New rider - Highways and freeways | GTAMotorcycle.com

New rider - Highways and freeways

Hello,

I’m currently on a HD ‘19 street 500 and I am unsure if my bike is powerful enough for highway riding. Is there a CC level that bikes should be in order to go on the highway or 400 series freeways?
 

800over

Well-known member
Your bike can safely crush any speed limit in Canada....but how comfortable you'll be at those speeds is another matter. I am sure you can ride all day at 115km/h. I know all kinds of people who ride 300's on the 401 all the time. You should be good.
 
Your bike can safely crush any speed limit in Canada....but how comfortable you'll be at those speeds is another matter. I am sure you can ride all day at 115km/h. I know all kinds of people who ride 300's on the 401 all the time. You should be good.
Thanks i was a little worried but im going to work up to those speeds before the season ends
 

800over

Well-known member
Find an 90 km/h backroad and take it there first.....get it up to 100+ and see what it feels like.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Yup, 125's can go on any highway in Canada. Technically, I think any bike that can achieve 70 km/h can drive on the highway, but frig me, that's a terrible idea. Anything over 250 should be reasonably safe and not scary on the highway. With a 125 you just don't have any power left if you want to accelerate to avoid a situation. It just takes away one of your paths to safety.

With 40 hp you should have no problems at all with the bike. As others have said, make sure you are mentally prepared. The highway is not a good place to freak out and make bad choices. Once you get used to it, it is much safer and less tiring than riding in town as you don't need to be constantly searching for cross traffic trying to kill you.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Yea im going to try for a calm day i don’t want to get freaked out by wind
Wind on the highway is no different. Just stay loose. Everyone gets worried about the wind blast from trucks, but I find with the low closing speeds, that is also better on the highway than on local roads. No need to rush things. Enjoy the ride and learn at your own pace.
 

sburns

Well-known member
Wind might not be the only issue, watch out for truck turbulence.

Get yourself at the north end of the 404 sometime it's usually quiet past Aurora, and people drive less like jerks.
 

Blackfin

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I've seen a few vids. It looks like it manages okay.


One dyno I saw for it showed ~36HP at the wheel -- comparable to a Yamaha R3, which is perfectly capable of highway travel. However, as with many small bikes, there's just not a lot in reserve at highway speeds.

Surprisingly, the bike weighs 489lbs wet so it shouldn't be tossed too badly in the wake of trucks. However, you are also mostly exposed to the airflow on it and you may feel buffeting and your helmet being bounced around, especially behind trucks and vans.

Start out on quiet stretches of road and build you confidence before committing to a 400 series highway.
 

kruzuki

Well-known member
Guy in my office just bought a Street 500 a few weeks ago. He was also concerned about highway riding. Not so much keeping up with traffic, but fighting the wind. He made it to Port Dover last week, so I think he's figured it out. Give it time.
 

pfbmgd

Well-known member
Yup, 125's can go on any highway in Canada. Technically, I think any bike that can achieve 70 km/h can drive on the highway, but frig me, that's a terrible idea. Anything over 250 should be reasonably safe and not scary on the highway. With a 125 you just don't have any power left if you want to accelerate to avoid a situation. It just takes away one of your paths to safety.

With 40 hp you should have no problems at all with the bike. As others have said, make sure you are mentally prepared. The highway is not a good place to freak out and make bad choices. Once you get used to it, it is much safer and less tiring than riding in town as you don't need to be constantly searching for cross traffic trying to kill you.

Not sure how safe I would feel on a 125 or 250 on the 401 . I think 500 is the lowest I would go .

Go outside city limits try riding in relative low traffic see how you feel at higher speeds . Definitely GTA 401 is not the place to learn .
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Not sure how safe I would feel on a 125 or 250 on the 401 . I think 500 is the lowest I would go .

Go outside city limits try riding in relative low traffic see how you feel at higher speeds . Definitely GTA 401 is not the place to learn .
Fair enough. A ninja 250 will do over 100 mph so the bike has no issues at all on the highway. People dont need to be so afraid of small bikes, they are quite capable.
 

Riceburner

Well-known member
Had a 250 that maxed out at 120km/h. I just stayed in the right lane on the 404. Then again, I had a decade plus of riding time by that time.
 
I've seen a few vids. It looks like it manages okay.


One dyno I saw for it showed ~36HP at the wheel -- comparable to a Yamaha R3, which is perfectly capable of highway travel. However, as with many small bikes, there's just not a lot in reserve at highway speeds.

Surprisingly, the bike weighs 489lbs wet so it shouldn't be tossed too badly in the wake of trucks. However, you are also mostly exposed to the airflow on it and you may feel buffeting and your helmet being bounced around, especially behind trucks and vans.

Start out on quiet stretches of road and build you confidence before committing to a 400 series highway.
the video really helps thanks
 

Twisted Wrister

Active member
Your bike is good enough but it's scary until you get used to it. Take your time and work your way up.
My first highway experience was on the Gardiner with an M1 license, in the rain, in the dark, with a smoke visor, on 20 year old xs400 with 23hp when I missed the turn onto Lakeshore. Couldn't even see the lines. I lived but it was terrifying. Uncheck all those boxes and you'll be ok.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
Fair enough. A ninja 250 will do over 100 mph so the bike has no issues at all on the highway. People dont need to be so afraid of small bikes, they are quite capable.
I like big and small bikes -- riding a 250 Ninja at 100mph is a helluva lot more thrilling than riding a litre SS at that speed.

The nice thing about a light cruiser is they are the absolute easiest bikes to learn on. The Street 500 was really designed and tuned for beginners, lots of low grunt, stable geometry makes it easy to handle, and enough cruising power to run comfortably all day long.

I really think HD could sell a lot of these bikes if they were competitively priced.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
Yea im going to try for a calm day i don’t want to get freaked out by wind
Try to hookup with some experienced riders and go for day ride. There are plenty of interesting roads to explore within an hour or two of the city. There's nothing like a few weekends of open road riding to build skill and equally important -- confidence. After about a 2000 KM you will comfortably negotiate any road at the posted speed limit, you will also lose your fear of tar snakes, wind, rain, and riding down sweeping grades.

Ask for help if you need it, I'm sure someone will volunteer to help, or invite you on a ride.
 
Thanks, I am also a little concerned because I am still breaking the bike in too, I was told to ride the gears at under 3k rpm and getting past 80 its all 3k rpm, at least how im riding, any advice im a little confused?
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Thanks, I am also a little concerned because I am still breaking the bike in too, I was told to ride the gears at under 3k rpm and getting past 80 its all 3k rpm, at least how im riding, any advice im a little confused?
My breakin procedure does not fit with factory rules. Imo, the key is constantly changing speeds and loads. How many km do they want low rpm? How many km do you have on it?
 

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