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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 2010, 3:48 pm Thread Starter
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First bike discussion?

Ok, so I am obviously a newbie, please don't shoot me for being in the wrong place or just being plain wrong!

Second point, this is a serious question, not a stupid comment to try to wind people up, I am looking for solid advice from knowledgeable people, it's why I am here!

I grew up in England, on a farm, and had a 50cc bike that we thrashed the heck out of till it died back when I was a kid. I then decided that time had come for 4 wheels and stuck to that for a while, during which time I had a bunch of fast 4 wheeled stuff ( BMW 328i, Subaru WRX, now - in Canada a G35).

I have decided that a bike HAS to happen, I'm 6 foot 4 and above 225 lbs, I went to a bike show in 2005 and sat on a K1200s and have been TOTALLY in love with the K1200s/K1300s idea ever since, it fit like a glove! However having no road going experience don't see this ending well! (I have gotten over the whole speed bug thing, anything fast enough to double any speed limit in the country did that to me after a while.) Since moving here I have had access to a Yamaha YZ450F to play with off road, so i have continued some limited experience with bikes, plus a fast snowmobile at times too!

So it boils down to 2 questions, can I realistically get a K12 /K13 and get it HP restricted (like they are in some EU countries) till I get to feel that i'm 100% happy with it, then boost it back to full HP or does this require too much messing with the ECU, or as it's open roads and not much traffic up here, can I just learn with a modicum of sense?

Or 2nd more realistic option, is that I buy a 2002-2005 range VFR and get the ropes with that so I haven't gotten HUGE power and a $15k bike to cry over the first time I drop it? Or (for someone hooked on the full faring sport /tourer look, and a big guy) what would you recommend I look into for a first bike to go touring with?

Whatever will be will be, but, if it's alright with you folks, I'll have a kickass time while it happens
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 2010, 4:32 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moodie101uk
Ok, so I am obviously a newbie, please don't shoot me for being in the wrong place or just being plain wrong!

Second point, this is a serious question, not a stupid comment to try to wind people up, I am looking for solid advice from knowledgeable people, it's why I am here!

I grew up in England, on a farm, and had a 50cc bike that we thrashed the heck out of till it died back when I was a kid. I then decided that time had come for 4 wheels and stuck to that for a while, during which time I had a bunch of fast 4 wheeled stuff ( BMW 328i, Subaru WRX, now - in Canada a G35).

I have decided that a bike HAS to happen, I'm 6 foot 4 and above 225 lbs, I went to a bike show in 2005 and sat on a K1200s and have been TOTALLY in love with the K1200s/K1300s idea ever since, it fit like a glove! However having no road going experience don't see this ending well! (I have gotten over the whole speed bug thing, anything fast enough to double any speed limit in the country did that to me after a while.) Since moving here I have had access to a Yamaha YZ450F to play with off road, so i have continued some limited experience with bikes, plus a fast snowmobile at times too!

So it boils down to 2 questions, can I realistically get a K12 /K13 and get it HP restricted (like they are in some EU countries) till I get to feel that i'm 100% happy with it, then boost it back to full HP or does this require too much messing with the ECU, or as it's open roads and not much traffic up here, can I just learn with a modicum of sense?

Or 2nd more realistic option, is that I buy a 2002-2005 range VFR and get the ropes with that so I haven't gotten HUGE power and a $15k bike to cry over the first time I drop it? Or (for someone hooked on the full faring sport /tourer look, and a big guy) what would you recommend I look into for a first bike to go touring with?
Not sure about restricting power -- doubt it is easy to do given all the computer gizmo. But realize that though the new K-bikes have enormous horsepower ratings, they are quite tractable when driven normally -- they feel even less torquey and powerful in normal driving than more sedate bikes like Harleys. Ideally you would start with a smaller bike but most any bike can get you into trouble quickly if you over-drive your limits. A VFR is not a slouch in this regard. As to dropping it -- my experience is that it can (and probably will) happen sometime to any rider, but newbies seem to have more low speed crashes. Takes a crash or two to learn that it is not a good idea to use the front brake during a low speed turn with gravel on the road, etc. (don't ask me how I know that). In a perfect world, a 250cc bike with crash bars or sliders is the way to go, but this isn't a perfect world -- take the MSF basic and advanced classes and practice.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2010, 11:03 am
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I would definitely recommend you buy a smaller pre-owned bike for your "break in period" or your first year or so. That is what I did after a 15 year hiatus from riding and it was a most prudent decision on my part. I rode my Yamaha 750 for almost 4 years before buying my '93 K1100RS. If you drop a K12RS you are looking at about $2K-$4K in plastic damage. Based on your size I would not buy anything under 750 cc's.

'05 R1200RT, Ruby, as in RED, (current garage queen)
'04 R1150RT, '99 Ducati 748 BiPosto, '93 Seca II, '93 K1100RS, '83 Yamaha Maxim 750,
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2010, 11:21 am
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I also agree with the rest, the return to ride bike should be a throw away.
That is a $1000 or less bike, 400 to 750 CC.
You will drop the bike (no might here) maybe even a bunch of times in that first year,
Simple things like low speed tipovers, (My eldest son forgot to put his feet down at the end of his drivers test. Examiner was looking away and heard the crash, looked at me and said I didn't :-) see that.) Locking the front brakes on wet/sandy/slippery/trash etc. will drop the thing faster than you can say O..S...T.

A 15-20 year old 450CC has lots more power and are faster than the Triumph Bonnevilles and Harley Sportsters of the 60s and those were the hot bikes.

My kids (if late 30 is still kids) still come over with their friends that want to learn to ride, we have a couple of old dual purpose bikes. Those things spend more time on their sides in the first couple of hours for learning, than they do upright.

'07 K1200GT Crystal Gray Metalic
'00 Ducati 900 Monster
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2010, 2:28 pm
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I disagree with two posts above. I am a former MSF instructor who's taught mostly first-timers but also returnees. I also returned to motorcycles after having not ridden for 20 years.

Having been given the same advice by former MSF instructor and others -- start out on a mid-range bike like a GS400 vertical twin. (back in 1977) I bought a GS750, then went right to the GS1000 (520-lb fast "sportbikes" at that time) the following year when I started in part time sales at that very dealership. I never had any incidents as a new biker. I worked part time at a very large cycle dealership and road everything from mopeds to Wings, street and offroad types.

I got out of bikes about '87, and the MSF, when family priorities made it necessary, but when gas headed right to $4/gal couple years ago, I returned to motorcycling and have owned several bikes until finally found the best all-around bike for my needs with some modicum of weather protection - the K1300S. Power was secondary, but it's abundant with the K-bikes.

I've never had any incident either since returning to motorcycling and these last few bikes are far faster than the first ones I started on... that's approx 28,000mi since Aug '07.

I personally believe it's a waste of $$ to buy a "tweener" to learn on unless you absolutely feel you need a $700 piece of trash to re-learn on. Whether you're a first-timer or returning to motorcycles after years, it's the attitude of the rider, i.e., Are you willing to be patient and develop your skills and knowledge over time? If you are willing to do that, then you can get the bike you want right away. BUT, I would suggest that before you test ride a K1200/whatever, that you ask the dealer (or friend who's willing) if you can ride around a bit on a smaller used bike before taking the big one out for a demo ride. That way you can get used to the power and handling while you "re-establish" your shifting/braking/throttle coordination skills.

There is nothing wrong (if you have the money to basically throw away) with riding a lesser bike for a half-year then get the one you ultimately want, but you'll find out after couple weeks of practice that the lesser bike just doesn't cut it and since your skills are returning quickly, you're already ready for that shiny new(er) big bike. Get your motorcycle license endorsement ASAP so dealers can let you legally demo bikes.

Key will always be attitude: patience to mature in necessary skills, and riding super-defensively on roadways. Those do not require lesser bike if your head is screwed on correctly, for if you don't have either, better forget motorcycling. Good luck.
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2010, 4:23 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remphoto
Not sure about restricting power -- doubt it is easy to do given all the computer gizmo. But realize that though the new K-bikes have enormous horsepower ratings, they are quite tractable when driven normally -- they feel even less torquey and powerful in normal driving than more sedate bikes like Harleys. Ideally you would start with a smaller bike but most any bike can get you into trouble quickly if you over-drive your limits. A VFR is not a slouch in this regard. As to dropping it -- my experience is that it can (and probably will) happen sometime to any rider, but newbies seem to have more low speed crashes. Takes a crash or two to learn that it is not a good idea to use the front brake during a low speed turn with gravel on the road, etc. (don't ask me how I know that). In a perfect world, a 250cc bike with crash bars or sliders is the way to go, but this isn't a perfect world -- take the MSF basic and advanced classes and practice.
Go for it.....the bike isn't that heavy considering your height and weight...as for the horsepower...there will be times that you will need that power and its not going to rocket you so fast as you wont have control over your bodily functions where as you have no control...get the bike and use some common sense and learn your capability's..its not due or die...its just common sense ...I see you have that or you would have not posted...Ride on..
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2010, 11:25 pm
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This topic has been discussed many times, most recently on BMWsuperbikes.com .

No need to waste your money on a breakin bike, just show restraint on the K1300,
don't twist the throttle to hard and enjoy. Just like a car with a shitload of power use self
control and you'll be fine.
Best of Luck

08K1200GT Adventurin Silver, Full Load
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