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Old 07-01-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
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Motorcycle Question

I'm thinking of getting a motorcycle so I'm looking around for a good first bike. I was wondering if y'all think one of the early 80s Japanese bikes would be a good choice. While I'd rather have a V-Twin Cruiser, it's hard to find one for under 4 grand. Almost every one of these has been in the 1-2 grand range. I figure this wouldn't be too big of a investment into something I'm most likely going to lay down. I figure I could learn on a old beater, for lack of better words, and then move on to what I really want after I've got some experience riding. Plus I only make $8.40 an hour so I really don't have a lot of money to spend.

Just so you know what type of bike I'm asking about, I'm looking at something like this.

Before anyone says anything about it, I plan on taking a Motorcycle Safety Course.

Anyone got any advice? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-01-2009, 07:14 AM   #2
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my first bike before i started riding harley's was a 79 honda cb 650. great bike, anything like that is a good choice. no need to spend a ton on your first bike, you will be selling it within a year or two. find one w/ decent tires, brakes and battery, its no fun if you have to spend money on that stuff right out of the box.

8yrs or so ago is when i bought that bike, new tires, brakes and battery all for around 900 bux, that bike is still running around today.

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Old 07-01-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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The old KZ 1100s were great bikes, but you might want to start on something a little smaller. I'd look around for something in the 350 - 400 cc range for a starter bike. The old Honda CBs were great bikes. Like Dave said, find something rideable and safe that you dont have to throw a lot of money at to get started.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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What's your height/weight? My first bike was a Kawi Vulcan 500. GREAT 1st bike, but possibly too small if you're a bigger guy. I'd think you could find used ones in good shape for $3k. Ninja 500 motor, 6 speed tranny, but cruiser comfort and looks.

Rubber side down, fists to the wind, dress for the crash- not for the ride, and all that good stuff.. good luck!
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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I like the old Honda's. They have a nice retro vibe that seems cool, as opposed to just old. But not sure if they're cheap.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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I'm on motorcycle #9 and I agree with everything stated above.

I've owned a CM450T and a CB650 and they were excellent motorcycles. Easy to repair, run forever, not so fast you can kill yourself while learning etc.

Tires and brakes over practically everything else when shopping. Usually the most expensive "maintenance" items and THE things that will kill you if they fail.

Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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My first bike was a 82 Kawasaki 440 that thing was just a money pit i only put 15 miles on it the 3 years i owned it it spent most of its time a the shop. My next bike was a 86 Honda Shadow 700 that was a good bike rode it for 3 years never did anything to it never had any problems with it and sold it for more than i paid for it. Now im on my 3rd bike bought it brand new its a 06 Honda VTX 1300 C (alot of bike) I would sugest startin out with something that is 750 CC or smaller, older Honda seem more reliable then the other companys
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #8
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Great idea to take the Motorcycle Safety Course. I took it before riding my own bike which was a 04 kawi ninja. After taking the course you should feel comfortable riding any one of the bikes mentioned above. Once you have taken the class and purchased your bike, try and ride as much as you can. I put 3k miles on mine within the first summer of owning it. The more you ride the better you will be. Good luck and make sure to wave.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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I'm around 5'10''/230lbs. I guessing that something with around a 650-750cc motor would be good for me? Or should I look for something smaller?
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #10
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I know I'm old, but it's amazing to me that 650-750 is now seen as a smaller bike!

-------------

1. Much smaller and you'll get tired of it sooner.
2. Smaller bikes are really fun for beginners, since you can really wind them up without making use of your organ donor card.
3. Older bikes are already pretty much as cheap as they'll get, so you won't lose much money if you buy one and sell it later.
4. If you're like me, your significant other will get ticked if you buy and sell too often.

There! four completely contradictory, yet logical, reasons to do what you want!
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:47 PM   #11
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my dad has a 2000 Honda Shadow 750 what he bought new, he considers it the perfect size bike not so small that you will be left in the dust and not so big that you cant throw it around a little he is 6'5" 250 pounds and fits it very well, i am 5'11" 220 pounds and find it to be a really comfortable bike to ride
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:43 PM   #12
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I've had a lot of bikes over the years...good starter bikes for someone your size might be a Suzuki GS500E or an SV650. You can find late model versions for less than $4000 and they'll get you where you want to go with a bit of style. I love Hondas...but the CBs are getting a little long in the tooth and people are starting to think they're worth money. If you like the style, dual sports like a DR650, KLR650, or Honda XL650 have plenty of snot and are very forgiving in the event of a tip over...plus you can go explorig on dirt roads
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:57 PM   #13
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i also liked buying an older bike that was in good shape, but at the bottom of its price. buy a starter bike that isn't gonna drop in value a lot. i sold my cb650 for what i paid for it.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:36 PM   #14
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ok, i have 4 bikes, i ride everyday all year long put about 15k miles/year. the old bike i have is an 84 shadow vtc 700. i bought it for $700, cleaned the carbs, flush all fluid, new air filter etc etc.. cost me another 500 to make it good. this bike was to teach my wife how to ride before sending her to MSF class. great bike to learn and go arround town, terrible for anything more than 100 miles. i also have a 99 yamaha vstar 1100 (i bought from a friend that was going oversea)
great bike, low seat nice windshield. (i'm selling it for $3300...lol)
the 2 other are kawasaki ZZR 1200 (a 2002 and 2005) i love them, they're in the sport touring section, i have done twice 1k mile/24 hours and many time 650 miles/day.

for somebody new i'll say something at least of 500 cc, you want to be able to keep up with traffic and have the bike to respond fast enough when needed (car are there to get you...)
i'll say a naked bike (or half naked) or something like a 500 ninja / suzuki gs 500 dont be fooled by the name, they're more relax riding position than sport bikes. the SV 650 is a great bike, the Vstrom 650 is aslo real good.
having cruiser and sport touring bike, i can tell you that sport touring is much more conortable, much better brake , much better wind/rain protection, better engine control etc...

cruisers are nice but i'll keep it for in town riding.

you can find without problems a nice used bike under $3k.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:11 PM   #15
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here a few pics:

the shadow the day I bought it, a few were broke and I didn''t really care about cosmetics as it was going to be a training bike:





the Yahama VStar 1100, much better !!







and Finally the Kawasaki ZZR 1200 with the soft bag on the 2002





this is the 2005 with the corbin seat and the back rest for passenger (I took a pic to show the back rest to a friend but I dont leave it on)


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Old 07-02-2009, 08:56 PM   #16
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My first street bike was an old Yamaha XS650. Good bike, went through hell with me.

I would suggest getting a dual sport or dirt bike. Learn to ride where it doesn't hurt so damn much when your bike decides to throw you down, twist your left leg up and over your right ear and then jump up and down on your face for 20 minutes.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #17
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make sure to get some decent gear, tennis shoes and t-shirt are not very helpfull even at low speed like 25mph.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:37 PM   #18
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Boots and a helmet are your two most important things. I'm not joking about the boots. Most motorcycle injuries are below the shin bone, the most serious are above the neck.

Some people buy a motorcycle to look cool. Well nothing looks stuipder than some d-bag wearing sandals and shorts on a motorcycle. As long as we're going to preach safety, I again say dress for the crash, not for the ride. You will go down, it's just a matter of when.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05GT-O.C.D. View Post
Boots and a helmet are your two most important things. I'm not joking about the boots. Most motorcycle injuries are below the shin bone, the most serious are above the neck.

Some people buy a motorcycle to look cool. Well nothing looks stuipder than some d-bag wearing sandals and shorts on a motorcycle. As long as we're going to preach safety, I again say dress for the crash, not for the ride. You will go down, it's just a matter of when.


+ 10000000000 it's not a beauty contest !!!!

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