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nokneedragin 04-07-2003 06:12 AM

Re: New or Used Bike?
Have to agree with pretty much all these post. Don not buy a new Harley for your first bike, unless you really like buying replacement part and touch up paint. Not to mention the cost of re-chroming parts after you drop it; and you will drop it.

Get an el-cheapo disposable bike to break youself in on and then after a few thousand mile on it, you get rid of it and buy the ride of you dreams.

Good luck, welcome and enjoy

Yamahanian 04-07-2003 07:03 AM

Re: You will NOT drop the bike!
if you're careful. I bought my first bike 3 years ago at the ripe age of 46. I had never ridden anything other than a bicycle before I started to ride my new bike (Yamaha 1100 V-Star). I have put 10K miles on this bike without ever dropping it. The V-Star weighs well over 600 lbs, handles pretty well and, in my humble opinon, is a good first bike you will not outgrow in one riding season. I should point out that I took the MSF course BEFORE buying my bike, and I spent the first few months riding around my neighborhood before venturing out onto the highways and byways. Learn to ride through MSF, buy the bike you want, and have a ball!

nweaver 04-07-2003 07:31 AM

You don't want a Harley as a first bike...
Only the Sportster 883 (and the hideous Bee-Last) are suitable for a beginner, all the others have WAY too large an engine and can be very unforgiving of minor throttle glitches, as even at a walking speed, almost all of the engine power is available, such that knocking the throttle (say, if you hit a railroad track or pothole) and the bike will buck you.

Get a used EX500, EX250, SV650, or similar first bike.

DrkRzn 04-07-2003 07:34 AM

Re: New or Used Bike?
It might be cool to have a 100th anniversary Harley, but I would listen to your biker friends advice. They're probably not trying to deprive you of anything, and just helping out. Harley's are big, and heavy. Do you really want to try to tug up an 800lbs bike from the pavement? My 430lbs YZF damn near took my shoulder out of its socket when I slipped on a stray stone in a parking lot (it happens). Just my $0.02, no matter how cool the bike, it's a lot less cool when you have to ask a stranger to help you hoist it back up :)

Lowrez 04-07-2003 07:35 AM

Re: You will NOT drop the bike!
Personally, I don't know anyone who has ridden for more than 5 years without a tip over, even if just in the drive way. I salute you for making it "tip free" thus far, but don't tempt fate.

As to the Yammie being a good starter bike, I'd respectfully disagree. Though it is definately a good bike and fun to ride, it isn't what I would call a "confidence builder". Steering is a bit too slow and braking is just ok.

Plus, it'd be very easy for a new rider to get carried away adding chrome and doo-dads that the total cost of the bike would sky rocket. Should it tip or, worse, he decides he doesn't want to be a motorcyclist, he could easily be out $4k selling it at the end of the season. With an old 500cc bike like a GS500 or EX500 he wouldn't be out that much even if he let it rust in the yard for the next 20 years.

Besides, right now he's leaning towards a Harley, so let him ride for a year and learn to value reliablity, performance, and reasonably priced parts. That'll do more to drive him towards a V-Star than any single post you could make here. :)

cheesehead 04-07-2003 07:47 AM

Re: New or Used Bike?
I couldn't agree more with the postings here. Nothing against H-D, but for your first bike you could get SO MUCH MORE in a used non-H-D for your money. For example, my first bike is a 1997 Honda Nighthawk 750 (OK, maybe a LITTLE big for the 1st, but what the heck?), 5000 miles, excellent condition, $3,700. And guess what? I LOVE it! Even came with a custom fairing and engine guards, which were very much appreciated when I dropped the bike while standing still in my driveway! Try THAT with a $20,000 bike and being able to live with it! Buy used, make all (most?) of your mistakes, then if you still want go buy your dream bike!

danch 04-07-2003 08:26 AM

Re: New or Used Bike?
A lot of the time, dealers around here seem to have Sportsters in stock, but a waiting list for the big twins

danch 04-07-2003 08:29 AM

Re: New or Used Bike?
Another reason to get a cheap, standard bike first is that you might find that you like a different style of riding that you thought you would. Once you get riding, you may get addicted to the twisties and decide that, for all the looks of the Harley's, something with more ground clearance is more appropriate for what you want. Or not. The point is that a cheap first bike gives you the opportunity to find out what you like and don't like about riding before spending a big chunk of money!

shinnix 04-07-2003 08:36 AM

Re: You don't want a Harley as a first bike...
Don't know if I'd put the SV650 in the same category as those other two you mentioned. A stock SV has more horse and is lighter than any big twin Harley, minus the VROD.

KPaulCook 04-07-2003 08:44 AM

Re: New or Used Bike?
Resist the urge to buy new. I bought a new Ninja ZX-6R. Although it worked out for me, its expensive. Longride has some good advice. Also, think of cost of insurance, tires etc. You might not like a HD and then your are stuck with it. I am not a HD expert but I don't think Sportsters have that great of resale value. If you want HD, buy a used one. There are plenty of used HDs here in Seattle.

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