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General Chat/Anything Goes

First Bike?

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First Bike?

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Hey everyone.

I wanted to start a discussion on the topic of motorcycles for first bikes. I reckon, with the variety of experience levels and generations present here, that we can have some interesting back-and-forth.

Since this is my first post, and to kick-start (haha) the thread, I'll share my short biking history.

Around Feb 2016 I decided to go and do the CBT just as a weekend thing. I'd never really been interested in motorcycles and just wanted to go see what it's like. Naturally, I fell in love with motorcycling as soon as I got over my mad low-speed wobble on the CG125 I learned on.
That was pretty much it for a whole year. I rode my friend's MSX125 around the car park once, but other than that, didn't touch another bike. But oh man, I was drooling over photos of CB400 Super Fours and Ducati 999Rs. I had the bug, and it felt like I'd had it for years.

So exactly a year later, I decided to lay down a bunch of money for the Direct Access Scheme. I hadn't ridden since that CBT, so the instructor said a fresh day on 125s then 4-day DAS would do me. And it did! Passed both modules first time. I was well chuffed.

In the following week, I was on the lookout for something that would serve as a great beginner bike; maybe a Bandit 600, or an FZ600? SV650s look pretty trick, or perhaps a Hornet 600. Then I saw an ad for a Ninja ZX-10R at a dealer for £3.9k nearby, and I thought I'd go have a look. No intention of buying. Great looking bike, missing a couple bits of trim, tank guard didn't stick flush to the tank. Eh, I wanted that money to stretch further. When I got home, my mum (bless her) told me to have a look at whatever bikes were "better" and "reliable." She said it doesn't matter if it's like £1k dearer. Fair play, so I had a look at AutoTrader for Suzuki GSX-Rs.

Now at this point, without knowing it, I'd already thrown all reason out of the window. I was looking solely for sport bikes, and I wasn't aware of it at the time.

I found a 2006 GSX-R1000 for sale in Wembley, so I drove over there with a hand-written checklist, and inspected the bike as thoroughly as a newbie can. It checked out, and I couldn't find any problems with it. I ended up buying that thing for £5.5 and thinking to myself "my God, what have I just done?"

I remember my first time riding my bike. The dealer wouldn't let me test-ride it because I had zero experience and had just obtained my A license, so the journey home was the first time riding the GSX-R. A truly mesmerizing experience, for sure. I only had a 125 and a Gladius 650 to compare it to, so as you can imagine, it was quite intimidating. But I loved it.

Two years on, I've put 6,000 on the clock, and loved every single mile. It has been a very steep learning curve for me, especially since the bike takes absolutely no prisoners when it comes to bad riding, but it has made me a focused and attentive rider. My GSX-R1000 has tamed me, and not the other way around. I am planning on buying a smaller bike further down the line; something capable of carrying baggage and being comfortable in all sorts of applications, from commuting to touring. But my K6 1000 will always be my first bike, and it's very special to me.

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Bahngsxr @ 23/02/2019 20:40  

When I first passed my test 12 years ago I rode my partners VFR800 but it was too big and powerful really. I got an Aprillia Pegaso Strada 650 single cylinder which was easy to ride but I didn’t see it as a ‘proper bike’. I swapped it for one of the first Triumph Street Triples off the production line and put over 55,000 miles on it in 5 years riding to Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Germany. After a knee replacement I needed a better riding position so now enjoy riding the BMW F650 GS. Sports bikes have never really appealed to me but each to their own. Glad you are enjoying your riding :)

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SusiPop @ 26/02/2019 22:54  

Sorry to hear about your knee. One of the awesome things about motorcycles is that there is enough variation in riding position between all the different bikes to cater to any need.

I really like the look of the VFR800; a brilliant sports tourer for sure.

The old Street Triples looked kinda wacky didn't they, with the tail end of a Daytona? I've not seen many on the roads.

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Bahngsxr @ 26/02/2019 23:03  

Got my licence 1983 but didn't have the money to get a bike. 4 years later I had the offer of a Gs500e and bought it, rode that for a few years until I got pregnant. Next bike was 4 years later, a Cb500, didn't really like it, so wobbly anyghi g mire than 70m/h. Sold it when I moved to UK. Then I had a bandit for a little while, didn't like it, got a Kle500, then an Aprilia Pegaso Strada but then bought my dream bike, the Bonneville which I still have, plus 2 Harleys... I love them all

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TheSlasher @ 27/02/2019 18:53  

First bike?? Hmmm..was a long time ago,but after pestering the crap out of all my uncles,cousins etc,i was presented on my 14th birthday with several teachests of mixed bike parts and told "If you want a bike that bad,bloody build one yourself!!" All my relatives were Rockers,Greebos,Greasers,many did scrambles,roadracing,trials..
I'd been wrecking field bikes since i could ride,admittedly we spent more time trying to keep them running,than riding them...pinching petrol from people's cars or lawnmowers in total darkness instead of doing school homework was time-consuming,lol...
Happily,i managed to sort the mountain of parts into maker's piles(ooch)..Triumph,Aerial,Norton,Bsa,Matchless and Miscellaneous....after a year of trekking around the local breakers,scrapyards and bike shops i ended up with a Triumph 3TA (350 twin) in a loosely cafè racer smoked,bled oil,and was too heavy to pick up unaided at the tender age of fifteen,but with glee i discovered it was a lot faster than the local plod's LE in anticipation of Stealth Technology,it was mostly matt black (paint borrowed from school) and had a tail light cut-out switch,and a permanently dirty, fictional numberplate...sadly,eventually,we parted company,but only for purpose of a bike test...soon as i'd passed,the CZ175 was traded for a 500 Triumph twin,...worked in the bike trade for a while,so lost count and forgotten lots of bikes since,but still like my (Hinckley now) Triumphs,riding 600 Speedfour,900 Tiger trail and my personal favourite,a 2000 model Speed Triple 955i...couple of Guzzis in garage,a Yamaha SR,and my winter donkey,Verity the Honda CB500(take a bow) list of bikes i wish i'd never sold is too long,waffle over...:)>

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jinx57 @ 28/02/2019 12:59  

And Bahngsxr,it's SPEED Triples that are nekkid Daytonas...wave if you see a black one,it might be

   Update Reply
jinx57 @ 28/02/2019 13:01  

Sounds like you've been through a fair few bikes, but none of them seem as characterful as the Bonnie haha. I think they look great. My work colleague has a Fatboy, which he rarely rides. Sad, that.

There's something to be said about learning to fix things through breaking them.
Oh and yes, indeed you're right about the Speed Triples haha!

   Update Reply
Bahngsxr @ 28/02/2019 21:29  

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