Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Sweet action for kids 'n' cretins. Marjoram and capers.
BostonBeaneater
User avatar
Autonomous Insect Cyborg Sentinel
Posts: 6849
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:24pm
Location: Between the moon and New York City

Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by BostonBeaneater » 06 Jul 2010, 10:38pm

I'm thinking about getting a bike this summer. I have always wanted to do so. Specifically, I want a bike that will be good for rough, Massachusetts back roads. These roads have frost heaves and potholes aplenty. I'd also like to be able to go off-roads on the odd gravely fire trails through the NH and Maine hills and mountains. I intend to take the MA motorcycle safety class (this one is nearby: http://www.streetwisecycleschool.com/).

I just want to get some motorcycle talk going.

Thinking about this:
Image

Maybe this:
Image
Image

ElvisIsKing1977
User avatar
Dirty Punk
Posts: 99
Joined: 15 May 2009, 12:36pm

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by ElvisIsKing1977 » 07 Jul 2010, 12:14am

get a real motorcycle.

BostonBeaneater
User avatar
Autonomous Insect Cyborg Sentinel
Posts: 6849
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:24pm
Location: Between the moon and New York City

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by BostonBeaneater » 07 Jul 2010, 12:20am

ElvisIsKing1977 wrote:get a real motorcycle.
What would you consider that to be? I think harleys are cartoonish.
Image

ElvisIsKing1977
User avatar
Dirty Punk
Posts: 99
Joined: 15 May 2009, 12:36pm

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by ElvisIsKing1977 » 07 Jul 2010, 12:24am

how are harley's cartoonish and those not?

i'm definitely into more classic designs than something that looks like it's out of the Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift.

Royal Enfield's are cool

Image

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/

BostonBeaneater
User avatar
Autonomous Insect Cyborg Sentinel
Posts: 6849
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:24pm
Location: Between the moon and New York City

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by BostonBeaneater » 07 Jul 2010, 12:35am

ElvisIsKing1977 wrote:how are harley's cartoonish and those not?

i'm definitely into more classic designs than something that looks like it's out of the Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift.

Royal Enfield's are cool

Image

http://www.enfieldmotorcycles.com/
That I could go for. I've thought about old BMWs too, like this:
Image


In the end, I'm not a gear head and have no time for plunking about in the garage or visiting mechanics. I want a new, well built, bike. I just want to turn the key and go on a machine I trust mechanically and which drives well. I'm not in it for the image at all. I just want to ride out to cool nooks and crannys.
Image

rcs
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 7824
Joined: 22 Jul 2008, 5:30pm
Location: down with the bass

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by rcs » 07 Jul 2010, 7:51am

get a sweet indian, with a sidecar -- the chicks dig it

Image
If you don't hate the Clash, you don't love them enough - Olaf

Spiff
User avatar
Mostly Nekkid
Posts: 3713
Joined: 16 Jun 2008, 11:23am
Location: In the Spiff Bunker

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by Spiff » 07 Jul 2010, 9:30am

BostonBeaneater wrote:
ElvisIsKing1977 wrote:get a real motorcycle.
What would you consider that to be? I think harleys are cartoonish.
I hate HDs, too. All flash, useless chrome, and too-loud pipes ridden by people who don't like turning corners.

I won't recommend any specific models (well, maybe), but here are some thoughts:

1. Your first MC should NOT be the bike you intend to ride for the next 10 years. BUY A BEGINNER"S BIKE. By that I mean buy a bike you can learn on and ride it for a season or two, then sell it for the bike you want some serious seat time on. Don't worry about serious depreciation, such as cars have. MCs hold their value longer, and you won't take a hit. If you buy a 2005 Honda Shadow VLX for $3,000 this year, for example, I'd bet you could sell it the next year for the same price.

2. A beginner's bike is smaller and nimble. It should have a low center of gravity. I'd not buy anything over 500 pounds to begin with. The bikes in your photos are too tall, which makes balancing a lot harder. You don't need that distraction when you are first starting out.

3. Those bikes, with the exception of the older BMW (and maybe even that), are also way too powerful for a beginner. A small twist of the throttle will jerk the bike forward a lot, and you don't need that as a beginner. And if you think you will have good throttle control, you may ... under ideal conditions. But maybe not when you unexpectedly hit a pothole or are startled by a car suddenly pulling out in front of you.

4. Ride nekkid.

5. Ignore rule number 4.

6. As an MSF-certified instructor, I've ridden most of the bikes used in the course you plan to take (Bravo to you!). Any one of them would be a good beginner's bike. They have a dual road/trail bike in their mix, and maybe that's the one you'd want to select to ride during your two days of riding on the range. But if you'd only occasionally take a bike off-road, still buy just a street bike. This advice holds unless you are considering taking a SERIOUS off-road trail. A street bike, provided it's not super heavy, can do OK off the road as long as your off-road choices are not rugged gravel roads and not tree stump cluttered, rocky ravines. And you shouldn't do any of that on a new bike anyway, as you'd drop it numerous times. That kind of riding requires a completely different skill set.

7. How tall are you? if you're over 5' 10", then some of the MCs in the MSF school may be a bit too small for you. If you're that height or under, the Honda 250 Rebel or the 250 Nighthawk offered in your class would be fine beginner's bikes. Avoid the Suzuki GZ250 ... the ergonomics are bad. Another option is the Suzuki Savage (now called the Boulevard S40). If you're tall, the Honda Shadow mentioned above is a little on the heavy side, but OK due to its low seat height and overall stability. But avoid the newer 750cc Shadows. Get an older 583cc one.

8. I ride a Honda 750 Nighthawk, much larger that the 250cc version, and it has lots of power, especially at high RPM. You need power to get yourself out of bad situations (like a car swerving in front of you, or to get around potholes). But any bike, even the 250cc bikes mentioned above, will give you all the power you need. That's because they are hundreds of pounds lighter ... so their engines are more than enough to give you the zip you crave. Also, they can stop a hell of a lot faster ... and that can be the difference between life and death out there.

9. See my signature? Where it says I have faced death a few times? Those occasions have been while I was riding. Think hard about what you are proposing to do. It's fun, but dangerous. Make it less dangerous by absorbing all the good advice you'll get in the classroom about street riding strategies and cornering techniques. And then practice over and over again the skills you'll learn on the range. I do. Every day I ride, I'll practice a panic stop, or an emergency swerve, or stopping in a curve, etc. Remember that if you pass the skills test at the end of your second day, all that means is that you are competent at riding in an empty parking lot at low speeds. High-speed traffic and real life travel on the streets is 10 times harder and more distracting.

10. Have fun. Ride safely. Wear FULL gear, not just a helmet, EVERY SINGLE TIME you throw your leg over the seat. Deadly crashes can happen on a five-minute trip to the grocery store, too.

11. Obligatory Clash reference: Didn't Paul S. ride across the U.S. on a motorcycle when he was in Havana 3 a.m.? What make/model did he ride? Anyone know?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

BostonBeaneater
User avatar
Autonomous Insect Cyborg Sentinel
Posts: 6849
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:24pm
Location: Between the moon and New York City

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by BostonBeaneater » 07 Jul 2010, 9:48am

Thanks Spiff, I knew you were the guy to go to. I'm no daredevil even though I enjoy a good thrill rush. I don't think I'll have much of a problem with controlling my speed or avoiding unnecessary risks. I really just want to cruise country roads and poke around less traveled areas. I would not compromise on safety aside from the occasional nude ride through the pride parade. I'm 6' tall and weigh about 190 lbs. I'm afraid of being frustrated on a bike that's too small and not having enough power to get out of trouble's way. I like the BMW G650GS (in theory) because its not too heavy (387 dry) and because of the height. I'll wait to take the class and see what I find most comfortable of course.
Image

rcs
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 7824
Joined: 22 Jul 2008, 5:30pm
Location: down with the bass

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by rcs » 07 Jul 2010, 10:06am

Spiff wrote:4. Ride nekkid.
note: you may substitute any verb for "ride"
If you don't hate the Clash, you don't love them enough - Olaf

Spiff
User avatar
Mostly Nekkid
Posts: 3713
Joined: 16 Jun 2008, 11:23am
Location: In the Spiff Bunker

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by Spiff » 07 Jul 2010, 10:43am

BostonBeaneater wrote:Thanks Spiff, I knew you were the guy to go to.
I did ramble on a bit, didn't I?

By the way, I mistyped in this sentence:

A street bike, provided it's not super heavy, can do OK off the road as long as your off-road choices are not rugged gravel roads and not tree stump cluttered, rocky ravines.

Replace the 2nd "not" with a "only" and it makes more sense:

A street bike, provided it's not super heavy, can do OK off the road as long as your off-road choices are only rugged gravel roads and not tree stump cluttered, rocky ravines.
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

BostonBeaneater
User avatar
Autonomous Insect Cyborg Sentinel
Posts: 6849
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:24pm
Location: Between the moon and New York City

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by BostonBeaneater » 02 Aug 2010, 1:57pm

Spiff,
I took and passed the Mass. Motorcycle Safety course over the weekend. It was a great, and sobering, experience. The instructors were verk experienced and knowledgable, and had no problem barking orders at us. I learned a lot.

Next weekend I will start shopping for a motorcycle. :mrgreen:
Image

ChicoHarris
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1179
Joined: 30 May 2009, 11:31am

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by ChicoHarris » 02 Aug 2010, 7:46pm

BostonBeaneater wrote: These roads have frost heaves
What is a frost heave?

BostonBeaneater
User avatar
Autonomous Insect Cyborg Sentinel
Posts: 6849
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 7:24pm
Location: Between the moon and New York City

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by BostonBeaneater » 03 Aug 2010, 1:33am

ChicoHarris wrote:
BostonBeaneater wrote: These roads have frost heaves
What is a frost heave?
Image
Image
Image
Image

101Walterton
User avatar
The Best
Posts: 14798
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 5:36pm
Location: Volcanic Rock In The Pacific

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by 101Walterton » 03 Aug 2010, 2:00am

My uncle was a professional speedway rider in the 1960's then after he retired he restored Rudge motorcycles.

Spiff
User avatar
Mostly Nekkid
Posts: 3713
Joined: 16 Jun 2008, 11:23am
Location: In the Spiff Bunker

Re: Attention Spiff and all motorcyclists

Post by Spiff » 03 Aug 2010, 3:02pm

ChicoHarris wrote:
BostonBeaneater wrote: These roads have frost heaves
What is a frost heave?
It's when the maple syrup, which normally flows underground just above the aquifer, freezes and expands. This causes the roads to buckle, as seen in the pics posted by BostonBeaneater.
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests