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Discussion Starter #4
doesn';t seem like the entire link is active...if you copy it and paste it you should be able to see the story
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i just decided to copy the whole story, enjoy:



For the past few weeks, I have debated on whether or not to post the following story about something that myself and my passenger Kim witnessed a few weeks back at a Southern California motorcycle dealership. The whole thing shook both of us up pretty badly - and made both of us (I think me more than Kim) absolutely furious. So furious, that it was only until recently that I calmed down about it.

After sharing this story with Fernando Belair, I thought about it - and feel that there may be something in here for riders - especially new riders to gain something from.

The dealership was a Harley-Davidson dealership - one of the biggest in the area, but that really isn't important. I ask that we not turn this into a Harley-bashing thread. I grew up around these bikes, I learned how to ride on these bikes, I have many friends who have ridden these bikes to the ends of the earth and back, and I'll always have an affection for these bikes. It just so happens that this incident occured at this particular high-volume dealership.

The happy part of this story:

Many of you are not aware of this, but my beloved passenger Kim recently took the MSF class and obtained her motorcycle license! She passed with flying colors, and is now licensed to ride a motorcycle. Shortly after she passed the class - it was time for her to get her first bike. Being just 5 feet tall, the goal was to get her something low, slow, and affordable that would fit her right out of the box and not cost a bundle if it was dropped. I tried, but a Honda Rebel wasn't going to fly with her. Long story short, Kim is the proud owner of a Red Buell Blast, she loves it and she's riding all over the place. Another ride tale with pictures will come soon.

On this day, we decided to pay a visit to this Harley shop - because they also sold Buell Bikes. Our goal was to find a few accessories for her new bike that the local Harley / Buell dealer in my area didn't have in stock. Small stuff - a tank bag and a tank bra - to protect it.

The rest of the story:

Turns out, they had the bag in stock - so it wasn't a total waste of time. After browsing the store and drooling over what seemed like dozens of iron horses of chrome - we grabbed a cup of complementary coffee they had on tap and stepped outside to enjoy the day, look at more bikes, and sit and drink our coffee before making the trip home. It was a glorious sunny day.

So we're sitting in this 'sitting area' in front of the shop - as we both notice what appears to be a young man taking delivery of a brand new bike - a black 2004 Sportster. "Wasn't your first bike a Sportster, Tony?" Kim asked. "Yup - a 1977 XLCR. Boy they've come a long way since then."

We both commented on what an exciting day this must this must have been for this guy - getting a new bike and all. His friends were with him looking on - as the salesman was showing him the bike. As we sipped our coffee and looked and smiled and stared at this 'event' taking place, I noticed something that didn't quite look right.

The customer was clad in a sleeveless shirt, a pair of shorts, slip on tennis shoes and low cut ankle sox. No gloves, no gear really to speak of. No jeans. Nothing like that. The only thing I noticed was one of those novelty helmets dangling from his hand - blowing in the breeze as he listened to the salesman explain the bike. Yes, these helmets were stacked to the rafters inside the shop.

"Wow I hope that guy isn't going to ride dressed like that" I commented. My concern then turned to bewilderment - and for whatever reason - I remembered my cell phone had one of those little cameras built in it. So from my hip - I discretely snapped a picture of what I was watching.

The customer is on the right in the light blue shirt - the salesman is on the left:



Now all of us have taken delivery of a new (or used) motorcycle at one time or another. Usually the salesperson takes maybe 5 to 15 minutes going over the bike with you and you're on your way. But in this case - we were sitting there watching this for over a half hour.

"Wow - pretty thorough run-through of the bike" I chuckled. But then something else didn't seem right. The salesman was getting on the bike and demonstrating starting and stopping. He was showing the customer which brake lever stopped which wheel. With the customer seated on the bike, he was moving the customer's foot as he was explaining that 'first gear is down, and the rest are up - and this lever stops the rear wheel.'

Something just didn't seem right about this. I wasn't saying anything, but Kim's voice broke the silence and said, "Tony - this guy has never ridden before and he's going to ride that bike." "No way" I replied - can't be.

About another 10 minutes elapsed and finally the customer got geared up with his new novelty helmet and nothing else. No gloves, just shorts, slip on tennis shoes, and low cut ankle sox. I managed to snap off another picture. Note his two friends looking on...



At that point, he mounted the bike, put it in first gear, and proceeded to roll off. After rolling about 10 feet in the parking lot, he suddenly gave the bike a tremendous amount of throttle (almost wide open) and then closed it. "Whoa!" I said in fear. "What the 'F' is this guy doing?"

He then coasted out of the driveway and into the street - gunning the engine again and backing off. He did this about two more times - and then gunned that little Sportster with what must have been a wide open throttle - and this time he didn't let up. He just kept accelerating.... and accelerating... going faster and faster - (I would put him at about 35-40 MPH) wining the engine out (didn't shift)... as he approached a left hand curve outside of the dealership. At that moment, everything seemed to move in slow motion, and this guy, on a brand new bike, wearing next to no protection lowsided with such an impact - it was unbelieveable.

Smoke, sparks, that horrible sound of metal scraping on the road and then silence. Kim screamed. The salesman buried his face in his hands. The customer's friends were in shock. I stood there in utter disbelief.

At that point, myself and Kim ran to where he went down (no pictures of this part). His left shoe had come off his foot. The bike was on top of him and he was semi-conscious. The salesman ran over as well.

As it turns out, Kim is a surgical nurse - so she is used to seeing stuff like this. I just kind of went into 'robot' mode and took orders from Kim. I called 911 and told the salesman "she's a nurse - it's OK". "Oh thank God" the salesman replied.

Incredibly, as some time passed, the injured customer made it to his feet and could limp under his own power - over to a sitting area. Kim ran inside to obtain a first aid kit and went to work on him - waiting for help to arrive. It was also a chance to examine his injuries.

Road rash covering his left arm and leg. Gravel was embedded in his arm and leg. Exposed bone on his ankle. Left hand had severe puncture wound combined with road rash. Turned out that the end of one of the levers had penetrated his hand. Major contusion on his left temple. He was going into shock which Kim began treating him for.

So there I was, now sitting on a 2004 Road King on the sales floor. To my right I watched my girlfriend administer first aid to a guy who had just bought a bike, didn't know how to ride a bike and crashed it. I then glanced to my left - looking at the concern and tears in the eyes of the gals who worked in the motorclothes department - they weren't saying anything. I then glanced at the other employees in the store - some shaking their heads, some with a smurk, and some going about their business.

Then I looked at the salesman who sold him the bike - who was outside, wheeling the crippled Sportster into the service department. I ran out there towards him and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Pretty crazy, huh?
Sales guy: Unreal
Me: I'm just curious - did that guy have a motorcycle license?
Sales guy: Nope
Me: Had he ever ridden a motorcycle before?
Sales guy: Nope - but he claimed he could do it.
Me: You mean he was going to ride it home?
Sales guy: Yeah. Don't need a license to by a bike. But the customer has to at least ride the bike out of our lot. That way the bike is officially delivered. It's up to them if they want to ride it home or not. (He then says with a chuckle) Now... we get to fix it! Sh*t happens, you know?

I stood there nodding my head but was completely bewildered by what I had just heard. He spoke so fast and was so nonchalant about it - that I didn't know what to say next. I wanted to say "You could've at least sold him a pair of jeans, boots and a jacket as upsells" - "You could've... you should've..." there were so many things I wanted to say, but I didn't say anything.

As I walked away he said, "Hey man thanks for sticking around and helping the guy".

"Happy to help" I replied.

Kim and I then left the dealership and went somewhere to sit and talk about what just happened - and then proceeded to make the one hour ride home.

One could say the dealer should've stepped up and not let him ride. One could say the customer should have known better.

Who knows - that's why I'm posting this.

I know some may disagree with me, but I've always felt that like it or not - sometimes - a dealer - or a salesperson is the 'last line of defense' before a new rider hits the road on a new motorcycle. Granted, in the end it is the decision of the customer what they want to do - but for gosh sakes - in this instance - the dealer didn't appear to try and intervene at all - and I just don't get it. He KNEW he didn't know how to ride a bike and attempted to teach him right there in the parking lot. I really don't get it.

What's your take on this?

The next day, we took a ride up to Joshua Tree - and stopped at another dealership in the area where I live and I shared this story the owner, (Age 84) who has been riding for over 60 years. He wasn't surprised to hear this story when I told him which dealer it was. When I asked him what he would have done he said "We have a policy here. See in California you don't have to have a motorcycle endorsement to buy a motorcycle - but in my shop you do. If you want a bike you've got to at least get the endorsement. If they insist on buying the bike - then maybe I'll sell it to them, but we won't let them ride it out of here. We'll deliver the bike to their home - for free. At that point, they're on their own."

At any rate, that's the story - and to this day, it still saddens me. As all of you know, when learned properly, this sport is so great - and it is truly surprising what the perception of some newer riders can be about riding a motorcycle.

I guess rather than pointing fingers, we as riders should always try to share good riding habits with newer riders - and hope that they make the right choices. In the end, it's the rider's choice... but when the rider doesn't know any better, and in this case, doesn't even know how to ride.... I kind of feel it's a dealer's choice to a point as well.

Thanks for listening.

--------------------
Tony
Rancho Mirage, CA
 

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SAD BUT TRUE

We have forum members that are constantly telling newbies that it is okay to start out on zx-6r or RR bikes and GSXR-600's and even 1000cc/1Liter bikes...it irritates me deeply to see the postings on the web. Still we have those on the web that say that we don't have a governmet in place that should not allow us to ride wha we want an dwe don't want the government involved. I will continue to support that we have the obligation to tell people to start small and build up to a great bike We have the responsability and accountability to keep things in line and not get our members killed...still I am getting slammed for my ideas of safety. I believe tha tif someone tells a newbie that he can learn to ride an ZX-6R and he gets killed trying to learn that the person giving the advice should be held accountable for his actions, convincing someone that likes the looks of a bike that they can learn of it. It is wrong and there is not a thing that I can do about it. It will have to come through Insurance companies insuring the person, not their dad, brother , mother or sister...You are 20 years old and can pay the $3000.00 insurance a year then Okay...as lon as it doesn't afect my insurance and upset me that one of my friends has pur somene in harms way and litterally given him a weapon to kill himslf and perhaps others...
 

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It oughta be a law.....

It oughta be a federal law that people who buy cars, trucks. boats, jet skis and of course motocycles should have a license to buy. Heck, they make gun owners in some states take tests and classroom time, why not the same for vehicle purchases?

Why - because of lobbyists.

That being said, the unscrupolous dealers will sell, thats what they do. The ones with a conscience - will advise and found alternatives so the above post does not happen. The smart dealer realizes that he needs that customer to come back and buy more accessories, get service for his bike and so on. Making a buck on someones elses misery is wrong any way you cut it. Shame on them!

There are always a few out there that say "hey, I can handle it" "it doesn't apply to me". They are the same people we scrape up off the ground involving alcohol or using too much speed....Haven't you ever heard....I'm ok, I can drive.

People who make conscious decisions to be macho and do dumb things are majoring in the minors. The new rider that wants a big bike? The returning rider that gets a Ducati 999 etc etc.

As a forum we must not yield to the mob mentality and encourage all riders to do what is the right thing. If you have ridden for any period of time longer than 5 years and have not had an accident, then you have found a way to minimize your risk factor. For the others that have crashed, I am sure if they had to do it again, it would be different. Let's give the inexperienced riders or rusty riders a chance to succeed as a forum. For the newbies, just ride and have fun. You don't have to have the fastest production bike on the earth as your first bike! Ride responsibly. A bigger and better bike will be waiting for you when you are ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i could not agree with both of you anymore. If a newbie comes onto a forum looking for advice on a first bike, there is an obligation on our part to give the newbie good sound advice on how to get into the sport as safely as possible (aka, take the MSF class, start on a small bike, wear the gear). To recommend any 600cc+ repli-racer to a newbie is absolutely irresponsible. Afterall, what's the hurry? This is their FIRST bike and not their LAST bike.
 

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Kind of interesting-----all the noob's saying they can handle a 600+ bike.

While all the old(and alive) guys here saying no you can't.

Who are you gonna listen too???



After riding my new bike around for about a month or so---I find myself desiring a bigger bike-----but the flat out truth of the matter is that after a 17 year lay-off I could have never handled one of those 900/1000cc monsters right off the lot---I'd be dead by now---and I'm an experienced rider----all be it---a rusty one.
 

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AGREED

INFORMATION first, safety must be considered, eveh riding abilities could be part of our questions...IF the NEWBIE didn't want to hear what we had to say then why even contact us and ask. He would like some people to say "Heck ya' you can handle a ZX-6RR, and you can ride any bike you want o as long as you are careful..." WRONG ANSWER! I was riding a Yamaha 250 dual sport, and my Schwinn 10 speed when an Air Force Buddy decided to take my Schwinn 10 speed and sign the Title to his Honda DOHC 450 to me. My 10 speed was efficient light weight and the Honda was a big ugly quarter-ton of metal, and handled like an ostrich. I feel better now knowing that there is a greater concern for safety, information, and classes before purchase. I do believe that there should be parts of a parking lot set up for not only city close drills , but we also need some tracks around the country even for the ELIMINATOR 125 through the entire spectrum of bikes. There has to be courses for Motorcycle Police...we need things like this available to all of us. I don't know about setting specific time limits, perhaps an endorsement from the track would further be observed for lower rates through insurance. The very first Motocross bike that I sat on was something like a CZ460. I had ridden a buddies Honda CB200, so I knew the controls, but they worked lik in exponential form. The brakes would throw you off the power curve was great till it hit about 3,000RPM then it was time for take off front wheel sky, hit the rear brake hard while lettting of the throttle...a full competition race bike I was not even close to enjoying the ride...BTW the yamaha 250 would kick the Honda 450's tail! It's not always about size... is what I'm trying to say...
 

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Is it just me or has this point been beaten to death?

Never tell a rider what they should ride

Suggest a good bike only after you know the riding experience, previous bike?, age, license, gear

Until then quit posting, "GOD I HATE PPL WHO SAY NEWBIES CAN RIDE A 600" we all know not too, and if you are a person who doesn't I wouldn't really say you're a member you're a person who posted 1-6 times for help on one project and left
 

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Beaten to death---yes.

Problem is---noob's keep on cracking up on a bike that's too much for them.

If you can get even one to rethink their 1st purchase---and get a bike they can handle-----then its worth it.

Don't you think so??
 

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I'm all for that, but when you're not talking to a noob, you're talking about talking to a noob it becomes kind of redundant, wouldn't you say?
 

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noob

I have to say that not all noobs are newbies. Am i considered a newbie after dirt racing asphault racing being on the military base MSF training force an driding 20 of my 30 years with a license? I've ridden GS1100E honda 1600's all the way down to a Yamaha street legal YSR-50 2 stroke that would crank out 70MPH! Thanks to the Military training MSF course I have ridden most every bike that was produced from 1972 to 1992. I can ride just about anything, but I'm not comfortable with everythig that I have ridden. How much time on dirt bikes do these guys have? how much ATV time, did they race bicycles or mountain bikes extreme style, there are way to many questions that we can't answer but can ask. I still believe the answer is to start low powered and then either increase the power or get a larger bike. The Kawasaki dealer can set the mapping on a racing bike to have no guts or glory all the way out to a full blown race bike and even overide the rev limiter. TIres an safety gear are the most important advice that we can give. You cannot beat this subject to death! We will always have people coming to the forum saying that they fell in love with this or that bike. I don't want to be held accountable of responsible for a kid/adult getting killed because of MY advice. Start small and learn all you can. Most of us know how to build a rocket out of a 250 if we really put some thought into all the things that we could do, enough to stomp a stock 500R...but it would cost more than a 500r to do that. IT Still remains a fact aht some people want a sleeper. Personally I'm ready for a 600 even after the decade away from riding. I'd take both the MSF and Advanced MSF course and I would practice everything. I live in a small town south of Kansas city...I don't care for the city. but I love the back road US Highways...We are not beating this thing to death, we are just doing "do-overs" with new people.
 

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Ok, if anyone has read any of my posts on saying it's ok to start on a liter bike needs to understand this. Nobody should ever start on a liter bike, 600, or anything with any power to speak of without knowing how to use the clutch, and how to change gears. That story was unreal. If i was a dealer, i wouldn't sell someone a bike if they didn't know which brake stopped which wheel or didn't know how to change gears.
 

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Re: noob

ZX-2R said:
I have to say that not all noobs are newbies. Am i considered a newbie after dirt racing asphault racing being on the military base MSF training force an driding 20 of my 30 years with a license?
I think you must have missed the meaning of newb/noob, no one who has ridden anything for 20 years is a noob
 

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fosta22 said:
came across this story on another forum. This story really got my blood boiling, at some point dealerships/salespeople need to be held accountable for allowing this to happen.
THe idiot buying the bike is an adult, I think you should blame him for his actions. It's not the dealer's job to test you and make sure you are up to the task of riding. That's your job. Would you blame car dealers for all auto accidents? :wink:

This is a Kawasaki forum. I would refer the generic newbie "What Bike is good for me?" types to www.beginnerbikes.com where they cover this topic in detail and fairly responsibly.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
the "idiot", as you referred to him, that bought the bike is an adult, and an uneducated one at that. However, riding a bike LOOKS alot easier then it actually is, and I'm sure that the guy who bought the bike thought it would be a piece of cake. This is where the salesperson/dealership needs to step in and not allow this person to ride off with a brand new harley, who not only doesn't have a drivers license, but who is apparently clueless as to how to ride. The dealerships lack of action is appalling, not only did they not try and protect their customer, but also protect any harmless pedestrians or motorists on the road that could have been seriously hurt by allowing him to ride off.
 

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Newbies on the FORUM

Better here on the Beartooth Kawasaki Forum than on any other forum...At least here they will receive the attention that they need for choosing a bike and more importantly the things that we go over and over and over...Safety first and proper gear! You cannot compare a Kia anything, to a BMW, Porsche, even VW anything! Which car is right for me? How tall, how many miles, in what type of terrain, how heavy will it be loaded (going to college with four people crammed into a kia may get you there...but not likely if you throw in other factors. You don't really NEED a 4X4 jacked up 8" with a supercharger, 36" gumbo tires, winch, lightbar, spotlights, if you live in Los Angeles and you never leave the city...but hey it is cool! It looks great, runs great, gives the guy a macho man image! It's COOL to have something differrent! It's his ride! But could most 18 year olds that never put a wax job, did oil changes installed all the equipment keep from "Testing it out?" Some could, But if they had no money into it and their rich dad or mom owned it and they had nothing in it, then you can almost bet that they would tear it up (the majority of them, anyway) There are no consequences. They won't get beat, spanked or grounded. Here we try to tell the guys wanting to know if a Ninja250R will do wheelies and stunt that yes it is possable but not advisable and that the stunt bikes are supported and braced for the things that they do. Visit the Library or video store and rent a movie. Read a magazine like the latest Cycles SPORTBIKE 2004 with the 1000cc bikes on the front page. They show you how some of the bracing looks and the importance of it...NO you cannot start out COLD with a Superbike 600 or 1000cc, that is why they are called Superbikes. NO, it is better that they come here and get information that is not just from peers wanting and or taunting them to get the biggest thing that the parents will buy for them. WE have the floor to tell these people about weight, horsepower, about clutches, different braking, even different braking techniques, Clutch brake and throttle drills, stop and go drills, we support SAFETY MSF courses, and encourage poeple to start out on something with less power so that they won't make a fatal mistake. We have people on here telling us all the time that they have laid their bike down, slid it across the pavement, through mailboxes, got off and forgot to put the kickstand down...we are honest and not ashamed...then to we are valuable in resource info like defective kickstand switches, oil changes, light bulbs or LED's...WE have a great service THANKS to our Sponsor BEARTOOTH KAWASAKI! Guys will go out and spend thousands of dollars, some just hundreds of dollars on a used bike and not go buy a SERVICE MANUAL! Come on...they are worth every dollar that you spend on them if you need one only once in your lifetime. I am for newbies asking the same questions over and over and over...
 
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