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Thread: Best Bike for a New Rider

  1. #1
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    Best Bike for a New Rider

    My brother-in-law is looking to buy his first bike. He's been looking for a while to find a good cheap used bike, but they are hard to come by.

    Thus, he's thinking about going all in and buying something newer. He's mainly thinking about the F650GS, which I initially thought would be a good starter bike, but the more I think about it the more I think he might want to go for the 800. It won't take long for him to develop riding proficiency, and I imagine that once he does he might become frustrated with the fact that the 650 is essentially a subdued 800. Likewise, he's 6'3 so the height wont' be too much of an problem. I've never ridden an F bike so I'd like to hear what you all think on this subject.
    thanks,
    2011 R1200GS
    2004 R1150R Rockster (traded)

  2. #2
    Registered User Bartleby's Avatar
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    F800st

    I just went through this. Almost bought a 650. Then found a used 2007 F800ST with 12,000 miles, which I ride about 100 miles each weekday commuting on I-80 in Nebraska. All he'll need is a bit taller screen (V-Tech?). I'm 6'1" and the bike fits me fine. Plenty of power. I have no problem doing 80mph, though mpgs drop to around 53 at that speed.

    Depends if he wants to off-road? I don't and so I'd rather have the little extra power and the touring potential. Belt seems preferable to chain (less maintenance).

    I was a brand new rider. As in, never rode a motorcycle until I took the MSF course. I weigh roughly 200 and have no trouble managing the bike. Practiced a lot in parking lots at first. I highly recommend David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling book.

    Good luck

    Rick

  3. #3
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    The best bike is the one he is comfortable on. When it comes to 650 vs. 800 (referring to the 800GS) they are a bit different. The 800ST is a whole different riding experience and may or may not be a comfortable fit. For a new rider, I would lean towards recommending the 650 to gain skill and confidence. And the 650GS is not only a good bike to start with but also one that a person can stick with. It will keep up with the big dogs.

    As an MSF instructor, I cringe slightly when a student proudly announces to the class that they just bought a 1200+cc motorcycle and are there to learn how to ride. This happened as recently as 3 students last week. None of the three completed the course successfully.

  4. #4
    BMW Pilot runnr548's Avatar
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    Cool First bike choice...

    I have to agree with the wisdom of "whichever bike works", as long as etc...
    My 19 year old son just got his first bike a few weeks ago. It's a 2007 F650GS. He is 6'3" and about 200 lbs. He took his two day course...got his license...and a week later took a five and a half hour...two hundred plus mile ride with me. We rode back roads, divided highways and interstate. We talk about riding when we aren't on our bikes and he loves his. I asked him a couple of days ago if he wanted a bigger bike etc...and he was emphatic that his 07 was awesome! If he does decide to get another bike, I'm going to keep his. Enough said from us.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I'll pass the word on. I'm hoping he'll find something soon so he can come with me to Sedalia.
    2011 R1200GS
    2004 R1150R Rockster (traded)

  6. #6
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    You didn't say how much riding experience your brother in law has, but assuming that it is not much, I would recommend that he get an inexpensive used Japanese bike of less than 500 c.c., put some miles on it, and then move into a BMW or whatever.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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