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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, just wanted to introduce myself to the forums. I live in the Westside of Los Angeles (Westwood/Century City area); I'm 26 years old and work two jobs: graphic designer at UCLA (where I graduated), and product advisor at Microsoft Retail. I'll be getting my first motorcycle soon, been thinking about it since last June, did my research, and going to follow the suggestion to start small. I was set on getting a Ninja 250R, but decided to go with the 300 instead, and here's why:

Ever since I was 18, I've always wanted a motorcycle. Recently, I've been planning a road trip to visit my family in Mexico which I haven't seen in over a year and a half, and I want to give them the maximum surprise by showing up on a motorcycle. It's one thing to surprise them by driving a car to Mexico (which I have done, twice), but riding a bike to Mexico is on another level. I guess you could say I like to one-up myself.

The trip will be 3642.8 miles round trip. I'll be starting in LA, heading through Arizona and New Mexico, and crossing in El Paso, Texas. First stop is my cousin and her family in Aguascalientes, Mexico. From there I'll be going to Guadalajara where the bulk of my family lives, and then heading back north making a quick stop in Mazatlan, back to LA, and up to Stockton in northern Cali to visit the last of my family, before heading back down to SoCal. All in all, it should take two weeks.

Given the special circumstances of my trip, I need something reliable that can stand up for such a long distance. Starting with a used bike, which is the general suggestion for newbies (on account of the likelihood of dropping it), is not an option. I need something with no prior history that will hold well to a trip of almost four thousand miles. A couple of months ago I found out about the Ninja 300 and its ridiculously good fuel economy, and I decided this is the way to go.

I took my MSF course in October of last year in Woodland Hills, CA and passed it (just barely), and today I went to the DMV to take my written test to get my license and passed it (just barely again, lol).

I'll be putting $1000 down and financing the rest, either through my university's credit union, or through the dealership with the Costco program. I'll be sealing the deal at the end of this month, so that I have enough time to practice for three weeks before I take my first "rehearsal" long-distance trip up to Stockton for my nephew's high school graduation in late May. I'll be following that with a second "rehearsal" trip to Colorado to visit my goddaughter sometime in the summer, and finally the big kahuna trip to Mexico sometime in the fall.

So that's my story, sorry it's a bit long. Yeah, I know it's pretty ambitious, and maybe impractical (given that the Ninja 300 isn't built too comfortable for road trips), so let me know how crazy you think I am lol. I'll be updating on the progress, as well as asking questions along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, as for my "Ché Guevara" avatar, I picked it because my Mexico trip is code-named #Guevara on account of the long-distance motorcycle trip he took in South America.
 

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Get suggestions from long distance riders in Ozzie land, there are a couple there. I'd suggest getting a corbin seat or some kind of pad or maybe cyclist shorts that have cheek pads. Sit comfortably first, then worry about gas mileage or maybe adding a cable to add power for gps or cell phone. Personally i've added an extra fuse box to every bike I drive, to add extra stuff like lights, chargers, extra horns ect.....
Get a rack or tank bag for storage, or both....
Good choice on the 300, good luck on your future trip, I myself am doing about 1.5k trip in a couple of weeks.
 

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Wow talk about a long ass trip ... you will be all around mexico bring back some candy hahahaha
Only thing i can tell u is get a corbin seat its a long time sitting and ur gonna get tired so take lots of breaks. Love the chegevara pic. Good luck on your ride and be safe alot of bad shit going down in mex in these times. Thats why i havent gone back.
 

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g'day mate and welcome aboard, the 300 will do the trip you want in its stride, but can you???

i suggest some kind of throttle lock or palm rest, touring screen, +1 sprocket, ventura rack and possibly handle bar risers and most definitely a radiator guard & absolutely a seat pad , check my signature for that
 

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Damn, its gonna be a long ride. I would atleast wait until after the 1st oil change to take on such a long ass ride. Become familar with the bike first, know where everythign is on the bike just in case you have to pull over to fix it. I think on a good day i can get about 230-250 mile on a spirited tank before having to fill it up. Keep in mind when you approach the New Mex/El-Paso area, their fuel octanes changes. Regular now becomes 86 octane, and 88, 93 respectively. So select accordingly. Stay off the 10 if you can and take the local Business loops.

Good memories in Juarez when living in El-Paso, or Texas for that matter :). Lot of good BBQ and family owned diners. So jealous, wish i can join you on this trip. Will be epic. Be sure to document it for those of us living our dreams through you...lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for your warm welcomes and tips/recommendations so far, I will keep them into consideration as I get closer to the trip.

Right now I want to focus on just getting the bike to begin with and learning to improve my skills and get better acquainted with the bike's maintenance, and then later getting into my "rehearsal" trips. I'll be sure to update you guys along the way, and I'm sure I'll have lots of questions along the way. Once again, thanks!
 

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excellent idea to do a few "rehersal" trips before the big ride. i did a number of those myself 13 years ago on my vfr800 before i ride 17,922 kilometres around australia. those test trips helped me just used to the bike and test my gear out to be sure everything was going to work before i left.best thing i ever did man i tell ya
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Signed the paperwork for my bike today

My plan was to get my Ninja 300 through the Costco Program, so they paired me up with a dealer in West Covina, CA, which gave me an OTD price of $5500 on the non-ABS back on the 14th of April.

I was going to finance through my university's credit union which was offering a 9.00% APR. Keep in mind that my credit isn't that great (average of about 610 FICO), so that 9% interest rate was relatively good.

I submitted the credit application on Monday, and on Wednesday I heard back from them saying I was rejected due to too many recent inquiries and other factors. :( So basically my last resort was to go through dealer financing, which can be a b****, but it was my only other option.

So today Friday I went to the dealer JUST to inquire about the financing. My mistake was having them submit the credit application as soon as I got there before discussing pricing (as I thought that was already done and finalized). They come back saying that the Kawi financing was rejected but that they could also try through their in-house lender, but before they did that the "sales manager" wanted to have a talk with me.

He basically told me that the Ninja 300s are in very high demand at the moment and that because of that they were taking them off the Costco program and that they could no longer offer it for the $5500 price they had originally quoted me at, instead they jacked it up to $6531, NON-ABS MODEL! They said "you could go to any dealer [in the SoCal area] right now and they will not have any in stock", and fed me some BS about how if "anyone else off the street" walked in and asked for the bike they would sell it to that person at $7+ grand, but that since I "already had a relationship with Costco" that they would be "nice" enough to offer it to me at the $6500 price.

So I was basically put into a corner. Whether or not they were saying the truth about the bike being in "low stock" (or any of the other BS they told me), the truth of the matter is that I had very few options. Since they already ran my credit through, I didn't really have the option to "shop around" at other dealers because I was afraid they would also reject me because of "too many inquiries". I really had to think about what I said next.

So this is what I did: I told them that paying a premium of more than $1000 on the bike was not something I had in mind when planning on getting the bike, especially since I was planning on paying it off way before the 60 month lease (that much was true), and so I had to "go home and think about it" in terms of how it fit my financial planning. The red flag there was "go home"; these salesmen want to keep you in the dealer until they finalize the deal with you same day, and they'll do anything to accomplish that. And that's exactly what happened, the "sales manager" asked me how much I would be willing to settle for the bike if I left with it today, and I told him 6 grand. I know, that's still at least $500 more than what I should be paying for it, but given my circumstances I don't think I could do any better (unless I waited to save up and pay everything cash, but where's the fun in that lol).

So my final, out-the-door price on a black Ninja 300 non-ABS model was $6000, with a down payment of $1000 and financing done through "their guys" at an interest rate of 12.5% APR, which is high but irrelevant because I'm planning on paying it completely off in the next 4-6 months.

That's my story, I signed the paperwork but did not actually leave with the bike tonight. I'm planning on picking it up on the 4th of May, but you can read about that in my post on the "Ride Away From The Dealer?" thread.
 

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Che!

I appreciate your excellent spelling/grammar and the detail you've included in your posts. I've been wondering about the cost of the Ninja 300 in SoCal. I'm in L.A. County too, and I also do art for a living.

Your Mexico trip sounds epic! Would love to hear about your travels. If you're not planning this already, I'd recommend vlogging the trip (with a GoPro or some similar camera) that can mount right to your helmet's chinbar. Bring some extra batteries and you'll have an excellent record of the trip.
 

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Dude you are an inspiration and should do well in life. Bold and well thought out adventure at a young age. Best of luck and have fun. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the replies. I'm counting down the days till Saturday. This is the last week of my life without a motorcycle, I'm stoked!

Just doing some last-minute research on the logistics of motorcycling, i.e. carpool lane rules, lane splitting, what octane rating to use, how to lock your helmet to your bike, what route to take home from the dealer, etc. I wanna feel ready and confident come Saturday afternoon.
 

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Congartulations man! I hope you enjoy your bike as much as I do... That trip sounds epic! if you ever need anything and/or pass trough the San Diego/Tijuana area on your way back, I live around the area, hit me up and we'll grab a bite or something... don't forget to keep us posted...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's my great pleasure to introduce #badassery, my black Ninja 300. Picked it (her?) up at the dealer on Saturday and rode it back home, which was only my 3rd time riding on a motorcycle (the first being my MSF course, and the second being that morning for the 'Extra Practice' course).
 

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Welcome, you'll love the 300. I loved mine. So much, that if mine is done for, I plan on getting another one.
 

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Welcome to the forum, looks like you've got some good times ahead, have fun :D
 
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