Sunday, August 28, 2011

Motorcycle shopping is exhausting!!

Motorcycle Man is really happy that I passed my learners test and am signed up for the Novice & traffic course. He is so eager for me to start riding that he has been scouring the Internet looking for a gently used 250 motorcycle. This morning we actually got up early ate some leftover lemon meringue pie & coffee and off we went. At first we were going to take my scoot & his motorcycle, but he decided last minute that We were going 2 up instead. No problem I like be chauffeured anyway & that has been my spot for the last 28 years. It was pretty hot though and I was in full gear, I managed to get a sunburn on a spot just above my collar, apparently I missed that spot whilst slathering my face & neck with sunscreen. Anyway I digress onto the bikes.

I decided I don't want a new bike for a few reasons; 1) I don't want to pay a fortune for a new bike as I would still like to keep my beautiful scoot. 2)I am worried about dropping the bike, I hear lots of newbs do this while trying to get used to shifting 3) There are some really good gently used bikes out there.

We looked at three today and I actually sat on one & coasted down the hill a bit. I still haven't got the shifting thing yet. It was an older classic cruiser style Suzuki 440 LTD, it's been over the road a bit & has some battle scars, but is a 'sound' bike according to Motorcycle Man, so we are thinking about it. The 2nd bike we looked at was a Honda 450,it was a complete NO not even going there kind of bike. The front fork seal was leaking hydraulic fluid & it was a homemade fixer-upper get it going kind of bike. They spray painted the engine and also spray painted the exterior. Motorcycle Man said there are issues with it and it was idling properly, so we are not even thinking about it, which is okay by me. I have to say the one thing I liked about the Honda was the handlebars.

The third bike we looked at was absolutely lovable, it is a vintage 1968 150cc Honda Benly. It was just the right size, needs a little TLC and Motorcycle Man is in LOVE with it. It has been well maintained and has some appropriate aging for a gal in her mid forties. Motorcycle Man says the engine is in excellent shape and it's just a goodmsolid bike. I didn't bring my camera with me (darn it). My only concern is that I am going to outgrow it within a couple of months of getting her. I want to be able to go around the Island, take her on roads that require highway speed, etc. I think it will limit me like my wee scoot does & I don't want to be looking for another bike next summer. However I can see myself riding it, because I would be the cool old lady on the vintage bike.

I am in no rush to buy a bike, so we are going to slow down a bit. I wouldn't mind trying to find a Honda Rebel 250. I'm still not sure of what happened to my idea of a larger scooter, think I need to talk to Motorcycle Man, so we are a cohesive spousal unit about my motorcycle future.


bobskoot said...


I know nothing about these, but I would prefer a Ninja 250r over a Honda Rebel

I went the big scooter route and I much prefer shifting gears over the CVT, that's half the fun of riding.

Riding the Wet Coast

Fuzzy said...

Congrats on passing your first test :) i hope you feel proud of yourself.

Well, the upside of all of these look-n-see visits is that you find all of the things you know you DON'T want. And as you go through them, MMan is giving you an education in what to look for as a red flag.

Maybe not ideal - but you're learning something.

Can't wait to see the post that says "I FOUND IT!"


Dar said...

Hi Bobskoot - I haven't been too partial to the Ninjas, I want something that I can sit more upright on. Still looking though.

Rachel - It has definitely been educating & unless I was buying brand new I would never go without MMan - he has lots of riding experience so if he says nope then it's nope. It's interesting everything I am learning. I am definitely looking at used because it's way more affordable. I will post the I found it picture. I am hoping to be as economical as possible I really want to keep my beautiful vino.

I will post when I find the new baby. I am excited, but I have to say I am a little trepiditious at the same time. It's weird I am just adding gears & more cc's. A couple of times I have thought "What the heck are you doing, thinking about motorcycles? ". Then I am so jazzed , it's going to be great when I get through.

Trobairitz said...

Motorcycle shopping can be fun and a little daunting all at the same time. I've bought new and used and it all comes down to personal preference and comfort and of course cost.

One thing you might want to watch out for is foot/riding position If you are used to your leg position on the scooter the forward controls on a Rebel or cruiser style bike might seem a little unnatural. If you like the forward controls even check out a Suzuki S40 if they have them up there. Low seat height and it is a single cylinder, but because of the cc you wouldn't outgrow it right away. Seat was too low for me when starting out so I didn't get the pearl white one I really liked. Was close though.

Have fun with the shopping phase, you are going to love motorcycling.

SonjaM said...

Dar, before you buy please try and find out if you really like gear shifting. I am one who thinks it naturally belongs to motorcycling, but I am biased because I learned to ride on a bike first before I got into scooters.

During my daily commute I love the automatic transmission of my Vespa but in the twisties gear-shifting is so much more fun.

My hubby doesn't want to be bothered with shifting gears and is completely and perfectly happy with his 250cc Vespa.

My first bike was a Yamaha Virago 250 and it was a good beginner bike. The Rebel will do the trick too. But how will you transport your groceries on these bikes... decisions, decisions. Good hunting ;-) maybe towards end of summer a bargain is coming along...

Turtle said...

I don't know much about most motorcycles, but I rode a Rebel 250 during the MSF class and it had way less power than my Vespa GT 200. I wouldn't want to ride it on a highway.

(I've accidentally gotten on an interstate a couple of times. Luckily, the GT gets to 70 quite quickly, when I'm panicked.)

Dar said...

I have been looking at used bikes for days and days. It is irritating as heck, the pics always look fabulous on the net & then you get there. What is so disappointing is that most of the people don't even care about the bikes theybare trying to sell. I get it that they have moved on, but take a few hours & detail the bike. One dude said he couldn't understand why his bike hadn't sold, I told him because it was dirty and it had some issues. Also some people have higher expectations of whatntheir bike is worth. Motorcycle Man explained to the guy why he wouldn't want to buy the bike, 1) The chain & sprocket need replacing 2) there was an idling issue, 3) need a new battery - we had to push start it 4) there was an issued with the clutch cable. Most of this would have to be fixed or replaced and the price had to come down to reflect that. There is one of these bikes on the mainland in pristine condition.

Looking some used is harder than buying new that's for sure.

Turtle said...

It's a lucky thing that you have Motorcycle Man there to help out. It would be really hard without him.

Dar said...

Turtle you are absolutely right, I am lucky.

bobskoot said...


I'm loosing it. You sent me a message a week ago asking about Mary and our former Vino 49cc. She is active on the forum and has gone for rides with the guys. Her user name is: swtmeringue.

she missed the last ride since she had laser eye surgery that day

Riding the Wet Coast

Dar said...

Dear Bobskoot,

Thanks for the update! I found her on the Vancouver forum & emailed her.


@Reyzie said...

The Ninja 250 is an amazingly versatile motorcycle! I know several riders, male and female, that have them and love them! In expert hands, on a tight road, few riders can hang with them. Although they're also very forgiving for beginners. It's a bike you can grow on -- not so with a Rebel 250.

They're also very sweet looking (if you like sport bikes.) Highly recommended!

Dar said...

Hi Reyzie ~ I tried a ninja and I am on my very tiptoes with it and I am not a huge fan of having to lean forward when riding. There are tons of them for sale here, as are Honda CBRs. I am sure I will find one very soon.