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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

Just had my second MSF class session today, and boy, am I having a blast!! Today we got to ride the bikes, and the way the course is set, and the excellent instructors makes it so easy and fun to learn. I'm still having a tough time swerving at low speed between the offset obstacles, but hopefully I'll get a hang on that tomorrow. One thing is for sure, I'm getting too comfortable at higher speeds :twisted: .... Just noticed that although my bicycle experience has helped me a lot, I have to shed some habits, like sticking my knee out in a turn. You need to do that to negociate a tight curve in bicycle, but in a motorcycle you just have to keep both knees close to the tank.

But as mentioned in a previous post, the MSF riders course is also about safety and emphasizing in safe driving strategies, so this is definitely not just for beginners, but for other riders as well. Some of my classmates are experienced drivers trying to get some tips to deal with college-town drivers in their big pick-up trucks... :wink: .......

(hope I'm not being too off-topic here... :wink: )

Ride safe!
 

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I took the course recently, and I found the offset cones a bit harder too - they're supposed to be, of course...

One thing you have to do is trust the machine... I had the advantage that I owned of the bikes we tested on, and had been riding almost a month on it already.

I guess it's mostly about learning the technique, then applying it and trusting it...

I can't wait to take the experienced course to learn more!

What kind of bike do that have you riding?


Kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yep,

trusting the machine as you said is key. Next day I had a bit of trouble doing that "figure 8" in that box at idle, my bicyclist instincts would kick in and made me put my foot down a couple of times, a major no-no. The thing is trusting that with the right technique the bike won't tip over when you lean and counterbalance at such low speed. But hey, I passed the course!

I don't have a motorcycle yet. My initial intention was to learn how to ride, get my license and get a Burger in january, wish is when I plan to move to Houston and start a full-time job. Now after learning and recognizing some of my weak points, I think I'll get a small used motorcycle, maybe a 250cc one before putting my money on a new Burgman, which are kind of pricey for a 400cc bike (or even worst: a 250cc honda reflex for almost the same price). A brand new 250cc Kawasaki ninja is just $3000... It's a pitty I have my credit pretty much maxed out, it would have been nice to get that used bike right now and get more practice while still living in a college town, but oh well...

However the Burgman is still in my radar....I'll just wait a bit more...
 

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I took mine out the other day and did some course work for the first time. The box looked a bit smaller compared to the little Buell Blast I had before! :wink:

I can still do the box with the Burgman, but it takes a lot of trust, and quite a few times I found that I had to add power to keep from tipping over... amazing bike though - if you lean it too far, a little power picks it right back up... That might be true for all bikes actually - I just noticed it on the Burgman. Maybe because it's heavier?

I typo'ed in my last post - what I was trying to ask was what kind of bike are you using to learn on at the course? I got to use a Buell Blast - same as what I was already riding - right down to the color. :)

I would like to make a suggestion if I may - from experience....

Save your money until you can buy the Burgman. I was only 2 payments into my Buell, and the resale value was so poor that I'm now paying much more for the Burgman than it's worth. I had to get gap insurance to cover the difference.

When I bought the Buell, I figured it would be good for a year, but it was too small for me, (I'm only 5'7" - go figure), so it was causing me to have to stop every 20-30 miles to stretch my legs. So it ended up that I couldn't have kept the bike a whole year - I was not enjoying riding it except for short trips... and most of mine are at least 50 miles... 8)

Also, a note on the Ninja. I considered it too - but after sitting on it for a while, it occurred to me that the slightly leaned forward position would not be too comfortable on long trips... something to think about...

Kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They had a mix'n match of bikes at the course, they are in the process of replacing the bikes, but I guess they just don't have the cash to do it all at once. They had a Buell, some 250cc suzukis, a honda rebel, and some old 125cc suzukis and hondas. Since it was my first time on a bike ever the instructor sugested I ride the 125cc suzuki.

You brought up a couple of interesting points, regarding resale value, and bike size/riding position. I definitely will consider that before I make a final decision. I don't think as of now the riding position would be a major issue, since I would be using it primarily for short trips (5-10 miles at most), although the only way to know it would be to actually sit on one. Also, if i wait until january, it would be right in the middle of winter. Not that they are too terribly cold, but mind you, you don't need to pick up much speed to make 40-50 deg Farenheit to feel like you're in the north pole.

I just wish I could get some ride to practice on before next year, and build basic skills. The fall weather is very mild down here and would be a shame not to take advantage of it. But oh well. It will be whatever will be.

I take it your burgmann is perfect for your 50mile trips. Is it a 400 or a 650?

Thanx for your input!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yikes!

Just found out another tiny thing to ponder on...

Insurance rates!!!

I just called to compare rates between both bikes, the ninja 250 and the Burgman 400... the little ninja 250 costs MORE THAN TWICE to insure than the Burgman!!!!
So whatever I save on the monthly payments during the "training" period I planned to ride the 250, I will spend on insurance....insane!!!
 

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Wow - I hadn't considered the insurance difference! That's insane! But, that's a sport bike compared to a scooter...

I have the 650, and yes, 50 miles is comfortable on it. I went 150 miles in one day with no problems... I stopped several times, but I think I could proabably go about 75-100 without stopping if I needed to. My biggest problem is that my hands get tingly... esp. the right hand since I can't remove it from the throttle to flex it from time to time.....

Another note on small bikes is that you will quickly want something faster, as you gain experience. I see that all over the boards... everyone seems to agree... but you do have to consider that the worst thing you could do is be a beginner on a rocket.....

Fall and Winter is the best time here in South Florida for riding too. Nice weather, and less rain... :D

I highly recommend the 650. It's tame enough, because it's a scooter, that even a beginner would not find it hard to control. The only thing that might be an issue is the fact that it's a huge bike... One of the reasons I got a Buell Blast was because it was so small... I wanted something that I knew I could hold up, and not worry about it falling over on me...
The 650 isn't that bad, but if it gets a little over to the side when you stop, it can scare you a bit...

My instructor said most people can hold a bike unless it gets about 45 degrees or so, and that's when most of the weight starts pushing it over... The 650 is like 550 lbs. dry, so you feel it when it leans over a bit when stopped... :?

Anyway, I think I've rambled long enough.... Your turn! :wink:

Kenny
 

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ninja 250 for 1st bike

Yep, the ninja 250 is a miniature racing bike. I haven't ridden one, but from what I understand, it redlines at about 13,000 rpm, and you have to
rev the be-jeez out of the motor to produce any horsepower. Not really what one would want in a beginner bike.

Something like the Kawi EX500, or the Suzuki Savage (650 single - but
a rather small cruiser bike) might be easier to manage because they produce usable horsepower & torque at lower rpm's. There are quite a few others too - the smaller Honda Shadows come to mind also.

The intelligent insurance companies rate by actual past claim experience & other factors for a particular model. The dummies (like State Farm) tend to rate by cc's alone. Sometimes a little insurance shopping pays off.
 

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Throttle hand issue

Kenny,

You need a throttle lock. It makes all the difference. I did a 230 mile ride on Monday, and I used my throttle lock a few times to rest my hand along the way. There are several alternatives to choose from ranging from a $3 o-ring to a $100+ Throttlemeister. I use the $3 o-ring and it works just fine. You can search past messages over on the Yahoo Burgman group for more details.
 

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Pauljo,

You might be right. I'll have to re-read your o-ring discussion and consider it.... thanks for the advice.

I have state farm, and they do rate by cc's, but I think my rate is ok... can you recommend some companies that I can compare with?


Thanks!

Kenny
 

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Scooter Insurance

For me, Dairyland was way cheaper than State Farm. Now I'll qualify that by stating that my Cars are NOT insured by State Farm. They do give a big discount on cycle insurance if they have your car(s). But I have a so much better rate on my cars through TheHartford AARP program, that I would still be losing at least $200 / yr if I gave SF my cars to get the cycle/scooter discounts.
 

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I don't know if I'm getting a discount due to my car... I know the bike doesn't qualify for a multi-vehicle discount....

What is Dairyland? Never heard of it. Is it local for you or could I check them out?
 

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Dairyland Insurance

Dairyland is a subsidiary of the Sentry Insurance group that writes motorcycle policies.

http://www.sentryonline.com/

The link will take you to a webpage that has a toll free number you can call for a quote. They can also direct you to an independent insurance agency in your area that handles their insurance - there were several in my area.
 
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