Looking for advise for a potential rider


Ok, so first I am going to turn 35 next year. I have wanted to drive a motorcycle my whole life. I just have never really had the opportunity.

I really want to own a Hayabusa. I care about it's speed but the bikes look just screams to some primal part of my mind. The bike is seriously a work of art.

I am 6'3" and I weigh about 286 pounds. I am a little overweight but even if I had no fat I would be in the 250 to 260 range for weight.

I have a plan to start with a ninja 300 or an sv650 first. Hopefully I can get the ninja first so that I can get practice on a bike that is more forgiving first.

I am not getting a bike just for recreation. I am going to be riding the bike as my primary means of transportation year round. I live in Kentucky.

I am looking for advice about which helmets and safety gear are most recommended. I plan on getting a complete set of gear but I don't know which

products are best. I am very tall so I need pants that can fit a 34 inch inseam. I also tend to destroy most clothing that I wear. I don't try to it just happens.

Also as far as bikes go... If I start with a ninja 300 or the sv650 is a r600 a good second bike? Also if I can't find a Ninja 300 when I get my bike and I end up with a

sv650 what would I have to do differently to learn on that bike safely as compared to a Ninja 300? I plan on taking the MSF course before I get my first motorcycle.

I plan to start all of this next spring so I can save money through the winter so I can just outright buy the bikes I learn on.

Thank you for your time and patience,
Never been on any bike? Dirt, trail, street anything?

I tell ya I would be really tempted to get a dirt bike and practice off the street getting used to the operation of a bike... Spend some time doing that, no speed limits and I bet if you look there are public trails and land you can ride on there at your own pace.. it scares me to death to see someone jump on a street bike and go, it can be done but so dangerous... Have you thought about an Endure or dual sport to start on, you can learn on the dirt or back roads and then move up to public streets and highways when you get comfortable?
You are heading in the right direction with the MSF course, do that FIRST.

As far as safety gear, you ask ten people, you will get ten opinions. Your best bet is to try stuff on, and find what fits and is the most comfortable. If it is not comfortable, you won't wear it, and it does no good in the closet. I like Shoei, or Arai helmets, but there are lots of others that are suitable for less money. I feel the interiors are nicer on the more expensive helmets. I prefer a leather jacket, so I can use it at the track as well as the street. They offer a little more protection than textile, but at a greater price.

I would probably get the SV over the Ninja, just because you can get one used and not lose much in a year when you sell it. I personally think an R6 would be horrible for a guy your size. I am 6'3 and 265 at the moment. My first street bike was an 80 GS 1100, and from there I bought a Busa after two or three years of riding that.

Welcome to the board, and good luck!
I thought about doing that but unfortunately I don't have a way to get a dirt bike to an area with trails. I don't currently own a car and my roommates vehicles are not suitable for transporting a bike or carrying a trailer behind them. I live in the city. I plan on driving around our neighborhood streets to get used to the bike. They are very low traffic with only a few cars an hour going through them unless it is early in the morning or late evening. I don't really have many other options. I am going to take the MSF course before I even get a bike. This is why I am heavily leaning towards the ninja 300. It seems like it doesn't have the instant speed that the larger bikes have. Originally I planned on getting the 300 and then moving on to the sv650 then to a r750 and then to the Hayabusa. I want to do this safely. I don't want to end up as a smear on the road.

I figured once I take the safety course and then spend a couple dozen hours getting used to driving the bike around my neighborhood subdivision I would go on some of the quieter streets and head out to the back roads. A motorcycle is really my only option of transportation. We have a two vehicle garage and there is nowhere to park a third car. Plus I have always wanted a bike and I know a bunch of people who have bikes that I can ride with and learn from. Most of them have tens of thousands of miles of experience riding bikes.

Hopefully I can successfully learn to ride without seriously damaging myself. I do plan on taking this relatively slow and getting into the full swing of things over time instead of jumping head first onto a Hayabusa and destroying my life.
I'm 6'6". I never was able to consider a sport bike because they simply weren't big enough. Like you the first time I saw a Hayabusa, it was a work of art to me. It stirred something inside that no other bike had. I actually was allowed to sit on the first one I ever saw. It was actually a bike I felt I could ride. It had the size I needed. I was in love before I knew what I was in love with. The speed came as a secondary factor that at first, didn't impress me. I had been riding for over 20 years. Speed is all about your wrist. So I thought. Once I found one, I had to learn to ride again. It is the first bike that had more speed and power than I had ever managed. It in short, teaches you that you better have discipline or you will be doing stupid things on it before you realize it.

If I were you, I would look for an SV-650. Learn the fundamentals of riding and it has enough power to teach you the principles of power management. Take 6 months and ride the wheels off of it. Then ease into a Busa and start re-learning the size and the step up of power.
MSF is a good start. I would also pose this question on Sportrider and get Trevitt or Kentos opinion. Both are extremely knowledgeable and as dedicated to our sport as any I have ever seen.
As has been said and you've indicated, MSF course FIRST! :thumbsup:

Whenever I hear of a rider that's over 30 that wants to learn/take up riding, two things spring to mind:
1) Why do they want to ride? If it's not for the love of riding, they shouldn't do it. Sounds like you have a genuine love of what you think riding will be, so you're off to a good start. :)
2) Learning will quite possibly be a more challenging than it is for younger riders. So many riders begin at a tender age and out of leisure rather than a need for transportation. It makes learning easy and fun b/c we learn better the younger we are and with no pressure. In your case, just bear in mind that you'll need to exercise patience with anything that doesn't come naturally and you'll need to exercise restraint early on once you've gained confidence - because, as an adult, no but you can keep you from trying to do too much too soon. Sounds like your heads in a good place there as well...but it's easy to let the thrill of riding get you ahead of yourself once you're on the bike.

For all riders, I recommend taking all the training you can get your hands on as often as you can make the time for it. MSF is absolutely the best first step for all new riders. Take it BEFORE buying a bike. Many folks buy a bike and then take the course and find out they just don't enjoy riding for whatever reason...and now they have a bike to sell.

After the beginning course, if you find you love riding, get your license and a bike and practice every chance you get. Empty parking lots are great! Also, take the additional MSF classes (BRCII, Advanced, etc). While these classes aren't exactly revolutionary and many argue that they present much of the same material as the new rider courses with just a bit more focus, the still represent TREMENDOUS VALUE in that they provide supervised practice with constructive criticism from experienced riders. NOTHING beats that kind of feedback for learning and improving. There are also great training courses at professional tracks that are all worthwhile for improving your skills and having a blast while doing so.

My favorites include:
California Superbike School (CSS) Motorcycle Riding School - California Superbike School (they ever provide a bike for the course if you like!)
Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic

In fact, before I bought my Hayabusa, I made it point to take the CSS so that I would get a full sport bike experience BEFORE I dropped thousands of dollars to own one. Had a FANTASTIC day of learning and riding!!! I can't recommend this kind of training enough!

As for bikes, sounds like you've got some find candidates in the Ninja 300 and the SV. The SV is legendary as a great all around bike that's easy to ride, so I would lean towards it.

As far as gear goes, ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) is the best advice to be had. That means purpose built motorcycle gear EVERY time you ride and includes the following:

CAVEAT: I work for a major retailer of motorcycle parts, helmets and clothing. That said, I'm not here to sell anything in particular other than the idea that we should all be ATGATT. :)

Helmet: I believe that full-face is the ONLY way to go. Anything less leaves you open to serious injury even in the event of something as seemingly benign as a driveway tip-over. A helmet serves in many ways. Ironically, it won't do much in a head on 120 mph impact. What is DOES do quite well is 1) protect your face and vision from wind, bugs, debris, weather and extreme sunlight thereby preserving your ability be aware of your environment and maintain control of the bike and 2) it also protects against the head in the event of fall, which, even at 0 MPH, can cause brain injury with just the force generated by falling off a stopped bike and whacking your head on the pavement without a helmet. And yes, this can and does happen, even to veteran riders.

Apparel: Jacket and Pants (or Suit), Gloves and Boots or Riding Shoes. All of these are available in a myriad of materials, styles, colors and quality.
Materials: It's pretty much leather or textile: Leather still reigns supreme in terms of protection in a slide but there are high quality textiles these day that are quite good and arguably adequate, and possibly even better suited to certain street riding. In the final analysis, it becomes a personal decision
for every rider to get gear that meets their unique demands in terms of the following:

Risk tolerance + function/features + quality + budget + style + value.

Each of these must be prioritized by the rider and compromised against each other. The result determines exactly what you'll get. IMHO, we all should start with the most protective, highest quality gear that we can afford and work from there. Following is a list of SOME of the makers of top gear, followed by a list of SOME of the solid mid-level gear brands:

Helmets: Best: Arai and Shoei (undisputed top lids!). Good: Other solid brands include HJC (which I prefer), Bell, ICON, and Scorpion.
Jackets/Gloves/Pants/Suits: Best: Dainese, Alpinestars, AGV, Firstgear, Tour Master. Good: REV'IT, Joe Rocket, ICON, Speed and Strength.
Boots: Best: Sidi, Alpinestars, Dainese, Tour Master Firstgear. Good: ICON, Joe Rocket, REV'IT.

Notable mention: Sedici. This brand has apparel that is reasonable quality and VERY reasonably priced. If budget is a major consideration, IMHO, this the best bang for the buck that I have found in apparel.

Finally, Budget Gear, for when BUDGET is the #1 consideration. While most of us here agree that you should get the best gear that you can afford, sometimes that doesn’t leave us with the best choices in quality. Still, there are options available for even the most meager budgets and even the lowest quality helmet or jacket is infinitely better than riding without. The good news is that many of the top and mid-line makers actually do make lower cost products for the budget-conscious! So ALWAYS check to see what’s available by the better brands in lower price ranges. They won’t have the tech or features of the higher dollar stuff, but they’ll certainly be up to snuff in the basics. Now, if you are REALLY after nothing but spending as little scratch as possible, there’s one brand that comes to mind:

BiLT. It can be a bit hit or miss in construction, quality control and sizing, but all in all, you won’t find less expensive gear. Personally, it’s my choice for “extra” helmets that won’t be used much or the first set of gear for a new rider that isn’t sure what they want or how long they’ll be riding. For any serious rider that, ultimately this kind of gear should be no more than a stepping stone to the next level, but it can serve basic functionality until one develops a sense of preferences in the various gear and is ready to upgrade.

Guess this got a bit lengthy. Guess I was feeling inspired to runneth the cup over. ;) Hope this info helps.

Welcome and Best of luck!
I am very tall so I need pants that can fit a 34 inch inseam. I also tend to destroy most clothing that I wear. I don't try to it just happens.

I need 34 inch inseam too, and 35 inch sleeves. They're hard to find, unless you get real big sized stuff. XXLarge and such. Then they hang off like bags. Scorpion Sports large pants and XL coat were long enough. You might there. I've gotten good prices for Scorpion equipment through Motorcycle Superstore and Sportbike Track Gear.

Motorcycle Gear, Parts and Accessories at Motorcycle Superstore
Motorcycle Gear | Sportbike Track Gear

Welcome aboard!!!
I thought about doing that but unfortunately I don't have a way to get a dirt bike to an area with trails. I don't currently own a car and my roommates vehicles are not suitable for transporting a bike or carrying a trailer behind them. I live in the city.

Honestly I think your going about this all wrong....... You might want to get an automobile 1st before you get a motorcycle ??? IDK maybe its just me but you've never been on a bike before and you want your sole transportation in a city to be on something you don't know how to ride?? City riding is dangerous if your not comfortable on the bike or have the necessary experience to recognize potential hazards before they happen (head on a swivel) :whistle: Developing this sense takes time and its not something you learn at a few lessons at the MSF course. Not to mention I don't know where your located so inclimate weather is a factor too. Before you profess your love for a Hayabusa you may actually want to take the training course and ride a motorcycle to see if its for you.....
:welcome: to the oRg :thumbsup:

For a guy your size and age ........ buy a Gen II, buy all the gear ( good gear ), and roll around in C-Mode until you're ready for B-Mode, then A-Mode.

Taking motorcycle safety courses would be a good suggestion as well.
every one that posted has great advice and i agree with all of it but im with #1busa on getting a car first because you are not going to learn everything at once and it will take time.. so taking the msf and going right into every day transportation is not a good idea..once you take the msf you are going to need alot of seat time and real world experience witch is going to take time but going right into only transportation might be a little much for you at first...best of luck
My dad is full of advice, some good, some not so good. One thing he told me that still sticks with me to this day is never be dependent on a bike for your only source of transportation. If it is all you have you are going to have to ride it in some nasty weather, after a couple of beers, and on roads/traffic situations that are dangerous. He rode bikes all his life and I have as well and I have realized he is right. Couple that with the fact that you are going to need some time to develop the physical and mental skills/awareness that it takes to ride defensively and you could be putting yourself in a bad situation. Just my .02.
I would forget the Ninja 300, you will out grow that in a matter of weeks and that is on the out side. And no offense but some one of your size that bike won't even be able to get out of it's own way let alone when a car tries to crowd you out.

Personally I started on a Honda Night Hawk 650. Truth be told it was there and only 600 bucks, that and a few hours of wrench time and I had a good bike that I used for years. I was ready to get a bigger bike after about a season, keep in mind I put 8000 miles on the bike during the first summer. The nice thing was the 650 was able to get the job done for years to come. I did always want a bigger bike but the 650 continued to work well for me until I was able to move to the Hayabusa.

Not to scare you off from the Busa but the ridding position is not for every one. I can't do standards or cruisers because of my tendency to slouch and kill my back. The riding position of a sport bike forces you to use your abs and arch or lower back forward thus keeping my back in line.

Find what fits you but keep in mind; the best bike is the one you are sitting on, and makes you comfortable.

Welcome to the board. Even if you don't buy the Hayabusa stick around the board will be better for having you here. You will find as you travel this board there is a mature diverse group who want to help and enjoy a laugh and that is what helps make this a great place.
Thank you all for the advice. Unfortunately a car is not an option for me at this time due to lease restrictions. I can park a motorcycle or two in the garage with my roommates cars though. I am ok with learning slowly. I currently walk to work. I get lifts home from my roommates and other friends. I will still walk to work until I am comfortable riding the motorcycle. Fortunately I also live only two and half miles from my work place and the fastest road to get there has a max speed of 35. My subdivision is very quiet during the day as most people are out at work. I plan to practice while the roads are relatively deserted.

I am aware that using a motorcycle as my primary means of transportation means I will have to deal with weather issues. I am cool with that. I walk to work in the rain and the snow. If I can't drive a motorcycle in the weather I can either get a lift or use my feet to get me where I need to be. I was worried about cold weather and keeping warm until recently. One of my friends has a vehicle that I guess is technically a scooter even though it looks like a Harley style motorcycle. It has a 250cc engine but it is an automatic without a clutch. He drives it 140 miles a day to get back and forth from his job. In the cold weather he puts on a sub zero arctic jumpsuit under his riding clothes. He said it is a little snug but he can't feel the cold with it on.

I have spent a long time deciding if I should get a motorcycle or not. It took a couple of years for me to finally decide to get a bike. I have ridden a bicycle around the city. I have seen just how dangerous people in cars are. On a bicycle you have to look out for vehicles speeding along faster than they should. You have to watch for cars cutting into the bike lanes when they turn or getting distracted by a cellphone call. Any time a large or fast vehicle goes by you can really feel it. The real problem is that on a bicycle you can't get speed up to stay ahead of the car without taking extreme measures. You either get off the road or hope he notices you and passes around you. When you cross a bridge and you don't have anyway off of the road you just hope you make it. One reason I stopped bicycling around was because I was safer walking. I figure that with a motorcycle at least I will be able to keep up with traffic. Overall a motorcycle has a good amount of practicality for me.

But not every reason is practical. I also just like motorcycles. I think they look cool as hell. I have always thought that. I love the sound when a bike goes by. I always notice them when I go by auto dealerships. I remember when I was a kid and I used to dream about driving motorcycles, flying jets, and piloting helicopters. I remember my first bicycle ride. I remember my first ride without training wheels. I remember the first Huffy BMX bicycle and how it felt to go flying down hills and over ramps. How when you go around a corner really fast and you lean the bicycle and you can feel every bump in the road through the frame. When you can feel how close you are to the bicycles limit just by the way it feels. I remember the moment I realized I was treating the bike as an extension of my body and not as something separate from me. I loved that. It was freeing in someway. Those memories are why I finally decided to get a Hayabusa. The practical part of my mind feels that I would be just fine with a low cc bike for getting around. But I figured that if I am going to get a motorcycle I might as well aim to try and get a bike that appeals to me in more than just a practical way. I should try and get a bike that I can look at and like as well. The bike is just beautiful.

I hope I enjoy the MSF course and like riding motorcycles. I have a feeling I will. I still haven't decided if I am going to keep a smaller bike around for day to day stuff when I finally get my Hayabusa. But that is distant enough in the future that I can take some time to make up my mind.
First thank you all for your advice.

A car or truck is not an option due to lease restrictions. We have to keep our vehicles parked in the garage. Parking in the driveway overnight or on the lawn is not allowed. I would park in the street but a few of our neighbors have been ticketed for doing that. There is enough room in the two car garage for me to keep a couple of motorcycles if I want. But my roommates each have a car that they need to get to work. I currently walk to work and my roommates and friends give me lifts home. I don't really mind but sometimes I want to be able to go somewhere on my own instead of having to depend on others. Taxi rides are expensive, the bus is slow and never on time, and riding a bicycle has proven to be more dangerous than walking.

When I first moved in with my roommates I began thinking about getting a motorcycle. I took into account the hazards of driving in bad weather. I have spent countless hours talking to other people I know who have motorcycles. I have weighed just about every pro and con I can in my decision to get a motorcycle. I am planning to take the safety course first. If I don't like riding the motorcycles then I won't get one. I have a feeling that I am going to like riding them though.

edit: I knew before I moved in with my roommates that I wouldn't be able to have a car. I have no real issues with that. I have spent the last 3+ years making up my mind about getting a motorcycle.
welcome to the madness....2. take it slow...MSF?...or at least something small to start...you will appreciate the gas millage and it gives you time to learn and make mistakes that are not as costly....good luck
Everyone has pretty much summed it all up and they are all right.

My first advice to ANYONE who wants or us interested in riding a motorcycle is take MSF. Day dreaming about something that you physically know nothing about can be dangerous if not done in the right way. I've had plenty of friends who have indulged the idea of riding, go out and buy a crotch rocket because of the "coolness factor" and end up being seriously hurt, let alone out of a large sum of money because they knew nothing about the bike and its history. MSF teaches you as if you have NEVER been on or around motorcycles before which is great. It gives you the opportunity to try out the motorcycle to see if it is something you are comfortable with and or if it fits you and your needs. Beyond that, I think you have the right frame of mind with starting off with something more manageable to learn the ins and out of common functionality of a motorcycle than a Hayabusa as your first bike.

One thing that still rings in my head from MSF class is that they ask everyone on their first day in the classroom, what is their bike or choice or their dream bike. At the end of the course for those who passed, they revisited the bike of choice/dream bike questions and say, "remember the bike we asked you about, well take a picture of it and hang it on your wall! Don't go out and purchase the bike as your first because chances are, you AREN'T ready for it."

Good luck with whatever choices you go with and stay safe!
" You might want to get an automobile 1st before you get a motorcycle "

I disagree dude :)

I was riding bikes at age 8 (on the fields), took my bike test at 17 and rode bikes 365 days a year until I was 37. Then I passed my car test. Passed first time as I had better observation, a better sense of space and faster reactions that my instructor. When we were driving he would often ask me how many hazards I could see. Invariably it would be twice or even three times the number he saw, "Biker sense" is the best kind of road sense.

I reckon the OP has this about right and had a sensible approach. Get something small and light to start with, get used to the controls and techniques. Learn total clutch control (which IMO is THE key to riding a Hayabusa), how to countersteer, decide a line, etc, then move to something mid range. I reckon the SV650 is a really good choice for this as it's got a bit of weight behind it, is a good all rounder and will inspire confidence. Might want to consider something 750-1000CC after, a sports bike would be a good choice. Whatever the case, whatever bike you're on - clock up the hours, just get out riding as much as you can.

You could be throwing a Busa around like the best of us in a few short years.

I'd never really had anything sporty before I got a Hayabusa, most of my bikes had been 80s classic thumpers: GSs, GTs, etc, mainly 500-750CC. Finally got a 1200 Bandit, smoked that on a hairpin, then got a Hayabusa. Never looked back.