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  1. #11
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    and you need to be confident in your ability to control the throttle, know where your power is, and feel confident using it.
    I liked every part of that sentence.

    /dirtymind

  2. #12
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Great, Now I feel like I'm sitting at the little kid's table.
    I had a little red moped but I ended up giving it to my parents bc I wasn't using it that much (using public transit a lot more) but it was super fun and whatever to ppl who are too cool for mopeds!!!
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  3. #13

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    I posted this awhile back in the Motorcycle Eye Candy Thread. (I am also 5'3 and needed a bike small enough to handle well.) I don't know if it's already been said, but I suggest actually going to a bike dealership and sitting on the bikes to get a feel for their seat height & weight, which are critical factors if you're a small rider. It's what I did to figure out what I could handle safely. I hope to get my own by the end of the year. Grats you!



    P.S. And like Patches said YES the safety course is a must!
    Last edited by iwakar; 08-03-2011 at 11:34 PM. Reason: critical mentions
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #14
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    btw...you can take it to a shop and have the suspension lowered a bit to assist in seat height. Keep in mind, the more you lower the bike the more it affects turning/handling.
    ~luck favors the ready~


    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  5. #15
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
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    iwaker, that is pretty

    What is a crotch rocket? Is this a positive, negative, or neutral thing? It looks like I will definitely be taking safety courses. Not only for lower insurance, but because I think it is really important. I am really, really concerned about safety and not getting killed. Does lowering the suspension affect the handling significantly? Is it in a bad way, or is it just different?

    I really like the Honda 250. It looks like it might be easier to handle than the Kawasaki, but that is just my first impression. Is there a way to tell what handles well based on appearance? And is it possible to get one at a reasonable price, even though they just came out? Granted, I still need to get a job, and by the time I can afford one, maybe it will have been two years
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  6. #16
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    iwaker, that is pretty

    What is a crotch rocket? Is this a positive, negative, or neutral thing?
    A crotch rocket simply refers to sports bikes (like Kawasaki ninjas) that have a particular seated position wherein the rider is more hunched over the bike, leaning into it with a slightly arched back as such:


    -especially those which have a high power-to-weight ratio. (I.e. They could leave you floating in midair like Wile E. Coyote if you hit the throttle too hard unexpectedly.)

    As opposed to the upright riding style I mentioned of a Honda Rebel:


    It looks like I will definitely be taking safety courses. Not only for lower insurance, but because I think it is really important. I am really, really concerned about safety and not getting killed. Does lowering the suspension affect the handling significantly? Is it in a bad way, or is it just different?
    Okay... lowering the suspension of a bike helps with being flat footed at stops and essentially making one's bike more ergonomically sound for an inseam-challenged rider (*dodges tomatoes thrown by anyone under 5'6"*). However, what it will do is also take away the ground clearance that a lot of sports bikes have which bless them with such prowess in cornering.

    The reason one can lean so much into turns on a sports bike is in large part due to the ground clearance they have - they are simply set higher off the ground than a lot of other bikes, so things like exhaust pipes don't drag on the ground while ye perform an aggressive turn. So if ye do go with a sports bike, that is something to think about - as well as the fact that lowering one's suspension (if done by a professional) would add a few hundred to the bill of buying a bike in the first place.

    I really like the Honda 250. It looks like it might be easier to handle than the Kawasaki, but that is just my first impression. Is there a way to tell what handles well based on appearance?
    Handling is not something ye eyeball - it is like seat height: ye just have to try it out. Your height, ability to balance, comfort in handling different sensitivities of throttle (Rebel vs. Ninja, for instance) and preference for seating position - all these things will affect how a bike "handles" in your opinion. However, there are general trends just like with any car. A Kawasaki 250 Ninja will have a more sensitive throttle - so the power comes more quickly when you ask for it via your right hand. It will corner on a dime and make it so that once ye are quite competent you can pass 650 riders on turns simply due to how amazingly it handles at high RPM's and the lightness of its frame.

    However, the Rebel is pretty awesome for city and street riding - the seating position makes it more comfortable for longer rides, and it is a bit lower to the ground right off the bat (so it is more comfortable for shorter riders at times); as I mentioned, sports bikes are designed to be a bit higher to give that clearance for precise turns. Also the fact that it's a tiny bit less sensitive made it feel more... cruising to me. A tiny bit smoother and more relaxed in how the rider performs many actions, simply because they were done more slowly and in less of a "WHEEEEEEE" position.

    ]
    And is it possible to get one at a reasonable price, even though they just came out? Granted, I still need to get a job, and by the time I can afford one, maybe it will have been two years
    Yes, ye could find a used Honda Rebel in your price range - and I will second MDP's suggestion, which was akin to my original one: take someone with you (even if it's a hired mechanic) to look at the bike and do a basic check to see if it's sound.

    In regards to finances, a motorcycle is a fairly basic investment and if you are looking to transition to it as your primary commuting vehicle, the general breakdown is pretty simple - do ye possibly need to know the general prices a rider would incur on a monthly basis?

  7. #17
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
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    I think I'd rather not lower the suspension. Is it okay to do stops not flat footed? Are flat footed stops simply more convenient? I think I would like the crotch rockets, based on their description. I'm just going to have to go with someone to check the bikes out with me. And I would love to know the general prices that would occur on a monthly basis. That is pretty important to me as well.
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  8. #18
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Holy schneikies I wrote a lot in that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    I think I'd rather not lower the suspension. Is it okay to do stops not flat footed? Are flat footed stops simply more convenient? I think I would like the crotch rockets, based on their description. I'm just going to have to go with someone to check the bikes out with me. And I would love to know the general prices that would occur on a monthly basis. That is pretty important to me as well.
    Personal opinion on the first question: yes, to a certain extent. But I say that as I wear steel toed boots regularly (traction is one's friiiiiiend), and because 250cc bikes are so light that a smaller person can balance just fine if they have enough lower body strength. The main point, however, is whether ye're okay with doing stops that are not entirely flat footed. Go sit on a bike. Seriously. Go into a store with a friend or somesuch, ask them to stand in front of the bike as an extra set of hands just in case you're not fully comfortable with what you're doing, and check out how it feels. Sitting with the kickstand down, up, and fully balanced on your feet as if you were at a stoplight.

    A rough estimate of general expenses that have to do with a 250cc motorcycle, initially and then monthly:

    Initially
    • $2000 for the bike
    • $120-$200 for a DOT/Snell certified full face helmet (these can be bought on sale for less pretty easily)
    • $80-$100 for a mesh armoured jacket (leather costs more)
    • $30 Riding gloves
    • $? Safety course
    • $? DMV fees for the motorcycle test and motorcycle endorsement on 'ze license
    • $? DMV fees for registration (not that much)

    The armoured gear is... optional, but something I would strongly suggest, because it ends up being all that is between ye and the road in case of any kind of accident. Also, if you buy a brain bucket (a helmet which doesn't cover your whole face and leaves your chin open to the air) I will smack you with one of those foam pool noodles.

    I'd also suggest (if you can) giving some leeway in your budget when buying the bike to allow for possible repairs that might pop up - example: I got my Ninja and then found out it needed to have a small leak repaired. Not a big deal - I had a friend who simply suggested buying an epoxy kit, taking off the farings and doing it meself... so I did! Other things like an oil change, drive chain maintenance or the like can pop up as a part of normal maintenance, especially if the bike you've bought has been sitting for a while.

    Monthly
    • $35-$45 is an average insurance cost for a female with a good driving record riding a 250cc motorcycle (lower cc bikes are considered less dangerous and thusly cost less to insure )
    • $0 Just kidding, but very little for gas because the mileage is bloody LOVELY
    • $? rent for a garage? (I live at an apartment complex and rent out a garage )

    The initial investment is the main point - after that it drops off quite a bit, which is great. Ninjas are tough, spiffy bikes which are horrendously reliable in the experience I've had with them.

  9. #19
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
    Holy schneikies I wrote a lot in that post.
    It is okay, your posts are reallllllllly informative, and that is exactly what I was looking for. I will be a lot more comfortable looking for a bike armed with your knowledge.

    Personal opinion on the first question: yes, to a certain extent. But I say that as I wear steel toed boots regularly (traction is one's friiiiiiend), and because 250cc bikes are so light that a smaller person can balance just fine if they have enough lower body strength. The main point, however, is whether ye're okay with doing stops that are not entirely flat footed. Go sit on a bike. Seriously. Go into a store with a friend or somesuch, ask them to stand in front of the bike as an extra set of hands just in case you're not fully comfortable with what you're doing, and check out how it feels. Sitting with the kickstand down, up, and fully balanced on your feet as if you were at a stoplight.
    I'd say I am pretty strong on my lower body. Well, and upper. Where would be the best place to go to find a decent selection of motorcycles?

    And don't worry, I am definitely getting a full face bucket. Remember, I am really concerned about my safety. Plus, the statistics definitely say I should be wearing one. Is mesh any better than leather, or is it just cheaper? And fortunately for me, I believe I know people who can tell me a thing or two about bikes, and repair, who can teach me to fix certain things or just fix it themselves.

    I am kind of surprised that the insurance is so low! I was expecting $100 or so. Why would a lower cc bike be less dangerous? Is that just some strange misconception?

    The Ninjas do seem really nice, and I should be able to find one at a reasonable price, so I think that will probably be my best option. Did it take you long to get used to riding a bike?

    Also, are 250cc bikes just as good performance-wise as others, or would one end up wanting to 'upgrade'?
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  10. #20
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimony View Post
    It is okay, your posts are reallllllllly informative, and that is exactly what I was looking for. I will be a lot more comfortable looking for a bike armed with your knowledge.
    Yay. Wait, I need to go to lunch*... no, must... be... informative...

    I'd say I am pretty strong on my lower body. Well, and upper. Where would be the best place to go to find a decent selection of motorcycles?
    A motorcycle shop! Looky looky.

    And don't worry, I am definitely getting a full face bucket. Remember, I am really concerned about my safety. Plus, the statistics definitely say I should be wearing one. Is mesh any better than leather, or is it just cheaper? And fortunately for me, I believe I know people who can tell me a thing or two about bikes, and repair, who can teach me to fix certain things or just fix it themselves.
    Mesh versus leather is a matter of weather and heat as much as armour levels. Leather is a bit more protective, since the material itself also absorbs some of the friction before submitting to the destruction of road rash, whereas the primary protection with a mesh jacket is from the internal armour itself. Leather, however, is also hot as hell during the summertime. It does not breathe, which mesh most assuredly does - an armoured mesh jacket is essentially what one wears during the summer to be safe whilst not dying from heat stroke. A lot of mesh jackets do have liners that make them wearable through the fall, though. I have two jackets - a mesh one and a leather, both of which are BADASS. (I'm so subtle.)

    I am kind of surprised that the insurance is so low! I was expecting $100 or so. Why would a lower cc bike be less dangerous? Is that just some strange misconception?
    The general logic from what I understand consists of this: lower cc bikes don't go as fast, are easier to control, and statistically are involved with less accidents since jackass 20-something males with 1000cc motorcycles who are into looking cool, going fast and trying tricks are... more common than should be allowed.

    The Ninjas do seem really nice, and I should be able to find one at a reasonable price, so I think that will probably be my best option. Did it take you long to get used to riding a bike?
    I love speed. I love heights, freefalling and the feel of air flowing through and around my bike and body. I am also a stickler for safety, but that's beside the point. To me the primary adjustment was just becoming comfortable in all the weird positions that motorcycles put you in - leaning over into a turn when speeding along the highway but leaning away from the corner to counterbalance when it's a slow turn, feeling the perfect transition between gears when my bike is like an impatient cheetah (small, strong and fast), etc.

    The best thing to remember in my personal opinion when riding: never freak out. Keeping a calm, and riding at a level that both practices new maneuvers and does not raise your pulse rate past about 75% of its max is so important. Freaking out is what can instigate an accident or laying down of your bike - both because it involves the physical reactions of being stiff, twitching or jerky motions and because if you are freaking out it is quite likely you are riding above the skill level at which you should be.

    Also, are 250cc bikes just as good performance-wise as others, or would one end up wanting to 'upgrade'?
    Performance wise they can outdo some others in regards to certain things: the aforementioned handling at high RPM's and cornering, for example. However, speed and power-wise you very well may want to upgrade at some point after you get down the fine motor skills of riding. Ye might realise that, hey, I want to be able to go 100 mph on a straightaway or participate in a track day. Personally I do wish to upgrade at some point, but am still in school and find my bike so lovely that I don't want to do it till I'm financially comfortable with the idea.

    *Just kidding, I'm enjoying the conversation.

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