Kawasaki ZX-10R Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

3,473 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What do I need to know purchasing my first motorcycle?
What size is right for me?
Should I buy a new or used bike?
Do I need to use safety equipment?
Do I need to go to school?

What do I need to know when I purchase my first motorcycle?
The following is a list of facts and information compiled from the many expirienced riders on this board. Many riders here have been riding for years, and have shared their wealth of knowledge in posts and messages throughout this website. We at www.sportbikes.ws have decided to make this easier for future users to find the information, and have ensured that valubale information won't be missed. The following list is designed and intended to help you purchase your first motorcycle, and to help you get the bike that is right for you. As you well know, motorcycles are fun, but also inherently dangerous. As a result, one must carefully consider the motorcycle they intend to purchase, and be sure that it is right for them, especially if this is their first bike, or a transition from another style of motorcycle. Thank you for coming to this website, and we appreciate your buisiness. I believe you will find out buisiness here to be very satisfying, and if so, you may tell us, but we would really like it if you'd tell a friend. Again, congradulations on your decision, and please, ride safe, wear the proper equipment, and keep it "rubber side down".

What is the right size bike for me?
Forget what you've seen on video games, TV shows, and perusing www.signal12.ws All that stuff takes literal years of practicing AFTER mastering riding the bike. Motorcycles are inherently dangerous, and can seriously hurt you if you overdo it. In order to ride, you must learn your limits, and the limits of your bike, in that order. So forget the GSXR1000, R1, CBR954R, or ZX9R. Be assured that anything with "R" in it is probably not a good idea. If you're an average-big person, (<250lbs, <6'5") a 600 is probably where you want to start (meaning E and F models, not R and F4I models). If you're making the conversion from a cruiser/traditional style motorcycle to a sportbike, then a 750 is not out of the question either. Different bikes sit different ways. The Katana, for example, is a little taller than the Ninja at rider height. The YZF600 is a bit narrower than both. Here are a few guidlines you may want to keep in mind when you purchase your motorcycle. Feel free to print this out and take it with you for reference.

Sit on the bike. How does it feel?
Lean the bike from side to side, putting considerable weight on your legs. Ensure you can right the bike if it gets past the center point. Have the salesman or, if you purchase used from an individual, the seller and a friend help you.
Most dealerships won't let you test ride the motorcycle for insurance reasons.

Should I buy a new or used bike?
Unless you have hordes of money lying around, and you don't feel compelled to send it to the website owner, or myself, it would be strongly, STRONGLY reccommended that you buy a second hand motorcycle. The main reason is you are more than likely going to fall at some point or another. When this occurs, (and don't think it won't, because when you least expect it, you'll be rubber-side up wondering what happened) replacing parts on new bikes are ridiculously expensive. They are expensive enough on used bikes, but it's much easier to find them in a junkyard. Sportbikes are not as quick to recover from a fall as cruisers and traditional style motorcycles are. Sportbikes have plastic fairings that break easily, wide, flat gas tanks that dent easily, and unprotected engine casings and covers that are easily cracked or broken. Some of these can render your motorcycle unrideable. All of these are expensive to repair or replace. As a general rule, the bigger, badder, faster, and flashier motorcycles are more expensive to replace parts off of. If you buy a motorcycle that is at least 5 years old, you can be assured that you won't lose a whole lot of money if you total it, you'll be able to find parts for it fairly easily, and you won't feel like you've broken the bank buying it. New bikes can cost you upwards of $5,000.00, which is a lot for a vehicle that you're almost certain you're going to crash on. Also, another pro to this, bikes, once they reach a certain age, retain their value. Look through the neighborhood cycle trader, or classified ads and see for yourself: At about the 5-7 year mark, sportbikes go to the same price. For example, right now, 2002, you can buy a 1995 GSX750F Katana for roughly $2,500.00 You can also buy a 1992 GSX750F Katana for about the same price. Or a 1993 ZX7R for close to the same price. $2,000.00 is about the base price on used sport bikes. They get cheaper, yes, but advice on buying and getting the best deal will be for another session.

Some points to consider when buying a used, or new motorcycle

Assuming you are even reading this, you can use the internet. USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!!!!
Check prices at any various site online. www.edmunds.com or www.kbb.com are places to look.
If you have to buy new, check MSRP on it. This can be obtained from the manufacturer's website.
See what other people are selling them for. www.traderonline.com has plenty of used motorcycles to compare prices to.
Don't spend more than you can afford to lose
INSURE IT!!!!! Motorcycle theft is, unfortunately, very easy. Insurance will often help recoup losses

Do I need safety equipment?
YES!!!!!!! I mention this fourth, but it is in NO way the least important of the topics you need to keep in mind. This is the stuff that makes the difference between getting injured or killed, and you getting back up to ride another day. You may think you'll be careful, or you'll never get hurt, but according to NHTSA (National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration)

An unhelmeted motorcyclist is 40 percent more likely to incur a fatal head injury and 15 percent more likely to incur a nonfatal injury than a helmeted motorcyclist when involved in a crash.
NHTSA estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 29 percent in a crash.
Motorcycle helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
Unhelmeted motorcyclists involved in crashes were three times more likely to suffer brain injury than those using helmets.
A study conducted at the University of Southern California, which analyzed 3,600 traffic crash reports covering motorcycle crashes, concluded that helmet use was the single most important factor governing survival in motorcycle crashes.
A 1994 study by the National Public Services Research Institute concluded that wearing motorcycle helmets does not restrict a rider's ability to hear auditory signals or see a vehicle in an adjacent lane.
All motorcycle helmets sold in the United States are required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, the performance standard which establishes the minimum level of protection helmets must afford each user.
These statistics are for helmets only. There are many other parts of your body that can be injured by not being properly dressed. Asphalt, and the surroundings of a road are very hazardous, and one can expect to lose skin as well as appendages if not properly covered. The high end body armour is best of course, and can be had at your local motorcycle dealer, but better than nothing is tough pants, such as denim, touch jackets, such as denim, and sturdy gloves. The can mean the difference between picking your motorcycle back up and trying again, or waiting for the ambulance to get stitched up, to wait for another day. I can not, nor anybody on this site can, stress the importance of proper safety equipment enough.

If you want some more information on getting deader, faster, consult The Hurt Report at www.thehurtreport.com

Do I need to go to school?
Without a doubt. ake an accredited motorcycle safety course, such as one offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. and it's a waste not to do it. There is a lot of useful information in the course, and it's very helpful to day-to-day riding. At first it may seem silly, all the chair demonstrations, and how to start you bike, and so on, but when it comes down to it, and somebody's pulled out in front of you, or cut you off, or you blow a tire, the training you recieve there could be worth your bike, your person or your life. Take the course! It's well worth it!

I mentioned this softly, because sportbike riders, like guitarists, are peacocks. Love to show off. Want the biggest, baddest, and best there is. Most powerful. Well, phooey. That's not necessary, but what IS necessary is a bike with enough grunt to move you around. While you don't want a monstrously powered Hayabusa, you may not want a little Ninja 250 if you weigh in around 250. Too little power can be just as dangerous for a large build person. Be sure the motorcycle has adequate power to pull you around. Here again, this is why it's better to buy a used bike. Most people who you purchase used bikes from will let you take them for a test ride provided you agree to either purchase the bike, or repair any damage you do to it. Make sure you can pull out into traffic. Be sure you won't get ran over at a redlight. Your life is depending on this motorcycle, there's no cage around you to protect you, so treat it as such! Don't take this decision too lightly.

Get all these straight, a lot of them you can figure out before you go shopping, and set to work. Don't be in a hurry to buy the first motorcycle out there, take you time, get something you'll like, and enjoy it.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts