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Thread: Second (alternate) bike for a newer rider (having two bikes) good idea or bad?

  1. #1

    Second (alternate) bike for a newer rider (having two bikes) good idea or bad?

    I was wondering what people thought about a NEWER RIDER getting a second alternate street bike (having two street bikes) ? Is it a good idea? Background: My wife has been riding for about a year now. She started out on a 250 cruiser put about 4K miles on it and now has a BMW F650GS. She has put around 5K miles on that so far. She recently started doing some dirt riding too on a CRF150F. She is a competent rider but still needs to improve on cornering on the road and has a way to go on the dirt but is making good progress in both areas.

    When I got my license in the late 80’s, I only had one street bike so I got to know it very well. Now that I am older and have expendable income, I have a few bikes so I was thinking about getting my wife another bike for her birthday, something a little sportier. Most of my bikes she is not yet comfortable on b/c of the weight, seat height or power so I would like to get her her own second bike. Something that would fit her better rather than having her to try to ride one of mine.

    I know that the bike I ride the most is the one I am most confident and proficient on and my other bikes I feel good on but not as good as my primary bike and this varies a little bit depending on which bike I am riding. But I do feel that having the opportunity to ride my other bikes has made me a better, more well-rounded rider but I have been riding for over 20 years and have only owned multiple street bikes for the past 5 years. So for a newer rider that still has much to learn, I am concerned that putting another bike into the mix could make learning more difficult as a sport bike handles differently that a dual sport. So I am wondering what some of you think?

    Please note that I am NOT looking for advice or input on what the second bike should be but rather IF getting a second bike at this time is a bad idea from a learning standpoint. Thanks
    Last edited by Rhinoclemmys; 02-03-2014 at 10:54 PM. Reason: typo- spelling

  2. #2
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    If they are both appropriately selected, I don't see why not? I think of it has the luxury of having choices. Now you can cross train so to speak. Of course, I personally think the more bikes the better. Cover all the bases, have one for: street, track, dirt, touring, cruising, collectable, and throw in a project or two.
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    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Sounds like your wife already has 2 bikes. (The F650GS and the CRF150.)
    As long as she keeps riding both bikes, she will become more proficient. She sounds like she has a great foundation of which build on. Has she taken any dirtbike courses?

    How about you? I see you have sportbikes. That's great, but how about a dirtbike for yourself?

    Extremely competent street riders have a "dirt" bike background. Roadracers swear by it. (Not that roadracers swear a lot, but you know what I mean!)

    Bottom line: The more varieties of motorcycles one is exposed to, the more "well rounded" that rider will be.

    This will invariably turn into a "get this bike" or "get that bike" so I might as well start off....

    How tall is your wife? Inseam, yada, yada, yada?
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    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! SoCal LabRat's Avatar
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    Have you asked her what she wants?

    With good street tires, the BMW can corner extremely well. Yes, it feels different with the wide bars than a sport bike would. But why not let her get lots of experience on this one before throwing another one at her right away?
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    RiderCoach 2000 Posts! KACinPA's Avatar
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    First I will answer the question you asked: With 9K + miles on three different motorcycles, I see no problem with her getting a second street bike.

    The questions you didn't answer in your post that I have: Does SHE want another street bike or do YOU want her to have another street bike? Is her enjoyment of riding being impeded any way by only having the BMW and the dirt bike to ride? What do you consider a "sportier" bike?

    My wife is a beginner rider, even though she has had her endorsement for over 2 years, she has very few miles. I am not pushing her in any way. She decided to sign up for another BRC before she hits the roads on her bike this spring. She ultimately wants a different bike, but I will wait until she says "I want another bike" before making any move to acquire one. Leave it for her to decide when she wants another bike and what bike (type) she wants. Maybe she would prefer a cruiser over a "sporty" bike. Leave it up to her, she has to ride it.

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! mechdziner714's Avatar
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    Three would be better....
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  7. #7
    I own a dozen bikes ... but I have been riding for 40 years and am a moderately aggressive rider. My wife is a neophyte rider and pretty hesitant in her riding. A GZ250 and KL250 Super Sherpa is really all she needs thrown into the mix right now. I would say it depends entirely on her riding ability and inclination. Throwing too much at a rider that is not ready for more can be very damaging...
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post
    Sounds like your wife already has 2 bikes. (The F650GS and the CRF150.)
    As long as she keeps riding both bikes, she will become more proficient. She sounds like she has a great foundation of which build on. Has she taken any dirtbike courses?

    How about you? I see you have sportbikes. That's great, but how about a dirtbike for yourself?

    Extremely competent street riders have a "dirt" bike background. Roadracers swear by it. (Not that roadracers swear a lot, but you know what I mean!)

    Bottom line: The more varieties of motorcycles one is exposed to, the more "well rounded" that rider will be.

    This will invariably turn into a "get this bike" or "get that bike" so I might as well start off....

    How tall is your wife? Inseam, yada, yada, yada?
    Yes she has taken some dirt courses and some street courses. I have a dirtbike and trials bike. I only wish I had them as a kid.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KACinPA View Post
    First I will answer the question you asked: With 9K + miles on three different motorcycles, I see no problem with her getting a second street bike.

    The questions you didn't answer in your post that I have: Does SHE want another street bike or do YOU want her to have another street bike? Is her enjoyment of riding being impeded any way by only having the BMW and the dirt bike to ride? What do you consider a "sportier" bike?

    My wife is a beginner rider, even though she has had her endorsement for over 2 years, she has very few miles. I am not pushing her in any way. She decided to sign up for another BRC before she hits the roads on her bike this spring. She ultimately wants a different bike, but I will wait until she says "I want another bike" before making any move to acquire one. Leave it for her to decide when she wants another bike and what bike (type) she wants. Maybe she would prefer a cruiser over a "sporty" bike. Leave it up to her, she has to ride it.
    Good points. Thanks. She does want another sportier bike and I think she should get the next one in our garage. If buy another bike for me first that would not be a good move for me So perhaps I am pushing the issue a little bit more than I should .

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    I own a dozen bikes ... but I have been riding for 40 years and am a moderately aggressive rider. My wife is a neophyte rider and pretty hesitant in her riding. A GZ250 and KL250 Super Sherpa is really all she needs thrown into the mix right now. I would say it depends entirely on her riding ability and inclination. Throwing too much at a rider that is not ready for more can be very damaging...
    Thanks for your comment. That is what I was concerned about. If she is just getting more comfortable cornering on her GS I am concerned about putting another bike in the mix with different geometry that could potentially could be "damaging" as you put it. She is a good rider but is cautious and not agressive at all. Perhaps it is better to wait.

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