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Thread: What's a Good Starter Bike?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    Interesting, so far we've narrow it down to:

    Honda Rebel (2 good, one bad) Suzuki GS500 (2)
    Kaw Ninja 250 (2)
    Ducati Monster
    Bergman 400
    400cc something
    Suzuki SV650
    Vstar 650
    Royal Enfield
    650 Versys
    Kaw ex500
    r65, RxxxR, F800xx
    F650

    You might be better off going to craigslist, punching in motorcycle under $2000, and buying the prettiest one!
    All of the above plus: the guy's daughter now has to get married & only to a husband with the patience of Job, all before she can embark on a MC hobby...
    It's no wonder that teens don't want to listen to adults for advice-just listen to all this stuff over a starter bike!

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    If you don't think it was right for you, you're right, though extending that thinking to others and their capabilities is the source of my disagreement. I did start on a big bike at 18 or 19, no regrets then or now.
    I started on a 650 BSA Rocket in 1963 at the age of 20(then a BIG bike) & it is amazing that I can tell that story. Might be better put to say no regrets but many !wow! moments happened to me. There was no MSF then & I probably wouldn't have gone if there was as I was not only young but athletic and thought I owned the world once I got the clutch release thing figured out.
    Your daughter has the gift of guidance which needs to be tempered by reason. A big part of that is just how much she wants to ride. FWIW, my kids never had any desire to ride a MC(wife included) & still don't other than one son who has a lingering interest that's never resulted in any action.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by PittsDriver View Post
    How many people decide after about 500 miles that they bought too little bike?

    How much less conspicuous are they on a "starter bike" vs. a more capable more fully featured bike?

    How much more enjoyment are they going to get out of a bike that has greater utility and power?

    I'm just saying you can also make a mistake and buy too little bike for the 1st timer.
    I would say go back and read what the OP stated with regard to what she was asking for and what he stated he was looking to get her. She's asking for a scooter and he's looking for something small in order for her to gain experience. I would not force anything large on them. And what's wrong with starting small and selling it later? Makes more sense to me to do it that way than force something too large and heavy that a newbie will feel in over their head with. We're talking something that can hurt them or worse, not what cell phone to buy.

  4. #64
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
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    When I first got interested in bikes, I was just looking for something small to commute on. Wanted a cute little Honda Metropolitan. Didn't need an endorsement for it. talked it over with the spouse, he suggested I look at something a bit bigger, as it would be nice to have something that I could take on the 8 miles of 60 mph highway between me and work, instead of being limited to the back roads.

    He's the one that found the Rebel for me. Gal that was selling it was moving up to her gimormous HD. (which she crashed 4 times the first year she had it).

    Bought it, trucked it to our shop, got a m/c learners permit endorsement added to the drivers license (that allows one to ride solo during the day for 3 months), and took the MSF two weeks later.

    Being able to flat foot a light weight, slow bike was, for me, such a boon to getting comfortable and confident on a bike. Now I ride bikes that I can only put one foot down at a time.

    Everyones different, that's what worked for me. Would still love to get a little Metro, but the garage is full.
    Too damn many bikes to list

  5. #65
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    Starter Bike

    Who is to say what is right for anyone else.

    I can remember at age 15, taking my brother Harley with a foot clutch to a hill and getting it rolling to start it. I just could not get it to start by kicking it. I road it like a young fool, with no one minute of training or advise. This of course is one of the stupid things you do, when your young. That was my first motorcycle riding.

    First bike I purchased was a Kawasaki Big Horn: 350 single what would be called a dual sport I guess today. Road that with Harleys, Beemers, Triumphs and Gold-wings, until my brother-in-law got it a accident when a old man turned in front of him and kill his wife who landed and her head (she was wear a helmet) My Brother-in is penalized for the chest down. I quit riding for a few years.

    The Big Horn was really a easy to ride, fun little MC. Wish I still had it for fun. It would do 70, and had torque to climb any thing.

    So Hopefully the first bike will lead to many years of quality riding. I think as long as you can get your feet flat on the ground when sitting on the bike. It could be the one for the first rider.
    Tom
    '84 R100RT '04 CLC(gone) Honda NT700V
    BMW
    Beer Motorcycles Women

  6. #66
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    First Bike Thoughts: 250 cc Dual Sport

    My first was a 72 Honda 350 cc road Twin in '81, I was over 6' and 220 lbs by then. It looked small under me. Then Honda 500 CX in 83, then 85 K100RS in 94.

    Now added a Honda Dual Sport 250 cc single '88 NX250 as a second bike.

    It's awesome for a first learner bike or as a second bike.

    250 dual sports with battery start and 4 stroke (no oil/gas mix) can be made to fit people of various heights and weights. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha make them, KTM and Husky too.

    They can survive fall overs especially if they have a decent set of clamped on "hand guards." Honda announced their 2013 model new for $4,499. They can go over 60 mph, but shine at lesser speeds. Used ones are popular now(sell quickly) but they hold their value. When you buy the second bike, you might just keep this one too.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #67
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    my thoughts on first bikes

    1. Be able to "flat foot" the bike. This is important for beginners and also many older people like myself; not so important for experienced younger riders.
    2. It is much easier to handle a bike with "standard" seating than a cruiser or a sport bike. Try to convince the new rider of this fact, even if that is what they eventually want.
    3. It is just a fact for almost ALL new riders that the first bike will experience several "tipovers." (Am I wrong? Didn't you have that experience the first couple years you rode a bike?) Even if money is no object, that rider will be happier if the result is a few scratches on the bar ends, not expensive (and time consuming) repair or replacement of tupperware. So, I would recommend that the first bike be a fairly "naked" one. BTW, you might want to find on this site the article I wrote for the ON titled "Don't Drop the Bike" and print it out for a new rider if you can't find the issue of the magazine.
    4. One of the advantages of lighter bikes is that a person CAN pick them up without special technics - which a beginner is not likely to memorize - after a drop.
    5. Buy a good used bike for a first bike. When you take the MSF course and start riding, there is absolutely no guarantee that this activity is for you. It was for me. It wasn't for my wife, who had both a 150cc Honda scooter and a 500cc Honda bike. After a couple years we sold both her machines for only a small loss in dollars. She had the experience of riding and decided it wasn't for her, which is just fine. I don't believe the finest new bikes would have changed how she felt about riding.
    6. There have been a lot of comments about appropriate displacement/ horse power for beginners. My thought is that a lot of AVAILABLE power is not a problem for safety conscious beginners, if that power is easily controlled and not a sudden burst at a specific RPM. My first two bikes were Honda CB750's. Their best days were certainly in the past when I bought them, engine-wise. But they were certainly easy to control in speed. When I bought my K75 it felt like I had double the horsepower of the old Hondas, but again easy to control. With my current K100 I have 100 hp and 99% of the time it performs exactly like the K75. The 1% of the time I open the throttle wide, in a lower gear, it IS a thrill. But not the way I generally ride. I guess my point is that relative safety is in the hands of the person on bike. If you are not safety conscious, then 50cc may be too much.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  8. #68
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    Check out Kawasaki Ninja 250s. Been around forever and not bad looking, if she likes the ergonomics. Lots of them up for sale since people move up to bigger bikes or quit riding. Should be able to find a nice one cheap and have money left over for riding gear.
    saw a young woman on one a Total Rider tech class last year. nice bike. semed to handle extremely well. she was new-ish rider and had that thing managing the exercises really well early in the day
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

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