Questions from a new rider [Archive] - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums

Questions from a new rider

07-21-2016, 04:09 AM
Hello everyone!
I am interested in riding, but I have some questions that I just haven't been able to find the answers to that I'm hoping some experienced riders can help me out.
How often should a bike be serviced and what's the upkeep and expense for things like that? Also, what would be everyone's recommendation for good, but non-expensive gear? Also, if I'm buying a used bike, what kind of things should I check and look out for?
Thank you very much for everyone's help, also, I don't know much about bikes yet, so it would probably be best if everything is explained in the simplest terms xD
Thank you!

Hot Cruiser
07-21-2016, 03:09 PM
Welcome! About servicing bikes, the owner's manuals have the needed info, which basically is objective. Servicing costs depend upon the individual bike, whether the servicing is done by dealers (whose charges vary) or by the owners themselves Nearly everything else including among others queries about riding gear is more subjective since answers depend upon individual opinions and situations. For example, some riders who ride in Southern California may prefer one type of gear while other riders in that area may prefer another type of gear. And if the riding situation instead is Minnesota there will be the same sorts of variant opinions. Perhaps do searches on this forum and also on sites which sell riding gear and have a look at riders' evaluations and opinions, which are posted on many of those sites.

07-21-2016, 03:57 PM
I completely agree with everything Hot Cruiser stated.

When it comes time to buy a used bike, there will be a ton of variables involved. Is it chain drive? Belt drive? Shaft drive? When was the last time a valve check and adjustment was done? How old is the gas in the tank? (That's a major concern if the bike has been sitting a while)

Is the bike carbureted? If so, when's the last time the carb(s) were cleaned/checked/adjusted?

What do the brakes look like? What does the brake fluid look like? What kind of condition is the coolant in? When were the spark plugs last changed?

Again, there are many variables involved.

When it comes to riding gear, check the following sites: (the new name of New Enough) :: Motorcycle Jackets, Helmets, Gloves, Boots, Luggage, Parts and More! (

Motorcycle Closeouts (

Motorcycle Gear - Motorcycle Superstore (

Motorcycle Gear, Free Shipping, & HD Video Reviews - RevZilla (

Also, be sure to check at your local motorcycle dealerships, they tend to have good selection and they know their prices have to be competitive, so sometimes you'll get lucky there, and you get the advantage of being able to try the gear on before you buy it.

Hot Cruiser
07-21-2016, 06:00 PM
I also agree with 4stringbiker's helpful suggestions. There is a lot of choice involved in biking and checking out those web sites can help give one some starting points. And I have had some good deals on Ebay, but one needs to double check prices for specific items with at least one other supplier's web site. Even Amazon can be useful - I got some riding boots at a 50% reduction via their site, but again, double check their prices.

07-24-2016, 06:22 PM
Wow! Thank you both so much for taking the time to help me out, I really appreciate your help! When trying to start from scratch learning about motorcycles and such, everything seems so overwhelming, but I will continue to learn as much as I can. Thank you!

07-24-2016, 09:17 PM
A few thoughts about used bikes, in no particular order:

1) I've never bought a new bike, and I've had lots of motorcycles, going back to 1971. Why? (I hear you asking).
Because lots of guys buy bikes and find out rather quickly that it's not for them. So, unlike the market for used cars, there will always be a high proportion of used bikes for sale that are low mileage. I let the original owner take the big initial depreciation hit. The best chances for a good deal are private sales where the owner needs to unload the bike.

2) Now, buying used is fraught with unknowns, as someone is sure to point out if I don't. Stick with fairly recent production, no more than several years that looks good, that is, not obviously banged up. A bike that has been dropped and scratched up is not necessarily one to avoid, but one that was wrecked surely is. An older bike with low mileage has its own potential problems, like dry rotted tires, rusted tank with bad fuel, gummed up carb or injectors, stiff or cracked hoses and wiring, blah blah. You see, on a bike most everything is exposed to the elements.

3) Be careful you don't get a bike too big for you to handle as a novice rider. This should go without saying.

4) As a new rider, you're gonna drop your first bike, I can almost guarantee it. Buy something not too expensive to learn on. And take the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course. You'll be better off for learning how to ride properly and safely straight off. Unlike me. :razz:

There's plenty more, but I'll leave it to others. Good luck.

07-25-2016, 08:29 AM
fritzi93.. are you the fritz who has those ride videos on youtube?

07-25-2016, 03:16 PM
fritzi93.. are you the fritz who has those ride videos on youtube?

No, sorry.

07-25-2016, 09:45 PM
I think the most important advice is to buy a small bike to start with. That one thing will prevent spills and drops more than anything else. I started on a CB350 Honda and it was a perfect starter bike. I didn't drop it. After you get to the point where shifting and braking are second nature and you don't have to think about what to do next, then you may be ready for a bigger bike if you want one.