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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bike owners, please read..

So, I am looking into getting my 1st bike. I went to my local kawasaki dealer with no plans whatsoever bu purchase a bike. Now, since it would be my 1st bike, I was thinking of getting a 250R or a 500R. Now, from what I've heard from friends, the 250R sucks a lot, and the 500R is almost the same. Guy at the dealer told me the same exact thing. Now, I need to know what tips or what should I do. The only bike I saw that I kinda liked was the 650R, which comes out to a total of 7120 and changed, with a 13.99 and monthly payments of $99 until bike is paid off. Any suggestions as to if I could get the price lowered down a bit or any other tips that I could use. They only had a red and I don't like red, so the guy told me that he was going out on business and that he was going to see if he could get me a black bike. So technically, I have a week to decide what should I do....

Discuss...


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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 11:50 PM
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I have been riding for over 10 years. One low side. My advice to you, buy used. Yes it sucks, but the odds are high that it will be dropped. New bike plastic is pricey, like $500-900 for the whole bike. I would highly HIGHLY suggest taking the Motorcycle Safety Course. Call you local highway patrol, DMV, or polica department to get a number. You will learn more in that class in 2 days then you will on your own, trust me. Don't know how tall you are, or what you weigh, but maybe a dual sport would be a good used bike. Little to no plastic to break, very rugged, and you can play in the dirt. Just my $0.02

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jestkdn View Post
I have been riding for over 10 years. One low side. My advice to you, buy used. Yes it sucks, but the odds are high that it will be dropped. New bike plastic is pricey, like $500-900 for the whole bike. I would highly HIGHLY suggest taking the Motorcycle Safety Course. Call you local highway patrol, DMV, or polica department to get a number. You will learn more in that class in 2 days then you will on your own, trust me. Don't know how tall you are, or what you weigh, but maybe a dual sport would be a good used bike. Little to no plastic to break, very rugged, and you can play in the dirt. Just my $0.02
Totally agree, nothing wrong with a small bike either, but something that fits your body. Plus smaller bikes generally stop better, are more stable, and handle better. Personally I'm thinking of getting a 250R, mainly cause it will get nearly twice the gas milage of my current bike
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 04:27 AM
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Go with the 250 if you don't want to kill yourself, at least that's my motto. You should check out: http://www.kawasakiforums.com/

http://www.motorcycle.com/manufactur...50r-75782.html



I laid mine down the first summer I had it. That's why I'd rather have a cheaper one to start with, the damage doesn't hurt as bad.

What I was able to do with my '02 250R, 12k miles on it.




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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 11:44 AM
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I use to have a bike...get a used one. You might not lay it down, but you probably will. People just don't look and see bikes when they drive, which is never good when you are on yours. After you've had it for a year or two, then get a new one. Besides a year or two on a used bike won't drop the valve too much (if you don't drop it). I also took the safety courses, they are def. worth a weekend of time.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 12:36 PM
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Verify if the guy is going out of business. Sounds like a ploy to sell you a bike. Look around at several places. Don't buy from the first place you look.

I speak from experience.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jestkdn View Post
I have been riding for over 10 years. One low side. My advice to you, buy used. Yes it sucks, but the odds are high that it will be dropped. New bike plastic is pricey, like $500-900 for the whole bike. I would highly HIGHLY suggest taking the Motorcycle Safety Course. Call you local highway patrol, DMV, or polica department to get a number. You will learn more in that class in 2 days then you will on your own, trust me. Don't know how tall you are, or what you weigh, but maybe a dual sport would be a good used bike. Little to no plastic to break, very rugged, and you can play in the dirt. Just my $0.02
What he said. I've been riding for over 20 years though but listen to what he's saying. You'll save money and yourself by starting out properly.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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I am taking the bike course at my local community college for 190 they provide everything. Know, Ive been looking around for used bikes, and the cheapest that I have seen is around 6000. I just got off the phone to the dealer in Las Cruces, NM and they do not have any 250R nor 500R, he said that he might get some until august.. WTF... I thought that does bikes were the bikes that sold the most. He told me that nobody bought does bikes.. I don't get it... Anyways, I will try one more dealer ship on monday and see where that goes..


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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-27-2008, 10:45 PM
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I am taking the class next month and I will repeat what others have said and that is to get a used bike. I think I will start off on my gf's 95 ninja 600 (she got a Ducati 748s last year) but I know if I drop it she will cry since it has a custom paint job that she did. This is the wrong time to buy a bike since eveyone is getting the itch with the warm weather. From what I have gathered a 500 or 600 is a good first bike and they can be picked up for a decent price used just keep an eye on craigslist. Don't be too turned off by a used bike with some scratches and such as you are likely to add some of you own.

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miller1995 View Post
Don't be too turned off by a used bike with some scratches and such as you are likely to add some of you own.

-Miller
Watch for dirt or gravel on the road!



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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miller1995 View Post
Don't be too turned off by a used bike with some scratches and such as you are likely to add some of you own.

Watch for cracks on the frame though.

I am as mechanically inclined as Hellen Keller is with a Rubik's Cube!
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 10:31 AM
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I have a '07 zzr600 (old zx6r Ninja) I bought new because nobody rides a 600 lightly. I wanted the warranty and peace of mind that everything is 100%. This was / is my first bike. That said, I wouldn't recommend a 600 for your first. I actually am concitering moving down to a 250. Better gas mileage, more flickable, safer to ride to the limit and thus more fun.

Whatever you get, also spend some hard-earned cash on gear. I won't go out without a helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and jeans. For cheep, try www.NewEnough.com I've seen to many people walk away from a crash because they had good gear on. (And vise-versa)

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 10:48 AM
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Watch for dirt or gravel on the road!
No, It's "Learn to ride on Gravel! (and dirt...)"

Then you know how to avoid street surfing.


After the first twenty years or so, you learn to stop falling down; Unfortunately, it hurts a lot more, the older you are!

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 11:18 AM
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I too am looking at getting my first bike. Based on what people here at work are telling me, and several of them are instructors for the DMV Motorcycle safety course, TAKE THE COURSE!!!

As far as buying a bike. I've been looking into the Suzuki GS500F or the newer GSX650F, both recommended to me by the instructors that I work with as great starter bikes.

GS500F


GS500F

GSX650F


GSX650F

Both look like the GSX-R's, but the insurance is cheaper. I went to the dealership here locally, and they still had 2007 GS500F's on the showroom floor. They were willing to sell me a 07 GS500F with 0 miles on the odometer, and full factory warranty for under $4K. it was about $1500 off the sticker price. I haven't found many used bikes much cheaper than that. I also saw that getting a set of plastic for the GS500 is only $300, so if you drop it, it's not going to ruin your bank account. Plus you can get frame sliders to help protect the plastic in the event of a laydown.

Just my $.02

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 12:27 PM
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Those are both good beginner bikes that you won't get bored with.

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 12:50 PM
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That's what I was looking for. One that I wouldn't get bored with, and by all accounts, the 250's are nice, but I keep hearing from guys that I know that ride (beginners, and experienced alike), they all say don't get anything smaller than a 500 for a starter bike.

Based on the reviews that I've seen on both the GS500F and the GSX650F, they say that they are great commuter bikes. A little lacking if you are going to race them (which I'm not), and both are great on gas.

I'm personally leaning more towards the 650.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 01:29 PM
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You're first bike should be cheap, because you will drop it. don't worry about looking cool, because until you learn how to truely ride, you're not going to look cool anyway.

Someone above mentioned learnig to ride on a dirt. That's great advice. If you can ride dirt, you can ride slippery roads when your bike gets slide-ways.

A cheap 250 dualsport bike is a great starter bike if you need a commuter. You might even find you really enjoy offroad riding.

If you have to have a street bike, a Honda Rebel 250 is a good mild starter bike. The GS500s are good reliable bikes and fast enough to scare you if you are inexperienced.

Whatever you get, get a cheap used bike to learn on. You don't want to be making payments and paying insurance on a scratched up, dented, and bent high dollar sport bike.

My first bike was a 78 Suzuki TS185 2 stroke dual sport, then a 76 Kawasaki KZ400 street, an 82 Yamaha YZ250 dirt, an 86 Honda Rebel 250 street, an 85 Honda XR350R dirt, then an 82 Yamaha Seca 650R street. Now I'm getting the itch for another dirt bike, maybe dual sport. I miss wheelies and jumps.

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 03:31 PM
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With all due respect, anyone that tells you that a 250 is to small doesn't really know how to ride. Its a 250 that holds the track record up at Louden NH. Its actually quite funny seeing a 250 smoke a liter bike around the track because you don't have to worry about the rear spinning out.

Of course, on the street its nice to have more torque, especially with passengers. A 500 or 650 twin will give you plenty of that.

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 04:50 PM
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You're first bike should be cheap, because you will drop it. don't worry about looking cool, because until you learn how to truely ride, you're not going to look cool anyway.

Someone above mentioned learnig to ride on a dirt. That's great advice. If you can ride dirt, you can ride slippery roads when your bike gets slide-ways.

A cheap 250 dualsport bike is a great starter bike if you need a commuter. You might even find you really enjoy offroad riding.

If you have to have a street bike, a Honda Rebel 250 is a good mild starter bike. The GS500s are good reliable bikes and fast enough to scare you if you are inexperienced.

Whatever you get, get a cheap used bike to learn on. You don't want to be making payments and paying insurance on a scratched up, dented, and bent high dollar sport bike.

I miss wheelies and jumps.


This is all good advice;

Falling down is an exponential curve...the first few years are rough.

Dirt is So Much softer than pavement. I can't count how many times I've fallen down on dirt.

I can count easily how many times I've fallen on pavement, and what I hit in what position...Others can too, if I'm wearing a swimsuit.

I think ThunderB's best part was great, so I bolded it above...

Wheelies and jumps are great...but I'm glad that there were no Extreme Motocross events when I was stupid enough to try it.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 08:48 PM
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How do you guys dump your bikes on pavement all the time lol? Is it just freak situations that force a fall or messing around or? I’ve been riding for four years off-road and have only fallen twice. I ride fast too, no motocross stuff but let’s just say most people can’t keep up in the trails.

And IMO I would def not get a 250 street bike unless you can afford an upgrade 2 months later. There just too weak imo. Not bad at all in the city and such but hit the highway and it’s almost a joke, at least the one I rode lol.

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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 09:48 PM
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Two words: Moron Drivers

That's the biggest. Other accidents are caused by road hazards (road kill, live animals, oil on the road....Honda Civics)

Mostly though, keep your head out of your arse, ride like EVERY one is out to kill you. Best thing I learned in the MSF class was SIPDE:

Scan a head and see a potential problem.
Identify the problem.
Predict what that problem will do.
Decide what YOU are going to do to avoid it.
Execute that plan.


When I ride, I am looking at least 1/4 mile ahead of me. I look at brake lights, if I see that car that is 10 vehicles ahead begin to brake, I am already off the gas and giving myself space between the car in front of me and looking for an out should the guy behind me slam on his brakes at the last second and take me out.

I have ridden for over 10 years, had one accident. I took my eyes off the road for 1 second, the road ended and I slid into a barbed wire fence. No broken bones, road rash or anything, I even hit my head. Only reason I am here.... PROPER GEAR! Riding boots, jacket, gloves, helmet, thick jeans....and the most imporant item....keep your head out of you A**! Leave your problems at home, dont ride mad, drunk or stupid.

I am as mechanically inclined as Hellen Keller is with a Rubik's Cube!
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 10:26 PM
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I guess I will show off a little. Here is my girl on her new bike the Ducati 748s:



And the other bike she that I will probably end up riding the Ninja 600:



-Miller

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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-28-2008, 10:39 PM
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I agree with you 100%,I admit I am a very aggressive driver and I dont lay off of jerks who want to cut me off any way long story short I have had 5 of my friends either die or wreck on their bike and become hospitalized. When I see a motorcycle around when driving I always, always respect them and I treat them as if my son was driving that thing, I give them plenty of space, and if I see any cars come flying around I try to get diagnally next to the motorcycle so the car flying up cant get too close to the bike. I had a friend get ripped in two because of a bike wreck, it was his fault going 140 around a curve rated at 55 but anyway I really watch out for bike riders as much as possible because I never want to see something like that again.


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Originally Posted by Jestkdn View Post
Two words: Moron Drivers

That's the biggest. Other accidents are caused by road hazards (road kill, live animals, oil on the road....Honda Civics)

Mostly though, keep your head out of your arse, ride like EVERY one is out to kill you. Best thing I learned in the MSF class was SIPDE:

Scan a head and see a potential problem.
Identify the problem.
Predict what that problem will do.
Decide what YOU are going to do to avoid it.
Execute that plan.


When I ride, I am looking at least 1/4 mile ahead of me. I look at brake lights, if I see that car that is 10 vehicles ahead begin to brake, I am already off the gas and giving myself space between the car in front of me and looking for an out should the guy behind me slam on his brakes at the last second and take me out.

I have ridden for over 10 years, had one accident. I took my eyes off the road for 1 second, the road ended and I slid into a barbed wire fence. No broken bones, road rash or anything, I even hit my head. Only reason I am here.... PROPER GEAR! Riding boots, jacket, gloves, helmet, thick jeans....and the most imporant item....keep your head out of you A**! Leave your problems at home, dont ride mad, drunk or stupid.

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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by David_viny View Post
How do you guys dump your bikes on pavement all the time lol? Is it just freak situations that force a fall or messing around or? I’ve been riding for four years off-road and have only fallen twice. I ride fast too, no motocross stuff but let’s just say most people can’t keep up in the trails.

And IMO I would def not get a 250 street bike unless you can afford an upgrade 2 months later. There just too weak imo. Not bad at all in the city and such but hit the highway and it’s almost a joke, at least the one I rode lol.
Nobody dumps their bike all the time. If they do, a motorcycle is defintitley not for them.
However, the likelihood of dropping it when you are beginning is high as you get used to moving the weight around. Most drops will be low speed or while "walking the bike" when you are sitting on it. Plus, you'd be surprised how often your shoelace wraps around the gearshift and you don't know it until you try to put your foot down at a stop light, but can't.
Only one of my street bikes got dropped, and that was when I was trying to teach my girlfriend how to ride. She forgot to pull in the clutch when she stopped, so I told her to drop the bike so it wouldn't fall on her.

A 250 is fine. You can always bragg about the gas mileage. 80-90 mph no problem. It still accelerates faster than most cars. Get it used and sell it for what you bought it for, or more if your good at finding deals. A 500 will get you more choices of styles, but they are much heavier and less fuel efficient. You don't need a hyper speed bike when learning. There's alot more to riding fast than twisting a grip. Need to learn to walk before you run.

Of all my bikes, my Rebel 250 was the biggest chick magnet. It was small enough to not be intimidating, but big enough to be a real bike. I'd teach them to ride by putting them on the front seat, I'd sit on the passenger seat, reach around them to the handle bars to get us started, once rolling, I'd let them take the bars. Made for a very, uh, intimate leson. Every party I went to, I'd have a group of girls asking if they could ride it. I hope my wife doesn't see this.

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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 10:57 AM
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Check out the KLR250. What it lacks in power, it makes up in offroad fun

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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 01:35 PM
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my dad got me a 1979 dt 250 (last year of metal tank first year of mono shock) for my first bike i loved that bike. i could sceam through the trails, hit the road and do 120+. got me good at rideing so i could steal his HD. that thang was a beast, 73 sportster hard tail 900 stroked to 1100 raked front end and had had NOS. we be at the bar he have one to many and start braging so i steal the key go out front and lay a big burn out as i took it home. so he would kill him self on it. my point is a on/off road bike is a great learing tool. youl learn control so when you grabe something biger it will be alot more fun and less scary.
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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 01:40 PM
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I guess I will show off a little. Here is my girl on her new bike the Ducati 748s:




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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 03:58 PM
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I would also suggest used first. I bought an old Honda 350 that I kept for 6 months, then bought a new Yamaha 750-4 that I rode for 20 yrs. Now I have had a Honda ST1100 for the last 7 yrs.
Depends on how big you are, but less than a 600 would seem small to me. Also depends on what you are looking for in a ride - I like smooth and powerful.
If you are just looking at a bike for just gas mileage - don't do it. Once you figure all the costs of ownership, then how much you will save on gas over the car you drive you will see. I got 9,000 miles on the last set of $400 tires, best I have ever done. Usually it is more like 7,000.
Say I ride 3,000 per year on my bike, I will save 150 gallons of gas over driving my car. That is $600 in savings on gas at $4 per gallon. Insurance and tag cost me $300 a year.

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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 07:52 PM
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I would also suggest used first. I bought an old Honda 350 that I kept for 6 months, then bought a new Yamaha 750-4 that I rode for 20 yrs. Now I have had a Honda ST1100 for the last 7 yrs.
Depends on how big you are, but less than a 600 would seem small to me. Also depends on what you are looking for in a ride - I like smooth and powerful.
If you are just looking at a bike for just gas mileage - don't do it. Once you figure all the costs of ownership, then how much you will save on gas over the car you drive you will see. I got 9,000 miles on the last set of $400 tires, best I have ever done. Usually it is more like 7,000.
Say I ride 3,000 per year on my bike, I will save 150 gallons of gas over driving my car. That is $600 in savings on gas at $4 per gallon. Insurance and tag cost me $300 a year.
We have permanent plates, insurance is not required, but I paid $125 for a full year on my Ninja.

Now I should just get a quad to drive in-town, then I can drive in the winter too, and never need to pay for insurance or tags again. Be a cold drive in the winter, though. (ATVs are legal on our streets with minimum requirements, have permanent plates, and you don't even need an endorsement.)

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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-29-2008, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_viny View Post
How do you guys dump your bikes on pavement all the time lol? Is it just freak situations that force a fall or messing around or? I’ve been riding for four years off-road and have only fallen twice. I ride fast too, no motocross stuff but let’s just say most people can’t keep up in the trails.
So far, I've only dropped a bike at speed on pavement while racing...Anyone remember a TZ750? (it's been awhile) Pavement ate most of my gear, including most of my helmet, but I was able to finish the last two laps to avoid a dnf.

I also raced local 'hare scrambles' thru the countryside; that's what we pretty much patterned our off-road style after.

Yeah; in our off-road group, if you aren't falling down occasionally, you aren't doing it right, and will end up buying all the beer. (lol)

Riding a street bike like a dirt bike in traffic is a sure means of pain; the moving objects with seemingly random paths (cars) will get you, if Newton doesn't first...

That whole 'conservation of momentum' thing sux almost as much as gravity...

I ride my street bikes much more conservatively than I drive my Cougars.

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Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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