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CB125T, EX250 commuter, Ninja 250 racebike, CBR250R(MC19), VF500F, CBR600RR, VFR750F
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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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CB125T, EX250 commuter, Ninja 250 racebike, CBR250R(MC19), VF500F, CBR600RR, VFR750F
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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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CB125T, EX250 commuter, Ninja 250 racebike, CBR250R(MC19), VF500F, CBR600RR, VFR750F
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Tonne of used bikes on market at good value prices. However you need to know what to look for and inspect. I can take bike from this condition (storage unit auction for $250):


to this in 2-days:

I suggest taking any used bike to good mechanic for pre-purchase inspection.

I just picked up Ninja 400 for my next race-bike for $689 at insurance auction. Completely totalled with trashed bodywork. But frame was straight and all mechanicals work. Engine smooth. Going to remove ABS anyway and install fibreglass track-fairings. So no need to get those on my used bike anyway.

Also looking at 2014 Valkyrie tomorrow. If it's in good condition, I'll offer $8k. Plenty of deals out there, just have to know what to look for and at.
 

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This is a great idea that really never crossed my mind. I guess I would have to come to an agreement with the seller to do this ahead of time? BTW, I can only hope to have your mechanical skills one day. As of now, my skills are limited to plugging a tire, changing oil, and swapping out an air filter. One step at a time though. I would eventually like to be able to fix some if not most issues with my bike on my own.
Any seller's who's legit would have no problems dropping off bike at mechanic for inspection. You can even tell them it'll help sell their bike if you don't want it. Usual items to look at;

  • engine compression, tells you state of engine innards
  • frame & fork straight
  • tyres
  • brakes, lines and fluid
  • any fluid leaks
  • chain & sprockets

These maintenance items can cost thou$ands if you had to do them immediately. Although changing all fluids when getting bike is good idea.
 
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From what I've read, Snell will not approve any modular helmet. ECE, on the other hand, will. I wear an ECE-rated modular helmet. ECE rating was on my "must have" list when I went shopping for a new helmet last Autumn.
I actually broke my jaw in crash 35-yrs ago. Chin bar was shattered, but still attached to helmet. Without reading entire test-standards, I wonder how many of them require chin-bar impact tests?
 

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CB125T, EX250 commuter, Ninja 250 racebike, CBR250R(MC19), VF500F, CBR600RR, VFR750F
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heh, heh... walk into dealership and plop pile of cash on countre and they'll let you test-ride any bike you want!!!

 
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