupid, stupid idea. There is only one person here who would of argued with you, and he's been banned for 5 days. Also don't listen to anything he says.
I was following that thread. People who say I should start with a 600cc bike don't bother me. It doesn't sound like the best idea. Is it possible? Yeah, but I'd rather learn slower and have good habits. I do like to drive spirited, and I enjoy it much more now that I've been to a racing school and have done a few track days.


This.
Also, good on you for not forgetting about gear. :thumbsup:
On to specifics: the R3 has ABS too (our local site says starting November) and I think it revs a little higher, while being marginally lighter and having a more power. This should be no surprise, since it has a bigger engine.
I don't know the market in CA, but haven't you considered the Honda CBR300R? It's a bit cheaper and has ABS but is a single-cilinder.

Stupid suggestion: have you considered the KTM390? :p
It is probably terrible, but I like the way it looks. :lol:
Yamaha doesn't offer ABS on the R3 in the US. I suspect they will release an ABS version in the next year or two. I'm guessing though.
I love the KTM RC390 and Duke 390. I like the fairings more for looks and the aerodynamics. The KTM dealer that I can go to at lunch is getting an RC390 in soon, so I'll go sit on it. Its kinda the one I want more so than the Ninja or R3. I'm reading about the KTM now. Its not too much more than a new Ninja, and if it is more likely to be a bike that I would keep rather than sell, then it might be worth it to get that.

I hope some things come more into focus for me after I take the class.
 

Redliner

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I don't drive, I fly.
Regarding the R3, I can't see why they wouldn't offer the ABS here and not in the USA, but anyways: sit on them all, ride them all and buy the one you like best. We're talking learner bikes, so buy something you enjoy and actually will put many miles on.
:D
 

tigger

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Shentar said:
Also, she just doesn't like Honda bikes.
Hmm. You sure she's the right girl for you? :mrgreen:

... sit on them all, ride them all and buy the one you like best. We're talking learner bikes, so buy something you enjoy and actually will put many miles on.
:D
This. Take your time and figure out which you like best. Also, have you given any thought to a supermoto or are you set on a R3/300/390?
 

Shentar

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Hmm. You sure she's the right girl for you? :mrgreen:
yes omg yes. She's good.
This. Take your time and figure out which you like best. Also, have you given any thought to a supermoto or are you set on a R3/300/390?
We want a sportbike. supermoto is a dualsport/offroad bike? I don't see it on the KTM website, but while looking at the owner's manual, I saw them list the 690 as a supermoto. The only one I could find under the US website was under the Enduro category.
 

Lurch0001

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Firstly: congrats on making the excellent decision to join the ranks of the enlightened two-wheelers :)

Don't get hung up on the brand of your gear (Alpinestars, etc), especially the helmet, Buy what fits you best - different helmet makes are suitable for different shaped heads. Try on different models and sizes until you find one that feels good (snug but not painful) then walk around the shop with it for a few minutes to make sure there's no pressure points.

Buy the bike that feels best to ride, not the one that looks the best. If you're spending time looking at the bike, you should be using that time more productively by riding it, even just around the local area.
 

RdKetchup

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yes omg yes. She's good.

We want a sportbike. supermoto is a dualsport/offroad bike? I don't see it on the KTM website, but while looking at the owner's manual, I saw them list the 690 as a supermoto. The only one I could find under the US website was under the Enduro category.
A supermoto is not a dualsport/offroad bike, but it's similar.

A supermoto tipically uses 17" wheels with street tires, while a dualsport/offroad uses a 21" front and 18 or 19" rear, with knobby or dual use tires.

Supermoto:
http://www.ktm.com/ru/supermoto/690-smc-r/


Dualsport/enduro/offroad:
http://www.ktm.com/ru/enduro/690-enduro-r/
 

tigger

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Get them. This is coming from a man who's drilled and zip-tied fairings back together. :mrgreen:
 

Der Stig

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Get them. This is coming from a man who's drilled and zip-tied fairings back together. :mrgreen:
Yup, they saved my VFR's side-mounted radiator from getting crushed when I had my gravel road derp. Also protected the other side when I fell over in the garage because I thought I put the sidestand down.
 

jasonof2000

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I don't have sliders but I do have frame guards and they've saved me when I knocked my bike over in my barn.
 

Spectre

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What are yall's thoughts on frame sliders?
Frame sliders, crash bars, crash cage - mandatory equipment. They can make the difference between an incident being embarrassing and having to take the ride of shame in a wrecker/breakdown truck. Or worse.
 

Shentar

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Well, I have taken the plunge. I bought a 07 Ninja 500R off craigslist. It looks like its in very good shape. The whole process was an adventure. First ride, I went to the freeway as that was about the only way home. In rush hour. Bumper to bumper traffic. Yes, I stalled it a few times, but made it in good time without any mishaps. Just kept cool and calm. I didn't lane filter, so I just acted like a car. My friends following me said I kept it around 63, which is a little slow for the Bay Area freeway, but I didn't want to really push it. I did go a little faster, but I didn't hold that speed. I probably never even went over 5-6k rpm. Was very easy to ride. I am, however, immensely sore from a 40 minute/20mile ride.

I'm hooked. I;ll post some picture tomorrow in the cars you own section.
 

Shentar

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I do think frame sliders are needed, but I loathe the thought of cutting into fairings.
 
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