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Old 01-30-2009, 10:01 AM   #21
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Wife is against it, but who cares?

jug
I like your attitude.

There are plenty of orgs that teach motorcycling riding. Here's one:

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

It's very easy. Much easier than riding a bicycle. Start out with something non-intimidating (250cc), low seat. The hard part is not riding the MC itself, but learning to deal with the traffic.

Sam
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:08 AM   #22
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Perhaps someone could help me out. I'm 56, want to learn or at least try to ride a mc, where do I start. Wife is against it, but who cares?

Any suggestions!

jug
Most cities will have some form of motorcycle school,which in my area consist of a big rig full of 250cc-500cc bikes that shows up at a predetermined open area and instructors teach you how to ride a bike..

Glad the OP has elected to wear a helmet,wise man.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:01 PM   #23
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The stat came from Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well, 2nd edition, by David L. Hough.

A very good read. Chapter one gets right into accidents and what causes them. Forty per cent of fatals involved a DWI rider. Even in my teens I wasn't that stupid!

Another interesting one is that the highest accident rate involves riders with between 24 and 36 months experience; second highest is riders with 0 to 6 months. Apparently overconfidence is something to beware of.
In a motorcycle magazine I read not too long ago they said that a large number of accidents are middle aged/older people who come back to riding after years of not riding.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #24
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The air temp here is 9 degrees. I saw FOUR Harleys on the road on my way in. My guess is that the heated gloves and saddle and footwell heaters are cranked up..........
My cousin's spouse who is in his late 60's came back late November from a trip to California on his Beemer and it was 7 below zero when he arrived home. Blech! Even with headed seat, heated grips, and heated Aerostich vest.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:37 PM   #25
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Yeah, the MSF classes are really great. Start there.
I've seen many of those 3 wheeled bikes. A local Bombardier dealer also sells them. Interesting machine.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:16 PM   #26
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Perhaps someone could help me out. I'm 56, want to learn or at least try to ride a mc, where do I start. Wife is against it, but who cares?

Any suggestions!

jug
I don't know where you're from but in Pennsylvania the Motorcycle Safety Foundation provides a motorcycle for the lessons for free. When you finish the course you are issued a state motorcycle license. The MSF course is the best way to learn and maintain skills. Experienced rider courses are also offered.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:50 PM   #27
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This is the video I meant to have on my post - have a great weekend.

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Old 01-30-2009, 07:38 PM   #28
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My scooter, and she flies !

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Old 01-30-2009, 09:24 PM   #29
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Perhaps someone could help me out. I'm 56, want to learn or at least try to ride a mc, where do I start. Wife is against it, but who cares?

Any suggestions!

jug
Check the local community college. Many offer riding classes, and completing the class (at least in VA) exempts you from the skills test. Our CC has bikes available for those that don't have theirs yet.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:45 PM   #30
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No pics - but here's the list of my biking past:

No name mini-bike (the kind with the pull-start lawnmower engine - think "Dumb & Dumber")
Honda 50
Yamaha RD200 (yeah, the two stroke "pocket rocket")
Yamaha TW200 (street/trail 4-stroke)
81 XLH (black & orange)

Sold the Sporty to buy a pontoon boat -sold the pontoon boat to build a fabulous master bath addition and had enough leftover to buy an older fish-n-ski with 90hp Evinrude.

I'll admit though I've been thinking about bikes again the last year or so.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:57 AM   #31
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I rode bikes for 35yrs but finally gave it up a few years ago due to the increasing number of close calls that seemed to be happening with drivers that seemed to not notice i was on the road. So i bought a Miata for a bit more protection and the semblance of sporty riding on the backroads,its not a bike but it sure is as much fun to drive.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...1/41810012.jpg
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:01 AM   #32
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My first ride was a little honda CT 70 minibike I bought at a rummage sail from a sailor who used to carry it on his boat. It was so much fun that I bought a Honda Rebel. I then graduated to a Suzuki Savage and then to a Yamaha Virago. As a small person, I thought I was stuck with the cruiser type bikes and thought about getting a Harley 883. But my husband was riding sport bikes, so I was interested. Turned out that the Kawasaki Ninja fit. I could keep one tippy toe on the ground. The bike was light weight enough to be able to hold upright just fine in that position when stopped.

A few years ago we got away from riding the sport bikes and sold them. So much traffic out there. All along we also had a set of on-road off-road bikes These are great for exploring the backroad.

Now I have a little 125 Yamaha scooter, which has the advantage of going on the back of the motorhome.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:36 AM   #33
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I've also heard very good things about the MSF courses. I've signed up for the next available Basic class in April and really don't expect to do much riding before then anyway.

To my complete astonishment, DW has said she'll take the Basic when her other classes are over!

She insists that she won't want her own bike, but that's not what happened with a couple of guys at work. Wives were initially against it, now they can't keep their butts off their bikes. Several had to buy a second one. So we'll see.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:13 PM   #34
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I see that a few members have dual purpose bikes like Texarkandy and Martha. That's my kind of bikes, as I only ride trails now. I have easy access to the high country AZ national forest from my 2nd home. And those trails are tough! At the end of a trip, I often had to ride standing up to relieve my butt from the pounding. I can only ride with my son, as twenty or thirty miles from the main highway is a long way to crawl out if I get hurt. Exploring the forest trails is a lot more fun to me than cruising the highway.

I wonder if there are any speed demons on sport bikes here on this forum. Daredevils like this German guy on a Hayabusa, a bike powerful enough to lift the front wheel accelerating at 100 mph. At the top speed greater than 200mph, there is no point to wearing helmet. A spill at that speed means instant dismemberment if you hit a siderail, lamp or sign posts. No need to worry about 4% SWR. My heart races just watching this.



Or how about this guy? Faster, faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.



About the CT70, there has been a resurgence of these minibikes. Search for CT70 on the Web. Also in Europe, these bikes are street and highway legal. People there often have to pay $2-3K for one. There are CT70 afficionado groups who organize rallies like this one. Looks like so much fun. Wish I could join them.




PS. I have a couple of Chinese knock-off bikes that look like Martha's. Always wanted an XT225, and had been watching eBay and craiglist, but couldn't wait. Also missed out on a couple of TW200.
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Old 01-31-2009, 04:28 PM   #35
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I solved the cold weather clothing problem with a Widder vest, arm chaps, leg chaps and heated gloves (Widder is now out of business), using the excess power from my Suzuki Burgman AN650, which is 108 watts of 12-volt power. This, plus a balaclava under the helmet, works for me.

Now, I WON'T RIDE with snow or ice under my wheels, nor start out when it is raining, no matter how dressed up I get. The best description I had of riding two wheels in the rain, show or ice was, "imagine you're on a sheet of plate glass, liberally sprinkled with invisible patches of ball bearings."
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:03 PM   #36
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Always wanted an XT225, and had been watching eBay and craiglist, but couldn't wait. Also missed out on a couple of TW200.
I do recommend the TW 200. We had one for a while and it was great. Especially good in sand with the larger rear tire.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:39 PM   #37
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The TW200 was my original choice. But after missing out on a couple of eBay bids, I did some research and now have my heart set on an XT225. It is lighter and every reduced pound helps when I try to negotiate tough trails. It's better than the TW200 for me.

About this XT225 called Serow, there is this young British gal who rode one from Alaska down to the southern tip of Argentina in 2003.
Lois on the Loose - Off-Roading, Baja, Mexico

Not quite all the way, as there are parts with no roads and she needed boat transportation on some legs. And she did it alone! This gal got guts, traveling through lawless countries by herself, camping for most nights. She put most "macho men" to shame. Read about her travel here:
Alaska to Argentina 2003

She did it again in 2006, going from Morocco down to Cape Town, South Africa. This time on a TTR250.

If anyone is interested in motorcycle adventures, the book "Investment Biker" by Jim Rogers describes his multi-year trek around the globe on a BMW bike, going where no bike had gone before.

Amazon Online Reader : Investment Biker: Around the World with Jim Rogers

Having seen Rogers on TV, I can't picture a soft-spoken man like that being so adventurous. Look can be very deceiving.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:26 PM   #38
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The XT225 is a great lightweight bike, but the seat is a hair high for me. Oddly, the similar Suzuki DR200 I can make fit.

Either way, I would have serious monkey butt if I road from Alaska to Argentina. Uffda.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:08 AM   #39
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...

I wonder if there are any speed demons on sport bikes here on this forum. Daredevils like this German guy on a Hayabusa, a bike powerful enough to lift the front wheel accelerating at 100 mph. At the top speed greater than 200mph, there is no point to wearing helmet. A spill at that speed means instant dismemberment if you hit a siderail, lamp or sign posts. No need to worry about 4% SWR. My heart races just watching this...
I have resisted maturity in most aspects of my behavior but it has made an intrusion in some areas. Deciding to limit my contribution to the negative image that sport bikes have with some people, I usually restrict my irrationally exuberant road riding to low traffic environments ( no witnesses) these days. That isnít so easy because here, in the northeast, when traveling more than two or three times the speed limit it doesnít take long to find a few other vehicles. In the old days, with enthusiasm stoked by like-minded conspirators, cars and trucks on the road were simply obstacles to be maneuvered around like potholes or racetrack chicanes. When itís understood that hard acceleration from a stop results in the front wheel coming back to earth in third gear somewhere between 90 and 135, every outing included travel at more than 100 mph and many rides had periods of maximum velocity operation. No big deal. It was just the way we did things and an audience made it a little more rewarding. We were not unaware that a car backing out of a driveway or splitting a deer in two would likely result in THE end but it didnít matter. The intoxication provided by twisting the throttle made our risk tolerance a little high.

Itís always been impossible for me to describe the feeling that this degree of performance can create. In a car or aircraft it can be intellectually impressive or physically exhilarating to experience truly high performance but a motorcycle is a different thing altogether. I think itís because of the size of the bike relative to the rider. There becomes a more direct physical relationship between the man and the machine. Body position is irrelevant in another type of vehicle. The nature of a bike forces a physical involvement that strains muscles and makes the engine and chassis seem like an extension of the body instead of a device to carry a passenger.

Skiing is more like motorcycling than anything else that comes to mind. Even with a group, itís a solitary activity. Thereís always the challenge of making that turn a little better and negotiating the bumps a little more effectively to be rewarded by the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Imagine pointing your skis into the fall line and then twisting your ski pole to make the hill go vertical. Turn that wrist a little more and light the rocket pack on your ass. 150hp motivating 450 pounds might feel a little like this.

A dirt bike can do a lot of that while being a little less deadly.

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Old 02-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #40
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Good description, Cant. I like the Vmax. Such a Hooligan bike.
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