Another motorcycle post
I didn't want to hijack @haveacarortwoorthree's thread but, I need your input Oppo!
I've been looking for something fun and finally convinced my wife to let me get a motorcycle. I plan to take a MSF course and to get a bike in the 300 to 500cc range. Likely either a BMW G 310 GS or Husqvarna Svartpilen 401.
My question for Oppo motorcyclists is: Are the risks worth the reward?
Of the three people I know that have bikes, two have wrecked. My uncle was in a very serious accident when he was hit by a car many years ago. And a friend of mine lost control and had some pretty bad road rash but no broken bones.
From reading IM's (sorry for bringing it up) post a couple days ago it seems like the general consensus is that you will wreck at some point, whether it's your fault or not. What do you guys and gals think?
Pic for your time...
krustywantout last edited by krustywantout
Been riding for 20 years and I can emphatically say it's totally worth it. Yes, people get hurt and drivers suck. As you ride, you'll get a 6th sense on when bad things are going to happen and when not to test the limits. Also, make sure you understand that most motorcycles are way more capable than the rider and what that really means is humans are a danger to themselves. Be smart and enjoy the experience. If you want to test your limits, go to a track. Lastly, be honest with yourself on your skills because that will determine what motorcycle to buy and how you will enjoy the experience.
I’ve been riding for 7 months or so. Had one close call, a driver pulled out I front of me, but the only “wrecks” I’ve had haven been off-road and low speed. Of course you can midi gate risk, but practicing accident avoidance skills, and gearing up.
I think it’s absolutely worth the risk.
Although it’s worth mentioning that I don’t live in a city. I feel like riding a bike in a city, would be a lot less relaxing, and a low more dangerous. Kinda like driving in a city. Although is your state allows lane splitting the time saved slipping through traffic might make it worth while.
Oh and I recommend that if you plan on wearing a helmet, do not ever ride without one. Riding with a helmet on kinda like having sex without a condom on. It’s fine until you learn what your missing.
Shop-Teacher last edited by
@jgonzo That is a personal choice that only you can answer once you start riding. For me, yes it is. I always wear a helmet, and I never ride at more than 5 or 6 tenths. Don't start out with a new bike though. Buy something used that you can get out of more or less even, if you decide that it isn't for you.
TheJWT last edited by
@jgonzo 1000% yes! I took my MSF class in May of last year because it was $50 and was something to do when I was otherwise pretty bored. The next weekend after the class I bought my first bike, then my second a few months later, and my third a year after that.
Of course there are risks involved, but you can minimize them by continually practicing what you learned in your class, not riding above your abilities, always giving your undivided attention to what you're doing, and staying away from dangerous situations/ environments. I've never ridden in rain and very seldom ride at night, on the highway, or in heavy traffic.
Also, this is just my personal preference, but I think that older (80s or 90s) bikes are great for beginners, because they are extremely simple to work on. For me, doing maintenance and (pretty extensive) repairs on my bikes has in turn helped me become a better rider because I understand what is going with any of my bikes at any given time. I'd also warn against getting a first bike that you'll outgrow in a few months.
Shop-Teacher last edited by
@hfv I had the opposite experience with helmets. I started riding more when I went from an open faced to a full faced helmet. I guess I just like the cocoon and calmness inside it. I don't like riding without a helmet, unless I'm just puttering around the grounds at Road America.
It helps that I spent some money, and bought a good helmet. I swear by Bell.
TheJWT last edited by
@shop-teacher I honestly don't understand how people can enjoy riding without a helmet. The wind and the noise drives me insane!
MasterMario last edited by
@hfv I've ridden without a helmet once (like a mile down a 25mph road) and totally get not wanting to wear a helmet. I'll still never ride without one though, it's just not worth the risk.
beefchips last edited by
In traffic you should be doubling down on your defensive driving habits... but out of traffic on a good road it's heaven. Do it! And I second what @Shop-Teacher says, used is the way to go for a first bike. If you want to try another style of bike/riding you can easily sell and switch without losing much money
pickup_man last edited by
I would say it's %100 worth it, but then I've never been in a wreck. A few close calls, but nothing beyond a few butt clenchers.
It's probably not a popular opinion, but IMO the vast majority of motorcycle wrecks are preventable, regardless of who is "at fault". Things can happen that are out of your control, but I refuse to believe that in all but the most extreme cases there isn't something the rider couldn't have done differently. On a bike you need to anticipate everything and never let your guard down, which is easier said than done.
I'll echo a few other people here about avoiding some more dangerous riding scenarios, avoid traffic, try not to ride in the dark, and avoid riding in the rain, at least while you're a beginner.
Take the class, gear up, ride responsibly, and have fun.
Thank you all for your insights!
pickup_man last edited by
@thejwt Oh I understand, at slower, in town speeds it's euphoric, at constant speeds 45+ though it's too loud and windy. I went through a period in college where I'd bop around town, to and from class with just my gloves and a pair of shades. It was awesome and I loved every second of it. I never ride without one now though apart from tooling around a small town on mopeds with my buddy. Even then though it feels weird not having one on.
100percentjake last edited by
A dude ran a red light last year and totaled my Shadow 700 the day I finished it. Over a year later and their insurance is finally agreeing to settle in court. I was wearing full gear and it was a low speed collision but I still have a screwed up back from it. 3 months of physical therapy and an epidural (0/10 do not recommend) and I can at least function with minimal pain. I still ride though. Got back on a bike as soon as I could.
@mastermario same. I did it once. I was just going to move my bike from street parking to the garage in the ally, but ended up going for a much longer ride lol.
It feels very free and makes you feel cool. Until you stop an think about your skull cracking like an egg when it hits pavement at 30mph.
@100percentjake Ouch. Sorry to hear that. Back pain is no joke.
I guess I'm more worried about my own abilities to control the bike rather than other drivers. I don't plan to ride in the city and if I take it to work I'll go the long way and avoid highways.
Buuuuut... the tail of the dragon is 15 min. from my house so I'll have to force myself to NOT ride it til I'm confident.
Makoyouidiot last edited by
Riding since 2012, I've had an off twice in that time, on two different bikes, '11 Royal Enfield Bullet G5 Deluxe and a '17 Suzuki SV650...first time cracked a couple of ribs and left some scars on my helmet and jacket, 2nd time slid about 30 feet down a (thankfully grass) median, just soreness from that one afterwards....neither bike was damaged, and I didn't come out too badly either...probably why I'm currently in the market for bike #3, if that says anything about whether I think it's worth it.
MUSASHI66 last edited by
I had three motorcycles. I enjoyed them when I was in my 20’s, when I was young and dumb and rode without protection gear.
Once I introduced helmets and jackets and gloves, it became a hassle. Way too hot in summer, and too high chance of rain in spring and fall. I simply stopped enjoying it.
But, don’t tell my wife. She doesn’t like me riding motorcycles - she’s a defense attorney and has reviewed one too many incident reports involving bikes. However, if she thinks that I want one and she doesn’t want me to buy one, I can buy fun cars like my Abarth.
jminer last edited by
@jgonzo I've been riding on the street for 10 years and including dirt 22. I wholeheartedly recommend doing it, be careful, don't speed, don't ever get on the bike if inhibited and always wear gear when riding.
I'd also recommend not a german bike for your first, they carry a premium and are definitely less reliable and more expensive to maintain than a comparable Japanese bike. That being said I do drool over the looks of the Svartpilen - that is a beautiful bike!
PS - I've been down once in dirt but haven't had an accident yet on pavement.
Makoyouidiot last edited by
@shop-teacher I also swear by Bell, my Vortex has been great
@beefchips I’ll 3rd the motion for a used first bike.
I’ve dropped my old enduro like 20 times. Most of those off-road, some of them from showing off, a few from just not having the kickstand down all the way, once because my tail bag was open and my foot got caught in it lol. Every time I was just glad to have an old beater that’s already scratched and dented.
I haven’t tipped over my cruiser yet, but it’s mint and I’ll be really sad if it happens
Tekamul last edited by
I will crest 20 years riding in the Spring. It's totally worth it. In that time I've gone down twice, but managed to not be hit by a car yet. There are close calls with oblivious drivers every few rides though. That's just how it goes, whenever they're around you have to dodge them.
Your experience will of course be defined by what you ride, how you ride, where you ride. After many years, I've figured out I like light bikes, medium speeds, empty rural roads and no destination. But commuter traffic is good, too. Much better than sitting in a car. My least favorite environment at this point is the highway. Highways are meant for cars, because of the risks and monotony.
The 401 is awesome. Something about the stub tail.
DipodomysDeserti last edited by
@Jgonzo Been riding for about sixteen years. Went down once, but it is definitely worth it. Riding is a great form of therapy for me.
Peter_Black last edited by Peter_Black
@jgonzo so, ive been riding for almost 10 years....done every thing from 125 groms to 2000cc cruisers. Sport bikes, track days, off road days. Multiday tours and 20 minutes sprints.
In 10 year I never had an issue. This year I had a nasty crash in march. Spent a month in hospital and rehab with a spine fractured in 10 places. And in September, someone turned left in front of me. By all accounts , a horrible year.
You would have to kill me before I gave up riding. If I lose a limb I will get back on 2 wheels. Its euphoria like nothing else Ive tried. Easily the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
That said, riding is INCREDIBLY unforgiving of stupidity, inattentiveness and lack of skill.
Always wear your gear, dont be dumb, dont outride your skills. Slow bike fast is WAY better then fast bike slow. This was me on a CBR250 on the dragon. Not to toot my.own horn, but I am quick on 2 wheels. Doesnt mean Im immune to the laws of physics
HFV last edited by HFV
@peter_black I actually knew a guy in college that lost a limb riding... kinda. He and another classmate went out for Taco Bell. He came back 2 hours later with only 9 fingers and a few scratches on his yellow Buell.
Peter_Black last edited by
@hfv a finger isnt really a limb....