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Thread: Worst bike for beginners currently in production?

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by MsPotatoPotatoHead View Post
    Honestly, it's possible that a Dyna Super Glide is a better first bike than a Sportster 1200. The Dyna has a lower C.O.G., and a lot less responsive throttle. It's heavier by about 70 lbs, so in that regard it's a little worse, but otherwise, for a person with no shortage of upper body strength, there are worse first bikes than a Dyna (or a Sportster 1200 for that matter). The big Harley tourers being right up there.
    You may have a point there. I was actually told by several people (at Harley) that I should get the Deluxe I really wanted instead of the Sportster but my husband kept saying get the smaller one. Well, it may be smaller in cc's, but that is it. Even the Fatboy we have I can waddle walk around all day, unlike the Sporty.

    I actually read today on several women's riding forums about bad experiences on Sportsters being over come on Deluxe's/Fatboy's. I'm still looking for something smaller for myself as I would prefer to overcome my fear (and drop) a 5k bike, not a 20k bike.

  2. #32
    deleted by author...
    Last edited by OBX-RIDER; 03-16-2008 at 05:52 PM. Reason: ready, fire, aim...
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  3. #33
    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    And while I am in RANT mode, will someone please explain to me how a VLX600 is superior to a 250 as a starting bike? Name a single thing that you get by starting with a VLX that you don't get with say a GZ250 or Rebel... that isn't related to ego that is. Just one thing...

    I put a new battery in my wifes GZ250 yesterday and took it out today to make sure everything is ok. 31 miles later danged if I can riddle whats wrong with such a bike as a beginning bike... unless you want to join the legions of people who started too big... and don't ride anymore...
    I guess I'm not sure that anyone has said a VLX is more superior to a GZ or a Rebel?
    People have recommended them, yes (myself included), but usually after someone has already mentioned the GZs or Rebels or Ninjas.

    There is a wealth of beginner bikes available and test sit to see which feels better, but that doesn't mean one is less worthy than another.

    The fit of a Rebel doesn't work for me, personally, due to my inseam, for example. We had one and rode it, but I didn't take it much further than our neighborhood because of the comfort level. FOR ME! Give me a Nighthawk 250 and I'll ride anywhere on it.

    Doesn't mean the Rebel is not a great bike for someone else.

    My .02.
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  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Missy B View Post
    I guess I'm not sure that anyone has said a VLX is more superior to a GZ or a Rebel?
    People have recommended them, yes (myself included), but usually after someone has already mentioned the GZs or Rebels or Ninjas.

    There is a wealth of beginner bikes available and test sit to see which feels better, but that doesn't mean one is less worthy than another.

    The fit of a Rebel doesn't work for me, personally, due to my inseam, for example. We had one and rode it, but I didn't take it much further than our neighborhood because of the comfort level. FOR ME! Give me a Nighthawk 250 and I'll ride anywhere on it.

    Doesn't mean the Rebel is not a great bike for someone else.

    My .02.
    I cross threaded Missy, between this thread and another by PitBullMom, My mistake which is the reason I deleted my post..., but a moment too late. But I do believe that most people (just about all) would be far better off getting some serious saddle time on a smaller bike. I remember a video on road racing a few years ago where I believe it was Freddie Spencer was training future professionals on Honda 100cc dirt bikes... These were guys hoping to break into MotoGP and they're riding a child's 100cc 4 stroke...

    I think it has to do with the "dollar" that Keith Code talks about. The dollar represents the total amount of attention a person can give when riding... you know 25c on turning, 25c on braking, 25c on acceleration, 15c on balance, etc. Well if 60c is spent on power and 30c is spent on balancing too heavy a bike, there is not a lot left to go around so learning suffers...
    "...you cannot have harmony without a commitment to ethical behavior." Jon Kabat-Zinn

  5. #35
    RiderCoach We've stopped counting... LoDownSinner's Avatar
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    We all know that top of the line sport bikes make lousy starter bikes, right?

    Will today's top of the line sport bike be a good beginner bike in 50 years?

    Anyone want to guess what role the Sportster played 50 years ago?
    Last edited by LoDownSinner; 03-16-2008 at 07:54 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    put the whiffer in the dilly

  6. #36
    It is interesting. The MATURITY part of the article also stuck in my head and I quote it a lot when talking to a newbie.
    "Don't think; feel, it's like a finger pointing away to the moon, don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory."



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  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by LoDownSinner View Post
    We all know that top of the line sport bikes mae lousy starter bikes, right?

    Will today's top of the line sport bike be a good beginner bike in 50 years?

    Anyone want to guess what role the Sportster played 50 years ago?
    This is pretty well unique to this country with our bigger must be better mindset.

    In most of the world a 250 is what you end up with, not what you start with. People weren't two up on 250s in Costa Rica, they were 3 and 4 up on them. And a 250 is viewed as a big bike and there are plenty of 100s and 125 mixing in traffic. I stopped at a Honda dealer and was looking a the NX4 Falcon, a kinda XR400 dual sport in the trans alp kinda fashion and the sales guy was like "man that's a lot of power, you might want to get something smaller"...

    I just had a blast today out "function checking" Gigi's GZ and it struck me that most of what's above 250cc is wrapped up in my ego. Yeah a ride out to see my grandkids is more comfortable on my ST1300 than on Gigi's GZ, but I've done 500 mile days on a DT175 and had fun doing it.

    I'm not suggesting this, but I think if it was required by law that folks here got 2,000 miles and 6 months on a 250 or smaller, we would double the number of active motorcyclists in this country. I can't begin to count the people I know who started on bikes to big for them and quit, mostly because of fear. They "say" it's for other reasons... I mean who wants to admit being afraid... but it sure looks like fear to me.

    I remember riding my friends Triumph Tiger home from the club a few times 38 years ago. I was excited, but man I was right tense (steely ayed army pilots don't get 'scared') too. Three years later on my very own DT175 it was almost all fun!
    "...you cannot have harmony without a commitment to ethical behavior." Jon Kabat-Zinn

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by LoDownSinner View Post
    We all know that top of the line sport bikes mae lousy starter bikes, right?

    Will today's top of the line sport bike be a good beginner bike in 50 years?

    Anyone want to guess what role the Sportster played 50 years ago?
    On the other hand, that was with tires that might as well have been cast concrete compared to today's rubber, and I get the impression that the average rider's training 50 years ago was a few minutes of instruction in the dealer's parking lot. Also, wouldn't a Sportster back then have had very different brakes and suspension? (Or was it a bit more sophisticated for its time than I'm giving it credit for?)

    Anyone who was around back then, feel free to correct me if training back then was better than I thought, or I've missed any other points. Not saying the Sportster's an appropriate bike for everyone, but I'd argue that a 2008 Sportster's a bit more beginner friendly than a 1958 model.

    On an unrelated note, I was a bit surprised to hear sport tourers getting mentioned so often. I guess I just expected them to be a bit more forgiving than a full-on sportbike given their more street oriented riding features.
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  9. #39
    RiderCoach We've stopped counting... LoDownSinner's Avatar
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    Fast forward to 2058....

    On the other hand, that was with tires that might as well have been cast concrete compared to today's rubber, and I get the impression that the average rider's training 50 years ago was a few hours of instruction in a parking lot. Also, wouldn't a Hayabusa back then have had very different brakes and suspension? (Or was it a bit more sophisticated for its time than I'm giving it credit for?)

    Anyone who was around back then, feel free to correct me if training back then was better than I thought, or I've missed any other points. Not saying the Hayabusa's an appropriate bike for everyone, but I'd argue that a 2058 Hayabusa's a bit more beginner friendly than a 2008 model.
    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    put the whiffer in the dilly

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnRoadRash View Post
    It's probably the raked end on the Wide Glide that I rode that made it handle like crap. Every other Harley I've been on has been a nice handling, nice riding machine with a lot of character. The Wide Glide was singularly assy in character. I assumed it was Dynas (since that's the only Dyna I've been on) but apparently it's unique to the Wide Glide.

    The only common theme I've noticed is that there is NO excuse for the big block "Pants melter leg burner" sidestand design that seemed to be standard fare a couple years ago. That's just wrong and hurts like a bastard if you aren't expecting it. (What I'm really saying here is WAAAAH)
    LOL! Yeah the Wide Glide is their only "Factory Chopper" You either love it or hate it. I'm not really into it. As far as Dynas... think of them as Sportsters on steroids. In fact, the Super Glide has the best power to weight ratio of the entire Harley-Davidson lineup at 663# and 92 ft. lb. of torque. It is quite heavy though (my "Custom is 676# wet so that puts the bike, this rider, and gear at about 950#) and took me a good 2 weeks and 500 miles before I was ready to try "the box"

    I haven't had the leg melter yet but it's been cold. I'm sure that "air cooled" doesn't work nearly as well if it's 95 out.

    My vote for worst beginner bike would be any RR 600 or 1000. NOt that I really know though... just what I've been told... over and over again...
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