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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Brand new to the forum, as well as pretty new to motorcycles. It's always been a dream of mine to own a bike and ride someday, and now that I'm out of the parents house and in college, I've decided it's time to act on that a little bit! I'm going to the DMV tomorrow and taking my permit test. Later on in February, the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program is holding free training classes at my university... As of right now those are my current plans.

Do you guys think this is a good idea and being proactive? Or do you think it's kinda pointless, as I don't have a bike to practice with. I'm somewhat familiar with riding, practiced with my good friend's back home in parking lots, neighborhood streets, etc. Let me know what you think guys, looking for some guidance and advice from people who know what they're talking about.

Thanks everyone, and nice to meet you guys. :)
 

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Iam a newbie to the forum as well, but I want to welcome you. I may be a newbie to the site and forum, but I have about 40 years of riding experience both on and off road. My first motorcycle was a gold metalflake 1970 Honda Z50. I embraced my newfound freedom and all but wore it out. I graduated to a 1972 Honda CL70 and whipped it as well. Next up to bat was a 1970 Yamaha AT1C 125 Enduro. Street legal, as was the CL70, I now had the horsepower to ride in traffic. Now I was getting somewhere. The next one was a 1979 Suzuki TS 125 N that I actually bought with my own money. Put 9678 miles on it with only one top end, then burned the piston. A split case rebuild and I was back in the saddle. Ended up with 14,310 miles on it then got my first car. The bike sat for about 6 months and my older brother bought it from me for $100.00. He put 4miles on it and parked it. That was in 1983. I bought it back in 2009 and want to restore it.
In the meantime, I had a 1982 Yamaha IT 250 (that I wish I had back) a 1979 CB 750 C (can't beat the DOHC 750'S) and am now on a '05 Black and Chrome Honda VT1100 Shadow Spirit.
If I were your age, given the time difference, I think you made a good choice in being proactive. It will give you the time to really think things through and decide if motorcycling is really right for you.
That being said, and you have to look at my background, I think you should proceed with your training and consider a dual purpose machine for your first bike. I went to college too and I found out too late that a good sized dual purpose bike would have fit nicely into my plans rather than my CB 750. I could go there comfortably but when I got there I was stuck. My buddies all had dual purpose bikes and they were out riding trails and I was cooking supper.
If you buy a steet bike, that is what you have. If you buy a dirtbike, that is what you have. If you buy a D/S, you can ride it to the campsite, unload it, exhaust yourself on the trails, and ride it home. Now you won't be dragging pegs with your sportbike friends, or driving a land yacht with your older friends but you will be able to go coast to coast on pavement or on dirt. It is your choice.
The only other bit of advice I can give you is ride DEFENSIBLY. When you are out on the road, even if you lock eyes with another driver, DO NOT assume he or she sees you. Always expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. If traffic starts to close in on you always plan an escape. Gas or brake, right or left, PLAN.
E.D.
 

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Welcome! Take the class definitely, as for practice ahead of time, most instructors I know prefer you to have not ridden much or any at all. (other than being able to ride a bike) That way you don't have any bad habits to break.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the welcoming guys. I definitely will take the class come February. As of right now when I try to sign up or call it says the season doesn't open until February, so I'm assuming I can grab a spot on the 1st. I officially passed the permit test the other day as well, so I'm pretty pumped that I'm heading in the right direction.

Once this is all said and done, I'm going to have to find out a way to actually get my own bike. But, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it lol.
 

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i agree,take the class,its a much easier way to get your license and learn how to ride at the same time. taking the actual motorvehicle test is not so easy. the test is designed for smaller bikes like a 250. most tests were drawn up 25 to 30 years ago when the big bike around was the honda 550 or 450. those bikes had a shorter wheel base unlike most cruisers today.the course here in delaware i took was 50 bucks,,cant beat that with a stick. but if you take the harly course its somewhere around 450,but you get to ride a buell,,,woo weee,,, the dmv course usually provides you with either suzuki,kawasaki or honda 250's and sometimes you see a yamaha 125. i'd rather drop their bike instead of mine. so pay the money and learn to ride,plus learn a lot of great info,,i still use a lot of it when i ride and i took my course 7 years ago.
 

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Welcome to the forum, taking the course is highly recomended.(in case you didn't get that yet) LOL
You will learn things you won't learn anywhere else.
 

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Welcome! Take the class definitely, as for practice ahead of time, most instructors I know prefer you to have not ridden much or any at all. (other than being able to ride a bike) That way you don't have any bad habits to break.
Back in the mid to late '80's I taught the Motorcycle Riders Course:Riding and Street Skills for the Navy. We frequently saw that the new riders did better on the skills test at the end of the class than the more experienced riders because they didn't have any bad habits and were interested in learning.

We managed to teach most riders something, regardless of the experience level they brought to the class, but every now and again we got someone with the "You can't teach me anything" attitude. They were almost always right. Not because we didn't have anything to offer, but because they weren't interested in learning.

By all means, take the class, then buy a medium sized (well) used bike and begin to really learn to ride. Buy something that you are comfortable on and ride it for 6 months to a year while you figure out what you really want and then trade it on something a bit newer and ride some more.

Don't worry too much about buying the "right" bike, I've found that most people don't buy a bike that suits them perfectly the first time around. My son bought a dual purpose Suzuki DR650 for his first motorcycle because he thought he would want to ride it off-road. You can count on your thumbs the number of times it has ever been off pavement in the last 7 years. It's nimble around town and not a bad choice for learning on (if you have the inseam for it) but it's not a great choice on the highway (in my perhaps not so humble opinion).

If you buy something that doesn't cost you much money and you drop it you won't feel too bad about scratching the paint or breaking a clutch lever. If you ride it for a year and decide it doesn't suit your needs it will be that much easier to sell it to another novice and try something else.

Good luck, and as others have said - Ride Defensively. They ARE out to get you, or at least if you ride as if you believe it you will likely be able to survive a long motorcycle career.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Back in the mid to late '80's I taught the Motorcycle Riders Course:Riding and Street Skills for the Navy. We frequently saw that the new riders did better on the skills test at the end of the class than the more experienced riders because they didn't have any bad habits and were interested in learning.

We managed to teach most riders something, regardless of the experience level they brought to the class, but every now and again we got someone with the "You can't teach me anything" attitude. They were almost always right. Not because we didn't have anything to offer, but because they weren't interested in learning.

By all means, take the class, then buy a medium sized (well) used bike and begin to really learn to ride. Buy something that you are comfortable on and ride it for 6 months to a year while you figure out what you really want and then trade it on something a bit newer and ride some more.

Don't worry too much about buying the "right" bike, I've found that most people don't buy a bike that suits them perfectly the first time around. My son bought a dual purpose Suzuki DR650 for his first motorcycle because he thought he would want to ride it off-road. You can count on your thumbs the number of times it has ever been off pavement in the last 7 years. It's nimble around town and not a bad choice for learning on (if you have the inseam for it) but it's not a great choice on the highway (in my perhaps not so humble opinion).

If you buy something that doesn't cost you much money and you drop it you won't feel too bad about scratching the paint or breaking a clutch lever. If you ride it for a year and decide it doesn't suit your needs it will be that much easier to sell it to another novice and try something else.

Good luck, and as others have said - Ride Defensively. They ARE out to get you, or at least if you ride as if you believe it you will likely be able to survive a long motorcycle career.
All very sound advice. That's something I haven't thought about to much. What I'd like for my first bike, and how much should I spent on it? Or more importantly, where would I get the cash for it? Ha. Any suggestions from you guys? Like you said above, I want something that I'll like and be happy with, but not something I'll rip my hair out over when I drop it like a douche. Ultimately I'll be looking at rockets, as having one was always a goal of mine. Whether its a piece of **** or not, I could care less. As long as it has enough zip to keep me safe and I can learn comfortably on it.

From what it sounds like, it's a good thing I have next to no experience on motorcycles, so I'll learn right from the beginning. I'm still waiting for registration to open up so I can commit to the program, and I can't wait.
 
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