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Considering buying a motorcycle

  1. Jun 17, 2003 #1


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    I have recently been seriously considering buying a motorcycle (http://www.hondamotorcycles.com/motorcycles/Cruiser_Standard/model.asp?ModelName=Shadow+VLX&ModelYear=2004&ModelId=VT600C4 [Broken] or similar style). I've wanted one for several years, but I visited a showroom two weeks ago and fell in love.

    Anybody have one?

    Anybody had one and hated it?

    I'm the only guy at my work who is without a motorcycle, so while they're a wonderful source of information, I realize their advice is biased.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2003 #2
    I thought it was gonna be some hateful little moped or something, but that looks really cool, BUY IT!
  4. Jun 18, 2003 #3
    I want to get a motorcycle too. I don't think I'd ever be willing to spend the money on a Harley Davidson though. It would be cool if I could find a good deal on a classic BMW. I'd like to do the Zen trip -- from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest -- someday.

  5. Jun 18, 2003 #4


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    Well, I've been riding motorcycles for about 17 years now. I had a yamaha virago 925 when I was 17, and it was very similar to the Shadow.

    My uncle has a Shadow, and loves it alot. He says it moves, he can keep up with 600 crouch rockets, so its not a slouch.

    One thing to consider about street bikes is not so much your skill as a rider, which varies person to person, but the stupidity and disrespect from people in cars and trucks. The best bike racers in the world will tell you they hate riding on public roads, due to traffic. I've a friend in the hospital right now because a lady t-boned him on his Honda at highway speeds.

    Personally, me, I prefer to do it in the dirt. I got a yamaha TTR 250, which I can make road legal. The cool thing about an enduro type bike is you can set it up to be on/off road. You can also get your hands on one for about half the cost of a shadow, and insurance is cheap, etc.

    The shadow is a good bike though. If you decide to get it, please be carefull. You have to think for every single vehicle on the road, not just yourself. The saying goes "anything that can happen will" so be ready for anything.
  6. Jun 19, 2003 #5
    Gimme a Honda Gold Wing. I sat on one once and it fit like a glove, just as comfortable as you please and loaded with electronic play things. The seat is very comfortable and you are not all hunched over the way many of the 'sporty' bikes position the rider. If I took long excursions on a motorcycle that's what I would want.

    For short, noisey trips across town I'd take a Harley;

  7. Aug 26, 2003 #6
    Had a Yamaha 550 'seca' (Aces backwards) four cyl, front end heavy, so no lifting.

    Pretty quick, 0 - 60 Mph in about 4.4 to 5.0 secs, but please, read and heed megashawns advice, I agree, had a guy in a pick-up truck, in stopped traffic, decide to show me he didn't like motorcycles, so he intentionally hit me in the rear tire, while I was stopped.

    Thats only one of the events, there were others.

    Also know of a younger person, got a 1100, two days later cleaned out a gaurdrail @ ~160 Kph, six months hospitalization, one year physiotherapy, no wrist motion, no ankle motion, brain trauma, no working ability for a loooooooong time to come.

    I waited until I was 36 before buying a bigger 'street' motorcycle, the priors were on things like enduros, trials bikes, minibikes (ct 70, st 50, something like a Rupp at ~13/14)

    They are lots of fun, but cold if no faring, vibrating, dependant upon make and model, not as fuel effecient as I had thought it would be, (only ~40 to 45 MPG, my warm and toasty Jetta Diesel did ~60 MPG) no real luggage space, but a riot to drive!

    PS that Shadow looks like fun to drive, too!
  8. Aug 30, 2003 #7
    You also need to be wary of road debris; nasty stuff that can ruin your day.
  9. Sep 2, 2003 #8
    Ditto! And "White/yellow" lines, when wet, wohoooooo went down, fast.
    Also, same as in a car, when it first starts to rain, slicky.
  10. Sep 3, 2003 #9


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    Thats where the dirt biking skills come in and you drift down the road, freaking out anyone in sight.

    Buells are pretty sweet though.
  11. Sep 3, 2003 #10
    What the heck is a buell?? (forgive me, my ignorance s.v.p.)
  12. Sep 3, 2003 #11


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    http://www.buell.com/en_us/ [Broken]

    Awesome bikes, in a few words.

    I think its the XB9S that I've been looking at. My cousin has found mods that will take it up around 150 rwhp. Thats too fast imo, but cool to know its possible.

    Buell is Harley Davidson crotch rockets. You still don't get any love from the Ole school HD riders, but story is that you can't beat one of these bikes on a track.

    Another interesting thing I've heard about HD is they are having Porsche develop there next V-Twin. Its about time they get someone to build them an engine that doesn't sound like its about to fly apart.

    Buells don't sound like a classic HD either, but have a distinct sound from your average crotch rocket.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  13. Sep 4, 2003 #12


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    Motorcycles....one of my two hobbies in life. I work for Yamaha Motor Sports in Georgia and I've had a chance to ride on every bike on the market (Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, Harley, etc.). I've been working in the industry for 4 years now and I've come to realize some things:

    1) Buy a fast crotch rocket (Yamaha R1, Ducati 996, Honda RC-51, etc.)


    2) Build a chopper

    I've been working for the AMA race teams at Yamaha for a year now so I will be biased when talking about motorcycles. Of course, Yamaha makes the best :). However, if you have the knowledge and skills to build a chopper, then do it. Choppers are by far the coolest bikes on the roads because you build them the way YOU want them.

    So if I were you, I'd save my money and get a fast bike or build one. Its your choice. Good luck!

    Oh, almost forgot to mention, I've been riding since I was 15 (yes, I rode w/o a license) and been racing motorcyles since I was 19 in the WERA series. There are so many things you have to be ready for on a motorcycle. And the most important thing anyone can tell you is: "NEVER, under any circumstances, let your attention drift off!". Its harder to do than you think because chicks dig bi0es. My little equation: Bikes bring attention + chicks like attention = Bike rider gets lots of chicks looking at him. So just make sure you always pay attention to the surroundings. The most dangerous thing about riding a motorcycle is the people driving around you. For some reason, a lot of drivers can't see motorcycles. Please, if you get one, be safe. Might I add also, you should take a class at a motorcycle driving school or a motorcycle race school. They will teach you many valuable things that you can't learn w/o doing (aka sliding the bike so you don't tear up your whole body, etc.).

    Any questions or just want to talk motorcycles, email me at mmcarthu@spsu.edu and spill your mind.
  14. Sep 4, 2003 #13
    Do I ever agree with the emboldened, can't stress that one enough!!, Used to play a little game, in my head, while driving, trying to ensure that no matter what, not one single car ever got anywhere near, or far, from me, without me knowing it. 360 degree circle of knowledge and awareness, hyper-awareness if/as needed, the only way to operate a motorcycle on any kind of highway, road, street.
  15. Sep 4, 2003 #14


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    I'm a recent Yamaha convert myself. Been a Kawasaki rider most my life.

    Choppers are cool, but I'd really like to see someone use a yamaha engine, like an r1, on a chopper frame. Now that would be pretty sweet.

    Well, since you work for Yamaha, you know where I can get my hands on the big bore kit for the TTR 250? I hear Yamaha Europe sells a 410 cc kit.

    Also, people tell me I'm crazy for jumping that bike. Would you agree?
  16. Sep 5, 2003 #15
    BTW megashawn, thanks for the explaination of "Buells"
    Looks like they too would be a riot to drive/ride!
  17. Sep 7, 2003 #16


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    You can get a SRC big bore kit for a TTR 250 from HERE. I'm not sure about the 410cc kit, but I do know that we have a 450cc kit in development here in the states.

    I wouldn't think your crazy. You have to remember, I race my bike at speeds of 180+ mph for 20 laps on 2+ mile tracks. And on the streets, I do wheelies, stoppies, seat-stands, etc. so asking me about crazy isn't really going to get you a good answer :smile:.
  18. Sep 8, 2003 #17


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    Good point, thanks for the info. 450cc kit, thats awesome.

    I've just heard some people whining that jumping a TTR 250 anything more then 5 feet would destroy the suspension and lead to impending doom. I've done much more then that, so I know better, its just nice to have a pro's opinion to reference to next time around.

    You ever though about getting into Super Motard? That looks like so much fun to me.
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