Tell me about Motorbikes…..

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  • Tell me about Motorbikes…..
  • xterramac
    Member

    Never even ridden one, but now thinking of doing the training and getting my first one in time for summer. I like danger and going fast. but I drive a crappy car during the week, which provides neither. This would be purely as an other toy/hobby, so quite like the sound of an enduro bike that could cover trail and road, but is the reality a bike that’s not that good at either?
    Is 36 to old to get into motorbikes? What do you love or hate about yours?

    allthegear
    Member

    Passed by test in November. Still saving for bike (hopefully bmw f800gs) but will have it by the Summer…

    Rachel

    ktmblag
    Member

    i passed my test why i was 32..i said it was a better time, had i done it when i wanted at 18 think i would have killed myself. I’ve got adventure style bike(ktm now bmw) great for all kind of biking and plenty thrilling enough..i.d say its one of the best things I’ve ever done.. f800gs now and all the bling

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    I grew up riding them. Totally brilliant, but totally dangerous. It’s one of those things where you can be as careful as you like but your fate can rest in the hands of others just as easily.

    I had loads over the years though, and a good share of crashes(all my own fault despite what I’ve written above 😳 )

    Great fun though and just a brilliant feeling sometimes. Just have a go.
    Since I got into push bikes and kayaks they became impractical for me though and so I don’t have one any more, but yeah, good fun, dangerous.

    My beloved last bike (pic not actually mine)

    peajay
    Member

    I loved my bikes over the years, best fun was a big trail bike, falling off even at low speed bloody hurts, jacked it all in after being unable to shake off the fear of life in a wheel chair, but the embers are still glowing in me and one day once my kids aren’t dependant I’m sure I’ll get back in the saddle. I wouldn’t go looking for danger though, it will find you soon enough and doesn’t always give you a second chance!

    nickwgbr
    Member

    Been biking for 26 yrs (eek) on and off, had many happy times, and a few sad times, have lost friends (their own fault and faults of others), have been knocked off on the road by granny who didn’t see me (my hi-viz vest wasn’t hi-viz enough) and fallen off a fair few times – thankfully mostly off road so only my own pride/arse took the hit.

    Seriously echo the thoughts above, it’s a brilliant brilliant pastime but on the road – ride like everyone is trying to kill you, and the comment about danger finding you soon enough is bang on!

    36 is not too old, but just be aware – statistics say that born again bikers have a relatively higher accident rate than most, usually a combination of general inexperience on two wheels and buying a sports bike.

    Have had all sorts of bikes but for the most part have had enduro/trail bikes for a number of reasons – you are higher up so you have a better view of what’s going on, you can react and go cross county if something unexpected happens (going up a kerb is no big deal). I’d strongly recommend getting your licence then going on an off-road course (one down in Spain I can highly recommend and good for starters) where you can get the feel of a motorbike sliding underneath you and control it – may help when (not if) you come across a diesel/mud/pothole strewn roundabout, granny who’s forgotten her glasses or Lucy who is busy texting her friends as she pulls out!

    If you’re starting, there are good 250 trail/enduro bikes like the Kawasaki KLX250, KTM EXC250F, had both and they are great fun for a single day out trail riding with road sections in between. Plus easy to handle and pick up when (not if) you bin it πŸ™‚

    Bigger stuff like BMWs are great but they are heavier, something more biased towards road comfort would be F650GS/F800GS but they are not going to be as capable off road and if you bin it, more expensive.

    What do I love about it ?
    – The comfort/performance of my BMW R1200GS with full panniers πŸ™‚
    – Trail/Enduro bikes can get you places in a single day you wouldn’t get to even on an MTB, like to the top of a mountain behind Malaga with views down to Gibraltar.
    – Opportunities to do very different things – Riding across Morocco on some Dakar routes for 10 days on KTM450s, tackling massive sand dunes, mountain passes and wide open plains at full throttle before bivouacking in the desert under open skies. Trip of a lifetime.

    If you want to ride trails find your local branch of the trail riders fellowship http://www.trf.org.uk/ – be lots of supportive info on where to ride, bikes etc.

    Good luck

    pjm84
    Member

    Picking up a triple black BMW 1200 GSA in a few hours.

    Trimix
    Member

    If you say “I like danger and going fast”, then you really need to have a go on an off road bike in a field.

    There you will discover how that attitude will affect your riding where your the only one likely to be hurt.

    Then decide if you want to venture out on the roads.

    Ive raced off road, done track days on my road bike, own 5 bikes now and used to have a bike shop. Been riding on the road since 16 and Im now almost 50. I find bikes way more exciting than mountain bikes, but I enjoy the thrill of them, not the danger bit. Its about the thirll of control over more power than you can deal with.

    Im still alive because I was scared of danger and rode within my comfort zone.

    Even a small bike will be way more than you can deal with. Its all about self control and the rush of mastering that. Not the danger. Its also about the feeling of freedom and the way you actually ride a bike, unlike a car which you just sit in.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Excellent post.

    I stopped because I found pushbikes just as much fun and it kept me out of the pub.
    Would like another, but if I’m honest I don’t know if I could hack it anymore.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    It’s unlikely you’ll regret getting your licence, I’d definitely recommend it

    I’ve been riding over 5 years and have lived every minute of it. I’m on an RR8 Fireblade at the moment, has more power than most cars, it’s an epic bike

    If I had more time I’d gave more than one bike, and would prob try off road but there aren’t many places near me so i’ll wait till I can’t fit on a sportsbike easily

    I really enjoyed the ‘fun car’ thread recently, I have a bike instead of a fun car. One massive benefit of bikes is it’s easier to exploit a bike than a car on the road

    Do it!

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    Seen as I bounced my brothers GS750 off a wall going ’60 mph very fast’ when I was 22 I’m not going to lecture you on safety. It put me off motorcycles for 25+ years though…. Just don’t forget to take your organ donor card out with you. πŸ˜‰

    Last summer I took my DAS and tests (there was a thread where quite few people were doing it) and got a bike end of September. ETA: aged 48.

    I love it. I got V-Strom DL650 which is classed as a dual sport but like all these ‘adventure’ styled bikes is really more of an ‘upright’ tourer (which unless you fit chunkier tyres means you can take down a dirt track or two).

    I would say that a small-ish trail bike would be an ideal first bike, but it won’t be much fun on the road over 70 I’d have thought.

    Here a pic of mine…

    daveh
    Member

    I like danger and going fast

    This statement worries me. I enjoyed my time biking and will go back to it one day, when circumstances allow. Speed can be a part of it but you need to be able to temper the excitement with the potential consequences. Go into it with the wrong mindset and you may not last very long :(. Having said that riding a new (at the time) Fireblade ranks as one of the most memorable experiences of my life!

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    I got into bikes last year, also at 36. I did ride off road plenty in the past though.

    I find sports bikes, frankly, terrifying. Anytime I’ve hada shot on one it just feels like hanging on for dear life, the thrill quicky turns to fear and tenseness for me. They’re just so fast, which must be a hoot on a track, but just scary on the public road.

    Something you seem to hear time and time again is that people have the most fun on trailie type bikes, and I’d agree with that. I ride a lot on back roads, often singletrack. On a traillie it feels relatively safe hitting gravel, mud, broken surfaces/potholes. The huge travel and slack angles soak upp so much compared to a sportsbike which just feels like it wants to chuck you off half the time.
    Mine has supermoto wet tyres on, which seem to cope remarkably well with fire road tyrpe riding too considering the lack of knobbles. Having the option to have a bimble off road if the fancy takes is very appealing to me.
    Here’s my totally impractical toy. Its an XR650 modded with a pumper carb, Akropovic exhaust, CRF450 suspension, Talon/Excel wheels, big brakes. No leccy start, no battery, no key, no luggage capabilities, higher than a very high thing.
    She sounds utterly glorious and I’m in love πŸ™‚

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    daveh
    Member

    Nice bike btw Metalheart, I think thats what I’d go for when my grand return surfaces!

    fasthaggis
    Member

    Spot on Trimix.
    As an old bloke once told me,”Speed won’t kill you,lack of respect for it will”.

    Bedmaker
    First dibs on your XR when you lose your licence πŸ˜†

    As already said, if your going in with a desire for danger then I’d have a re-assessment. Motorbikes are dangerous full stop and really you should be going into it with a mind set of enjoying what they offer with a strong sense of self preservation.

    The joy of motorbikes is the sense of freedom they bring and the joy of carefully applied nuanced control of something that responds so greatly from direct and minuscule inputs. Don’t go chasing danger, you won’t need to on a motorbike.

    slackalice
    Member

    I remember being 16 and wanting an FS1E, desperately. My dad, who rode a B Rapide in his youth, said that if I wanted one, I needed to learn how to fix and maintain it. So, I got me a Saturday and holiday job in the workshop of Romsey Motorcycles.

    I saw that many bikes come in that had been flattened, I decided to wait another year and go for 4 wheels instead!

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    First dibs on your XR when you lose your licence

    Nah, most of my fun is had under the limit, and I’m impeccably behaved everywhere 8)

    sangobegger
    Member

    Start small and work your way up to the big stuff. Bikes can (and will) kill you in a heartbeat. Ive been riding for nearly 30 years and had two accidents that were utterly my fault, and the first was within the first month of biking.
    If you like the thrill of danger, look elsewhere, as you will discover that most car drivers are myopic and that desire to go fast will be curtailed soon enough by some 85 year old posh bird pulling out in front of you in her VW golf.
    If you do go for it, and I highly recommend biking as a way of making you a far more responsible adult (I think!) and definitely a more accomplished driver – and considerate.
    Just remember, there are old bikers and there are bold bikers, but there are no, old, bold bikers.
    Read MCN this week, there is a great article on a lad from the sixties and seventies who raised hell on and off the road – ask yourself this once you have read the article – why is HE still alive!

    b r
    Member

    30 years of biking here too, and more if you count the pre-16 stuff.

    I stopped ‘racing’ on the roads when I discovered MTBing, and I found that I got a greater adrenaline from them.

    Only reason I haven’t a bike now is that where I live one wouldn’t save me any time on my commute – the last 3 were bought for commuting into/around London; although since they were a Fazer 1000 and two Triumph 1050’s most people wouldn’t consider them ‘Commuters’ πŸ™‚

    By all means do your tests, but be aware of the dangers, especially as it is one of those ‘pastimes’ where the more experience is the thing that keeps you alive – every day I’d have a near-scrape, and once a week something would happen where if I hadn’t had the experience I’d had a crash. Mainly due to other vehicles doing god-knows-what, and not looking/seeing.

    I got back into biking 13 years ago at 45, having last had one 20 years previously. I’ve had a succession of bikes since (mainly Triumphs). My latest one is a Bonneville, which I’m steadily modifying. I got the Bonnie hoping it would make me ride more sensibly and it has. Modest power (although still enough for the real world), much more gentle lean angles and less effective brakes make for a more relaxing ride and every time I get off I look at it and think “Nice”. It looks and sounds like a bike, not like something out of Transformers, IMHO of course. I’d have a Norton 961 Commando if I could afford one, but I can’t.
    Off road is fun, but the on road bits on a proper trail bike are torture.

    Trimix
    Member

    Thinking of thrills, if I compare doing a big double on my mountain bike say at Chicksands, or doing a big double on my KTM 525 I must say the KTM gives me such a rush its quite scary.

    Third / fourth gear, twist your wrist and your looking at the sky – shortly followed by watching your bike ride off without you. Stuff happens way to fast for you to react. Makes mountain biking seem like its in slow motion.

    When the front wheel is in the air, the back wheel spinning, your pointing the wrong way and nothing you do can slow you down for the next corner quick enough – thats a pretty big reason to think about self control.

    If you have some self control, get a motorbike – nothing comes close. I used to race Caterham 7’s and racing my motorbikes is off the scale compared to my Caterham.

    I would defo get another ktm enduro bike over a road bike any day. Too many idiots on the road and a big bike is just a licence loser

    Premier Icon augustuswindsock
    Subscriber

    Kayak, that z900 is lovely, you’re a very lucky man to have owned one, had a z650 back in the day, best bike I ever had, wish I still had it!

    Trimix
    Member

    I also think its sort of Darwinian how bikers get older.

    We all start young, invincible and inexperienced with only our self control to make us different. Bad luck plays a role, but the lucky who survive become experienced and then they get to become older.

    You cant learn to be lucky and you cant learn experience.

    But if you start with self control you may end up living long enough to become experienced.

    grim168
    Member

    “When the front wheel is in the air, the back wheel spinning, your pointing the wrong way and nothing you do can slow you down for the next corner quick enough – thats a pretty big reason to think about self control.”
    I’d start by shutting the throttle πŸ™„

    Trimix
    Member

    πŸ™‚ Ive done a few wet races where momentum and gravity take over. 100+ kgs of bike plus 100kgs of me wont stop just because Ive shut the throttle. You make a hole in the hedge and stop in the next field.

    docstar
    Member

    Having never ridden a bike at the age of 29 in August I picked up a Cg125 from a fella I used to work with for Β£150. It had been lying at the side of his house for about 8 years so needed new shocks, chain headlight, tyres and cables and was good to go. It will do 65mph with a tailwind and over 100 miles to a fiver but it struggles in a headwind and I have to drop it into 3rd gear to go up the glenshane pass for those familiar with it. So I have just the on road practical test to do shortly I can see myself getting something with a bit more poke, I’m not looking for thrills or danger but that journey from a to b is a whole lot better on two wheels.

    My old 1983 CB900. I loved this bike but 85000 miles she was starting to get abit smokey. Pulled like a train tho great fun to ride

    chipsngravy
    Member

    If it’s just for a bit of fun go for an enduro bike. There’s nothing like the buzz of riding an mx/enduro bike.

    If you fancy a play while you make your mind up, check out http://www.wheeldontwo.co.uk

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I started riding motorbikes in my mid 20s, and for the life of me I can’t think why it took me so long. I’ve never been without one since and I’ve spent a good proportion of that time with a bike as my main or only means of transport.
    I’ve never really been fan of sports bikes. They don’t really do it for me, and nor are they much use for everyday riding. I’ve never owned a 4 cylinder bike either. Ridden a couple and found them a bit gutless to be honest.
    I find small, nimble bikes to be more fun. I don’t need a 190bhp penis extension to have a giggle. Best bike I’ve owned was my Monster 696.


    IMG_0985 by PeterPoddy, on Flickr

    It was more fun than I can even begin to explain. 80bhp and about 165kg, with great handling, astonishing brakes and an aggressive riding position. I could thrash it to the rev limiter all day and never get into trouble. I’ll always regret selling it, but practical it wasn’t….

    Before that I had a Speed Triple


    Italy 2005 091 by PeterPoddy, on Flickr

    Which took me all over Europe for 6 years and 33,000 miles. Big, brawny, fast. And playful enough to get me into trouble but it never did. One of the worlds best engines, no doubt about it.

    Before that I had a Honda CB500s (with Mrs PPs GPZ)


    DSCF0204 by PeterPoddy, on Flickr

    ….which was my only transport for 3 years/34,000 miles. That bike taught me how to ride, no question. It was well made and revtastic. It took me to France, the TT (Pic above is the IoM) and on 2 track days. I was gradually wearing my way through the foot pegs when I sold it! A truly great bike.

    I’ve had scooters, for fun and commuting cheapness, a Gilera Runner 180VXR, a Peugeot Elystar (Yuk..) a battered Aprilia and a loveable Vespa GT200:


    IMG_6315 by PeterPoddy, on Flickr

    Which was a hoot to ride, cheap to service, did 72mpg and was as cool as you like. Open face lid mandatory! πŸ™‚
    I replaced it with a Piaggio X10, which was big, comfy and boring:


    82/365 by PeterPoddy, on Flickr

    My first bike was a Yamaha SR125, and I’ve had a few other bikes over the years too, a DT125R and a knackered Honda CG125 affectionately labelled ‘The Rocket’ that did 115mpg and vibrated like a pneumatic drill!

    Currently we have Mrs PPs Ducati ST3s and my Honda NC700x:


    IMG_2185 by PeterPoddy, on Flickr


    NC700x by PeterPoddy, on Flickr

    2 _VERY_ different bikes in many ways, but similar in others.

    My Honda has low power (47bhp) and is my commuter. It’s a bike with genuine charm, easy handling, great build quality and brakes and I think it looks good too. I’ve had it since 2nd January this year and I’ve already done well over 2000 miles in the atrocious rain we’ve been having, and it’s shrugged it off with ease. It’s torquey and very economical and once again proves that you don’t need 190bhp to have fun. It’s fair to say I love it and I’ve formed an irrational bond with it. It’s going to do a LOT of miles. Lots and lots….

    But, getting to the point (at last..!) The Ducati is a weapon. It’s a serious bike. It’s the biggest, most powerful bike I’ve ever ridden and it feels it. It makes no sense at all below 40-50mph and until I dropped the gearing, 6th gear was useless until you hit 80mph. It’s got top quality Ohlins suspension and it rides and handles like a dream. But by fek could it get you into trouble if you didn’t respect it. You cannot jump onto a bike like this after a few months and be safe IMO. It’s taken us a long time to work our way up to it and I cannot for the life of me see why anyone could want more. Fully laden and 2-up it’s handful but it’ll cruise at 100mph with no effort at all. With just the rider on board it’s like carrying a loaded and cocked gun. At some point you’re gonna pull the trigger.
    Bit of empty road ahead? 100mph and back again in a few seconds. Done. Bit more? Ok, 130 then shall we?
    It takes constant restraint to ride it within the law, and it’s virtually impossible to do that all the time

    I love bikes. I’ll never be without one. I’m not the best rider, but I’ve had some advanced training and I’m wise enough to realise that doing 10,000 miles ++ a year on a bike like I am now will need me to be careful, and ride clever. So I am. My Honda NC keeps the speed down and the fun up if I want.

    And that’s all I’d say. Yeah, bikes are fun, but if you want to keep pulling that trigger, make sure you can shoot first… πŸ˜€

    EDIT
    There’s no way I’d buy a bike without ABS any more either. Both our current bikes have it, as did the X10 and the Pug Elystar. It makes all sorts of sense. Anyone who can’t see that is either Marc Marquez or a fool. πŸ™‚

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    You cant learn to be lucky and you cant learn experience.

    I totally disagree. Experience IS learning. That’s what it is. Learn something, remember it, use it. The more experience you learn and use, the less luck you need, but at the same time you can use that experience to make yourself lucky…. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    as there are currently 8 bikes ready to go at tts towers i might give a biased answer.. the short answer is .. prepare to spend .. A LOT.

    b r
    Member

    I’ve never owned a 4 cylinder bike either. Ridden a couple and found them a bit gutless to be honest.

    This was never ‘gutless’, even with 50k on it – 10 sec 1/4 mile, 0-100-0 also in 10 secs and +170mph.

    And apparently the newer fours are amazing.

    nickname
    Member

    Get one, or two…but don’t do what I did and smash into a tree whilst having fun on the byways around surrey, currently nursing busted wrist, shoulder, chest and ass from yesterday’s adventure πŸ™‚

    Daisy_Duke
    Member

    Cycling and motorcycling are inherently linked. Don’t know why more cyclists don’t own motorcycles. You get all the joys of cycling but at 5 times the speed. (Dare I say it’s safer than riding push-bike on the road).
    Get some training esp, bikesafe course run by the police. When you’re learning 500cc will seem proper quick, so be careful. You won’t regret it. For what it’s worth it doesn’t matter whether it’s a single, twin, triple or four. They’re all good fun. After a few years you’ll learn which you prefer. This is my choice for this year at least….

    Don’t do it, it will suck your life (and money) away at rates which would put mountain biking to shame. πŸ˜‰

    grantway
    Member

    Something a little different. Can-Am Spyder

    hugoagogo
    Member

    Do it, they’re ace! But be prepared to spend some £££ if you want to get a KTM and use it for both.

    I’ve nearly finished cobbling together a 525, it will be my 10th KTM.

    Any KTM enduro bike has recommended service intervals of about 10 or 15 hours for oil and filters. A 250F will be gash on the road but they’re very forgiving off road, more so than a 450/ 525 which can drag you into trouble when you’re tired.

    The newer 690s are good, I’d consider a SMC for a bit of b road fun, the odd fire road and trackdays.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    Something a little different. Can-Am Spyder

    Never understood them: slower, can’t filter, just as crap in bad weather… The only explanation I can think of is that some people are scared of real bikes.

    OP: you like danger, and you like going fast. Sort out that attitude, or don’t get a motorbike – please. They are a lot faster than a bike, even a full on DH bike on a black run, and it’s a lot easier to get into trouble – hit a curve too fast and there’s no chicken run, only oncoming traffic to the right and a drystone wall to the left. Not good, and no amount of gnar attitude is going to save you.

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