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Old 06-26-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
Sichko
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Default New to the Forum and Looking for my first Bike

Greetings everyone,

I joined the forum because I would like some advice while searching for my first motorcycle.

I took the MSF course about 2 months ago and now have saved enough to start seriously considering buying a bike.

A bit about myself and the bike I want: I am 22, male, 6 foot and 175 pounds. I want a bike mostly for day and weekend trips, but not so heavy that it is difficult to maneuver in the city, I live in DC now. I am mostly looking at cruisers. There is a strong possibility that I will end up riding the bike to Colorado (where home base is).

I want a bike that I can enjoy for at least several years. Not one that I will grow bored of by the end of the summer. I am thinking between 600-1000cc, trying to keep the weight close to 400. I would like the bike to be comfortable to cruise at 75 with, and have a max speed around 100.

I know, a lot of specifications... The bikes that I have found so far which I like best are the: harley sportster 883, honda shadow 600 or 750, and the Suzuki savage 650. Finally, my price range is $2-3,000.

I would appreciate any comments and suggestions (other than "do not get a bike over 600cc's")

best,
Chris

Last edited by Sichko : 06-26-2011 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:31 PM   #2
Easy Rider 2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sichko View Post
I am thinking between 600-1000cc, trying to keep the weight close to 400.

I know, a lot of specifications... The bikes that I have found so far which I like best are the: harley sportster 883, honda shadow 600 or 750, and the Suzuki savage 650. Finally, my price range is $2-3,000.
Welcome.

Did you read those other threads......were we talk about new bikes and ideas beyond "not over 600 cc's" ??

You are a fairly big guy and should be able to handle something in the 600-900 cc cruiser class but even the 600 Shadow is more than 400 LBS and they go up from there.

I think you are on the right track......except maybe for including the Sportster in your list. Some of the model years for them......quite a few, in fact......were NOT good years. They weren't all that reliable and would SHAKE your guts out. The ones in your price range might be those kinds.

Sit as many as you can find; ride some if anybody will let you; that's tough for a 22 Y.O. newbie. You can't hardly go wrong with a 750 Shadow....or an 800 Suzuki......or a 900 Vulcan.

Your first bike won't be your last, we hope, and used bikes don't deprecaite much if cared for properly. If you DO get bored, nothing lost.

If you get obsessed with finding the perfect bike, you will go nuts and probably end up doing something stupid.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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First bike? DRZ400 or KLR650, both single cylinders, buy used, beat the crap out of them, sell at no loss. Or a Ninja 500, again buy a used one, beat it up and sell it for little to no loss.

They are NOT your dream bike but thats ok, ride it for a year or two and buy something you like after you drop your first bike a half dozen times.

Suzuki DR-Z400 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kawasaki KLR650 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kawasaki Ninja 500R - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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D.C. to Colorado first year riding, bad idea. I'll hope you take a few day trips & overnighters before you try that. It is tougher then you think to manage a bike for that kinda highway time, or day after day.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
Sichko
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Thanks for the responses.

Quote:
D.C. to Colorado first year riding, bad idea. I'll hope you take a few day trips & overnighters before you try that. It is tougher then you think to manage a bike for that kinda highway time, or day after day.
I do plan on making multiple day/night trips and working up to full weekend trips before this. Probably starting taking back roads to Phili, Harrisburg, Richmond areas, then maybe work my way South into the Carolina's and finish the summer doing some full weekend trips to Boston and/or Atlanta. Of course getting to some of these places might be more hassle than their worth... So I will study before I go.

Quote:
You can't hardly go wrong with a 750 Shadow....or an 800 Suzuki......or a 900 Vulcan.
Thanks, I am leaning towards the Shadow at this point but on your suggestion I ran into the Suzuki Intruder which looks about what I am looking for (just have not seen any for sale).

Other questions... How about bikes with significant miles (20,000+) and what to look for when buying/ questions to ask when inspecting bikes?

Anyone have suggestions and recommendations for good insurance?
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:46 PM   #6
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Check the physical condition. dings, dents, cracks and scuffs are all normal things that CAN happen due to a bad driver, a simple fall or they could be an indication of something majorly wrong. More than a couple dings or scuffs and a price that is "Too good to be true" is probably... too good to be true.

What I mean to say is that if the price is amazing and there are dings, dents and cracks in the bike there is probably something more wrong with it than you want to worry about and while you MAY have passed up a great deal, I wouldn't bet on it. Unless you have the mechanical know-how to check if the frame is straight and to tell if the engine is running perfectly I would avoid buying a bike thats beat.

That said. 20k miles isn't a big deal if the bike has been taken care of and has had its maintenance done. If they changed the oil, never dumped the bike, took care of it, then 20k miles isn't a big deal. Remember a bike sitting is generally WORSE than a bike heavily used, as long as its being used properly.

ALSO a word of caution. People that sell their bikes tend to try and tell you that their special modifications are worth more. They are not. Chopped pipes, special "X-brand performance exhaust," stroked out engines and fancy air covers do NOT increase the value of the bike. Frame modifications, raked out forks and giant ape hanger handle bars can even be illegal.

Modifications LOWER the value of the bike not raise it. Remember the more that is stock the more the bike is worth.

Friend of mine got fleeced on a "super cheap sportster" that was originally an 883 but had "a kit to make it a 1200" and "Had custom ape hangers" and was "Super cheap"

Turns out the thing had a bent frame and he ended up losing his bike after being pulled over for having illegal bars. (Mostly because he was a douche to the cop.)

Don't get screwed.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Star Ride View Post
D.C. to Colorado first year riding, bad idea. I'll hope you take a few day trips & overnighters before you try that. It is tougher then you think to manage a bike for that kinda highway time, or day after day.
Also, this is good advice. The best advice I've heard from someone about touring on a bike is "Plan like you would a car, then give yourself 4 extra days for when you can't do the miles"

Its not meant to be an insult, it IS harder to ride a bike for long periods. Granted all my experience is trails and dirt but after a day of riding I don't want to stand up for the next 24 hours.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:17 AM   #8
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Example: I have been riding since 93 or 94. The last 4 years I rode daily, but have had a company vehicle the last 18 months, so have not been riding as much lately. Yesterday I went on a group ride, 250 miles of mountain roads (I was 2 up) and we stopped 5 times, once for rain & to eat, the others were sight seeing & fuel. I, even with the experience I have & having had a good nights sleep the night before was exhausted. I have ridden as much as 800 miles in a single day before and don't remember being that tired. It is hard to predict how your body will handle a long day.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:51 PM   #9
Sichko
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Thanks for the replies.

I have pretty much settled on the Honda shadow 750, though a 600 would probably be fine as well. Anyone have experience with these/ no common problems, things to watch out for?

Also if anyone is in the DC area and knows good shops to go to and good places to buy equipment, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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