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Posted: 2/16/2007 9:59:33 AM EST
Alright, I'm 18 and want to buy a bike to just use when I don't need to drive a truck. Any suggestions for a good starter bike? Preferably a CHEAP USED started bike? Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 10:43:08 AM EST
SV650

Any of the late 80's Honda Nighthawks.

KLR650
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 12:28:19 PM EST
Kawasaki KZ
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 12:33:25 PM EST
kawasaki ex500/ninja 500
suzuki gs500e
honda nighthawk 650
buell blast
honda shadow 600


stick to the 500-600 cc NON SPORT BIKES.

600 cc class sport bikes are 100+ hp AT THE REAR WHEEL.

you can get into trouble quick on one.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 12:34:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/16/2007 12:39:59 PM EST by Stasher1]

Originally Posted By Deej86:
Kawasaki KZ


You'd have to be alot more specific than that. Kawasaki used the KZ designation for everything from 250cc to 1300cc. It's like recommending a Honda CB.

The 69-78 Honda CB750 is my pick for an inexpensive, reliable bike with enough power to get out of its own way but not enough power to get away from you...if you use some common sense. They made approx. a million of them during that time frame and parts are easy to come by and fairly inexpensive.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 12:38:02 PM EST
Another vote for the SV650.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 12:49:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stasher1:

Originally Posted By Deej86:
Kawasaki KZ


You'd have to be alot more specific than that. Kawasaki used the KZ designation for everything from 250cc to 1300cc. It's like recommending a Honda CB.

The 69-78 Honda CB750 is my pick for an inexpensive, reliable bike with enough power to get out of its own way but not enough power to get away from you...if you use some common sense. They made approx. a million of them during that time frame and parts are easy to come by and fairly inexpensive.

My brother in law started with a KZ440 LTD and moved up to a 750. They were produced in the 70's and 80's. They're cheap, easy to work on if ya got tools and a shop manual.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 1:22:04 PM EST
Since you haven't ridden before. Find where they are teaching a motorcycle safety course. Don't go out and buy a big bike! A beater bike 250-400cc would be a good place to start they are not heavy and you can build skills rapidly. I started out with a Yamaha 360 enduro bike(street/trail) I rode it almost 6000miles in about 7months. Then I moved up from there. After a series of other bikes I was riding an 1100 Yamaha. Too many people jump on the rice rockets too soon and end up getting hurt or killed.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 1:23:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By BozemanMT:
SV650

Any of the late 80's Honda Nighthawks.

KLR650



The only thing about KLR650, its not for everyone. They are extremely tall and heavy bikes. To me, unless someone was experience with a motorcycle, this wouldnt be a good choice.

Id say any type of 80s cruiser, kawai LTDs, Honds CB. Suzuki GSs. 550cc and up range.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 1:30:31 PM EST
Look up the honda 599, I'm a proud owner of one.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 1:35:05 PM EST
I'm looking hard at a Buell Blast, because from what I've heard there is very little needed in the way of maintenance.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 1:55:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jakezor:
I'm looking hard at a Buell Blast, because from what I've heard there is very little needed in the way of maintenance.


There's also very little blast.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 2:43:13 PM EST



83 Honda CB650


Very simple, very inexpensive. Maintenance is easy. Its docile and can be quite quick if you need some power. Shaft drive requires virtually no tinkering.

I bought mine for $500 with minor problems, and I fixed them myself for about $40. I am not a mechanic.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 2:49:16 PM EST
Older hondas are one of the few bikes that you can get most parts for. If you want older, get a honda IMO. It jus depends on what ya wanna do. Big diff. between cruisers and sport bikes and dual purposes. It all dictates how far you can go and how good the ride will be.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 3:02:24 PM EST
+1 on the sv650,i want one and i'd never get a bike under 1000cc,the mags talk em up as do the members on several non suzuki websites.if you gotta go eighties,the kz,cb,and the gs lines of ujm bikes are still floatin around,but be warned,unless these bikes have had regular maintanence and good owners,stay away.old bikes take a lot of money to get runnin right if they haven't been cared for.the honda cb line seems to have more factory parts available.if you have enuff cash,look at the suzuki sv.stay away from the blast,its a chicks learner bike,and there are few aptions in the after market.the newer honda 599 is a decent bike but overpriced for a 600 non efi standard street bike,i owned its big brother for 2 yrs the 919 and even with nos it was dull to say the least.stick with honda or suzuki for 1990 and up machines,the kawi ex250 and 500 are decent bikes.if you have anymore questions im me.
Link Posted: 2/16/2007 4:21:00 PM EST
Yeah, I'd stay away from anything older than about 1990.
Unless it's a Honda it's hard to get parts for.
If it's a Honda, you can get parts, but they aren't cheap
The brakes suck
The tires suck and they barely make those sizes anymore

it's all about contact patch and brakes, you want the best you can get.

Stay away from sportbikes for your first bike. Lots of power, lots of ways to get into trouble.
GEt a nice "boring" standard. Ride it for 5000 miles, get good, don't crash, after 5000 miles you'll know what kind of riding you want to do (DS, sport, cruise, whatever) and then you can sell your bike (which is probably still worth what you paid for it if you kept it in nice shape) and get what kind of riding you really like.
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 11:07:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2007 11:11:25 AM EST by MoparMike]
Yamaha Virago 250. Dont laugh, it got 70mpg and taught me a lot about riding. Just dont expect a good ride above 65mph. GREAT in town.


Link Posted: 2/17/2007 1:10:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gabriel:

Originally Posted By Jakezor:
I'm looking hard at a Buell Blast, because from what I've heard there is very little needed in the way of maintenance.


There's also very little blast.


The plan is to not spread any part of me on the pavement. If you think a modern 600CC sport bike is a good starter than you are a bit crazier than me.

Cheap + little maintenance + high MPG
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 7:15:20 PM EST
I like buells but havnt heard much good about the blast. Seems they are prone to problems. Its a 500 CC bike btw. Id shoot for a KLR or XR enduro or something like that.
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 8:32:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jakezor:

Originally Posted By Gabriel:

Originally Posted By Jakezor:
I'm looking hard at a Buell Blast, because from what I've heard there is very little needed in the way of maintenance.


There's also very little blast.


The plan is to not spread any part of me on the pavement. If you think a modern 600CC sport bike is a good starter than you are a bit crazier than me.

Cheap + little maintenance + high MPG


A modern 600cc sportbike is no place for a beginner. I just know that I have talked to a lot of people that have test ridden and hated it.

Most of these people were, however, used to bigger machines. That may be a factor. Starting small and working up is very smart. I started small,worked up to a 1300cc bike, and am now working my way back down.

Link Posted: 2/17/2007 9:09:24 PM EST
Well I will check that out closer to spring time, when I plan to buy. I have nothing set in stone.
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 9:12:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jakezor:
Well I will check that out closer to spring time, when I plan to buy. I have nothing set in stone.


You should have been looking in the late fall/early winter. Bike prices are going to start going up again by March 1. Spring is probably the worst time to buy.

As far as recommendations, tell us your height and weight. A KLR-650 may be a suitable beginner bike for someone that is 6'2", but if you are 5'5" you will want to stick with something lower and lighter.
Link Posted: 2/17/2007 9:33:28 PM EST
I'd say a ninja 250 would be great for a first bike. They are very light, comfortable riding position, well over 50mpg, don't have a lot of power to get you in trouble and the power is smooth, yet it will do over 100mph.

I was used to riding my 600cc sportbike when I test rode a used ninja 250 for a friend of mine. It felt like a dirtbike compared to my bike, it was comfortable and light. For only being a 250, they are faster than many cars from 0-60. He ended up buying it, and rode it to work to save on gas. I think he said he got around 60mpg, mostly highway. Insurance is cheap also.

You can find a lot of them in the $1300-1700 price range. Ride it for a year to learn the basics and then sell it for what you paid for it.

And if anybody gives you shit for riding a 250, tell them to STFU. I ride an RC51, which is a Vtwin sportbike, 1K cc's. It is twice as fast as most of the Harleys and metric cruisers out there. I would NEVER put down another rider for riding a 250. If I found one really cheap, I'd probably have one myself, since they get twice the gas mileage of my bike and are very reliable.
Link Posted: 2/18/2007 4:53:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By eddiein1984:

Originally Posted By Jakezor:
Well I will check that out closer to spring time, when I plan to buy. I have nothing set in stone.


You should have been looking in the late fall/early winter. Bike prices are going to start going up again by March 1. Spring is probably the worst time to buy.

As far as recommendations, tell us your height and weight. A KLR-650 may be a suitable beginner bike for someone that is 6'2", but if you are 5'5" you will want to stick with something lower and lighter.



I wish I could buy this winter, but I won't have the cash yet.

I'm ~5'10 and 200#s. I don't have a huge inseam (~30"), so a big bike that I need a step ladder to get on (like the tuono, alot of BMWs) isn't a good idea.

A friend does have a Ninja 250 that I can do some practicing on, but not long term since he sold his 2nd bike off.

Also under $2000 if not under 1500 is where I'd like to be pricewise. I know alot of older UJMs can be had there.



Link Posted: 2/18/2007 4:59:46 AM EST
I started on an '84 Honda Interceptor 500. Great bike for the day, but today I would recommend an SV650. It's a great starter bike.
Link Posted: 2/18/2007 5:19:42 AM EST
I'm heavily involved in the Motorcycle Safety Foundatio Basic Rider Course program here in NY state. I've helped start more than a few people on bikes, and have a few suggestions.

1) If you have not already done so, take the MSF basic rider course. Just do it. It really helps keep you out of the meat wagon and the funeral home

2) Start small. We use 250 cc bikes and they are great for most people. To be completely honest, the 250's are great for the first couple of months, and especially for that first two or three rides. However, unless you are 5'0" and 98 lbs, a little bigger bike will be quickly in your future. The solution? Take the damned MSF course, use OUR 250's, and then buy a modest bike in the 500-600 cc range.

3) Some have mentioned the SV650. Nice bike. Other GREAT options are the Suzuki Savage (now called the s40). NICE little bike, light weight, LOTS of fun, modest price. Easy maintenance. $4000 brand spankin new (bought one for my wife last year, and I ride it all the time!). Other nice option is the Honda VLX600. Same deal.

Other options: If you are a sport bike kinda guy, the little ninja 250 is a surpising little ride for a 250. We use suzuki DR250 dual sports, and these bikes are amazing little machines too.

Any of the five bikes mentioend are great starters...
Link Posted: 2/18/2007 5:53:45 AM EST
I plan to take the MSF, I hope the OP does too.
Link Posted: 2/18/2007 6:03:13 AM EST




You'd be better off just scrapping the whole idea.

But since you are not going to do that:
SV650.

And WEAR YOUR HELMET/LEATHERS, so that WHEN you crash, you won't be fucked up too badly.

Link Posted: 2/18/2007 7:50:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mr_Happyface:



You'd be better off just scrapping the whole idea.

But since you are not going to do that:
SV650.

And WEAR YOUR HELMET/LEATHERS, so that WHEN you crash, you won't be fucked up too badly.




20 years of riding on road and off road and I havent crashed yet. Its all about bike control, riding within your limits and watching out for assholes.
Link Posted: 2/18/2007 11:07:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By die-tryin:

20 years of riding on road and off road and I havent crashed yet. Its all about bike control, riding within your limits and watching out for assholes.


geez, did you just jinx yourself.
Man, don't go riding with this guy, the thunderbolt is coming.
I do agree somewhat, you can do everythnig in your power to keep yourself out of trouble and get 100's of 1000's of miles trouble free, then one day a rock falls off a cliff and hits you.

All you can do is minimize your risk.

I still think a 250 is too small
it's buzzy, lightweight, fine for around town (and truly fun bikes) but you'll outgrow it quickly and want something else.
just MHO (i started on a XJ400, and outgrew it within months)
Link Posted: 2/18/2007 1:04:25 PM EST
I would reccomend a zx-10r for sure
Link Posted: 2/19/2007 10:07:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jakezor:
I'm looking hard at a Buell Blast, because from what I've heard there is very little needed in the way of maintenance.


Google "buell blast reliability issues". Here, did it for you: Link

Looks pretty hit/miss to me.

I'll give a big +1 to the suggestion of a Suzuki SV650 though.
Link Posted: 2/19/2007 10:13:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2007 10:14:09 PM EST by Mike_Mills]
If I were going to do it, I'd get a dual sport. They are light weight. They have an upright riding position. They are super maneuverable. With street tires, they are even comfortable. I bet you can get a used one with low miles cheap.

The racy, sport bikes are uber-cool but too much, too hard core, and they are more expensive.


P.S. - there are no cheap motorcycles - insurance, riding gear, ...
Link Posted: 2/19/2007 10:56:34 PM EST
The wife learned to ride on a Kawasaki Vulcan 500. This motorcycle has remained virtually unchanged for almost twenty years and is powered by the Ninja engine that has been retuned for better low end torque. I've ridden it a few times and it will do 70 all day. She did the MSF course and got her motorcycle license, but decided she was much more happy riding behind me than on her own. It's for sale now with 135 miles on the clock.

Link Posted: 2/20/2007 7:16:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By die-tryin:

20 years of riding on road and off road and I havent crashed yet. Its all about bike control, riding within your limits and watching out for assholes.


Proving it can actually be done!

No crashes for me on the street. Plenty off road. Used to do quite a bit of trail and dirt riding when I was a kid. I always believed if you don't crash a dirt bike when competing, you're not trying hard enough to win. I miss my old RM250.
Link Posted: 2/20/2007 7:28:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By only_a_flesh_wound:
No crashes for me on the street. Plenty off road. Used to do quite a bit of trail and dirt riding when I was a kid. I always believed if you don't crash a dirt bike when competing, you're not trying hard enough to win. I miss my old RM250.


+1 Same here on all points.
Link Posted: 2/21/2007 1:12:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/21/2007 1:14:06 PM EST by Synister1]
Just look for a classic styled 80's bike in the 250 - 600 cc range (No sportbikes). Use/Abuse it to gain skills and upgrade when you are Truely ready.

Since Summer I have picked up a 86 Rebel LTD 250 for $450 and an 86 Shadow VT700 w/xtra 750cc engine and wheels for $500.

The rebel is a limited edition run and will probably be put on ebay this summer. Their value ranged $1200 - $1800 last fall. Locally a guy has a 81 Goldwing decked out for interstate travel for 1200 OBO and he's desperate to sell by EOD today since he's being booted from his rental. I could have offered 300 and probably would have accepted.

Deals are out there, you just have to be ready to grab them.
Link Posted: 2/22/2007 11:50:19 AM EST
im planning on picking up a 250 Ninja, they are $3K brand new will run 80mph all day and get 70+mpg. Be carefull about what bike you get too, with my first one it was a one off modle and i cannot get parts for it. Bikes arent like cars with parts and what not. So make shure you can get parts before you buy...
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 6:54:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By dillonivik:
im planning on picking up a 250 Ninja, they are $3K brand new will run 80mph all day and get 70+mpg. Be carefull about what bike you get too, with my first one it was a one off modle and i cannot get parts for it. Bikes arent like cars with parts and what not. So make shure you can get parts before you buy...


That's actually a good choice for a first bike. There are plenty of parts around for them, 'cause Kawasaki has made them for about 20 years with no major changes and they are still in production. Although they will do the speeds you're talking about, I think if someone were gonna be on the interstate a lot, I'd think about choosing something a little bigger (the 250's are pretty buzzy at those speeds), like maybe the ninja 500 or as already stated, a Suzuki SV650. If the interstate isn't gonna be a big part of the picture though, the 250 would be just fine to start on. Hell, I think they get something like 60 or 70 miles per gallon or something. That's hard to argue with.
Link Posted: 2/23/2007 11:36:02 PM EST
My first bike was a Suzuki Savage, then a sv650s, and currently a BMW K1200gt. You have to ask yourself what style of bike you want. If you get anything small you will regret it and wish you had a bigger bike in a couple months.

Just remember to respect the bike, it's capable of much more than you are. Bikes have a high power to weight ratio and if your not cautious it will get away from you. Know your limits and don't push it.

The Sv650 is a very fun bike.



Both get about 40+ mpg. But the beamer takes premium gas.
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