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Jt105

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Ride whatever you want. BUT... Take the time and responsibility to learn to ride it.
I see people all the time barely keeping bikes upright, afraid to stop on hills, only using the back brake, duck-walking all over the parking lot, you name it. Many brag about '20 years of experience' but in reality they have 1 year of experience repeated 20 times.
 

Oldbear

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First off, I’m an old guy who started motorcycles in 1967. I have seen, ridden and owned a LOT of bikes, including a good many “high performance” machines, in fact my NC has far less horsepower than anything I’ve owned since my new 1971 Suzuki T500. The issue I see (here in the States) is than anyone can walk in off the street with zero experience or knowledge and the dealer will happily send him on his way on the latest 140 hp bike. Frankly, I think that’s criminal. Motorcycle riding is a skill, it takes time and experience to learn how to safely operate ANY bike, on one of the super bikes things can happen awfully quickly. Combine that with an inexperienced rider and you are setting someone up to fail, with likely fatal consequences. Back “in the day” the XLCH, the BSA Lightning, Triumph Bonnieville were considered “experts” bikes. These were all 50-55 hp bikes. My 72 Kawasaki H2 (74 hp) was advertised as “the fastest accelerating production motorcycle in the world”. Today dealers talk about 60 and 70 hp “beginner bikes”. Admittedly the new ones handle far better and have much better brakes, BUT the Mark 1 Type 0 human has not advanced accordingly. I truly believe individuals need to learn how to safely handle a small, slow, and lightweight bike well before ever throwing a leg over more powerful, heavier machine. Forgive the rave but I saw a dealer sell a Triumph Street Triple to a kid who told him he’d NEVER ridden, but thought the ST was a “cool bike”. I couldnt sleep at night if I’d done something like that. I love bikes, they are a passion and a ton of fun, BUT you need to know what you’re doing. I heard an MSF coach tell a graduating class a few years ago “Congratulations, you are now fully qualified to operate a 125cc machine at low speed on a closed course under adult supervision. Do not, for one minute, think you are a motorcyclist and ready for the street. Get a small bike like a 250, take it to a large closed parking lot and learn how to ride it, well, before you ever venture onto a street. The life you save may be your own”. Wise advice methinks.
 

melensdad

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. . . I heard an MSF coach tell a graduating class a few years ago “Congratulations, you are now fully qualified to operate a 125cc machine at low speed on a closed course under adult supervision. Do not, for one minute, think you are a motorcyclist and ready for the street. Get a small bike like a 250, take it to a large closed parking lot and learn how to ride it, well, before you ever venture onto a street. The life you save may be your own”. Wise advice methinks.
Very wise words.

Both my wife and I rode in our youth. Switched to scooters for a few decades. Got back into real motorcycles and we eventually decided that we probably should actually get our motorcycle endorsements added to our licenses after riding without proper documentation. Took the MSF course for the first time in our lives. We were shocked that the top speed in the course was about 25mph and some students never got up to 3rd gear . . . but we all graduated together and were "qualified" in the eyes of our government to run a 800# hog down the interstate.

It was also interesting that at least 50% of the class had been riding for a long time and just wanted to get their license (for a variety of reasons).
 

670cc

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Very wise words.

Both my wife and I rode in our youth. Switched to scooters for a few decades. Got back into real motorcycles and we eventually decided that we probably should actually get our motorcycle endorsements added to our licenses after riding without proper documentation. Took the MSF course for the first time in our lives. We were shocked that the top speed in the course was about 25mph and some students never got up to 3rd gear . . . but we all graduated together and were "qualified" in the eyes of our government to run a 800# hog down the interstate.

It was also interesting that at least 50% of the class had been riding for a long time and just wanted to get their license (for a variety of reasons).
That somehow reminds me of a person that used to advertise on the local Craigslist, offering temporary use of a 200cc scooter for a fee, so riders could take their motorcycle license test on it, rather than the 800# hog they intended to ride. That really irritated me, even though it didn’t directly affect me.
 

melensdad

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That somehow reminds me of a person that used to advertise on the local Craigslist, offering temporary use of a 200cc scooter for a fee, so riders could take their motorcycle license test on it, rather than the 800# hog they intended to ride. That really irritated me, even though it didn’t directly affect me.
Generally I think that England is about 500 years past its prime, but they do have a couple different levels of motorcycle licenses and that actually, from the safe & sane standpoint, makes a lot of sense. I'm very libertarian in my personal views, but we'd probably see fewer people die in the US on 2 wheelers if we had a multi-tier licensing system. Maybe? Probably?
 

potter0o

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Our licensing isn't much better. You take a written test to get a learners. This gets you the ability to ride with restrictions of supervision by a licensed rider, speed restriction and no night riding. Pass a basic parking lot test and they take off the speed restriction. Obviously a low speed parking lot test qualifies for removing the speed restriction *sarcasm*
 

Oldbear

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Generally I think that England is about 500 years past its prime, but they do have a couple different levels of motorcycle licenses and that actually, from the safe & sane standpoint, makes a lot of sense. I'm very libertarian in my personal views, but we'd probably see fewer people die in the US on 2 wheelers if we had a multi-tier licensing system. Maybe? Probably?
That’s my feeling as well. Many years ago when the Yamaha V-Max first came out I was hanging around the local Yamaha shop. The owner was an old guy (probably 20 years less than I am now). This young guy (19 or so) came in and was drooling all over the V-Max. Speedy (the old man) talked to the kid, found out that he’s never ridden, and began trying to point him toward much smaller, beginner class bikes. The kid wanted no part of it. He wanted the V-Max, period. Speedy then refused to sell it to him saying ”sorry kid, but I’m not going to be responsible for you killing yourself”. Kid stormed out of the shop, but Speedy just smiled and said “well, at least he’ll not be on my conscious when he crashes”. I really admired the old man for that.
 

dduelin

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The stories of inexperienced crotch rocket buyers elicit more “well there you go” sentiment but it happens to inexperienced riders on all kinds of bikes. In a period of a few weeks at a dealership where I used to work I was ordering repair parts for a brand new Vespa scooter and a Honda Rebel 300. The Rebel rider broke a leg 3 blocks after leaving the dealership. The Hurt Report found most fatal accidents occurred at less than 25 mph.
 

Oldbear

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Seems I remember it saying something about the first 6,000 miles you ride and the first 2,000 on a new bike being times oh highest risk as well. Makes sense, no experience in the first case, and not knowing your bike in the second
 

dduelin

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I’m not sure of the source but I agree if a rider is not riding 4000 or 5000 miles a year they are perpetually relearning basic riding skills.
 

Oldbear

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Lots of guys hit middle age, decide to get a bike (never rode before), get one, ride it enough to scare themselves or discover that they don’t like it and park the bike. True story, guy I used to work with, based in Minneapolis, was about 50. Never had a bike. Decided he wanted to ride. Bought a new Honda ACE and trailered it to our facility in Hot Springs SD. Took it off the trailer and started to ride. Two blocks away was the facility flag pole in the middle of a traffic island (road went around the flagpole). Guy hit the curb of the traffic island and dropped the bike. Got skinned up a bit but no real damage to him or the bike. He pushed the bike back to the trailer, loaded it up and took it home. Sold it a year later, had never been ridden again. Bike had 12 miles on the clock when the second owner bought it.
 

melensdad

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Lots of guys hit middle age, decide to get a bike (never rode before), get one, ride it enough to scare themselves or discover that they don’t like it and park the bike. True story, guy I used to work with, based in Minneapolis, was about 50. Never had a bike. Decided he wanted to ride. Bought a new Honda ACE and trailered it to our facility in Hot Springs SD. Took it off the trailer and started to ride. Two blocks away was the facility flag pole in the middle of a traffic island (road went around the flagpole). Guy hit the curb of the traffic island and dropped the bike. Got skinned up a bit but no real damage to him or the bike. He pushed the bike back to the trailer, loaded it up and took it home. Sold it a year later, had never been ridden again. Bike had 12 miles on the clock when the second owner bought it.
My wife's bike was bought used with 4 miles on the ticker.

Guy bought it, trailered it home. Rode it around the block a few times. Wife said to choose the bike or the marriage. Trailered the bike back to the dealer. I got a heck of a deal on that "used" bike.
 
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