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Discussion Starter #1
I've been riding a 50cc moped for 3 years, over 10,000 miles. Now I'm looking to upgrade, probably to a 250cc. My first question is, say I found a 600cc bike for a bargain; would it be a poor choice to buy? Or should I start on a 250cc even though I have moped experience?

Also, I'd really like a bike with storage which I could take on a dirt road in a pinch(I love to camp and would like to take the bike to the mountains.) but all the used bikes I see for under $2000(my budget) are sportbikes or cruisers. Should I just forget offroading until I can afford a more expensive bike?

Lastly, what do you all recommend for the safest gear I can purchase? I'm looking to spend ~$750 on a new jacket, gloves, pants and boots.

How are soft pad mesh jackets such as this(http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/57038/i/alpinestars-viper-air-jacket)
compared to hard plastic(correct?) armor such as this(http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/44963/i/icon-stryker-rig) safety wise? I understand that there will always be risk involved with motorcycles, but I'd like to reduce that risk as much as possible.

Also, after one completes the DMV class, what's the best way to learn more about safe/defensive motorcycle riding?

Sorry, I know this is a lot of questions! Just trying to get a good start to riding and know what I'm talking about.

Thanks guys!
 

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New bike

Suzuki makes a 400 and 650 dual purpose bike. I would not get a 4 cylinder 600. My boots are from the Army supply store. They are a bit warm for summer riding. Leather jackets are everywhere. Get gloves in a variety of warmth ranges. Pants are a personal choice. Get some good rain gear.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Well you certainly got enough throttle time but my guess is most of it is full throttle. That could get you in trouble real quick on a 600. Personally I'd go a little lower as a step up but I think you could go more than 250. Maybe in the 400 range but it really depends on the bike. Some 250's are killers. Literally. I think riding gear is personal choice. Most helmets are just fine as are jackets and boots for that matter. You don't have to get the top of the line is my point. Get what you like and can afford. It will work. Summer is tough buying a jacket simply because you won't want to wear it. I'm just using a leather shirt. Not the best but better than a T-shirt that many wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Suzuki makes a 400 and 650 dual purpose bike. I would not get a 4 cylinder 600. My boots are from the Army supply store. They are a bit warm for summer riding. Leather jackets are everywhere. Get gloves in a variety of warmth ranges. Pants are a personal choice. Get some good rain gear.

Unkle Crusty*

What's the difference in riding between a 4 cylinder, and any other number?

Well you certainly got enough throttle time but my guess is most of it is full throttle. That could get you in trouble real quick on a 600. Personally I'd go a little lower as a step up but I think you could go more than 250. Maybe in the 400 range but it really depends on the bike. Some 250's are killers. Literally. I think riding gear is personal choice. Most helmets are just fine as are jackets and boots for that matter. You don't have to get the top of the line is my point. Get what you like and can afford. It will work. Summer is tough buying a jacket simply because you won't want to wear it. I'm just using a leather shirt. Not the best but better than a T-shirt that many wear.
Okay, that makes sense. I'll need to get used to throttling when I actually have some power to spare lol.

Thanks guys!

One other thing, do you think different styles of bikes are more or less difficult for beginners to ride on? Like a sportbike vs cruiser, etc?
 

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Difficult

The 4 cylinder 600 cc bikes are a real pain to ride around town. They require many revs to do much of anything. A single cylinder bike or a twin is just easier to ride, especially for a newbie.
I would never buy a 600 four. I have owned a 650 twin. Easiest bike in my bunch to ride, is a 400 twin Yamaha. Yamaha makes a sweet 400 single, but it would not be as good on bush trails and gravel roads.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, I was wondering how much skill is transferable from riding a moped to a motorcycle, as there's no clutch and an automatic transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The 4 cylinder 600 cc bikes are a real pain to ride around town. They require many revs to do much of anything. A single cylinder bike or a twin is just easier to ride, especially for a newbie.
I would never buy a 600 four. I have owned a 650 twin. Easiest bike in my bunch to ride, is a 400 twin Yamaha. Yamaha makes a sweet 400 single, but it would not be as good on bush trails and gravel roads.

Unkle Crusty*

Okay cool, thanks. I'll check the Yamaha's aswell.
 

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Clutch

The way she handled her clutch is the title of a song by Max Bygraves.
Best place to practice using a clutch is in the dirt on a 250 dirt bike. Also practice using the brakes. Where do you live? Do you have any buddies with a dirt bike? Dirt is relatively soft, pavement is hard.
You have experienced the wind and other distractions by riding the scooter. Those things intensify at higher speeds. Always be thinking. Every slight mistake requires thinking about. It is the brain that allows us to go faster safer.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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If you want to do off road a bit, the Yamaha XT250 might be worth a look. I believe they've been making them for a while, so you might be able to find a used one within your budget. I'd check in your area on Cycletrader.

I know they make a decent windscreen for it and there's aftermarket saddlebags/racks if you want to carry stuff. Being a 250cc it probably won't do particularly well at freeway speeds, but should do the highway fine. They're short for a dual sport too at 32". I could flat foot it and I'm 5'11". Most of those dual sports are 35"+, which is too high for me.
 

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The Stryker rig is one of Cycle Gear's most expensive pieces of armor. I got a $69 mesh+ armor "Power Ranger" out fit at Cycle Gear I wear in the summer, and wear under the leather jacket in winter. It's low quality & cheap, but....should provide adequate asphalt sliding protection. And check out the quote below, better stuff for around $100.

What size gear you need? Chances are some folks here will DONATE you the boots/jacket.... you need if you post sizes, and don't mind USED.

If you've got 10,000 miles on a scoot, you're ready to upgrade to whatever you want. But don't be in a hurry. Wait till that dual sport comes along that you REALLY want, at an affordable price. Remember that ....next winter, prices will be $1000 less than they are today, middle of summer. But get a real MC expert to go along with you and test ride that bike, etc.

Yeah, get that MSF class under your belt. It'll save yer bacon.

I spent 15? years tooling around town on a 250cc Honda Elite scooter, it would go down trails just fine, even gravel. Milk crate for haulage. A newer Reflex would also give you highway speed, the Elite couldn't quite do it. A Silverwing or Burgman400 isn't going to do real well on trails, seating position too laid back.

I upgraded from scoots to a CBR929. Waaay too much bike. A 250 Hyosung would have helped me LeARN TO RIDE a lot faster, even if it couldn't keep up with the big boys. That's the bottom line, TOO powerful a bike will actually RETARD your learning curve.

Pro Mesh Motorcycle Jacket from jackets4bikes.com has providing protection like motorcycle leather jacket. Double density armor on back , shoulder and elbow with injection molded plastic outer shell on shoulders and arms. Padding on front and back is something extra which add comfort and protection at it maximum. I don't think so i have seen such a good jacket in $99.
 

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A good riding jacket for summer can be had for small money. I think I paid around $150 for my mesh Joe Rocket 6 or 7 years ago and I am still using it. As far as bikes, please take the instruction course where you live. Many of them use small 250 cc bikes for instruction and that will give you a feel for what to expect from a small bike in terms of performance. If you feel good on them, consider whether or not you really want anything much bigger and heavier. On a big bike like mine, weight can become a serious factor for a new rider.
 
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