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Old 08-03-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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looking for a motorcycle.... input please

( i swore i posted this yesterday but just came to check it and cant find it, sorry if its a repost) so heres the deal... i'm looking for my first bike. so i dont want anything huge. i say i want a 750 but everyone i talk to tells me that i'll get tired of taht too quick. so maybe an 1100? but either way. my price cap is going to be $7500. i want a cruiser typoe bike. like a shadow or something. not a touring bike, not a ricer. what are good bikes at that price range i should look at? what are yalls opinions on size of the bike. a little info on myself....i can ride decent. i grew up on dirt bikes and have ridden a friend of mines bike a little bit. and i'm 6'2"-210lbs. i also plan on taking a riders safety/training course (mainly for my moms satisfaction) but i'm positive it will help me. i've been looking at the honda shadow spirit 750. any other ideas? i'm open to all suggestions. thanks in advance

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Old 08-03-2008, 12:09 PM   #2
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Honda is an excellent brand, very dependable. I wouldn't start with the 1100's though. 750 will get ya there...

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Old 08-03-2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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I would go with the Yamaha V-Star, if that's your price range you can find one in good shape, maybe an 01. I would definitely go with an 1100, a 750 is a woman's bike. I prefer the V-star over the shadow for two reasons. The Shadow is liquid cooled where as the V-Star is air cooled, and the second is directly related to the first. It's hard to change the oil on the shadow, you have to drop the whole exhaust system just to get at the filter. I bought a 2001 Yamaha V-Star 1100 for a little more than 5k, but it was a steal, in mint condition with less miles on it than I put on in a month. Look in auto trader and see what you can find.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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you should start out on a 750 or so, my first bike was a 79 honda cb 650. i recommend getting something cheaper, maybe couple grand. ride for a year and then find what you like. bikes are like jeeps, you think you know what you like, but then you get involved and realize you might like things differently. and you can sell a bike like that for what you paid for it a year later. i've never met anyone that didn't upgrade from their first bike, even if it was big. so i say don't spend all your money now, and then lose it later, cuz a bike at that price range loses value every year.

nothing compares to riding a harley, i'm currently riding a 1977 but they require work, anything after 81 is actually gonna be a dependable bike, if you don't want to have to work on it from time to time. i've ridden ricers, metric cruisers, and harleys. once you actually ride a harley a couple times, nothing compares. and they keep their value like nothing else out there.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:50 PM   #5
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You can find a good used Honda VTX 1300 for around $7500. Don't be too hung up on the displacement when looking for a cruiser. Instead, look at the wet weight of the bike. A bigger motor on a v-twin isn't necessarily going to make you go that much faster or be that much more dangerous. It's not like an inline 4 like the sportbikes have. Honda VTX's are great running bikes, easy for intermediate riders to get used to, and you won't out-ride it immediately like you will a Honda 750. Some people will get too hung up on the displacement of the motor and say the 1300 is too much for you, but trust me, I've been riding since I was 6 years old, and I'm 34 now. That's 28 years of riding experience speaking to you now. Find a bike that fits you physically, is priced right, looks right, and feels right going down the road. Take it easy at first, get a feel for the bike, and remember that everyone on the road is out to kill you. Ride accordingly.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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and remember that everyone on the road is out to kill you.


Sad but it's true.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:16 PM   #7
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well ya said not a ricer which pretty much leaves Harley or Moto Guzzi as far as cruiser type bikes go neither of which is in your price range (well maybe some, an 883 which is not much of a bike,talk about getting bored quick) so I guess your not getting anything at all.....

750 and even 1100 v twins are so stupid slow that they would both bore me to tears in about a mile....in fact ya have ta get pretty big like a VTX1800 for it to even start to get fun...and then ya still cant really go around a turn at any kind of entertaining pace and ya have ta wear shiney tassled leather to fit in with the sheep

if ya want a bike that can actually turn resonable and has some ass there are many in your range a year or two old

Kawasaki ZRX1100/1200,Z1000
Suzuki Bandit 1200/1250
Honda 919


Cruisers are Yawn City......Gary
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Old 08-03-2008, 02:26 PM   #8
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thanks for all yalls input. and keep it coming. i'm kinda looking at suziki boulevard c50's and kawasaki vulcan 900's as well. IMHO harleys just dont look that great to me(at leat stock, you can upgrade a lot and make em look sharp but that costs $$$$). and i'm not really looking for a bike to speed around on. i just like the feel of the open air and want to cruise around. ricers have just never interested me.
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #9
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thanks for all yalls input. and keep it coming. i'm kinda looking at suziki boulevard c50's and kawasaki vulcan 900's as well. IMHO harleys just dont look that great to me(at leat stock, you can upgrade a lot and make em look sharp but that costs $$$$). and i'm not really looking for a bike to speed around on. i just like the feel of the open air and want to cruise around. ricers have just never interested me.

If yer gonna ride ya at least have ta get the lingo strait man.....Harley guys call any bike made in Japan a Ricer.....I assume your talkin bout Sportbikes

FWIW Ricer or Crotch Rocket will get yer ass kicked in the wrong crowd

Course so will callin a guys Electriglide Pig Iron

Bikes are broken into catagories by the rest of the world

Cruisers

Tourers

Sport Tourers

Adventure Tourers

Standards

Sportbikes

Motards(dirtbikes with sportbike wheels and tires)

Dual Sports

Im an administrator on a motorcycle website and a 30 year 600K mile street rider

and Ive owned 27 motorcycles ...I have 5 streetbikes and 3 dirtbikes right now....

Comin from dirtbikes I still think youll be bored on a cruiser but its your dime

Buy a Honda 750 Shadow used learn to ride it sell it for what ya paid for it and move up....Gary
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:28 PM   #10
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Just my 2 pence....

I agree with buying a smaller bike first. After a year of driving, if you feel like you've outgrown it, trade off for something larger.

A 650 or 750 is a nice starter and pretty damn cocky.

My first bike was a modified 87 GSXR1100 and I had to learn quick that you have to respect the bike or it will kill you quick. There's nothing quit like the feeling of being an inexperienced motorcyclist with a large bike and getting caught in the rain.
At the time, I still wasn't used to the throttle response and laid it down going around a turn on the slick road. I laid that same bike down a second time in traffic.
After that, in 94, I stepped back down to a GSXR750. This was my favorite bike until after I broke my back and it became uncomfortable to ride.
I had to sell the bike due to financial issues. Then years later I got myself a nice little Suzuki GS550, paid $2800 for it, it was only like a year old. Got unbelievable gas mileage, was agile and I really didn't give a rats arse if people thought it was a girl bike. I put drag bars on it which gave it a tight little cafe racer look. I outgrew it and tried out a Hayabusa GSX1300R and the damn thing scared the b'jesus out of me!... Then I got divorced and my X got everything and I had to sell the bike.

If I had to do it all over again, I would get me a nice GSXR750 and be done...
But now that I'm an old man, I'm really starting to lean toward the cruisers.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:24 PM   #11
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I also want to recommend going to the MSF course. It'll teach you alot about how to become more confident with your motorcycle. I took mine many years ago, along with the Advanced MSF course with my girlfriend-at-the-time. It did wonders for her confidence. It's also better on your wallet when it comes time to pay insurance since they'll usually cut you a break for the safety courses. I've attended two different race schools in south Florida, and because of those documents I was able to show my insurance company, I'm only paying $11 a month on a race-prepped street legal (at times) Yamaha R1.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #12
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i've been riding for a while, and i have no idea what all those categories are.
i have 3 categories:
cruiser=harley basically
metric cruiser=self explanatory, well maybe not, metric meaning anything imported
sport bike=crotch rocket
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:21 PM   #13
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Edit: Almost forgot. www.beginnerandbeyond.com is an EXCELLENT source of info the beginner. Great people that won't get on you for asking questions, and have a wealth of knowledge. Most of the vets are 1 million mile plus riders, or MSF instructors.

Based on the recommendations of people that I deal with on a daily basis (father, family friends etc.) and seeing first hand what happends when people try to learn to ride on a big "non girly" bike :

1. Take the MSF course. It will save your butt when you first start riding, give you good set of skills to start out with, and is much easier to get your license than just hopping on a bike and taking the state test.

2. Get a beginner bike. You don't necessarily need something 250cc, but something with lower power output and not amazing braking performance out of the box. This way when you make a mistake, and you will, you won't be necessarily be going over the handlebars, flying off the back of a wheeling, or laying your bike down grabbing a handful of throttle through a turn. General concessus is cruisers stay below 900cc, and sportier bikes no higher than 600, although some people say any supersport bike is a bad idea. Supersport bikes are built for track (1/4 turn race throttles, amazing brakes etc.) and even the 600s can get you in trouble REAL quick if you do something the bike doesn't like.

Buy used. "Beginner bikes" will get you good gas mileage, and let you have fun without killing yourself when you make a mistake. You can ride one for a season, and sell them for what you bought it for. People are always looking for beginner bikes.

If your looking at cruisers, look at Vstar 650s, shadow 600 VLX or 750s, Vulcan 900s, Boulevards etc. Find something that fits you well, and try to stay below ~600/500 lbs dry. The lighter the bike, the easier it will be to learn on.

Obviously everyone is going to have their own opinion, but thats the school of thought I followed. I came from a dirt bike/atv background and I still grabbed me a Yamaha 535 as a first bike. Has enough power to get you around and pass most cars. Not as fast as a supersport bike, but its not a slouch either if you compare it to a car. Even a 45 hp / 35lb bike is going to run mid 14s in the quarter if you do your part. The first 1000 miles I appreciated the smaller CC bike and less agressive brakes. There were definitely a few times I KNOW I would have been in trouble on something more powerful or sporty. OH, almost forgot. You probably shouldn't buy anything horribly new for your first bike. Statically, you are almost guaranteed to at least drop it in the parking lot or something within the first year, and get into a small accident within the first 4. Your first bike is basically a sacrificial lamb to learn what not to do

either way, take the MSF, wear some decent gear at the very least for the first few 1000 miles until you are more proficient. Obviously wearing gear all the time is the best option, but thats a personal choice. At least wear it until you are confident in your panic braking and what not. Good luck and keep the wheels down.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:14 PM   #14
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750 is an ideal all around size. I've got a 800 Suzuki Intruder, it's lite and fast. I bought it because it was cheap, I've grown to love it.
I've been saving money for a long time for a Gold Wing, but it wont replace a 650-900.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:02 PM   #15
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I'm 6' 3" and 300 +...I feel funny on a smaller bike. I too am looking into getting back on two wheels. The last time I rode was over a decade ago and I've never ridden a street bike.

Any "bigger" fellas on smaller than a 1100 not feel funny riding them?
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:58 PM   #16
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Any "bigger" fellas on smaller than a 1100 not feel funny riding them?

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:32 AM   #17
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I'm going to go with suggesting a harley 883 sportster, you will always be able to sell it for what you paid for it. You can get parts after 8 years which can't be said for most of the import bikes except for BMW and MotoGuzzi's and some of the big established touring bikes. The 883 keeps you out of the higher insurance bracket [thats why it's a 883 and not a 900], if you like the bike you can upgrade it to 1200 with a factory harley supplied kit. The add on's for HD's are endless, more so than even a wrangler. A company called Drag Specialties had a catalog that made the full quadratec catalog look like a supplement. You can get harley parts almost anywhere. Whatever you decide on try to check parts availability, see if you can get a full gasket set, new master cylinder, carb rebuild kit for the one you choose, if you can't then it's a good indicator of how hard it will be to get parts. I had an 81 Yamaha XS1100LH [midnite special], it was number 223 out of 300 built, in 90 I needed a new master cylinder for it's 'unified braking system', foot pedal applied rear disc and one front disc, there were none to be had new or rebuilt, only used and over $300, even worse there was no rebuild kit available. I ended up taking it apart and buying specific seals, parts, etc to get it working again, it went from a afternoon swap n bleed out to 2 months of finding components. I had a running list of spares I wanted and I traveled at the time, whenever I would fly in somewhere for a service call I would hit the local Yamaha dealer up with The List, sometimes I would score, mostly I would not.
Even today, 2 years after selling it, I have some spare parts including a brand new set of black chrome factory pipes for it that were never on the bike.
I'm going to pick up a used 883 in the fall, 2003 or newer, that will give me the winter to do what I want to it or what ever needs to be done.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:38 AM   #18
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Are you new to riding? If so, I'd stay away from the 1000cc and up for the time being. They can have a lot of power in cruiser form and may surprise you if you are new to riding.

We're doing the research now for a bike for my son. If you have no experience, take the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course BEFORE you buy a bike. Find out the proper way to ride. Find out what will work for you. People saying 750 is too small for you may be wrong FOR YOU. A Yamaha Vstar 650 (or whatever that approx size is now), will be a good bike for around town and highway riding. Longer rides may beat you up a bit, but as a new rider, those long rides (6+ hours) may not happen for a while.

Go to the various dealers and check out what style you like, what fits your body style (some have narrower handlebars, some have wider; seat positions, handlebar positions, balance, etc). My son was hellbent on getting a sport bike/crotch rocket - until he sat on one. Then he sat on a VStar 650 and LOVED the seating position, handlebar position, etc.

If you have to feel like a man by riding a bigger bike, consider this. What looks better? A big guy dropping a big bike or a big guy safely riding a bit smaller bike and riding properly? If you feel you need a bigger bike because it questions your manliness, I suggest you refrain from riding a bike.

In talking to the various dealers, many say that the 65-800cc range is a good range to start out in and that average length of ownership for them is about 2 years before going to something bigger. Makes sense to me. I know if/when I ride, I'd ultimately like to be on a 1500 or so. But I also know that is more bike than I can safely handle from the get go.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:24 AM   #19
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Are you new to riding? If so, I'd stay away from the 1000cc and up for the time being. They can have a lot of power in cruiser form and may surprise you if you are new to riding.

We're doing the research now for a bike for my son. If you have no experience, take the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) course BEFORE you buy a bike. Find out the proper way to ride. Find out what will work for you. People saying 750 is too small for you may be wrong FOR YOU. A Yamaha Vstar 650 (or whatever that approx size is now), will be a good bike for around town and highway riding. Longer rides may beat you up a bit, but as a new rider, those long rides (6+ hours) may not happen for a while.

Go to the various dealers and check out what style you like, what fits your body style (some have narrower handlebars, some have wider; seat positions, handlebar positions, balance, etc). My son was hellbent on getting a sport bike/crotch rocket - until he sat on one. Then he sat on a VStar 650 and LOVED the seating position, handlebar position, etc.

If you have to feel like a man by riding a bigger bike, consider this. What looks better? A big guy dropping a big bike or a big guy safely riding a bit smaller bike and riding properly? If you feel you need a bigger bike because it questions your manliness, I suggest you refrain from riding a bike.

In talking to the various dealers, many say that the 65-800cc range is a good range to start out in and that average length of ownership for them is about 2 years before going to something bigger. Makes sense to me. I know if/when I ride, I'd ultimately like to be on a 1500 or so. But I also know that is more bike than I can safely handle from the get go.
Yup, up till the late 70's the 650/750/850 were considered fairly big bikes until you got into the big harleys. I've owned BSA's, Nortons, Triumphs twins and tripples, they have plenty of power. Two things I do like though are either belt drives or shaft drives, I used to hate chain maintenance and getting that snail trail up my back from a newly lubed chain. Gone are the days when you used to have to cook a chain on the stove I guess but once I got my first shaft drive I never looked back.
The MSF course is also a very good bet, you also use THEIR bikes, at least when I last looked.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:28 PM   #20
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My wife & I both ride, she started out on a Honda Shadow Aero 750. A really nice well balanced bike, now we both ride Dual Sports, they're great for putting around new places.
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:40 PM   #21
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Here is my input.

Triumph Bonneville Black. It is within your budget and it is just shy of 900cc. Also can be considers a Cruiser bike.


Also take the riders course Kenny.

Come on up some time and we will go riding. Here is my bike.

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Old 08-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #22
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rthdtj, is that a VStrom 650 I spy?

rebel, think of it like this. My father was actually trying to get me on something bigger to start, but it was one of his riding buddies that told me this analogy, and I think it works well.

If you were a father (you may be, I dunno ) would you give your 15/16 year old kid a brand new 400hp corvette because its "manly" or would you give him a 6cyl camaro / mustang or even something easier, until he is a little more proficient at driving? Riding is much the same. Let yourself learn how to ride RIGHT on a smaller, but comfortable bike, sell it for what you paid for it, and get something bigger. No shame in learning the right way and keeping your skin Don't forget to check out beginnerandbeyond.com, it will help a lot.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:50 PM   #23
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( i swore i posted this yesterday but just came to check it and cant find it, sorry if its a repost) so heres the deal... i'm looking for my first bike. so i dont want anything huge. i say i want a 750 but everyone i talk to tells me that i'll get tired of taht too quick. so maybe an 1100? but either way. my price cap is going to be $7500. i want a cruiser typoe bike. like a shadow or something. not a touring bike, not a ricer. what are good bikes at that price range i should look at? what are yalls opinions on size of the bike. a little info on myself....i can ride decent. i grew up on dirt bikes and have ridden a friend of mines bike a little bit. and i'm 6'2"-210lbs. i also plan on taking a riders safety/training course (mainly for my moms satisfaction) but i'm positive it will help me. i've been looking at the honda shadow spirit 750. any other ideas? i'm open to all suggestions. thanks in advance
Honda 750 shadow is a nice bike and so is the Yamaha V-star 650 Silverado
at lake hill motors, http://www.lakehillmotors.com/
you should be able to get a new V-star for that price. the 650 has enough power to get around fine. The wheelbase of a V-star is the same as a full size Harley so it has a fair amount of room. I personally ride a Royal Star 1300.. and prefer it or the Yamaha V-star 1300, not so much because of the engine size, but because I prefer water cooled overhead cam engines. But they are heavy bikes and not really for a beginners.

(all V-stars are overhead cam, only the 1300 is water cooled)
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:44 PM   #24
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rthdtj, is that a VStrom 650 I spy?
No, My it's my Trumph Tiger & my wifes BMW F650 GS.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:13 PM   #25
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If you have to feel like a man by riding a bigger bike, consider this. What looks better? A big guy dropping a big bike or a big guy safely riding a bit smaller bike and riding properly? If you feel you need a bigger bike because it questions your manliness, I suggest you refrain from riding a bike.
That's not where I was going at all. My manhood was never in question here. Just wondering if a "smaller" bike would fit my larger frame or if it'd be like Grape Ape on a tricycle. I've sat on a few 650-900s at dealerships and it felt like I was all bunched up. Then I'd sit on a bigger bike and be comfortable in my seating position and just "feel" more natural.

Hell, I'd love to have a smaller lighter cruiser... they just don't seem to fit me right...
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:30 PM   #26
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I hate buying stuff twice, get an 1100 if you want it. Just use common sense when riding. Its not the bike that will hurt you its the driver.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:31 AM   #27
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I hate buying stuff twice, get an 1100 if you want it. Just use common sense when riding. Its not the bike that will hurt you its the driver.
I'm with Point on this one. Read my earlier posts.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #28
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That is why I suggested the 900 right in the middle.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #29
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6'2 - 210 lb, first bike, looking for a cruiser.... I'd say keep with a 750 and avoid anything larger. CCAIN's right, you need to grow into a larger bike.

I had a Honda 750 VFR Interceptor and that was a lot of bike and I was 6' - 195 lbs. The cruisers weigh more too so you'll be pushing more into the turns.

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:58 PM   #30
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That is why I suggested the 900 right in the middle.
I want that Triumph Bonneville you posted earlier!!! Actually, if the truth were known, I really want a new Speed Triple. Triumph has such a colorful history in England, I'm glad they're still selling bikes. I think the R1 is getting a stablemate soon!!

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