Hey everyone i'm new to this site. I'm just turning 16 on the 11th(young huh?). Well I was going to go take my motorcycle permit test on friday and then hopefully get a job so I can save up for a bike.
Congrats on finding a great site with lots of good info. :thumb
You're starting right by taking the MSF course. Being 16, insurance is going to be high on you (more than likely). A larger cc bike is going to be more exspensive to insure than a smaller cc bike (most cases). I'm not saying start out on a 250. Some do. Some don't. Your preference, IMO. However, I wouldn't get anything above a 500cc, not only because of the power that it has (more power is more unforgiving when it comes to learning to ride), but also because of insurance reasons.
Try to find a good used bike. Have someone who knows a bit look with you. If you don't have someone, take pictures of a prospective bike, try to remember (or write it down) what they tell you about the bike. Ask questions about if it's ever been dropped or been laid down. Any leaks, etc. Post up the information and pictures here. Some people here will give you an honest opinion. Remember, most of these folks here have been riding longer than you have been alive (for real). Another reason for buying used is it's inevitable that you will drop the bike. At least dropping a used bike won't make you feel as bad as if you dinged up a nice shiny new one. Try to pay cash for it. One reason is if you get an older bike, one way you can cut insurance costs is by not having full coverage (although I don't suggest it). Also, if you pay cash for it and later discover you don't care for riding as much as you thought you would (I had a friend do this), you won't be stuck with paying for something you don't want/need and having to sell it, probably for less that what is owed.
Also, when you DO get the bike, please wear gear! IMO, very minimum protection is helmet, decent gloves, and a textile jacket. Boots don't have to be motorcyle specific boots, but you do need something that will protect your ankles. I like mine to have a good grip i.e. non skid soles.
After you get your bike and have taken the MSF course, practice riding. Go to an empty parking lot or through a quiet neighborhood. Don't start off thinking you can take a 3 hour tour of your town. Start off with small rides in areas you know. Then expand. The friend I briefly mentioned earlier took his MSF course, purchased a brand new bike that week, and that weekend went on a long ride. Monday morning he had someone ride the bike to the dealership. He went on too long of a ride in an area he didn't know. He had a couple of moments where he almost lowsided. He couldn't understand why he couldn't just ride off into the sunset right after taking the course. The course is there to teach you. However, you need time to apply what you've learned in order to ride.
All in all, welcome to the world of motorcycling. Take your time. Wear gear. Try to start small, buy used, and pay cash.
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