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Old December 24th, 2017, 10:03 AM   #1
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Do you want to recruit new riders? Not me.

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Old December 24th, 2017, 10:31 AM   #2
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I don't really feel the need for new riders either.

I think the Harley demographic is the one dying out the most, and that's a good thing. The stigma can die with it.

Feels to me like the "fun little bikes" segment is growing.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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I do not try to talk anyone into motorcycling, but if someone comes to me already interested, I'll help all I can. It needs to be a free choice, not a recruitment.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 12:54 PM   #4
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I do not try to talk anyone into motorcycling, but if someone comes to me already interested, I'll help all I can. It needs to be a free choice, not a recruitment.
Same here. I feel like a person has to make that choice on their own and seek it out. If they do that I’m willing to assist.

I do try to get sport riding friends into going to the track. Mainly by letting them know I do it and how much fun it is versus the hard sell.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 01:57 PM   #5
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As stated above. The love of motorcycles and the sport is either in your blood or it isnít. If someone is interested in knowing more you can tell by the **** eating grin on thirty face.
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Old December 24th, 2017, 04:08 PM   #6
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As stated above. The love of motorcycles and the sport is either in your blood or it isnít. If someone is interested in knowing more you can tell by the **** eating grin on thirty face.
I throw my hat in the ring with T.J., A. Grappler, and Snake.

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Old December 24th, 2017, 10:45 PM   #7
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Feels to me like the "fun little bikes" segment is growing.
And I'm happy to see it. Not all riders want a monster bike with a gazillion horsepower.

As far as the article, I'd agree that the little bike sector seems to be less neglected than in the past. They should emphasize affordability and convenience to get new riders.

Do I try to get converts? Maybe a little. I talk to people and they tell me they're afraid, so I recommend the training course. One woman was about my height, but thought she was too short to handle a bike. I let her sit on mine. If I fit, you fit.
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Old December 25th, 2017, 12:41 AM   #8
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If you value new developments in motorcycles and want there to be more new bikes to ride in the future, you should be concerned.

Rejoicing in the loss of any segment of motorcycling is a bad thing. You may not like Harley's, but if Harley dies I guarantee Honda and Kawasaki won't be spending a lot of money on R+D for new bikes in the American market.

I think the recent market focus on a smaller displacement and more affordable bikes is a good thing. I think manufactures lost focus chasing the big bucks. But without more riders coming into the sport the manufactures won't spend R&D money on bikes. With the exception of Harley and maybe Ducati and Triumph, most of the bike manufactures also make other motor sports items, they can shift manufacturing to quads, side by sides, boat motors, jet skis, snow mobiles, ect.... and still make money. So if bike sales are down they'll focus on what is selling instead.

I don't think you should push motorcycling on anyone, but being a good ambassador for the sport, showing the value of riding a motorcycle and sharing your joy will keep motorcycling alive.

One of my favorite sayings is by Confucius.

If your plan is for one year plant rice
If your plan is for ten years plant trees
If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children

I have 4 adult children. 3 of them ride.
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Old December 25th, 2017, 07:21 AM   #9
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A big part of what drives manufacturers now is fast-developing countries like India and China. I have a feeling that's the main force behind the new smaller motorcycles we're benefiting from. If the US market disappeared today, it would barely change world motorcycle sales.

Motorcycle sales in all of North America is about one percent of worldwide sales!
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Old December 25th, 2017, 07:49 AM   #10
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A big part of what drives manufacturers now is fast-developing countries like India and China. I have a feeling that's the main force behind the new smaller motorcycles we're benefiting from. If the US market disappeared today, it would barely change world motorcycle sales.

Motorcycle sales in all of North America is about one percent of worldwide sales!

Very interesting. I guess we're not the B.M.O.C. anymore.

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Old December 25th, 2017, 08:46 AM   #11
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Rejoicing in the loss of any segment of motorcycling is a bad thing. You may not like Harley's, but if Harley dies I guarantee Honda and Kawasaki won't be spending a lot of money on R+D for new bikes in the American market.
I disagree, I think other makers would be bringing in a few more new bikes. But not a lot. The thing is that the markets for Harley and Japanese bikes are not interrelated much. If one goes away, it's not going to substantially affect the other. How often do you hear a buyer say "Damn, I can't decide between a Fat Bob or a FZ-09."

To be clear it's not really the Harley bikes I would be glad to see go away as much as the riders on them. Harley's market is getting old and dying out. Young riders are sick of the Harley attitude and the overpriced poor performing bikes. It's pretty well publicized. The only sad part about Harley withering away is thousands of Wisconsin workers losing their jobs over time.
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Old December 25th, 2017, 09:32 AM   #12
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I disagree, I think other makers would be bringing in a few more new bikes. But not a lot. The thing is that the markets for Harley and Japanese bikes are not interrelated much. If one goes away, it's not going to substantially affect the other. How often do you hear a buyer say "Damn, I can't decide between a Fat Bob or a FZ-09."

To be clear it's not really the Harley bikes I would be glad to see go away as much as the riders on them. Harley's market is getting old and dying out. Young riders are sick of the Harley attitude and the overpriced poor performing bikes. It's pretty well publicized. The only sad part about Harley withering away is thousands of Wisconsin workers losing their jobs over time.
Agree about the employees at H.D. Unfortunately H.D. deserves the same fate as Xerox, Kodak, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. The new C.E.O. (Mr. Golfcart) should have his ass kicked for tossing out Buell.

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Old December 25th, 2017, 07:45 PM   #13
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I How often do you hear a buyer say "Damn, I can't decide between a Fat Bob or a FZ-09."

.
I know quite a few people, myself included, that enjoy Harley's and Japanese bikes.

Although I will admit to meeting quite a few snobs that seem to think the motorcycle world begins with Harley and ends with Davidson and nothing else matters.
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Old December 26th, 2017, 12:27 AM   #14
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I know quite a few people, myself included, that enjoy Harley's and Japanese bikes.

Although I will admit to meeting quite a few snobs that seem to think the motorcycle world begins with Harley and ends with Davidson and nothing else matters.
I always said, you don't ride a Harley - you wear it. It's a two wheeled symbol with a really cool sounding idle.

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Old December 26th, 2017, 08:10 AM   #15
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I was curious about the brands sold in India. Many look familiar, but as expected, they sure tend toward small displacement engines. www.xe.com is a good currency converter site to get from the Indian Rupee to the US Dollar, after removing the oddly placed commas.

https://www.bikedekho.com/best-bikes
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Old December 26th, 2017, 08:48 AM   #16
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One thing I've noticed is a quick turnover with a lot of new riders. You can see it in their Craigslist ads. They are selling a 2yr old cycle, 5 yr maintenance plan, and all their gear. It's like they tried it and decided it's not for them for whatever reason (minor crash, nobody to ride with, lost interest, whatever). We sold a cycle recently to a new female rider, and it showed up for sale on CL about 3 mo later with gear and about 50 more miles on it.

I've had people ask me about riding, and I'm cautious to get them too excited. Learning to ride a cycle on the street without any previous experience is too dangerous today. I always recommend at least a MSF course, and better yet some time on a dirt bike. Most non-riders my age (50+) think it's too dangerous.

I think a lot of us started back-in-the-day on a minibike or small dirt bike and just kept evolving. That doesn't happen as much these days.

I've got 2 boys that started riding dirt bikes as soon as they were proficient on a bicycle (age 3 for one and 4 for the other), and still have the interest to continue at ages 18 and 21.

That might be part of the solution - but they aren't shopping for new bikes. One has a '98 VFR and the other a '05 R6, and aren't planning to buy any new bikes in the near future - so it's not helping the industry. My last new bike purchase was in '06, so I haven't chipped-in lately either.

Can't say I know what the answer is.
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Old December 26th, 2017, 09:00 AM   #17
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Can't say I know what the answer is.
I'm not sure there's a question that needs answering, Jay. Like most things, the evolution of motorcycling in the US will probably continue on its way despite attempts by us to change its course, and attempts by us to change its course probably won't make any significant difference.

Around here, when gasoline gets more expensive than usual, I see more scooters and slightly fewer cars on the road. Things like fuel price probably have an order of magnitude more influence than anything we can do to try to bring new riders in.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 01:35 AM   #18
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I do try to recruit new riders. The reality is that new bike sales are significantly lower today than in 2007. The stat I previously saw is somewhere around 40% less in 2016 compared to 2007.

We need more riders for a variety of reasons, not just manufacturer interest. We need numbers for legislation, for visibility, and for dedicated space (off road parks, etc). Track owners and trackday organizers need enough people to make events profitable.

I think a lot of people may never have given much thought to spending their hard earned money on a motorcycle, because they haven't experienced the visceral thrill of being outside of a glass and steel cage. I've gotten friends into riding whom might not otherwise have ever tried.

We're "fine" for now, but I'd rather see more people riding than less. If nothing else, I'd like to see people take MSF and understand riding, including all its dangers, even if they end up not riding and driving a car.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 06:37 AM   #19
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I'm reading that blog a bit differently from some, it seems.

I don't see it as trying to lasso people who would otherwise not be interested. I see it as engaging with people who are, but feel uncertain for whatever reason -- risk, fear, convenience, you name it.

Aggressive evangelism (as in "Come to the light! Believe what I believe!") has always turned me off. Expecting people to suddenly want the same things you want just because you think they should is, well, rude.

When I encounter someone who's expressed an interest, I'm more than willing to talk to them, tell them the real deal, and offer support. Sometimes it scares them away because I don't pull punches about safety, risk, stereotypes or being a responsible rider... but results don't lie. I'm a middle-aged guy who rides on the track and hasn't crashed in 31 years... and that was a simple 10 mph brain fade drop.

I did this very thing with a young guy and his mom at this year's motorcycle show. They were looking at the same bike I ride on the street -- a current-gen GSX-R750 -- and I had a nice chat with them, pointing them towards some bikes that might be a bit more suitable and telling them why.

Some encounter this unassuming little guy and see a midlife crisis being played out (BS... I never stopped being like this). Others see someone enjoying the hell out of that part of his life and somewhere inside just might be thinking "If that guy can do this, why can't I?" The latter are the people I like talking to.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 08:49 AM   #20
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I don't like the idea of recruiting new riders.

What I do instead is demystify it, riding is not about being "that guy" who goes 160mph down the freeway splitting lanes and generally being an asshole. Instead riding is about the freedom of being on two wheels and feeling the world around you. It's about being fully immersed in the moment content to be disconnected from the constant buzz of todays technological world.

Should they then choose to be interested I don't push, rather educate. I educate first about safety gear and it's importance, depending on their reception to this I may show them a few scars that I still got while wearing safety gear which would have been far worse without my gear. This to stress that safety is one of if not the most important parts of riding.

Then I'll continue to educate about different bike styles to find what kind of riding fits them, I'm currently talking to one person who wants to ride but doesn't want to go fast at all (60+mph). This person wants to ride to feel free and explore and is an avid mountain biker already so I recommended a cheap trails bike rather than a street bike. Everyone is different and there is a different type of riding to satisfy each of us.

When I come across more aggressive street riders I do try to recruit them to the track. This recruitment is for their personal safety as the track is a much safer place in which to open the throttle on any sportbike. I don't force them to continue riding at the track, but I do highly recommend that they try it out at least once to see what it's all about. I remember when it had to be done to myself, I'm not sure if I would still be around at all had Chris not given me the call to go to the track.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 10:55 AM   #21
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I think its important that we all take advantage of those opportunities that we encounter to be good advocates for motorcycling when those curious about motorcycles and why we ride approach us. Motorcycling is not for everyone and has significant risks but the advantages and positive experiences far outweigh those risks for those with the desire and ability to partake.

I try to be a good advocate for motorcycling by riding responsibly on public streets and by being as polite and friendly in my interactions with the public. My streamlining modifications draw attention while riding, while parked and particularly when refueling. I always take the time to wave, pose for pictures and answer questions.

As far as other factors that would stimulate motorcycle growth in the US:
1. more low cost, practical motos like our Ninjettes
2. nationwide legalization of lane-sharing (splitting) during traffic congestion
3. positive promotion of motorcycling in mass media away from the squids, street racers, moto gangs, sideshow punks, and other criminal elements.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 11:14 AM   #22
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As far as other factors that would stimulate motorcycle growth in the US:
1. more low cost, practical motos like our Ninjettes
2. nationwide legalization of lane-sharing (splitting) during traffic congestion
3. positive promotion of motorcycling in mass media away from the squids, street racers, moto gangs, sideshow punks, and other criminal elements.
I agree with these, 1. in particular seems to be the current market trend with more small and inexpensive motorcycles hitting the dealerships.

3. would be huge, this is particularly seen in movies where anyone on a motorcycle is a maniac stunt rider because it looks cool on the big screen
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Old December 27th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #23
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One thing I've noticed is a quick turnover with a lot of new riders. You can see it in their Craigslist ads. They are selling a 2yr old cycle, 5 yr maintenance plan, and all their gear.
And you can tell those people too, because they are trying to sell a Ninja 300 for $6000. They bought a bike for full MSRP and got raped $1500 in fees for freight, setup, documentation, and any other BS they can think up for ADP (additional dealer profit) to add on top of tax title and license.

I've bought 4 new bikes. But I've only ever bought new old stock that was severely discounted. (Like my new 2013 Ninja 1000 for $6500 late 2016) Some people are like "I can buy new because I am going to own this bike forever!" No you're not, you have no clue. You just took a high interest loan out for a toy that you're finished playing with in 2 months.

All new riders should buy used bikes, preferably crashed once and super cheap. Experienced long time riders should be the only ones to buy new, and that's only for a new model year that matches what they've been waiting for. They are likely to own it for much longer.


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I'm reading that blog a bit differently from some, it seems.
Most of us have only read the title and the first 30 or so words. If there's a deep, different meaning at the end, most of us didn't see it. Just being honest here.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 08:12 PM   #24
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If nothing else, I'd like to see people take MSF and understand riding, including all its dangers, even if they end up not riding and driving a car.
I would agree! Everybody should understand what bikes do, and why. I think it would make them better drivers.

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All new riders should buy used bikes, preferably crashed once and super cheap.
Isn't that the truth! I'm really glad I bought mine used. Pre-scratched, as it were. It hurts just a bit less when you drop it during a botched u-turn or slipping on a patch of sand at a stop.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 09:37 PM   #25
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I would agree! Everybody should understand what bikes do, and why. I think it would make them better drivers.



Isn't that the truth! I'm really glad I bought mine used. Pre-scratched, as it were. It hurts just a bit less when you drop it during a botched u-turn or slipping on a patch of sand at a stop.
I've always felt that it's best to buy a one or two year old car or bike. The first year's deprecation is a killer. Let the original owner take it on the chin. Sorry if that sounds cold-blooded but it's true.

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Old December 27th, 2017, 09:44 PM   #26
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I urge people to take the MSF to get a feel for motorcycling, and to buy a bike if they were left wanting more. That's about all anyone can do. The MSF is a really good way to get your feet wet, with another number of miles on low-speed streets.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 07:54 AM   #27
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And you can tell those people too, because they are trying to sell a Ninja 300 for $6000. They bought a bike for full MSRP and got raped $1500 in fees for freight, setup, documentation, and any other BS they can think up for ADP (additional dealer profit) to add on top of tax title and license.

I've bought 4 new bikes. But I've only ever bought new old stock that was severely discounted. (Like my new 2013 Ninja 1000 for $6500 late 2016) Some people are like "I can buy new because I am going to own this bike forever!" No you're not, you have no clue. You just took a high interest loan out for a toy that you're finished playing with in 2 months.

All new riders should buy used bikes, preferably crashed once and super cheap. Experienced long time riders should be the only ones to buy new, and that's only for a new model year that matches what they've been waiting for. They are likely to own it for much longer.
I totally agree. Dealerships prey on new riders, selling them all sorts of "peace of mind" crap like a 5 yr maintenance contract, so all they ever need to do is bring it back to the dealer and everything is covered. They never even learn how to adjust the chain or change the oil. And when they decide to sell the bike in less than a year they think they can get some of those over-charges back, which they eventually find out they can't.

I also think buying a new bike is a real bad idea for the new rider. It's going to get damaged at some point, so a used, less than perfect, cycle is a much wiser choice.

I've never taken out a loan for a cycle, and to me it's not a good idea either.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #28
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Yeah, bikes depreciate much faster than cars, so interest cost of loan hurts even more! If you don’t have enough cash for bike, save up some more and/or buy cheaper used bike. I’ve had about 15 different bikes through the years and never bought one new.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 10:17 AM   #29
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I totally agree. Dealerships prey on new riders, selling them all sorts of "peace of mind" crap like a 5 yr maintenance contract, so all they ever need to do is bring it back to the dealer and everything is covered. They never even learn how to adjust the chain or change the oil. And when they decide to sell the bike in less than a year they think they can get some of those over-charges back, which they eventually find out they can't.

I also think buying a new bike is a real bad idea for the new rider. It's going to get damaged at some point, so a used, less than perfect, cycle is a much wiser choice.

I've never taken out a loan for a cycle, and to me it's not a good idea either.
And those "Service Contracts" don't even cover anything but basic maintenance, you have to pay for parts and anything extra, no tire changes. I asked once about it, and told them it was a rip off, their response, but we give you preference and your bike will be done first, naw pass.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #30
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Our last two cars have been bought new, and I've been pretty happy with both. Yeah, we took the depreciation, but that's ok. It was the right choice at the time.

I think at this point (riding 2 years) I could feel fairly confident buying a new bike if it was the bike I wanted. Local bike shop has R3 bikes selling for ...$3500 on sale. Ninja 300s are probably not too expensive. I haven't decided if I want another bike yet, though.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 11:59 AM   #31
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My personal pet peeve is "beginner" bikes that have fairings. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! A little tipover and the thing gets totalled by insurance. Seems like a small streetfighter would be the more logical choice for consumers.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 12:51 PM   #32
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Old December 28th, 2017, 12:52 PM   #33
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My personal pet peeve is "beginner" bikes that have fairings. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! A little tipover and the thing gets totalled by insurance. Seems like a small streetfighter would be the more logical choice for consumers.
Like the 390 duke or BMW 310
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Old December 28th, 2017, 01:52 PM   #34
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Like the 390 duke or BMW 310
Great options for new riders. Back in the early 80's I started on a dual purpose bike. Laid it down a few times and no biggie, it's meant for that. And learning on a nice tall bike helps get over the "OMG both heels of my feet need to be able to touch the ground!"

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Old December 28th, 2017, 01:56 PM   #35
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Like the 390 duke or BMW 310
what are the prices on those?
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Old December 28th, 2017, 01:59 PM   #36
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what are the prices on those?
right around 5,000 - 5,200.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 02:24 PM   #37
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I've never taken out a loan for a cycle, and to me it's not a good idea either.
Financing toys is just a bad idea in general.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 07:14 PM   #38
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Financing toys is just a bad idea in general.
Yup. Yet young newbs do it all the time. They start by having no money, wanting a NEW bike and wanting it NOW. So they take out a high interest loan, pay for financing, full MSRP plus huge fees and service plan, and pay exorbitantly high insurance for anyone under 25, which is even higher because the insurance co knows they live in an apartment in a poor area with no garage to store their bike in. (theft is as likely as a crash totaling the bike)

Then 2 months later they realize motorcycling is not for them (financial issues just went from bad to worse) And there's the $6K Ninja 300 for sale on craigslist and it has a lien on it.

We don't need to be encouraging new riders, we need to be talking some sense into people.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 08:05 PM   #39
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So they take out a high interest loan, pay for financing...
My insurance agent told me it's worse than that. To get a loan on a new sport bike, the buyer is required to get full coverage insurance. On the high powered bikes, the annual premium for full coverage insurance for a new rider can approach the cost of the bike, because statistically it's very likely to not make it a full year. So instead the kid puts the bike on a credit card and gets only liability insurance. Then he wrecks it, and if he survives, chooses not to keep paying off the card, since he no longer has the bike, and he ends up with bad credit for a long time.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 10:38 PM   #40
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My insurance agent told me it's worse than that. To get a loan on a new sport bike, the buyer is required to get full coverage insurance. On the high powered bikes, the annual premium for full coverage insurance for a new rider can approach the cost of the bike, because statistically it's very likely to not make it a full year. So instead the kid puts the bike on a credit card and gets only liability insurance. Then he wrecks it, and if he survives, chooses not to keep paying off the card, since he no longer has the bike, and he ends up with bad credit for a long time.
My third bike was a new 1973 Kaw 500 triple. I just got out of college two years prior and I bought it with my first installment loan. I had no credit rating and got a "wink-wink" loan at the bank I was working for. I paid off the loan, established my credit rating and all was good. Not all new bike purchasers are nit wits. As a former bank loan collector I can attest to the horror stories told here also. In sum, it was the first and last motorcycle I ever financed. There's a-lot to be said about leaving a dealership on a brand new, squeaky-clean bike but intelligent decision is not one of them.

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