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Old 02-15-2006, 02:09 AM   #21
pplassm
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

It's not about riding off-road, although I believe there is no better training environment, but more about having a lightweight, easy to control bike to learn on.



It sounds like you haven't ridden one in a while. Try a DRZ Supermoto out. I think it operates quite "efficiently on urban thruways".



If seat height is a concern, there are several smaller offerings that are shorter (TW225), or you can opt for and older bike, and throw it away when you are done.
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Old 02-15-2006, 03:52 AM   #22
maladg
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I started back in 1971 with a nice, new Yamaha DT-1 250cc dual purpose. Had a nice sort of copper color a bit like the SV's of 03 but not as metallic. An old friend of mine still has it and it still runs.



Yes, that would be it. A nice dual purpose. Sensible riding position, easy handling, no maintenance funny business either with respect to difficulty or cost. If the newbie is stuck in an all street situation in an urban area, should have a set of pure street tires. And the newbie can learn to deal with tube tires, too. Good character builder! I'd buy used too, but I've got - well - lots of experience.



Pay cash. If you can't, don't buy it. Don't owe THE MAN. Paying cash and carrying no debt (assets that appreciate such as a home don't count - never, never, never finance lifestyle) means FREEDOM.



Back to reality: my brother finally started riding last year. He wanted to for a long time but was tied up building a nice little business from scratch and raising a family. He started on a Ninja 250 and bought new. So much for my advice to buy used and cheap!



Last piece of advice: if a newbie comes to you for assistance in improving riding skills - RUN the other way unless you are already a trainer or have infinite patience. Point your newbie to a reputable trainer.
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:34 AM   #23
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Honestly my first bicycle was a Schwinn Typhoon for delivering the Detroit Free Press. I still ride bicycles almost everyday when the weather permits. When I got into motorcycling four years ago I am convinced that my HPV (human powered vehicle) experience was a big plus. I would encourage all newbies to hop on the old pedal bike in the garage. As far as first motorcycles, I had a used Suzuki Marauder that was great. Light (relative), low, and strong enough to ride the superslab. Thanks, Bill Dodson
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:48 AM   #24
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Gabe, the Honda Spada is also known as the VT250. - A popular learner's bike in Australia. (Not for fat guys, though. They ride Suzuki GS-500s.)

I think the ER6-N version looks better than your Ninja 650. (Do Americans not like naked bikes?)

Here and in New Zealand there are tons of early '90's CBR and Kawasaki ZXR250s. They're dirt cheap, easy to get parts for, reliable, etc. All of my friends learned to ride on them and I recommend them to anyone who asks my opinion.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:01 AM   #25
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

You buddy doesn't need any parts for that '71 does he?



I've got some for sale...
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:08 AM   #26
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I agree that there is no single best first bike for everyone. There are things to consider, though - a person's weight, height, and strength will affect her choice. Whether she is reasonably athletic may affect her choice. Her intended uses will affect her choice, and so on. To turn this around, a bike's weight, balance, seat height, seating position (reach to the bars, peg placement and so on), and power delivery (as opposed to peak power) all play into the decision.



(I purposely used HER in that first paragraph to get all you guys to think a little more about the women who are very often buying new bikes these days.)



And now the rant. From my perspective, as a woman rider who frequently encourages other women to try motorcycling, or to try riding something other than a cruiser, it is EXTREMELY frustrating to see how few choices there are for people shorter than 5'5." One of my greatest friends has been riding for decades and would love to find a sportbike, but because she is 5'1 with short legs, she could not even tiptoe on a CB-1 . . . if we could find one. There is a lot of pent-up demand out there for good shorter bikes that is being ignored.

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Old 02-15-2006, 05:27 AM   #27
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I think you'd be surprised how good a streetbike a KLR650 with 90/10 tires (not knobbies) is. Seat height is an issue, though lowering links are a dime a dozen. Too bad more riders can't get out to the dirt, it is a great place to learn, but I agree with you it's impractical advice for most.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:28 AM   #28
teknoman
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

Sistah,you hit it right on the head.I,m 5 ft 5 and 1/2 inches, and unless it,s a cruiser[not my cup of tea] you,re gonna tiptoe around..
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:55 AM   #29
stefanistheman
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

"Since accessing off road venues is as difficult for 85% of Americas metropolitan-based riders as finding a local track available with instruction, what would be the point of opting for a machine that will likely never see mud and whatever training value that may have offered?"



I think that's a good point you make; certainly it's something I hadn't considered. - In Australia, even in the major cities you are never more than a few minutes' away from somewhere to ride a dirt bike.

I definitely agree with you about smaller displacement machines.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:13 AM   #30
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Default Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!

I think you're missing the point - a DP bike allows you to learn the feel of controlling a slide in relatively safe conditions (dirt), while still having a registered road that can be ridden on the road. Learning to slide a bike can be a life-saver (or a road-rash avoider!). I don't think a DP is the best solution for an experienced rider, but for a beginner, they're a great way to learn.
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