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Old 03-22-2005, 21:37   #1
ejerman
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Looking to buy my first bike

went looking today and came across an 02 CBR600F4 with 14k on it. The bike was well cared for by the looks of it; no scratches or dents and was very clean. Salesman said the price was 5200 and went down to 4985. I put a deposit on the bike that will hold it for a week while I decide if it's the one or not. Like I said this might be my first bike (if I decide to buy it). I was shopping for an 04 F4i and was prepared to pay 7500 for one, but figured that used was the best way. Especially considering that everyone says that you will dump it when first starting out on a motorcycle. I have to say that I am very nervous about motorcycles because I have never ridden one before, but I know that as long as you are responsible it won't be an issue. Just have some beginning jitters. I also plan on a safety course, just have to sign up. So anyway, does this bike sound like a good deal for a first? Thanks for your input.

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Old 03-22-2005, 21:49   #2
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.......then do yourself a favor and get a dirt bike and a cheaper street bike. Used dirtbikes can be had for as little as $1200 in good shape. I've got a '99 YZ 125 that I bought 2 years ago, and I ride the hell out of it. I've been riding for 18 years now (I'm 27), and it still teaches me something new! I would recommend something a little cheaper for the street. The safety courses are awesome, take them, and go off-roading. If you do the above, you'll learn pretty quick. Besides, nothing wheelies better than a dirt bike!
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Old 03-22-2005, 23:04   #3
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What gixxer said.

Also all that plastic is expensive to repair when (not if) you drop it.

Also dirtbikes are hella fun and the best part.....

There are no speed limits off-road!
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:33   #4
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Eric:
We think you are definately on the right track to consider a used bike for your first, for the reasons you posted. Additionally, it has been our (admittedly somewhat limited) experience that if you purchase a used bike "worth the money" you will lose little when you are ready to "trade up." And we think that regardless of what one purchases for one's first bike, one is almost certain to want to "trade up" at some point.

For our part, we feel that your choice of the CBR600 seems a little ambitious. Although it is a very good machine, there are less expensive and less powerful bikes that might be more forgiving for a new rider.

On the other hand, a responsible person who approaches motorcycle riding with a healthy respect should be fine with almost any first bike (certain large displacment sports bikes excepted, perhaps).

You are very wise to take a saftey course, whatever you choose as your first bike. Also, take care to gear up properly. A wise rider does not dress for the ride, but rather for the potential crash...

We trudge on.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:40   #5
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The CBR600 is fine for a first bike PROVIDED that you aren't going to act like a fool on it. It's not the bike, it's the rider. If you are going to be careful with the bike while learning its quirks and such, you're not going to dump the bike or run into something.

I don't know how old you are or more correctly how mature you are, but lots of younger fellows somehow equating to reading motorcycle magazines and buying the best Japan has to offer with riding skills. They hop on these badass bikes and twist the throttles to the max. Guess what will happen next?

Now, the next thing I want to say is that there are better choices. Crotch rockets put you in an extreme riding position that makes it difficult for a novice to ride at slow speed. Their swept back clip-on handlebars aren't too conducive toward slow speed maneuvering either. Believe it or not, you have to deal with slow speed maneuvers more than taking a corner at a 50-degree lean at 100-MPH.

When you take the MSF course (that's the safety course you're talking about, right?), you will be drilled repeatedly on slow speed maneuvers, clutch and throttle managements, stop 'n go, etc. They do that for a good reason.
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Old 03-23-2005, 22:45   #6
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Thanks for the input guys. I made the decision to get the bike after talking to a few riders that I know. They gave me some pretty good input on riding and such. However, I do appreciate the input!
Fnfalman: I am 25 and I consider myself quite mature. You'll have to take my word for it because this isn't the place to really decide someone's true personality. I'm more of a lurker/loner anyway. The purpose of this bike is to get me from point a to point b. No wheelies, endos...none of that stuff. I want to keep both wheels on the pavement. I have seen what happens to people when they act like an ass on a bike and it ain't pretty. The potential for disaster is high enough on a bike with other people on the road that you have to interact with. What it all boils down to IMO is to use common sense and don't be stupid and you'll be alright. I plan on spending lots of time in the parking lot at work before even setting foot on the street. My boss rides and he has told me that he will help me out as have a few other people that I know. So I think I'll do alright! As far as the safety course goes...there are a couple I'm looking into. One is the offered through the DMV the other is MOSTridertraining. Either or seems suitable enough. NH has no helmet laws, but I have every intention to get a full face helmet and some good gloves and other riding gear as well. Just the basics for now and when I get onto the open road and get some experience then I'll get more into the other goodies. Anyway, this is going on too long. Thanks again for the input, I DO appreciate it. Oh and I forgot to mention, the bike is a 2000 not an 02...little typo on my part.

Eric
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:55   #7
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Like I said, the bike wouldn't be a bad 1st if you were careful. And do, DO, spend a lot of time on the parking lot and back streets practicing your clutch, throttle and shift. That's how a lot of people drop their bikes. They'd stall out unexpected and next thing you know, they topple over.

And nothing wrong with wheelies and stoppies either, providing that you are not doing it in traffic and jeopardizing not only yourself but others around you.

Good luck and have fun! And I know that good riding gears aren't cheap, but see if you can get a pair of riding pants as well. Jeans or kakhis are better than shorts but not by much.
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Old 03-25-2005, 14:31   #8
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Re: Looking to buy my first bike

Quote:
Originally posted by ejerman
came across an 00 CBR600F4 with 14k on it. The bike was well cared for by the looks of it; no scratches or dents and was very clean. Salesman said the price was 5200 and went down to 4985.
That seems a bit much for an F4 with 14k, it should be closer to $4,000 or even a bit under if your patient and lucky. (at least in my neck of the woods)

Ive been riding sence the 80's and I would not spend more than $1,000 for a first bike, take the cash, buy a cheap bike, some good riding gear and your first basic course.
Then rack up some miles over the summer and take an advanced course in the fall and buy a nicer bike after that.

You might feel dorky riding an old junky bike for a summer, but youll feel even dorkier picking up $5,000 worth of plastic.

I took a course and in about 6 months I put about 6k on my first bike (a stylin 550 LTD ;f ) before I dumped it. But it only cost me about $100 to fix, tip a bike with fairings over in your drive way and it will cost allot more!

Buy good gear
Take a course
Stay safe
Good luck
AND HAVE FUN!
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Old 03-26-2005, 13:18   #9
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Old 04-02-2005, 18:57   #10
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After you get some leathers sign up for a track school. You will learn Sooooo much about staying on the road that you'll be amazed. It's a blast too.
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Old 04-03-2005, 20:54   #11
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here is my advice for low speed manuvers keep ur weight off the handle bars.... use ur back to hold u up not ur weight on the bars. when u come to a stop u will see what i mean. the first time u do it u might almost drop the bike if u are a little off from one side to the other with ur weight. i almost droped my first bike at a stop sign when i first took it out. its cause i wasnt aware of the fact that i was locking out my arms when i stoped and therfore transfuring my weight to the bars. good luck and wear ur lid! take the msf course soon. then later on after u have 6 months or 5000 miles of experience on ur bike. take it with u to take the advanced msf course. they teach u more advanced techniques and on ur own bike to help u better. if any of this has already been mentioned i failed to read all the responces so.... ^<wg
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrEaK_aCcIdEnT
here is my advice for low speed manuvers keep ur weight off the handle bars....
And here's my advice...
Get the DVD from Jerry "Motorman" Palladino at www.ridelikeapro.com

Best thing you can do for yourself for low-speed handling techniques.
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Old 04-04-2005, 08:27   #13
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yes that would also be beneficial. but im sure that some techniques might need to be tweeked since he will be on a crotch rocket different riding position than cruisers. the design of the bike gives a different feel in low speed bike managment. <--- IMO
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:37   #14
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If you are nervous about motorcycling and have never ridden before, I would suggest a used GS500 or similar for your first bike. Much less to be nervous about. It won't powerwheelie, it won't spin the rear wheel and generally is a gentler experience to learn on. Not that the F4 is a bad machine by any stretch, it's just that to learn on there are better. Take a year and 5-6k miles on a smaller machine, THEN get your CBR or whatever. Hey, I always look at it as an excuse to buy and ride something new and different, not outgrowing a machine.

Take a course, get gear, and be careful. And I will run contrary to what others say repeatedly, "If you aren't scared of the machine, stop riding." If you're scared, you won't ride.

Have fun and be safe out there, good luck.
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Old 04-04-2005, 21:19   #15
ejerman
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thanks for all the input guys. I actually bit the bullet and bought the bike. I just finished M.O.S.T on Sunday (MSF approved course) and went today to get my license. Riding on a Honda Nighthawk is a little different than my CBR, but that is to be expected. I have taken the CBR a few times around the mall at work and it handles pretty well. I want to practice some quick stopping and swerving before I take it out on the road for the first time tomorrow because I think it will be a little different with the CBR, but for the most part I am more confident on it. I noticed that things went smoother after going through the course than when I was trying to teach myself through trial and error.
Like I said before, I don't want to be a statistic, I'm out to ride, not stunt. I think that stuff is cool in its own, but there is a time and place for that. I just want to go from point a to point b...taking the long route of course! I will say that I respect the bike and the power it possesses. I think that fear keeps us in check and I have no problem admitting that I am scared/nervous about riding this bike or any other. It can be intimidating and should be, no matter how experienced you are because the danger is always there. I also plan on getting some miles under my belt this spring/summer and taking the intermediate course toward the end of the season like some of you suggested. The basic course was an eye opener, I have to say that the money was well spent. Great instructors. But anyway, I'll stop rambling now. Thanks again.

Eric
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Old 04-04-2005, 21:28   #16
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All this sounds like good advise. Take it.. I have only been riding for a year and i havent dummped it yet but my day will come. If you already have the CBR thats ok just be very careful. Sometimes the urge to crank on it to pass the hottie in the convetible is hard to manage but she could get ya killed and she wont give it up anyway..Well thats been my experience. BE CAREFUL..I have an FZR 600 its my first bike. Its by no means the fastest or the coolest looking but it works and i wont end up a street pizza like some others around here that bought the most badaszzed bike money can buy..Its hard enough for me to pick up girls now. Imagine how difficult it would be walking funny because i have no more skin on my ***..Thinking like that saved my life everytime i go for a ride...my 2 cents
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:30   #17
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this is what keeps me in check with everything i do...

my nickname ive had since i was in grade school and the sig i carry with me everywhere i go. it all has a duel purpose. one is for people to expect the unexpected from me and the other is to remind me of how i expect the unexpected so when it happens it will be expected and a better decision can be made instead of a wrong frantic decision that may have fatal consequences. ;a
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:14   #18
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ejerman,

Do yourself a favor and practice throttle/cluch control some more before you take it out to the street. When you take it out to the street for the first time, your senses will be overloaded with traffic (believe you me, it's different than riding in a car/truck) and the way your vehicle handles. Most people drop their bikes because they aren't quite used to throttle/cluch control and don't know their "friction zone".

I think that you've got a good attitude. Just work it up slowly and don't go out on the freeway until you're comfortable. Freeway riding is more or less easier than street riding BUT very unnerving because you're riding unprotected by a cage at very high speed that YOU KNOW will hurt you badly if you spill. Just don't be too nervous and freeze up (people do freeze up). That'll kill ya just as fast as riding stupid. Be apprehensive and be careful just like you said.

Enjoy!!!
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Old 04-05-2005, 21:56   #19
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what a day...went out for my first ride. It's so different, I never understood what the big deal was, but it's a whole other ball game out there on a bike. But then, you guys that ride already know what I mean. Went for a few small treks in Concord and then got the nerve up to go the back way home to Manchester(about 15 miles). Everything went well and traffic cooperated for the most part! I did however get stuck...I went into downtown Manchester and was planning on taking the back way home, but there was an accident so I had to take the Interstate to get home. It was a little windy and it kind of made me nervous, but it wasn't so bad. Still would like to avoid it like the plague for a while, but it's one more step I have taken. Of course that was only one day and one ride, but I'm thinking baby steps here!

Eric
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Old 04-06-2005, 00:02   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by ejerman
what a day...went out for my first ride. It's so different, I never understood what the big deal was, but it's a whole other ball game out there on a bike. But then, you guys that ride already know what I mean. Went for a few small treks in Concord and then got the nerve up to go the back way home to Manchester(about 15 miles). Everything went well and traffic cooperated for the most part! I did however get stuck...I went into downtown Manchester and was planning on taking the back way home, but there was an accident so I had to take the Interstate to get home. It was a little windy and it kind of made me nervous, but it wasn't so bad. Still would like to avoid it like the plague for a while, but it's one more step I have taken. Of course that was only one day and one ride, but I'm thinking baby steps here!

Eric
Great job! Remember that your lane is your lane, so establish yourself firmly in your lane. I know it sounds wierd but some of the guys I ride with who have the most trouble with cars ride like wimps in traffic and as such people purposefully push them around. I generally ride like a D1ck and don't have any problems. I'm not saying I'm reckless, I act as if the other cars can't or don't see me but I ride in an extremely aggressive manner when in traffic and believe it or not, people give me lots of space. I also ride with my visor up (I wear glasses or Rx Shades all the time) so I can make eye contact with people in cars, which is another thing that helps keep people from pushing you around. The last thing to remember is that speed = safety as in if you can break away from a big pack of cars and get into the clear, by all means do so. The only thing I wish I could do but can't is lanesplitting, which I used to do all the time in CA but for some reason, the morons who run our state won't legalize it. You never get stuck in traffic on a bike in Cali!
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