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Old 05-11-2005, 11:16 AM
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Default Motorcycle for a newbie

OK, I don't know why, but I've recently had a hankering for a motorcycle. I've never ridden a motorcycle on the street, just a few dirt bikes as a teenager. So, what kind of bike do you all recommend for someone to start off on?

I was thinking the smaller bike, the better. That way I can learn all the nuiances of riding w/out having too much power and hurting myself.

Honda has a 250 that's not very expensive. But just about everyone I've talked to so far says that that's too small a bike and that I won't enjoy it after a few months. I have no idea because I ain't never been on one on the street. What I really like about is the price tag. I'm not going to spend a bunch of money on one right now.

My Dad had a 250 Rebel years ago and really liked it. He said it was a nice bike w/ plenty of power (and he's ridden enough motorcycles over his life to have a real base for comparison). 'Course he may be just trying to stop me from getting something bigger

Whatchyall think?
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:29 AM
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Question Be glad to help....

Minner,
I'll talk your ear off.
First what are your 'dimensions'? :o (Height & weight)
Secondly, what type of riding do you 'think' you'd like to do? Meaning, run up to the mountains, cruise around the country side, commuter, ....?
Thirdly, will you always be riding solo or do you foresee some two up riding?
Finally, of course, budget?
Never been without a bike since I was 14. I'll be turning old this year so I've got a few miles under my belt and plenty of research....
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:38 AM
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Phil,

Thanks for the quick reply.

1) I'm 6'0" and weigh around 185.

2) Main riding would afternoon/weekend stuff, mountains and countryside. No commuting for a long while (I drive through a madhouse going to/from work and it'll take me a while to be comfortable doing that on a bike).

3) Predominately solo riding (one of the main reasons I want a bike - to get out by myself and ride) although, well, you never know...

4) I could probably afford a more expensive bike, but I just don't want to invest heavily in something I've never done before. Yes, I'm cheap, but I was thinking/hoping to spend in the $3,000 - $5,000 range.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minner
Phil,

Thanks for the quick reply.

1) I'm 6'0" and weigh around 185.

2) Main riding would afternoon/weekend stuff, mountains and countryside. No commuting for a long while (I drive through a madhouse going to/from work and it'll take me a while to be comfortable doing that on a bike).

3) Predominately solo riding (one of the main reasons I want a bike - to get out by myself and ride) although, well, you never know...

4) I could probably afford a more expensive bike, but I just don't want to invest heavily in something I've never done before. Yes, I'm cheap, but I was thinking/hoping to spend in the $3,000 - $5,000 range.

Thanks again!
OK, you've got a fair amount of options. I guess one other item, what 'style' bike do you like? Since you mentioned the Rebel, I'm going to assume you like cruisers vs. sport bikes (good choice )
Now, let me immediatley say, FORGET the 250. You will be miserable on it. There is no reason for a full grown man of your height, newbie or not, to attempt to ride one of those. You will be cramped to a point that becomes UNSAFE! Do not concentrate as much on engine size (within reason) as you do on fit of the frame/handlebars. Honda made a 450 Rebel in the mid/late 80s that would be the absolute minimum I'd consider and reality is I'd steer clear of that.
In the $3k-$5k range you can find a lot of 'middle weight' to even large cruisers readily available. If you buy smart you will likely get all of your money back when in a year one of two things will almost assuredly happen.
1) You're not riding much and decide to sell it (actually noramlly takes closer to two years for most people to admit that).
2) You're loving it and want something bigger/different (that normally takes less than a year).
The newer bikes (late 90s) are MUCH better balanced machines than their predecessors. So if it was between getting an extra hundred cc's or two in an older bike vs. a newer one, I get the newer one for performance's sake. However, that newer bike will likely have some depreciation left in it so their is a trade off.
In Hondas (I've owned a few), I'd look at the various Shadows and perhaps a Magna (V45, I'd not get the V65, that thing is a beast and would probably make a better second bike).
In Yamaha's (I've owned a few) Virago's and related lines are tested and true. You 'might' be even able to get a VStar in 1100 if you're very patient for close to $5k. The 650s are readily availble but the reality is, there is not that much difference in handling but a TON in power so I'd probably not get the 650.
In Suzukis - The intruder line has always been the biggest bang for the buck by generally a large margin. The styling is different and I do know of the occasional bad story but I would not hesitate to buy a clean one.
Can't help you with Kaws.
If you have even the slightest bit of interest (which you obviously do), PLEASE sign up for the motorcycle safety course. It's a LONG wait but VERY well worth it. I took it when my wife decided she wanted to ride on her own and it is VERY VERY VERY much worth the time. Plus you get your cycle endorsement.
For used bikes, appearance tells a LOT. A bike that has not been properly stored is a sleeping problem. Avoid it if you can. Most bikes average VERY low mileage per year.
Most every bike you look at will likely have less than 20,000 miles on it and likely less than 10,000.
I assume you've been poking around cycle trader online. Shop and look at the pictures and if you find anything that peaks your interest, I'll gladly give you my $0.03.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:09 PM
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Thanks, Phil. I've only really started looking over the last week hit. I don't know why, the bug just hit me and started my looking. O.K. I'm noticing a trend here to stay away from the 250.

I like the idea of buying a slightly used bike as opposed to a new one. Also, I would kinda like to stay with a Honda if I could.

I'm going to start looking now. Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:11 PM
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here's a good site to get you started minner

http://www.cycletrader.com/
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:30 PM
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Agree with Phil, Owned several street and enduro bikes.

250 is too small, it would sure give you a sore tail on a afternoon ride in the mountains.

I would go the used route, alot for sale. I would lean toward a Honda, but all the major companies make good products.

Be safe and watch out for the other guy. I have been run off the road before, no one sees you?????????????
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:28 AM
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Default cycle

I got one. You got a PM
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Old 05-12-2005, 08:12 AM
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I saw a Harley ad the other day that said they had entry level Sportsters for $4800 NEW! I would check 1 out. The 883 should be plenty for playing around on.
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phillips
I saw a Harley ad the other day that said they had entry level Sportsters for $4800 NEW! I would check 1 out. The 883 should be plenty for playing around on.
Jeff, You ever road one of those things?!?! I rode one for about two miles one day (literally) and parked it and said NEVER again!
For crying out loud, counterbalancing and rubber engine mounts are what? SEVENTIES technology.
There's a reason they are inexpensive (by Harely standards). PLUS, the Harely guys will say you're riding a 'chick bike'.

Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:39 AM
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Thumbs up

Man there are some very good deals out there....
http://adcache.cycletrader.com/5/7/8/79336178.htm

Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for all the replys and the PMs guys, I really appreciate it. You're right Phil, that site has some pretty good deals on it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, I still need to look around and think some more on it. My Dad is still trying to get me to get the 250. He's convinced it's a good bike as he really enjoyed the one he had back in the 80's. He even said he'd buy it from me if I didn't like it.

What I don't understand is why I'm getting such different opinions on it. My Dad loved it but nearly everyone else has said to stay away from it. What makes it such an "undesirable" bike? Is the lack of power, the seats, handlebar positioning, suspenion, etc? That $3000 price tag is what appeals to me most (if you haven't noticed it, I'm a tight-wad).

Y'all know how it is, it's hard to refute the opinion of dear-old Dad, even though a lot of people might disagree with him. Just need some more "ammo" for our discussions.
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minner
Thanks for all the replys and the PMs guys, I really appreciate it. You're right Phil, that site has some pretty good deals on it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, I still need to look around and think some more on it. My Dad is still trying to get me to get the 250. He's convinced it's a good bike as he really enjoyed the one he had back in the 80's. He even said he'd buy it from me if I didn't like it.

What I don't understand is why I'm getting such different opinions on it. My Dad loved it but nearly everyone else has said to stay away from it. What makes it such an "undesirable" bike? Is the lack of power, the seats, handlebar positioning, suspenion, etc? That $3000 price tag is what appeals to me most (if you haven't noticed it, I'm a tight-wad).

Y'all know how it is, it's hard to refute the opinion of dear-old Dad, even though a lot of people might disagree with him. Just need some more "ammo" for our discussions.
Minner,
There is nothing 'wrong' with that bike. Just like almost every bike it has it's purpose (though I've admitedly struggled with the purpose of one or two. ) That bike is NOT big enough to fit you. Fit is DIRECTLY related to SAFETY and COMFORT. It likewise does NOT have enough power to be SAFE. Most people think of power as dangerous but when you need to get out of tight spot in a hurry (which sadly will happen more than you'd like), 250cc's of engine, especially at highway speeds (which it may barely hit with you on it) and throw in Georgia's hilly terrain and you'll be anemic at best if you need some quick acceleration. Granted 99% of the bikes on the road are quicker than 99% of the cars but that bike is MUCH more readily suited for a smal framed person and for in town commuting crusing. The vibration will rattle your fillings out on a day's worth of riding. Like I said, it's a dependable bike made for a certain purpose. For $3,000 you can get three times the bike (literally) and something that will fit you MUCH better. Beyond that, it's personal style. That one I linked is VERY low sitting, very well balanced bike, that despite the engine size (1100ccs) which today is considered middle/heavy is easily handled by a person of your size. My wife used to ride that bike. She's 5''6" and weighs MUCH less than you and has little upper body strength yet she rode it like a champ. Likewise the bike fits me perfectly with my 34-35" inseam, especially with the floorboards.
The Rebel 250 is a neat little bike but it's not a bike for a full grown man. Reality is, they make 600cc scooters today and 2,200 cc production motorcycles. 250cc's is NOT for a motorcycle (of general use) for a full grown man.
I'm not slamming your dad's ride, again, it's about what you want OUT of the bike and what is out there to suit THAT desire.
Find a used bike shop around you and go sit on as many different kinds as you can. It's VERY hard to tell in 2 minutes what something will feel like after putting a few hundred miles on it but it's better than having no comparisons at all.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeauxLSU
Minner,
. She's 5''6" and weighs MUCH less than you and has little upper body strength yet she rode it like a champ.
Phil:
Man I almost thought I was going to get some Black mail stuff. LOL

Minner:
I bought a new Honda 360, when they first came out. 1973 I think. Great bike for a college kid. Lots of power, handled well, very dependable, would go places a street bike should not have been. But, you couldn't walk after riding it a 100 miles. It would put your legs and arms to sleep. The next bike I owned was a Honda 550 4 cyl and that bike was smooth for a small bike.

If you are going to ride /cruise in the mountains you better get something a little bigger.
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac
Phil:
Man I almost thought I was going to get some Black mail stuff. LOL
I'm stupid, but I'm no indiot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac
Minner:
I bought a new Honda 360, when they first came out. 1973 I think. Great bike for a college kid. Lots of power, handled well, very dependable, would go places a street bike should not have been. But, you couldn't walk after riding it a 100 miles. It would put your legs and arms to sleep. The next bike I owned was a Honda 550 4 cyl and that bike was smooth for a small bike.
If you are going to ride /cruise in the mountains you better get something a little bigger.
Mac,
VERY cool! My first real high school bike was a 1976 360T. I remember how cool I thought it was since it had an electric start! It was a great bike. I remember the only interstate trip I took on it. About 80 miles to my sister's house. Highway pegs buzzing like mad the whole way. Drove there, immediately hit the couch and fell asleep. After waking up, drove back home and did the same thing. :o I think I was a sophmore in college when I bought my brother's Goldwing. I had a stereo on my bike and I was only 18. I was not your typical goldwing rider...
That 550/4 was a great engine. As good as all those bikes were (especially the bullet proof CB750s) they can not compete with the handling, comfort, and power of today's machines.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:19 PM
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Good info, guys, thanks! That's the kind of information someone like me needs to hear. You can tell how green I am as I hadn't even thought about a motorcycles "fit" or comfort level.

I need to explore the "used" market more. I had been mainly focusing on new until y'all posted the link to cycle trader. I've had bad experiences buying used vehicles before and was just a little leary of that side of the market.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minner
I need to explore the "used" market more. I had been mainly focusing on new until y'all posted the link to cycle trader. I've had bad experiences buying used vehicles before and was just a little leary of that side of the market.
Minner, do NOT buy new for your first bike!! Buy a clean used bike and you can likely break even or maybe even make a dollar. Other big thing is you won't cry in public when you drop it. It WILL happen, I guarantee you. It's also a good way to not take a financial bath until you find out what you really want. Then go buy new or used, whatever flips your switch. Truth is, used is better no matter what stage you are in but yes new is nice.
DEFINITELY buy used!!!! Wish you lived closer, I love bike shopping.
Hunt/fish safely,
Phil
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Old 05-12-2005, 02:45 PM
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not sure if it has been mentioned but "set" on as many different ones as you can. they are all balanced a bit different and some "fit" better than others. the more comfortable you are the more confident you are, better control. some bikes will stand right up, some will have to be pulled up. you can always worry about gettin fancy once you've got some miles under your belt.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:10 PM
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Minner,
you're still welcome to come to the house & ride the Suzuki, If you're not impressed, I'll buy you some gas.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:31 PM
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Minner, I'd look at two late model Suzukis. The SV650 and the GS550S. There both great bikes. With standard styling and riding position. Kinda sporty but still have handelbars. You should easily find either in Cycle Trader and you should be able to get one 2-3 yrs old well within your stated budget. We'll miss you guys @ the Patch. Tell Fish Largo says, well, you guys know what Largo says. P.S. I'd probably go with the SV 650.
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:54 PM
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Quadsac,

I appreciate the offer and I'll definitely keep it in mind. Ain't no need to buy gas though as Resaca is just down the road a bit.

BIGGUS,

Not as much as we'll miss the Patch. That place has been some kind of good to both of us. But with all the "stuff" going on up here, it was just the right thing to do. It sure won't be the same hunting the National Forest land around here this fall. Remind me to tell y'all about the MONSTER buck I let get away from me in December. For the right amount of money, I'll even tell you were he was at BTW, Dad passed up a doe and a 8 ptr that same morning and he came out of the stand at 8:30!

Thanks again guys! Keep it coming. I'll take all the free advise I can get!
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:54 PM
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Default Motorcycle for newbie

My first bike was a Honda CB 160. Had electrical problems that could not be cured.
Never tried another, although I am sure mine was just a lemon.

I always liked the Brittish and European bikes and currently ride an old BMW R90. Those old airheads can be bought in your price range, handle great, and are real smooth to ride. Shaft drive is great.

I have a friend who is selling his 2000 Moto Guzzi Jackal. 1100 cc, smooth, lots of torque, and runs faster than I want to go on 2 wheels. I am sorely tempted.....
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:24 AM
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Some great advice given... And for my 2 cents I will add.. Attend an MSF course. No matter what bike you end up purchasing. This training or equivalent should be mandatory to get a license....
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Old 05-14-2005, 04:12 PM
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Default Some observations...

Since 2001, I've had:

'01 Kawasaki KLR 650 dual sport, single,36 horsepower, $4999
(great bike for everything but long-haul touring)
'01 Triumph Tiger 955i adventure tourer, fuel injected triple, 104 HP $10,999
(super fast, reliability was an issue, slippery when raining, looked good)
'03 Kawasaki Z750s standard street, inline four with carbs, 73 HP $5999
(old school motor, basic mid-size street bike, confort OK, average)
'04 KTM 950 Adventure adventure tourer, fuel injected v-twin, 98 HP $11000
(very fast, state of the art adventure bike, most uncomfortable seat ever)
'04 Yamaha WR 250 off road racer, single, 35 HP$5900
(good dirt bike, underpowered for me, not street legal)
currently looking at a Suzuki DL 650 V-twin adventure tourer, 66 HP $6995
(up right riding position, comfort, versatility, economy, fun factor)
All of these bikes were purchased new-totalled the Triumph after 3 weeks, sold the rest except still have the Yamaha-trying to sell/trade. I have been on a lot of rides, in city, country, mountain roads, gravel, trails and tracks.

Some things I've learned: 1. shop for used bikes first-let someone else take the big hit on depreciation 2. I agree with the others-250 is way too small unless you are planning on riding dirt/gravel roads only. Otherwise the comfort level and power will leave you wishing for alot more. 3. Cruisers are slower, less agile in the curves or side roads, sit lower, thus visiblity is less for you and others around you. 4. Sport bikes are for guys who like to watch road racing on TV and then come up to the mountains and practice it while seeing how many in their group can make it back home without crashing (happens every weekend up in Union Co.). 5. The Kawasaki KLR 650 is the most value for the buck anywhere-liquid cooled 650 cc motor, good for about 107 MPH on the road, cruises at 80 all day, small windscreen, will carry two in pinch, over 8" of suspension travel both ends for the dirty stuff, sits up tall for safety, comfortable, WILL NOT intimidate you with power, but has enough for safe passing and merging. Smooth, reliable, do everything bikes. Many people each year choose them to travel over the world, as in 15,000 mile rides, and many KLRs have over 100,000 miles on them. Great dealer network, can pick up a 2 or 3 yr. old bike for $3000. Check them out on Yahoo groups, or other sites to see for yourself. You could even take it to the hunting camp and ride it to the stand. Why don't I get another-I would, but I want something with just a little more HP and easier for two-up riding in the mountains.

Sorry so long, but I hope I have added some insight.

Jeff (erifle)

Last edited by edge; 05-14-2005 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbodkin
Attend an MSF course.....
Wiser words have never been spoken. It's fun too. They also have an advanced course that's good for you no matter how long you've been riding .
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:48 PM
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I've been riding a long time, I highly suggest you don't get anything under 800cc 's. if you do you will be miserable, reason be is after you start riding, you will start riding with friends and when you do you will melt your engine trying to keep up with the Big Bikes. and if you start riding two up( you and the wife) you will be sad with the power loss. sportsters are nice but they are for Newbies & Chicks. there are some nice metric cruisers on the market nowadays that look good and that will preform good. I highly suggest you look for a bike that is over 800cc, has a tank 4gals or larger and one that has saddle bags & a windshield. unless your just going to ride down to the nearest QT for a pack of gum or the nearest bar for a beer you will be miserable. once you start riding, you will start riding with friends and when you start riding with friends you will start going on bigger trips, then events, then rallies and so on. after you get the bug, its to late save your self some trouble and money and get a bigger bike now. remember bikes are like tattoo's. ( A Good Tattoo is not cheap! and A Cheap Tattoo is not Good ) in the mean time check out these websites for riding - www.RideforCraig.com & www.FireDogsMC.com
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:33 AM
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So far all the info I see Phil give is really good Ideas. I would suggest a round a 750 Metric cruiser about 1-2 yrs old there are a lot of them out there and you can get one in the $ range you want they are quick enough to have fun on and learn how to ride then step up to a bigger bike. I ride a 1500 intruder and love it Harley's are nice if you like to trailer your bike and ride for 30 minutes but if you like to ride then get a metric or jap bike. Oil or water cooled will normaly last longer and not get so hot between your legs when sitting in traffic good luck on your purchase.
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:54 PM
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Default Gota throw my .02 in here!

Im 50 yrs old and have rode for years. A LOT of makes and models. Currently on a VTX 1800.

A 250 would be insane. WAY too small for a grown man. (I cant even fathom that!)

A lot of good advice already given here, but if it were me I'd be looking at a minimum of 750cc and you will probably "outgrow" that soon enough if you stick with it. Another thing I might mention............ theres a lot of Hondas out there that still have factory warranties left on them from folks that bought and just didnt enjoy it. I'd be looking at some of those. Get a deal with warranty to boot. Heck, I wouldnt put my wife on a 250!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:58 PM
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I don't know if Minner bought a bike or if he did what he bought, but I'm in the market now for my first motorcycle, and have the same question. Instead of a new thread, I thought I'd tack onto his.

Me: 41, #215, 6'.
Usage: After getting used to riding it, I'll use it as a commuter and going on weekend rides up in the mountains, so rideability is a major consideration.
Style: Not a sport bike. Power is great, but I'm not going to be doing 100mph.
Riders: Once I get plenty of experience, I would like to be able to have a lady friend ride with me and have her be as comfortable as possible.

I have been looking at the Motorcycle safety courses and will be taking one once I have picked out a bike.

I wasn't really considering a 250 class bike as I figured as much regarding your feedback. Once I have things narrowed down I will be buying a used bike in the 500-750 class.
I like the way the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 looks and the Honda Aero

Last edited by leoparddog; 11-14-2007 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:28 PM
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For both of you, I would consider a Honda or Yamaha 1100. Definately take the course and remember that all the bikes will feel heavy at first. Within a couple of weeks, you'll be whippin it around like it was nothing. Look at alot of bikes and buy what feels good to you. If you don't feel good on it, look good on it, you won't enjoy it. Now is the time to buy a bike. If you wait till spring, the price goes up.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:45 PM
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So do you think I'd decide a Honda 750 class bike would be too small or underpowered after owning it for a while? I understand how it feels will be important, but I'm not looking for a rocket or a cross country cruiser, just an around town and up to Helen and back bike.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:25 PM
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I worked on bikes for a living for many years. Back then I owned KZ550 standards. I got to ride GPz1100's, KZ1300's, Z-1's, etc everyday at work. A 550 would run with anything in the twisties and be less likely to spit you off if you got into trouble while commuting. I had a Honda Hawk 650 in the later 90's, another great bike. The SV650 Suz would be similar.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:24 PM
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Rayjay,
How about parts and costs of the various makes and models. I've worked on cars for years and would probably want to do my own PM and repairs. Are parts availability and costs more of an issue with one manuf. than with another?
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:02 AM
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I think Honda has the best prices on parts. Yamaha is definitely the worst. Back in the 90's a cdi box for a Honda TRX 300 was about $125. The CDI box for a Yamaha Warrior was about $300.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:15 AM
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I like the dual sports, I have a Suzuki DRZ400S and its a blast. On the rode it rides like a sport bike and on the trails it will do everything I need it to. My .02. Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy View Post
Im 50 yrs old and have rode for years. A LOT of makes and models. Currently on a VTX 1800.

A 250 would be insane. WAY too small for a grown man. (I cant even fathom that!)

A lot of good advice already given here, but if it were me I'd be looking at a minimum of 750cc and you will probably "outgrow" that soon enough if you stick with it. Another thing I might mention............ theres a lot of Hondas out there that still have factory warranties left on them from folks that bought and just didnt enjoy it. I'd be looking at some of those. Get a deal with warranty to boot. Heck, I wouldnt put my wife on a 250!!
I too ride a VTX 1800, I had not ridden in about 5 years, but decided to get this one, I loved the way it felt, the power is awesome, and it rides like a champ. MSF course, let that be your #1 Priority, it definately helps the confidence level! Lots of good advice so far, My .02 is this, go with the biggest you feel comfortable with and a price tag to match. I had a choice between a Road King, and the VTX, well I was in the same boat at the time, didnt know if I was gonna like it ect, so I chose the X, hind sight, I should have spent the 70 extra bucks a month and got the Road King...LOL! Oh well, live and learn, but youll enjoy it none the less!! Good luck with whatever scoot you choose, check out the VTX 1300 in the classifeds here...Awesome bike and good price!
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:55 AM
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Nice looking 1200 Sportster in the swap section also.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:30 PM
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remember,..you can get killed on any of them......I sold motorcycles in Augusta for about 6 years......Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki all make a good bike....Look at the Honda Shadow 750, Suzuki Intruder Volusia 800, Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic.....these were all great bikes with enough power to have fun and not break the bank.....
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:37 PM
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leoparddog9,

I bought a 250 Rebel a couple of months after I started this thread. I bought it for a number of reasons and felt I made the right decision. It is a very forgiving bike and helped me to learn without being intimidated. Nearly everything I sat on felt big/heavy to me since I had never been on a bike before. The "little" 250 felt good.

I mostly used it to commute back and forth to work. I drive twenty miles one-way and it's all interstate and the bike handled it fine. It'll get up to 70-75 mph fine but doesn't have much left after that. Gets 80 mpg to boot! I figured out if I drove the bike to work everyday, the money I would save on gas would actually pay for the bike. I have taken it on a number of fairly short day-trips with my Dad but we haven't done any in a while.

I would like to move up (I want a 650 V-Strom) but with me starting grad school the first of the year, I don't think that will be happening soon.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:13 AM
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Minner good choice.

I've been riding since the 60's and had a lot of fun on 250's and I'm 6'4" 245.

The motorcycle world has went nuts, the superbikes of the 60's are considered too small today.

A real nice bike that you might want to look at next is the new triumph bonneville. Its a comfortable standard bike with some "cool" factor and has plenty of power for the sane.

All motorcycles are fun and all of them will go fast enough to kill you instantly.

I use my daughters 80 cc honda elite scooter to run my bird dogs and I have fun riding it.

Of course I am probably as old or older than your dad and like him dont give a hoot what anyone else thinks anymore
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:15 AM
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You'll want more power later if you get anything less than 1100 cc's in the cruiser line. The more power will produce a lower revving engine and therefore a smoother ride. Not to mention better balance because of the additional weight.
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:49 PM
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You did good miner, I`ve been riding since I was 12 . Those 250 rebels are alot of fun, I ride everyday to work & back. Hit the weeknds and go alot of places on my bike, I`m a little short legged and have a 883 Low Harley. Added foward controls, changed out the seat, pipes , I can ride easy till I have to tank up. About every 160-180 miles or so. Stay safe miner, keep the rubber side down & watch out for the other guy.

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Old 11-24-2007, 07:41 PM
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Good choice and I'm glad you went with what was comfortable for you.

But, I'm gonna throw my .02 in here. As someone who has ridden all their life, yup, dad had me on a Z50 when I was 5, I've owned and ridden small and large displacement bikes. Don't ever let anyone tell you you'll get bored with smaller cc's. I have always been a sportbike rider and I have had everything from a 750 Ducati Monster, a 900 Monster, a Ducati 748, a Kawasaki 1100 Ninja and so on. I do not currently own a streetbike, but I can honestly say, if I could have any bike I've ever owned back to keep and ride for the rest of my life, it would hands-down be the 750 Monster. You get what's comfortable for YOU, not what anyone else rides or thinks you should be riding. The smaller bikes are a blast. Although I will say, not a Buell Blast as that was like riding a sewing maching and I told the dealer I thought so. I don't believe in the "Bigger is Better" mentality when it comes to motorcycles. Smaller displaement bikes are so much more fun. They're generally more nimble, react more quickly and are easier to get the feel of hugging a curve and letting you know what motorcycling is all about.

I would reccomend anyone who is wanting a starter bike to look at around a 2001 Ducati 600 Monster. It's got the more comfortable upright riding position, but the reaction of these bikes is amazing and it gives you cruiser comforts with sportbike reactions and once you go Italian, you'll never go back. However, maintenance costs on them are a bit pricey.

If you haven't taken an MSF course, find one and do it. Then take the advanced course. Also, there are several dirt-bike courses that you can take, that believe it or not, will tremendously sharpen your street skills.

Have fun but be careful, remember, that most accidents occur either because of an inexperienced rider panicking in a situation or because a cager thinks that a motorcycle doesn't have the same "rights" as they do or they just don't look or consider motorcycles on the road.

Also, beware of Soccer Moms with Starbucks cups and cell-phones glued to their ears, they're probably the biggest danger to a motorcyclist these days.

Good Job and hope you enjoy it! Stay Safe. Always wear your protective gear, ie: Boots that cover your ankles, a good jacket, your helmet and good gloves. Skin grafts ain't fun or pretty!
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:09 PM
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I'd like to see him ride his passenger he mentioned in the above post on a Ducati 600 Monster....
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
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I'd like to see him ride his passenger he mentioned in the above post on a Ducati 600 Monster....
I must be blind because I can't find that, however, new riders don't need to have a passenger in the first place, but I've seen several 600 Monsters riding 2-up with little strain. The Italian Twins have a lot more heart, not to mention torque then people give them credit for. The biggest problem would be the size of the seat, but most of them would have been replaced with a more rider-friendly one anyway, I know a Corbin was the first thing to be added to any of my Ducatis. Absolutely, no difference in the size of the bike from a 600, to the 620, to the 750 or the 900, until you get to the brand new ones and they're just a tad bit bigger.

Besides, I've seen much worse as far as pillion goes.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leoparddog9 View Post
I don't know if Minner bought a bike or if he did what he bought, but I'm in the market now for my first motorcycle, and have the same question. Instead of a new thread, I thought I'd tack onto his.

Me: 41, #215, 6'.
Usage: After getting used to riding it, I'll use it as a commuter and going on weekend rides up in the mountains, so rideability is a major consideration.
Style: Not a sport bike. Power is great, but I'm not going to be doing 100mph.
Riders: Once I get plenty of experience, I would like to be able to have a lady friend ride with me and have her be as comfortable as possible.

I have been looking at the Motorcycle safety courses and will be taking one once I have picked out a bike.

I wasn't really considering a 250 class bike as I figured as much regarding your feedback. Once I have things narrowed down I will be buying a used bike in the 500-750 class.
I like the way the Honda Shadow Spirit 750 looks and the Honda Aero
T-Bug,
Minner started the thread in 5/05 and leoparddog9 refreshed it in 11/07. It was his post I was referring to.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
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T-Bug,
Minner started the thread in 5/05 and leoparddog9 refreshed it in 11/07. It was his post I was referring to.
Okay, I see what you were referencing, but either way. Large displacement bikes are way overrated for a new rider. Unfortunately, I'm one of those crazy people who support cc restrictions for new riders. Yeah, I know, hate me if you want to, but show me that you can handle that SV650 or GS500 "RESPONSIBLY" before you move onto the Gixxer. I've been a good rider, taking my need for excessive speed to the track, never causing a wreck or showing out in traffic. The way I see it, I've EARNED the right to ride a Hyabusa on the street if I wish do to so, but I'm also of the opinion that NOBODY NEEDS a Hyabusa to do anything on the street, let alone a lot of bikes that are street legal. I can ride, them, I can drag a knee with the best of them, but I have much more fun doing it on a 750 with a top speed of 140 to 150 rather than a bike that can go 210, because in all reality, you're never going to do even 110 around any curve worth hugging that ain't on a track. There's a difference between hugging a curve and hanging onto a curve for dear life.

Either way, he got what's comfy for him and that's all that matters. Just hate to see people feel like they need to buy something way beyond their means for their first bike.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlebug View Post
Okay, I see what you were referencing, but either way. Large displacement bikes are way overrated for a new rider. Unfortunately, I'm one of those crazy people who support cc restrictions for new riders. Yeah, I know, hate me if you want to, but show me that you can handle that SV650 or GS500 "RESPONSIBLY" before you move onto the Gixxer. I've been a good rider, taking my need for excessive speed to the track, never causing a wreck or showing out in traffic. The way I see it, I've EARNED the right to ride a Hyabusa on the street if I wish do to so, but I'm also of the opinion that NOBODY NEEDS a Hyabusa to do anything on the street, let alone a lot of bikes that are street legal. I can ride, them, I can drag a knee with the best of them, but I have much more fun doing it on a 750 with a top speed of 140 to 150 rather than a bike that can go 210, because in all reality, you're never going to do even 110 around any curve worth hugging that ain't on a track. There's a difference between hugging a curve and hanging onto a curve for dear life.

Either way, he got what's comfy for him and that's all that matters. Just hate to see people feel like they need to buy something way beyond their means for their first bike.

I think Minner made a good choice to start out with. I'm with you on Ducati's, love them. But the dealer network is worse than BMW's (which ain't good) However, we do ride for passion v. sense so............

If I commuted, which I don't, I would chose a lighter bike than the 1100 that I have. However, 300-500 mile days are my gig so I chose a bike for all day comfort and for travel. It really depends on your needs.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:04 AM
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Thanks folks. I've really enjoyed the bike so far. I put around 10,000 or so miles on it in less than two years (would have been alot more but I haven't been on it in several months now ). I think it's light weight (300 lbs or so dry) helped to learn some of the fundamentals. Plus it's great for driving around the city streets were I work.

I love several of the new Triumphs. I really want a V-Strom, but my finances won't allow any kind of major purchase anytime soon (other than tuition). So I'll continue riding the Rebel for now. It is fun.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:04 PM
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I'll bring some life to this thread. I'm in the market and ya'll's information has been very helpful.

Thanks!
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