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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!!! Have loved reading through all the forums and learning so much more about the R3. I'm currently only 15, but have always dreamed of riding. Over Christmas I got a 230 cc dirt bike that I've been learning to ride on and trying to get all my fundamentals on. Of course I can't replicate corners on a dirt bike like you would a sport bike, but that'll come with time. I really wanna jump straight to an R3 from the dirt bike cause it seems very welcoming as long as you know the basics, but would love some opinions from seasoned riders. I know how to control myself reasonably well and know my way around the idea of counter-steering. I race mountain bikes so I have a basic idea of that kind of control. Hoping to take my MSF course after I turn 16 and get my license and then go get my R3! Any tips on looking for a good deal, finding the right bike, starting the right way, or gear would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time!
 

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You should do fine going to a R3. I found a good deal on my '19 in early November of 2019 if you are looking for new. Honestly I would go used to save money and fear of dropping it.

Don't cheap out on the gear, especially the helmet. Find one that fits well. You can't tell unless you try them on in my opinion. I went to the largest local dealer who has a huge selection and tried some on I thought I might like and walked around the store to make sure they continued to be comfortable. Unfortunately a lot of the ones I liked the features and or graphics of started to cause discomfort due to my head shape. You won't always feel that just putting it on and taking it off right away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should do fine going to a R3. I found a good deal on my '19 in early November of 2019 if you are looking for new. Honestly I would go used to save money and fear of dropping it.

Don't cheap out on the gear, especially the helmet. Find one that fits well. You can't tell unless you try them on in my opinion. I went to the largest local dealer who has a huge selection and tried some on I thought I might like and walked around the store to make sure they continued to be comfortable. Unfortunately a lot of the ones I liked the features and or graphics of started to cause discomfort due to my head shape. You won't always feel that just putting it on and taking it off right away.

That's a great idea I never thought of trying that out. I'll definitely stop by my local store and see what I can do. I'm 100% gonna get a used bike but I don't know how old I could safely go. I've heard a lot of stuff about the older bikes and the problems they've had and don't know if it's worth the money to save up for a 2019 or 2018 model.
 

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Cant go wrong with a R3 my dood. My sweet Raven has been totaled, salvaged, dropped about 10 times, shot, stabbed, hit by a car, and left for dead. Now she is the Queen of these filthy streets. I feel the transition from your dirtbike should be seamless. Now for my standard new street rider advice. Trust your instincts, not cagers.
 

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It's less a question about the bike you ride than the rider who is in control.

The MSF course will help you, but you can't stop learning how to ride on the street - it's an ongoing, maintenance-based education. Riding on the street presents a number of new variables to the experience of riding; there are laws, pedestrians, vehicles, trucks, oil spills, tar strips, nails, tired & angry drivers, etc.

Being on alert for as long as you're riding takes alot of energy - riding tired is one of those detrimental things to your ability to ride on the street safely. If you're tired and absolutely must be somewhere (like work), drive your regular vehicle after you take a nap. (Never drive or ride tired; NO EXCEPTIONS)

Also, don't muck around with alcohol and motorcycles.

Watch motorcycle crash videos, learn what the people are doing wrong (getting emotional, riding in people's blindspots, riding too fast, not looking where they're going, etc.) and avoid repeating those people's mistakes. Watch DanDanTheFireman crash analysis videos.

If you take the position that, "Being aware of destruction manifests the destruction." then don't watch crash videos - watch videos on how to maneuver and how to practice those maneuvers.

The R3 is great at what it can do, but it'll only be as good as the way it's ridden.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's less a question about the bike you ride than the rider who is in control.

The MSF course will help you, but you can't stop learning how to ride on the street - it's an ongoing, maintenance-based education.

If you start riding the way people drive, you'll be dead in a week.

Being on alert for as long as you're riding takes alot of energy - riding tired is one of those detrimental things to your ability to ride on the street safely.

Watch motorcycle crash videos, learn what the people are doing wrong (getting emotional, riding in people's blindspots, riding too fast, etc.) and avoid repeating those people's mistakes. Watch DanDanTheFireman crash analysis videos.

If you take the position that, "Being aware of destruction manifests the destruction." then don't watch crash videos - watch videos on how to maneuver and how to practice those maneuvers.

The R3 is great at what it can do, but it'll only be as good as the way it's ridden.

I like what you said with the "if you start riding the way people drive, you'll be dead in a week". Always gotta keep an open mindset to criticize other drivers and transfer it to riding. It may sound dumb but one thing I try and do when driving or riding with my parents is imagine myself on the roads we're going down on a motorcycle instead of a car. Just trying to imagine the lines I'd take on the road and when I'd upshift or downshift. I don't know if that's a good method to learning but it keeps my eyes on the road and aware of what's going on haha.

Most of the time if I know the risks and what they look like, they'll stay on my mind a bit too much when riding bikes but I've done a decent job on researching up how to develop good riding skills and such. Probably gonna do a bit further research on specific skills like low speed maneuvers and cornering.
 

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Dammit! I edited that out - tried to not let you see that; it's too dark and cliche, but - it is true.

And however it is that you learn - do that thing. If it helps you, more power to you. Never be ashamed of your learning process.

As far as gear goes; I urge you to spend a good $1,500 on gear.
And depending on the weather in your area, (buy a uniform that you can use the majority of your riding).

You'll appear as though you'll be racing every time you ride, but your body is your responsibility - no one else's. If you got friends that demonize your safety, get new friends.

Be sure you're mobile and can move around freely in your gear, but also don't buy loose-fitting gear (there is a balance; you'll find it, eventually). Don't base your decisions on brand alone; every piece of gear in a lineup is constructed differently. Try them all before you choose what fits you best.

It took me a couple weeks to find the right gear (I tried on about 20 helmets, 10 jackets, and 5 pants before I developed the sense of what fit me). I also tried on about 5 different pairs of boots and 5 different pairs of gloves. It's all subjective - don't let anyone tell you how you feel about gear; you're the one who is going to be riding in it.
  • Helmet (full face: SHARP, Snell, or ECE-certified) (read up on the differences; I don't recall what makes them different)
  • Textile or leather (no mesh):
    • Jacket (long sleeve)
    • Pants
  • Leather gauntlet gloves
  • Leather above-ankle boots
  • Rain riding gear (depending on if you're going to be riding in the rain, of course, usually ends up being just a thin waterproof jacket and pants to put on over your other gear)
You have to spend alot of time searching for gear that fits you; don't decide to buy something just because it has cool colors. I ride in all-black gear (with a matte helmet), not because there weren't other colors available, but that's what fit me the best (and the helmet was like $30 less expensive than the colored versions). Getting good gear and learning all you can about riding on the street (and making good choices on when not to ride) will save your skin.

Also, riding with gear may actually be more difficult than riding without it; but ultimately, you are the one responsible for your skin & skull if you go down. If that just so happens to be the day you rode without your gear, then it'll be an experience that will help you feel good about putting all that gear on every next time you ride.
The other bit of information regarding the R3 and whether you'd "transition" to it well; go sit on one at a dealership, have the salesman hold the bike up so you can put your feet on the pegs and get a feel for the riding position you'll be in. Sit on a few different 300cc-650cc motorcycles and do the same thing.

Then run away from the dealership with haste.
Buy one that you like, used with low miles (only purchase from someone who can verify recall work and maintenance) who is being sold by someone that will meet you to get the bike inspected from a reputable mechanic.

Ensure the seller has his papers in order regarding maintenance, especially oil changes, chain cleaning & adjustments. If you end up going with an R3, refer to the Service Manual for the corresponding year and print out the maintenance sheets to reference for when a seller provides you with service records. Maintenance is usually in Section 3 for Periodic Checks & Adustments.

You can also watch some videos on how to inspect a used motorcycle.
Even after deciding to buy a motorcycle from someone, it will take you time to get used to the motorcycle. Either tow it home after you buy the bike (after you've got the bike checked out by a mechanic), or have someone lead you home in a regular car (to give you the time and space to react to traffic).

Take it easy the first couple months; ride through your neighborhood or large, empty parking lots. Take your time "feeling" the bike out - there's no sense in rushing when it's taken you 16 years to get to this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dammit! I edited that out - tried to not let you see that; it's too dark and cliche, but - it is true.

And however it is that you learn - do that thing. If it helps you, more power to you. Never be ashamed of your learning process. Those who condemn your learning process are the real idiots.

Riding Safety
It's upsetting that motorcyclists are sometimes dumber than motorists and retain the belief that they're in the right frame of mind. Many motorcyclists are riding
  • Deaf (listening to their music too loud, not minding traffic at all)
  • Dumb (expecting everyone to honor their path of travel), and
  • Blind (not looking ahead, not planning ahead)
Riding Gear
As far as gear goes; I urge you to spend a good $1,500 on gear.
And depending on the weather in your area, (buy a uniform that you can use the majority of your riding).

You'll appear as though you'll be racing every time you ride, but your body is your responsibility - no one else's. If you got friends that demonize your safety, get new friends.

Be sure you're mobile and can move around freely in your gear, but also don't buy loose-fitting gear (there is a balance; you'll find it, eventually). Don't base your decisions on brand alone; every piece of gear in a lineup is constructed differently. Try them all before you choose what fits you best.

It took me a couple weeks to find the right gear (I tried on about 20 helmets, 10 jackets, and 5 pants before I developed the sense of what fit me). I also tried on about 5 different pairs of boots and 5 different pairs of gloves. It's all subjective - don't let anyone tell you how you feel about gear; you're the one who is going to be riding in it.
  • Helmet (full face: SHARP, Snell, or ECE-certified) (read up on the differences; I don't recall what makes them different)
  • Textile or leather (no mesh):
    • Jacket (long sleeve)
    • Pants
  • Leather gauntlet gloves
  • Leather above-ankle boots
  • Rain riding gear (depending on if you're going to be riding in the rain, of course, usually ends up being just a thin waterproof jacket and pants to put on over your other gear)
You have to spend alot of time searching for gear that fits you; don't decide to buy something just because it has cool colors. I ride in all-black gear (with a matte helmet), not because there weren't other colors available, but that's what fit me the best. Getting good gear and learning all you can about riding on the street (and making good choices on when not to ride) will save your skin.

Also, riding with gear may actually be more difficult than riding without it; but ultimately, you are the one responsible for your skin & skull if you go down. If that just so happens to be the day you rode without your gear, then it'll be an experience that will help you feel good about putting all that gear on every next time you ride.

A word on the transition
The other bit of information regarding the R3 and whether you'd "transition" to it well; go sit on one at a dealership, but buy one used with low miles (only purchase from someone who can verify recall work and maintenance) who is being sold by someone that will meet you to get the bike inspected from a reputable mechanic.

The 600mi service done for these bike is important; majorly, it's a valve clearance check. If the seller cannot prove this was done, proceed with caution. Ensure the seller has his papers in order regarding other maintenance, especially oil changes, chain cleaning & adjustments.

Even after deciding to buy a motorcycle from someone, it will take you time to get used to the motorcycle. Either tow it home after you buy the bike (after you've got the bike checked out by a mechanic), or have someone lead you home in a regular car (to give you the time and space to react to traffic).

Take it easy the first couple months; ride through your neighborhood or large, empty parking lots. Take your time "feeling" the bike out - there's no sense in rushing when it's taken you 16 years to get to this point.

This is insanely helpful. Thank you for all the information. Currently almost asleep in my AP History class so it make take me a day or two to fully flush through all the information. This has been incredibly helpful though. I'm definitely gonna go try and try on some different types of gear. Hoping to get my dad to take me in and say "it's to look at dirt bike gear too!" hahahaha. I know they don't fully support me doing it but my dad used to ride a ton and they know riding mountain bikes has been something that's kept me alive the last few years. Kinda like the ultimate escape. That's what my dirt bike has been doing now. Just a mindset where it's just you and the bike. Not unaware of what's happening, but just your own world to do whatever you like. I know it's different for the streets, but it's the same general principles I believe.
 

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Youre off to a great start buddy. I wish they had R3's when i was your age. Listen.. To your bike.. She will tell you whats wrong.
 

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Also refer to this post, where I asked questions regarding a similar thread topic.
The R3 is great, but if you're coming from an off road background, maybe you'd be better on something more versatile, like a Versys 300-X.

Regardless, I'd sit on as many bikes as you can possibly find from 300cc to 650cc, because your comfort is the most important when riding; if you're cramped, you'll experience the foot and hand controls will be difficult to use (the stock rear set on the R3 was this way for me, so I bought a Vortex 2.0 V3 rearset), especially on long(er) rides.

Again, it's more about the rider when you're transitioning; you know how to ride on the dirt well, but the pavement brings a list of new challenges and I think the R3 is great, but if you prefer an upright seating position, than a bike similar to the Versys 300-X might suit you better.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Also refer to this post, where I asked questions regarding a similar thread topic.
The R3 is great, but if you're coming from an off road background, maybe you'd be better on something more versatile, like a Versys 300-X.

Regardless, I'd sit on as many bikes as you can possibly find from 300cc to 650cc, because your comfort is the most important when riding; if you're cramped, you'll experience the foot and hand controls will be difficult to use (the stock rear set on the R3 was this way for me, so I bought a Vortex 2.0 V3 rearset), especially on long(er) rides.

Again, it's more about the rider when you're transitioning; you know how to ride on the dirt well, but the pavement brings a list of new challenges and I think the R3 is great, but if you prefer an upright seating position, than a bike similar to the Versys 300-X might suit you better.

I don't know if I'd enjoy riding that style of bike. I'm sure it'd be amazing to start on and really comfortable, but looks also factors in haha. I'm not gonna base my entire decision off of it. But ya know what they say. If you don't turn around and look at it when you walk away you bought the wrong bike haha.

What are y'alls opinion on the MT-07 or FZ-07? I've heard really good things about it but haven't got the chance to sit on one or really get close to one. It seems like a really good option with enough torque to keep enjoying the bike but not get overwhelmed on the first few months. Anyone with experience on one?
 

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That saying, "If you don't turn around and look at it when you walk away..." seems like it was formed by conceited boys, the type of douche bag that would buy a slip-on just to be loud and obnoxious.

I realized you never brought up riding with other people, but I went on a rant anyway
I thought I wanted the R3 really bad, because I too, thought it "looked" a certain way, as if that would benefit me. It won't. I always felt like to have fun with other people, I had to push the limits, but then again - those people I was "showing off" with were legitimate douche bags; I suppose I was desperate to make friends.

Granted, I've had a lot of fun on the R3 (by myself), but be careful what you wish for. I've only ever known douche bags who ride supersports with stiff arms and crash protection, afraid to ride in the rain. I hope you make good friends who just want to ride for the enjoyment of riding, instead of riding to be seen and heard.

Now that I write it - I suppose I'm the fool.
As soon as I made it about riding with other people, I lost touch with why I enjoyed it so much (to be by myself).

I read that you ride to "escape", to "get away".
You're off to a better start - where you said,

...riding mountain bikes has been something that's kept me alive the last few years. Kinda like the ultimate escape. That's what my dirt bike has been doing now. Just a mindset where it's just you and the bike. Not unaware of what's happening, but just your own world to do whatever you like.
I hope you never lose sight of how you feel when you ride.
Otherwise, it could get dangerous, trying to appeal to simple-minded folk.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That saying, "If you don't turn around and look at it when you walk away..." seems like it was formed by conceited boys, the type of douche bag that would buy a slip-on just to be loud and obnoxious.

I realized you never brought up riding with other people, but I went on a rant anyway
I thought I wanted the R3 really bad, because I too, thought it "looked" a certain way, as if that would benefit me. It won't. I always felt like to have fun with other people, I had to push the limits, but then again - those people I was "showing off" with were legitimate douche bags; I suppose I was desperate to make friends.

Granted, I've had a lot of fun on the R3 (by myself), but be careful what you wish for. I've only ever known douche bags who ride supersports with stiff arms and crash protection, afraid to ride in the rain. I hope you make good friends who just want to ride for the enjoyment of riding, instead of riding to be seen and heard.

Now that I write it - I suppose I'm the fool.
As soon as I made it about riding with other people, I lost touch with why I enjoyed it so much (to be by myself).

I read that you ride to "escape", to "get away".
You're off to a better start - where you said,



I hope you never lose sight of how you feel when you ride.
Otherwise, it could get dangerous, trying to appeal to simple-minded folk.

Can't lie it took me a bit to finally understand what you were saying but then again it is Friday haha. I totally agree. The day I started riding with people (mountain bike wise) that I felt I needed to push myself to fit in was the day I broke my back. Was an inch and a half away from paralyzing myself at 14 years old. Sucks but it's the hard truth. Luckily I've found my group of people where we can safely push each other if we do ride together but still just enjoy being on bikes. That's why I've strived to ride alone unless I know the people. I can't speak for the motorcycle community because I haven't been able to truly have that connection yet, but I know biking wise a lot of the people you meet can just be super toxic and only congregate with others for skill level. Sure it's fun to have people that can rip around with you and push limits but that's not all the fun in the sport and or hobby.

Anyways, I emailed a local dealer for our bikes and they said they would notify when they got some MT-07's back in stock and a lot of their smaller displacement bikes for me to sit on. Really cool guys. Hopefully I can go in there in the next couple months and get a good feel for what kind of bike I'm gonna get and finally hone in on where I'm gonna set off from.
 

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That saying, "If you don't turn around and look at it when you walk away..." seems like it was formed by conceited boys, the type of douche bag that would buy a slip-on just to be loud and obnoxious.
I would disagree with you here to a degree. Many people buy motorcycles more based on emotion/the feeling it gives them than say a toaster oven commuter car. If you aren't excited to look at it and ride it all the time something is wrong. Obviously looks shouldn't be the only reason.
 

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R3 is a great bike to learn basics on. Relatively relaxed riding position for its style. Good throttle response and acceleration without having to worry about looping it. Good suspension given its market. And very reliable. My only gripe is that, as a fully faired bike, it can sometimes be a pain to wrench on. That being said, I've had all the fairings off on several occasions and, once you figure out how all the pieces interlock, it get much quicker/easier. I've had mine for a shade over 3 years now and will soon supplement it with a Triumph Street Triple. BUT I will be keeping the R3 as a track bike. They are so nimble and cheap to run that they are hard to beat as a track-day toy. Best of luck!

P.S. I wouldn't worry too much about the model year. I have a '16 and have had no issues with it. This after being low-sided twice. Swap out a few parts, and it was ready to run again. Very durable bikes, so long as you keep them maintained.
 
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