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Discussion Starter #1
My grandpa is a mechanic and he restored a 1983 Honda Nighthawk 650 as a pet project, then offered to sell it to me for 800, I wasn't able to afford a car due to how much they cost to maintain, so I figured I'd go for it and get approved. Well I'm hitting a brick wall now, because I have two options, a TIP which requires I constantly be attended to by someone over 18 with a motorcycle license, and I don't know anyone at all and there appear to be zero resources for finding someone. The other option are these crazy expensive courses, they're all 300+ dollars, there's nothing reasonable anywhere in Michigan, so I'm at a loss.

I was told to get the TIP and just practice with it on private land, and then go take the skills test, but I don't feel like I'd be able to pass.

Is this it? These are my options?
 

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Troublemaker
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Spend the money and take the class. You are not going to teach yourself if you don't think you could pass the skills test now. Besides, the money you spend on the class will save you tons on insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
300 dollars? That's an arm and a leg, almost half the motorcycle, and I get precisely zero in savings from the supposed insurance incentive, I already put it in on Progressive.
 

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$300 is cheap compared to a hospital bill after a crash from not knowing what you are doing.

Motorcycling is really not cheap compared to driving a car. When you add in the cost of specialized safety gear, maintenance, and the need for alternative transportation when the weather isn't safe for riding, there are rarely any real-world savings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Insurance covers that, and I've already done the numbers in my head, the motorcycle is 1/3 or more in savings over the year. People forget cars are massive money pits that require constant, expensive maintenance, on top of a huge monthly bill.

Guess I can see if they'll increase my loan by 300, you can always count on government to screw you sideways, I tell ya.
 

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Insurance after a crash is a poor substitute for learning solid riding safety skills. It's much less painful to learn to ride correctly as well.
 

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I think you will find in this electronic age that Progressive already knows you don't have a license and that you have not taken the class.

I also think that you ask for advice and then attempt to educate people that have been doing this for years. I also don't think that insurance will provide you with any transportation when it rains or crash an $800 bike that is 30+ years old.

I wish you the very best, riding a motorcycle is an endless learning experience and requires a lot more than a few minutes in a parking lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well... That's just how a quote works, they don't make assumptions, they ask, and I certainly won't be fully insuring a bike this old.
 

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Troublemaker
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I think if you finance it, the loan agency will require it to be fully insured, that is how they protect their investment.
 

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300 does seem like alot of money. But let me ask you a question. If someone pulls out in front of you, do you know what to do? If your answer is to just slam on the brakes as you would do in a car, you will spend more money in hospital bills. Riding a bike is in no way the same as driving a car. You go to fast around a corner in a car, you can hit the brakes and be ok. Do the same on a bike, and I can almost guarantee you will be eating gravel. These schools give you the tools to avoid these types of things. It's a scary world out there, even scarier on two wheels. Most of my "boys" ride or rode bikes their entire life. They tried to teach me to ride. It was so much easier going to the classes, they've taught me stuff I already had to implement and it's only been a week since graduating. Take it, trust me, you will be thanking us later.
 

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Let's look at costs.
As a young rider or driver you will be considered a high risk so the only way to save on insurance is to take on the repair costs of your own vehicle yourself. If you do that nobody will loan you a dime. Whoever holds a lien on a vehicle wants some assurance that repairs will get done when they are needed and will make sure they are listed as the real owner on your policy.
Next up is cost. A bike in decent condition or an old used car in decent condition will cost about the same amount to buy. I can find tons of older cars in decent shape for under $1000. Maintenance costs are another matter. On a bike you will replace the tires at around 10,000 miles for about the same cost as replacing all 4 on a car at 50,000 miles. Routine service is an easy comparison. On a car you go in for a lube and oil change every 5,000 miles for about 20 bucks. On a bike you go in just as often but it costs at least $100 and depending on the bike model it costs over $200, like it did on my HDs and on my Yamaha. Fuel consumption may have a slight advantage for the bike but my Civic runs on 87 octane and gives me 37 MPG while my bike gives me a bit over 40 MPG but requires 91 octane fuel. The price difference for premium fuel more than offsets my mileage savings. Some bikes can run on regular and some can get over 50 MPG so it is not always a wash like it is for me.
Now it is time to look at practicality. Michigan gets cold in the winter. Even though I ride as cold as 15F as long as there is no snow on the road here in Illinois, there are still lots of days in the winter when I must use my cage to get around. There are even more days in Michigan where that is the case. What are you going to use for transportation on those days? You had better have a plan because it will happen.

Sorry to rain on your parade but sometimes a reality check is needed.
 

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Insurance after a crash is a poor substitute for learning solid riding safety skills. It's much less painful to learn to ride correctly as well.
Good comments Dods.

Besides, anybody who thinks insurance will pay all expenses is naive.

There are deductibles, expenses insurance won't pay, loss of work, ambulance fees, more.

Even when you have good insurance, injuries from a crash can cost can cost you thousands of dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, there are apparently public courses for 25 dollars, so I'll be doing that instead of that awful 300 dollar rip off, I start Friday.

Let's look at costs.
As a young rider or driver you will be considered a high risk so the only way to save on insurance is to take on the repair costs of your own vehicle yourself.
20 bucks isn't much.

Oldman47 said:
If you do that nobody will loan you a dime. Whoever holds a lien on a vehicle wants some assurance that repairs will get done when they are needed and will make sure they are listed as the real owner on your policy.
Already approved, and Progressive looks fine.

Oldman47 said:
Next up is cost. A bike in decent condition or an old used car in decent condition will cost about the same amount to buy. I can find tons of older cars in decent shape for under $1000.
Not in a trillion years, no way, no how, you are dreaming, older cars get 15-20mpg and are black holes from which money cannot escape, pits of monetary despair. The part where he looks back at the Mountains of Madness and loses all sanity? It was a used car. Horrible to insure and maintain, and exorbitantly expensive due to age. I can get a nice 1980s Honda Gold Wing for 1100, I'm only getting this Nighthawk because my grandpa restored it himself, there is no nice car in a hundred mile radius for that price, none, it's farcical, I used to look constantly.

Oldman47 said:
Maintenance costs are another matter. On a bike you will replace the tires at around 10,000 miles for about the same cost as replacing all 4 on a car at 50,000 miles. Routine service is an easy comparison. On a car you go in for a lube and oil change every 5,000 miles for about 20 bucks. On a bike you go in just as often but it costs at least $100 and depending on the bike model it costs over $200, like it did on my HDs and on my Yamaha.
I just looked it up, bike tires for this Honda, no comparison to four car tires.

Oldman47 said:
Fuel consumption may have a slight advantage for the bike but my Civic runs on 87 octane and gives me 37 MPG while my bike gives me a bit over 40 MPG but requires 91 octane fuel. The price difference for premium fuel more than offsets my mileage savings. Some bikes can run on regular and some can get over 50 MPG so it is not always a wash like it is for me.
Well that's great for you, man, but an old car is not a Civic with 40 MPG, if I could afford a new-ish Civic I wouldn't be interested in a motorcycle, an old car is 15-20, this Honda is 40-50, and it isn't high octane.

Oldman47 said:
Now it is time to look at practicality. Michigan gets cold in the winter. Even though I ride as cold as 15F as long as there is no snow on the road here in Illinois, there are still lots of days in the winter when I must use my cage to get around. There are even more days in Michigan where that is the case. What are you going to use for transportation on those days? You had better have a plan because it will happen.
The only part that actually got me wet, which is the snow, thankfully I live in the city so it's not that bad, but the bus will have to be taken if there's another Polar Vortex.

Oldman47 said:
Sorry to rain on your parade but sometimes a reality check is needed.
Only a spritzing, thankfully, and in any case with my grandpa being a mechanic of 50 years I'll save just buying the parts for him since he agreed to fix it if I bought it from him.
 

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Good for you. I am glad to hear that you do not need to deal with reality like most of us. My Civic is a 2004 model and can be had for very small money almost anywhere. No, comprehensive or collision insurance is at least that $20 per month or $240 per year. I have priced tires for my bike and a pair, front and rear, installed is pushing $500. I have in fact replaced all 4 tires on my Civic for less than that and the mileage difference is very real. If you insist, continue to think that a bike will save you money. Next year come back and tell us how that worked out for you.
I consider my bike an expense I am willing to bear, not at all a money saver.
On the other hand I would be delighted to try to tell my parents that it would save me money. Sometimes you need to tell them what they want to hear.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Good for you. I am glad to hear that you do not need to deal with reality like most of us.
Senility is a blessing.

Oldman47 said:
My Civic is a 2004 model and can be had for very small money almost anywhere.
Nope! 4000-5000 dollars from an owner with dubious history, now if you go back to the 90s you can hit 2100 for a junker, 02 is around 5000 in decent condition, which is as expensive as a nice early 00s bike, one of those big fat touring types, with better insurance costs, and less maintenance costs, on top of better MPG.

Oldman47 said:
No, comprehensive or collision insurance is at least that $20 per month or $240 per year.
I'm not doing comprehensive, insurance in Michigan is twice as expensive as anywhere else due to the MCCA, I get it, when you retire you can load up on insurance, good for you, buddy.

Oldman47 said:
I have priced tires for my bike and a pair, front and rear, installed is pushing $500. I have in fact replaced all 4 tires on my Civic for less than that and the mileage difference is very real. If you insist, continue to think that a bike will save you money. Next year come back and tell us how that worked out for you.
Your bike isn't my bike, tiger, you're on some ridiculously expensive, new deal, I'm on a Nighthawk from the 80s, probably buying the best tires you can get, good for you, having spending cash in retirement is a blessing. Meanwhile I'll be over here not spending five thousand dollars on a Civic, and then spending another five thousand dollars for upkeep before insurance, and then paying exorbitant insurance.

Oldman47 said:
I consider my bike an expense I am willing to bear, not at all a money saver.
On the other hand I would be delighted to try to tell my parents that it would save me money. Sometimes you need to tell them what they want to hear.
It's spending cash, when you get to be old you have money to throw around, so you have the pet bike to coddle, and that's great, champ, you earned it. Meanwhile the rest of us will be working, and taking out a loan with no financial help because the bike is definitively cheaper, because that's what not being retired and wading through a pool of hundreds is like.

Try to remember, it was a long time ago...

In a galaxy far, far away...
 

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Well Oldman, there are some bikes that can be operated for little money. I don't have one now but my 82(I think) Honda Hawk was pretty good. There is no way I'd want to ride that now but this kid is young. Heck I toured on that Hawk with my wife. But I was much younger then too. A couple cans of chain oil was about the extent of my expenses until time for tires.(not including fluid changes) I only got about 12k miles on the rear but a new rear wasn't that much back then. New improved chains were available when that came time too. So yes you can get by rather cheap. But probably not by picking up a used bike. There is where the hidden expense is going to become reality. Why was it sold? Probably because someone didn't maintain it correctly from new. Mine was new and I just did what was called for. A used bike could be a money pit. That is the unknown.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well Oldman, there are some bikes that can be operated for little money. I don't have one now but my 82(I think) Honda Hawk was pretty good. There is no way I'd want to ride that now but this kid is young. Heck I toured on that Hawk with my wife. But I was much younger then too. A couple cans of chain oil was about the extent of my expenses until time for tires. I only got about 12k miles on the rear but a new rear wasn't that much back then. New improved chains were available when that came time too. So yes you can get by rather cheap. But probably not by picking up a used bike. There is where the hidden expense is going to become reality. Why was it sold? Probably because someone didn't maintain it correctly from new. Mine was new and I just did what was called for. A used bike could be a money pit. That is the unknown.
I'm probably about ten years older than you're thinking, but that aside, it was my grandpa's pet project, he got it in non-working condition and completely restored it, he sunk 800 dollars into it.

Could it still be a money pit? I dunno, though I do know he'll help fix it, which will be much cheaper than getting railed over a barrel at a shop.
 

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You are definitely entitled to your opinion. I was just trying to inject a sense of reality here. Enjoy your ride and let us know how it works out for you. In my mind a bike is always going to be an expense and I budget or it. Sorry if you are the one in a thousand where that is not the case. Enjoy your ride.
 

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I have always considered a bike a luxury, and a car a necessity when it comes to needed transportation. I would love to check back into this thread in the spring, but I am betting it will be long gone.

Another thing, a motorcycle must be insured as a motorcycle, not a recreational vehicle if it is to be used for transportation. That would be a quick way to find out you aren't insured in case something happens where you would need it the most.
 
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