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Old 07-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
gmaria12
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Hey everyone! I've always loved watching people ride bikes and am finally taking steps toward getting my first one! I'm signed up for an MSF course in a few weeks and am aiming to own a 250-300 (Honda or Kawasaki).

I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with.

(1) Should I go ahead and get the bike before the lesson so I can learn with my own bike? That'll obviously require bringing it to and from the lesson place since I won't have a license. I can deal with that. I wasn't planning on it but wondered if that might be a good idea.

(2) Is it unrealistic to want to spend around $3.5K on a used bike and about $500-600 in gear? The prices I've looked at seem to be around these numbers but less surprises are always better.

(3) What's a good resource to learn about the machine itself so I can be ready to ask the right questions when the time comes to drop money on it?

Thanks guys! Hope I get to meet at least one of you someday!

-Maria
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
Razo848
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Just use the bikes at the MSF course. They're usually 125cc cruiser types and easier for new riders. Especially shorter people. Plus if you lay it down, its not yours LOL.

The price range you mentioned for bike & gear is on the lower budget side but you can find deals here and on craigslist pretty easy.

There's a lot of people w/ the Ninja300 and CBR250r on this forum, so hopefully they chime in.

Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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Welcome. Wait on getting the bike until after msf course. I have a buddy that got it before the class. I even rode it from the dealer for him, and he still didn't wait the few days for the class. He scraped up side of bike and ended up with stitches on one leg.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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+1 on waiting. Take the MSF get your license, get your gear then find a bike. Personally I spent closer to a thousand dollars in gear but you could probably get by with your budget as well it'll just be different brands.

I'd suggest a kawi and you can learn more about them on some other forums like kawiforums and ninjette
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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yep use the one from MSF course.

saw couple of good honda 250s around 3.5k on craiglist. if you get 08+ 250 Kawa. It's even cheaper. Just sold mine for 2.5k not too long ago, and they are just as good as the honda.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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welcome

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Old 07-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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Use the bikes provided in the course. We bought our bikes a couple of weeks before the course and rode them in a big school parking lot to get acquainted with clutch use, shifting and low speed maneuvering. If you cannot practice on a friends bike before the course, buying the bike first and practicing in a parking lot can help you pass the MSF course, in my opinion. Nobody wants to drop a bike during the MSF course.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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take the msf course first,get your motorcycle license and buy your bike that the way to go. Safe for you and your packet
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmaria12 View Post
Hey everyone! I've always loved watching people ride bikes and am finally taking steps toward getting my first one! I'm signed up for an MSF course in a few weeks and am aiming to own a 250-300 (Honda or Kawasaki).

I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with.

(1) Should I go ahead and get the bike before the lesson so I can learn with my own bike? That'll obviously require bringing it to and from the lesson place since I won't have a license. I can deal with that. I wasn't planning on it but wondered if that might be a good idea.


(2) Is it unrealistic to want to spend around $3.5K on a used bike and about $500-600 in gear? The prices I've looked at seem to be around these numbers but less surprises are always better.

(3) What's a good resource to learn about the machine itself so I can be ready to ask the right questions when the time comes to drop money on it?

Thanks guys! Hope I get to meet at least one of you someday!

-Maria



1.) YES! get the bike now! After the MSF course, you'll be so excited about motorcycles that you're going to want to ride right away. If you have to wait, that'll suck. More importantly, you need to be able to practice the things that you learned in the course as much and as often as possible. It's unrealistic to think that you'll maintain everything from the course and be ready to ride on day two. You'll need a lot of practice!

2.) Your estimates are very realistic. However, I would very STRONGLY recommend spending more on gear. Remember the better the gear, the less hurt you'll get when you fall, and with MC riders falling is an inevitability that we con not control. At the minimum, you need a riding jacket (with shoulder pads), a DOT approved Helmet, and riding boots that cover your ankle.

3.) You'll meet a ton of people through motohouston meets and track days. A lot of these guys also know quite a bit about bikes. Spending time around them can be very valuable. Unfortunately, there is not easy way to figure this one out.


Anyway, this is an exciting first step. Good luck, I hope to see you around.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hxm View Post
1.) YES! get the bike now! After the MSF course, you'll be so excited about motorcycles that you're going to want to ride right away. If you have to wait, that'll suck. More importantly, you need to be able to practice the things that you learned in the course as much and as often as possible. It's unrealistic to think that you'll maintain everything from the course and be ready to ride on day two. You'll need a lot of practice!
These are good points; on the other hand, you may discover after the MSF class that you would've purchased a different motorcycle, had you waited and gotten the hands-on experience riding *first*, then used that knowledge to make a more informed decision about the make/model to buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hxm View Post
2.) Your estimates are very realistic. However, I would very STRONGLY recommend spending more on gear. Remember the better the gear, the less hurt you'll get when you fall, and with MC riders falling is an inevitability that we con not control. At the minimum, you need a riding jacket (with shoulder pads), a DOT approved Helmet, and riding boots that cover your ankle.
And gloves!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hxm View Post
3.) You'll meet a ton of <leghumpers> through motohouston meets and track days. A lot of these guys also know quite a bit about bikes. Spending time around them can be very valuable. Unfortunately, there is not easy way to figure this one out.
FIFY
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:11 AM   #12
Candace
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If you look around, you can find deals on bikes and gear. I just bought my son an 09 Ninja 250, never dropped, 2200 miles for $2800 on CL. I also found him Sidi Vertigo Corsa boots that are practically brand new, a brand new Teknic Chicane leather suit, brand new Teknic Xcelerator gloves, and a brand new Teknic supervent mesh pro jacket, all worth $1800, for <$700. Don't skimp on quality, but the final price tag isn't always indicative of quality. Craigslist, ebay, and the forums are your friend. Also, look at Revzilla, Motorcycle Closeouts, and Sportbike Track Gear for closeouts. Revzilla price matches, not sure about the others. Also the MH sponsors may be able to hook you up, as well. On the gear thing, also invest in knee/shin gaurds to wear under your pants. They're cheap, and well-worth the protection you'll receive from them.

Like most here, I recommend using the MSF school's bike for the course. Be patient (but diligent) when shopping/searching for a good deal on a bike; otherwise you'll regret rushing into something that you're not happy with, spent too much on, or that ends up having a lot issues. FYI Ninja 250's tend to hold their value pretty well; so after you ride it for a while, you can likely turn around and sell it for close to what you paid. Don't worry about getting a bigger bike right now, or dumping a bunch of $ into modding a bike you're going to use as a learning toy. Keep it stock, then sell it when you're ready to upgrade to something you really want. My .02.

Congrats, and welcome!
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Last edited by Candace; 07-27-2013 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:27 AM   #13
Candace
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PS--Here's a link to search all of Texas on CL:

http://home.centurytel.net/bbyrd2100/Craigs_Texas.htm

Be sure to search using various combinations of key search words. For example, if searching for an 09 Kawasaki Ninja 250, you may want to use these different searches: 09 ninja, 09 ninja 250, 09 kawasaki 250, 09 kawi 250, etc. CL searches are literal to the wording used in the sellers' ads. It's kind of a pitb, but it will expand your options.

FWIW, I have owned 7 Kawis (2- 09 250R's, 3- 09 ZX6R's, 08 ZZR 600, and 08 500R), and I am far from an expert lol, but I am happy to be a resource of info and I'm full of opinions haha! Feel free to PM me if needed.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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I have about $500 invested in gear so far.

HJC CL-16 $130+20 for smoke shield
Joe rocket mesh/leather with armor $225 (i think)
Icon Gloves with armor knuckles $70.00
Alpinestars knee/shin protectors $40 bucks

aprox $500 in gear after taxes. Still need to get some riding boots (i ride in my steel toe work boots for now) and will upgrade helmet at somepoint but you can get basics for $500.00

I keep hearing Wildwest Honda does hella sales on gear. I got my stuff from Motorcycles Unlimited and they spent quality time with me to figure out my budget and get me going safe. You can always add more gear to your collection.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:39 AM   #15
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I bought my bike first, How ever I knew exactly what bike I wanted. Months before I signed up for the course I knew I wanted a 2008+ ninja 250. Best bike even today ive ridden. It wasnt the fastest, or smoothest, But It by far was the lightest most predictable bike Ive owned. Was perfect when I was learning. my father who has been riding 40+ years stored it at his house and he lived on a low traffic street and neighborhood. so for about 3 weeks before I took the MSF I practiced up and down the street. Gave me sometime to practice the clutch. Learn tight turns and get used to how gear felt. I actually used my own gear for the MSF.

However not everybody can do this. So if you dont have somebody who can help you learn and give you advice and be there to say "NO dont do this" then save the purchase till after you get your license.

Also when shopping for gear dont look at the price. Look at the quality and comfort. Try on all sorts of helmets and jackets etc. You want to be super comfortable and protected all at the same time.

And during the MSF please feel free to ask the instructors questions. Most have been riding a very long time and have some pretty good stories. They are there to pass on their skills and knowledge. Also be sure to take riding at your own pace after you get your license. Youre not going to be riding the houston freeways day 2 of having your license.

Have fun, be safe
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:00 AM   #16
gmaria12
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Thanks all! I really appreciate the responses. I'll up the budget for sure and stick around here for some good info. Can't wait to get started!
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:33 AM   #17
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Welcome

1)Get the bike but stay in the parking lots till after the class. Get the license it seems that it used to be the cops didn't care but lately seems they are writing more of those 500 dollar no class M tickets.

2)Ya you could get a bike for that, but what is more important is you get the right bike for you. don't settle on something that does not fit you.

3)You Tube....... All the sponsors on this site are good if you need help with Mech work I reco Motorcycles Unlimited on the north side of town.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #18
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