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Thread: Never ridden, kind of know what I want

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Never ridden, kind of know what I want

    Hey folks,

    First post here. I was directed to this site from an article I read, whilst looking for some guidance.

    I've never ridden a motorcycle, but lately I have gotten really into the idea of buying a used bike. Im 6"2 and ~165 lbs and am in good physical condition, so I think I can handle a ~600cc starter bike (but of course, I don't know). I would like to ride a standard bike, not a sports or cruiser, and use it for road trips and enjoyment, not so much necessity. I like the Yamaha Maxim, Vstar, Virago look a lot, but I would like to get a newer bike, not a collectors. Anyways, I'm not sure what a good starter bike would be for me. I can handle a stick-shift car pretty well and enjoy torquey vehicles, so I think I will get bored of a ~250cc bike easily.

    Anyways, I'd love to hear your thoughts as you guys seem to know a bit about motorcycles

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RiderCoach We've stopped counting... LoDownSinner's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Those sound like decent choices. Have you sat on any? Were they comfortable.

    It generally takes a while (and a few bikes) to figure out exactly what you want from the bike, and what's comfortable. My standard advice is to start used and cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    put the whiffer in the dilly

  3. #3
    First thing people here will ask is, "Have you taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Beginner Rider Course"? That's because, you learn a lot in these courses. They assume you have never ridden. You get top notch intstruction from someone trained to teach, on their bike, in a supervised area. What's not to like?? And taking the course will give you a good idea of what you like and don't like about the 250cc bikes in the class. Sit on all of them. See what fits. What doesn't. How you do in the class will give you a good idea of if it's a good idea to go larger than a 250cc bike. For someone of your height you might think small dual sports.

    Others will chime in. But, do some research in your area for a BRC. The MSF has a website with locations of courses and dates. Post up where you are from and you may get help finding a course from someone on BBO. Welcome to the forum!! You've come to a great place!
    Marilyn

  4. #4
    Woah, thanks for the quick replies!

    Yes I am definitely wanting to take the course. My friend took it, and it costs a little bit but from what I hear, it is worth it. The weather is getting a bit crappy here in Vancouver, B.C., so I am thinking I should take it soon if I am to take it. If you guys know any really good ones in my area I'd love to hear about it, I'll be doing a bit of research and looking more into the course my friend took.

  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterlemon View Post
    so I think I will get bored of a ~250cc bike easily.
    First off, that's the wrong mindset to approach motorcycling with. The "I'll be bored with a 250" camp easily graduates to "I'll be bored with a 600" camp, and then rushes into the more "manly" liter+ bikes (read: EXPERT grade machines) without an ounce of skill. The simple gist of it is this: people that don't like 250cc motorcycles have never ridden 250cc motorcycles. I find it's pretty difficult to come to any kind of conclusion without any actual experiences leading up to said conclusion, with (self-)exception to politicians

    I like the Yamaha Maxim, Vstar, Virago look a lot, but I would like to get a newer bike, not a collectors.
    I'm not sure what you mean by a "collector" but those three aren't bad places to start one's riding career. With very few exceptions, bikes aren't really collectible. Although some of us have managed fair collections of them...with collection meaning assembly rather than museum grade investments. If you can actually afford the latter, I strongly discourage attempting to learn on one of them

    Anyways, the V-Star is actually a cruiser and is still in production, so you can get one new or used. The Virago was a predecessor to it and can loosely be coined as a cruiser, essentially the name "cruiser" came to be well after the Virago debuted. They were technically classified as "customs" back then, bikes that were leading out of the era of the UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle, bikes from the 70s that all looked the same save for name plaques), and the "standard" class actually reverts back to those UJMs of yesteryear albeit with modern technological wonders like disc brakes and suspension systems that actually work when you're not travelling in straight lines.

    Other models in that vein worth looking into are the Buell Blast, Honda's VT600 Shadow VLX (first gen 88-98 bikes had a second carb for more oomph than the later 99+ models), the dizzying array of 750 Shadows (earlier ones are faster than the 600, the newer ones with shaft drives are slower), Kawasaki's 750 Vulcan (shaft drive, tach, and a center stand...you'll be hard pressed to find modern cruisers or standards with the latter two), Suzuki's LS650 Savage/Boulevard S-40, and at the upper end of the spectrum is Suzuki's VS800 Intruder/Boulevard S-50.

    In the land of "long gones" --- meaning discontinued for at least ten years or more --- are Honda's FT/VT500 Ascot (former is a single cylinder, latter a V2), Kawasaki's ZL600 Eliminator and W-650 (latter is a hard-to-find Triumph Bonneville look-alike), Suzuki's GSX400 Bandit (very difficult to find), and Yamaha's 600 SECA.

    Probably a few others that escape me at the moment, but all of them will satisfy the "torquey vehicle" requirement without adding the endangerments of too much weight and power.
    Last edited by Shadow Shack; 09-27-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! phendric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
    ...shaft drive, tach, and a center stand...you'll be hard pressed to find modern cruisers or standards with the latter two...
    My standard has both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Shack View Post
    In the land of "long gones" --- meaning discontinued for at least ten years or more --- are ... Yamaha's 600 SECA.
    Just FYI, my dad recently bought a 1981 Yamaha Seca, and when we went to the local motorcycle store for some parts for his bike, the sales guy there told us that, even today, the bike is hugely popular - he gets all kinds of people there looking for parts for that bike.
    Current bike: 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 1000

    Previous bikes: 2000 Honda VFR800, 2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R, 2001 Triumph Sprint ST, 2001 Suzuki GS500

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    I understand the uninitiated logic however; size and athleticism has zero to do with your ability to 'handle' a 100+ horsepower motorcycle or how quickly you might become bored with a 250cc bike. If a new rider did easily become bored with a 250cc ride, the same individual would become bored with any sized bike because realistically you are still riding on the same roads and observing the same traffic laws. Having 20 or 100 horsepower to spare still results in the same condition, it's all just power to spare.
    You might like stick-shift and enjoy torquey vehicles (who doesn't) but guaranteed you've never driven a car that can wheelie uncontrollably just by accelerating with a deft throttle twist or a car that must lean to go around corners, I can't think of any cars equipped with brakes that can take you from 60 mph to 0 in less then 45 feet (if operated skillfully) I believe the average car can do the same in 240 feet.
    Do yourself a favor and start small (50 hp is a generous max.) advance to more capable and specialized motorcycles as your skills improve and you will be a better rider for it.

    Is dirt bike of interest or option for you? IOCO is practically in your back yard and in May I drove across the entire country just to ride there for 2 days! ...Personally I find Any street ride boring compared to riding up a 4 foot high vertical rock face, that gets my heart pumping every time.
    On a dirt bike you can ride over huge rocks and logs, ford deep water and mud, do wheelies, jumps, slide sideways, flip turns if you are really good, if you live in a northern climate you can ride the snowbanks when the conditions are right or stud up some tires with machine screws and go ice racing.
    For excitement on a street bike you can go fast in a straight line or go fast around corners and that's about it.

  8. #8
    @Shadowshack

    Thank you for the wealth of information!

    About the 'me getting bored of 250cc bike', ive just heard that expression from buyers and sellers before, and assumed that would be the likely case. The bikes you mentioned I will look into. Anything that resembles a triumph is in my liking, so I will check out the Kawasaki bikes as well (if I have any luck). I really appreciate the time you put into that post. As well as everyone else that has replied!

    @Trials

    I've been interested in dirt biking, but I have never tried it. The closest I've been is an ATV and that was a lot of fun. I might get one some day, but I don't have any friends to ride them, so I haven't had much incentive.

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! phendric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterlemon View Post
    Yes I am definitely wanting to take the course. My friend took it, and it costs a little bit but from what I hear, it is worth it.
    You can look at the cost of the course this way: you can either pay $250 for the course (maybe the price is different in BC...?), or you can pay $250 in higher insurance rates for at least the first year (many insurance companies give you a substantial discount if you've taken the BRC). One way or another, they're going to extract the money from you...might as well put it to the best use possible.

    That's how I saw it, anyway.
    Current bike: 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 1000

    Previous bikes: 2000 Honda VFR800, 2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R, 2001 Triumph Sprint ST, 2001 Suzuki GS500

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    I could hook you up with the Vancouver area Trials club if you have interest, terrific bunch of enthusiasts, all ages represented, year round access to one of the countries best riding areas.

    Here's the post for the next scheduled event at IOCO:
    CPTA Classic Trial at Ioco, BC. Oct 2nd 10:00 start time
    The trial will be not only for twinshocks,
    but open to any type of trials bike.
    There will be two lines (A and B)
    The classes will be: A and B for twinshock,
    as well as A and B for modern bikes (intermediate and beginner).
    Sportsman class for those who choose not to be included in the trophies.
    ...you can spectate for free! wear comfortable hiking boots!
    venue looks like this:

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