Talk about great timing. My decision to get a bike was shortly followed by the large Toronto Motorcycle shows in December and January. I missed the December show, however made it to the January show with my friend Mike. For the first time I actually got to sit around on a few bikes and got a bite of reality just how big and heavy those things really are.
Photo: Trying a Duke on for size
It was suggested to me that I should get a Ninja 250. I was hoping I would get a chance to sit on one at the show but never found one.. I did try to sit on a bunch of bikes (just about any I could). The ones on which I could touch the ground for the most part I had to tippy toe on, I think ONE bike I could actually flat foot on one side (which didn’t inspire much confidence). Pretty much all of them felt very akward and I didn’t feel comofortable without someone standing by ready to catch the bike in case it fell over! I found it surprisingly difficult to push the bike off it’s stand to stand upright. A couple of the bikes I could get to stand up at all.
On the way out I was feeling disappointed to say the least. How am I supposed to ride a bike I can barely touch the ground on not to mention I might not be able to get to stand up in the first place. As we were exiting the show and walking past the line up of private bikes for sale, I thought I would try a couple more. I did end up sitting on a bike I actually felt completely comfortable on! I could reach the ground, I even felt comfortable to “toss” it side to side while on it. That sure put a smile on my face and gave me hope that maybe this isn’t hopeless after all. The bike was a ‘98 CBR600. I’m going to take a look at those too when searching for my first bike. My friend Mike did point out however that this bike probably had old sagging suspension, hence I could touch ground on it. He also pointed out that a 600cc bike might not be a good idea for a first bike and that I could always end up having a bike lowered if fit is an issue.
Photo: Happily sitting on the CBR
Ideally, I’m hoping I can find a cheap bike (hoping to spend in the 2k range, plus some more $ on the gear) I feel good on. I think I should give this a try and see if motorcycling is for me. If I can handle a bike and all is good, then down the road I can spend more money on upgrading to something nicer. If not, then at least it’s not a big loss.