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Old 08-25-2003, 03:14 PM   #11
Brent_Meeker
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Buy a used bike. They're cheaper and the owner will let you test ride it. If you skills are rusty or you're a greenhorn, I suggest getting a dirt bike and go out and hone your skills on the dirt first. You can get and old motocrosser or enduro for under $1000 and unless you've master dirt riding before it's well worth it. The other thing is buy good gear, leather jacket, helmet, boots, gloves at a minimum. You'll keep the gear longer than the first bike, so don't economize. You didn't say anything about where or how you planned to ride. If you're commuting a dualsport (Kawa KLR650 or Suzuki DZ600) might be what you want. The 500 twins from Kawasaki and Suzuki are good choices too. If you want to tour you'll need something bigger. If you want to tour two-up you'll need a Beemer or Concours or ST1100. But don't get one of those until you've gotten those control skills and street smarts tuned up.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:05 PM   #12
steve_griffiths
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Seconded..... I got a 10 year old GS500E when I came back after a 20 year break. Light and flickable. Took me 2 days to confirm that I really wanted to do this, and a year to move up to a shiny new VFR, and with trades and stuff, I think it cost me about $500 for the year.



Good luck.... Grif



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Old 08-25-2003, 07:28 PM   #13
BruceF
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Get a 750 Honda, reliable, fast enough to get away from the brainchildren, but not fast enough to get yourself in too much trouble. I started out again after a 13 yr layoff from a KZ1000, I started back with a 1150RSBMW[totally different bike], took me several months to get the balance,throttle, brakeing down, the ABS saved me from my dumbist mistakes, now I've got a X11 Honda, if I had made this my first re-entry bike , I would be dead, take your time, the cars are faster so the bikes have to be faster,[you'll need speed to get away from the Einstonians],a 750 Honda has it and you'll feel comfortable withit...and next year it'll be a Blackbird..Bruce
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Old 08-25-2003, 09:32 PM   #14
williamhowell
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

msf course first, some gear and then a ducati 900ss was my route... a shaft drive would mean less kneeling in the garage on creaky knees . I have a feeling that you will gain confidence by 1000 miles and trade up by 2000 ... where can I trade in for a V11 is what I am thinking!
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:18 AM   #15
rc51zen
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

The SV650 would be a great choice unless the new styling is not to your liking. You might want to check out the new Triumph Bonnie, the style and feel are much more like bikes were when you stopped riding. Most dealers let me test ride whatever I want.
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Old 08-26-2003, 05:36 AM   #16
anrajala
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Yeah I second the SV-650, good good bike. Although personally I would go for an old naked upright 500 in-line four. Cheap but very enjoyable retro feeling! Warning: don't get similar looking old parallel twin, they run like lawnmovers and offer zero ride pleasure. In my opinion anyway.



-cruiz-euro
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Old 08-26-2003, 05:49 AM   #17
mconlon
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Getting back into it? Buy used, first and ride it while you are perusing new and barely used bikes. Early 80's Suzuki GS550 and GS650 can be had for way under $1k, are standard-style bikes, and since they are so cheap, you won't cry if you drop one. Or an early Kawasaki GPz 550... A Kawasaki KLR650, if you're looking for a DP bike, a Honda Hawk 650, or Yamaha Radian if you're looking for something not quite as old as a Suz GS, an 80s BMW R bike if you want euro appeal. An oddball would be a MuZ single in any of the flavors they offered. Newer bikes would include the Yamaha Seca II 600, Suzuki Bandit 600, Suz SV650, Honda NightHawk, or if you are longer of inseam, any of the early Triumph models are now pretty cheap. At the showroom, check out the Honda NightHawk and 919, Kawasaki Ex500 and ZR-7 (Oh, no...), Suzuki GS500, SV650, and Bandit 600, Triumph Bonneville or Speed 4 (not as manic as people might think...).



Yep, good time to be in the market for a bike...

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Old 08-26-2003, 06:58 AM   #18
PrairieDog
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

I am so glad to hear all the folks that are giving you the excellent advice of taking the MSF Basic Rider Course. It will familarize you with riding, help you re-learn the skills that you have lost and more than likely teach a whole lot more skills then you have ever possessed.



Once you complete that course, then whatever bike you purchase is up to you. In Florida, Biketoberfest is coming in a few weeks. That is the chance to ride, ride, ride and ride some more of the examples that all the manufacturers have provided for your use.



You make a comment about "bikes are so much faster". Well, the only thing that is going to make them go faster is the amount of throttle that the rider chooses to use. The best safety device is an wise throttle hand!



Myself, I choose to ride a Kawasaki ZRX 1200. I once owned and rode a CB 500, great bike! I like the ZRX for that reason. Just now it runs, brakes and handles like the CB 500 never thought of doing.



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Old 08-26-2003, 07:04 AM   #19
TatdNPrcd
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Checkout the late model Triumph line. A used Adventurer, Legend or Thunderbird would be a great way to get back in the saddle.



Of course the Honda Nighthawk 750 would be somewhat familiar and used ones can be found cheap. I just think the Triumphs would be just as familiar in feel and the sound from the triple is really nice.



Since you've been out of riding for some years now I'll assume you won't be doing all your own sevice, maint. and repair so consider the Triumph only if you have a dealer near you.



I wish I would have thought of the Triumph when I got back into riding after my break. I went with the Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 and had Iknown about the Triumph Thunderbird Sport I would have had it instead. Reletively speaking it has power and performance in a light weight package and is a complete blast to ride.



I rode these Adventurer at a demo ride a few years ago and I know the Triumph demo fleet is still going around the country. Find it and give them a try.
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:06 AM   #20
SRMark
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Default Re: Rookie Geezer Seeks Advice on Getting Back in the Saddle

Elsewhere in this publication some nut rode a Kawasaki EX250 in the Iron Butt and was able to finish! I'm 6'1" and 230, rode one and had a ball. Little small and the motor won't scare you. Handles good, stops ok, but has lotsa body work to scuff up when you drop it. The little motor revs to the moon. Should be able to get a used one for a song. I don't think anyone else out there would recommend one so I included it here. Whatever you get, get a used one, take a refresher riding course, buy some GOOD protective gear and have a great time.
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