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I was 43 y.o. when I decided to buy a bike (!). I liked them since I was a boy, but it was a "don´t even think about it" issue at home. Time passed, I spent ten years living in NYC and the thought of owning a bike never crossed my mind, perhaps because of the cold months. Back to warmer lattitudes, I was worried about learning to ride so late, but I had a good plan.
I bought myself a Honda CRF230 dirt bike, all the protection equipament and spent almost two years having fun venturing offroad. What a blast! Last year I felt ready for the bike license and bought a Yamaha MT-03 (660cc, one cylinder). Great bike, lots of torque, agile, beautiful, had a great time and to this day I almost regret having sold it so soon, after just one year.
The reason why I upgraded was, as it almost always is, beyond reason. I felt I was already completely in control of the bike, so I needed something more powerful. I looked into the new Hornet, the CB1300 SF, BMW 800 GS, H-D´s and some others, but when I met the Z750 for the first time "in person", it was true love
Then, one week into it, a quick reality check. In my way to buy bread, a 3 minutes ride, I manouvered between slow cars and returned to my lane a little bit faster than normal, leaning a little harder. New and cold tires, dusty asphalt and a little twist of the right hand conspired together to take me down fast and hard! I was sliding for a long time, minutes perhaps - a least it felt like it! I rolled over, still sliding, to check on the approaching cars - all managed to brake and avoid me (thanks God for that).
The damage was mostly material. I was wearing a Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket that resisted well, but in the end one seam gave up, exposing the CE protector and eventually some of my elbow, but the damage was superficial. It put a large hole in my jeans back pocket, boots and helmet were scratched. When I stood up, I realized I was not wearing gloves (!!!) and my right hand fingers where missing some skin cover. I wear my gloves every day, how come I forget them just today?
Aftermath: despite some road rash and watching my entire left side becoming black and blue for two months, nothing happened. It was just the eye opener that I needed. A big bike demand respect from its rider. There is WAY too much power available. I do not regret having upgraded my ride so soon, but whoever does it has to be able to resist exploring the limits of the bike. It has to be a slow process, and riding lessons are definetely necessary, as is all the protective gear you can afford. If you don´t feel OK riding around like the Robocop, perhaps riding is not for you. Gear up, watch out and have fun.
 

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Just a newbie sayin hi :) anyone know the "proper wave" to give on a (i dont consider it offensive to call it a) crotch rocket? [is there a kawi Ninja wave? lol]
 

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most DEF TAKE AN msf class. I'm 29 and I have a 2009 ninja 650r, it's my first bike and I LOVE it. It's been great to learn on and it's a bike I plan on riding for at least 3 more years before I upgrade to something bigger. I do think that the 650r may be a little too big for some younger new riders, but everyone is different. Just get somthing you feel safe on. Remember, going fast is easy but learning to ride with great control is the hard part and does take much time to learn IMO.
 

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I'm getting my first bike soon, I'm going to take a MSF course for 2 major reasons:

1. I read that 92% of crashes happen to people who haven't taken a formal course.
2. It'll save me a TON of money on my insurance.

I'm also spending over $1,000 on safety gear when I get the bike, I'm getting more gear later down the road. I'm also getting a VERY large first aid kit to carry in one of my saddle bags as well as a big label that has a red cross and the words: FIRST AID KIT INSIDE to go on the outside of the saddle bag.
 

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I agree on the MSF course. I took it 8 years ago. Since then I've put over 50,000 miles on two wheels and on two different bikes and have always stayed with 600's. the 600's have enough power to get you out of trouble as fast as you got into trouble. just my 2 cents.
 

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I started on a 07 Ninja 250 (before the awesome redesign), I took a wrong turn onto a gravel road and slid @ 25. It wasnt a big deal, more like falling off a bicycle. Since then I put 1500 miles on that 250 and sold it because I moved. Two years later, I stayed with Kawi and bought a Ninja 600.

Since then, I've met and overheard people with rediculous stories about waking up in the hospital 2 months later etc, and its really got to me. Most recently my wife and I were going to take a ride on the bike but changed our minds. On our way, a car at a stop sign pulled out in front of us without looking and we were inches away from a bad collision (thank god for good brakes and her del sol for being a light weight vehicle). But if we were on the bike, we wouldn't have stood a chance, the brakes would've locked up and it would be one more unfortunate story for everyone to hear.

I've determined that its best for me (and my wife for that matter) to be on 4 wheels when I'm on a public roadway. Later down the road I'm definitely going to buy another bike after I sell this one, but it will be only for the track.

I don't mean to scare my fellow newbies, but you've got to remember that its not just you that you have to worry about - its everyone else too.
 

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Has anyone avoided taking the msf course? I find it pretty dam expensive where i am

I didnt take the course. My husband taught me how to ride, I got the permit to start, and finally I just went a few months ago and took the road test at the DMV to get the endorsement on my license.
Here the only dif in a permit and full endorsement is that you can ride a passenger.
 

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+1 on safety course. I bought an 88 Kawasaki 454 LTD about a week ago. Bought all the safety gear etc. Then attempted my first ride on the street. Even though I didn't lay it down, I was plenty nervous about other cars and I scared my wife pretty bad - wobbling around on the first stretch.

I'm fairly comfortable on the bike after about a week, but I am still going to take the course - and the cool thing is is my wife wants to as well!!! Definitely take the course if you've never gotten on a motorcycle before! Just because it's there - don't be tempted to hurt you or someone else.
 

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Boots - the most important bit of gear after jacket and helmet. Ankles lose skin if they're not protected, and it hurts. A lot. They also get wrenched and sprained, and some ligament damage can be permanent. Much better if you can just get up and ride on.

A cheap helmet can do its job. Cheap boots can't.

mlacomb - I hope you didn't have your wife on the back for that first ride? That would set a new benchmark for irresponsibility.

Rob
 

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Sup guys, im going to be a new rider soon. On a couple months I think im going to get a 90's katana to learn on. Their usually cheap for like $1500 on craigslist. And ride that through the summer/fall and maybe into the winter than should I purchase a zx6r?

Ill be taking the rider course before I purchase the katana :D

edit, whats another cheap 600 bike I can learn on? IDC if its ugly - its just until winter.
 

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hey guys so the MSF is a three day thing? I was checking our local ones and it said classroom 4pm to like 9pm than on a weekend you get to ride. Thats it? I chose the beginner option. After this I can get my DL?
 

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it depends on who is giving the lessons as to how it's set up. it's usually done on a weekend, half of one day in the classroom, then the next half of the day on the range, then half the next day in the classroom and finish out on the range for the second half of that day.

but if it's only 4-9pm classes they probably have it over 3 days.

should you pass the course you will receive a card that can be used as a waiver for the DMV's testing. you go into your local driver's license offices and hand them the card and your DL and they will add your endorsement to your DL.
 
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