Thoughts and Opinions on getting a crotch rocket...

  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 26, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    So, with gas prices creeping up, and my car requiring premium fuel I have been seriously considering getting a bike. I would still keep my car, which gets great gas mileage ('06 Mercedes c230 26city/32highway). I think that I might get reasonable use out of a bike though, maybe leave my car at home 3 or 4 days a week. I live in a town of about 100,000 people so the traffic is not bad, but that is still my biggest concern. I'm afraid that riding one would not even be enjoyable for the stress of having to be super aware of what's going on around you.

    Anyone have a bike they ride often in the city and on freeways with speed limits of 60? Do you feel that drivers are developing a sense of awareness regarding motorcycles? I know it used to be the norm that most people didn't even look for a bike before making a quick lane change and thought that they always have the right-of-way over bikes. I would love to get one but want to be able to enjoy riding it without the stress of cars with no regard for motorcycles.

    After doing my research on them I think I have fallen in love with the Honda CBR 600RR.. Feel free to let me know what you think of this as well!

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
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    Mar 26, 2011 6:34 PM GMT
    First off, great choice in bike. The Hondas, IMO, are the best by far. And a 600 is a good size to start off with

    I had an older CBR 600 (it was a 1991 back when they made the F2). I used mine primarily for fun and not as my primary vehicle, but that is just because I didn't have to pay for gas so it wasn't really an issue.

    One thing you have to remember is that YOU have to be the responsible one on the road. You have to be aware of everything going on around you, because a lot of cars won't be looking for you. Don't sit next to cars, don't sit in blindspots, etc. I have several friends that have been in wrecks due to another car. One was hit in an intersection and got hurt very badly. He broke his arm, ruptured his urethra, all sorts of stuff. I have another friend that had a car merge over on him and he got road rash all over his body.

    I am not trying to scare you, but you have to be aware of all this. Make sure you get great gear. Don't skimp on price when it comes to safety gear. Get a NEW helmet and at least get a jacket and I would recommend full leather because they are tested to withstand a lot more impact if you fall on the ground than the mesh.

    If you haven't had a bike before, I would recommend signing up for a safety class. It is a week long thing (I think) and they teach you all the safety stuff and they even teach you to ride on some of their motorcycles. Then at the end of the course, they test everyone on a course and if you pass, you get your motorcycle license. I did it and think any new rider should too.

    Well after that novel, I think that is it. Best of luck!
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    Mar 26, 2011 6:35 PM GMT
    bmoney1 saidSo, with gas prices creeping up, and my car requiring premium fuel I have been seriously considering getting a bike. I would still keep my car, which gets great gas mileage ('06 Mercedes c230 26city/32highway). I think that I might get reasonable use out of a bike though, maybe leave my car at home 3 or 4 days a week. I live in a town of about 100,000 people so the traffic is not bad, but that is still my biggest concern. I'm afraid that riding one would not even be enjoyable for the stress of having to be super aware of what's going on around you.

    Anyone have a bike they ride often in the city and on freeways with speed limits of 60? Do you feel that drivers are developing a sense of awareness regarding motorcycles? I know it used to be the norm that most people didn't even look for a bike before making a quick lane change and thought that they always have the right-of-way over bikes. I would love to get one but want to be able to enjoy riding it without the stress of cars with no regard for motorcycles.

    After doing my research on them I think I have fallen in love with the Honda CBR 600RR.. Feel free to let me know what you think of this as well!

    Thanks in advance for your advice!


    I've had my bike license about 30 odd years now since I turned 16 and I've criss crossed Canada and the USA. That being said I'm not as comfortable as I used to be driving at speed thru large cities anymore. For example there is NO WAY I would ride my bike to work daily crosstown thru Detroit. Some of that may be the fact that I'm older now I don't know.. I actually think it's worse now than it used to be, getting cut off, people tailgating you etc. So I do my best to avoid that sort of thing by travelling off rush hours or avoiding cities altogether as much as possible. Most of my biking life other than the first few years were on smaller bikes which are more nimble but I've rode a Goldwing now for decades. I just like the cruising aspect
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    Mar 26, 2011 7:18 PM GMT
    They are called "donor-mobiles" for a reason. You have to be hyper-aware and hyper-defensive when mixing with traffic. I rode one for many years in small cities, but I don't think I'd take one into a major metropolitan freeway system.

    It also seems to be a sad fact that in many cases, motorcyclists repeatedly escape the jaws of death only by virtue of having 20-year-old reflexes. There is a definite trend of 40-something and 50ish guys getting killed every weekend, because they're not as quick as they used to be. Every year, I think of selling mine, but once I take it for a ride, I just can't.

    But, OMG. Yesterday, I stopped for fuel and it was $4.29.
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 27, 2011 3:39 AM GMT
    Thanks for your replies- all good bits of information. Like I said, the town I live in is small to medium sized so traffic would never be too bad. I guess I will enroll in the Motorcycle Safety Course and see how that goes. If I do get a bike I would not be using it full time, just when I could to save gasand keep the miles off of my car. I expect gas to continue to go up, and over $4 a gallon is already crazy, so I am hoping a bike would offset the cost of gas because some days I easily drive around 60 miles.. Anyways, keep the responses comin in about if you feel safe on one and what you think of the Honda CBR 600RR! Thanks!
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    Mar 27, 2011 4:17 AM GMT
    Wow, 60 miles? What's the average speed of traffic? How congested is traffic? Honestly, a sports bike like a CBR 600 might not be too fun for long rides through traffic. The riding position is not ideal for slow, stop-n-go traffic. Expect sore back and wrists. And sport bikes are for, well sporty riding. Your gas savings might not be that significant, especially in slow traffic.

    I think a standard bike with a more upright riding position might be better for commutes. And the general rule of thumb is to get a smaller displacement bike if this is your first one. Sport bikes can produce instant horsepower and torque. If you're not experienced to handle that power, you easily blip the throttle too much during a panic move, and eat asphalt. Couple alternatives..

    Honda CBR250
    Kawasaki Ninja 250

    If your weight in your profile is true. A 250CC bike should be good enough. After you gain some experience and feel comfortable riding, you can upgrade to a bigger bike. Keep in mind that small displacement bikes maintain their values. So when it comes time to selling your bike, you won't lose a lot of money.
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    Mar 27, 2011 4:36 AM GMT
    if you have a *need for speed* i REALLY wouldnt recommend it
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    Mar 27, 2011 4:38 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidThey are called "donor-mobiles"....


    i usually use 'donorcycle'
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    Mar 27, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    Think on this a little more probably the most dangerous places to ride are "in your own neighborhood" on the city streets. People backing out of driveways, running stop signs and lights, just not seeing you. You have expect it to happen because it will happen is guaranteed, be aware all the time.
  • stee99

    Posts: 317

    Mar 27, 2011 4:50 AM GMT
    CBR or like might be a bit much as a first bike, what about a SV650 or simmliar.. not a cruiser but not hard out sporty, cheaper to insure/keep in tires/chains etc..
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    Mar 27, 2011 5:24 AM GMT
    xrichx saidKawasaki Ninja 250


    This was my first bike. Picked one up for around $1000 or so and had a friend's dad teach me to ride it in a parking lot. I was way too damn tall for the thing, so riding anywhere over about 60 miles or so just killed my back, but damn was that thing easy to throw around! I could make corners on a fuckin hairpin with that bike. You'll get bored with it in less than a year though. I'd start with a 600 and just take a course.

    That being said, the poster that mentioned not wanting to be stuck in traffic like that on a bike, yes, that would absolutely suck. Sure, you'd save a TON on gas mileage, but still, in the middle of summer when the sky is clear, the sun is beaming down on your leather jacket, and you're just dying to be able to get up to 40mph to let the wind be a simulation air conditioner, it would suck.

    For all those other times though...
    VROOM VROOM BITCH!!
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 27, 2011 6:20 PM GMT
    xrichx saidWow, 60 miles? What's the average speed of traffic? How congested is traffic? Honestly, a sports bike like a CBR 600 might not be too fun for long rides through traffic. The riding position is not ideal for slow, stop-n-go traffic. Expect sore back and wrists. And sport bikes are for, well sporty riding. Your gas savings might not be that significant, especially in slow traffic.

    I think a standard bike with a more upright riding position might be better for commutes. And the general rule of thumb is to get a smaller displacement bike if this is your first one. Sport bikes can produce instant horsepower and torque. If you're not experienced to handle that power, you easily blip the throttle too much during a panic move, and eat asphalt. Couple alternatives..

    Honda CBR250
    Kawasaki Ninja 250

    If your weight in your profile is true. A 250CC bike should be good enough. After you gain some experience and feel comfortable riding, you can upgrade to a bigger bike. Keep in mind that small displacement bikes maintain their values. So when it comes time to selling your bike, you won't lose a lot of money.


    All good points, but I guess I should have been more clear on the 60 miles.. From home to school 8 miles one way. From home to work 11 miles one way. Average speeds never get above 60 and very little stop and go (only for traffic lights and things like that). On days that I go to church 13 miles one way with only like 4 stops the whole trip. So as far as commuting, no more than 10 to 15 min per trip, I just, some days, have several places to be.

    I will look into the smaller displacement bikes for sure, my only concern with that is that I don't want to have to replace it in a few months when I get bored with it (if that even happens). I definitely am not looking at any of the 900 cc or 1000cc models, was thinkg more middle of the road. I realllllly like the Honda CBR 600RR, but am about to see what I can find out about the 250! Thanks for your help.
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    Mar 27, 2011 6:34 PM GMT
    The CBR600RR is a wonderful bike, but the overwhelming consensus in the bay area riding community is that it's a lot of bike for a beginner. You might consider the ninja 250 or 500, GS500, or any of the less aggressive 600cc standards. The SV650, Ninja 650, and FZ6 are about as powerful as I'd be willing to go for a first bike. Modern 600cc sportbikes are pretty fucking aggressive--it's got that RR for a reason. The sportbikes are going to be less comfortable, more twitchy on the throttle and brakes, and have less forgiving suspension for potholes and the like. It's just going to be hard to control, which in unpredictable (i.e. commuting) conditions makes your life harder. Not impossible, just harder. Maybe more fun, too, when you're ready for it. icon_smile.gif

    KSUOWL gives good advice. Take the course, invest in good training, good gear, and good judgement. Consciously *practice* cornering and maneuvering skills. Take good care of your bike; there's a lot more to take care of than on a car, and the cost of system failure is much higher. I also find commuting on a bike is exhausting mentally, so be aware that it can feel like a job. You don't want to do it when you're tired or angry.
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    Mar 27, 2011 6:40 PM GMT
    bmoney1 saidAfter doing my research on them I think I have fallen in love with the Honda CBR 600RR.. Feel free to let me know what you think of this as well!

    The Honda is a superb motorcycle (I've owned 4 of them), but that one is way too much for a novice. Make it your second or third bike. You'll kill yourself, and the insurance for a first-time rider at your age will be almost more than the cost of the bike itself. Have you researched that yet?

    Trust your Bob. I've been a licensed motorcyclist since 1966 (and riding before that), possibly the most experienced rider on RJ. I'd like to see you get a motorcycle, but not the wrong one. Start modest, and work your way up. You need to acquire skills before you tackle speed like the CBR600 has.
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 27, 2011 6:54 PM GMT
    onethirtyseven saidThe CBR600RR is a wonderful bike, but the overwhelming consensus in the bay area riding community is that it's a lot of bike for a beginner. You might consider the ninja 250 or 500, GS500, or any of the less aggressive 600cc standards. The SV650, Ninja 650, and FZ6 are about as powerful as I'd be willing to go for a first bike. Modern 600cc sportbikes are pretty fucking aggressive--it's got that RR for a reason. The sportbikes are going to be less comfortable, more twitchy on the throttle and brakes, and have less forgiving suspension for potholes and the like. It's just going to be hard to control, which in unpredictable (i.e. commuting) conditions makes your life harder. Not impossible, just harder. Maybe more fun, too, when you're ready for it. icon_smile.gif

    KSUOWL gives good advice. Take the course, invest in good training, good gear, and good judgement. Consciously *practice* cornering and maneuvering skills. Take good care of your bike; there's a lot more to take care of than on a car, and the cost of system failure is much higher. I also find commuting on a bike is exhausting mentally, so be aware that it can feel like a job. You don't want to do it when you're tired or angry.


    I think you may have just answered my main question! I figured that certain riding conditions would create more stress than it is worth. I am looking at used models and would keep my car, so if I do find taking it to work or school is more than what I expected I can always just hang on to it for fun!
    KSUOWL did give some great advice, I will definitely take the safety course and not cheap out on gear. As far as the maintainance issues you mentioned, could you explain a little more? I figured it would be just the opposite of a car since there seems to be a lot less to a bike than a car.
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    Mar 27, 2011 6:57 PM GMT
    I clicked this thread thinking that this (below) was the kind of crotch rocket we'd be discussing.
    Crotch Rocket!
    *adult-ish gif*
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 27, 2011 7:01 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    bmoney1 saidAfter doing my research on them I think I have fallen in love with the Honda CBR 600RR.. Feel free to let me know what you think of this as well!

    The Honda is a superb motorcycle (I've owned 4 of them), but that one is way too much for a novice. Make it your second or third bike. You'll kill yourself, and the insurance for a first-time rider at your age will be almost more than the cost of the bike itself. Have you researched that yet?

    Trust your Bob. I've been a licensed motorcyclist since 1966 (and riding before that), possibly the most experienced rider on RJ. I'd like to see you get a motorcycle, but not the wrong one. Start modest, and work your way up. You need to acquire skills before you tackle speed like the CBR600 has.


    Insurance is one of the tings I have yet to research as I am still undecided if I even want one! Could you please let me know what I could expect as far as insurance and maintainance costs go?
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Mar 27, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    http://www.ducati.com/bikes/superbike/848/index.do

    ducati 848


    Not that I would but if I did, then I would.
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    Mar 27, 2011 9:29 PM GMT
    Another alternative, and I have seen just a few around town, not sure how much the mileage, is the Can-am Roadster Spyder RS

    41lLNamJzbL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
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    Mar 27, 2011 9:33 PM GMT
    Yeah what everyone else has said.
    I would really look at getting a used cafe or cruiser with the engine guards and skid plates.
    You will lay it down, it is a given, so start with one that you can pick back up and drive away on, instead of picking up all that fiberglass and having it put on the back of a truck....Oh, and yes, update your donor card.
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    Mar 27, 2011 9:48 PM GMT
    bmoney1 saidInsurance is one of the tings I have yet to research as I am still undecided if I even want one! Could you please let me know what I could expect as far as insurance and maintainance costs go?

    That's so difficult to predict. It's based on the bike, the location, your age, and your driving record.

    Example: in 1997, I bought an Italian bike here in Fort Lauderdale, on a trip. A rare motorcycle brand, the company thought it was a sport bike. And in the Miami area, despite my having had a bike license for 30 years at age 48, a perfect driving record, a member of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), and having taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course, they wanted a $3000 annual premium!

    Well, I disputed their figures, and we finally got it down to $780. Then I rode it back to Seattle, where I lived at the time, and refiled. It got dropped to $360. A year later I moved to North Dakota, and the premium went down to $170. I bought a new bike there, and the premium was $48, which I was told was the lowest the company could insure a motorcycle. Location is everything, along with your bike and your driving experience.

    I think a first-time rider on a CBR600 sport bike is gonna get reamed, no matter where you live. But you call them, and find out for yourself. Just be prepared for a shock. And you do that with any motorcycle before you buy it. It's part of the cost of ownership.
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 28, 2011 3:57 AM GMT
    icon_rolleyes.gif
    dustin_K_tx saidYeah what everyone else has said.
    I would really look at getting a used cafe or cruiser with the engine guards and skid plates.
    You will lay it down, it is a given, so start with one that you can pick back up and drive away on, instead of picking up all that fiberglass and having it put on the back of a truck....Oh, and yes, update your donor card.

    icon_redface.gif
    icon_rolleyes.gif

    +10 points for keepin it real, but I really hope none of that happens!
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 28, 2011 4:05 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    bmoney1 saidInsurance is one of the tings I have yet to research as I am still undecided if I even want one! Could you please let me know what I could expect as far as insurance and maintainance costs go?

    That's so difficult to predict. It's based on the bike, the location, your age, and your driving record.

    Example: in 1997, I bought an Italian bike here in Fort Lauderdale, on a trip. A rare motorcycle brand, the company thought it was a sport bike. And in the Miami area, despite my having had a bike license for 30 years at age 48, a perfect driving record, a member of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), and having taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course, they wanted a $3000 annual premium!

    Well, I disputed their figures, and we finally got it down to $780. Then I rode it back to Seattle, where I lived at the time, and refiled. It got dropped to $360. A year later I moved to North Dakota, and the premium went down to $170. I bought a new bike there, and the premium was $48, which I was told was the lowest the company could insure a motorcycle. Location is everything, along with your bike and your driving experience.

    I think a first-time rider on a CBR600 sport bike is gonna get reamed, no matter where you live. But you call them, and find out for yourself. Just be prepared for a shock. And you do that with any motorcycle before you buy it. It's part of the cost of ownership.


    Thanks for the eye-opener. I will definitely do that, as you're very right in that being a viable cost of ownership. I have a friend or two that have bikes, I'll see what they pay as well. I do expect upkeep to be low relative to the car I drive now. Premium gas, $150 oil changes ever 12,000 miles, tires that only last 40,000 miles if I'm lucky, and low and behold if anything ever goes wrong with it (luckily for me at 70,000 miles it has never needed any mechanical work). So, as someone that has owned several bikes I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the cost of maintaining a bike that gets driven around 120 miles a week tops. Thanks for all of your advice and direction- it is much appreciated!
  • bmoney1

    Posts: 244

    Mar 28, 2011 4:17 AM GMT
    I think KSUOWL and I are giving you pretty good advice.
    [/quote]

    I could not agree more. You're right in picking up on the tone of my pots as well. I absolutely do not have a death wish and would be extremely cautious on it. Would not get on the freeway mixing with the light traffic in my city until I was completely confident in myself. I say all of that to solidify my thinking in a 600 model. I am definitely not forseeing myself upgrading from the 600, so I figured that would be a nice medium that I would not get bored with!

    I recently rode an '03 Yamaha R6 YZF I think it was, and had no problems controlling it on the short ride I went on. in some of the reviews I have read people talk about getting them up to 160 mph and higher. I could/would never pull anything like that. Good point about the backpack. I may have to go on a test drive with mine on! Thanks again for your advice.
  • stee99

    Posts: 317

    Mar 28, 2011 4:57 AM GMT
    uombroca saidAnother alternative, and I have seen just a few around town, not sure how much the mileage, is the Can-am Roadster Spyder RS

    41lLNamJzbL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


    only if your not strong enuff to hold up a big-boys bike.