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2018 Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the privilege of attending the Texas International Motorcycle Show at the Texas Speedway near Fort Worth. As an MSF RiderCoach, I was hired to work a day at the Discover the Ride experience. Designed for those who have never ridden a motorcycle before, DTR features Yamaha electric bicycles and Zero electric motorcycles on a small closed course facilitated by DTR staff and MSF RCs. The e-bikes are for those whose two-wheeled skills may be a little rusty so they can brush up before testing out the Zeros. The Zero FXE was specially programmed to not exceed 11mph and had a very gradual power delivery. Riders were trained how to operate the throttle, the rear brake only due to the low speed, and how to turn their heads in corners. Our task was to help them into riding gear (Helmets, jackets, overpants, and gloves were provided by DTR; riders were required to have closed toe and heeled footwear), familiarize them with the bikes, and provide range management. Our primary goal was to keep it as simple as possible in order to give riders the best chance at achieving a positive outcome, namely discovering that they CAN ride a motorcycle!

I had a great time working with Kyle from the MSF national staff, the DTR staff, and my fellow RCs from Texas. The really cool thing about electric bikes is that they open up opportunities for indoor, year-round training. Their simplicity of operation makes them very beginner-friendly, much like the Can Am Rykers that we use in the 3WBRC (3 Wheel Basic RiderCourse). It's really cool that the motorcycle industry is harnessing new technologies in order to broaden the rider base.
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Yes, I rode bikes!!! Reviews to come!
 

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Great write up Lori. 馃榿

You are Sooooooo Cool young Lady!(y)

Sam馃
 

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I especially love the spikey green hairdos youse guys have...:eek:

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Looks like that rider understands how turning your head in turns works. Nothing but a big smile there. Sure glad the rains held off long enough to get some coaching in Lori.(y) We almost always get some kind of rain around state fair time.
 
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2006 Honda CBR1000RR, 2008 Honda CRF230L, 2019 Honda CRF1000L
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I especially love the spikey green hairdos youse guys have...:eek:

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I had to take a closer look, nice tree placement 馃槀
 

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I didn't notice that until Ron found her Mohawk. 馃榿

Sam馃
 

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I didn't notice that until Ron found her Mohawk. 馃榿

Sam馃
Yea, the tree kinda hides what her hair actually looks like which is what I thought was being referred to yet I didn't see it. Then I realized it was the tree being referred to. But what I want to know is why she lost her cowboy boots. It's Texas after all.
 
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Premium Member
2018 Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yea, the tree kinda hides what her hair actually looks like which is what I thought was being referred to yet I didn't see it. Then I realized it was the tree being referred to. But what I want to know is why she lost her cowboy boots. It's Texas after all.
No, I really do have spiky green hair. It's just hidden by my helmet. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

My cowgirl boots hurt before too long on asphalt. Could be because it's about time to break in a new pair. I wore them when I had an inside booth at a swap meet; my feet were dying after about an hour of setting up. I took a couple of those floor pads that go under exercise equipment, etc for the show days, and thank goodness I did!! I didn't have to wear over-the-ankle footwear for this gig, so I brought the barely-worn tennis shoes out of mothballs.
 

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2018 Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bike reviews, as promised! (y)

Zero SR/S: I had previously ridden dual sport Zeros seven or eight years ago, so I tried the SR/S. We were only allowed to stay in Eco mode, so it wasn't the same experience I had when I rode one in Sport mode. Quiet, yet disquieting because there's nothing for your left side to do.
Pros: Stock windshield, luggage options
Cons: Not the least bit flickable.

Kawasaki NINJA 400: I'm known in motorcycle circles as "NINJA Lori", so admittedly I have a bias here. I've had a 2008 250r, 2015 1000 ABS, 2017 300 ABS KRT, and currently a 2018 ABS KRT. I've heard a lot of good things about the 400, plus I get a lot of inquiries from students about first bike options, so I figured it was about time that I rode one. OH, my gosh!!! It was fabulous!!! The fit reminded me A LOT of my 250, which had fit me better than any other bike I had ever been on. I like it better than the 300 (650 and 1000 are different animals).
Pros: Fit, flickable, available ABS, passing button, gear indicator, just right for beginners but still fun for experienced riders--and it's a NINJA!!!
Cons: Convincing my husband to let me get one

LiveWire: Just two words: KICK ***!!! No question that it's got Harley roots. Our ride went beyond the Speedway property and we were allowed to switch between modes. I tried both Street and Sport; when I cranked the throttle on either one, I literally yelled, "WHOA!!!!" as it tried to throw me off the back.
Pros: Torque up the wazoo, fairly flickable
Cons: No windshield (I started to get a headache), difficult to right off the sidestand until you can get it over center, definitely out of my budget

Indian FTR R Carbon:
Or, as I like to say, I rode a naked Indian. :ROFLMAO: Neat that they have something that appeals to the sport/naked crowd. 1250 cc engine is VERY smooth--you look down at the speedo and go, "Oh..." and then roll off a little bit.:giggle:
Pros: Cool CF Akra exhaust standard, cruise control, lots of premium features
Cons: I didn't have enough leg to lower the sidestand all the way, again no windshield (I don't know how anyone can stand to ride at speed without one. Even the stock sportbike windshields do SOMETHING to make you more comfortable.)

Yamaha R3: I had signed up to ride the R7 so I could see how it compared to my NINJA 650. But I couldn't find my balance in order to raise the sidestand.:( Something about the ergos just didn't work for me at all, and I was really surprised by that. So I asked to ride the R3 instead. Flickable, easy to throw around, nice power delivery. But I liked the NINJA 400 better.
Pros: Great beginner bike
Cons: Didn't move my soul like the NINJAs do:cool:
 

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Thanks for the great reviews Lori. 馃榿

Sam:cool:
 

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It is tough to get comfortable when your legs don't reach the ground.
 

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2018 Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is tough to get comfortable when your legs don't reach the ground.
Yeah, it was just weird. I was able to raise the Indian side stand, but not lower it; one of the staff guys had to help me with it. :giggle: I guess they sell an extension for it. The R7 was just too wide and forward leaning for me. I just couldn't coordinate everything. I've faked my way through riding much taller bikes but that one just wasn't going to happen. I figured better to have fun on a smaller bike than suffer through a bigger one. Worked out great cuz I wanted to ride the R3, too.:cool:(y)
 

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That looked no more ridiculous than BIG Ol' 340 lb-6ft 5in, Corn and Chicken fried steak, trained table muscle eating machine-- ME, riding that diminutive new Indian Scout that I bought in 2018. 馃榿 It was a nice little Mini-bike.o_O

Sam馃
 
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