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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,
I'm looking into becoming a new rider and just wanted some info on the gritty stuff before hand.

A little about me: I am a 5"2, 23 y/o, female. My only experience riding has been on dirt bikes here and there. The type of bike that attracts me the most is the sportier looking ones, like a Ninja. I also plan on taking a course before I get a license for it. I would plan on using it for going around town, riding to a city a couple hours away, and maybe the random longer trip.

That being said, I'm not planning on buying a bike tomorrow, or even the day after that. I definitely have to wait a good chunk of time. Mostly because of the financial matter. At this point I think it's just curiosity and wanting to be prepared.

So the questions:

-How much should I look to pay for both a motorcycle and gear? I imagine it all depends on what I get but maybe a ballpark can be given? I imagine sport bikes are more expensive or may fluctuate. Gear is obviously something I don't want to skimp on.

-Do you have any must haves for gear, or at least recommended? A helmet is the obvious one. I was also thinking gloves and a jacket.

- Insurance is the next thing. How much would it cost? I could always ask my insurance but I haven't been able to. (Maybe posting this close to midnight can explain why I haven't) Currently I have Allstate for my car insurance, I wouldn't mind putting a motorcycle on there as well. But I don't know if there are better options, if they are a good option, or what. So suggestions are welcomed.

-Finally, what would be a good motorcycle for someone like me. Obviously the best thing to do would be to go try some out, but I would want some knowledge before I have a salesman just try to sell me something or simply just being overwhelmed. I am mostly concerned about my size when it comes to it.



If there's anything else you think I should know or should have asked I appreciate the comments/ feedback. I'm continuing to read up more on being a rider, but I figured the best people to ask would be my (hopefully) future community.


Thanks in advance and sorry for the lengthy post!
 

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Best advice is to buy used. Your first bike should be something you can drop and not break the bank if you damage too much. You will drop the bike. We all did. First time out its usually a slow drop so not much gets damaged. Price wise well...that depends where you live and what u r looking for.

Gear..helmet gloves over the ankle boots with good traction. As much gear over your skin as possible.

Insurance is a fraction of the cost of auto. But again theres too many factors for us to give you a price. I have two bikes one with collision and i pay 300 a year. But ive got multi policy discount and accident free all my life. Tickets r a different beast lol
 

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+1 What Zippy said.
BRC will help you a lot. A good instructor shoulld be able to help by recommending safety gear also, at least, I would think so .
As far as what bike, I would sit on as many as possible at different dealers or wherever is convienent for you, try to get a feel for what bike feels best. I wouldnt buy a big or fast bike to start, and again as Zippy says, buy used, one that if you drop or damage it wont be as terrible as if its brand new. Plus, once you have ridden a while and gotten more experience, you may wish for a different bike, easier to do if youre not heavily financially committed to one already. In Tennessee Insurance is partially dependent on CC's I believe under 1000cc the best I remember is less $$ than a bike over 1000cc's.As a new rider I am sure you will want a 500-750cc bike, just guessing,Also as Zippy say's Age&,Driving history are factors, I would suggesst that if you have insurance on a car already, ask that agent, of course you can always just call a few agencies and ask, most will give a multi vehicle discount.
There will be many folks on here who will chime in, This is just my opinion, as you know....everyone has one!
Regards
Ed
 

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1) Definitely buy used. I think $4000-5000 is a good starting point for bike, gear, and insurance. Less if you are able to find a good deal (I personally got into motorcycling for under $3000 including gear and insurance).

2) Like you said, helmet, gloves, and jacket. And like zippywonder said, a good pair of boots that go over the ankle. If you can afford motorcycle-specific boots that would be ideal (I'm about to pick up my first pair pretty soon). They have extra support in the ankle.

3) Insurance is highly variable, and highly dependent on the type of bike you ride. When I first started riding on my Suzuki GZ250, I think I paid $360/year for just liability (and you'll NEED $100,000/$300,000 bodily injury, underinsured, and uninsured coverage, the latter two being essential to a motorcyclist). As I've gotten older my insurance rates have improved significantly, and I'm currently paying under $300/year for a Suzuki Bandit 1200, a bike that is exponentially more powerful than the GZ I started on.

4) With your height you might have some issues riding sport bikes. I'm 5'7" with a 29" inseam and have a difficult time with bikes with tall seats. Just something to think about. In terms of specific bikes, I would steer clear of anything with an inline-4 engine. Even the downtuned bikes, such as the Suzuki Katana, GSX600, etc, I believe are too powerful for a new rider. The key to an uneventful learning experience, in my opinion, is finding a bike that will let you make mistakes without killing you. For that reason, I think bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 500 and Suzuki GS500 are ideal bikes. The Suzuki SV650 might be suitable for a new rider that did exceptionally well at the MSF course.

The biggest thing you remember is, no matter what you think right now, if you actually enjoy riding then your first bike will not be your last bike. Case in point, I've been riding for about 7 years and I've had a grand total of 7 bikes.
 

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And just remember, that old wise tale that its cheaper to ride a bike than a car is just a myth. In alot of ways, it's actually more costly, so if financial reasons is what is stopping you right now, you will feel the pinch later. A good set of gear is probably going to run you a couple hundred dollars. You can get an oil change for a car for $20, you will be extremely lucky to find a garage that will touch a bike for under $100...unless you are fortunate to know someone or know how yourself to do repairs.

The pain at the pump is about the same if you think about the math. Sure, with a bike with a 3 gallon tank can get up to 50 mpg. You'll pay alot less at this one time. But you take a car that gets 50 mpg (some, not many) with a 20 gallon tank, yes, your wallet will feel it, but in the long run you are putting the same amount of money in by the miles. You'll have to stop more at the pump than the cage. But you pay just the same amount.
 

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Welcome to the forum dollhouse.
It sounds like you are on the right track, take that BRC course and come back to tell us how you feel. If you loved it and can't wait for more that is one perspective that we love to see. If you aren't so sure, maybe we can talk you through it but may be you are not really a rider. If not, you are probably one of the 80% that will never ride a bike. In that case enjoy your life. There is nothing wrong with not being a rider.
All too often we write off the non-riding public but they are people too. They have goals and standards just like we do.
 

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l just bought a sport bike a month ago and got back on the road. This is what l have into it so far...

Bike ('04 Suzuki SV650) - $3300 (includes registration/tabs/etc)
Helmet - $60 (on sale)
Gloves - $35
Kevlar pants - $60
Boots - $115
Bike cover - $50
Class - $125

So l have roughly $3700 into it thus far. I already owned a jacket, so l haven't had to buy one yet, but l will because my jacket isn't armored. A good jacket is a hundred or two at least. I am also planning on buying a better helmet at some point, probably when l see a great sale. CycleGear has very good deals, and l have found the bear to be fairly decent.

As far as what kind of bike to get, you can get yourself a nice little 250 Ninja for $1500 all day in my area. They are great little bikes, very dependable and very forgiving. They are easy to ride. And they provide you with a great learning curve for moving up to a bigger sport bike down the road. So if you bought one of those and all your gear, you would be looking at a couple grand.

Oh, and insurance...a lot of people say it is cheap, but l didn't find that to be the case, but l insured mine to the gills so that if l get smeared all over the road by some uninsured jerkoff, all my bills will be covered and l won't end up homeless. I pay about $70 a month through Progressive.

When it comes to gear, l don't skimp. I don't feel the need to buy top dollar stuff, because l think a lot of that is a fashion statement, but l do buy good gear from known manufacturers. And l always buy it when it is on sale, or l find deals on Ebay, so l get a lot for my money. If l had paid full price for my gear it would have cost close to $600.

As far as whether or not it saves money, that is different for each person depending on their situation. Maintenance is definitely more crucial on a bike. If you don't keep your brake fluid fresh in your car, your brakes might get spongy. If you don't do it on your bike, you may die. Personally, we have a parking crunch at the hospital where l work, and l can park a motorcycle free as opposed to paying $4 a day to park my car. That amounts to about $1000 a year, so to me it is a great benefit.

Along with a helmet, jacket and gloves, l feel that motorcycle boots are mandatory gear as well. In one of the threads here, either the boot thread or the safety thread, there is a very gory but real photo of what can happen to your foot when you go sliding down the road at high speeds without proper footware.

I hope this helps and welcome :)
 

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This old man says grays on the decision to ride!
This endeavor van be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. How much do you value you life and good looks? When I started riding 20th me thing years ago it was the bike street cloths and only the legally required amount of insurance. Had an accident list teeth had road rash damage to others personal property and totaled my bike a lo general with having to pay for the ambulance service and my hospital stay.
Now days I purchased a used bike 4 years old for 6k. Bought the best fitting most comfortable helmet I could find 700 bills. Jacket leather armored and yes tailored to fit 900 bills. (Tailored? Yes this also means repairable and already met the person to do the repairs as it will be cheaper than purchasing another jacket) Gloves 200 boots 300 pants to make jacket 2 piece suit 600. Insurance LOL stay with the basic liability. Full coverage with 20 years riding experience track school and Ms double you new sport bike payment for a man my age. And yeah motor is way more expensive in maintenance than a car. 4 to 6k miles per set of tires brakes every 2 sets of tires oil changes every 3k miles etc etc. How much or how little you spend is up to you and depending on your budget how much you want to spend on gear. Honestly I would spend more on gear than I would my first bike. You will destroy your first bike either by crashing or learning how to ride ( sport bike mind set) I would buy a Lil cheap ninja 250 to thrash on for a year. Use it for your motorcycle drivers test and MSF classes then sell it for a larger bike later. Your gear you will keep for as long as you can except for the helmet that you replace every 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lots of Great information! Thank you all, I appreciate you all giving the good advice. Currently I'm a student paying myself through school, which is why financially I can't afford it at the moment. But I hope to come back and tell you I've become a rider, and if not then ask you more questions!
 

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I would get one that you can lift back up after you have dropped it. There is a
technique to using your legs and backing into the bike to get it back up. I would consider the weight of the bike into my purchase. I have one that is less than 400 lbs and it is nearly impossible for me to just lift it back up. I have to use the legs and back into the lift. Have a pro show you the way to do it. This was something they did not teach in our safety class. Good luck.
 
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