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Old 02-08-2006, 09:33 AM   #51
suruppak
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I definitely think an early/mid eighties japanese universal. They are dirt cheap and completely depreciated, yet still a lot of fun. You can drop them on their sides, refuse to wash them, and rev the guts out of them. They're practically indestructable. My first street bike was a 1983 Honda Shadow 500. I bought if for $900, rode it two years and sold it for $900.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:17 AM   #52
pushrod
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Although it wouldn't be the right answer for most, my first bike (at the ripe old age of 3 was a 1988 H-D FXRS-LR. I kept it for 8 years, did everything I could to it to enhance its power, agility and braking, and then sold it for a profit. Bought a Y2K Sprint ST, then another ('03) ST when the first one was totalled on the Dragon.



My reasoning for buying a/the Harley was it looked great, was almost impossible to stall, was comfortable and versatile; and most importantly, if I decided I didn't really want a bike, I could sell it without losing too much money.



Major regret was that I sold it to a local guy, who promptly f*cked it up. I should have sold it to someone I'd never see again.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:31 AM   #53
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Agree, but think that you could go even smaller for a true first timer.



When my son finally decided to ride, we rebuilt the old 1970 SL100 dual purpose bike I'd used as my winter transportation in college (I didn't own a car) and after initial familiarization, I turned him loose with orders to find the muddiest, nastiest dirt trails he could find and play hard. I told him I wouldn't let him near the street until he could get to the point where he could rip the mud and deep sand most of an afternoon without falling down. Didn't take him long to get good and he quickly graduated to an old 250 Elsinore enduro and the local fireroads.



From there I indroctrinated him on the perils of pavement riding and trained him on a a mid-sized standard in urban traffic and backroads twisties until he was ready for the license exam, and he's developed into an excellent street pilot.



For an absolute beginner, getting the bike-handling skills wired-in using a very light dual purpose bike on slippery surfaces REALLY pays off.



Once he passed that
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:33 AM   #54
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Yup, a Belgian Tripple would be an Ale as would a dubble....hic.



A HIGH gravity ale, mind you. Not for youngsters still in training wheels.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:34 AM   #55
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

The absolute best first bike is the one you can pay cash for. Period!
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:28 PM   #56
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

After reading all of the posts I've seen a lot of great suggestions. Here is my 2 cents. I am 26 and fairly new to riding. I bought my first bike last summer which was a 01 cbr600 f4i. My friends who ride tried to talk me into buying a 1000cc bike telling me I would get bored of the 600 after a month. NOT TRUE!!! I know I haven't been riding for that long but the power the cbr puts out scares me enough to be responsible. I couldn't imagine why I would need more horse power. I love the f4i and would recommend it to anyone who thinks that a sport bike is what they want.
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:53 PM   #57
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

My take? Dirt, dirt, dirt. Start with a 100 to 250 cc dirtbike and get comfortable with it. Graduate to the street (with good training and gear) to a height appropriate dual sport or standard in the 250 to 500 cc range. Learn to take care of the bike, to always pay attention when riding and know that you are invisible when you ride. My specific recommendation: CRF230, DRZ400S, Ninja 500, VFR, Blackbird. Ride safe.
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:19 AM   #58
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Rode a little dirt bike as a kid. Year's ago, first street bike was mid-80's Yamaha Maxim 650 (XJ650).



After being away from riding for many years, I got back in with a Honda Shadow Aero 750. I think alot of these smaller cruisers are sold to first timers, and should be included in the evaluation. Not sure if many MOfo's ride cruisers though?



I outgrew the Shadow 750 very quickly - its underpowered for such a heavy bike (550 lbs), although its perfectly manageable by sitting very low, and should keep a newb "out of trouble" since it's certainly more "show" than "go" on the throttle.



Like others have recommended, the Ninja 500 (bang for the buck) or Vstrom 650 would be a better first bike, unless you just have to have a cruiser. Vstrom 650 may be only bike you'd want for years since its so versatile. And yes, I'm considering the DL 650 right now.
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:31 AM   #59
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

For about the last year or so, I've been trying to get into bikes, which is something that is almost riotously against my nature. My best bud is into them in a big way , and has racked up 10's of thousands of miles over the last couple years. He loves 'em so much, he started a local touring company.



So, from the time I decided to give it a try to now, I've gotten my learners permit, taken the MSF course, gotten my license, and ridden in some capacity a Rebel and Nighthawk 250, a ZR-7 740, a Honda Shadow 750, and a 1977 Honda CB-750 Supersport. I have to admit that when I read reviews for bike from hardened riders and journos, I take the info with a grain of salt, because their priorities and interests and mine are very different. I don't like cruisers because I like my feet underneath me and I have a shoulder problem. I like how crotch rockets look, but I've got no interest in going fast (especially at the moment), so I mostly look at standards.



I figured I was beyond 250 cc after the MSF course, but I've moved back to thinking of buying one... probably a Ninja 250, then when I get comfy enough on that, bump up to the new Ninja 650 or the SV650. My ultimate dream goal would probably be the BMW 1200GS, but that's a long way off.



Some people can just jump on these suckers and go, but there are a lot of us who just can't, so I think your personality should really dictate what you buy to some extent. No beginner should buy an over-powered bike IMO--there's too much of a chance to assume that since you own it you suddenly have coolness immortality. Ideally, I'd say the 250-650 range is the only thing a newbie should be looking for and preferrably a 250 or 400/500cc.
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:44 PM   #60
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Default Re: Part Deux: Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

XR100. Totally non-threatening bike, anybody can ride it and even top roadracers use 'em as training tools, so you can keep it forever!
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