Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => CHATTER => Topic started by: Neskah on 01 Feb 2009, 22:50

Title: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Neskah on 01 Feb 2009, 22:50

With the cost of travel going up, I've convinced my partner we need to get motorcycles.

He's always been meaning to get his licence and I've wanted a bike since I was 5.

On a learners licence we can only ride up to 250cc, although since most 125cc offer a top speed of 100kph, that would suit me just fine.

So we went researching this weekend past and the consenus seems to be to buy your bike first and learn on that, as not all bikes are created equal, and the one you learn on may be totally different then the one you buy. And I figure why fork out $ to hire whe you'll only buy one later any way. I tried a few 125s and 250s. I tried a 250 Samurai, and the height was ok (I'm only 5 foot tall), weight towards the heavy side but managable. I tried some Yamaha (can't remember the model), and couldn't even get my feet on the floor. Then the guys at one of the shops took us out back to check out the Kawasaki Eliminator 125 they just got in. I loved the look, and the height was perfect (Even as short as I am i could get both feet on the floor). The weight was too light if anything, though I'd have no worries picking it up if needed.

What Makes and models have you learnt on and how did you find it? My main purpose is to commute to work and back which would be a 30-40 min trip along the motor way. Suggestions? Any stories horrendous and amusing are also welcome.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Gurkburk on 02 Feb 2009, 11:12
When you said the cost of travel was going up I thought you meant vacational travels and that you and your partner were taking a road trip on motorcycles and then I pictured you two riding down the american highway on said motorcycles passing truck drivers and making them honk at you and sleeping outside at an open fireplace while one of you play an acoustic guitar and one of you may or may not have been wearing a cape that looked like the american flag and was flapping in the wind as you drove and all the while born to be wild with steppenwolf was playing in the background.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Boro_Bandito on 02 Feb 2009, 11:15
You know you want a chopper, I'm just saying.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: redglasscurls on 02 Feb 2009, 11:44
I have a lot of scorn for both crotch-rocket street bikes and big growly harleys.
Bikes like this are the respectable kind.
(the last one is the one I ride on the back of lots, so I'm biased)
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: bicostp on 02 Feb 2009, 12:00
For someone your size, you'll probably want to look at 150-200cc maximum. Any more is unnecessary and potentially dangerous. (More on that later). Make sure that when you're sitting on it, you can put both feet almost flat on the ground at the same time. It's not like fitting a bicycle, where you want to be on your toes. You want as much of the bike's weight on its wheels as possible when you're stopped, and you're only working to keep it upright.

One of my former neighbors had a 1000+cc cruiser, but the frame sat too tall. She stopped at a light one time, the bike tilted past its tipping point, and she dumped it. It shattered her ankle and broke her lower leg in 3 places.

Those Kawasakis redglasscurls posted and the Honda CL/CB line are pretty fun. (We have a mid 70s CB360 and it's a fun bike. It gets squirrelly if you try to go faster than 50 MPH, though.) Don't be afraid of buying a 20+ year old bike, those little Honda motors last forever. At the most you might want to get the cylinders honed and new piston rings installed.

The real question is, how long of a commute are you looking at and what kind of roads will you be taking to get there? Are you sure you won't be better off with a Corolla or Civic?
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Something Witty on 02 Feb 2009, 13:30
Howdy. I ride a motorcycle every day, and let me make a point before I really go into this.

Do not buy a motorcycle to save money. To reiterate:

Do not buy a motorcycle to save money.

The cost of the motorcycle(~1500-2500USD) plus the cost of gear(~100 for a helmet, ~100-250 for a jacket that won't disintegrate on contact with pavement and ~25-50 for gloves that will let you keep your hands, ~50-100 for pants that will keep your legs intact, ~50-100 for boots.) adds up to a pretty penny. ~2000-3000 initial investment will take years to work out to even, with the price of gas the way it is presently.

Now, you may think to yourself, "I don't need all that gear, what's the point?" 

Here's the point: If you like your face, you need a helmet.

If you like your hands and arms, you need gloves and a jacket.

Because you will fall down. If you're lucky, you'll be going nice and slow when it happens. If you're less lucky you'll spend a little time sliding on the asphalt.

All that said, there really is nothing that compares with riding a motorcycle. It's a great fun way to get around and find easy parking. But it's a bit of a nerve wracking experience. Why? Because everyone on the road is trying to kill you. That nasty fender-bender you got in that scraped your paint and dented your door? That's a broken leg and some road rash, depending on how fast you were going. That time you had to slam on the brakes to not hit that guy who ran out in the street? You lock up the tires on a car and it'll slide to a stop, rubber side down. You lock up on a motorcycle and suddenly you're going sideways instead of forward and will likely end up staring at the sky and/or kissing the pavement.

All that said, a motorcycle really is a great thing, but you can't just "want one to save gas," because yeah, you'll save gas, but you'll likely never actually save money, because of the initial investment of the bike and gear.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Neskah on 02 Feb 2009, 22:45
To be honest, I thought this thread would die =D. I'm pleased it hasn't.

I love the looks of those bikes redglasscurls. I've always preferred the classic look to something that looks like it came from a Japanese Sci Fi.

The Eliminator I had in mind looks like this

As per bicostp recommendations, it's lovely and low, I can get both feet comfortably on the ground, and I can handle the weight so I can lift it if I need. It's only 125 ccs. A max speed of only 100 km which is faster then I intend on going anyway, and learners licence restricts you to 70kph any way. The area I intend to travel is a motorway, and part of it is along a bay which can get very windy. I am aware I could face less then desirable driving conditions (On a bad day I'd most likely just catch the train). I like to get to work early and stay late anyway, so with luck will usually avoid peak hour. The commute can be anywhere from 25 mins to an hour in a car, depending on the traffic. I'm hoping to avoid heavy traffic.

 Something Witty, you're absolutely right. The initial out cost is extremely expensive, especially as I do intend on getting all the right gear. I have no desire in tempting fate into tearing me up. I tend to err on caution. That and I live in a cold climate and HATE the cold. I'll be wearing all the warm, padded protective gear I can. It's going to cost. While I bought my car for only $2000, even my initial cost estimates on buying a bike (decent 2nd hand $2-6K, the gears, vehicle licensing, lessons and class likening etc.... itís going to hurt the piggy bank a lot.

It won't save me money in the immediate future. In the long run tho..... No parking costs for a bike in the inner city, and no matter which city in the world you live in, inner city parking for a car can be pretty pricey. And from what I've gathered from other commuters who both drive and bike into the city from where we live, $80-100 week on petrol vs. $10-20 a week.

I've wanted a bike since I was a kid. My dad owns three. I've just always been looking for an excuse to get one. Sadly there have been other priorities. Now I use the commute as an excuse to go and do what I've always wanted to. Get a bike and learn to ride it.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Jimmy the Squid on 09 Feb 2009, 04:53
My housemate and I, and indeed my girlfriend, have all decided that we're going to go for the motorbike course that the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) runs for beginner bike riders. I don't have a car and honestly I don't want one that much. I would however like to learn to ride. I'm looking at basically getting one of these:


but probably not new as they seem to run at about $8,500 at least. I've seen older models going for less than half that so hopefully that would be ok. As far as I know I should be able to get one while still on my learner's as it's 248cc but I'll need to check with the RTA as they've apparently introduced a new rule that includes power to weight ratios and an engine capacity of 660mL which I'm not sure I'm 100% clear on yet. Still, that's the kind of body I'm looking at. I'm pretty excited about this.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Gemmwah on 09 Feb 2009, 05:03
My Dad has that bike, Jimmy. It's fairly nippy, a nice ride but riding pillion on it sucks balls. You're sitting so much higher up than the driver, and the seat is rock solid so your arse goes entirely numb within ten minutes or so. The weight distribution is definitely made for a single person ride, as if you get up any speed the nose starts to lift up, and if you brake too hard, expect your passenger to fly right over your head.

Ideally, the screen needs replacing to something with more of a bubble to it, because it's too low and just directs all the wind right into your helmet.

Otherwise, it's a beautiful bike, makes a beautiful sound, and is a nice ride. Definitely only for one person for any length of time.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Jimmy the Squid on 09 Feb 2009, 05:56
Well, it's not like I'm running a taxi service and if I end up going riding with anyone, chances are they'll have their own bike as I only ever really go anywhere with my girlfriend or my housemate. In fact I'm fairly certain I remember talk of starting our own motorcycle gang.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: pen on 09 Feb 2009, 07:09
...and if you brake too hard, expect your passenger to fly right over your head.

But it's a great workout for your legs, trying to stay seated!  I know when I used to ride a lot, I had the best damn legs ever. 
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Something Witty on 09 Feb 2009, 10:07
The back seat is up so high so you can see over the driver's head(theoretically) so you don't have to lean off to one side to see and alter the center of gravity side-to-side.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: redglasscurls on 11 Feb 2009, 14:41
That's what I don't like about Chris's bike- the seat is just really long and flat, so I'm at essentially the same height as he is when we're riding and I can't see shit.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Something Witty on 12 Feb 2009, 11:54
There's nothing to see out front but road anyway, look off to the side and watch the blur.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: T-Rex on 12 Feb 2009, 12:46
If you can only ride something that's up to 250cc, Get a Hardknock Bobber (  They come in 125cc and 200 cc flavors and in some places they can be technically classified as scooters, reducing insurance costs.

Plus, it's a great looking machine, and it only costs about two grand (it's a kit though, so you have to build it yourself.)

Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: est on 12 Feb 2009, 14:56
Dude that looks fucking ace.  I wonder if I could get one out here.  There is a shop up the road ( that sell custom bikes that look a lot like this.  Wonder if they get this/similar kits and just put them together for people for a fee.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Mnementh on 12 Feb 2009, 16:32
It's hells of tempting.  Part of me wants it to just cruise around town on during the summer.  I really dig the old school look.  Did I mention it has a kick start?

If I got one I'd go with all flat black, red rims, and white wall tires.

However, part of me wants something just a little bigger so that I could fit two people on the bike and take it on the interstate.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Slick on 12 Feb 2009, 16:51
That is a swell looking bike but I do not like the idea of the suicide shifter.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: celticgeek on 12 Feb 2009, 20:39
This is what you need:  Said Red Molly to James, "That's a fine motorbike." (
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Gilead on 12 Feb 2009, 21:30
This is what you need:  Said Red Molly to James, "That's a fine motorbike." (
I don't know what kinda bike that is but I want to have sex with it.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: celticgeek on 12 Feb 2009, 21:34
1952 Vincent Black Lightning, famous in song (

and story (
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Something Witty on 12 Feb 2009, 23:24
I'd love to have a nice old bike, but I'm sure I'll never be able to afford buying one, and I'm also sure I'll never have the time to build one.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Jimmy the Squid on 12 Feb 2009, 23:29
Oh man, I would not ever want to ride, drive or even sit on anything made by me. That bike looks rad but if I have to put it together it will probably explode and kill me. Hell I'm not even comfortable looking at things made by me. I eat most of my meals blindfolded!
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Spluff on 13 Feb 2009, 18:57
If that bobber/scooter thing wasn't 3/4 I would probably ride that. However, I'd be compelled to put ape hangers on it.
Title: Re: Bikers....Recommendations
Post by: Something Witty on 13 Feb 2009, 23:18
never put apehangers on anything. ever. It looks fucking stupid makes the bike uncomfortable and hard to steer.