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Old 12-21-2018, 01:30 PM   #1

Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Motorcycles: na
Name: Aidan
Same Old Story

You've all heard this one before...
A teenage boy decides he desperately needs a motorcycle and has been obsessing over every Craigslist ad and youtube comparison test he can find ect...

And yes this describes me very well, but also, I think I am slightly more prepared than most in this archetype. Getting a motorcycle is actually an idea I came to with a least some degree of rationality. For one I now go to school at the University of San Fransico where parking permits for cars run $800 if you win the lottery for that spot . A bike is free to park and much more convenient in a city while also giving me the ability to drive down the coast from SF to Santa Cruz when I visit home...This is one of the reasons why a scooter is a no go. Bikes are easy to park in the city, get good mileage...and (the most important factors to any teenager) they look cool, go fast and sound like F1 cars!!

Secondly, I have been obsessed with classic cars and imparticular the Datsun Roadster (manufactured by Datsun/Nissan from 1961-1970. I have restored two to roadworthiness since I was fifteen (nineteen now) and so I know my way around engine rebuilds, carb balancing, spark plug gap and the like. Also, while this is probably not the best logic, going to a motorcycle may actually be a step up in safety after daily driving a 50-year-old death trap of a car with skinny tires, incredibly bad braking, no ABS, no airbags, lap belts, no crumple zones or rollover protection of any kind. Riding a bike with good braking capabilities, leathers and a helmet might actually improve my chances? Also, I am pretty damn good at driving stick and heel-toe rev-matching downshifts...does this carry over at all to bikes? Never actually used a bar mounted clutch.

I don't know how much this will help me but I have also been riding downhill mountain bikes for 10+ years and I have a lot of experience with bike handling, front-rear braking dynamics, and feeling for traction on two least on a bike that weighs 30lbs....

And now the fun part you have all heard many times...What bike!? I love craigslist so I would definitely being buying used.
my top contenders are.
- R3
- ninja 300
- ninja 650
- FZ07 (this seems a good fit as it is comfy for commuting around but maybe a bit too much to start out on?)

But I also have been thinking about looking for something much older. '73 Triumph Daytona? Bonneville? '76 CB500? I personally love the classic look (is it called cafe?). The aesthetic of leather jacket and 60s/70s machinery is more appealing to me than a bright and flashy Alpinestar suit astride a Lime green Ninja.
So dragging one of these out of someone's garage for $500 and putting in the elbow grees to get her running and polished up seems satisfying (I already have a lot of tools and plenty of free time during summer)
One question I have is: is there a big difference in the cost for parts for classic British vs Japanese bikes?

Another thing I don't fully grasp is insurance.
-Is it generally more than for a car even though bikes themselves are usually worth less than cars?
-How old of a bike do you need to get for it to start getting dirt cheap?
- How would an R3 (sportbike with fairings) compare to an FZ-07 (naked, upright but twice the displacement)
I realize I fall in the most expensive possible bracket (although I do have a clean 4-wheeled driving record)

I apologize for this introduction getting very long and question riddled.
Thank You and happy holidays!

Aidan Dawn
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: santa rosa, ca
Motorcycles: '12 DL650A '15 FJR1300A
Name: Jeff
Aidan, I think you are on the right track. First welcome to Barf, the home of all things motorcycle.
A modern fuel injected bike will give you more reliability then trying to restore and maintain an older bike. If you're commuting, there's a lot to be said for reliability and ease of maintenance. Save cool for some other time. .
The upright ergos of the FZ07 makes commuting much easier and easier means safer. If you are careful and don't get crazy, the FZ07 is a pretty good starter bike. You have some good skill sets going in. Take the MSF class and then maybe an intermediate class.
Also make sure you budget for good, safe riding gear. Skin takes a long time to heal.
bike X miles=smiles
smiles ÷ bike=miles
miles ÷ smiles=bike.
It's simple math.

Last edited by dravnx; 12-21-2018 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:46 PM   #3
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Moto Junkie

Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Palo Alto, Ca.
Motorcycles: A few here and there
Name: Budman

I think some of the skills you have will transfer to motorcycles.
Mechanical skills are great, matching rev's is good, even a manual transmission will have some positives.

Search insurance here using the search tool. Liability only is the cheap route and if you are buying an older bike it will be less I think.

Size probably matters too. R3 vs. FZ deal. Maybe not much if you want liability only. However if you want to cover the bike age and size will create differences.

The barf standard advice it to start on a small used bike and gather experience and move up over time. Some start on bigger bikes and do fine.. other not so much.

Get your training in!!! CMSP link above and their are other options beyond just the basic course too.

I hope your moto journey is fulfilling.

with a

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Old 12-21-2018, 01:52 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Florida
Motorcycles: VTR, R100RS,CB500
I guess I was wrong about this forum being for crusty old farts. . .
I am now old enough so that there is no one left to dispute how fast I used to be.
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