T Nation



I am thinking about purchasing a Bike. I will be a beginner rider any suggestions on where to start? I know a few of you had couple of bikes and would like to know what you start off with. And what to progress to.


Suzuki Hayabusa, that may not be a good starter bike though.


hahaha a Busa is not a starter bike.....well what style are you into a sport bike or a cruiser?my first bike a was GSXR-600, i have had several bikes most recently is a '57 Triumph Chopper i built....


hahaha a Busa is not a starter bike.....well what style are you into a sport bike or a cruiser?my first bike a was GSXR-600, i have had several bikes most recently is a '57 Triumph Chopper i built....


That's a mother of a coincidence because I was thinking about getting a bike too. You'd look good on the back of it, you cute little bastard!



I just bought a 1977 Honda CB750 Supersport. This bike is awesome, 4 cylinder, 4 carbs and that distinctive 70's deep rumble from the exhaust. This bike is closer in style to the cafe racers from the 50s and 60s than todays sport bikes.


Dodge Tomahawk


Dumb general question:

So, uh, how do you operate one of them thurr things? Do you have to break a few bones and/or kill a few old ladies before you become a skilled rider?


I am looking for either a sport/ rice burner. Or a Harely. But, I think the rice burner is more my speed. I am 5'4" weigh about 150. But, I am looking for a good begginers bike for a couple of months first. Any suggestions?


I just learned how to ride a couple of years ago. I started out by buying a cheap 82 Yamaha Maxim 400 (more of the old cruiser type, without that harley look). It's a great learner bike because it's a bit smaller and pretty light.

Now that I've been riding more, I've moved up to a Suzuki Marauder 800. It actually belongs to my mother who never rides it, so she basically just holds the title for me. It's a bit different than the Yamaha and obviously has quite a bit more power.

If this is really your first efforts at riding, I suggest you start out with something smaller and not a crotch rocket. Just learn the feel of a bike, leaning, watching for traffic, clutching and shifting, and the other dozen things that you have to do on a bike that you don't have to do in a car. Once you get the hang of riding and fell comfortable in the middle of traffic, I suggest moving up to a 750 or so (cruiser) or trying your first sport bike.

A couple of other thoughts: Don't buy a new or expensive bike unless you're sure you are going to stick with it. I see people selling bikes dumped by a newbie rider who had more power than what they needed on Ebay all of the time. Second, don't get your dick confused with your brain. That's a tough one for all riders since chicks dig them. But the only times I've gotten myself in tight situations is where I'm thinking I'm tougher than what I am, tried to go faster than I should, or used more power than I probably needed to. Third, if you haven't ridden a lot, take a motorcycle safety course. For $100 you get your license, discounts on insurance, and some good basic bike instructions. And finally, don't get your dick confused with your brain. New riders can't hear this enough.

Have a good time out there and welcome to the fraternity of motorcycle riders.


Check the yellow pages and find yourself a motorcycle course. They're fun and you learn to ride with good technique right from the get go.


Definitely take the motorcycle safety course. Best $180 I ever spent.

I am riding a 2003 Suzuki SV650S. Great engine, fuel injected, less plastic to break on any accidental drops, and a ton of fun to ride. I didn't want to start with a 600 supersport, but have ridden them and they are a kick.

Seriously though, take the course, then start shopping for a bike.



The motorcycle safety course was some of the best money I've ever spent as well. I firmly believe that you can never spend enough money on:
a) Quality instruction
b) Safety gear

At least when it comes to motorcycles. AFterall, when (not if) you hit the ground your first thought will be "perhaps I should have bought the thicker jacket. . . "

Anyway, I suggest that you buy something older and around the 650cc mark and early '80s vintage. I promise you that your first bike will end up on the ground. It might happen because you get in an accident, or it might happen because you didn't see the patch of antifreeze you put your foot down in (happened to a friend) perhaps you forgot the kickstand (also a friend) or your kickstand breaks off and all you've got is a centre stand and you overbalance a little putting the bike on it (that one was me).

Anyway, your first bike will hit the ground at some point. If you only spent $500 on it you won't be too heartbroken, if you spent $15,000 on it you'll be a shade more upset about the whole situation.



Like the others have said take the MSF course. 92% of riders that are in accidents have never taken that course.(from MSF) The things I learned in that course have saved me many a time.
Dont let your heart rule your mind. ie if you are set on a gsxr or similiar be smart about. 100hp at the wheel is no joke and things get of hand quickly.
Keep in mind you will also HAVE to spend 500-1k for gear. When asked how much should you spend on a helmet, think how much is your head worth. Despite things you will hear from other people you need to lay down some cash for good gear. It is your life. 250-500$ helmet range 120-300$ jacket, 60-120 gloves$
A good starter bike that you will not out grow is the Suzuki sv650. I really like them and regret not getting one, I have a gsxr-600. The gsxr is fun but not real practical to get around, they look kinda gay with saddle bags. So its just the backpack. Wearing a backpack is fine but can be a pain some times. Also long rides on Gsxrs arent too fun because of the angle you sit at. IT might be different for you since Im taller 6'1" but keep that in mind. You can ride a very long distance comfortably as well as short trips. Most new bikes require services at 400 miles, and again at 4000 and maybe one inbetween. The 4000 mile service is not something you can do yourself as I believe they work on the valves. Let me know if you have anymore questions.
I would also say it would be best to buy a used bike because you will drop it/ ding it.


Thanks, for the great info guys I am going to look into that (MSF) course in my neighborhood.


Fitone, i good choice for you would be a Yamaha FZR 600,they are cheap,have nice power and handle well.People will tell you to get a Katana which will cost you the same as the FZR,but is no match. just my 2 cents


Echoing the others sentiments...take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's course. It may seem dumb and they have small bikes but they teach good fundamentals thru repetition.

As far as bikes go, I started out on a 1995 GSX-R 750. If I had known more I would have bought something else for my first bike. Probably along the lines of a SV 650.

Remember, everybody drops their first bike, might as well let it be a cheaper one that won't put you out half a grand to repair.



R1 was my first bike
Being 5'4'' a rice burner my sit alittle high a cruser my fit better but you can always lower a rice burner but may have to sacrifice some handling. They best thing my be to goto a few dealers and and find the feel. BTW Yamaha is having a 3.9% special going on right now till Jan 05 I think.


oh yeah looking into buying a bigdog right now sweat bikes but have to talk to the wife to let me get one


I started out on a 750 Honda Intruder, and I crashed it 13 times. Mostly just falling over at stop signs or sliding out on gravel. No serious accidents until I got my Yahama FZR 600. Came down out of a wheelie at 50 mph and the front tire folded under and I found myself sliding through a sea of sparks and shredding plastic. I was a youthful idiot that got lucky more times than was due me.

Now I ride a Kawasaki ZR7. Had it 3 and a half years with no incidents. But then I ride much more carefully now. The insurance on a naked street bike is actually 1/4 of what it is on a full faring sport bike, and you still get the same performance, just without all the plastic. Not too expensive either.

I'd say get a 600 to start with. It has just enough power to keep you interested, but you get a break on the cost of insuring it, and you don't have so much power that its hard to control. I should have started on a lighter, more nimble bike myself. Something by suzuki/yahama/honda. Cheap to buy, relatively inexpensive to fix when you crash it.

Or get a pro street style chopper and make me jealous.