Buying/Owning a Motorcycle?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by SamAca10, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    I'm thinking about getting a motorcycle after graduation and plan on taking a safety course during my 30 days of leave. Anyone have experience with owning, operating, and maintaining a motorcycle as a young JO?
     
  2. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    You already have a mother, I know. . . but I just talked the other day to my godson, a Navy orthopedic surgery resident who is back home visiting, and the subject of motorcycles came up. The surgeons call motorcycles "deathcycles" and he says motorcycle injuries make up an almost stunningly disproportionate amount of their "business" in the OR.

    Apologies for the gratuitous internet nagging, good luck if you decide to go that route!
     
  3. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    motorcycles

    If you need an organ transplant, best to move to a state that doesn't have a helmet law...bigger supply of healthy donors.
     
  4. terrifiedmommy

    terrifiedmommy justthemom

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    My brother just had his right leg amputated after being hit by a car and my cousin was killed 6 years ago leaving a wife and son. Both experienced drivers both not at fault.
    Pick something different for a thrill. Sorry I'm just passionate about the subject.

    hopefull for all
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Yeah..... uh, don't get one.
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Well, I guess I'll be the voice of the other side.

    I've had a bike for years, never dumped it, never hit.

    I have to admit some things as well, far too many riders are idiots. They ride too fast, cut in and out of traffic, think it's cool to ride on one wheel, and basically think they own the road.

    While most accidents involving bikes are not the fault of the rider, it doesn't mean the rider couldn't have done more to avoid the crash.

    My basic rule for riding is to always ride like everyone else on the road is trying to kill you. Don't ride a bike like you drive a car. While the black leather jacket looks nice it also makes you nearly invisible to other drivers. Wear that dorky neon vest with reflector stripes, it may not look cool but people will see you.

    Don't follow too close, don't cut through traffic, don't speed by a line of slow moving cars, they won't see you and merge over and then "Boom" not your fault, but not a smart move that could easily get you killed.

    There is a sense of freedom on a bike, some confuse that with a sense of invincibility, your not. There is an urge to out do the other riders when your in a group, resist that urge.

    I was probably the most boring bike rider around, the bottom line in that statement is that I'm still around.

    If you want a bike so you can ride like those guys you see in the movies, don't get one.

    With a bike you have to be about 10 times a defensive driver then you are in a car. You don't want "But it wasn't my fault" etched on your tombstone.

    Bottom line, motorcycles can be great, low fuel cost for commuting, easy parking, and a lot of fun, if your willing to suppress the urge act like a maniac.
     
  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I looked into getting a motorcycle when I got down to Pensacola, but the drivers here are horrifying enough when you're in a car and I usually have too much crap to bring in to work every day to make it worthwhile. I know a couple people who have them and don't ride often because of how bad the drivers are as well.

    There are plenty of JOs who have motorcycles, at least on the Navy/USMC side. A minority, but a significant one. All (three, training command) commands I've been to have at least passively-aggressively discouraged motorcycle riding and make riders go through some extra hoops (extra ORM paperwork, monthly rider meetings, extra courses beyond BRC, etc.) before letting them ride on base.
     
  8. bearhunter66

    bearhunter66 Member

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    I went down on Sunday. Had right of way, truck cut into my lane, bike hit his truck as I tumbled by. He took off. Hit and run. Lots of witnesses.

    Bike is wrecked. Full face helmet saved my bacon. Would have had lower jaw torn off without it. Covered in road rash but no broken bones. I was fortunate he did not run me over.

    I ride like someone is trying to kill me. Sometimes they come close like Sunday. It went down in less than a second.

    I'll be back on another bike in a few weeks.

    My advise: Buy a lot of insurance to financially protect your family. Wear a full face helmet (Arai or Shoei are both excellent). Wear the heavy boots, pants, jacket and gloves. Be careful but expect to be on the ground in pain at some point.

    BH


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS's best friend had an OCS slot and report date when he was driving his motorcycle to our house for DS's commissioning party. 1 mile from our house he got into an accident, not his fault. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital where they inserted pins into his arm. Two years later he is still waiting to see if the ARmy will waive that injury.

    When we were in AK the Commander(AF) was straight forward, he couldn't stop anyone from owning one, but if there was an accident that required waivers, don't expect him to fight for you.

    The fact is I have had friends own them for decades and no issues, but IMPO they were just lucky not to be on the road at the same time as idiot drivers,
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Had one as a 2LT. Had one as a CPT. Have one as a MAJ.

    If you've decided to get one, no amount of mothering on the internet nor anecdotal evidence will dissuade you. So, that being the case...

    ATGATT - All the gear, all the time. That means helmet, gauntlet gloves, riding pants (NOT JEANS), and riding boots. Everything I wear is armored, including my knee-high $300 AStars race boots. Protect your body. Wear every last piece every time you straddle the bike.

    Riding course - don't settle for the basic MSF course. Take an intermediate course. Take a defensive course. Take a rain course. Go to Vegas for a weekend and take a race course. Racing courses make you an immensely better and safer rider.

    Pick the right bike for you. Style, size, and power. Salesmen are morons. You don't sell bikes for a living because you're bright and had so many options. Do your own research, and know what you're buying before you ever go to a seller.

    Ride in familiar areas, at smart times. Don't take to an unknown city at rush hour. Know your ride routes. Know where the bad intersections are. Know the blind curves and hidden driveways. Take the majority of unknowns away by operating in areas where you're knowledgable.

    Lastly, take it slowly. Enjoy it. Riding is fun, but it is like flying. Even at its most fun it takes extraordinary vigilance and care.

    Be safe.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Great advice scout.

    Off track, but belated congrats on making O4. Didn't even know you were that old. :wink:
     
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Thanks. You'd be surprised. I probably have more grays than you do! Ten years goes fast.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Only ten more to go. :shake::yllol::wink:
     
  14. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Had one....a GXR 600.

    Don't get one, it's a typical PVT/2LT (or ensign) mistake. Same thing goes for a lifted trucks. If I had a dollar for every F-150 Raptor I have seen on post plus the amount I have seen in used car/repo lots with DoD stickers I would be a rich man.

    HOWEVER, if you do get one go for a lower CC first then work your way up. I have a had a few patients wthat had little motorcycle experience who went straight for a 750 or 1000 and subsequently left half of their skin on the pavement. With that being said the biggest risk to riding is not you, it's the morons around you.
     
  15. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    I want to start with something smaller, that's easy to learn on and easy to handle. Right now I'm thinking a honda rebel 250 because they sound like they're perfect for cruising back roads and comfortable
     
  16. Jayceguy

    Jayceguy Jayceguy

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    No to the 250. I started on a 550 nighthawk, and it was perfect. Not fast enough to do anything stupid, but not slow enough to be boring. You have power to move out of the way of cars, and cruise down the interstate. It's basically a rebel with a little bigger motor. Sits comfortably, sounds nice, and gets good mpg's.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  17. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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  18. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Sam, keep in mind that this advice is from a guy who flew helicopters in combat for a living. His perception of risk (and ability to anticipate trouble) may be at a different point on the spectrum than yours.

    Congratulations on the promotion, Scout Pilot.
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Golf partner

    One of my golf buddies who flew fighter bombers for the AF during 'Nam was shot down once and ditched at sea. His plane was also shot up three other times but he made it to an air field each time. After his service, he had a motorcycle for a while. He decided he didn't like them because they are too low to the ground and don't have an eject button. :rolleyes:
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    If you want something fast and loud... get a banjo! :thumb:
     

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