advice for a newb? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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advice for a newb?

I'm hoping you good people can offer some advice about a track bike. I'm new to bikes and would like to confine my riding to the track. I don't wish to star in another street wreck horror story. My question is, what sort of bike do you folks think would make a good first track bike for someone new to motorcycles. Hopefully there's something a cautious newbie could handle to start with that would grow with me as my skills mature. What are everyone's thoughts? Thanks in advance for your input.

Hopefully this is the standard greeting as I have seen on other sites.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 05:14 PM
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any motorcycle experience dirt or street? how tall are you? how much you weigh? id suggest something on the small size like an ex500 or gs500 to start on. once you get a good feel for it then bump up to the bike of your choice.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 05:41 PM
 
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I'm not sure I'd recommend trackdays as a good place to learn to ride. At minimum, you need to get a riding permit, and get a trackbiek with streetlights, and take it to a empty parking lot to get the basics down.

Otherwise any used 600 makes a great beginner biek with room to grow. As long as you proactice self restraint and keep the revs under 8000 or 9000RPM, it's a relatively tame machine.

Here's what you need. 1) A good deal on a used 600 such as an R6 or F4i... ideally with a little minor crash damage (cheaper). Keep the lights on and get it registered. 2) Like learning ot ride a bicycle, somebody needs ot go over the basics on a street or parking lot wiht little traffic. Once yo uhave the basics down, you can consider hitting the track in a beginner group.

Personally, you'll run into the same problem on the track as you would pn the street. You'll be just as likely to crash because you'll be slower than everyone else, inexpereinced, and forced ot ride with your ego in check (not easy ot do), but the consuquences won't be as severe in most cases when you crash at the track.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 06:02 PM
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Maybe an SV650??


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2004, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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In answer to your questions Jim...

I haven't ridden at all since I was a kid. I'm now about 6' 2" and 165 lbs. (some of my friends call me Stickboy ) I'm not going anywhere near anything with two wheels besides my bicycle until I've completed the MSF course. I can't get anyone in my local area to let me learn on their bike in a parking lot so I'm not sure what to do to gain experience if I get a non-street legal bike. I'm not looking forward to riding on the street with the
"distracted @sshole behind the wheel" quotient we have around here so it looks like track or nothing.

Almost forgot! Thanks for the welcome!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 06:59 PM
 
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Re: In answer to your questions Jim...

Quote:
Originally posted by maxwell24fan
I haven't ridden at all since I was a kid. I'm now about 6' 2" and 165 lbs. (some of my friends call me Stickboy ) I'm not going anywhere near anything with two wheels besides my bicycle until I've completed the MSF course. I can't get anyone in my local area to let me learn on their bike in a parking lot so I'm not sure what to do to gain experience if I get a non-street legal bike. I'm not looking forward to riding on the street with the
"distracted @sshole behind the wheel" quotient we have around here so it looks like track or nothing.

Almost forgot! Thanks for the welcome!
Hey! You and I are just about the same size and weight! Don't get that Ducati in your avatar, bleh. I think an EX500 would be good for you, I rode one in May and really enjoyed it.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 07:12 PM
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Yeah, an EX500 would make a good starter bike and a good track bike. So would Chey's suggestion of an SV650. I hear nothing but good about those as trackbikes.

I agree with Cherry. The track isn't the best place to learn to ride a sport bike. But hey, you could be the guy who learns fast and does great.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 08:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chills
But hey, you could be the guy who learns fast and does great.
Taken,

Just kidding. Honestly, I say find a lil bit of private road that is paved, has corners and stuff and at least learn there. That's how I started, and if you just want to do track you won't need a liscense.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 10:14 AM
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Any of the bikes mentioned above are great suggestions. With ZERO riding experience I would shy away from the 600s (R6, F4i, GSXR, etc).

Definitely check out www.nesba.com once you find your bike. You aren't too far from a few racetracks. They offer free introduction where you are able to take your bike out on the racetrack for about 40 minutes in a controlled and structured environment.

If you come to one of the midwest Nesba events, I'd be glad to show you some of the basics of riding.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kruz
Any of the bikes mentioned above are great suggestions. With ZERO riding experience I would shy away from the 600s (R6, F4i, GSXR, etc).
If you are a quick learner you may be able to handle a 600. I pretty much learned how to ride a motorcycle on a F4i.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 11:51 AM
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Ya I would 2nd the vote for an SV650 as both a good track and street bike.

Learn to ride first. Get the basics down. MSF course for sure. Maybe put a few easy street miles on, just to get the overall hang of shifting, etc.

Then maybe try out the NESBA beginner class, try a school or two (Visionsports for example.) Work your way up slowly. The good thing is, if you want to start racing, and you don't have a lot of street experience... you won't have any bad habits to try to unlearn.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 12:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by OmniGLH
Learn to ride first. Get the basics down. MSF course for sure. Maybe put a few easy street miles on, just to get the overall hang of shifting, etc.
I hate to be the negative one, but as a beginner track day rider myself, I wouldnít want someone that didnít know how to ride a bike, riding on the track with me, possibly endangering me.

Track riding is much harder than just riding a bike on the street, I would think a person would need at least one year street experience or about 2000 miles before doing track, unless you a natural at it (Maks is one example). I donít see an average person who is a new rider, getting out to the track on day 1 doing laps safely, maintaining correct lines through a turn, breaking smoothly, accelerating smoothly, upshifting and downshifting smoothly while in high RPMís, but that is expected of you.

The track for a newbie rider is a more dangerous place to learn, cause you canít ride your pace, you have go around the track at safe (quick) pace so people donít lap you a 100 times each session.

I think the first thing you should do before you make any decisions, is watch a beginner session go at it at a track, Iíve been riding for 5 years and Iím not comfortable at those speeds going through the turns, when there are riders in front, next to me and behind me.

Just my .02
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 12:25 PM
 
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i have never had a street bike, and the first time i rode my current ride was down the straight at putnam. not to be recommended to be honest, as i suffered shock pain and humiliation all in one go. a very nice instructor took me out on the lunch break and we just tooled around for the lunch hour, and i felt more comfortable.
i then did a nesba day, and followed matt druckers mum Carol around for a day. she was awesome. whenever I see her taking a beginner under her wing, I feel like telling them 'listen to her!' a few more days and i am slowly making progress. Got my knee down on my 4th track day, and am now hooked.
So i got lucky, but with the benefit of experience, not the route to go. having said that i took my bike for a run around the block the other day and was horrified by the surface, traffic, kids dogs pets and all the other shit you have to put up with on the street. I will never have a street bike now!!! sticking with the track where i am safe!!
as for the bike, i got a 1990 hurricane and a shitload of spares of some bloke in chicago for a song (irish for notalot). perfect as i feel you can only ride a bike you can afford to wreck. (that comes from my rallying background, but it may not translate into bikes, oddly enough)
hope my ramblings have not confused you!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 12:29 PM
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SV, SV, SV, SV. Older generation SVs ('99-02) are great bikes and relatively inexpensive now. Keep the lights on it for now and learn the basics. Avoid high traffic areas, ride around the neighborhood, then onto some other roads.

Keep us informed on what you get, and don't forget to figure at least $600-800 for gear. That will include a suit, gloves, boots, and decent helmet. KBC and HJC are the most popular 'non-Shoei/Arai' out there. But you can sometimes find deals on Shoei.

If you get an SV (hint, hint, hint), budget another $200 for front end work if it's not done already. Without a doubt, it is the best mod you can do. I'm lighter than you, and I almost puked in my helmet the first time I rode Gratten with stock SV suspension.

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