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Old 02-07-2006, 02:34 PM   #11
johnnyb
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

could we change this to first girlfriends or first sex or something? would be a lot more fun. OK i'll start... o no i won't.
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:35 PM   #12
giganto
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I imagine 5,000 sober tales of well thought-out first bikes will suffice so- here goes with a wee tale that fits a strong minority of mofos out there. My discovered passion for two wheeled vehicles began as a toddler. Tricycles turned to bicycles befor first grade. Early grade school saw B&S go-carts after school till the tanks ran dry. Still short of junior high had me getting quick, furtive rides on actual off-road bikes too big to be safe. During these years, my next door neighbor(boo radley, i had thought, since moving to that block) had 70's bultacos, yamahas, huskys, and something else, monsterous and unidentifiable in his back yard. By 6th grade my daily habit, rain or shine , was scrabbling up the cement block wall between our properties and staring at the incredible machines in his yard. The following year, the ice was broken, we were friends, and a just turned 13 year old, short for his age, was on his way to an old mx track with a big, menacing Yamaha 2 stroke 500cc with earth crushing knobbies, and a former racer to instruct!

Like every bike I've ever had any relationship with, I loved it deeply. It scared away all the older kids and never failed to start. I miss it this very moment. Um..not a recomended first bike. From then on:

Suzuki RM125 1983? Had a TAD more suspension than the old Yamatank.

Honda 450 hawk? can't remember.

Yamaha 100cc 2 stroke enduro. Fun, small, and belonged to wealthy friend who cleaned it far more than he rode it. Good for me.

Honda 650 nighthawk, excellent starter! Quick and responsive. Best first bike here.

BMW 1975 R750R with every ugly bit of batman luggage and barn door available from late 70s. Wonderful machine, my intro into the realm of carburetor problem solving(and not).

BMW R100GS bumblebee, sold imidiately for profit, what a mistake, great bike that inspired me, but I badly needed cash to continue living.

Yamaha FZR1000 1992 Every go faster mod to motor and exhaust from original owner. Perhaps the most satisfying motorcycle ever owned. Loved the ugly frankenstein deeply.

Honda Aspencade 1985 Tyed for most loved. I'll probably have another only for touring when I rob a bank and own a ten motorcycle garage.

Honda CBR600 1990 I want to try this again, post 1999, any make, even Triumph. Probably in next 2 years.

Suzuki DR350 1993 Near perfect first bike!

Honda XR600 1992 Made street legal, must learn art of kickstart, but.. see above.

Kawasaki KLR650 1989 Got one finally! See above. Thank god the price was right on blue/white/green and not the unspeakable(shudder) pink/green/etc!

This brings us up to date, and having just gotten myself aquainted with KLR, I wont doubt that it may end up becoming a favorite. How can all you brilliant, gentle people be mistaken?

Now to order all new safety gear! First time ever.

To some of us, all bikes are perfect, first and last.

wells







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Old 02-07-2006, 02:39 PM   #13
Rubble
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Just one problem with your smaller is smaller thinking: The DR400's seat is 2" taller than the DR650 - 36.8" vs 34.8"
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Hmmm, don't see the survey, but I'd cast my vote in the direction of the Ninja 250, Ninja 500, or GS500. Maybe a Monster or an SV650. Depends on my choices I guess.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:54 PM   #15
mnmmelanson
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

First bike was a KZ400 but the one I have had the longest and enjoyed the most is a DR650 kickstart only. Easy to have way too much fun on and very forgiving. It still gives me smiles every time I ride it. When it gets dropped about the only thing to get replaced is a blinker or two. It is truly what motorcycling is all about; simple, honest, cheap, reliable, almost a good friend that never lets me down.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:20 PM   #16
TomSmith
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I always wondered which was best, the Cushman, Powell, or the expensive Salisbury (sp?). I liked the Powell with its 1 inch front suspension travel and its soft 6 inch rear travel or so., and most kids at my school preferred them. I never rode any of them, myself. The Mustang was the ultimate later on, since it was almost a motorcycle (Walt Fulton even rode one at one of the Catalina races).
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Speed Triple!
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:37 PM   #18
spep
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Default SV650 (non-S)

Definitely SV650, non-S, if your inseam is greater than my 27". My first bike is a Ninja 250R; way too much drivetrain lash for a noob. Have ridden briefly on a 500R, 650R, SV650, SV650S, and a Vulcan 800.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Speaking from experience, whatever your first bike is, make it a used one! You ARE going to drop that sucker and the crunching sound it will make is directly proportional to the amount of money you paid for it!
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:18 PM   #20
m_t_yeo
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Default Upon further consideration ...

I thought about it some more after responding to Part One and think that my overall advice for a new bike would be less specific and more general:



1) Buy a bike that is all purpose, master of none. If it is truly one's first bike, then you won't know exactly what you are going to need and this will allow one to try pretty much anything.



2) Buy a bike that you can afford at the same time as the safety gear.



3) Buy a bike you can pick up if you drop it and that you can push to the curb.



4) Buy a bike you feel you can handle.



5) Buy a bike you at least somewhat like the look of.
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