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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should I save up for R3 this summer? I'm going to be a Junior in high school next year.

My main concern is insurance, I have not heard vary good things about the R3 as far insurance goes. So far it seems to be a fantastic choice over the other options like the Ninja 300 and the cbr300r. But the insurance seems like a real bummer.

I just got my car learners permit this weekend; I have never actually had a job yet either but I plan to get one this summer. Another big problem I'm going to have is convincing my parents to let me do this.

Do you think I'm shooting too high as far as motorcycle goes or do you think I just crazy and I should give up on this now before I torture my self to get a R3. And should I just wait until I have had more experience and I have competed my licence? :|
 

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At your age lots of this is between you and your parents. I'd suggest you find out what kind of driver you are first. If you're comfortable in traffic and are not that guy who's getting surprised by traffic situations all the time, chances are you'll be fine on a bike, and the R3 is a very friendly machine.

There's nothing wrong with building riding skills concurrently with driving skills so long as you have respect for both machines and great situational awareness/healthy paranoia whenever you're out in traffic.

Never let your guard down and chances are you'll never put your bike down.
 

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I totally second everything Raven said.

I knew, like diehard knew, since I was 15 that I wanted to ride and would love it. Granted I didn't get a bike anywhere near that time but if I worked and had money to save? I would've saved for an R3 if it was available at that time.

I also recommend really learning about riding and watching lots of videos, and yeah, learning to ride while learning to drive isn't bad in my eyes. Both take practice and if you invest yourself and want to be good and safe, you'll be able to do both so long as you aren't extremely nervous about cars and driving in general, then you should be good with both. Like Raven said, have the respect for both machines and a healthy amount of paranoia is what it comes down to mindset wise. Physically, really apply yourself in developing your techniques in both riding and driving as you learn. Even if you think you're alright or 'good enough' at things I always prefer and believe it's better to hone your skills and build a strong foundation so you garner confidence and get to the point where you know you can handle any situation with ease and a strong state of mind. Freaking out with either just leads to bad things I'm sure you know.

Also, yeah it is between you and your parents considering you are young and riding is more dangerous, but I know it's also a personal choice and how you choose to be about it and what you do that matters if you do ride. And probably proving your understanding of the responsibility and understanding of the dangers probably will help parent wise.
 

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So how old does that make you? And how can you ride a bike without a licence, or have I interpreted that wrong?

Here in the UK you have to jumps through hoops to get a bike. To have an R3 here you have to be at least 19 and may have been through 3 different licence categories to get there.

It is a bit frustrating here with all the different tests, but it's for good reason. I see so many 16yr old idiots doing stupid stuff on their 50cc mopeds, which is all they can have. The stuff they do would get them killed for sure on a bigger bike.

Not insinuating that you are like that, if you are sensible and are not going to try show off, go for it. If you have a level headed approach to it, then I think starting young is great. Just be careful out there.

As for your parents and insurance, have you thought about a 125? Insurance will be cheaper, you can have a lot of fun on them and it will teach you a lot. It would bring your insurance down for a bigger bike too, as long as you have no claims.

Your parents may also be happier for you to start on something less powerful too.
 

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I agree with RR start small and cheap the work your way up.Good luck with it all.
 

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I had a 15yr old thru my MSF class once. Rules differ by jurisdiction but a parental waiver was sufficient. Take the class. Listen good. We may be old fuddy-duddies but we're still alive and kicking. Nothing more sad than reading the obits of a whipper snapper who thought he could do anything, out of sheer ignorance.

Budget MINIMUM $500 for gear. You don't need the most expensive stuff by any stretch, but you need proper gear head to toe. So what if it's hot, pound 20oz of Gatorade and water and deal.

There are a zillion used bikes on the market. Ninja 250 and GS500e in spades. Get something with minimal side bodywork, or strip it off. Find a bike that runs and looks reasonably cared after.

Read my lips: NO NEW(er) BIKES.
 

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My main concern is insurance, I have not heard vary good things about the R3 as far insurance goes.
I don't know who you've been talking to but insurance for R3 is fairly cheap. For bigger bikes and super sports you'll pay A LOT more money. I paid around $300 for the year, which thankfully included comprehensive.

Riding gets expensive as well lol. As @pattonme said, $500 is pretty much for the bare minimum (helmet, gloves, mesh/textile jacket, boots, and pants). I paid around $380 (not including riding pants) for the basics.

Do research and be real with yourself and what you want, and where you want to be. Honestly it sounds like you have quite a few conflicting situations that you should straighten out (cash flow, permission and opinions from guardians, experience in driving) before considering a motorcycle. Make a check list of the things you need before you get a motorcycle and go from there. You're not crazy for wanting a motorcycle, fundamentally it's a form of transportation and how you choose to go out riding it is up to you!
 

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Read my lips: NO NEW(er) BIKES.
+1.

As for the parents, It was a rough sell when I bought my first beater at 16 years old. I will leave it at that.

Learn on a well used bike. You will be less concerned when you drop it a few times or leave it parked for hours on end at your first job.
 

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First and foremost, you should really do some serious reflection/self-evaluation of yourself in terms of your awareness, recklessness, maturity and responsibility. Owning a motorcycle as a 17 year old could be perfectly fine if you are responsible, safe and relatively mature for your age. It could also be a complete disaster if you are lacking some of those qualities. Street riding is inherently dangerous because of all the other people on the road who are 100% out of your control, and there is very little room for being stupid, immature or reckless without getting into serious trouble (i.e. the police) or seriously injured. Be honest with yourself. While I was not really a hooligan at 17, I don't really think a bike would have been right for me at that age simply due to my maturity and understanding of what it takes to ride. I didn't appreciate the realty of the danger and the consequences that a mistake or accident could have on my life. I am not going to make any determinations about you as a person, that is for you alone to consider. It is, however, an extremely important variable in this decision.

If you are still living at home and are under 18 you should talk to your parents about it first. I wanted to get a bike in college but my parents were extremely against it. Decided to wait until after graduation since my parents were paying my rent and tuition in undergrad, it felt really disrespectful to go against their wishes when they were supporting me financially. We ended up compromising the summer after my senior year on a Grom, which was my first bike. They were cool with it since its little, a great learning platform and super easy to ride around town. I'm in law school now paying my own tuition and bills so I went ahead and got the R3. Parents still don't agree, but they respect my decision a lot more since I respected their decision a few years before and didn't go behind their back. Being honest and open will always be the best course of action.

If your parents are OK with it then you should sign up for the MSF safety course. You will learn the basics and also learn if you even enjoy riding to begin with. Once you pass the course and get your license, its time to figure out a budget. You'll want at least $500 for gear (jacket, helmet, and gloves at a minimum, some sort of boots or riding pants next if you want), and at your age, probably about $500 at least for insurance. Could be less if you are on your parents' insurance plan, though.

As far as the R3 goes, its a fantastic starter bike. If I was a junior in high school though, I'd have been happy with any motorcycle. I'm not sure what your budget is but a brand new R3 will run you at least $5000 for a 2015 model, and that would be a good price - a 2016 will be more. You can probably find a good condition, used CBR 250/300 or Ninja 300 for around $3000. I'm not sure what your budget is or what sort of income you have (i.e. if you work part-time during school or full-time during the summer or something) but I am guessing that saving some money on the purchase will be most welcome. Not only will you still get a good starter bike and save some serious cash, you also won't feel as bad dropping your used bike vs. your new one. I've only gone down one time, and seeing my right side fairing scratched to **** made me extremely sad. If it was a used bike that I didn't care as much about keeping perfect I would have felt a lot better.

Anyways, there is no reason you can't get a motorcycle right now as long as you do it responsibly. Talk to your parents, take a safety class, get the license, and then figure out a budget. If you want to spend more money, go with the R3. IMO its the best in this class. If you want to save $1-2k, pick up a used Ninja 300. It will perform just as well but you save cash that you can spend on gear and insurance.

If your parents are 100% against a motorcycle, see if you can talk them into a scooter. Honestly, I'd have been happy with anything on two wheels at your age. If you can get them to agree to a scooter, then you should look into the Grom!! You can get them used for $2-3k, and they are a great intermediary between scooter and motorcycle. Perfect for around town, which is prob the riding you will do, lots of cheap, easy and fun mods, and definitely a good compromise if your parents are against riding like mine were.
 

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Here's what I did:
When I was younger, I had old cars and trucks for everyday street use. I had dirtbikes to get my motorcycle fix. I stayed OFF the streets for many years. Get a car or a truck to use everyday. They are more practical anyway, and you have a cage around you. Learn how to survive on the street with a cage around you. Get yourself a DIRT BIKE! The dirt bike will give you the experience you need to operate a motorcycle with confidence. Later on down the road, get yourself a street bike. That's what I did, and it was a breeze. Easy transition. Looking back on it now, I am glad I didn't have a sportbike when I was younger. I did not have the experience, wisdom, or self-discipline to do what it takes to survive in this game. You have your whole life ahead of you. Be patient, it will come to you in time. Life is a long road of many experiences. It's the journey.... not the destination. Be safe.
 

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Here's what I did:
When I was younger, I had old cars and trucks for everyday street use. I had dirtbikes to get my motorcycle fix. I stayed OFF the streets for many years. Get a car or a truck to use everyday. They are more practical anyway, and you have a cage around you. Learn how to survive on the street with a cage around you. Get yourself a DIRT BIKE! The dirt bike will give you the experience you need to operate a motorcycle with confidence. Later on down the road, get yourself a street bike. That's what I did, and it was a breeze. Easy transition. Looking back on it now, I am glad I didn't have a sportbike when I was younger. I did not have the experience, wisdom, or self-discipline to do what it takes to survive in this game. You have your whole life ahead of you. Be patient, it will come to you in time. Life is a long road of many experiences. It's the journey.... not the destination. Be safe.
Unfortunately not everyone lives in an area where they can ride off the street. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. You can ride around on the streets or you can not ride at all, haha.

I would agree, though, that off-road dirt biking is a great way to learn your way around motorcycling. Getting experience away from the danger of other drivers is definitely preferable if its an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First and foremost, you should really do some serious reflection/self-evaluation of yourself in terms of your awareness, recklessness, maturity and responsibility. Owning a motorcycle as a 17 year old could be perfectly fine if you are responsible, safe and relatively mature for your age. It could also be a complete disaster if you are lacking some of those qualities. Street riding is inherently dangerous because of all the other people on the road who are 100% out of your control, and there is very little room for being stupid, immature or reckless without getting into serious trouble (i.e. the police) or seriously injured. Be honest with yourself. While I was not really a hooligan at 17, I don't really think a bike would have been right for me at that age simply due to my maturity and understanding of what it takes to ride. I didn't appreciate the realty of the danger and the consequences that a mistake or accident could have on my life. I am not going to make any determinations about you as a person, that is for you alone to consider. It is, however, an extremely important variable in this decision.

If you are still living at home and are under 18 you should talk to your parents about it first. I wanted to get a bike in college but my parents were extremely against it. Decided to wait until after graduation since my parents were paying my rent and tuition in undergrad, it felt really disrespectful to go against their wishes when they were supporting me financially. We ended up compromising the summer after my senior year on a Grom, which was my first bike. They were cool with it since its little, a great learning platform and super easy to ride around town. I'm in law school now paying my own tuition and bills so I went ahead and got the R3. Parents still don't agree, but they respect my decision a lot more since I respected their decision a few years before and didn't go behind their back. Being honest and open will always be the best course of action.

If your parents are OK with it then you should sign up for the MSF safety course. You will learn the basics and also learn if you even enjoy riding to begin with. Once you pass the course and get your license, its time to figure out a budget. You'll want at least $500 for gear (jacket, helmet, and gloves at a minimum, some sort of boots or riding pants next if you want), and at your age, probably about $500 at least for insurance. Could be less if you are on your parents' insurance plan, though.

As far as the R3 goes, its a fantastic starter bike. If I was a junior in high school though, I'd have been happy with any motorcycle. I'm not sure what your budget is but a brand new R3 will run you at least $5000 for a 2015 model, and that would be a good price - a 2016 will be more. You can probably find a good condition, used CBR 250/300 or Ninja 300 for around $3000. I'm not sure what your budget is or what sort of income you have (i.e. if you work part-time during school or full-time during the summer or something) but I am guessing that saving some money on the purchase will be most welcome. Not only will you still get a good starter bike and save some serious cash, you also won't feel as bad dropping your used bike vs. your new one. I've only gone down one time, and seeing my right side fairing scratched to **** made me extremely sad. If it was a used bike that I didn't care as much about keeping perfect I would have felt a lot better.

Anyways, there is no reason you can't get a motorcycle right now as long as you do it responsibly. Talk to your parents, take a safety class, get the license, and then figure out a budget. If you want to spend more money, go with the R3. IMO its the best in this class. If you want to save $1-2k, pick up a used Ninja 300. It will perform just as well but you save cash that you can spend on gear and insurance.

If your parents are 100% against a motorcycle, see if you can talk them into a scooter. Honestly, I'd have been happy with anything on two wheels at your age. If you can get them to agree to a scooter, then you should look into the Grom!! You can get them used for $2-3k, and they are a great intermediary between scooter and motorcycle. Perfect for around town, which is prob the riding you will do, lots of cheap, easy and fun mods, and definitely a good compromise if your parents are against riding like mine were.
Thanks vary much help my friend , I think I should get a lot of this first timer stuff out of the way first; like my provisional licence and job and stuff. Better to take things slow instead of forcing my self to have a bad experience. I already have a bunch of stuff to juggle already. If by the end of the summer I do reconsider I'll probably start on a cheaper bike and move to the R3. I appreciate your advice vary much :D
 

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Ultimately you will have more fun if you wait and buy a used bike first. I started on used bikes and looking back I certainly had no business with a new vehicle at 19 but I bought a new car and regretted it. I could afford it easily but it was still a financial mistake. Earn $1200-$2000 then deal hunt yourself a bargain. Ride it like you stole it smiling all the way.

Do not mortgage your future for toys. No payments. Just buy what you have money to burn. Now is the time in your life to spend wisely. Its going forward every dollar you save is literally one more you won't have to earn later in life.

At your exact age is where everyone gets an itch for something new and payments always seem so reasonable. You need money for other stuff, not to be tethered to a bike payment for a bike you will lose passion for in 6 months.

You will like a good clean used bike just as much.
 

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Well. You're def not crazy. A lot of guys here in the forum started at a fairly young age. As far as insurance, I'm 22 and pay 300 a year w Rider ins. Some things to consider for sure are road conditions, traffic, number of drivers in the road. I live in New Jersey, being one of the more scarier states to own a bike in. Even If you ride responsible that may not mean a lot of the other road drivers in cars may be as safe around motorcyclists. I can't count how many times a crazy old lady in a bmw or audi has nearly hit me. Learning first on a car will give you a good experience on what you may be jumping in with the added safety of metal surrounding, but If you decide to jump on the streets at such a young age don't forget to always wear gear (boots and all) and that it is a dangerous activity. In the end, I can't tell you to not do it or do it, just be careful out there and ride safe.
 

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My 9 year old daughter rides pillion with me on my motorcycle (and has done so since 7). She frequently mentions things like "when I get my motorcycle" and so on.

I intend to, if she still would like to, sign her up for an MSF course at age 16 (I might actually come along- but guess I would have to pay the non-subsidized fee) and we'll do it together. I know my daughter well, her skill and temperament is like mine. She is very accurate. She has superb eye-hand coordination (she beat Spongebob Atlantis Squarepantis on the Nintendo DS at age 2, I kid you not). She is athletic and frequently kicks the **** out of boys in her class when it comes to sports. My other daughter, not so much... she comes running off the school bus and I think to myself, dear god, she's going to trip. And sure enough, she does and lands on her knee. That one is like my wife. I would be very weary of her riding a motorcycle, and thankfully, she has absolutely no desire to do so.

Its hard for people to know themselves. But maybe you have loved ones who know you. There was a guy on here a long while ago, a young guy who was talking about how everyone of his family members- including his older brothers who ride a motorcycle, they are telling him it was a bad idea for him to get a motorcycle. These guys know something about him. It was probably in his best interest to listen to his older brothers who ride.

That's the tough thing. How do you know yourself well enough to know if you are fully competent emotionally and skillfully, to ride a motorcycle at 16? My wife has been riding for a whole year now, and I'm still afraid for her. She's a slow learner. She has bad eye-hand coordination. She is clumsy, yet she wanted to ride. Even before she took her MSF, she wanted to ride my FZ-07 (haha) and I'm like "no can do". She still dropped her R3 6 months into owning it. I still firmly believe she has no business riding a motorcycle, but what can I do? I'm not going to forbid her. But the good thing is she isn't rash. She isn't reckless and dangerous. More timid than anything (that itself presents another danger). So even if you don't have inherent skill, if your temperament is good, and you can learn from mistakes, then you have a fighting chance.

Take the MSF course no matter what you decide. Hopefully your parents give you blessing. It will be best if they support you because if they don't, that will just most likely push you into getting a motorcycle even harder. That's the sad truth about parenting your child. You put a lot of negative energy into one thing, and when they are adults they will overcompensate the other way on that one thing.

Anyway, good luck buddy on whatever path you follow.
 

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I'm not sure I understand all the people who recommend to not start on a new bike. I started on a brand new bike. That bike was then passed on to someone who was brand new. I never dropped it nor did who has it now.

As someone who owns both an 09 Ninja 250 and a R3, I'd recommend the R3 anyday. The lack of power on the Ninja is fine and all and doesn't bother me for just going to the store and back, which is all it currently gets used for. But for commuting, I honestly find it to be a little too slow. I'm not one of those guys that thinks you need a liter bike to get yourself out of trouble, but a little bit of power is needed. I think the R3/Ninja 300/other bikes in this range do that just fine. There are very few times I wish I had extra power on the R3. My fiance, who rides it now, thinks it's faster than she needs.

What do I think? If you think you're a responsible person (which only moderately has to do with age, btw), your parents think it's okay, and you can work it out then get an R3! It's a very forgiving motorcycle that you will enjoy riding for quite a while. Plus, that little bit of extra power will make you more prepared for your next bike if/when you decide to go bigger. But if you want to save some cash, go grab a cheap 09+ Ninja 250 that has been dropped a few times for a couple grand.
 

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I'm not sure I understand all the people who recommend to not start on a new bike. I started on a brand new bike. That bike was then passed on to someone who was brand new. I never dropped it nor did who has it now.
I was a brand new rider when I bought my FZ07. My inseam is 29" (or 28" I really can't say for sure). Needless to say there is no such thing as flat-footing for me. Yet nearing 2 years in, I have never dropped my bike. People also say its very easy to lift the front wheel on that bike, yet here I am, still waiting for that to actually happen (without me purposely trying to do it).

My wife on the other hand dropped her brand new r3 about 5 times within the first 6 months.

Yes- not everyone is the same, and when people say "don't start with a new bike" although it is a blanket statement/advice, it is still sound advice. This goes along with the "start on a 300cc bike". Doesn't apply to everyone but its sound advice.
 

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Im not hating on you for any reason. I'm not saying don't get a new bike, but everyone has a diff learning curve. I've seen plenty of new bikes get smacked by cars that don't see them at stop lights, and even if its not your fault your insurance wont be happy to insure you again. At you're age, rates are high, even if insured through someone else. Get a used ninja 300 or a even a used cbr500. Great bikes, cheaper to insure. And once you are ready to move on to a bigger bike, your pockets wont take a beating.
 
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