New to the forums and new to motorcycles

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Interstellar0vdr
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 pm

New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by Interstellar0vdr »

As the title states, I am new, but I wanted to join here because I've found myself highly interested in the old BMW bikes. To further clairify, I still don't have a motorcycle license and I've never even rode a motorcycle, so I'm starting at the very beginning. I would like to take this class that's in my area that teaches how to ride. It is a two day class that basically gets you ready to ride and gets you the license just as soon as you pass the test at the DMV. No road test is required if taking the class. The class is $350, but from the people I've talked to its highly worthwhile.

The whole reason I'm interested in riding a motorcycle is how awesome some of these old bikes look and of course the freedom of it all. I really like the old military bikes, but those are very expensive. The R35 that they made just after WWII is really great as well. I also like some of the 1960's R series bikes, which seem to range in price from affordable to a bit more expensive. I did also see that there is some kind of Chinese version of BMW military bikes called the CJ750 and from what I've seen they don't seem to be super expensive. I'd like to know what you guys think of those.

Overall though, I guess I'd just like to get some beginner info on the kinds of bikes I mentioned above and what would be reasonable for someone new to look for. I understand that a new guy shouldn't be getting something that is really expensive for his first bike, but I would definitely like something along the lines of the types I mentioned. Any help/info would greatly be appreciated. Thanks in advance !

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schrader7032
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by schrader7032 »

Welcome to the forum! Good luck on your motorcycle test and your venture into motorcycles. They are fun and can be addicting. But it's important to consider your safety and ride like you are invisible.

Where to jump in on a motorcycle has a lot of decisions to make. The older it is, the harder it will be to get parts. Pre War II is nostalgic but requires a lot of knowledge and contacts to keep them running. You might have to be good friends with a machinist because you might end up having to make your own parts.

1960s bikes are better as parts are available from suppliers, more aftermarket stuff, but BMW still can help out where needed. If you were to consider something during that period, probably late in the 1960s and probably an R60/2 or even an R50/2 would be the better choices. 1970-on bikes (called Airheads) have more modern electrical systems, better brakes, higher speeds for touring use. With all of these choices you have to figure if you want to buy cheap and do all the work yourself or buy a running machine that has been well cared for. In this latter situation, you might spend just as much money but you're riding from the get go. We don't know your mechanical skills so you have to be ready to take stuff on. Any motorcycle will require you to give it care and feeding...the older it is, the more of that will be needed.

As for other non BMW rides, I don't have much experience. I wonder about the CJ750 and parts supplies. Something else to consider is the Ural. There are US dealers and sources for stuff. They aren't particularly high speed road worthy, but for general putting around, they can be quite decent. I only see Urals as a sidecar set up...I suppose they sell them without the chair. If you decide to try a sidecar unit, they steer completely different than a motorcycle or bicycle, so you had better be ready and practice to get that learned.

Good luck on your search!
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

Interstellar0vdr
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 pm

Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by Interstellar0vdr »

Thanks for the reply!

The Ural bikes actually do look pretty cool. I'm not interested in having a sidecar, but they do make the Ural Solo, which doesn't have the side car. Something to look into, but they do seem expensive. However, I did only really seem to see newer ones so I guess they would be more expensive.

I will say that I wouldn't call myself the most mechanically inclined. I can do basic stuff like change a tire or change my oil. So I guess I should take that into account. I may be wrong to think this, but maybe it would be a little easier to work on a bike versus a car, being that it is a smaller engine and less parts. I could be totally wrong about that though.

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Twocams
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Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by Twocams »

I was out on my R69S yesterday. Back roads here and thought I ran out of gas. Forgot to switch to reserve & she died. Two lane road no shoulder, got over as far as I could to kick start. Got her running & to the gas station for more juice. Next I pulled up to a stop light & bedamn if she didn't die. I was in a left turn lane island. Well now I had to push over to the right side curb to re kick start out of the way of cars. Now this don't happen all the time but these type thing can happen while just out for a nice day ride. My bike is a 1-2 kick start, but I have seen some that are 5-6 kick start. I have been riding for 50+ yrs. Still can be nerve racking if things go wrong. :o
First bike I would get a cheap (er) bike with a push button starter. Get used to ridding before you get a bike that needs "lots of love." That's not to say you cant get a old bike while learning to ride.
just my .02
Twocams
92 R100RT/69 R69S
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter
83 Honda V65 Magna, fastest production bike in1983

Interstellar0vdr
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 pm

Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by Interstellar0vdr »

Give or take, what is the price of a cheap bike?

What year did they start using electric start on bikes?

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skyler.robbins
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Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by skyler.robbins »

Agree with everyone so far..
I would get a cheaper electric start bike for your first bike.
Get used to riding.. solo and in groups.
Honestly, you can buy a Honda rebel for about $1500 and it's a great first bike.
Keep it maintained and learn on it.. sell it for the same price and get a vintage BMW.

Good luck!

pmtremblay
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:45 pm

Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by pmtremblay »

Welcome! I agree with the recommendation to start with something cheap, safe and easy just to get on the road. You won't lose much money when you sell it. As someone up there said, buy with safety as the top priority - good brakes, tires, etc. Someone also mentioned Airheads, and I agree with that 100%. If you want a BMW find a '70s bike. They're relatively easy to find, have a unique vintage look and electric start, and are pretty forgiving as far as maintenance and finding parts. If ridden carefully they're suitably safe for modern traffic. There's also a huge community of very helpful people online and in person. Good runners start around $3,000, sometimes less.
Patrick in Virginia
'64 R27 in progress

Interstellar0vdr
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:45 pm

Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by Interstellar0vdr »

Another question I had in regards to BMW bikes... So when it comes to cars BMWs are not generally known to be cheap to fix, does that go for the motorcycles as well or is it completely different because it's a motorcycle ?

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schrader7032
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Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by schrader7032 »

Well, BMW does stand for "Bring My Wallet" or something like that! If you buy OEM parts, you will find some are quite expensive likely because of the logo and/or the supply chain needed to make the part. I suppose there's a little bit of that in any car or bike make, but I think it's generally true that foreign vehicles (ie, European) are more expensive to work on. Certainly there are aftermarket parts, some can be bought at say NAPA and often I read where an owner asks where to get the cheapest non-OEM part. Which also brings up the saying "The cheapest thing on a BMW motorcycle is the rider".

As illustrated above, having something that is not computer controlled makes it easier for the average person to work on. The Airheads Beemer Club logo has the words "Simple by Choice" in it. While some will think that is a luddite view, the name of the bike and the community that surrounds it gives an owner a feeling of being able to take care of things themselves.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

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Twocams
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Re: New to the forums and new to motorcycles

Post by Twocams »

Good Ideas here for first timers. Next if you are going to do a lot of stop & go city riding you may want a liquid cooled bike. K & F BMWs come to mind. But Honda, Kwi, & others work too. Don't get a BMW with ABS, I have had 2 and the ABS took a crap. I always worry when there is a 5 way stop lite & I have to wait 5 min. to get going again. :roll: But I have 2 bikes water cooled & 2 air heads & don't ride around town, but just getting to the freeway. So just turning right out of my driveway puts me on back roads in 32 seconds. 8-)
Twocams
92 R100RT/69 R69S
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter
83 Honda V65 Magna, fastest production bike in1983

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