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Posted: 4/10/2006 9:35:27 AM EST
This summer, im gonna buy my first motorcycle. Im only gonna have a couple thousand for it. $3k ish, what would be a good bike in my price range? For awhile, I was gonna save up about 2k and put it down on a new Kawasaki ZZR or ZX6r, but I watched easy rider and got inspired to get a cruiser. Im 19, so I dont know much about older bikes, just newer ones, and mostly just sportbikes. What would be a good bike to cruise/get me around on? Not looking for speed on it, as i'll probably get a sport bike in a year or two.

I saw a kawasaki custom ltd. I think it was that was kinda made into a chopper, a 1996 i think. Are bikes like that any good? Any models from the 80's to present that would make a good reliable bike.

Any suggestions from older more experienced riders?

If ya can, include pics or that name of the bike so I can look it up.

Thanks guys.


BTW: I got my motorcycle endorsement in FL, and already took the MSF course. My dad lets me take out his bike, which is a 2001 Triumph Bonneville. Its a big 800cc cruiser. I'm strong, but i'm not that tall, like 5'8" so it was a pretty big bike for me. I could handle it but it was a little to big for my liking.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:45:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 9:47:57 AM EST by JAKE-T-SNAKE]

Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom or Classic

Look on ebay for prices and pictures. It make a great starter bike and in a season or two you can upgrade if you want.

Edit to add example: Here
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 10:48:11 AM EST
Wow, those are really nice! Thanks!
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:01:08 AM EST
Whatever you do stay off the crotch rockets until you get a lot of riding time. A small displacememt standard or cruiser 500,650 might be a good starting point. You can move up from there.
I started with a 175 Honda 35 years ago and 11 bikes later went to an 1100 Yamaha.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:58:18 PM EST
As Bob said, stay away from sportbikes. THey arent for beginners and they arent forgiving. Also they are about impossible for a 19yr old to insure with full coverage (if you take a loan out for one).

Pretty much middleweight cruisers (600-800cc'ish), dual sports (if you are taller) and naked bikes are best for beginners. I try to steer new riders away from new bikes. You WILL most likely drop one generally within 6 months. Better to drop a cheap bike than a new one.

Theres plenty of bikes for $1500 or so floating around. Then with whats left over get good riding gear (full face helmet, riding jacket and motorcycle gloves min.)

And take teh MSF class before buying a bike.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 6:05:12 PM EST
Ya, I got a nice leather jacket, boots, and lots of jeans. Got the MSF course completed and my endorsement already added onto my license. If your under 21 in FL, the MSF is required to even get your endorsement, so I had no choise and went ahead and did it when I had the money.

I dont plan on insuring it, it's not required in FL so I didnt want to get something over 2-3K. I was thinking about a Honda F3 or Katana, but my date for OCS got pushed back a year so im gonna get me a cruiser and relax and enjoy college life. Figure i'll get the gsxr I want in a year or two when I can afford a better one, and I have the experience for it.

Ive been looking at mid-80's kawasaki ltd.'s, are there other brand bikes that are similar? It's hard to find similar bikes online and know if they're worth buying.

~nate
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 8:31:23 PM EST
ducati
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:11:07 PM EST
If you want to go sportbike I'd look at a Kawasaki EX500, also called the Ninja 500. Good power but not overwhelming and handles well. Personally I'd look at getting a nice "standard" type bike. Too bad they don't make many of them anymore. Look at a Suzuki GS500 or a SV650. I started on a 1980 Honda CM400t and it was about the perfect starter bike. You'll drop your bike. Shit happens. It was nice having a bike I could pick up, bend the pieces back out, and be good as new. Just don't get a full fairing bike or something real pretty as your first bike. And for cripes sake don't get a modern 600 as your first bike. They are as fast as the liter bikes were a decade ago. It's like getting a Lamborghini as your first car. Have fun, get good gear, leathers boots and gloves are for everyone, not just experienced riders, and welcome to the dark side.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 5:23:16 PM EST
Nate at LEAST carry liability. If you lose control and teh bike ends up hitting someone, well it could be some problems for ya financially.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 5:54:29 PM EST
Why has nobody mentioned the suzuki SV650 yet? Best starter bike there is.... and you should be able to find them used for cheap.
Thats what I'm getting, once I'm used to that I plan on getting my hayabusa.... then dying soon after that h.gif
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 6:42:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By FivespeedF150:
Why has nobody mentioned the suzuki SV650 yet? Best starter bike there is.... and you should be able to find them used for cheap.
Thats what I'm getting, once I'm used to that I plan on getting my hayabusa.... then dying soon after that



lol, I was originally gonna buy an 05 GSXR600. Sat on the SV models and didnt really like it. After this bike and a year on it, ill probably move up to a ZX6R or GSXR600 or 750.

I cant wait

Ill look into the liability, my friends got it on his and its not much at all.
Link Posted: 4/12/2006 7:32:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/12/2006 10:08:01 AM EST by JFP]

Originally Posted By Ratters:
If you want to go sportbike I'd look at a Kawasaki EX500, also called the Ninja 500. Good power but not overwhelming and handles well. Personally I'd look at getting a nice "standard" type bike. Too bad they don't make many of them anymore. Look at a Suzuki GS500 or a SV650. I started on a 1980 Honda CM400t and it was about the perfect starter bike. You'll drop your bike. Shit happens. It was nice having a bike I could pick up, bend the pieces back out, and be good as new. Just don't get a full fairing bike or something real pretty as your first bike. And for cripes sake don't get a modern 600 as your first bike. They are as fast as the liter bikes were a decade ago. It's like getting a Lamborghini as your first car. Have fun, get good gear, leathers boots and gloves are for everyone, not just experienced riders, and welcome to the dark side.


I had one of those back in '87, fun little bike, not much power nad can of rough running but a good starter bike.

Keep your head up and scanning left and right. Watch all driveways and intersections 'cause people will not notice you coming down the road even if their vivion is not restricted. Watch for cars making a left turn coming towards you. Always ride within 80% of what you feel you are capable of if you are planning on any kind of street race type activity. Wear your helmet and a race jacket that has added padding. Learn how to panic stop your bike and also how to quickly manuever the bike around and out of the way of suddenly appearing hazards. Anticipate what the oncoming and side road traffic is gonna do well in advance. And last of all do not get "Object fixation". This is where you end up stareing at a possible hazard and thus failing to act in time to avoid it, just keep scanning and have a great ride.
Link Posted: 4/12/2006 8:34:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By FivespeedF150:
Why has nobody mentioned the suzuki SV650 yet? Best starter bike there is.... and you should be able to find them used for cheap.
Thats what I'm getting, once I'm used to that I plan on getting my hayabusa.... then dying soon after that



Link Posted: 4/12/2006 8:52:33 AM EST
I second the EX500 or Ninja500.

Enough power to not get you run over on the highway, yet mine still gets 50mpg.

It is comfortable enough riding, but I would personally limit my trips to 60-100 miles with it because things start getting "uncomforable" because, after all, it's still a sportbike.

On another note, Kawasaki has a 500 Cruiser (I think it's a Vulcan) that has the same 500 motor in it that you might want to look for.

WIZZO
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 7:37:47 PM EST
SV650
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 6:50:05 AM EST
Either an SV650 or a 350cc+ dual purpose (dirt bike for the street) bike.

For a couple of grand you can pick up a nice XT350, they are good bikes with a strong following.
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