Which motorcyle?

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crazygrow
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Which motorcyle?

Postby crazygrow » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:46 pm

Hey all - some may remember my post about autonomous cars. We had nixed the Teslas and were going to get me a truck, but then we decided to change up the school where our kids go to so I'm going to continue driving the kids to school. There are five of them currently attending the school, and none are old enough to sit up front.

So I'm going to keep my current car (minivan) for a few more years. It is a 2006, runs well, etc.

I'm wanting to get a weekend motorcyle. Primarily just for fun - cruising up the canyon, evening drives with the wife, etc. - so something comfortable for two riders.

Probably going to rent a few to try, but anyone have any suggestions?

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Ozonewanderer
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Ozonewanderer » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:16 pm

A V-Twin engine will give more torque and be easier to ride from a standing start. It helps in control of the bike especially with a second rider. I would start with a minimum of 800 cc for two up riding around town.

Harleys make the most V-Twin bikes. They are American made, good quality, and sexy as hell. In winter I would sit on it in the garage and go "Vroom, Vroom." BTW I was 50 years old then.

I still have that Harley (a 2001 Dyna) and have also had a Buell, BMW RT, Honda Gold Wing and Triumph Street Triple since then. From your description of how you want to ride I would recommend a Harley. Other brands make V-Twin cruisers that are probably technically more sophisticated for the same or lower price, but they are not Harleys.

JoinToday
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby JoinToday » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:26 pm

5 young kids, and you are thinking of riding a motorcycle? are you serious?

Think of the likelihood of going down, and the consequence. It hurts like hell to go down on a bicycle in the street (don't ask me how I know). I can't imaging going down on a motorcycle at 30-40-50-60 mph

My suggestion: Don't buy a bike until college education is funded, and kids are in college. That is what I did.

Can you imagine getting jacked up and your spouse has to take care of 5 kids & you?

And don't ride with your spouse on the back. Can you imagine both of you jacked up, with 5 kids?

Aside from that: Suzuki SV650
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago

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StevieG72
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby StevieG72 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:43 pm

Motorcycles are fun!

5 kids though? I would not recommend.

Too many distracted drivers on the road.

Get a sports car if you need to get away from the minivan occasionally, much safer.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby ClevrChico » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:51 pm

StevieG72 wrote:Motorcycles are fun!

5 kids though? I would not recommend.

Too many distracted drivers on the road.

Get a sports car if you need to get away from the minivan occasionally, much safer.


I hate to be a fun hater, but I agree. I love motorcycles, but every rider I know has had a life changing accident or narrowly missed one. A used C6 Corvette is incredibly fun, reasonably priced, and relatively safe.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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IFRider
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby IFRider » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:56 pm

Question for your wife...

Would you hire a plumber, or a cardiac surgeon, or an airline pilot that only worked on weekends?

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F150HD
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby F150HD » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:04 pm

crazygrow wrote:
I'm wanting to get a weekend motorcyle. Primarily just for fun - cruising up the canyon, evening drives with the wife, etc. - so something comfortable for two riders.

Probably going to rent a few to try, but anyone have any suggestions?


First...do you have any prior experience riding a motorcycle?

Random Poster
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Random Poster » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:03 am

Ural.

queso
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby queso » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:07 am

F150HD wrote:
crazygrow wrote:
I'm wanting to get a weekend motorcyle. Primarily just for fun - cruising up the canyon, evening drives with the wife, etc. - so something comfortable for two riders.

Probably going to rent a few to try, but anyone have any suggestions?


First...do you have any prior experience riding a motorcycle?

This. What is your experience level and what kind of riding do you intend to do? You mention 2 up riding with your wife and canyons so are we talking all pavement pleasure rides (no offroad, no camping off the bike, etc.)?

miles monroe
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby miles monroe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:14 am

i'd ask my brother -- but he died in a motorcycle accident when a car ran a stop sign right in front of him.

sixtyforty
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby sixtyforty » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:18 am

Consider getting a convertible. It's safer. This is coming from someone that has had two street bikes and countless other dirt bikes. Just my opinion of course.

FYI: Riding a bike with one person takes skill and awareness most people don't even have on the street, especially through intersections. Riding a bike with someone on the back makes it even more complicated and the risk goes up. But the real problem is other drivers. You can do everything right but still get hit by some idiot.

queso
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby queso » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:24 am

Yes, bikes can be dangerous, but so are horses, steak knives, guns, skiing, flying, scuba diving, mowing your own lawn and eating a hamburger and fries. Everybody has an opinion on where to draw the line on the risk vs. reward continuum, but that's not exactly what the original poster asked us about is it? :happy
Last edited by queso on Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:26 am

Random Poster wrote:Ural.


With or without a sidecar?

(I used to work just down the street from a dealer....Boxborough, MA)


If you're considering a motorcycle, look into a Factory Five Cobra. While it's very different from a motorcycle, it is fast, loud and cool as anything. I built one and owned it for 11 years and any owner will tell you that you drive it as if it's a motorcycle since it is very low. Contrary to popular belief, loud pipes don't save lives because the noise is all behind you while most danger is in front of you. Also, consider renting a Harley now and then. I've decided that it's the best way to ride. Like a boat, since I'm snowed in for 1/3 of the year, it eliminates the storage, insurance and maintenance aspects. Or avoid them because of all the stupid texters out there. While some 16 year old is "LOL'ing" behind the wheel and veers into your lane, you at least have some chance with 4 wheels on the road.
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Dendritic Tree
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Dendritic Tree » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:30 am

I'm a neurointensivist who frequently cares for devastating brain and spine injuries due to motorcycle accidents. What strikes me is how random the accident can be - it can be a seasoned pro who rides all the time and all it takes is someone in a car not paying attention. There are at least a few per month that come through my Neuro ICU, where we call motorcycles "donor cycles". Because hey, the world needs organs, and motorcyclists are a reliable supply.

poker27
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby poker27 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:46 am

Wow, we went from someone asking for a recommendation on a bike, to trying to talk him out of it.

I have been riding for about 4 years now, and will agree its insanely dangerous. However a big piece of the danger (IMO) is where you ride. If you are in a more rural area, your risk of drivers not paying attention drops dramatically. I live in Chicago, and it is much riskier leaving the city than the rest of my 2+ hour ride.

I have not experienced anything that gives you a feeling like riding a bike. The sense of the wind hitting your face, being in control, and in the open is amazing.

In terms of picking a bike... How often do you think you will be riding 2 up vs. by yourself? Has your ridden on a bike before? Do you need storage space? What is your experience level?

You do not necessarily need to stick with a cruiser type bike. If your wife ends up not enjoying her time on the back, perhaps a dual purpose bike is better fitted. Something like an FZ1 comes to mind.

white_water
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby white_water » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:56 am

You're an adult, you likely have your investments organized to CYA. If not then do that first, esp term insurance and disability, maybe rent a Harley for a while, take a motorcycle riding class from the dealer, see if you like it. Some thrive on it, some get terrified by the odds.

In many areas big bikes are commodities, more for sale than buyers as demographics change and gray haired people age out.

There are almost no risk free decisions in life. Go for it, only way to find out is to ride, have the experience and decide if it's for you.

Ex bike riding daily commuter here, sold it when kids, big mortgage came along. No regrets. Intermitant stark terror, though usually a nice ride.

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Dendritic Tree
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Dendritic Tree » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:57 am

I would do the same thing if someone posted asking for a recommendation for cigarettes. My life's work is generally fighting against those two things more than anything else - motorcycles (they cause TBI) and cigarettes (they cause strokes).

Please don't ride a motorcycle! I beg you!

bloom2708
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby bloom2708 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:04 am

Buy 2 pedal bicycles. Stick to bike paths. Take a nice vacation. Invest the rest of the cost difference. :wink:

Part of what I like most about this place is you will get responses that confirm, challenge and go against the OP questions.

I'm thinking of buying a motorcycle? OK. Yes. Buy Model Z of Brand Y for $15,412.45. Hop on. Drive into the never ending sunset. Live happily ever after.

I want to hear the "Buts". But, you have 5 kids to think about. But, I read about motorcycle deaths pretty much daily and we have a short riding season.
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mxs
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby mxs » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:13 am

Your previous experience with riding a motorcycle is the glaring information we need.

If you have little to no experience, try to get in a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) or similar class first. They teach you how to ride, the rules of the road, and upon completion of the course you often get your state driver's license qualification for motorcycles. After this, you will know if you even want to ride or not. A couple people in my class of 15 or so didn't pass the class, and a couple fell during the riding portion.

As for two up riding, I would suggest any big name (Harley, Yamaha/Star, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, etc.) cruiser with a minimum displacement of 800 cruiser that is fuel injected. I had problems with a carbureted engine and they are a pain and not many people work on them any more. I only had a 650 Star cruiser, and managed to get it up to 80 mph or so solo, 70 mph with two, but it was lacking in power and sometimes you need the acceleration it lacked. I believe they make a 950 injected cruiser that is belt driven that would be an excellent size for two. The brand you go with should be based on your personal taste and availability of dealers or service to work on that brand. I have known a number Harley owners who have had problems with their bikes. All brands can have problems, but I think injected Japanese bikes are less likely to have problems.

Mountain Fiddle
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Mountain Fiddle » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:21 am

Dendritic Tree wrote:I'm a neurointensivist who frequently cares for devastating brain and spine injuries due to motorcycle accidents. What strikes me is how random the accident can be - it can be a seasoned pro who rides all the time and all it takes is someone in a car not paying attention. There are at least a few per month that come through my Neuro ICU, where we call motorcycles "donor cycles". Because hey, the world needs organs, and motorcyclists are a reliable supply.


I've had some close calls so certainly have a great respect for the dangers involved with motorcycling. However, if you look at motorcycle accident statistics, you'll see that the vast majority of serious or fatal accidents have one of the following in common:

1. Inexperience (< 1 year /5,000 miles).
2. Alcohol-related.
3. No helmet.

If you can eliminate all three of these factors, your odds of being seriously injured or killed drop pretty close to those of a "cager". Other variables under your control include training and riding an appropriately sized bike for your skill level. Last, assume you are totally invisible to cars and always have an escape route.

Unfortunately, I don't know a good way to get around the inexperience factor for someone just learning.

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topper1296
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby topper1296 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:30 am

My parent's neighbor had an accident on a motorcycle going about 35 mph when a deer ran across the road. He is now paralyzed from the waist down and only in his 20's.

stoptothink
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby stoptothink » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:35 am

mxs wrote:Your previous experience with riding a motorcycle is the glaring information we need.

If you have little to no experience, try to get in a MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) or similar class first. They teach you how to ride, the rules of the road, and upon completion of the course you often get your state driver's license qualification for motorcycles. After this, you will know if you even want to ride or not. A couple people in my class of 15 or so didn't pass the class, and a couple fell during the riding portion.

As for two up riding, I would suggest any big name (Harley, Yamaha/Star, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, etc.) cruiser with a minimum displacement of 800 cruiser that is fuel injected. I had problems with a carbureted engine and they are a pain and not many people work on them any more. I only had a 650 Star cruiser, and managed to get it up to 80 mph or so solo, 70 mph with two, but it was lacking in power and sometimes you need the acceleration it lacked. I believe they make a 950 injected cruiser that is belt driven that would be an excellent size for two. The brand you go with should be based on your personal taste and availability of dealers or service to work on that brand. I have known a number Harley owners who have had problems with their bikes. All brands can have problems, but I think injected Japanese bikes are less likely to have problems.


This. I grew up on two wheels, had a motorcycle before I had a car and was racing in WERA on weekends in high school (and through undergrad, no matter how much my football coaches tried to stop me). Learn how to ride, like really learn to ride, before even considering going two-up. Despite my extensive experience, I refused to ride two-up - ever. It's just one more thing to worry about (a passenger who actually knows how to ride) in an already dangerous activity. I actually completely gave up motorcycles when I decided that I wanted to start a family - simply wasn't worth it - but, it made me a much better cyclist as I am very aware of my surroundings and always am scanning for possible hazards. I've put many tens of thousands of miles on bicycles over the last decade, including 5yrs as a competitive triathlete/racer and a two year stint where I didn't drive my car at all (while living in inner-city Houston) and I have gone done exactly one time...12yrs ago, the first time I ever rode with clipless pedals.

I would not advocate anybody with a family to randomly take up motorcycles, although it is without a doubt the most exhilarating hobby I have ever participated in, but at least learn how to ride first before asking what kind of bike to get.

Random Poster
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Random Poster » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:52 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Random Poster wrote:Ural.


With or without a sidecar?


With.

Slightly different riding experience than a regular motorcycle, but the relative uniqueness of a sidecar makes for greater visibility and, perhaps, safety.

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bertilak
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby bertilak » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:25 am

Ex(?)-motorcycle rider here. Many years, lots of different bikes - from 125cc dirt bike to big BMWs, and a Harley.

My advice in order of importance:

  1. THINK HARD. Almost every bike owner I know has had at least one accident. I personally still have a tender knee from one (dirt bike!). Bikes are MUCH MORE dangerous then the other "dangerous" things listed up-thread. It is a different class of danger with both more likelihood and more devastating consequences. But, as they say, "Boys will be boys."

  2. IF you still insist, you will need life/disability insurance with a big enough payout to completely replace your income (including PROJECTED income) all the way through your youngest's college graduation. This may cost more than the bike itself, but you have responsibilities.

  3. LEARN. Take a course (or two). After a two decade hiatus (while bringing up kids) I started riding again but first I took a course to refresh my skills. The great thing was I could do this on somebody else's bike! Why risk my own expensive bike?

  4. Out on the street, big bikes are safer than small bikes. I don't mean high-powered street-racer bikes, but what are called touring bikes, or possibly a big "adventure" bike. Adventure bikes are good where roads are poor, including but not limited to dirt roads. This can be more fun and limit danger to the range of broken bones, instead of death or brain damage. They also do quite well on big highways.

    You want a bike where, when seated, your toes point forward, not down at the street (racing bike) nor up at the sky (cruiser or chopper) otherwise it won't be much fun for your passenger.
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jharkin
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby jharkin » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:56 am

ClevrChico wrote:
StevieG72 wrote:Motorcycles are fun!

5 kids though? I would not recommend.

Too many distracted drivers on the road.

Get a sports car if you need to get away from the minivan occasionally, much safer.


I hate to be a fun hater, but I agree. I love motorcycles, but every rider I know has had a life changing accident or narrowly missed one. A used C6 Corvette is incredibly fun, reasonably priced, relatively safe, and would be a lot cheaper.



Agreed. I got my license right before I got married. Ended up not getting a bike and as a father now I think that was smart. One of our friends is into club racing and rides Ducati's 100mph+ on a track with no fear but refuses to ride on the street "because of how unsafe the other drivers and cars are' and I think he is right.

GAAP
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby GAAP » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:59 am

I ride daily on my commute, plus weekends when I can find the time, and at least one long trip a year -- last year across the country, Brazil a few years ago, etc.

If you're a new rider, you shouldn't be taking passengers -- let alone your wife, if you have kids. If you're not a new rider, but haven't ridden for a "a while", take some classes and get some practice before taking a passenger. Even then, both parents on the same bike is not a good idea. My wife and I have both crashed independently, and I'm really glad one of us was still healthy at those times.

My choice of bike is a BMW R1200GS Adventure -- as bertilak noted, a fantastic touring bike, and far better on bad roads than most other large bikes. However, it's extremely tall -- at 6'1" tall, I can barely put both feet flat on the ground. I have friends that ride a variety of bikes, but I would personally choose a touring or police style bike with a more upright riding position for your use, not a cruiser. Harley Davidison, BMW, Honda, and all of the the other major brands make such bikes. I find them far easier to control than a cruiser, which matters even more when carrying a passenger.

Whatever you choose, assume that drivers are out to get you. Sometimes it's deliberate, but most of the time they just don't realize you're there -- happened to a friend of mine this week...

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Pajamas
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Re: Which motorcyle?

Postby Pajamas » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:55 am

If you have to ask which motorcycle to get, you probably shouldn't get one. If you were trying to decide between two models and had a list of pros and cons of each, it might be different. Maybe rent one for the weekend and see how you AND your wife like it.

Also, have you driven a motorcycle with a passenger before? If not, get a lot of experience solo first.


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