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never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

This is a discussion on never had a bike, considering getting one, need help within the New Riders forums, part of the General category; Hello, my name is Marc and I live in NYC. I never owned a bike and except for some quick ...


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Old 03-10-2007   #1
FMX
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

Hello, my name is Marc and I live in NYC.
I never owned a bike and except for some quick lessons from a friend in a parking lot with an old old 125cc Guzzi bike I never rode a bike before.

As some of you might now parking and traffic are a bitch in NYC, so I was thinking having a bike would offer a good method of transportation with the bonus of easy parking and not having to sit in traffic. Agreed?

Well, I know NOTHING about motorcycles so I am looking for some advice on how to choose one. I guess my primary concerns are:

1. SAFETY
if there is such a thing as a safer bike I'd consider that over something that's gonna kill me - also since the streets of NY are full of holes and stuff, I'd like something that has good stability and is not going to make me fly forward if there is a rock on the street

2. COMFORT
I'd like to be comfortably seated so that if I drive for 2 hours I don't get tired... I would think that sitting on a Harley is more comfortable (because of the posture and back rest) than sitting on something you have to lean forward to drive... correct? However I don't want anything as expensive and as loud as a Harley... I prefer the powerful muted engine noise of a CBR to the wild deafening road of a Harley, no offense to HD riders of course!

3. PRICE
I am not looking to break the bank and my budget is tight, so I'd like to find something that I can buy used and therefore has a history of being a good bike with good availability of parts etc - also I don't think I'd want to buy something that is so big and powerful that insurance and that kind of stuff is going to cost a lot (I assume that the bigger the engine the more you pay right?)

Based on these criteria, what would you guys recommend?
Thanks so much for reading and helping out.
Marc
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Old 03-12-2007   #2
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

There are many good bikes that are suitable to learn on.

1) Safety- Bikes themselves are very safe. Safety failures are almost exclusively the fault of the rider or other vehicle on the road. Poorly maintained bikes can be the exception here. It's safer to learn on a forgiving, lighter bike since they are easier to control. The less you have to concentrate on keeping the bike under control while learning, the more you can concentrate on what's happening around you.

2) Comfort- A cruiser or standard style bike is generally more comfortable than a sport style bike.

3) Price- Buying used is a good idea for a bike to learn on. Insurance can be expensive for a new rider, and a new bike will also raise the rates. Location, style of bike, and age of the rider have a lot to do with the price of insurance as well. A young rider living in a warm climate on a sport bike will end up paying the most.
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Old 03-13-2007   #3
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

If you're going to be riding around NYC, I would highly recommend a "standard" bike or a sport-touring style bike as the seats are generally a few inches higher than a cruiser and you sit pretty much upright (slight lean forward). This'll definitely help you see a bit better around traffic.

+2 to everything Dods said.
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Old 03-14-2007   #4
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

+1 to the standard/upright. I ride to NYC often, usually queens but often brooklyn and manhattan as well. My Ninja 500 was great for this, a very good city bike. I know ducattis are popular there too but they're more expensive to buy and maintain. What you want is good low end torque, because as you know it is always stop-and-go in the city.

My top recommendation is the Ninja 500 or any of the 650s.
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Old 03-16-2007   #5
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

So when you guys say standard, what do you mean? Can you give me some examples of standard bikes with low torque and low price?
Thanks
Ps I am young but I don't think NY is considered a warm climate. I am a new driver but do have a car license. By the way, will I have to redo all the tests or just the driving test?
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Old 03-17-2007   #6
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

The Ninja 500, Ninja 650, Versys, SV650, any cruiser/v-twin from 600 to 1100cc, all depending on the style of bike that you want. IMO the upright position of the ninjas and SV's are better for riding in traffic than the cruiser position.

Also, have you considered dual-sports? Bikes like the DRZ400 (or older DR350) work very well in the city because they handle great in tight spots, have good torque for quick starts, and have a high upright seating position for control and visibility.
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Old 03-18-2007   #7
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

By the way, will I have to redo all the tests or just the driving test?

You will have to take a written and skills test to get your motorcycle license. I'd recommend signing up for a MSF course. Most states will waive the testing once you pass the course. It can usually be completed in a weekend.
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Old 03-19-2007   #8
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

Given the traffic/urban situation, I'd go with a liquid cooled bike rather than air cooled.

The course is a great way to learn for both the written and skills test. I believe in NY it qualified for both. http://nm.msf-usa.org/msf/ridercourses.aspx
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Old 03-20-2007   #9
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

Well, you take a written test to get your permit. That's unavoidable. And then you take a skills test to get your license. The MSF course is a substitute for the skills test. And it counts as a defensive driving course.
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Old 03-22-2007   #10
FMX
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Default never had a bike, considering getting one, need help

I thought if you have a car license you can skip the written test (since the road rules are the same) and then you can just do the skills test...
anyway, I am checking out the bikes Schneiderman suggested.
The Ninjas definitely look nice but they have that posture I was talking about... driving it for 2 hours or more must be tiring on your arms and back, no?
What do you guys think about large scooters like the KYMCO Xciting 500 Reviews? I am not asking for any special reason. I never even heard of this bike, but the posture makes this style of bike comfortable to ride and suitable for NY traffic and longer distances, what do you guys think? Am I cursing by mentioning scooters in a motorcycle forum?
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