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Voyagerjohn 02-15-2006 11:06 AM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
When I was younger, a lot of years ago, I rode any motorcycle I could con a friend into letting me ride. My mother put the nix into my dad's idea that he let me get a motorcycle like I wanted and I got a used 57 Chevy.

I went with a friend to get his new 1966 Honda 350 scrambler, he got the bug from me, but to my knowledge he had never rode a motorcycle before. His mother was going to buy it for him. The shop gave him the basic instruction at the door of their shop and he climbed on revved it up looked over his sholder at me grinning and popped the clutch. The bike stood straight up and drug him across the ally into some old tires and boxes. I could not believe my eyes. His mom had insurance luckily and I don't think that my friend has been on another motorcye since.

I went to college and was not working and still spent plenty of time on a friends motorcycles, a 1942 HD 45 that had a springer front-end and a tranny from a HD Service Car, it still had a reverse gear and a suicide clutch, he traded that for a Triumph Daytona 500cc. They were all a blast.

The first bike I owned was a 250cc Suzuki enduro converted to a motocrosser. That was a blast. Better than Sex, I said.

I wanted a street bike to ride around the USA just like Bronson did. I had $900 and started checking the adds. Located a Sportster and a friend drove me over to the apartment complex where it was located. It was setup with clipons and was very tall and intimidating. I got on and drove down the parking lot and turned around drove back and parked it and got off. I was shakeing because I did not know that HD's throttle had to be rolled off. Anyway, I bought a brand new 1972 Suzuki Titan T500 that I drove for 4 years and 35,000 miles all over Houston and Tulsa. Then I bought a 1971 HD 1200cc FLH that was stripped and enjoyed that very much.

I now ride a 2003 Kawasaki Voyager XII and belive that it is a great motorcycle for me and my wife ride all over on.

My point is you can't tell someone what they need for a first bike. They will decide on their own and hopefully enjoy it for many years.

speedskaterrick 02-15-2006 11:06 AM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
I have ridden and raced both street and dirt and feel most current sport bikes or anything with clip-on bars are not a good first street bike. I feel a street legal supermotard is a great first bike. Cheap to insure and maintain and not much power so you won't get in trouble by giving it to much gas at the wrong time. A supermotard inspires confindence with handlebars that have leverage and sticky tires for great traction.

zootsuit 02-15-2006 11:06 AM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
For much the same reasons, I think the Suzuki Savage is a good beginner bike. With a good set of tires, like Metzles, it's much more agile than other cruisers, so it enables you to taste both cruising and sport riding--the other bike duality.

pudlepirate 02-15-2006 11:34 AM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
I've been riding family bikes since '95, couple of piped and jeted 1000 ltd's and a particularly nasty '88 vmax, fast, but extreemly squirly. finaly bought my own, an '04 speed triple, definately a capable machine, snappy, but not nearly unmanageable for a newbe, just so long as you don't panic the first time you twist the throtle to the one-o-clock wheelie position!

I personaly think it makes a fine bike, it has plenty of usable tourque, great for trouble free starts, shifting and, accident avoidence, the motor has no violent hit, just strong linear performance. it is sort of nice to not have to really worry if the bike is going to suprise you with an extra 20 hp it has been hiding in a 10k powerband, when you're not paying atention

The suspension is at least as good as any naked bike, probably beter than most entry sportbikes.

The wide handle bars and sit up riding position make it very easy to control especially on unfamilliar or conjested roadways.

the brakes are firm and responsive and will have you stoping with authority.

And what I like the most about it, is it does not ever leave me wishing I had something else, cept maybe in the rain.

IMO a quality all around bike you will be hard pressed to outgrow, the triple is the bike for me.

Did I mention this thing oozes character? (not talking oil either, for those of you who remember the triumphs and harleys of yore)

pudlepirate 02-15-2006 11:42 AM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
Oh, and if you want to cut performance back and still have the handling and brakes Triumph sells a restictor kit that will wack of aproximately 15%, you can remove it when you decide to graduate to wheelies one-o-one

pudlepirate 02-15-2006 12:06 PM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
I would happily recomend any relatively light, say under 450 pounds wet with 50-70 hp, my only complaint with this sort of bike is the bargain basement suspension, brake and frame components, the only part of a modern sportbike a beginer does not need is the explosive power, get a naked bike and block the throtle from opening past 75% pretty cheap to fix if you tip it over and you will, and when you out grow it, you can fix the throttle. even if you master a "beginner bike" you will still have a heluva learning curve when you upgrade to a full size motorcycle. How Ironic is it to crash because the bike suprized you and actually did what YOU told it?

Any new bike needs to be treated like a beginner bike, you would not jump from a pickup to a corvette, and mash the gas with out first exploring the handling and performance would you?

pudlepirate 02-15-2006 12:11 PM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
how often do you go for a 70 mph drone?

balpo 02-15-2006 01:47 PM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
I think it depends on your size, weight, experience and age. When I was a Tween and had never ridden before - the Suzuki 80 i had was ideal. Robust, hard to blow up, and hard to get in trouble with, accompanied by forgiving electrics, gearbox, clutch, etc. And the price was within reason, as were the parts.

However, there are fewer and fewer resonably entertaining entry vehicles.

My move up: Bultaco 175 had double the HP and double the torque. But, there were parts that didn't work or were non-existant. Battery - what battery? But, this was part of the learning curve for many of us.

But, oh the handling was a quantum leap forward and the acceleration and top speed - ohhhhhh. the pegs were rigidly mounted, but I never could get one to ground. We (bike and me) would have been parallel to the ground.

A Buell Blast as a first bike - hmmm. Heavier than my Suzuki 80 and Bultaco 175, vibration might equal the combination of both combined. Hmm about the weight of both combined... Hmm. I am not sure Blast is any faster than I was on my Bultaco 175. Hmmm

40 years later and the electrics work and the bike has gained 160lbs. I'm not doing bad I only weight 50 lbs more than I used to. But, there isn't a lightweight I can send the next generation to that is entertaining.....

bigandblack 02-15-2006 02:00 PM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
I started out with a Nighthawk 750. Looking back it was probably the best bike I could have started on. Not fast enough to exceed my skill level. Just fast enough to keep up with the real bikes, after I had logged a few miles chasing guys who were way better than I was. That is the best way to learn.

Some people go all out first time around. My brother got a Superhawk, against my advice. Before the first day was over the bike looked like it bounced off a tree and skidded 500 feet on its side. Maybe that's because it did! Luckily only a hand, foot, pride, and $1700 worth of plastic were damaged. The bike was a lot of fun, and looked really cool without plastic, but obviously it could have been much worse.

When you see a new rider mostly concerned about riding wheelies and getting to the front of the pack, so he can "show off", take his keys and toss them into the woods. He will be pissed off but you'll be doing him a favor.

dwilli852 02-15-2006 02:54 PM

Re: Round Three:Best First Bike: We Need Your Help!
It's real simple. The best bike to learn on is the one you have to ride.

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