New motorcycle rider

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uberdoc
Posts: 57
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New motorcycle rider

Post by uberdoc » Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm

Hi,
Riding a motorcycle is one of my desire for a long time. I am an average ht and wt person with normal BMI. I also have a few years experience outside US from a decade ago. Any suggestions and advise about this- safety, finance, insurance, bike models etc?
Thanks.

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whodidntante
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by whodidntante » Tue May 15, 2018 7:08 pm

Assume all cagers are trying to kill you.

Get at least a 750 cc engine.

If you get a harley, get a big twin.

Insurance is incredibly cheap.

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munemaker
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by munemaker » Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm

As an experienced rider who has logged 65,000 miles, I advise you to forget it.

It is incredibly dangerous out there today due to distracted drivers, and motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable. I got hit by a deer going 65 mph and suffered some serious injuries, and I was wearing all the safety gear. Fortunately they were able to rebuild me and I am pretty much back to normal today. I ride a little here and there, but nothing like before. Trust me. The pleasure of riding does not offset the pain of serious injury.

50ismygoal
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by 50ismygoal » Tue May 15, 2018 7:27 pm

The first thing I would recommend is riding bikes with different riding positions to see what you prefer. Upright, sport bike, cruiser. Go to a multi-line dealer and sit on a few first, then talk about riding ones you like.

Gill
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Gill » Tue May 15, 2018 7:30 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
As an experienced rider who has logged 65,000 miles, I advise you to forget it.

It is incredibly dangerous out there today due to distracted drivers, and motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable. I got hit by a deer going 65 mph and suffered some serious injuries, and I was wearing all the safety gear. Fortunately they were able to rebuild me and I am pretty much back to normal today. I ride a little here and there, but nothing like before. Trust me. The pleasure of riding does not offset the pain of serious injury.
Agreed. I rode well over 200,000 miles over 15 years and feel fortunate to have survived. The danger has increased dramatically with cell phones and all the other driver distractions. I’m glad I’ve hung up my helmet.

Start off with a motorcycle safety course.
Gill

Atilla
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Atilla » Tue May 15, 2018 7:43 pm

No suggestions from me - but after you get decent experience riding you will become a better car driver. Car drivers are mostly idiots and on a motorcycle you see and experience this more intensely and will eventually gain a second sense that lets you (usually) predict what a car driver will do before he does it.

If I don't predict an idiot move before it happens, I'm seriously disappointed in myself.

You also learn how to place yourself in traffic - whether on a bike or in a car - makes a huge difference.

Been riding since 1983 with well over 100,000 motorcycle miles under my belt. No injuries. Got that second sense burned into my brain.
The Village Idiot - here for your entertainment.

mark4269
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by mark4269 » Tue May 15, 2018 8:10 pm

I think 600-700cc is versatile. I also agree wholeheartedly from those would dissuade you from riding, as it is quite dangerous. While skill and experience mitigate risk to an extent, there's so much vulnerability and exposure.

skatterZ
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by skatterZ » Tue May 15, 2018 8:14 pm

Rode 50 years on and off, on and off road. Sign up as an organ donor. We old folks need the parts. Agree with above post, it is dangerous. People just don’t see you. Busy texting, radio, and phone. Good luck.

skatterZ
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by skatterZ » Tue May 15, 2018 8:14 pm

Rode 50 years on and off, on and off road. Sign up as an organ donor. We old folks need the parts. Agree with above post, it is dangerous. People just don’t see you. Busy texting, radio, and phone. Good luck.

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F150HD
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by F150HD » Tue May 15, 2018 8:28 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm
Hi,
Riding a motorcycle is one of my desire for a long time. I am an average ht and wt person with normal BMI. I also have a few years experience outside US from a decade ago. Any suggestions and advise about this- safety, finance, insurance, bike models etc?
Thanks.
you should be asking this question on a motorcycle forum.

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bottlecap
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by bottlecap » Tue May 15, 2018 8:37 pm

Buy lots and lots of insurance that will cover you when the other driver's coverage runs out. Remember roads are built for cars and the mirrors on cars are designed to permit drivers to see other cars, not motorcycles.

Godspeed.

JT

P.S. Someone mentioned you have a child. Make sure you have life insurance and a will. Accidents will happen and you can't assume you'll make it out of one on a motorcycle.
Last edited by bottlecap on Tue May 15, 2018 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Daryl
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Daryl » Tue May 15, 2018 8:39 pm

I rode for a couple years, then one day I saw a website with pictures of "used" helmets (accidents). I sold my bike. Rarely is the motorcyclist "at fault" for an accident, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter unless you can go home to your family at the end of the day. I had a lot of fun and became a better driver, but the risk just wasn't worth it to me anymore.

Regardless, take the motorcycle safety foundation class. In my state, they provide motorcycles / helmets (you need to wear boots, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt). It is 5 hr in a classroom, 10 hours in a parking lot, and if you pass the class you can skip the practical test at the DMV. You'll have a better idea if you are still interested after that.

Smurf
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Smurf » Tue May 15, 2018 8:39 pm

1.Take a beginner course even though you already know the basics. You will still learn something and you will be a better rider at the end. Many many motorcycle accidents are 50 year old guys getting back into riding after the kids are gone. They're not all 22 year old's on sport bikes.
2. For a bike I'd look into one of the dual sports like a Suzuki V-Strom or BMW. You sit higher so you can see over traffic and it's infinitely more comfortable on long rides. Those bikes have highway comfort, but can still navigate the mountain curves. Always buy used as it's highly likely you'll want to upgrade soon if you continue to ride. Don't buy something too small.
3. Buy the best full face helmet you can afford (always buy new). A $400 helmet won't save your life any better than a $100 helmet, but it sure will be more comfortable. You don't want to be wrestling with crappy gear riding down the road.
4. Do not commute on a motorcycle. I think it's one of the most dangerous times to ride with distracted, tired, and angry drivers.
5. Avoid riding on congested four lane roads, especially if it has a shared turn lane in the middle. If you must ride them do it early in the morning and only to get to the rural roads.
6. Do not ride like a jackass weaving in and out of cars, tailgating people, racing, etc. You will get a lot of dirty looks just for being on a bike. Don't contribute to the bad reputation.
7. Please don't wear a sleeveless leather vest or grow a goatee just because you own a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle doesn't make you Jax Teller.
8. Maintain your bike and learn to work on it.
9. If you find yourself having a lot of close calls, then consider another hobby as motorcycling may not be for you.

CascadiaSoonish
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by CascadiaSoonish » Tue May 15, 2018 8:42 pm

Without discounting the recommendations already made by other motorcyclists, I'll point out that risk can be managed. Buy good protective gear and use it, take the training courses, never ride under the influence, and riding very defensively will greatly reduce risk. But it can't be eliminated and it is definitely more risk than riding in a car. I've learned to look for the telltale head tilt or blue glow when riding as the driver distractions have become an overwhelming problem in just the past couple years. I'm hoping that the next few years sees a reduction in distracted driving incidents now that states are passing and enforcing stricter laws, but in the meantime I've cut down on the amount of riding I do in busy traffic.

Jimmei1
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Jimmei1 » Tue May 15, 2018 8:48 pm

uberdoc wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm
Hi,
Riding a motorcycle is one of my desire for a long time. I am an average ht and wt person with normal BMI. I also have a few years experience outside US from a decade ago. Any suggestions and advise about this- safety, finance, insurance, bike models etc?
Thanks.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has courses at various levels. Read the descriptions online and sign up for one.

Specific model recommendations depend on how you want to ride. Around the city, any bike 500cc and up will far out-accelerate 99% of cars. For touring, a larger engine may be smoother.

I think you just had a baby. If I were you, I’d rent a bike a few times, and see if it’s really something you like. After we had children, almost all my riding was done one week a year, and I enjoyed renting different bikes for that.

FWIW, I rode both street and dirt bikes much of my life, starting at age 8. I liked dirt more, but I discovered I like mountain biking far more.

Jim

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Tue May 15, 2018 9:11 pm

You need to have a “mind like water” while riding. You can’t have a wandering mind and either enjoy or be safe riding. Once I had dependents, I had to sell my BMW. I wasn’t enjoying it any longer.

Your state might run a motorcycle safety course at-cost. It’s a great way to get your endorsement and practice good habits prior to going out on the roads.

My safety recommendations are:
1. Full face helmet.
2. A riding suit that is easy to don and doff. Aerostich makes several fantastic riding suit models. If it’s not easy, you won’t do it when you need it.
3. Reinforced waterproof riding boots. Combat boots or Engineer boots just won’t cut it in a crash. I paid top dollar for BMW touring boots, worth every penny!
4. ABS. Its ability to prevent / avoid motorcycle accidents, or at least reduce their severity is manifest. Pay extra for a bike with ABS
5. Set yourself a bottle-to-throttle rule. In the MSF class I took, they threw out the alarming stat that in half of all motorcycle fatalities the rider had alcohol in his/her system. I figure if I can improve my odds by that much by not having any alcohol in my system, it’s worth it.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

shulgin
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by shulgin » Tue May 15, 2018 9:22 pm

Just wanted to chime in.
I got hit by a distracted woman about a mile from my house on Dec 8, lost my leg, shattered my hip everywhere. It was a tough recovery. I love riding but I would agree with what munemaker said
munemaker wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
As an experienced rider who has logged 65,000 miles, I advise you to forget it.

It is incredibly dangerous out there today due to distracted drivers, and motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable. I got hit by a deer going 65 mph and suffered some serious injuries, and I was wearing all the safety gear. Fortunately they were able to rebuild me and I am pretty much back to normal today. I ride a little here and there, but nothing like before. Trust me. The pleasure of riding does not offset the pain of serious injury.

It's a different world out there. People are either distracted, in a hurry, or just dont give 2 shits. I would def advise riding if you live somewhere not densely populated. I wish I had a car and a bike, I only had a bike. Don't make it your daily driver, but if you want to ride on the weekends I recommend that over times during the week, people have work and appointments and dont think as clearly. luckily the woman that hit me had a hefty insurance policy. If I got hit by the average kid, you're screwed. My surgeries cost over a mill and I have to pay Kaiser out of the settlement. If you have crap insurance and they have crap insurance, You wouldn't even be able to pay the bill that saved your life let alone afford a prosthetic. Go with your heart, but def be careful. Hope you stay safe!

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Alexa9
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Alexa9 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 pm

I would suggest dirt bikes, renting a motorcycle at a track, and/or mountain biking. It's just not worth the risk. Ask an ER doctor.

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munemaker
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by munemaker » Tue May 15, 2018 9:35 pm

Smurf wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:39 pm
1.Take a beginner course even though you already know the basics. You will still learn something and you will be a better rider at the end. Many many motorcycle accidents are 50 year old guys getting back into riding after the kids are gone. They're not all 22 year old's on sport bikes.
2. For a bike I'd look into one of the dual sports like a Suzuki V-Strom or BMW. You sit higher so you can see over traffic and it's infinitely more comfortable on long rides. Those bikes have highway comfort, but can still navigate the mountain curves. Always buy used as it's highly likely you'll want to upgrade soon if you continue to ride. Don't buy something too small.
3. Buy the best full face helmet you can afford (always buy new). A $400 helmet won't save your life any better than a $100 helmet, but it sure will be more comfortable. You don't want to be wrestling with crappy gear riding down the road. I think the $400 will be safer. The better ones are SNELL certified and the cheap ones are just DOT approved, which doesn't mean much.
4. Do not commute on a motorcycle. I think it's one of the most dangerous times to ride with distracted, tired, and angry drivers. And deer at dawn and dusk.
5. Avoid riding on congested four lane roads, especially if it has a shared turn lane in the middle. If you must ride them do it early in the morning and only to get to the rural roads. Riding early in the morning is a bad time if you live where there are deer.
6. Do not ride like a jackass weaving in and out of cars, tailgating people, racing, etc. You will get a lot of dirty looks just for being on a bike. Don't contribute to the bad reputation.
7. Please don't wear a sleeveless leather vest or grow a goatee just because you own a motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle doesn't make you Jax Teller.
8. Maintain your bike and learn to work on it.
9. If you find yourself having a lot of close calls, then consider another hobby as motorcycling may not be for you.
Good advice overall, but I threw in a few comments in red.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue May 15, 2018 9:48 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
As an experienced rider who has logged 65,000 miles, I advise you to forget it.

It is incredibly dangerous out there today due to distracted drivers, and motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable. I got hit by a deer going 65 mph and suffered some serious injuries, and I was wearing all the safety gear. Fortunately they were able to rebuild me and I am pretty much back to normal today. I ride a little here and there, but nothing like before. Trust me. The pleasure of riding does not offset the pain of serious injury.
Agreed. I rode well over 200,000 miles over 15 years and feel fortunate to have survived. The danger has increased dramatically with cell phones and all the other driver distractions. I’m glad I’ve hung up my helmet.

Start off with a motorcycle safety course.
Gill
Agree. I third the motion to forget about it. Many years ago I owned several motorcycles and rode many miles in a mix of urban and cross country riding. Consider myself to be EXTREMELY lucky to have survived riding bikes. It is very likely that I would be dead or seriously injured attempting to do the same in today's traffic volumes and all the chronically distracted drivers. When you have to be in any kind of traffic today, it is best to be in a sturdy, well built, tested and rated safe vehicle with as many inbuilt safety devices/technology as possible.

Most people do not understand vehicular death and injury accident statistics. If people actually understood the reality of how dangerous it is to drive a car today most of them would be much too afraid to get back into a car and into traffic, much less being out in it on a motorcycle.

MotoTrojan
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue May 15, 2018 10:17 pm

SV650 is a great Suzuki that will suit beginner to expert, commuter to racer.

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whodidntante
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by whodidntante » Tue May 15, 2018 10:18 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 pm
I would suggest dirt bikes, renting a motorcycle at a track, and/or mountain biking. It's just not worth the risk. Ask an ER doctor.
A dirt bike is a fast way to develop motorcycling skills, because dirt bikes have a high center of gravity, are twitchy and unstable, and you can fix most crash damage with a three pound hammer, at least to the bike.

matatupuncher
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by matatupuncher » Tue May 15, 2018 10:36 pm

F150HD wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:28 pm
uberdoc wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm
Hi,
Riding a motorcycle is one of my desire for a long time. I am an average ht and wt person with normal BMI. I also have a few years experience outside US from a decade ago. Any suggestions and advise about this- safety, finance, insurance, bike models etc?
Thanks.
you should be asking this question on a motorcycle forum.
Agree with the above reply. Bogleheads is great but not a place to get motorcycle advice. There has already been some really bad advice given that makes me cringe.

SittingOnTheFence
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by SittingOnTheFence » Tue May 15, 2018 10:36 pm

Jimmei1 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 8:48 pm
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has courses at various levels. Read the descriptions online and sign up for one.
MSF course is excellent suggestion. This is a must.
Get a modulated headlight so that it flashes to wake up oncoming drivers. Not sure if this is legal in all States.

I have 45k miles under my butt, most of those were long ago when I was in my 20's & 30's.
As others have said, today with drivers using cell phones & texting the driver distraction is way to high.
I hung up my helmet 6 yrs ago and will ride out my retirement in a 4 wheel cage.

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Sasquatch
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Sasquatch » Tue May 15, 2018 11:51 pm

Only dirt motorcycle riding for me.

I WAS an avid road bicyclist but I stopped. The texting and driving is getting out of hand. I don’t remember the exact details but the jist was texting and driving is right up there with drunk driving as far as impairment
Last edited by Sasquatch on Wed May 16, 2018 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

poker27
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by poker27 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:01 am

I have been riding for about 5 years, and still have my first bike, Yamaha FZ6. Cheap, quick, and semi comfortable for a sport bike.

I will agree with everyone that it is insanely dangerous. I usually make the short commute to work in the Chicago summer, and had two fairly close calls over the past week.

That being said riding is something I look forward to every year. It’s hard to explain driving through the country side and being out in the open, but it’s truly amazing. I took a trip from Chicago to New Orleans two years ago, and the memories are worth it.

ilovetech
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by ilovetech » Wed May 16, 2018 12:25 am

I know of no one personally who has died in a car crash. I know of 2 people personally who died in a motorcycle crash. And I know very few people who ride.

Take this from someone who has there m1 license and took the msf course! Who saved and was ready to buy a bike. Then 2 people I knew died in short time frames, both were older then me calm people on non sport bikes. The least likely group to crash... This stopped my plans to get a bike.

Good luck. Take the msf class get the license to scratch the itch. If I were to get one now it would be dirt only. Instead I am saving for that sports car...

Viking65
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Viking65 » Wed May 16, 2018 2:31 am

Here's a link to a recent piece in the WaPo about an increase in organ donations in states that eased motorcycle helmet laws.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tri ... 21d4110660
Some docs call them "donorcycles".
Good Luck.

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mrspock
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by mrspock » Wed May 16, 2018 4:03 am

uberdoc wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm
Hi,
Riding a motorcycle is one of my desire for a long time. I am an average ht and wt person with normal BMI. I also have a few years experience outside US from a decade ago. Any suggestions and advise about this- safety, finance, insurance, bike models etc?
Thanks.
My experience has been that riding is an excercise in risk mitigation, or this is how I look at it. I ride purely for the joy of riding, which means I do not commute to work when people are in a rush and the number of cars out on the road is high. I wear the best gear, all the time, this means body armour, helmet, shoulder, knee and elbow protection. I also took an MSF course and dirt riding course. I also have a “3 strikes” rule: night, weather/rain, high traffic, physically tired, unfamiliar with area/terrain, etc. I keep it to at most one of these risks and ideally 0. I try to put as much in my favor as possible, and be concious of the risks (taking balls out of the air as neccessary).

Also, if you are a Harley rider as I am, enjoy the bikes, but spare yourself the macho “Harley culture” (half helmets, short sleeves in the wind, miles ridden = respect, biker bars.... what an oxymoron). Its only likely to get you killed or injured. I am being a bit unfair singling out Harley here but you get the idea.

Good luck, its a joy to ride, but comes with risks and responsibility.

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djpeteski
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by djpeteski » Wed May 16, 2018 5:42 am

I gave up riding due to numerous mishaps and texting drivers. The one that killed it for me, was a vulture flew into my wife while I was tooling down the road at 60mph. Luckily no serious injuries.

Having said all that, above all else, take the motorcycle safety class.

Buy a bike used, the values drop like a stone.

If you are unsure about what you want to ride a trip to Daytona Beach during bike week (March) or Biketoberfest might be a good idea. At the speedway you can ride just about every brand.
Last edited by djpeteski on Wed May 16, 2018 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rocco Sampler
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Rocco Sampler » Wed May 16, 2018 5:54 am

I would also advise you to reconsider as well. How many times have you been driving behind a car that inexplicably veered off the pavement for a second or two while the driver was not paying attention? That tells me a lot about the state of today's drivers. I rode as a young adult and then several years ago - but did not log the mileage that some previous posters have. After cell phones became prevalent I sold my last bike. I also live in Florida where there are many tourists and old folks that cause me to be concerned even in my car. However, if you really feel the need, take a motorcycle safety course and please read Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough. He explains the physics of riding, braking, turning, etc. and also did a study (the only one that I am aware of) of motorcycle accidents that analyzed the time of day, the type of road, the weather, the safety equipment of the rider and all other factors to determine the high risk factors. Avoid those and you dramatically decrease your accident probability.

Smurf
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Smurf » Wed May 16, 2018 6:49 am

[/quote]

My experience has been that riding is an excercise in risk mitigation, or this is how I look at it.

[/quote]

Of all the things you've read this is what you need to focus on and ignore all the cliche responses from people who have never ridden. Lots of activities are extremely dangerous and we cannot all sit at home sorting our stamp collection and rebalancing our portfolios all day long. Motorcycle riding is wonderful and if I didn't have other priorities (family) I'd absolutely still have my bike. However, the risk is tremendous so just like every other high risk activity you need to really think about whether it is worth it to you. If you have young two legged responsibilities in life then that needs to be #1 on your risk assessment.

Also, don't discount the time factor you have to ride and where in the country you live. There will come a time when you either won't have time to ride or you've ridden all the "fun" roads within 200 miles many many times and you find yourself wanting to go further and further from home. All that takes time away from your life and family. Then there are the group rides. What a PITA. Someone has to stop and pee every 30 minutes, some people are terrible riders and you don't want to be anywhere near them, many have a few beers at lunch, some just want to stand around in parking lots and stare at their bike, etc. It turns into an all day event where you've only gone 100 miles.

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queso
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by queso » Wed May 16, 2018 7:46 am

I own several bikes and commute in a major metropolitan area on one year round, rain or shine. When not commuting I ride street bikes in the country, the occasional track day, adv bikes on mixed terrain and dual sport bikes on trails and mountains. There are a couple of good pieces of advice in this thread, but the main one that I think you ought to take under advisement is to go ask this question on a motorcycle forum. There are a bunch of good ones so I won't throw any of them out since I don't know what kind of riding you see yourself doing. You are asking about an activity that makes no sense when you logically think about it. I do other activities that make no sense as well like trad climbing, cave diving and deep mixed gas diving. Some other activities I like make some sense from a fitness and environmental standpoint, but are probably equally as dangerous (road cycling). By polling Bogleheads you are asking a group of people that are generally risk averse about an activity that, to their mind, has more in common with Russian roulette than it does index investing. People who ride will get it, but people who don't or who analyze it from a risk/benefit standpoint won't be able to rationalize it at all and you will get what you have above.

Good luck if you decide to do it and be safe. :happy

Ron
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Ron » Wed May 16, 2018 7:58 am

I'll add my comment of been there, done that, don't do that anymore.

I started with my first bike at age 19 and progressed through three rice burners. I could not afford a Harley; and anyway, that was back in the days that AMF owned the brand. It was hard to justify purchase of a bike made by a bowling pin company :annoyed

Riding the back roads of Texas (Lubbock) in the late 60's meant that I didn't have to share the road with a lot of people - and none of them on cellphones at the time.

I purchased my last bike (750cc) in the early 80's, and drove it until the age of 50 (or there abouts). By that time, living between NYC/Philly, I faced a heck of a lot of traffic and started to realize that people were basically blind to bikes - having more than a few close calls of 4-wheelers pulling out in front of me without giving a second glance. I would imagine it is just worse today with the use of cellphones - hands-free or not.

While there was a gap in time, I replaced my last bike with a Mustang GT vert. While I do get some wind in my hair, I don't have to worry about eating bugs and there is less of a chance of somebody pulling out into my traffic lane because they don't see me. And if they do? I still wear my leathers and pull up next to them, look mean, and give them the evil eye :twisted: ... Of course, now being in my 70's, I look a lot less like a Hells Angel and more like a Heaven's pussycat :mrgreen: ...

- Ron

retired recently
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by retired recently » Wed May 16, 2018 8:07 am

I enjoy riding and did so for years but it became too dangerous as folks are seriously distracted these days so I sold mine last summer. I would recommend against riding a motorcycle.

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Youngblood
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Youngblood » Wed May 16, 2018 8:16 am

Riding a motorcycle is a exhilarating experience. Only one other thing in life is more fun. I've owned three motorcycles during my riding years and one year I commuted daily in the Washington/DC area.

That was in the early 70's. The population in the U.S. was approximately 100 million less. There were no cell phones and therefore far fewer distractions.

Still, I had at least three close calls, two involving yahoos.

While in the military as a medic, I carried an airman's entire leg to the morgue due to an accident on his bike.

As tempted as I sometimes am to purchase another and ride again, I opted instead for a Ford F-150.

Consider perhaps only off road biking.


YB
"I made my money by selling too soon." | Bernard M. Baruch

Spyder59
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Spyder59 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:31 am

I think “queso” offers good advice. Riding is incredibly fun. But, understand the nature of the risk you are assuming. I myself have been hit by a drunk or distracted driver (who kept driving), broke my back along with a bunch of other bones. That experience, along with years as an EMT, leads me to conclude that the risk of of having an incident is material, and, if hurt, the likelihood of getting seriously injured is also high. To me, so long as you understand the nature of the risk you are assuming, go for it!

Good equipment is essential. Make sure you can be seen. Brighter colors, reflective strips, etc. Finally, I would be ever vigilant for the many fools who drive and text, or drive impaired.

bh7785
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by bh7785 » Wed May 16, 2018 8:36 am

I stopped riding after the takeover of cell phones. Seems like most people are more interested in texting than watching the road. I had several close calls and decided to call it quits. It's just not worth the risk you take, sadly.

NextMil
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by NextMil » Wed May 16, 2018 8:36 am

I loved my rocket, but sold it as I realized that I would likely end up with serious injury or death. Way too much raw power in your hands, and I would think, today, with people on smartphones driving, its even riskier.

Gill
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Gill » Wed May 16, 2018 8:48 am

Interesting to note, OP is a surgeon in his 30's. Might want to spend some time in the ER on a Saturday night before considering a motorcycle.
Gill

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed May 16, 2018 8:51 am

Gill wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
As an experienced rider who has logged 65,000 miles, I advise you to forget it.

It is incredibly dangerous out there today due to distracted drivers, and motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable. I got hit by a deer going 65 mph and suffered some serious injuries, and I was wearing all the safety gear. Fortunately they were able to rebuild me and I am pretty much back to normal today. I ride a little here and there, but nothing like before. Trust me. The pleasure of riding does not offset the pain of serious injury.
Agreed. I rode well over 200,000 miles over 15 years and feel fortunate to have survived. The danger has increased dramatically with cell phones and all the other driver distractions. I’m glad I’ve hung up my helmet.

Start off with a motorcycle safety course.
Gill
Relative of mine, had the light, fellow on opposing side driving an SUV claimed he didn't see him made a left at the same time, blowing a "do not turn" signal in red. My relative is lucky to be alive, landed on his bum, helmet cracked, is now sporting a rod down his leg, in two places. Police came, the other driver was cited for blowing a red, and texting on a cell phone. Someone at the scene of accident happened to have captured accident on a cellphone. Insurance pays, but you will pay also. The risks are just too high, more and more SUV's are being driven these days, hitting a fixed stationary object like a pole. Physics; mass * energy vs. a motorcycle? Forget it - buy a tri-cycle, I've seen those on the road, they may be a "bit" safer.

Gill wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:48 am
Interesting to note, OP is a surgeon in his 30's. Might want to spend some time in the ER on a Saturday night before considering a motorcycle.
Gill
The last two recent accidents in my neighborhood - one on the highway, guy was speeding, a driver signaled to move into lane, plenty of room between the two, motorcycle tried to outrace the car. Guess who won? Motorcycle swerved, hit a fixed telephone pole, ER could not be of assistance.

Second one, motorcycle clipped the rear bumper of car, motorcycle went sideways, throwing driver between pavement and motorcycle, driver will never ride a bike again, lost legs.

If you want a thrill, go to an amusement park.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Wed May 16, 2018 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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queso
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by queso » Wed May 16, 2018 9:15 am

I do live in fear of the teenager in the Escalade who is texting, drinking and suffering from Affluenza blasting me into the netherworld, but what's kind of interesting is the motorcycle accident statistics. More often than not motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents. That means we more often kill ourselves by coming into corners too hot and doing other stupid stuff that we ought not do. Logically, alcohol is also a larger problem on a bike than a car since it requires more coordination and attention to pilot safely and has less safety features/protection than an auto. Of alcohol induced driving fatalities across vehicle types, motorcycles are the worst so that's also key. You can never eliminate all the risk, but if you ride within your limits, wear all your gear and drink zero alcohol when you are anywhere near a bike you can eliminate the most common fatality factors. They still aren't safe though. :happy

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munemaker
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by munemaker » Wed May 16, 2018 9:21 am

queso wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:15 am
More often than not motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents.
You can go through a lot of misery from a multiple-vehicle motorcycle accident when you are not killed.

Glockenspiel
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed May 16, 2018 9:23 am

Step #1: Buy a term life insurance policy, make sure you have a will set up to protect your family, and sign up to be an organ donor.

stoptothink
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by stoptothink » Wed May 16, 2018 9:24 am

Gill wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:30 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:19 pm
As an experienced rider who has logged 65,000 miles, I advise you to forget it.

It is incredibly dangerous out there today due to distracted drivers, and motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable. I got hit by a deer going 65 mph and suffered some serious injuries, and I was wearing all the safety gear. Fortunately they were able to rebuild me and I am pretty much back to normal today. I ride a little here and there, but nothing like before. Trust me. The pleasure of riding does not offset the pain of serious injury.
Agreed. I rode well over 200,000 miles over 15 years and feel fortunate to have survived. The danger has increased dramatically with cell phones and all the other driver distractions. I’m glad I’ve hung up my helmet.

Start off with a motorcycle safety course.
Gill
In the same boat. I grew up on 2-wheels. In my early 20's I gave up riding on the street when I watched a friend die after being bumped on the freeway and then run over by a semi, then a few weeks later a truck did a u-turn in the middle of the street and I was literally a foot from certain death. I then focused solely on the track, spent a lot of time (and money) racing in WERA in my early-mid 20's. I easily put over 100k miles on bikes between the ages of 16 and 25. I have some gnarly road rash scars and permanent structural damage. I hurt every single day because I spent so much of my younger years on motorcycles; sucks because health/fitness/exercise are my career and I am relatively young (37). I gave it up completely when I got married and decided I wanted a family. Hey, but at least I am alive.

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queso
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by queso » Wed May 16, 2018 9:24 am

munemaker wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:21 am
queso wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:15 am
More often than not motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents.
You can go through a lot of misery from a multiple-vehicle motorcycle accident when you are not killed.
Agreed. Nothing good comes of a motorcycle accident. Definitely not the safest means of transportation.

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Sandtrap
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Sandtrap » Wed May 16, 2018 10:22 am

Take MSF safety courses (use there bikes or bing your own) from basic to advanced. If you use your own bike you will learn the capabilities of your machine to it's limits. Start first using the course provided bikes. At some point you will either realize it's not worth it or commit further.
Motorcycle Safety Foundation Courses
https://www.msf-usa.org
DW and I have both taken basic to advanced courses at the MSF when we used to be much much much younger and had bikes. Now, as seniors, we prefer the safety and comfort of 4 wheels, or 4wd, and air conditioning.

Realize that there is almost no such thing as a long term bike rider that has never laid a bike down. Those that have never dropped a bike in some way have never ridden long enough. It's not a question of if, just when.
Realize that there are almost no long term bike riders that have not had "close calls".
Purchase a bike that fits the riding and environment (streets, traffic, commute, casual, etc) that you will be doing.
Don't purchase a bike that you cannot pickup if it lays down, even if just falling off the kickstand.
Don't purchase a bike that you cannot push back out of a parking stall or into a parking stall.
When you ride, feel free to cover any area of skin with protective gear that you do not want to contact the asphalt.

Head bandanas have been said by some to protect one's skull better at 50 mph than a quality good fitting helmet and are also more fashionable and practical. Not true.

Few experiences can match the exuberance of riding a great bike on a great open (traffic free) road in a wonderful area of the country or the camaraderie one can have with fellow bikers.

random thoughts
j

Gill
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Gill » Wed May 16, 2018 10:55 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:22 am
Few experiences can match the exuberance of riding a great bike on a great open (traffic free) road in a wonderful area of the country or the camaraderie one can have with fellow bikers.

So very true. DW and I did much of our riding in the mountains of Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas where the roads were usually fairly quiet and drivers were accustomed to seeing motorcycles. Rode there for about ten years as well as in South Florida but when I reached my early 70's decided to give it up rather than risk spending the remainder of my retirement dead, in a coma, paralyzed in a wheelchair or worse. Must admit I often miss the fun we had riding (DW and I each had our own bikes) but also am aware how the risk has increased greatly in recent years and now feel much more secure in my Lexus LS. Sold my last bike six years ago.
Gill

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DanMahowny
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by DanMahowny » Wed May 16, 2018 10:58 am

A smart dude learns from his mistakes. A really smart dude learns from other people's mistakes.

Learn from my mistake- don't buy a motorcycle.
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Drovor
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Re: New motorcycle rider

Post by Drovor » Wed May 16, 2018 10:58 am

I might have missed it in the above replies but worth saying again. Don't skimp on gear.

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