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Thread: Starter bike for a big guy

  1. #11
    Flirting With The Redline 4000 Posts! Logan's Avatar
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    And the GS500f is the model with the full fairing.

    If you'd like the same bike, but as a naked standard, just go back ~5 years or so and get the older GS500. Exact same bike mechanically.
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  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Repeater's Avatar
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    The GS500F has more leg space than the 500R. If you're long of leg, that's a good place to start. I love the 250R, but the new model will have space issues with taller riders, mostly due to the heavily flared fuel tank. The older model (pre-2008 ) 250R is actually more accommodating of taller riders. It's a good bike, but the soft suspension will bottom out with 200+ lb. riders on large bumps. Not sure about the roads where you are, but potholes and pavement heaves abound 'round here. I had a 250R as a first bike, but at 150-155 lbs., I didn't exactly stress the suspension on mine. I got a lot of good riding in on mine, though, and recommend them to anyone that's comfortable sitting on one.

    The KLR650 is another great place to look if you're a taller and larger rider. There's a ton of suspension travel, and the 650 single will move you from a stop with authority while not being crazy-out-of-control-1000cc-Streetfighter type of authority. The newer models have a more firm seat than the pre-'08 models, too, which was my big complaint to be levied about the old one.

    Ever have a look at a Yamaha Seca II? I had one of those, too. The seat is low, but the pegs are, too, giving good leg room. Suspension is soft, but not EX250-soft. When the carburetors are sorted out (rejetting or shimming the needles), power delivery is very predictable. Below 6000rpm, the engine is quite smooth, and would have no issues at all with a 240+ lb. rider. It's one of those bikes that will fit a lot of folks just well, and at about 48HP at the wheel (on a good day!), is on par with the EX500, power-wise. Meaning that it has enough power to entertain experienced riders while not trying to land the ham-fisted new rider on their ear via rolling burn-outs or power-wheelies. They're also practically impossible to kill, and one rider on one of the Seca II boards rode his for 118,000 miles... without a valve adjustment. Another, properly-maintained one at the same board was at 137,000 miles at last count. Mine got 51MPG as an overall average, with an easy, back-road record of 62MPG one day. They were available here from 1992 to 1998 with only cosmetic changes. It's one of the more under-rated learner bikes out there. Some folks shy away from recommending them because it's a 600cc inline-4, but being an 8-valve, long-stroke, air-cooled engine, it's far-removed from the 600cc supersport monsters that regularly crank out 105-110HP at the wheel we see on race tracks. Since it's not a very common bike like the little Ninjas and GSes, it's often times forgotten about. I'd still love to have one back some day. Another plus - they're cheap. $1200 will get you a well-used but serviceable model, and $2000 should buy you one that looks like it practically rolled off the showroom.

    Just another option to keep in mind.
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  3. #13
    that was a great read, i really appreciate it so i looked up on craigslist and found a Seca II for $2350, but it was made in 1992 and he said it was neglected by the previous owner.

    BTW can we post craigslist links for people to look at? I am a noob at bikes and prices so any help is appreciated.

    Thanks again for everything guys

  4. #14
    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! SoCal LabRat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigred1012 View Post
    BTW can we post craigslist links for people to look at? I am a noob at bikes and prices so any help is appreciated.

    Thanks again for everything guys
    Absolutely! We're always happy to help other people spend their money.

    A big thanks to Repeater for chiming in as usual. He's a great resource here.
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ncgal_in_mo View Post
    Absolutely! We're always happy to help other people spend their money.

    A big thanks to Repeater for chiming in as usual. He's a great resource here.
    Awesome, thank you So the main 2 bikes i have been looking at are these...

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/mcy/1597274448.html

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/mcy/1595019572.html

    I did find a 1992 Yamaha Seca II for $2,350 and i was going to post the link today but the author deleted it. It was in a parking lot for a while and has been dropped, the paint is fading on the right side, and some other stuff. So i think the Seca II is out of the picture (unless i find another one on craigslist).

    The first link is to a 2005 Suzuki GS500F for $2,700. I checked kelleybluebook.com and they listed the suzuki at $2,900 or so for retail. I talked to the guy and my mom and i will be driving over there in a few hours because, finally, we have some sunshine up here in Washington state and i don't want to test ride it in the rain.

    The second link is to a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500r for $3,000. kbb.com had it listed for $3,015. tbh, i do not like the color scheme on most of these ninja's but i really like the color scheme of the suzuki and the suzuki is $300 cheaper.

    The insurance i could get for the suzuki is $49.07 a month (progressive) and the insurance for the ninja would be around $59 a month (progressive).

    Basically what my question is, do y'all think those prices are reasonable?

    Thanks again for everything!

  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! SKnight's Avatar
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    Both seem reasonable, sounds like you're leaning towards the GS Be sure to give it the same going over you would a car. Check the tires, see how easy it starts, ask the guy to leave it cold so you can see it cold start, let it warm up then restart it. Make sure it revs nice and smooth.

    I'd offer $2300 if it's like the guy says, odds are you'll get it for $2500.
    Stay safe, keep the shiny side up and never pass up a chance to go after that horizon.

  7. #17
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! Tyee's Avatar
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    Tires. Use a quarter. If the tread does not reach the head, you will need new tires sooner than later.

    The bike choices are all good. I wouldn't get a bike that's too old. For me it's 2002 and newer, but that's just me and there's no good thinking behind it.

    After you get the bike, plan to get the oil changed and the chain lubricated. You can do it yourself and people here will walk you through it. Actually could be easier to do than a car.

    Hotcha Kabotcha!

  8. #18
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! christhisguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missy B View Post
    Well, dang it...it seems the thread by christhisguy was hosted on beginnerandbeyond which seems to be down. He is 6' 1" and had tested a bunch of bikes for fit and had photos.


    There's no need to fear, christhisguy is here!

    There's another version of that ancient thread posted here ...but I have to say the "improved" format over on the about.com forums is dreadful. Good luck with the navigation.



    Yeah I know, I gotta post that here eventually, maybe even <gasp> take some new photos...
    Quote Originally Posted by wraith0078 View Post
    I started to get worried when I was looking for a rear shock from a Gixxer 1000 for the Bandit...
    Current: '93 Yamaha Seca II "Tonbo"
    BITD: '00 Honda XR250R, '95 Yamaha RT 180

  9. #19
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Holy crap! It's Chris! Howdy!
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  10. #20
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! christhisguy's Avatar
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    <threadjack alert>

    Hey Jeff! Sorry to hear (read) about the spill! Hope you're healing well. Have you changed your screen name to 'Steve Austin' yet?

    Here are a few memories for ya:
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    Quote Originally Posted by wraith0078 View Post
    I started to get worried when I was looking for a rear shock from a Gixxer 1000 for the Bandit...
    Current: '93 Yamaha Seca II "Tonbo"
    BITD: '00 Honda XR250R, '95 Yamaha RT 180

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