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Crash Bars: It's going to happen... I know it...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by matt, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. matt

    matt

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    I've just got my first bike (Honda VT1100 Sabre), and I'm just learning to ride. So, planning for the inevitable... can anyone recommend a good set of crash bars so I can limit my damage to the bike?

    I know there's some folks out there with cruiser style bike. What are you using?

    How about saddle bags?

    And while I'm at it (though I'm not convinced I want one), any recommendations on a wind screen?

    Oh, yeah. I case you missed it in the august acquisitions:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  2. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    I have Cortech soft bags I use on my rice bike, really nice stuff that pops on and off easily. Are you looking for the HD look or are you looking for functional detachable water resistant stuff.

    I'd check the Honda parts catalog to see if there are factory case guards.
     
  3. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    PS please be careful my riding buddy is in MGH , lost his lower leg and knee so far and more surgery set for the AM. Sideswiped a truck.
     
  4. Franco

    Franco

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    get OEM crash bars from Honda..they will fit the bike better then aftermarket
     
  5. zeppelinfromled

    zeppelinfromled

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    I can't recommend crash bars, but I can recommend that you take an MSF course if you haven't.
     
  6. FiremanBob

    FiremanBob NES Member

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    Absolutely take the MSF course if you want to learn the easy way, and avoid learning the hard way.
     
  7. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    +++++ 100 on MSF, and if you've taken the basic course, sign up for the advanced one
     
  8. matt

    matt

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    MFS course will be coming soon.

    There's one in Garnder/Orange and one in Worcester. Anyone have any personal experience with these folks?

    Glockaholic: Will remember your friend and his family in my prayers.

    Matt
     
  9. hikerlt

    hikerlt

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    buy a smaller 250cc learning cruiser to learn on...put the 1100 away until next year, after you learn to ride...
     
  10. flotter390

    flotter390

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    I've been riding since 1963.

    " Anyone have any personal experience with these folks?"

    What the hell do you want to know that for!!!!

    You are going to get different replies from different people.

    Just take the course with an open mind!!

    Not tinted by others go in blind and you will do better if you go in with out being under-informed.

    Ride Safe

    Fred
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  11. Harleynut

    Harleynut

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    Crash bars help when the bike falls over at real low speed or when stopped. If your moving I wouldn't count on them to save it but may save it some. A friends son is a motorcycle cop and told him if they are chasing someone on foot they just let the bike drop right there and start running. If they had to take time for kickstand they would never get them.
     
  12. dwarven1

    dwarven1 Appleseed Instructor Dealer NES Member

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    Please... call them "engine guards" or "case guards". NOT "crash bars". Let's not start planning to crash. Plan to protect your engine if the bike tips over.

    OK, I know it sounds "New Age"-ish, but a positive attitude can't hurt.

    Yup, took the class from Central MA Safety Council about 20 years ago. They did a nice job of it, but I really wish there'd been some riding time on something other than a runway at Worcester Airport. I keep thinking that I'm going to go to a Track Day so I can learn some advanced techniques for riding at speeds above "parking lot".
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Uncle Fester

    Uncle Fester

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    Now I'm going to preface this by saying I have never owned a motorcycle, and have only ridden one once, but this seems like sound advice to me. I don't think I would have a 15 1/2 year old learn to drive on a mustang, so it seems logical that you'd want to learn to ride on something with a little less oomph.
     
  14. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    Ya but that is on a HD bagger I bet. I have a FLHTPI and between the bag guards and the engine guard the bike will not ever go on it's side, but it can be a b**ch getting a 820 pound bike back up
     
  15. MACGYVR

    MACGYVR Guest

    Who ever sold you that bike was irresponsible. Nobody should hop on an 1100 right away!
    Put that away in storage for a year.

    Go take the MSF course. Learn to ride from pros in a controlled area.
    Then get a 250cc for about $1000. Play around in a school parking lot (when empty and no kids around) and build up confidence. Ride the hell out of it in every condition over every quality of road and traffic condition for 1000 miles. When you lose the fear of riding, then go get the 1100 out of storage and have fun.

    Fear is what saves your life. Lose the fear and careless shit happens.

    Just my 5 cents.
     
  16. matt

    matt

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    Seriously Fred? Seriously? [thinking]
     
  17. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    OK guys an 1100 cruiser isn't that much different than a 500cc cruiser
    we are not talking sport bikes here.

    Most people will outgrow a 250cc bike in weeks, leaving them trying to sell it at a loss, and IMHO anything under 500CC is too underpowered to ride on the street.

    Get your engine guards, buy a good jacket, gloves, and helmet (an easy 800 bucks plus btw) don't wear sneakers or shorts, and enjoy it.

    If you are ever in the southern NH 93 corridor area let me know we'll go riding.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. Harleynut

    Harleynut

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    I saw a vid at the Harley dealer of the police doing an obstacle course one cop dropped is road king and as you said it didn't go far this one cop tipped it over more and pulled it back with a leg over each side of it. He must have dropped it lots because he was very good at picking it up.
    I dropped my flhtcui once in 60k of riding when pulling away slow with wheel turned and it backfired Thats nasty when the rear wheel went backward. I was so pissed I did pick it right up and never thought of the weight.
    Getting back to the safty course take it and you will get a nice insurance discount that lasts years! That afternoon will buy you a nice gun in a few years.
     
  19. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd

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    A buddy of mine just got an 1100 cruiser, and it has the same horsepower as my sv650. It's also a lot heavier. So, while it isn't weak by any means, it isn't crazy fast either.
    Just take it easy, and remember that the most dangerous time is when you have enough experience to lose the fear, but not enough to be as good as you think you are. Keep the revvs low, enjoy the sound, and cruise like an old man on a Harley :p (they go slower than grannies in cars).
     
  20. George D

    George D NES Member

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    I think its the weight and size of the bike more than the engine displacement.
    I just started riding this year. I actually bought my bike on the NES yard sale section, an 81 Yamaha Maxim 650. At first I was nervous but now that I have put a few thousand miles on it, I am pretty comfortable with it. I have sat on a few big cruisers but they seem awfully heavy. Ditto on gear, I always ride with leather/overpants, full helmet, gloves and boots.
     
  21. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    the VTX weighs 573 pounds, my ZRX is 520 and I don't consider that very heavy compared to my HD at 820+

    a 500CC cruiser is around 430 pounds dry weight, add 30 pounds for fuel so it's 100 pounds lighter. Not enough reason to go small IMHO
     
  22. jobowker

    jobowker

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    I agree that a cruiser is different than a sport bike, but no one outgrows a 250 in weeks. Their ego may quickly outgrow it, but that's a different story.

    A 250 isn't that underpowered. People keep forgetting that a few years ago, 500cc was an average bike, and a 750 was big. There used to be 350's and 400's around, but now there are a couple of 250's, a couple of 500's, and everything else is bigger and faster. Is a 250 the best bike to take on the highway? Of course not. But once you've mastered a 250 on the Mass Pike, a real bike will be easy.[grin] A small bike has a much bigger forgiveness factor, and it's not just about limiting the twist of the throttle.

    I bought a used 250, rode it for a season (about 4500 miles) and then sold it the following year for $200 less than I paid for it. Not exactly a huge loss. Had I bought a new 250 as a first bike (not a good idea IMHO) and sold it 2 weeks later, then yes, it would be sold for a big loss.

    Here are some of the things I did in my first season of riding.

    1) The panic stop. Going about 55mph and had someone blow through a stop sign and almost hit me. I squeezed the brake lever a little harder than I needed to. Had this happened on my current bike, it would have ended differently.

    2) Head shake. I had started getting out of the habit of checking tire pressure regularly and got some serious head shake when trying to stop at the bottom of a hill. The new bike is a lot twitchier, and the head shake quite easily could have morphed into a tank slapper. On my current bike, it may have ended differently.

    3) Friction zone. I was accelerating during a turn (long onramp) and shifted to the next higher gear. It was too early in the friction zone (not enough clutch, too much throttle) and when it finally grabbed the bike lurched forward. A 1/4 liter engine can only lurch so much, and I was able to recover. On my current bike, it may have ended differently.

    I took an MSF class, and the riding part was in the rain, but we learned a lot of good stuff. I am still learning every day, but that first riding season had a lot of "firsts" and most of them weren't fun. Experiencing those on a 300 pound underpowered bike is more preferable than learning the same lesson but with a different outcome on an 800 pound bike with a liter sized engine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  23. 01SVTvert

    01SVTvert

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    The theory that you should start on a "little bike" has been beaten to death. IMO it holds no merit. Riding is more about knowing the limits of the bike you are on as well as your own. When I had my FLH I could circle that thing in tiny circles while I knew people who could not take their "little" bike and turn around on a two lane road without stopping. A low center of gravity cruiser handles like pretty much any cruiser irrespective of displacement. When talking about a 15 year old kid on a literbike, yeah I would say let them start small so they dont act like as much of an idiot on a lower HP bike. Still doesnt stop them from trying to go 150 mph on one wheel.

    I do also suggest learning to take your bike to a parking lot and do figure 8s, left and right circles till your floorboards scrape, braking while in a hard lean, etc. First time you hear a floorboard scrape is not on the road on a tight turn at 50 mph, it sounds a heck of a lot worse than it is.

    Best advice: Take the riders course NOW. Learn countersteering, what your application of brakes does in a corner etc.

    Also, those "crash" bars do nothing at a normal speed collision. Many of the newer bars are just cosmetic and can bend even dropping the bike.

    Learn to play "what if" What if the car at the intersection pulls out in front of me? What if the pickup in front of me loses the matterss? What if this construction zone all of a sudden has oil or wet tar? Learn avoidance and devensive thinking. Most people on MCs get hit by drivers that "didnt see" the bike because we get programmed to look for car sized moving objects. Many people dont recognize bikes as a moving vehicle when the quickly glance before hitting the gas to get into an intersection.
     
  24. MasterShinken

    MasterShinken

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    I use Cobra crash bars on my shadow 750, work great for the two times I messed up doing a slip 180 last month and still shiny too [smile]
     
  25. Admin

    Admin Staff Member Administrator Moderator NES Member

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    + another one for the MSF course. I learned a lot there and am very glad I spent the money on it. Worth every penny IMO.

    What are crash bars and what are they supposed to do?
     
  26. Admin

    Admin Staff Member Administrator Moderator NES Member

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    He's been riding since 1963 you should know better Matt. [smile]
     
  27. FiremanBob

    FiremanBob NES Member

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    You don't need to start on a smaller bike. V-Twins for cruisers don't have as much power per size as sportbike fours. Yours probably doesn't make more than about 65 hp. Additionally your bike has a fairly low center of gravity so it won't be so hard to handle, or to lift should you drop it.

    My V65 Sabre is the opposite. It's V4 makes 121 hp and it's a tall bike with much of its weight up high. It's quite twitchy at low speeds and a bear to stand up if it falls.

    One other thing: Crashing is NOT inevitable. You could go your entire life without ever dropping your bike if you 1) learn properly in a certified MSF course, 2) consistently practice safe bike-handling and traffic management skills, 3) keep a positive attitude. You WILL manage yourself to avoid dangerous situations, you WILL maintain 100% attention on your riding, you WILL keep a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol when riding, and you WILL have a plan B for escaping if trouble comes looking for you. For example, knowing to swerve behind that car pulling out from that side street to your right if necessary.
     
  28. Neptune Cat

    Neptune Cat

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    Crash bars and engine guards are two different things. Engine gaurds protect the engine crash bars stick out much farther to supposedly protect your legs. If the bike goes down on its side its weight doesn't land on your leg. don't know if it reall makes a difference if you low side, as I'd imagine you come off the bike real fast anyway. I never thought about it before but it may save your leg if you were to sideswipe another vehicle. Or, maybe not.
     
  29. Realtor MA

    Realtor MA NES Member

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    Good luck with the new bike! Learn as much as you can and take things slowly.

    As my old buddy with the California Highway Patrol used to tell me; "There are two kinds of bikers. Those that have been down and those that are going down."

    I had a spill once and I broke my foot up pretty good. If I had had 'crash bars' things might have been a little better. The bike kind of slapped down on my foot. Ouch!!
     
  30. zzrider

    zzrider

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    I had Cobra engine guards on my first bike, a Suzuki Volusia. I never dropped the bike in the time I owned it, but the next owner did drop it a couple times and they protected the engine cases and tank perfectly.

    I would not be overly concerned about starting on an 1100 cruiser. I have a REAL problem with anyone starting a sportbike bigger than 600cc, but cruisers are an entirely different animal.

    The biggest problem with a large cruiser is the awkward handling at parking-lot speeds thanks to the weight and long wheelbase. V-twin cruisers just don't have enough power to get in much trouble with the throttle; same with the brakes.
     

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