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Old 07-26-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
Zkythen
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Default Finding the Right First Bike

I'm a college student in North Georgia, and my car is falling apart. I'm looking into buying a motorcycle to get me around, but quite frankly, I don't know where to begin. I know some about preformance bikes, and top-of-the-line stuff, and I even know some about the mechanics of a bike (my uncle is a mechanic). However, I'm looking for something that'll run within my budget.

So here's my question. What are a few motorcycles I should look at that are cheap, reliable, and have good gas milage? When I say cheap, I mean no more than about $7.5k, and by reliable, I mean I want to spend the least money on maintence as I possibly can for the next 3 or so years.

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
pushrod
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Z,

More info! Your height and inseam, and most importantly, the kind of bikes have you owned, and what riding experience you have.

My first candidate is the Suzuki SV-650. Great all-around bike, and you should be able to find several used examples for less than $5K.

PLEASE take the Motorcycle Safety Course, and buy some good safety gear (At least a fullface helmet, boots and jacket)!
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Man, you are really asking for it.

If I had to do it over I'd start with a Dual Purpose. The Kawasaki KLX250 would be good.

If you like sportbikes then the Ninja 250 is a good starter.

For cruisers any of the 650-800s would probably do.


Any of those would get good mileage. You can find the Ninja250 or the cruisers used fairly easily. Then when you decide to change bikes you won't lose much on resale. This would be true of a new KX250 since DPs usually have excellent resale values.

Whatever you choose be sure you buy and wear full gear, not just a helmet. Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course too.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:27 PM   #4
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I'm 130 lb, 5'11", 32 inseam. I've got some experience riding cruisers and sportbikes. Don't worry about me being safe, I'm working on that too. I'm going to be taking a safety course soon, and I'm definately getting safety gear. It's not a question for me, but a statement.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:45 PM   #5
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For $7.5k you can find a really nice pre-owned Sportster. You can get an 883 Low if height is a concern. I recommend the HDs mostly because once their initial depreciation is past, they will hold their value well. When you either trade up, or decide you aren't into the sport after all, you can get most of your money back out of the bike.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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Since you are on a budget and the concept of buying a starter bike and trading it in or selling it in 6 months probably isn't in you budget/time I will go with bigger bikes but not large. Kind of an acceptable larger bike that a beginner can still manage.

Sportster: $6700
You could do new and get an 883 or search for used and get the 1200.

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom/Classic: $7399
More go-power than the sportster but still useable for a newbie. Not much in used options as it is only in it's second year of existence.

Yamaha V-Star 650: $5800-6300
Less power than the HD or the Vulcan. You can get the 1100 version used for under $7500

Kawasaki 500R: $5000
New or used, well within budget. Seems to last forever.

Kawasaki 650R: $6400
Not many used bikes out there due to it being a newer model

Kawasaki Versys: $6900
First year in production.

Suzuki SV650 and SV650S: $6000-$6500
Used can be much cheaper. Just be sure it hasn't been beaten on by the previous owner.

Suzuki V-Strom 650: $6,699.00
Used model runs a bit cheaper, though they seem to retain their value pretty well from what I've seen. Not sure why. Just make sure the previous owner wasn't too adventurous with the bike.

Kawasaki KLR650: $5350
Recent redesign got great reviews. Older models can be had for a song and dance. Just be cautious of abuse. Tons of online community support.

Last edited by BrowningBAR : 07-26-2007 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:47 PM   #7
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BossHoss. The 500cid one, not that wimpy-ass 350 that you'll just outgrow in six months.

It's the only REAL "Man's Bike".

Or, if you're not quite man-enough for that, a Gixxer-thou is a good starter bike. But, you gotta be heavy-handed with that Ho', teach that beeotch who's The Daddy. 'Specially in the Georgia Mountains.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:51 PM   #8
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Some one hit the sauce a little early this evening...

I'm still waiting for the Honda Hawk to arrive.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrowningBAR View Post
I'm still waiting for the Honda Hawk to arrive.
I'll mail one to you. Expect the first piece to arrive by next Monday.

Oh yeah - some assembly may be required............
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:58 PM   #10
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Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on cadillacs

Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.

[CHORUS]
I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is a round.

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
Now, I never considered myself a thief
GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all of the chrome
The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

Now, up to now my plan went all right
'Til we tried to put it all together one night
And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.

The transmission was a '53
And the motor turned out to be a '73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.

So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help with an A-daptor kit
We had that engine runnin' just like a song
Now the headlight' was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got thru
Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

[CHORUS]
I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

[Spoken] Ugh! Yow, RED RYDER
This is the COTTON MOUTH
In the PSYCHO-BILLY CADILLAC Come on

Huh, This is the COTTON MOUTH
And negatory on the cost of this mow-chine there RED RYDER
You might say I went right up to the factory
And picked it up, it's cheaper that way
Ugh!, what model is it?

Well, It's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56
'57, '58' 59' automobile
It's a '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
'68, '69, '70 automobile.
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