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First, a bit about myself. I am currently 35 years old and looking to purchase my first motorcycle withing 9-12 months. I will be taking the MSF course in June. I am looking to spend $7,000-$10,500 on a new motorcycle. I see recommendations on starting with a used bike as well as financing/not financing. My plan, however, is to get a new motorcycle from the dealership and putting $5000-$7000 as a down payment and financing the rest over a 24 or 36 month period. I could possibly buy the bike outright, but I don't see any harm in building up my credit a bit while paying off the loan. I can always pay it off early if I so desire, anyway. Current credit score 750+. Luckily, I currently do not have any accidents or infractions on my insurance record.

I plan to use the motorcycle as a secondary vehicle and ride mostly on paved roads, but I occasionally plan to ride off-road on dirt or gravel trails, but nothing too rough. In order to begin riding safely, I plan to mitigate the possibility of being involved in an accident by traveling on relatively low speed/low traffic roads, NEVER riding while distracted or inebriated, avoid riding at night, always traveling at or below the posted speed limit, avoiding highway riding for at least 6-9 months after purchasing the bike, avoid riding in the rain or at night, and driving cautiously and alert. Some of these beginner bikes have engines perhaps more appropriate for more experienced riders, but I am an adult and don't ever speed or drive dangerously in my current vehicle. This is not to say that I think that I can handle larger engines better than any other beginner. This is just to say I will be taking it slow and being patient while learning which will, hopefully, keep me safe.

I am currently considering these bikes. I am not listing them in any particular order other than the tiered system for how much I think I would want them. If you have any specific information (recommendations/experience/have owned/etc.) with any of these motorcycles, please do not hesitate to relate that information in your reply. You may notice I don't have any bikes manufactured by Aprilla, Ducati, KTM, Royal Enfield, or Triumph. I am sure these are fine bike, for example, I would love to have a DesertX. I either don't want to start with these specific manufacturers or don't live their models enough to purchase as a beginner rider.

Bikes I would love to have: CB500X, MT-07, Tenere 700, XL 750 Transalp (possibly)

Bikes I would definitely consider: F 850 GS, F 850 GS Adventure (this bike costs more than I would prefer to spend, but I would consider it because of the 3-year warranty)

Bikes I like somewhat: F 750 GS, CB500F, MT-03, Versys 650, KLR 650, VStrom 650/XT, VStrom 800 DE/Adventure (possibly), Norden 901

Bikes it would take some effort to convince me to buy: z650, z900, Versys X300, 701 Enduro, SV 650, GSX S750, GSX-8S (possibly)

Again, any relevant information on or comparisons of any of these bikes is more than welcome. Convince me if you want!
I also have tons of questions regarding motorcycles or riding in general. Some of these may seem like dumb questions to you. I am a beginner and just trying to increase my knowledge. Be easy on me, please. Consider answering:
  1. Most motorcycles downshift into first and upshift through the rest of the gears. When you shift from 1st to 2nd, do you have to go through neutral and upshift twice, or does the bike go from 1st to 2nd with 1 upshift?
  2. Is a riding jacket with armor sufficient protection or do you also need base layers when riding?
  3. Are riding pants with armor sufficient protection or do you also need base layers when riding?
  4. I have tried RevZilla/Cycle Word, but I can't find jackets or pants sorted by CE A, AA, or AAA rated protection. Is there any site on which I can find protective gear sorted by its A/AA/AAA rating?
  5. As far as motorcycle armors inserts, is there a material that is best for protection? Also, what are the pros and cons of each armor insert material?
  6. In general, what type of material is most protective in the case of an accident/crash/skid?
  7. Should you/can you/do you wear external elbow and knee guards over your riding gear with internal armor inserts i.e. riding pants with internal knee armor with an external knee pad on top?
  8. Could you please recommend a DOT and ECE rated motorcycle helmet with an internal drop down sun visor for under $300?
  9. Could you please recommend a protective summer riding jacket for under $300?
  10. Could you please recommend protective summer riding pants for under $300?
  11. Could you please recommend full length motorcycle boots for street and light off-road riding for under $300?
  12. Could you please recommend warm weather riding gloves with vibration reducing palm padding, hard knuckle protections, and a palm/side hand slider for under $120?
  13. Can normal cold weather clothing be worn over protective riding clothing for colder weather? Or is a separate cold weather riding jacket and cold weather riding pants recommended?
  14. For upgrades I am currently looking to eventually upgrade tires as well as adding a skid plate, engine guards/sliders, a new front or rear sprocket if necessary, radiator guard, and chain. Could you possibly recommend a good manufacturer for a skid plate? engine guards? engine sliders? front and rear sprockets? a radiator guard? an after market chain?
I understand that this post is very verbose and somewhat in-depth. I VERY much appreciate anyone that will take the time to read and respond to this post. You definitely did help me and hopefully some other people who view this thread. Again, this is a pretty lengthy post. I highly appreciate ANYONE who takes the time to read and respond. I understand that your time is important to you and am humbled that you may have chose to help me. Have a great day and stay safe!
 

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Question 1- you would only go into neutral coming up from first if you "lightly tapped" the gearshift lever. Instead you should pull it up firmly as you should do for all the other shifts until you get to your cruising speed.

I've accidentally gone from first to neutral when I wanted second gear, but it doesn't happen very often, and it's always been because I was lazy and didn't put effort into upshifting.
 

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You do seem to be on the right track with everything. The CB500X is the first bike you mentioned and it's a great bike. My call is get a super clean pre-owned one from a dealer, as they have a far greater liability than an individual; the least expensive Snell approved, full face helmet that fits you correctly; the best fitting, mid-priced spinal cord protector you can find; riding gloves with palm protection; some inexpensive protective clothing to start riding with... and everything else your MSF instructor tells you.
 

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I'm pretty sure new Honda motorcycles in the U.S. come with a 3-year warranty, like the BMWs.

I'll answer a few of your questions from my own experience and personal preference.

2. I depend on the outer garment for protection in case of a crash. Underlayers are for protection from the cold. I wear an armored textile 4-season coat that has zippered vents for warm and hot weather, and a zip-out thermal liner for cool and cold weather.

3. Same as 2.

6. Good leather is the best. A stylish leather jacket from Wilson's is NOT good protection. I have a First Gear leather jacket I wear sometimes, when I'm not expecting to encounter rain. Otherwise, I'm wearing my "waterproof" Cordura textile jacket.

7. I don't wear exterior padding, and I've never seen anybody else with it, either.

8. Helmet recommendations are hard, because fit is paramount. Different people have different shaped heads. Different helmet brands and models fit different shaped heads. A helmet that fits me perfectly may not fit you well at all. I wear a Sedici modular helmet that is ECE rated and is priced below $300. This is one of Revzilla/Cycle Gear's house brands. If you can find a motorcycle gear store near you (e.g. Cycle Gear), go there and try on helmets to find what fits you. Many motorcycle dealers do not carry a large selection of helmets, unfortunately.

13. I think most people wear the extra cold-weather layers under their protective garments, not over. At least, that's what I and all my riding friends do.

14. Tires: you'll find all kinds of opinions. If you buy a new motorcycle, the tires that come on it will probably last 5000 miles or so. They will be fine for your getting-started phase. When it's time for you to buy new tires, search this forum for posts on the topic and be prepared to do some research.
 

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some ideas:

- you WILL drop and crash bike while learning. Perhaps multiple times. So add into budget $3000-4000 for repairs

- highways are much, much easier than riding on streets. It's stopping, starting and turning is where most beginners crash. Intersections on surface streets are where 75% of traffic fatalities occur. Abour 4% happen on highways.

This past year, I had 2 friends seriously injured by drivers. One was just going down city road home after work. Car coming from opposite direction turns in front of him to get to gas station. Luckily it he flew over bonnet and didn't have sudden impact. Just broken collarbone when landing on ground and abrasions from sliding and rolling on ground.

Another was waiting at right-turn lane when she got rear-ended by SUV going ~60 mph. Driver was occupied texting on phone. Luckily due to curve of road, she was thrown next to car ahead of her instead of getting crushed between them. SUV ended up totaling the 3 cars ahead of her!

Saw several reports per week of others I didn't know accidents. Most involving inattentive drivers. Only about 1 out of 100 in past year was on highway. Don't connect speed with safety, they are not related in any way.

- tyres? use whatever's on bike and get better tyres when they wear out. Traction is not problem on modern tyres. Loosing grip is only side-effecr or result of actual cause of crash. Such as too-sudden & abrupt control inputs (steering, braking). That's the mistake that overcomes tyre's traction and causes crashes.
 

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You didn't mention your height, and that can be an important factor for a new rider in choice of bike. You need to be able to flat foot both feet when stopped, and many of the bikes that are set up for some off-road travel have a fairly tall seat height. I also would recommend the CB500X as it is not too tall and not too powerful and also not too expensive. If that is too tall for you, try the CB500F.
 

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I plan to use the motorcycle as a secondary vehicle and ride mostly on paved roads, but I occasionally plan to ride off-road on dirt or gravel trails, but nothing too rough. In order to begin riding safely, I plan to mitigate the possibility of being involved in an accident by traveling on relatively low speed/low traffic roads, NEVER riding while distracted or inebriated, avoid riding at night, always traveling at or below the posted speed limit, avoiding highway riding for at least 6-9 months after purchasing the bike, avoid riding in the rain or at night, and driving cautiously and alert.
I would ask why you'd want to spend the money for a new midsized motorcycle, which is likely to take a big depreciation hit as soon as you drive it off the lot or worse if you drop it(very likely), that can easily exceed your skill level as a newly minted rider?

All these thoughts are rushing through your head, I know I've been there, because you have no practical experience riding a motorcycle, so the fix for that would be to take the riders course and get your license. The class will give you a fun safe environment to gain some experience and assess you skill level. After finishing your ideas about what motorcycle to buy are likely to change. Mine did. Then you can get serious about looking for a motorcycle.

I would say go sit on anything you think might like because fit is very important on a motorcycle and highly subjective. There will be motorcycle you really like that don't work from a fit perspective and vice versa. A small used dual sport or adventure bike will be great for bopping around town, and can go on the highway when you're ready. A lighter more nimble bike is a better tool to learn the road skills you need like swerving, negotiating curves, panic stops, etc. With that kind of bike you'll be able to practice in the dirt, which is much more forgiving that concrete or asphalt. Once you've ramped up your skill set and feel the need for speed, you can sell the bike to get the one you want without much of a loss and get the motorcycle you want. Consider it the cost of becoming a better rider, which should be your goal. Good luck my friend and welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You didn't mention your height, and that can be an important factor for a new rider in choice of bike. You need to be able to flat foot both feet when stopped, and many of the bikes that are set up for some off-road travel have a fairly tall seat height. I also would recommend the CB500X as it is not too tall and not too powerful and also not too expensive. If that is too tall for you, try the CB500F.
Sorry, I am 5'11" 185-190 lbs. I guess that could make a big difference.

I would ask why you'd want to spend the money for a new midsized motorcycle, which is likely to take a big depreciation hit as soon as you drive it off the lot or worse if you drop it(very likely), that can easily exceed your skill level as a newly minted rider?
I just figured with the current price of used bikes currently meeting or exceeding the price of new bikes that may be my best bet. And, you're right, attempting to get into this new hobby and skill I have so much information going into my head right now it is difficult to parse.

Also, thank you DannoXYZ I didn't realize that was how most accidents occurred. Thank you RogerC60, Kuiil, and gunsmoker for your time and replies. I really appreciate it.
 

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For riding gear, get a mesh jacket and pants with a zip-out insulated liner and CE armor. Add a windproof/rainproof outer shell for both, and you're good to go in all but the worst weather. Check Revzilla or Cycle Gear and you'll find a dizzying array of brands, styles, and prices.
 

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It's true the gap between new and used has been squeezed of late, but don't forget on a new bike you're going to pay at least $1,000 in freight, setup and whatever else they can think of unless you're a really good negotiator. Plus, there's always people who buy bikes and for whatever reason it doesn't work out so the sell it down the road for a nice discount. Some patience may be required these days and since you're not taking the class until June, you've got plenty of time look and figure out the market.

My first bike was an 80s UJM that offered similar specs to the MT-07 my friend helped/talked me into buying. It was a good in the sense that I didn't pay much for it, three figures, so would not be out much if I crashed it and was in good mechanical condition as my friend, who is learned ways of motorcycle repaired, could confirm, but it had so much power, I felt overmatched by it as someone who had little experience other than a rides as a little kid and the riders course. This is why the class is important because there's somethings you can only grasp by doing them. I only mostly rode around the neighborhood, but did take it on the highway a few times, which confirmed I was not ready for that much power.

I ended up selling it and buying the bike I used in class. It was only 250cc and had 15hP, but was a good fit. It was light, which made it easy to handle. I put an aftermarket pipe on it that made it sound way faster than it was, which is kind of half the fun. I could pin the throttle without feeling like I was going to wheelie and flip the bike. I ended up selling it too and getting a bike with three times the power, but half the fun, though it was more comfortable on the freeway.

I'm not saying you can't learn on a bigger bike(I guess you'll have to decide for yourself on that one) and there's some merit to going new with prices nowadays, but as always, perfect choices are elusive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
It's true the gap between new and used has been squeezed of late, but don't forget on a new bike you're going to pay at least $1,000 in freight, setup and whatever else they can think of unless you're a really good negotiator. Plus, there's always people who buy bikes and for whatever reason it doesn't work out so the sell it down the road for a nice discount. Some patience may be required these days and since you're not taking the class until June, you've got plenty of time look and figure out the market.

My first bike was an 80s UJM that offered similar specs to the MT-07 my friend helped/talked me into buying. It was a good in the sense that I didn't pay much for it, three figures, so would not be out much if I crashed it and was in good mechanical condition as my friend, who is learned ways of motorcycle repaired, could confirm, but it had so much power, I felt overmatched by it as someone who had little experience other than a rides as a little kid and the riders course. This is why the class is important because there's somethings you can only grasp by doing them. I only mostly rode around the neighborhood, but did take it on the highway a few times, which confirmed I was not ready for that much power.

I ended up selling it and buying the bike I used in class. It was only 250cc and had 15hP, but was a good fit. It was light, which made it easy to handle. I put an aftermarket pipe on it that made it sound way faster than it was, which is kind of half the fun. I could pin the throttle without feeling like I was going to wheelie and flip the bike. I ended up selling it too and getting a bike with three times the power, but half the fun, though it was more comfortable on the freeway.

I'm not saying you can't learn on a bigger bike(I guess you'll have to decide for yourself on that one) and there's some merit to going new with prices nowadays, but as always, perfect choices are elusive.
Thank you for your thought and input. I guess I could possibly get an older model Vstrom or KLR and learn on that and see if riding even suits me before getting a new/larger bike. Since those models have been out forever, it may be easier to find a good deal on one where I wouldn't be eating a majority of the depreciation.

As you have evidently pre-rejected any good advice, I wish you the best of luck.
I don't believe that I am demonstrating any obstinance to any idea or advice being encouraged. Keep in mind, I haven't made any decisions yet. I am doing my best to plan. If you don't want to take part in the conversation, that's OK though. Have a good day.
 

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Welcome from the Missouri Ozarks!

Lots of GREAT, thoughtful questions, and lots of good advice here!(y) One thing I will take issue with a little bit is gear selection. I'm a RiderCoach; I recommend that my students buy the best gear that their budget will allow. With the motorcycling budget you've presented here, I would suggest spending a little less on a first bike (Your first bike won't be your last bike, trust us!!:D) and a little more on higher quality gear, especially your helmet. Yes, a $300 DOT/ECE helmet made by a reputable manufacturer will do its job in the event of a crash, but a helmet with a Snell rating will offer you even more protection. I tipped over on my bike while wearing a $300-400 reputable helmet, smacked the back of my head on the parking lot, and suffered a mild concussion for two weeks; the bike wasn't even running. Conversely, I came up on the losing end of a Honda Pilot at 30-35 mph, high-sided 30 feet (flew and landed in front of the bike--you'll learn more about that in class) and landed on my left side. The full-face Arai helmet I was wearing did its job and I suffered absolutely no head injuries. I was also wearing Motoport jacket and pants which left me unscathed and were able to be repaired by the company. The only injury I had was some overall stiffness for a couple days.
Helmet Bicycle helmet Sports gear Hood Automotive lighting


Sleeve Webbing Personal protective equipment Font Bag

Every crash is different. But there's a reason that racers wear what they do. Sure, you won't be doing 200mph on the street, but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to motorcycle gear. The "Big Box" motorcycle stores will carry a wide variety of helmets, but you have to dig a little deeper for higher quality jackets and pants, such as Motoport and Aerostitch. This gear is custom made and is truly an investment; it's understandable to want to make sure motorcycling is really for you before doing so (The Motoport is so good that they'll let me wear it at the track for street skills--not racing-- schools so I don't have to rent leathers(y)). Just a note, you won't need to have all of your street gear for your class, except for a helmet (if your site doesn't provide loaners). You'll also need eye protection if your helmet lacks a face shield (prescription eyewear or sunglasses are fine for class), long sleeves, long sturdy pants, full-fingered gloves (not necessarily motorcycle gloves), and sturdy over-the-ankle boots (hiking boots are a good choice). So you can really take your time to explore all the options out there.

In what state will you be taking your class? MSF is in the process of transitioning to all online classroom content so I'm curious as to where you're at so I might be able to clue you in on what to expect (if I can find out what each state is currently offering). Were you instructed to complete an E-course prior to your class?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Welcome from the Missouri Ozarks!

Lots of GREAT, thoughtful questions, and lots of good advice here!(y) One thing I will take issue with a little bit is gear selection. I'm a RiderCoach; I recommend that my students buy the best gear that their budget will allow. With the motorcycling budget you've presented here, I would suggest spending a little less on a first bike (Your first bike won't be your last bike, trust us!!:D) and a little more on higher quality gear, especially your helmet. Yes, a $300 DOT/ECE helmet made by a reputable manufacturer will do its job in the event of a crash, but a helmet with a Snell rating will offer you even more protection. I tipped over on my bike while wearing a $300-400 reputable helmet, smacked the back of my head on the parking lot, and suffered a mild concussion for two weeks; the bike wasn't even running. Conversely, I came up on the losing end of a Honda Pilot at 30-35 mph, high-sided 30 feet (flew and landed in front of the bike--you'll learn more about that in class) and landed on my left side. The full-face Arai helmet I was wearing did its job and I suffered absolutely no head injuries. I was also wearing Motoport jacket and pants which left me unscathed and were able to be repaired by the company. The only injury I had was some overall stiffness for a couple days.
View attachment 77970

View attachment 77972
Every crash is different. But there's a reason that racers wear what they do. Sure, you won't be doing 200mph on the street, but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to motorcycle gear. The "Big Box" motorcycle stores will carry a wide variety of helmets, but you have to dig a little deeper for higher quality jackets and pants, such as Motoport and Aerostitch. This gear is custom made and is truly an investment; it's understandable to want to make sure motorcycling is really for you before doing so (The Motoport is so good that they'll let me wear it at the track for street skills--not racing-- schools so I don't have to rent leathers(y)). Just a note, you won't need to have all of your street gear for your class, except for a helmet (if your site doesn't provide loaners). You'll also need eye protection if your helmet lacks a face shield (prescription eyewear or sunglasses are fine for class), long sleeves, long sturdy pants, full-fingered gloves (not necessarily motorcycle gloves), and sturdy over-the-ankle boots (hiking boots are a good choice). So you can really take your time to explore all the options out there.

In what state will you be taking your class? MSF is in the process of transitioning to all online classroom content so I'm curious as to where you're at so I might be able to clue you in on what to expect (if I can find out what each state is currently offering). Were you instructed to complete an E-course prior to your class?
Thank you for the great information. I will be taking the class in Louisiana. I haven't been notified to take any online courses at this time. This is where everything gets so confusing. Large, respected YouTubers like FortNine seem to suggest that ECE is a better overall certification...if I interpreted that video correctly. You are saying to go with a Snell certified helmet for the increased impact resistant rating. This is great information to know. So, I should start with somewhat decent protective gear and then possibly get more expensive gear when I am sure that the hobby suits me? I really appreciate your time and input.

Also, I have taken some aforementioned advice to heart and have been searching cycletrader/FB marketplace/classified for possibly a more affordable/less powerful starter bike - around the $3,000-$4,500 range. It's hard right now to find bikes for less that aren't complete beaters.
 

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ECE is designed to allow for some twisting during impact which lessens basal skull and neck injuries. I'm in process of replacing all my helmets with ECE versions.

That brings up another idea, is you don't have to do everything at once. Start with basic ECE helmet, mesh jacket and gloves. You can always get additional gear over time as you get more experienced and more comfortable. Full leather suit is hot and pain to get on & off, so I only use it for racing on track. Most of time, I use 1-piece Fieldsheer touring suit so I can wear my office clothes underneath.

Take your time getting bike. Do MSF class 1st and see how it goes. There's quite a few people that decide afterwards that riding moto's really not for them. Get in as much practice as you can and crash their bikes, not yours.

Then what you can do afterwards is rent bikes of different types and see what you like. I've had great rentals from Twisted Road: Motorcycle Rentals . Personally I don't like bikes that try to do everything, they end up failing at everything. Dual-sports and ADV bikes just don't race that well at track and don't do off-roading very well. That's why I have razor-edge CBR600RR for track and lightweight 125 2-stroke for dirt. Impossible for any generic multi-purpose bike to do as well on either environment. Frankly, i find them extremely disappointing for anything other than commuting.
 
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some ideas:

- you WILL drop and crash bike while learning. Perhaps multiple times. So add into budget $3000-4000 for repairs

- highways are much, much easier than riding on streets. It's stopping, starting and turning is where most beginners crash. Intersections on surface streets are where 75% of traffic fatalities occur. Abour 4% happen on highways.

This past year, I had 2 friends seriously injured by drivers. One was just going down city road home after work. Car coming from opposite direction turns in front of him to get to gas station. Luckily it he flew over bonnet and didn't have sudden impact. Just broken collarbone when landing on ground and abrasions from sliding and rolling on ground.

Another was waiting at right-turn lane when she got rear-ended by SUV going ~60 mph. Driver was occupied texting on phone. Luckily due to curve of road, she was thrown next to car ahead of her instead of getting crushed between them. SUV ended up totaling the 3 cars ahead of her!

Saw several reports per week of others I didn't know accidents. Most involving inattentive drivers. Only about 1 out of 100 in past year was on highway. Don't connect speed with safety, they are not related in any way.

- tyres? use whatever's on bike and get better tyres when they wear out. Traction is not problem on modern tyres. Loosing grip is only side-effecr or result of actual cause of crash. Such as too-sudden & abrupt control inputs (steering, braking). That's the mistake that overcomes tyre's traction and causes crashes.
Well said!
 

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Thank you for the great information. I will be taking the class in Louisiana. I haven't been notified to take any online courses at this time. This is where everything gets so confusing. Large, respected YouTubers like FortNine seem to suggest that ECE is a better overall certification...if I interpreted that video correctly. You are saying to go with a Snell certified helmet for the increased impact resistant rating. This is great information to know. So, I should start with somewhat decent protective gear and then possibly get more expensive gear when I am sure that the hobby suits me? I really appreciate your time and input.

Also, I have taken some aforementioned advice to heart and have been searching cycletrader/FB marketplace/classified for possibly a more affordable/less powerful starter bike - around the $3,000-$4,500 range. It's hard right now to find bikes for less that aren't complete beaters.
I got this one for my daughter for $2,200.
It was in great shape but ran a little rough. Needed the carbs synched and now it runs like new! There’s deals out there!
Wheel Tire Fuel tank Automotive lighting Automotive tire

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ECE is designed to allow for some twisting during impact which lessens basal skull and neck injuries. I'm in process of replacing all my helmets with ECE versions.

That brings up another idea, is you don't have to do everything at once. Start with basic ECE helmet, mesh jacket and gloves. You can always get additional gear over time as you get more experienced and more comfortable. Full leather suit is hot and pain to get on & off, so I only use it for racing on track. Most of time, I use 1-piece Fieldsheer touring suit so I can wear my office clothes underneath.

Take your time getting bike. Do MSF class 1st and see how it goes. There's quite a few people that decide afterwards that riding moto's really not for them. Get in as much practice as you can and crash their bikes, not yours.

Then what you can do afterwards is rent bikes of different types and see what you like. I've had great rentals from Twisted Road: Motorcycle Rentals . Personally I don't like bikes that try to do everything, they end up failing at everything. Dual-sports and ADV bikes just don't race that well at track and don't do off-roading very well. That's why I have razor-edge CBR600RR for track and lightweight 125 2-stroke for dirt. Impossible for any generic multi-purpose bike to do as well on either environment. Frankly, i find them extremely disappointing for anything other than commuting.
Yes, my first inclination was to go with ECE, but BAZININJA had suggested a Snell. Honestly, I looked around for some FIM rated helmets, but they were a fortune.

I searched my area for motorcycle rentals. The 1 bike offered was a 2017 Indian Roadmaster.
 

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Gear is more important to me than the bike. (Edit...Spend the $ for ABS brakes)
Start with the most important part and work toward the parts you can live without.

1) ECE 22.05 full face helmet with nice big eye ports so you can see stuff coming at you from the side.
Watch tinted visors or anything tinted because stuff just disappears sometimes. A 2" strip of black tape up high works better for me.
2) Helite airbag jacket. Stupid expensive but it's #2 because your vital organs are important.
Go for a white helmet and high visibility vest so fewer people turn left in front of you. You will look like a dork-nerd but so what.

Outerwear Coat Product Sleeve Jersey

3) All the other stuff as funds permit.
 
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