I am a new rider. When I first thinking about getting a motorcycle I went through every emotion that a person can go through and I'll admit I thought about it months before I finally bought a used scooter.
It seemed that everyone had a story where either they knew a friend of a friend or knew someone directly that had lost a direct head on confrontation with an 18 wheeler. "They are called donor cycles for a reason." "Your going to be road pizza!" I imagined my mother saying.
But at that time gas was quickly approaching the $4 US mark and the bike that I was considering buying would average about 70+ miles (113 + km) per gallon. At the risk of losing you completely, lets do some math.
Living in Florida gives me an advantage over most riders, in that I can ride nearly all year and motorcycles are a pretty common sight here as well. That does not mean they are any safer but, in my twisted logic at least, meant that I would be a little more visible than lets say in my home state of Pennsylvania.
My commute at the time was only 15 miles (24 km) one way, flat and more or less straight. The 125cc engine could easily keep up with city traffic and my commute at night (I work till 1 AM most days) would be on more or less empty streets. I felt safe.
BUT first...a shiny helmet which I hoped would reflect light when driving a night. A bright yellow jacket. Anything to make me a bit more visible. A simple mantra that I would repeat..."Cocky will get me killed."
So I started to ride. In the parking lot at first, then in the side streets around my home at the time. Then simple jaunts up and down the busier roads to Subway or the market. Then work. Then before you know it something happened.
I started to relax, to enjoy the ride. What started out as a logical way for me to save some money turned into something else, I realized it one day when I jumped on the little bike just to ride...and got lost on the back roads, not caring. I started to look for excuses to take the little scoot out.
Now I understood what my biker friends where talking about. Complete and total freedom. A stupid grin on my face. Life on 2 (smaller) wheels was not so bad after all.
Then something happened. I bought a house which was about twice as far as I was before from work. My little Zuma 125 had a top speed of 55 mph (88.5 kph) and that would not cut it on the highways I had to travel. So with only a few months of riding experience under my belt I had to upgrade.
Again I had to consider my options between a Scooter or a "Real Bike."