Advice about "first bikes"
If you have made the bold step into piloting your own bike this is the place for you. As a once first time rider the experience I have is good enough to share. At first you say to yourself, "aw man look at that F4 that is so what I want as my first bike", been there .....done that one. I agree that bike ( as well as any sportbike) is bomb. These bikes are also in a "High Performance" class meaning they are race bikes with mirrors...some are more forgiving than others. These bikes are to be piloted by people who are experienced enough to know it's limits and not go over them, because that's when you crash. There are factors to consider when choosing a perfect first bike. The key being first, and obviously not the last bike. This bike should be:
A: Affordable( what are the insurance rates like on a newbie)
B: Practical ( Not too large engine displacement/size)
C: A certain degree of cool
D:No fairing or minimal body work
E: Suiting to you, can your feet touch the ground? Can you handle the weight?
F:Can you pick it up if ever in an alone situation?
Now that I am experienced, and have ridden quite a few bikes. I have found out a lot more than I ever thought possible. The one thing I encounter to be my pet peeve is slow speed maneuvering. It is when you are backing up, or swinging the bike into a parking space that you become susceptible to tip overs. Most grown men can't even keep the bike from falling once the balance get's to a certain point. Big displacement bikes like Gixxer 750's , ZX7R's or CBR900's are wide, heavy and a bitch to back up, unless you are completely flat footed where you have a good sense of control over your machine. Once you master riding and gain experience these factors will not be a problem. Lucky for me I am 5'8 so most bikes are rideable. :-)
I chose a Suzuki 1998 GS-500E for my first one. It is called a naked bike, meaning no fairing. It's a 500 so freeway's prove to be no problem having an "o.k" midrage for passing cars and not running redline at 90mph like a 250 would be. I can keep up with my friends on sportbikes with ease until of course they do anything over 110-hehe. Now I bit the bullet and opted for a naked bike because I knew I would either crash my bike or tip over and those are extremely expensive things to fix. You will tip over I guarantee it, even experienced riders tip over, it just happens. Don't buy into the typical guy babble of " Oh you can handle that easily...blah blah blah". Only you know your limitations, be smart be practical and remember....this isn't your last bike.
Avoid spending $8000.00 on your first bike. But rather stay on a budget, you'd be amazed what you'd find for under $3000.00. My old bike brand spankin' new bike was only $3400.00. After around a year you'll be more than ready to upgrade as all riders do, and that is when you can obtain your very first high performance ride. Honda CBR600's are fantastic bikes and are the typical choice for women riders. Remember you know what you are capable of and I guarantee with the information I just gave you any salesman who gives a damn would agree with me. If you take the MSF class ask your instructor for advice, also this is what they do for a living.
Great starter bikes to consider:
* cater to the vertically challenged
Picking up a bike:
You might be asking yourself..."geez, how can I pick up this 400 pound machine all by myself?" Trust me, it's do able if done right. I am 125lbs and have the muscle tone of a cancer patient. If I can pick a CBR600F3 up off the ground surely anyone can. Some guys can't even pick up their bike themselves if that makes you feel better. You should know how to and be able to pick up your bike if ever in a situation where you are alone, it is very important. With a friend ( male preferably) take your ride remove the body work ( if applicable) and lay it gently down on a blanket or grass. Grab the brake lever and grab a hold of something big on the left. The tank is good. Get the bike a few inches up to where you can adjust, and get a hip under it and start heeving. Don't push too hard or it may go over to the other side. Give it all you got and prepare for bulging veins in your neck and head :-) Congratulations!!!! You just picked up a 400+ pound machine on your own. Don't worry it does get easier, and it does happen to the guys too.