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Old 01-31-2006, 07:57 PM   #51
m_t_yeo
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

--- Pet Peeve On ---



I bought a Thruxton even though I really, really wanted a DL650. 52% of the population are women. Their average height in N.A. is 5'4" with an average inseam of 28". The average inseam for men is 32".



So ... if the seat height of the DL650 is 32", it means that a sizeable minority of men won't be able to comfortably ride it and almost all women won't be able to, either. Why would you design a general purpose bike like the Wee-strom so that it excludes approximately 50% of the possible riding population from ever riding it? To me that seems crazy, especially when there is only one competitor for the women's adventure market - the BMW F650GS. The DL650 comes in a couple of grand cheaper and if Suzuki could drop a couple of inches, they would pretty much corner that market.



They would have gotten my money too, of course, so this could all just be sour grapes.



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Old 01-31-2006, 08:24 PM   #52
m_t_yeo
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Where were you when I was first buying? LOL.



I bought a Thruxton (465 lb. - 865 cc) as my first bike and have regretted it ever since. Like the TBS, it is heavy and its weight is all at the top, making it cumbersome and awkward when the weight shifts. I've dropped it twice (small guy, short legs, heavy bike) and have been kicking myself for not buying the Ducati Monster I initially wanted. 80 lbs. lighter, smaller and more balanced ... but I didn't have you for advice back then, I guess.
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:33 PM   #53
JOE420SHMO
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Well I have learned (from personal experince)

that your first moto should be first something that your probably going to crash. Second something that youre comfortable with.
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:54 PM   #54
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Best First bike has to be

1. Cheap, because you won't be sure if you like riding you spend a lot and you may regret it if you never ride seriously

2. Small motor 500cc because your not experienced for something bigger

3. Something that has scratches on it, because your going to add some to it

4. Safe, you don't want a hoopty that's going to get you killed.



Derek
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:48 AM   #55
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Default Dual Sport

A dual port or dirt bike is perfect for a beginner, but most beginners won't be seen dead on one for some reason. I guess it doesn't fit their definition of "Motorcycle".



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Old 02-01-2006, 01:12 AM   #56
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

My vote for the cruiser type bike would go to the Kawasaki Vulcan 500. Parallel twin engine is bullet proof. Powerful enough to deal with the highway and not be quickly outgrown yet forgiving to novice. The only drawbacks are lack of accessories and chain drive.
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:51 AM   #57
wrietze
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

1981 Yamaha xs 650 - crashed it in my first week of riding after locking the front brake when a cage turned left in front of me. That got me to practice my braking....was able to do controlled dirt track style drifting on the road after that with locking the rear brake...fun! That bike was followed by a 1978

xs 650. Crashed that 2 more times - once with too much gas leaned over while exiting a corner and the once because of sloppy mechanical work on my part.

Followed that with a KZ550. Crashed once in a corner, 2up, not fun....Don't know why...

My advice is less bike or displacement specific. Do this everytime you get a new bike just for the feel of the new machine. Find a big, empty parking lot, and keep practicing. Turning and braking. Particularily, braking at the limits in all kind of situations, straight line, turning and leaned over. Practice smooth throttle inputs, be aware of front and rear weight transfers. When you take it to the street ride with your head and watch all the other idiots. Ride safe.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:26 AM   #58
mnmmelanson
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Best first bike has to be a dual sport used. A DR, KLR or any other. They are fast enough, simple in design, easy to learn how to work on, cheap to run, and can take a beating. They versatile enough to allow the rider to figure out what direction to go for the next purchase.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:46 AM   #59
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

My first bike was a 650 Honda NTV with 50.000 km.

Bought it from a guy together with his helmet, jacket and gloves.



50.000 km later (and 2 years) bought a used VFR 750 RC36 II with 30.000 km.



4 years later bought an 800 Fi that still remaisn my bike.

the evolution was gradual and I think this is the way to go.

Never fell (apart from stalling) and still doing 25.000km a year...
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:50 AM   #60
jandj_davis
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Default Re: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I have to agree with the 550 NH, seeing as how that is what I drive. But, to be more general about it. I think there are several things about the NH that make it the perfect candidate.

1) I-4. In my opinion, then I-4 power delivery is more beginner friendly than the torque curve of a twin. It teaches good clutch control. Also, as a new rider, I was unnerved by the sound of the engine revving to high heaven. This kept my speeds low and my acceleration reasonable. After a year, I figured out where the power-band was, and since then have had a blast on the bike. I have now owned it for 6 years, and It still keeps me almost satisfied.

2) UJM. The seating position lends itself to good control, while the fact that there is no plastic makes it easy to drop and not feel like dying

3) Age. As I am sure you all know, there is still a huge surplus of mid-80's bikes in the US. They are cheap as dirt and still plenty capable. I think most of them are pretty darn goo looking too.

4) Parts availability. The opportunity to do my own maintenance is a huge factor with my bike purchase. I would probably recommend not going with the shaft drive, since having a chain to clean will help the rider learn to respect and care for his/her mount.

5) Hydraulic Valve lifters!! I can't tell yuou how turned off I am by ducatis that need valve adjustments every 5000 miles. Never having to open the head up for a valve check is pretty freakin' awesome. My next purchase will have to be a Buell, because they seem to be the only ones on this boat.

So, let me sum up. an 80's era UJM, I-4, chain-drive, hydraulic tappets. In this range, any engine size would be pretty easy to learn on, just measure your own skill first and select accordingly.
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