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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
License to come in the mail in around 2 weeks. The MSF class was awesome fun! Quick question... would the Tiger 800 be suitable for a first bike? I currently have nothing to ride yet.
 

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Hi,

Congrats on whatever you've just passed :)

Just for those of thus that don't live in the States, could you explain what you've passed and what's involved. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I passed my beginner's motorcycle safety foundation class. That means my motorcycle license will be in hand in about two weeks (via post). The MA = Massachusetts, USA.
 

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Just for those of thus that don't live in the States, could you explain what you've passed and what's involved. Cheers.
The MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) conducts 2-3 day beginners classes that in some US states will get you a license on completion.

The class involves class room theory and hands-on riding on a range.

You can find more details at http://msf-usa.org/
 

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It is a great class, and I am so happy I took it! I used to ride a little when I was a stupid kid, and I am so lucky I didn't hurt myself. I am so glad to have learned things via a instructor then by having to learn them " hands on" way. Welcome to the club edolecki! As soon as I passed the test I went on a crazed search for a Bonnie. The local triumph dealer here in Vegas closed, so I was on my own. I finally located a 2005 Bonnie from a local guy who had taken great care of her, I actually had to raise his asking price by $300, to get him to let her go. Couldn't be happier!


Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
 

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Quick question... would the Tiger 800 be suitable for a first bike? I currently have nothing to ride yet.

It's possible, but I wouldn't recommend it. My advice would be to pick up a cheap used bike as your first, because at some point you WILL drop it. And while the MSF class is terrific for learning the basics, it's all parking-lot practice and gives you no experience in real-world street riding, so you've got a lot of practicing to do. In my opinion it's foolish to rush right out and buy a brand-new bike. Find yourself a used Kawasaki Ninja 250 or EX500, Suzuki GS500, etc, to abuse while you're learning. Better yet, pick up a used dual-sport such as a Suzuki DR-Z400, Kawasaki KLR250, or Yamaha XT350. These are made to be dropped and abused, plus you can take them in the dirt; the skills learned in dirt riding will improve your street riding considerably, particularly when things get slippery. Plus once you get your "real" bike, you can keep the dual-sport for offroad riding, or sell it for pretty much the same price you paid for it.

--mark
 

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I suppose it depends on your back ground. Have you done any other riding, dirt bikes, ATV, etc? I started at 9 years old on a Honda ATC 200X and had ridden everything else around the neighborhood. So to go to a street bike really wasn't much of a challenge for me. Some people take the MSF course just to get their license and use of their bikes to take the test. Actually, here in CT it is mandatory to take an MSF course to get your license. But if you've never sat on a bike prior to the MSF course then I'd take markbvt's advice.
 

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Congratulations on passing the MSF course and welcome to the ranks. Mark gave you good advice. Start with a smaller bike for about a year. Then upgrade.
 

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From what you say, it sounds like a comprehensive course to get your licence.

It's like that in the UK as well. Learner riders complete a one day CBT (Compulsary Basic Training) course which allows them to ride up to a 125cc bike with Learner plates on for two years.

If they are under 21 yrs old they take a two part test to get their full licence. That comprises of an off road test where they do 11 set exercises like slalom, emergency stop, a swerve avoidance test, etc. If they pass that, they go on to ride a 30 minute road course. If they pass that, they can ride a bike up to 33 horsepower for two years, then they can ride whatever cc they want.

If a rider is over 21yrs old they do the same test but can ride whatever cc bike they want straight away.

It's a sensible graded approach to give riders the experience they need to help them stay alive a bit longer. The problem we had in the UK was young kids passing a test and going straight onto large capacity machines with no experience and getting injured or killed.
 

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I would not recommend the 800 as a first bike, as it's tallish, and therefore has a higher center of gravity. I will note that I haven't ridden the 800 street, but I have ridden the XC. The bike is an amazing piece, but get your experience on a more manageable bike first, used is best, since it's less painful financially WHEN it gets scratched up.


Sent from my iPhone;)
 

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The 800 isn't an ideal starter bike, but it is better than many other choices, such as the Harley Sportster or just about any crotch rocket. It's a tall, powerful and fairly heavy bike, which makes it a bit challenging for an inexperienced rider. On the other hand, the height gives you great visibility, and it's a fairly easy bike to handle. I second the recommendations to get a used, smaller dual-sport motorcycle. But if you're really craving the 800, you can start out on it; the learning curve will be very steep, though. Better to buy something a little lighter with a few scratches and dings. You'll be able to get most of your money back when you sell your starter bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for the feedback

I appreciate all the feedback. You all make perfect sense. Although I crave the Tiger 800, perhaps it's best to get something smaller where I'm not fearful of the power it has and I feel like I have to baby it to keep from killing myself or others. Something I can get really comfortable on and rip around corners and learn until I can graduate to something I really want. I'll probably end up being much more skilled and will have forgone the cloud of fear or hesitation. One thing I found out while in class is that the faster I went the easier the bike was to handle - especially in corners. But a little too much touch on a bigger bike could launch me and that's not macho being laid out on a stretcher.
 

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Congrats! I took the class almost 10 years ago and just recently the ARC! Great class too. As to your ???? The 800 would be very manageable. If you can do the MSF you can ride the baby Tiger. I would not go and buy a Busa or ZX14 however! Keep it at 800 cc's or less. My first bike was a 750 Shadow.
 

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I had not ridden on the street in about 40 yrs and took my MSC last November after purchasing a 1971 Triumph Tiger. Last bike I rode on the street was a 1967 Triumph Bonneville, and I quit riding because it seemed like everyone was out to kill me. The MCS basically confirms that everyone is out to kill you, although not on purpose, and teaches you to anticipate what may happen to improve your odds of surviving.

After passing the course and getting my license, the 1971 Tiger seemed a little course compared to the 250 cc fuel injected, disc brake bike I was provided for the MSC. So I stopped by the Triumph dealership to look at the Street Triples. Didn't really like the lean forward sport bike type of seating and tried the 1050 Tiger. The 1050 just felt right. Big but not too big, visible, ABS, big discs and smooth power. I'm probably a little small for this bike, 5'8", 160 lbs and a 30 inch inseam. But the point is, buy what feels right.

A lot of it will depend on how you are going to ride. If your only riding a few miles a month and not long distances, don't get a larger displacement bike. A 400 to 650 would be nice for shorter to medium length trips and just riding around. If you're going to tour or take longer rides, get a bigger bike to accommodate. A really fun bike is my wife's Suzuki DR-Z 400 sm. LIght weight, really good handling. They've been around forever and you could find a used one easily, like many other great choices out there. Best of luck and let us know what you do.
 

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It's possible, but I wouldn't recommend it. My advice would be to pick up a cheap used bike as your first, because at some point you WILL drop it. And while the MSF class is terrific for learning the basics, it's all parking-lot practice and gives you no experience in real-world street riding, so you've got a lot of practicing to do. In my opinion it's foolish to rush right out and buy a brand-new bike. Find yourself a used Kawasaki Ninja 250 or EX500, Suzuki GS500, etc, to abuse while you're learning. Better yet, pick up a used dual-sport such as a Suzuki DR-Z400, Kawasaki KLR250, or Yamaha XT350. These are made to be dropped and abused, plus you can take them in the dirt; the skills learned in dirt riding will improve your street riding considerably, particularly when things get slippery. Plus once you get your "real" bike, you can keep the dual-sport for offroad riding, or sell it for pretty much the same price you paid for it.
--mark


I agree with Mark. I taught MSF for 10 years and always told the beginners not to buy your dream bike first. Get a used one, and maybe a little undersized, get at least a year and 3K/mi under your belt, then move up. And like Mark said, if you deal well you can sell it close to buying price.

-Steve
 

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There are dozens of used Ninja 250's around on craigslist, bought by folks who were also making an entrance into riding. You can usually pick on up for about $2200. If you dont drop it too many times, you can sell it for about what you paid for it in about 6 months to a year. Seriously, its amazing how they hold their vaule! Its a non-intimidating, good handling and reliable bike that you will have a blast on, and not be scared everytime you ride it. Another good choice (if you plan on keeping it a bit longer) is a used Bonnie. More than a few of us have learned to ride on those, and ended up keeping them since they're such a great bike. Easy to ride, enough power, smooth fueling, good brakes and a nice low seat height.
Good luck!! Dont forget to invest in a good jacket, proper riding pants, full face helmet, motorcycling boots and gloves, and read a book titled "Proficient Motorcycling" by author David Hough. - also - stay away from group rides for now.
 

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There are dozens of used Ninja 250's around on craigslist, bought by folks who were also making an entrance into riding. You can usually pick on up for about $2200. If you dont drop it too many times, you can sell it for about what you paid for it in about 6 months to a year. Seriously, its amazing how they hold their vaule! Its a non-intimidating, good handling and reliable bike that you will have a blast on, and not be scared everytime you ride it. Another good choice (if you plan on keeping it a bit longer) is a used Bonnie. More than a few of us have learned to ride on those, and ended up keeping them since they're such a great bike. Easy to ride, enough power, smooth fueling, good brakes and a nice low seat height.
Good luck!! Dont forget to invest in a good jacket, proper riding pants, full face helmet, motorcycling boots and gloves, and read a book titled "Proficient Motorcycling" by author David Hough. - also - stay away from group rides for now.
+1 Spot on advice.
 

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Hello,

I own a Thunderbird 1600. Had it for about a year, and I've put about 11K miles on it. I commute to work on it daily , about 35 metropolitan highway miles each way.

Prior to this bike, I rode a 500cc scooter, and also commuted to work on it daily, for a total of about 10K miles.

I never took the MSF class. Do you guys think it makes sense for me to do so? I'm just looking for some input.

Geoff
 

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Do you believe that you have a good idea what maximum braking is on your bike and do you practice it often?

Do you lean into corners and feel confident? Or do you have that "pucker factor" often when cornering?

The ERC (Experienced Riders Course) or ARC-ST (Advanced Rider Course - Sportbike Techniques) will give you a good idea of what your bike can do.
 
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