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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pushing 40, about 142 lbs, married, never had a motorcycle, and all my elderly father-with-a-Honda-Goldwing says is "Don't get a bike," haha. Anyways, that awful Honda video for the Grom piqued my curiosity, and here I am. I looked up the engine size (125cc) -- so to go on a freeway in CA, it needs to be 150cc at least -- is that how it works? And then someone else told me to get at least 250cc for the freeway to have power to get out of the way if needed, does that sound legit? I'm just not sure if the Grom would make a good first bike? Should I start with something more middle of the road or a used item, and then perhaps move towards something Grom-like or sportbike-like? I have a penchant for unique things like the Grom. I'm sure there's already a ton of knowledgeable riders around here already, a little intimidating as a noob, haha.
 

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Depends on what you want from your bike. Freeway has to be at least 250cc in California and I'm probably105 lbs with wet clothes on and I thought the 250cc wasn't enough for the freeway. It's just difficult to pull ahead if you need too. Although this was before the 250CBR came along, maybe it has better handling then the Ninja. If you want something just to ride around town then the Grom sounds like a good fit. If you want something for freeway riding I would suggest starting with a 250CC, you are new to bikes then I recommend buying used because you won't know what you like or prefer until after you've gone through a couple bikes...

Hope that helps...perhaps we could help more if you named a few of the bikes you were considering besides the Grom.
 

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I would agree with Dj Hunny... For CA freeways get a 250-500cc bike. I mention that right away because you listed that in your post.

Aside from CA freeway I think the Grom would be a fun bike to ride, maybe your riding/commute or whatever could bypass freeway rides and stick to other roads?? I live in MD, to ride highway here they require 150cc or greater but we can ride on any road up to 50mph which means I can get anywhere via local roads, parkways and similar bypasses... these also happen to be what I ride daily on my current 250cc dual sport and 900cc cafe bike because highway riding isn't as fun. So if you can and want to ride other than freeway then the Grom may still work and would be a gentle 1st bike but also one that you could ride forever. I, like you, appreciate unique things and the Grom hit me pretty quickly as well... I heard about it and signed up on this forum yesterday and placed my deposit on one at the local dealer this morning. Having had 50+ bikes and been riding for over 30 years I have had street bikes from 49cc to a ZX14, to me it's all about expectations and for me it's more fun to ride the smaller bikes than the bigger heavier ones. I'm also 39 now and have kids so that plays into it a bit too I guess.

Lastly some items for any beginner...
1. Sign up for a course to get your license, find the longest one you can and go for it. Better to have plenty of time to learn and try out riding on their bikes in the class with instructors than learning on your own or from another rider.
2. Invest in quality gear, it may very well save your life. I hear people complain about how much gear costs... how expensive are injuries?
3. If your spouse isn't exactly on board with your new adventure bring her into the process more so she feels a part of it and learn about it together.
4. After your safety course invest in some learning materials such as the book "Proficient Motorcycling", then read it annually.
5. Read up on motorcycling tips and group riding tips... and do it each spring and fall, seasons have different challenges as well.
6. Read up on your motorcycle and learn as much as you can about it... (leads into #7)
7. Maintain your motorcycle very well and it should treat you well. Cleaning regularly you can spot items sooner. Check the tire pressures constantly, etc.
8. Be vigilant and assume every driver is trying to run your over, always assume they can't see you.
9. Never ride above your level... such as on a twisty road or group ride, etc. Always ride below your limit to give a gap for emergency.
10. HAVE FUN!!! If your not having fun then what's the point?!

Didn't mean to preach, just like to share and help.

:)
 

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40+ years experience here. Ill tell you what I told my daughter. Go take the MSF three day course so that you can get a license. Get your license and then come ask me about first bike etc. Good Luck. Hit me up on a PM and Ill answer all your questions.
 

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Freeway legal motorcycle is at least a 150cc in California. I rode a Vespa LX-150 scooter for a while and commuted 10 miles one way on the freeway. It was fine on rush hour traffic because of low speeds but didn't feel strong or safe enough in case of an emergency for speeds of 65 to 70mph. 250cc is a good size to accelerate and keep up with traffic.

I would suggest starting with a used motorcycle or scooter to get the feel of things. As you get more used to riding you will find out what you want to do and not have to spend the extra money for something new that you will later want to get rid of because you want something else. Selling a bike that you bought used will have less of an impact on your wallet rather than selling a bike you bought new.

I started with a used scooter then moved to a slightly more powerful used motorcycle. Then on to bigger still used 250. Then to a used 250 that had the style and power I was going to be happy with. I didn't lose much money on selling the used ones because I got them cheap enough to resell later for a bit less. I would buy used in winter/fall when bikes are cheaper. Then sell in the spring/summer when you can get more because that's when people are looking for bikes.

I'm going with a new Grom because I remember how much fun you can have when riding an underpowered bike to the limit. It would be a second bike to have fun on back roads and city riding. I plan on keeping it for a long time. My yamaha wr250x on the other hand, might be upgraded later on when its time for something bigger.

Before anything though, take the msf course. You learn a lot and you will see how riding feels like. If you stick with it, doing anything but riding on a nice day will feel like a waste of a day.
 

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All good responses. If you're sport bike oriented something like a Ninja 250 makes a perfect entry level bike and you can usually find good used ones priced reasonably. DON'T buy a fixer-upper for your first bike; get something in good mechanical condition. I don't recommend a new bike for your first purchase; you aren't perfect, you will probably drop it in the driveway (we all have,) be emotionally prepared. Always wear proper gear, don't forget gloves. Ride with the flow of traffic, if you can't keep up then change to a lower speed road. Read everything you can about motorcycle safety.

I had vivid "death dreams" the first two years of daily motorcycle riding. I didn't allow them to scare me away from something so rewarding and fun so I used that energy to seek out and read everything I could about motorcycle safety (this was before the computer age when you actually had to search out books and magazines.) I even invented my own "safety games" that I'd play while riding and I would punish myself (usually with self imposed speed limits) if I caught myself doing something stupid. LOL That was when I gave up the car and started riding full time .... 1977. It worked. I've had a injury free street riding career after thousands of miles of motorcycle travel in all sorts of conditions. You can do it.
 

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Just saw the new Honda CB500F in person. I think it would make a great first bike or 20th bike. Good for a beginner bug not something one would outgrow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That MSF hint is great, thanks for all the info everyone! I'm not in a huge rush -- but it's on my eternal shopping list, one day eventually. Yeah, pretty sure my dad tipped his bike in the garage one day many years ago. His garage floor is a lot smoother/slicker than mine, now that I think about it. He bought a fixer-upper bike last year and guess how much work he's done on it, zero hehheh.
 

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Xorbe, whether you buy a bike or not you should take the MSF course. It will be fun and you will learn a lot. I took it after I had been riding for 5+ years and had a good time with it.
 

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Xorbe, whether you buy a bike or not you should take the MSF course. It will be fun and you will learn a lot. I took it after I had been riding for 5+ years and had a good time with it.
Same here, had already been riding for years before I went, still had fun, and still learned some cool stuff. Not only is it fun trashing around on someone else's bike(my class was at a Yamaha dealer and they gave us all brand new WR250's to ride!!) but you learn a lot, and you're in a very friendly, slow-paced, beginner-oriented environment getting hands-on experience. Your instructors will be very knowledgeable, and can answer all of your questions and help you find a ride suited to you and the type of riding you plan on doing. On top of all this, once you successfully complete the class check with your insurance provider, you may qualify for discounted rates now that you're a "safe and educated rider." Also, not sure on your state, but in CO completing the class earns you your motorcycle endorsement, just take your certificate to the DMV and BAM you get your 'M' stamp on your license. No tests, no practical.
 

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My dealer has a black one that would match my Grom but I have heard the white really looks good. Not going to buy one but I'd like to see white in person.
 

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I would agree with Dj Hunny... For CA freeways get a 250-500cc bike. I mention that right away because you listed that in your post.

Lastly some items for any beginner...
1. Sign up for a course to get your license, find the longest one you can and go for it. Better to have plenty of time to learn and try out riding on their bikes in the class with instructors than learning on your own or from another rider.
2. Invest in quality gear, it may very well save your life. I hear people complain about how much gear costs... how expensive are injuries?
3. If your spouse isn't exactly on board with your new adventure bring her into the process more so she feels a part of it and learn about it together.
4. After your safety course invest in some learning materials such as the book "Proficient Motorcycling", then read it annually.
5. Read up on motorcycling tips and group riding tips... and do it each spring and fall, seasons have different challenges as well.
6. Read up on your motorcycle and learn as much as you can about it... (leads into #7)
7. Maintain your motorcycle very well and it should treat you well. Cleaning regularly you can spot items sooner. Check the tire pressures constantly, etc.
8. Be vigilant and assume every driver is trying to run your over, always assume they can't see you.
9. Never ride above your level... such as on a twisty road or group ride, etc. Always ride below your limit to give a gap for emergency.
10. HAVE FUN!!! If your not having fun then what's the point?!

Didn't mean to preach, just like to share and help.

:)
Yes, exactly, take a course. I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for saving me the time typing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, exactly, take a course. I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for saving me the time typing.
OP here, okay I'm signed up for the MSF course in 3 weeks (and I signed up a week ago ... popular class!), and I found this locally today for two and a half large with 5K miles ('06 250cc), plus he gave me a nice coat and a battery minder! I'm #3 for learning on it, so it's already got a few love scrapes and minor dents, but really it looks fantastic. Man, anything on CraigsList $2K or less comes in a wheelbarrow. Thanks for all the info, and be safe! And since this is the Grom forum, and I want to stay on topic, I blame this latest development on the Grom catching my attention initially, hehheh. ^_^


 

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Good for you. Co-worker bought same bike for same price in same condition. He is loving it.
 
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