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crocostimpy
08-01-2006, 12:42 PM
What would you recommend for a new rider as far as a first-time bike??

Eric
08-01-2006, 01:22 PM
A good first choice bike, in my opinion, is one that you can learn on safely that you won't also outgrow within six months. This is why I recommend a 250 cc dual-sport -like the Honda XL250, Kawasaki KLR250 and its equivalents. These are light bikes with low seat height, very maneuverable - and if you drop one, it won't hurt you (or the bike) nearly as much as dropping a pure street bike (esp. if you drop the bikeon the dirt).

The best part is when you move up to a larger cc street bike, you can keep the dual sport for knocking around/trail use and back-up.

-Eric

JohnB
08-03-2006, 03:23 AM
A good first choice bike, in my opinion, is one that you can learn on safely that you won't also outgrow within six months.

A Shovel head. Teaches a young person respect for things mechanical. <g>

Eric
08-03-2006, 07:27 AM
"A Shovel head. Teaches a young person respect for things mechanical. <g>


Could be a painful lesson!

Things are pretty interesting today vs. "yesterday." In the '70s, bikes were much less powerful - but they had (by modern standards) terrible brakes and primitive suspensions. Modern bikes, on the other hand, have great brakes and suspensions - but are incredibly powerful/capable machines (17,000 RPM, 150 mph 600 cc "middlweights," etc.).

I think the MSF uses 250 cc dual sports (and machines like the Honda Rebel/Nighthawk 250).... of course, the latter are rally rinky dinky things you'd quickly outgrow - while th dual sport is a keeper, no matter how experienced you grow to be!

PS - Finally got the cam bearings; now just awaiting the mail order Gasgacinch (no local stores carry it). Hope to have the head on this weekend - and the bike running by next!

JohnB
08-05-2006, 10:36 PM
Just you be careful with that crotch rocket, ya hear youngster....<g>

Eric
08-06-2006, 08:54 AM
Just you be careful with that crotch rocket, ya hear youngster....<g>


Yes, Dad!

PS - I posted some new pics of the "Kaw in progress" - almost there. Installed the cams/shims yesterday. I need four exhaust gaskets before I can fit the header/pipe. But then it's just a matter of charging up the battery, connecting the fuel lines - and seeing if it works!

JohnB
08-07-2006, 01:35 AM
Just you be careful with that crotch rocket, ya hear youngster....<g>


Yes, Dad!

And then to synchronize those carbs!... It'll make you wish for fuel injection <g>

Eric
08-07-2006, 07:27 AM
". It'll make you wish for fuel injection <g>



Never!

I freely admit FI has its virtues - but I love carbs. There's something about the mechanical aspects of it vs. the digitized, computer-controlled world of FI. I'd rather fiddle with my vacuum gauges and wrenches than a laptop!

rc74racer
08-07-2006, 05:36 PM
While a DS isn't a bad starter bike you won't learn as much about street riding on one as they really don't handle well on the road. IMO the ideal starter bike is an SV650, it's light, fairly inexpensive, handles great and has decent power enough to keep you from getting bored as you get use to it. It's also a twin so it has a great sound and good torque you won't have to spend all your time upwards of 10,000 rpm to feel it's full power like on a 600cc sportbike. You will also find a ton of aftermarket parts for this bike if you care to personalize it.

Eric
08-07-2006, 06:13 PM
While a DS isn't a bad starter bike you won't learn as much about street riding on one as they really don't handle well on the road. IMO the ideal starter bike is an SV650, it's light, fairly inexpensive, handles great and has decent power enough to keep you from getting bored as you get use to it. It's also a twin so it has a great sound and good torque you won't have to spend all your time upwards of 10,000 rpm to feel it's full power like on a 600cc sportbike. You will also find a ton of aftermarket parts for this bike if you care to personalize it.

Eric
08-07-2006, 06:16 PM
While a DS isn't a bad starter bike you won't learn as much about street riding on one as they really don't handle well on the road. IMO the ideal starter bike is an SV650, it's light, fairly inexpensive, handles great and has decent power enough to keep you from getting bored as you get use to it. It's also a twin so it has a great sound and good torque you won't have to spend all your time upwards of 10,000 rpm to feel it's full power like on a 600cc sportbike. You will also find a ton of aftermarket parts for this bike if you care to personalize it.



I like the SV650 - but for a new rider, it's a bit on the powerful side; the MSF uses 250 cc bikes (dual sports and small singles like the Honda Rebel/Nighthawk). I like the dual sports because you play with things like rear wheel lock, slides and so on - on the dirt and at much lower speed.

You can get into a lot of trouble on an SV650; remember that it's got a better power to weight ratio than a new Mustang GT - and the Mustang GT would not be the car I'd pick for a 16-year-old's first car!

rc74racer
08-07-2006, 06:53 PM
MSF uses 250cc for cost and insurances reasons. You really shouldn't be playing with rear wheel lock up on the street on any bike IMO. Coming from the dirt I can attest to having to undo some bad habits with the rear brake being one of them. A modern bike is all front brake even at the pro racing level only the best are really back it in it's just not necessary anymore. Now if I were to get a 250 it would be a DS as 250 street bikes get boring quick even the Ninja 500 is boring. My only real problem with a DS for starter bike is they just make terrible street bikes they are great for trail riding but for the road their handling is very uninspiring. I just think the SV650 is a great street choice is it fast in comparison to a car hell ya it's capable of a mid 12 second 1/4 mi times but compared to say an R6 which will run a high to mid 10 it's pretty tame heck even a big fat hog is capable of 14 seconds. Riding smooth and smart is the best way to start out no matter what bike you choose that will keep you out of trouble.

I would not let my 16yr old ride a motorcycle or get a mustang GT. I waited till I was over 30 to start street riding because I was way too reckless.

Eric
08-07-2006, 06:56 PM
[I don't disagree that rear braking isn't necessary (and even inadvisable). Of course. You know that - and I know that. But new riders don't... and that's just the point. Rear lock-up is a common mistake new riders make; better to learn what a slide feels like and how to react to it on the dirt than on the asphalt!

rc74racer
08-07-2006, 06:58 PM
I hear ya and all this talk of dirt riding is making me want another dirt bike!! Some times I think new riders should just disconnect the rear brake as I have seen first hand how they screw it up so I agree with you there.

Eric
08-07-2006, 07:00 PM
I hear ya and all this talk of dirt riding is making me want another dirt bike!! Some times I think new riders should just disconnect the rear brake as I have seen first hand how they screw it up so I agree with you there.



There is some GREAT dirt/trail riding here in rural SW Virginia... I have two dirt bikes, one XR200R and a "street legal" KL250 that I sometimes ride into town on (it's cheap, it's fun.. and I can lose the cops just by heading off into the woods!)

JohnB
08-09-2006, 12:23 AM
". It'll make you wish for fuel injection <g>



Never!

I freely admit FI has its virtues - but I love carbs. There's something about the mechanical aspects of it vs. the digitized, computer-controlled world of FI. I'd rather fiddle with my vacuum gauges and wrenches than a laptop!


There's that... I hear that MACs don't do well with mechanical things... they are more atuned to ephemeral things <g>

Eric
08-09-2006, 07:51 AM
" I hear that MACs don't do well with mechanical things... they are more atuned to ephemeral things <g>



This is true!

New technology can be good - and it can be bad, in the sense that it adds complexity in the name of efficiency and disconnects people from what I like to call the "tactile experiemce" - physically touching/handling things other than a keyboard and a mouse.

Of course, I freely admit it's also because I just don't have much interest in electronics!

JohnB
08-10-2006, 11:43 PM
New technology can be good - and it can be bad, in the sense that it adds complexity in the name of efficiency and disconnects people from what I like to call the "tactile experiemce" - physically touching/handling things other than a keyboard and a mouse.


Trade offs. On one hand one gets the satisfaction of making something go, to get in there and find the fault, the thing out of spec, the dirty float needle, the pitted point, the dry dashpot.....

But... there's also something to be said for the reliablilty of just lighting the fire and going....

I don't miss the "old days"

Having said that... there's a '64 Falcon coupe sitting forlornly at the end of my block, looks like it hasn't moved in weeks. I am thinking of going and asking about it tomorrow....

Eric
08-11-2006, 03:34 AM
Having said that... there's a '64 Falcon coupe sitting forlornly at the end of my block, looks like it hasn't moved in weeks. I am thinking of going and asking about it tomorrow....



Uh-oh!

JohnB
08-26-2006, 06:15 PM
Uh-oh!



It's a Comet, not a Falcon so it's not as valued. With the proper trim change it could become a Falcon...<g>
I haven't stopped yet, may next week.

Eric
08-26-2006, 06:34 PM
Uh-oh!



It's a Comet, not a Falcon so it's not as valued. With the proper trim change it could become a Falcon...<g>
I haven't stopped yet, may next week.


I've been looking around at Things.. nothing serious.. but you never know!

JohnB
08-26-2006, 09:40 PM
Uh-oh!



It's a Comet, not a Falcon so it's not as valued. With the proper trim change it could become a Falcon...<g>
I haven't stopped yet, may next week.
I've been looking around at Things.. nothing serious.. but you never know!

Ditto here... just another piece of iron to feed.

Eric
08-27-2006, 07:53 AM
Ditto here... just another piece of iron to feed.


And boy, are they ever hungry!

U just spent another $250 for anNOS lefthand switch for the old Kaw....

JohnB
08-27-2006, 04:48 PM
Ditto here... just another piece of iron to feed.

U just spent another $250 for anNOS lefthand switch for the old Kaw....


OUCH.. and I thought tha tit was only Harley dealers that raped their custumers...

Eric
08-28-2006, 09:17 AM
OUCH.. and I thought tha tit was only Harley dealers that raped their custumers...



I wish... it may be even worse with the "classic" Jap stuff. Here is a partial list:

$400 for ONE new old stock "correct" rim
$500 for a NOS front caliper


You don't even want to know how much anNOS tachometer (which I need but can't afford) is...

JohnB
08-28-2006, 08:16 PM
OUCH.. and I thought tha tit was only Harley dealers that raped their custumers...



I wish... it may be even worse with the "classic" Jap stuff. Here is a partial list:

$400 for ONE new old stock "correct" rim
$500 for a NOS front caliper
You don't even want to know how much anNOS tachometer (which I need but can't afford) is...


Double OUCH!

DonTom
10-28-2006, 08:00 AM
Eric,

When I was shopping for a small street legal dirt bike, I chose the Suzuki DR200SE, which would also be a great starter bike. My second choice would be the KLR250 which seems to give you more for your money, but the first thing I always check is the MPT (Miles Per Tank). The DR200SE gives me about 80 MPG as well as a larger gas tank than the KLR250 and that's the most important thing to me. Nevada's roads are about 80% dirt roads and many of these REQUIRE a street legal machine. There's such a road about a mile from this house, but on the CA side of the border, (Long Valley Road) which goes to almost everywhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, though the Tahoe National Forest and many such other places. I mainly have this bike for the rougher dirt roads. But it's easy to go more than 100 miles out here without ever being close to a gas station. Also, I wanted a very small light bike and the 199 CC DR200SE is a bit lighter than the KLR250.

I have larger bikes for the pavement, such as two Yamaha Ventures and a BMW. All my bikes are street legal. I have no interest in serious dirt bikes as I mainly just stay on dirt roads.

-Don-






I hear ya and all this talk of dirt riding is making me want another dirt bike!! Some times I think new riders should just disconnect the rear brake as I have seen first hand how they screw it up so I agree with you there.



There is some GREAT dirt/trail riding here in rural SW Virginia... I have two dirt bikes, one XR200R and a "street legal" KL250 that I sometimes ride into town on (it's cheap, it's fun.. and I can lose the cops just by heading off into the woods!)

Eric
10-28-2006, 09:02 AM
That DR is a great bike; I've ridden it myself (also the larger, more aggressive DRZ400). Agree with you on all counts; the entire class of bikes of this type is where one can find more "fun for the dollar" than anywhere else!

DonTom
11-03-2006, 09:11 PM
Eric,

I find that the high tech stuff makes things much easier to understand. For an example, the carburetor I took out of my RV which ran way too rich at idle. It seemed nobody knew how to fix it. After I replaced it with the MPFI, it ran perfectly, but was still a bit too rich as shown by a smog test that it just barely passed. I then made it a bit leaner by simply reducing the fuel pressue a bit-- still runs perfect and now passes the NV smog test with flying colors.

"I freely admit it's also because I just don't have much interest in electronics!"

I think that's the main difference in our preferences here. I always had an interest in electroincs and I have always been employed in the field. However, I have to admit that I have ran into some rather difficult electrical problems in vehicles, some which I still cannot figure out. Such as the corroded negative battery lead that would still work perfect for starting the car, but many other electrical things would not work. IOW, a wire that works fine at very high current draw (such as starting), works fine at low current draw, but has many problems at moderate current draws, such as the engine dying when the A/C is turned on. But I did make a stupid mistake here when I was checking voltages to stuff such as the fuel pump with the A/C on. I used the chassis ground instead of the engine ground. But how could there be a bad battery negative lead when the car ALWAYS started right up? However, this was a low tech problem that could have happened even in an older vehicle. It's the low tech stuff that gives me more problems. Another very difficult automotive problem I once had was in my 1984 Chevy Van that had Tranny fluid drip into the alternator belt where I could not see, from a small hole in the tranny dipstick tube. New alternator and new tight belt would have serious electrical problems in 100 miles or so, replace it all and it's good for another 100 miles. It was very tricky to find the problem. The biggest clue was the battery voltage would drop as the RPM's went up. But no noise at all from the belt which was adjusted normally.

Oh, since this is the motorbike section . . .

On my 1971 BMW R-75/5, my bike would often start to die at around 4,000 RPM's. It ended up being the effect the road vibrations had on the ignition switch! Was very tricky to figure it out. Finally figured it out by riding with a voltmeter going direct to the ignition coils. I saw the voltage drop when it failed at 4K RPMS. Before that I was expecting a carburetor problem. BTW, this is when I wired in the relay, so there would be no "bounce" from any switches (the relay electrical field cannot collapse as fast, meaning road vibration won't have as much affect on it).

So I have the most problems with the low tech stuff!

-Don-






" I hear that MACs don't do well with mechanical things... they are more atuned to ephemeral things <g>



This is true!

New technology can be good - and it can be bad, in the sense that it adds complexity in the name of efficiency and disconnects people from what I like to call the "tactile experiemce" - physically touching/handling things other than a keyboard and a mouse.

Of course, I freely admit it's also because I just don't have much interest in electronics!

Eric
11-04-2006, 06:50 AM
Yep!

A great many subjectives are involved here. I simply prefer the physical, tactile aspects of working on a mechanical device like a carburetor. It's a relaxing way to avoid the over-teched (to me) hassles of modern life, which has been encumbered by computers and code - to the point that even phones and toothbrushes now come with lengthy manuals are require "programming" - and so on.
A carb has the additional advantage of being much less expensive - and if you know what you are doing, usually much easier to fix "on the fly" than FI - which may be more reliable, but when it stops working in the middle of nowhere, you're generally not gonna be able to get it going again with a screwdriver or some wire!

I find FI to be efficient - to an extreme - and thus, soul-less. Like so many things modern. A new Corvette Z06 is a an efficient appliance; incredibly fast - but lacking the "alive" qualities you'd find in a '70 LT-1.

DonTom
11-05-2006, 02:19 AM
"but when it stops working in the middle of nowhere, you're generally not gonna be able to get it going again with a screwdriver or some wire!"

Might not be only a screwdriver, but I will have what's needed. I carry a lot of spare parts, including a spare fuel pump, spare ECM, spare fuel pressure regulator & distributor. I am even going to buy a spare starter before the next long trip, as it has crapped out three times in the many years I have owned this vehicle.

-Don-

Eric
11-05-2006, 08:36 AM
]Might not be only a screwdriver, but I will have what's needed. I carry a lot of spare parts, including a spare fuel pump, spare ECM, spare fuel pressure regulator & distributor. I am even going to buy a spare starter before the next long trip, as it has crapped out three times in the many years I have owned this vehicle."

Now that's what I all a PITAS!

With the Q-Jet on my Trans-Am, there is little that can cause a problem sufficient to leave you dead in the water; most carb problems involve rough-running due to dirt, improper mixture and chokes/air valves not set right. All easy to fix - and stuff that tends to develop gradually - not all at once, as with FI, which can just "turn off" and there you are, up feces creek without a paddle!

And to hell with ECMs! I don't like a car that's smarter than I am...!

DonTom
11-06-2006, 12:44 AM
Eric,

My RV had countless problems with the carb that were a PITA. Then I replaced it and got a new set of problems that were even a bigger PITA. The MPFI works perfectly and it's fine with me if the ECM is smarter than I am.

While I do carry many spare parts, I don't expect to have to use them. However, we sometimes take this old RV down long dirt roads and if anything happens, we're on our own!

I carried spare parts well before I put in the MPFI. I had a fuel pump crap out on the way to Canada a few years ago. It was able to replace it with a spare I carried. I have also had an alternator belt break once which I replaced on the road. I carry as many spare parts as are reasonable for fixing any problem on the road in that old (1978) RV.

-Don-

Eric
11-06-2006, 08:35 AM
Some carbs are better than others! Which model were you dealing with?

Also, and as with FI, some guys are just naturally better at adjusting a carb. You might be an "FI" guy - while I'm a "carb guy" - with a "feel" for our respective favorites!

DonTom
11-07-2006, 01:37 AM
You might be an "FI" guy -

Yes, for sure! But I didn't realize it until I put the MPFI in my RV. Unlike carbs, I understand how this thing works and I feel I can easily fix any FI problem in this RV FAST.

IMO, rebuilt carbs have the highest number of problems of any item you can buy from an auto parts store. I have heard stories where people had to replace a carb four or five times to find one that worked. Each carb had a different problem.

I have purchased a few carbs in my life myself. I never got a good one on the first try. I remember in my 1984 Chevy van, it had a carb problem and the new rebuilt carb had a weird problem. It would cause the engine to die everytime I stopped in forward, but not in reverse (float level problem). I put on another carb, adjusted it the best I could, and then in the next smog test I was a "gross polluter". Just one carb problem after the other.

When the same happened to my RV, I decided to spend a couple of thousand bucks and put in MPFI which works perfectly. But no big improvement in MPG, just a few tenths or so, usually still get less than 8.0 MPG in this 11,500 lbs RV (400 CID small block). However, it couldn't run better than now at any elevation and it passeed the NV smog test on the first try, but not by much. It was running a bit too rich, so I lowered the fuel pressure. This also made no noticeable difference in my MPG, but now passes smog by a lot and still runs perfectly.
-Don-

mrblanche
11-16-2006, 11:42 AM
What would you recommend for a new rider as far as a first-time bike??


A Cushman Eagle.

Eric
11-16-2006, 12:26 PM
A Cushman Eagle.



Is that a scooter?

mrblanche
12-05-2006, 09:02 AM
A Cushman Eagle.



Is that a scooter?




Well, it was all the motorcyle many guys could afford, but it picked up some styling cues from the bigger bikes. One outstanding feature was the stick shift, up by the tank.

A clean, restored model today runs from about $4,000 to $10,000.

Asking price for this one is $7,500

http://www.dennis-carpenter.com/scooters/thumbnails/cushman00131C.JPG

Eric
12-05-2006, 09:46 AM
That thing has style!

I like it a lot more than the modern scooters/mopeds I see.

FYI: I picked up my '00 KL250 dual-sport with less than 1,000 miles on it for just $2,000. It's a great little bike - 60-plus MPG and it will go just about anywhere. Even short highway trips - though that can get hairy if there are steep grades!

DonTom
12-05-2006, 09:49 AM
A clean, restored model today runs from about $4,000 to $10,000.

What size engine does that thing have? And do you know any of the other specs? What year is it? When I check on the WEB, they are all very old (1950's ).

-Don-

mrblanche
12-05-2006, 11:02 AM
Cushman motorcycles went out of production in 1966. That is to say, just about the time I could have gotten a part-time job to buy one.

But they started production back in the 30's. They produced a paratroop version for the Army, and a version that was sold as the Sears Allstate (they were in good company there, since Harley Davidson and Kaiser also produced vehicles under the "Allstate" name tag). They even produced a special version for Shriners to ride in their parades.

They could do highway speeds, and were great fun, if a little crude. The Vespa, however, was so much better a motorcycle for a similar price that it started their demise, and good, cheap bikes from Japan drove the nails in the coffin.