Re: The First Bike Topic.........
Just wanted to add to the posts so far and say great write-up, along with the other one's that are stickies.
I've been reading through all of the them the past few days and those posts alone have made me think about my decision to get a sport bike and what I want to start out with.
Right now I'm a cadet at the US Air Force Academy and while enrolled here, one of the rules is that we cannot own/maintain/ride a motorcycle of any kind. When I first heard that I could only think of how stupid a rule it was. But the more enlightened I get, I realize how necessary of a rule it is, the Air Force doesn't really want to waste money on someone for 4 years only for them to get mangled/killed on a motorcycle.
Once I graduate, however, one of my first major purchases will be a sport bike of some kind. Now before anyone gets any ideas, let me be the first to say I"m not going for the Tom Cruise "Top Gun" look, I'm not doing it just to be cool or try to get the girls or try to fulfill the "fighter pilot" look. I race cars and love the speed and adrenaline and want to take it a step further. I've been reading all of the sport bike magazines for some time now, trying to learn as much as I can. I've never ridden a motorcycle before other than a friends old moped. But I have no aspirations of jumping on a bike, riding for "600 miles" and saying, "hey, this is cool, this bike is just right for me, I'm not in over my head." I know the dangers associated with the sport, but with the lifestyle I'm entering into I'm accustomed to risks and danger, its a matter of rationalizing and accepting the risks. The way I see it, if you can't accept the risks that come along with riding any kind of motorcycle, you shouldn't own one.
Going along with the advice of many of the experienced riders on here, I've been eyeing the SV650 quite a bit. I saw one here on base the other day and was hoping to talk to the rider some, but I never saw anyone around. I realize that by the time I'm ready to get a bike there may be better options out there, but so far, from everything I've seen, that seems to be the bike for me. On another note, one of the advatages of owning a bike in the military is the Academy offers a safety course above and beyond the MSF that some many of you have talked about. I will definitely enroll in that when the time comes.
So basically, in a long winded way, just wanted to say thank you for the great wealth of information and insight here. I just wish many other new riders would heed the advice and not get in over their heads.