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-   -   Beginners Bike Guide (http://www.genmay.com/showthread.php?t=522054)

electric!sheep 04-26-2005 10:20 PM

This is coming from a recent fanboy convert, but anyone 5'8"+ should consider a Kawasaki KLR 650 (shorter than that and your feet won't touch the ground :p). I've had mine for a few weeks as a first bike and fucking love the thing. First, I dropped it a couple of times when I hit grass and slid the back tire, with no apparent damage. Second, I removed, disassembled, and cleaned the carb on my own thanks to endless web resources available. (Before that I'd done little more than change oil in my car.) Third, it can take dirt or car-eating potholes in stride. Fourth, it can cruise on the highway at 65-90mph all day. Fifth, the USMC uses a diesel conversion of the KLR 650 as its standard motorcycle. Sixth:

[quote]If one of your goals in riding a motorcycle is to be noticed, this is the bike for you. It's got a cool-factor that can't be measured in normal bike terms. Ride one of these things in to downtown $majorcity and everyone stares as you look down on all of them. The military-green paint job is a lot more attention grabbing than you might suspect. The bike looks as if the only thing that's missing is a machine gun mounted between the forks. Its post-apocalypse, Mad Max styling just begs for armament of some kind, at least a giant pump-powered water cannon.[/quote]

Pic:

[img]http://www.bikez.com/bike/21503/index.jpg[/img]


Mine looks just like this:

[img]http://www.protomatter.com/nate/klr650/images/original.jpg[/img]

:drool:

I took a 250-mile afternoon cruise earlier this week and averaged 50 mpg with plenty WOT and all kinds of road conditions, from wide-open stretches at 100mph to rutted roads and cow pastures at 30mph.. I have a feeling this beauty is going to be taking me places. The only mod I've made so far is removing the windscreen to reduce buffeting, next step is some tank bags and panniers.

CrucialTK 04-27-2005 12:27 PM

No, don't really have my eye on anything yet. I'd like something really cheap, at least a 450. I could fix most of it myself or with the help of friends, so I'm not worried about getting something that won't pass inspection. Only thing I do want is for it not to be struggling around 75 MPH. Anything from there and below will be just fine.

I'm of the mind the more power you have the faster you'll want to go. I'd rather drive a saturn and be content at 80 then an LS1 and be feeling slow at that same speed. Similar feelings with a bike. Don't need a liter bike because I won't be trying to race, I just want to be able to enjoy i.

Squeeky 04-28-2005 12:42 PM

I've always wanted to get a bike, but i've always felt a little overwhelmed breaking into new things. And learning to ride is something that's been a bit intimidating. I think i'll tackle that task this summer though, and get my license and a used bike. Hopefully OWK will have some free time to come down and teach his ol' buddy Squeeky how to keep his new toy upright. ;)

bthorton 05-01-2005 11:17 PM

this may have been asked already, so my apologies if it has.

is shifting gears on a motorcycle just like shifting gears on a car? i dont know how to do either (ive only driven automatics)... but ive been considering learning how to ride a motorcycle over the summer. if i take motorcycle safety program class or whatever- the one that teaches beginners to ride, will they teach you to shift if you have no prior experience?

or should i get one of my friends to take me out in their manual cars and learn to drive manual, and then take the class? any help is appreciated :)

karax 05-02-2005 12:43 AM

[QUOTE=bthorton]this may have been asked already, so my apologies if it has.

is shifting gears on a motorcycle just like shifting gears on a car? i dont know how to do either (ive only driven automatics)... but ive been considering learning how to ride a motorcycle over the summer. if i take motorcycle safety program class or whatever- the one that teaches beginners to ride, will they teach you to shift if you have no prior experience?

or should i get one of my friends to take me out in their manual cars and learn to drive manual, and then take the class? any help is appreciated :)[/QUOTE]


lol, the msf wouldnt be so good if you couldnt get out of neutral :p of course they teach you how to shift there.

oooo I have the msf this weekend. Excited!

VulcaN 05-02-2005 01:45 AM

[QUOTE=bthorton]this may have been asked already, so my apologies if it has.

is shifting gears on a motorcycle just like shifting gears on a car? i dont know how to do either (ive only driven automatics)... but ive been considering learning how to ride a motorcycle over the summer. if i take motorcycle safety program class or whatever- the one that teaches beginners to ride, will they teach you to shift if you have no prior experience?

or should i get one of my friends to take me out in their manual cars and learn to drive manual, and then take the class? any help is appreciated :)[/QUOTE]

In short, no shifting a bike is not like shifting in a car. If you have ever looked at a manual car's shifter you will see that its probably set up in the standard H pattern, it looks kind of like this:
[IMG]http://www.supload.com/012005/shifter111.jpg[/IMG]

You shift by moving that lever into the notches that have the gear numbers on them depending what gear you want to go into.

But on a motorcycle, it uses whats called a sequential gearbox which is completly diffrent. You use a lever located at your foot to shift gears, and all you have to do is press up to shift up a gear and press down on it to shift down a gear, much easier and faster than in a car.

Here is a picture of the lever (black coating on the left is where you press, rough metal peg on the right is where you stand) you move using your foot:
[IMG]http://www.supload.com/012005/02222224.jpg[/IMG]


Assuming your bike has six gears, Its set up like this
6
5
4
3
2
Neutral
1

So if you were in neutral you would click down once to go into first, and then click up to climb the gears as you increase your speed, and visa versa.

Taking the Motorcycle Saftey Foundation's course is a must, you just cant go wrong with it. They will teach you EVERYTHING essential to riding a motorcycle with absoloutly no prior experience on your part other than the fact that you can ride a bicycle without falling over.

Sure have your friend take you out in his manual car, it cant hurt, you can learn how a clutch works and if he lets you drive you can get a feel for how you have to ease out the clutch and give it some gas to keep it from stalling, but most importantly take the MSF course. and good luck

Ignited 05-02-2005 04:54 AM

[QUOTE=VulcaN]
Assuming your bike has six gears, Its set up like this
6
5
4
3
2
Neutral
1
[/QUOTE]
Every time you have to stop at a red light, do you have to return to neutral or can you just go back down to 1st gear? Or does it even matter?

VulcaN 05-02-2005 05:00 AM

You can be in first gear OR neutral, but stick with first gear. If you see a car behind you bearing down on your ass and you have to get out of the way quick, you are not going to want to have to take that time to get the bike in gear when you could just gas it.

Technically you could be in 2nd or another gear but it puts wear and tear on your bikes components to do so and will make for a very slow take off and/or you will just out right stall.

deviant one 05-02-2005 09:46 AM

quick question for you guys:

i'm 5'4", 195 lbs -- would a 250 be too small for me? would i be better off with a 500?

i

bthorton 05-02-2005 12:10 PM

[QUOTE=VulcaN]snip[/QUOTE]

thanks a bunch vulcan; that post was extremely, extremely helpful!

onewheeldoin200 05-02-2005 04:49 PM

[QUOTE=deviant one]quick question for you guys:

i'm 5'4", 195 lbs -- would a 250 be too small for me? would i be better off with a 500?

i[/QUOTE]

Short answer: No.

Longer answer:
The thing is, you're not hugely tall, so the shorter seat height of the 250 would be much better for you when you're learning. The power should be enough to entertain you for your first season of two wheeling :) Insurance on a 250 is almost negligible, too. On the other hand, if you're going to be using the bike as your only vehicle or something, the 500 makes a much more agreeable commuter on the highway.

Either way, take an msf course first. They'll have 250's for you to try out. If it feels too small for you there, then you'd want to move up to the 500 I think.

deviant one 05-02-2005 11:38 PM

[QUOTE=onewheeldoin200]snip.[/QUOTE]

yea, the bike would prob be my only means of trans, but im thinking MAINLY city streets, and the occasional freeway, and i would much rather master the smaller bike and get to know the proper techs on with something that wouldnt flip out under me.

Detman101 05-04-2005 12:30 PM

deleted.

KNYTE 05-04-2005 04:17 PM

This is the best thread that has ever been posted on Genmay, period.

electric!sheep 05-04-2005 09:59 PM

[QUOTE=VulcaN]You can be in first gear OR neutral, but stick with first gear. If you see a car behind you bearing down on your ass and you have to get out of the way quick, you are not going to want to have to take that time to get the bike in gear when you could just gas it.

Technically you could be in 2nd or another gear but it puts wear and tear on your bikes components to do so and will make for a very slow take off and/or you will just out right stall.[/QUOTE]

BTW, what is the best practice for managing your downshifts when slowing? In my car I usually toss it in neutral and coast, but with a bike it seems like a bad idea. I mean, if you're in 5th and try to knock it back down to neutral, you might lose the clutch by accident and end up sliding down the road with a locked rear wheel as the engine tries to rev up to eleventy million RPMs in second gear.


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