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Posted: 11/19/2003 9:35:44 AM EDT
I'm looking to buy my first motorcycle and I'm not sure what size I should get. I'm 5' 9" 170lbs. I'm looking to get a used bike for $3,500 or less. I'm interested in either a sport bike or a cruiser.

Today I looked at a VStar650 and a Bandit 1200. Both were really nice bikes. I'm checking out a Honda CBR1000 tonight. I have driven a 500 Ninja and it seemed adaquate. A 1200 seems like way too much power for my first bike.

I just took the MSF basic drivers class last weekend so I have a slight idea of what I would be doing.

Any suggestions or recommendations would be helpful.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:38:18 AM EDT
My weapon of choice is the RVF750, also have a VFR400RR.

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:39:16 AM EDT
For a first time bike I would go with the 500 Ninja. Also the Suzuki Gs500E would be a great first time bike to get.
My first real motorcycle was a 78 honda 400 twin. Now I ride around on a VFR750.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:43:16 AM EDT
My first bike was an '84 Kawasaki 750LTD and I found out from riding it the first week that it was way too small, wished I'd have went with the 1000cc. My next bike was a '71 Sportster,900cc and it ran good but I got tired of working on it all the time. The last bike that I had was an '87 Honda Magna 700 and it ran like a rocket but it seemed a bit small for me(6'4", 180lbs at the time) I wish they'd have made it about 1/4 bigger and put a 900cc in it, it would have fit me better and been a bit faster, never can have too much speed. I'd say stick with something between 700cc to 1000cc and you'll do ok, especially with the technology they have today. If I had to pick one of the bikes that you've mentioned I'd go with the CBR1000 but then that's just me and now I weigh in at 270lbs so I need some power under my fat butt to get the darn thing moving.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:46:15 AM EDT
Suzuki SV650. I'm holding out for the Yamaha FZ6. That is going to be one awesome machine that will fit my needs perfectly.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:46:31 AM EDT
Do not get a liter bike as your first bike. If you want speed, agility, and light weight, I'd suggest a 600. They are more than adequate for a first bike.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:47:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 9:58:36 AM EDT by Mr_Happyface]
SWIRE,



If this will be your first bike, and you want one that will keep you interested for a LOOONNNG time...


You CANNOT go wrong with a Suzuki SV650.


Trust me.



It was my first bike, VERY easy to learn on, and VERY capable when you get more experience.

Used can be had for around your price range, new for 6000 or less.



99-02 style


or




03-04 style
IT LOOKS BASASS IN SILVER! Can also be had with fairing, but I suggest you forgo it if you are beginning, as you will drop it, and fairings are expensive.


Seriously, look into it.

Oh, almost forgot go to Svrider.com great guys who will help you out.

FORGET any sportbike over 750cc they are not for inexperienced riders, even if you can stay alive on it, you will never be the rider that you are capable of. Guys who start on 1000cc bikes ride like shit for a long time.
(But look cooler)

If you want more info on that bike, IM me. I just picked up a 2003 a little while ago!!
3,000 mi and counting!


Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:49:45 AM EDT
As an EMT I would recommend one with four wheels, doors, a roof, and seat belts. Just remember, at some point you will probably crash. More than likely. I hope it happens at low speed. Please be safe.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:54:56 AM EDT
Go with the SV. Twins are more forgiving.



-HS
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:55:08 AM EDT
If you are not an experienced rider start off with something small like a 500. My favorite bike is my 1984 Yamaha RZ350. It is a 2-stroke that produces 73HP and only weighs 300 pounds. It is a blast! Good luck!
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:55:59 AM EDT
I'll third the SV, sweet bike! Very forgiving to new riders. Almost traded my RVF for an SV but that woulda been just plain dumb, seeing as how both of my bikes are GREY.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:56:13 AM EDT
Something in the 500-600 range would be good for a first timer. Get used to that, then move up.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:56:48 AM EDT
Suzuki SV650, plenty of power for a first bike, comfortable riding position, easy to ride/control, decent brakes and suspension. It has enough performance and aftermarket support to last you a number of years before you'll feel the need to upgrade.

I normaly wouldn't recommend it to someone with no riding experience, but if you've taken the MSF course you've already demonstrated some common sense, so you should be alright.

While the latest and greatest CBR might seem like a lot fun, honestly, you'll probable scare yourself away from motorcycling...

Check any motorcycle salvage company, they always have a bunch of crashed liter bikes with less than 2000 miles on them.

Enjoy, UJ

PS If you stick with it and get some miles on in the first year, you're hooked for life
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:59:09 AM EDT
Glad you got trained first. A few weeks ago there was a thread about a guy who picked up his first bike and didn't survive the trip home.

Remember to keep your personal limits in mind and you should be OK. As for performance, I'd say around 95% of the riders out there can't exploit more than 70% of their bike's capabilities. Make sure you're comfortable on it (it fits you) and take your time getting to know it.

Be safe out there.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:03:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE: I'm looking to buy my first motorcycle and I'm not sure what size I should get. I'm 5' 9" 170lbs. I'm looking to get a used bike for $3,500 or less.


You're already ten paces ahead of the rest of the beginners on the road these days if you took a MSF course.

I would highly recommend the SV650. They are fairly cheap right now in the used market. Start there because if you drop it, it won't hurt your wallet very much.

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:04:50 AM EDT
So is everyone of the general opinion that I should not go with a 1200cc bike as my first bike?


The SV650 looks great but there aren't any used one's listed for sale anywhere near me. I did find a new one for $4,400 after a $1,000 mail in rebate.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:15:43 AM EDT
Agree, don't go with a liter bike. My first bike was a 400cc Yamaha (used) and it took me almost two years to outgrow it. The light weight and manuverability of that bike was appreciated as a beginner.

Regarding the new SV that you found, I'd prefer a used bike. I am of the opinion that all beginners WILL drop their bike at some point. It happened to me, several times. If you have a brand-new bike (especially one with plastic fairings), dropping the bike is gonna break your heart (and cost some serious jing to fix).

Start out with a used bike so you won't mind scratching it up with the occasional low-speed dump -- then when you get some experience under your belt, move up to a shiny new cruiser and enjoy the ride. :0



Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:19:24 AM EDT
Another thing you have to remember is that I'm talking about bikes that were around 15+ years ago. Back in the day you needed 1000cc's to get the power that you wanted. Today, with the technology they have a 600cc can run like a 900 or 1000cc bike used to. Also, I did alot of road riding, long trips from Phoenix to N. AZ. where a heavier bike came in handy. If you'll be tooling around town you'll need something alittle more nimble to get thru traffic. I'd say a 600-700cc would be good, just make sure you can get after market speed parts so after you learn to ride you can hop it up a bit if you need more power.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:24:48 AM EDT
Today's 600's have over 100 hp!!! Back when I started riding, you'd have a speed demon if it had over 60 horses.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:25:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 10:27:15 AM EDT by Tonster]
I would go with a 600 or 750 to start with. The 600 is better to start with but you will soon outgrow it if you like going fast.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:28:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
So is everyone of the general opinion that I should not go with a 1200cc bike as my first bike?


The SV650 looks great but there aren't any used one's listed for sale anywhere near me. I did find a new one for $4,400 after a $1,000 mail in rebate.



If that is for an 03 or (I doubt it) an 04...


YANK THAT SHIT UP!!!

That is one smoking deal, I got my 0 miles 03 for 6,100 out the door.


If you get a bike, especially a new one, just slap some frame sliders on and you will be good to go!

I dropped my first bike 3 times: only once while moving at about 5 mph (grave) the other while stopped at a stopsign. Oil + rain DOES NOT = traction, neither does dried hay!

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:31:34 AM EDT
Agree with those that suggest mid-sized 500-750cc to start, just don't buy anything you can't pick up with it laying on top of ya, at least not to start with.

Something around the 300 but no more than 400 pound range should be about right.

I ride ever day, as I own NO car or truck, and ya don't want to graduate to the 860 pound V-Twin like I ride, too quick.

FWIW, most scooter accidents occur in the first 6 months of ownership, so start slow and keep it "sunny-side" UP.

Good Luck,
Mike
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:45:36 AM EDT
if you like the cruisers...the VStar Classic 650 is a great bike. i almost bought one before i decided on my dualsport. the jeep of motorcycles...the KLR650...i do NOT regret going w/ the dualsport over the cruiser.



Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:49:37 AM EDT
KLR 650, now there's a nice bike. On road, off road, doesn't matter. Looks nice too. What kind of milage do you get per gal.? That would come in handy here for deer hunting and running to the store for milk.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:53:19 AM EDT
I notice most of the guys are suggesting sport-bikes. Will you be financing this bike? If not will you be insuring it anyway? The cost of insuring a sport-bike is WAY more than insuring a cruiser.
I started out on a Sportster 1200 Sport, but that's way over your bodget, even used.
If I was in your price range and wanted a cruiser, I'd look for one of these used.
powersports.honda.com/motorcycles/cruiser_standard/model.asp?ModelName=Shadow+Spirit+750&ModelYear=2003&ModelId=VT750DCA3

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:55:22 AM EDT
I also think you should stay away from liter bikes for a good year or so.

A SV650 or a SV650S would be a good choice. you can learn to ride it as is, then as you advance in riding ability, you can add aftermarket parts to increase preformance.

That or get a slighty beat up 500-600CC for you first bike. My first bike was a 1991 Kawasaki ex500(called the Ninja 500R now); It was beat up a bit, but ran good. I dropped it 4 times the year I had it!(all from low speed though!) You make all your dumb mistakes in your first year, and if you have a beat up bike, getting more scratches won't matter.
I rode it 14,000 miles in one year! It was on it's last legs anyway, so I kept the oil and liquids going, and when it died after that many miles, I was happy with it. I paid $1500 for it...that was one fun year!

I am looking to move on to a SV650S as my next bike as soon as I can afford one.

And yes..if you ride that first year you...you will ALWAYS want to ride again!
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:04:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TekChef:
That or get a slighty beat up 500-600CC for you first bike. My first bike was a 1991 Kawasaki ex500(called the Ninja 500R now); It was beat up a bit, but ran good. I dropped it 4 times the year I had it!(all from low speed though!) You make all your dumb mistakes in your first year, and if you have a beat up bike, getting more scratches won't matter.
I rode it 14,000 miles in one year! It was on it's last legs anyway, so I kept the oil and liquids going, and when it died after that many miles, I was happy with it. I paid $1500 for it...that was one fun year!



There is a 1990 EX500 in the paper for $1,200. I really don't like the older look that it has. My thoughts are if I'm going to spend the money I might as well get something that I like. But I do like the price, especially for a first bike which I'm sure I will drop.

There is also a 1996 GSF600 Bandit for $2,599 at the dealer where I live that looks really sharp.

Does anyone have experience with the Bandit? They seem to be fairly common around here.

Here's a pic


Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:47:21 PM EDT
Those bandits were pretty popular around here. Add the lower fairing and they look pretty good.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:20:37 PM EDT
My first was a Honda CBR 600, and it was a great beginner bike. My second was a 929 that I also liked a lot. I now have a Ducatti 996, which I am deeply in love with.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 6:47:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
KLR 650, now there's a nice bike. On road, off road, doesn't matter. Looks nice too. What kind of milage do you get per gal.? That would come in handy here for deer hunting and running to the store for milk.

thanks Frank....i figure...w/ the pipe..i average about 50-55mpg. i weight about 180lbs...i know that can be a factor. believe it or not..she'll run (well ive run her up to) about 118mph...i dont think shes got much more..but thats PLENTY fast on two wheels!! she isnt built for speed..but has PLENTY of torque and can go where other bikes cant
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 2:19:19 AM EDT
What Size Motorcycle Should I Get?

A BIG one! I have found life to be much more enjoyable if you have a BIG one. And don't forget the ladies always like a BIG one. It's easier to ride!


Thanks for looking!

Link Posted: 11/20/2003 5:06:03 AM EDT
The Bandit 1200 comes underated by most IMHO, its a very nice bike. Handles like a pig compared to more edgy sportbikes, but if it really bothers you, you can fix that. But may not be your best first bike.

The SV650 is a much better choice first out - as nearly all have said. Same reservations as Uncle Jake. If you can get one for $4400? snatch it. Have you called your insurance agent? That may be the determining factor, depending on age and financial ability. I dont know where they ding you on displacement anymore, but you may better more insurable on a 500 than a 650. Chk with your agent, he can steer you right if he's good.

Someone mentioned a KLR, great street biased DP bike - where most everyone does most of their DP riding. The Suzuki, esp after a few popular mods, and Honda are more capable in the dirt, but not nearly as nice a riding experience. Didnt sound like you were venturing off the pavement tho.

Since you're in KY might want to call Competition Accessories www.compacc.com/. Decent dealer with smart staff. Ask em about the guy they sold a GSXR-1000 to who high-sided right out of the parking lot. Dont get a liter bike.

Luck
Alac
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