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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone (or only the few people who will actually read this)
This weekend there is a high chance that I will become the owner of my first motorcycle. I am 32 years old, so I think I might be mature and competent enough by now to learn. The bike will be a 2002 Suzuki Intruder 800. I am unsure if its a GS or LS or something else. I have only done a little bit of research on the different models, and still do not know what the different designations mean. I have only driven one motorcycle in my life and it was a 250 Ninja. That "ride" lasted all of thirty seconds because I upshifted too much and stalled it. Luckily for me there is a parking lot less than half a mile down the road from where I live, so I will be able to practice a bit before attempting to get my license. I am only attempting to do this bike thing because I know it makes economical sense for me. I am single and drive everywhere by myself for the most part. So if I can get +40mpg on a bike, why not? I will most likely just be on here lurking and searching stupid questions I come up with over the next couple weeks. If I can not find my answer, I will ask. Hope to learn some things, and potentially even meet some locals. I live in Kansas, and I see bikes everywhere, so surely some of them are members here.
 

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Still crazy after all these years
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Welcome.

First bike, huh?

Here's the Cliff's Note version:

1) Get yourself some good gear. Minimum: Full-face helmet, jacket, gloves and boots. Recommended: Riding pants and a spine protector. Wear the gear when on the bike.
2) Sign up and take a MSF or similar rider's safety course.
3) Get your license.
4) Don't drink alcohol or do drugs before or during riding.
5) Don't be stupid.

If you follow these basic rules, you should be fine.

Oh, and if you fill your profile, others will know if they are "locals" for you. :)
 

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Welcome.

It sounds to me like you might be looking at too much bike, given your complete lack of experience.

IF you do get that bike: A 16 year old bike might be a maintenance headache. A new rider shouldn't get one that old unless it is in PERFECT condition or you are mechanically inclined.

IF it turns out to be an S50, I can't recommend it because of the way they are put together. Too many quirks in the design.

It is STRONGLY recommended that you take a new rider training course ****BEFORE*** you buy any bike.
Otherwise the temptation to "self train" is too great. And once you learn bad habits they are hard to "unlearn".
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks guys. All of the things mentioned I have taken into careful consideration. I am a fairly big guy (235lbs), who is definitely mechanically inclined (Automotive and Industrial Equipment Technician), and I already have a full helmet (Auto-X a couple of times), gloves and boots. Believe me, I am in full on safety mode. I plan on going grandpa style on this bike and taking it extremely slow. I pride myself in my ability to drive since I learned and grew up driving in Germany. Had a small amount of motorcycle riding technique and safety taught in the German driver license classes I took. I KNOW a car and a bike are completely different, and it has been several months if not a full year that I have been contemplating this. I have two DUIs under my belt from years ago, so that will never happen again. I am signing up for riding classes, since I like I said in the title, I have no idea what I am doing. They are not scheduled very often around me. But if I have to wait a couple weeks or months before I can actually ride it, so be it. Safety First!! I might be a complete newbie when it comes to riding, but I ain't no dummie :)
 

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I will 100% agree with gear and the riding class. What you can learn from riding a complete season by yourself, you can learn in a weekend from proper instruction. If there isn't a class near by, maybe look at a weekend vacation somewhere to speed up the schedule? You won't go wrong with learning from someone properly trained to teach 9not just a rider with experience). Keep up on the gear, take it slow, and enjoy every mile. It sounds like you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well this week has been exciting. Got my permit. Passed the test with ease. Bike is insured and registered. Dusted off my Snell approved helmet, found an old pair of Camelbak Motorsport gloves I have had for some time, and I am hoping to meet someone tomorrow to buy a leather riding jacket. A friend who has been riding for a while and that I trust really well, has to fix his bike before he can ride with me, obviously. I plan on literally just driving up and down my street and practicing starting, small turns, and braking. My current biggest fear is panicking and grabbing only the front brake. I taught myself how to wind surf, snowboard, and various other things that require a lot of coordination. And believe me when I say I am good at all of them. I learned to drive a manual car when I was about 14, so I feel fairly confident I will become a confident rider soon enough. Other than that, I have been watching a lot of Bobber Build videos :)
 

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Take the the riding course and good luck Grabbing the front brake only isnt as bad on a motorcycle as it is on a bicycle...you can make the rear lift...some people do it on purpose....its called a stopie but you would have to be going quiet fast and grab a whole heap of front brake.

A trick for slow turns is to slightly ride the rear brake...it tends to smooth out the throttle response.

good luck and welcome.
 
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