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Thread: My considerations for 1st Bike

  1. #11
    Crash,

    WOW!! Thanks for all that info.

    I probably misspoke. I believe it will handle the sustained 75 mph, but I've read it gets buzzy with vibration above 70ish. Wanting a sixth gear, ya know. I think there are probably better choices for turnpike riding, but I also wouldn't know what those would be... and remain in the beginners bike classification.

  2. #12
    Flirting With The Redline alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountofQ View Post
    ... the scrutiny of the coaches (not that they were harsh, as they weren't) and being watched by other students just compounded my nervousness.

    I kind of have to listen to the more experienced riders here (to do otherwise would just be stupid).

    So... MSF first, or inexpensive bike and parking lot practice first?
    I think you need to get into the mindset that the MSF class IS practice. Not only that, it is practice with instructors trained to see what mistakes you are making and give constructive feedback and you don't have to worry about damaging your own bike. As far as other students are concerned I remember with my class we had a feeling of us all being in it together. We cheered when someone succeeded and commiserated when someone struggled.

    Getting your mind into the right place could even be considered your first riding lesson (as opposed to basic bike control that the class teaches). This fear of being judged by your fellow riders could get you into serious trouble when you start riding for real. It is all too easy to out ride your abilities as you don't want to hold the group up or appear slow to others. Having the self-control to ride your own ride (you will hear that phrase a lot) is one of the most important steps you can make.

    Good luck!!!

  3. #13
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountofQ View Post
    ....I hardly felt "one with the bike",
    Oooommm.

    Quote Originally Posted by CountofQ View Post
    the scrutiny of the coaches (not that they were harsh, as they weren't) and being watched by other students just compounded my nervousness.
    ....
    Just keep in mind it's a BEGINNER'S course. You, having ridden before, probably have a leg up on most of the rider's there! I think most of us take the class with no riding experience at all. That's why they start at the level of "This is a motorcycle....". The coaches are THERE to watch you and point out your mistakes. It's not to make you nervous, it's to make sure you've got the basics down before you go out and try to ride on your own.


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  4. #14
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
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    Since the 500 that you rode in class is similar in many ways to the V-Star, what did you see as a problem with the 500, styling, or something more fundamental?

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by AZridered View Post
    Since the 500 that you rode in class is similar in many ways to the V-Star, what did you see as a problem with the 500, styling, or something more fundamental?
    I know they are similar in weight, seat height, & ground clearance. Beyond that I could not say or not say, much about their similarities.

    I know I struggled with getting my boot under the shifter, where as the V star has a heel shift available. Of course, I wore the steel toe boots that I already own and wear 5-7 days a week (depending on the particular schedule of a job), and would likely wear if I rode to and from work.

    The rear brake on the HD... one had to almost "ballerina toe" it, and I felt there was a lot of slack even after reaching it before I could feel any braking effect. The V star has a brake pedal in a much easier to access location. Mind you, I'm not saying the brakes were faulty on the street 500s, just that I struggled to reach it, personally. No one else mentioned a problem with them, and all bikes were test ridden by staff before class began.

    Yes the styling is different. I don't know what the Street 500 is considered. I thought it had a sporty look. It would be a real stretch for me to call it a cruiser.

    I hope no one thinks I was slamming the bike from these or earlier comments. Previous comments were only to describe what I rode during class, and that there was not a variety of bikes (as I have heard some classes offer).

    Another problem, most likely my error and not the bikes design (but possibly, for me anyway), is I regularly would catch and fold up the foot peg with my jeans as I would lift my feet as I started moving from a stopped position. My CX500 had running boards, much like the V star does. I cant say I would never have the same problem with them, but I believe they are positioned better, for me. I would have to test ride one, rather than just sit on one to know better.
    Last edited by CountofQ; 07-30-2017 at 11:10 PM.

  6. #16
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! Shadow Shack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountofQ View Post
    Crash,
    Hey...how did you come across my pre-licensed riding moniker?

    WOW!! Thanks for all that info.

    I probably misspoke. I believe it will handle the sustained 75 mph, but I've read it gets buzzy with vibration above 70ish. Wanting a sixth gear, ya know. I think there are probably better choices for turnpike riding, but I also wouldn't know what those would be... and remain in the beginners bike classification.
    Ah, the freeway speed revs. It's actually a common gripe among many mid-sized cruiser owners (500-800cc) as they tend to spool north of 4000 RPM @ 60mph in top gear. The four speed owners want a fifth gear, the five speed owners want a sixth gear, the six gear owners want...well, you can see where this is going. As such a lot of the chain & sprocket bike owners tend to futz around with the final gearing a la different sized cogs to lower the RPMs at higher speeds, although if you go too far here you can kill your take-offs (or more aptly your clutch plates as you feather the gears to get moving).
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  7. #17
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    The "Street" 500/750 could be considered a "standard."
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

  8. #18
    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
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    The shifter and rear brake problems you describe on the HD Street 500 sound like adjustment issues rather than anything fundamental to the bike.

    I'll put in another vote for considering a dual sport bike. This coming from a guy who also wanted a cruiser initially.

    If you spend $2k on a used DS and drop it a few times, it's still worth $1900 when you go to sell it. A used cruiser can be found a little cheaper, but drop it and you may be spending a significant fraction of the purchase price on replacing shiny bits. A dual sport is designed to fall over.

  9. #19
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    I got back into riding at age 55 two years ago after a long period of almost no riding at all. I had a 1974 Honda CB 550 Four in the late 1970's. I do not have a lot of experience so take my comments with that in mind. But I have just spent the last two years traveling a road similar to the road you are about to travel.

    When I came back to riding, I started with a DRZ400S. I have other bikes, now, including a cruiser, but I still have the DRZ. I have two boys who also ride. The DRZ is my older boy's favorite bike. I also enjoy riding it very much.

    It is certainly not a highway bike, but it will do it. It cruises very nicely up to 60 mph. Top end is 90 something, and it will cruise 70 mph plus without complaint, but you get blown around a lot, it is not comfortable and gas mileage goes down fast at higher speeds.

    I found it to be a great bike to get back into riding. It has been dropped a couple times. All slow speed negligible damage. I replaced a clutch handle. I did it myself. I think it cost $12 for the replacement handle.

    Another consideration is that dual sports are less expensive to insure. If you are going to invest in a year to develop good skills. And you consider all your costs over the course of a year, you might find that the dual sport bike is very economical.

    If you get a dual sport bike, take a look at the tires. My DRZ400S has road oriented dual sport tires. I find it handles pavement very well. I also have a KLX250S that has more dirt oriented dual sport tires. I am not sure how much actual traction difference there is. I have not pushed the limits. But the knobby tires definitely have a less settled feel on pavement and may not be optimal for building confidence.

    And confidence is what the slow speed stuff is all about in my opinion. It is not really that hard. You just have to have the confidence to get your head up, look where you want to go and do it. Having a bike you are not afraid to drop is very helpful for this.

    I would go ahead and re-take the course, get your license. Maybe even take BRC II. Generally you take BRC II on your own bike, but when I took it there was a guy who had inherited a Harley and was not comfortable on it so he took the BRC II on one of their bikes. And those bikes have been dropped many times so if you want to practice on a bike that you can drop, there is no better place.

    So it really comes down to; do you want to get on a bike you like ASAP or do you want to invest some time in developing some skills? Lots of people get on a bike they like right out of the gate and never look back. Alwayslearnin learned on a Harley Road King. He just took his time to develop his skills. And even though he may not be as skilled or experienced as others on this site, I would bet he is one of the safest riders.

    There are lots of ways to skin a cat. But if you want to invest some time in developing a solid skill base, I think starting on a Dual Sport is a great way to go. You may also find that after a year of riding, your bike preferences may change. I really like my cruiser now and never would have guessed that two years ago.

    OBX is a very skilled and experienced rider who has a lot of bikes of all kinds. None of them were cruisers until he bought a Road King to fix up and flip. He still has it as far as I know since he found that he likes riding it more than he thought he would.

  10. #20
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Motorcycle training courses are a fantastic learning resource that simply did not exist when I learned to ride, I can't possibly say enough good things about them. Nothing will improve and advance your riding skills more then riding with higher skilled riders, that is the basis for my riding in Trials competitions, it motivates you to get out and ride, it provides an opportunity to see how it should or should not be done and challenges you to try things that you otherwise would never attempt. It is almost a given that the most highly skilled riders you ever meet will all have dirt bike experience, riding dirt is like super-charging your riding experience, it provides you with terrain challenges that simply do not exist on a paved surface it's also a lot easier on the motorcycle and the body to fall down on a grass covered field then on hardtop.

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