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Old 08-07-2007, 06:31 PM   #1
King_Rodney04
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Default sportster for a first?

first off thanks for taking the time.
my favorite bike is, along w/ many other people, the sportster. a co-worker suggested against it because it is top heavy, and suggested the dyna super glide along with honda shadows, both of which i'm taking into consideration. but if a sportster pops up and in my price range i'm very tempted to take it. so, i guess my question is, should i put the sportster idea on hold and look for a diff. bike for starters?
thnx!

P.S. my class starts in about a month, wish me luck, and i can't wait to get on the road with everyone.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:42 PM   #2
sachiwilson
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How strong are you? Can you muscle around a top-heavy bike? How about a heavy bike, period? The Dyna and the Shadow are not lightweights. Even though they may be a bit less top-heavy than the Sportster, they will still be hard to muscle around.

As far as I am concerned none of those bikes are good for a first bike. But get what you want, and deal with the consequences.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:37 PM   #3
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I wouldn't choose a Sporty or Dyna for a first bike. You'd be better off on a GS500 Suzuki or an EX500 Kawasaki. Preferably used because 99 times out of 100 you're going to drop it or stall it at some point and a lighter bike, with a more reasonable powerband is going to be easier on you and easier on your wallet. If, after you gain a little experiance and want to stick with the sport then step up. I wouldn't spend Harley bucks for a first bike.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
findangle
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i got a sporty 1200c as a first bike.. i really wish i had gotten something smaller but it doesn't keep me from riding. it IS top heavy. not very confidence inspiring.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:42 AM   #5
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Get a dual sport and experience the full range of motorcycling.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:52 AM   #6
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Sportsters make a terrific first bike. Each year HD sells tens of thousands of them to new riders. Among their benefits:

Good power without being overwhelming. Stable at Interstate speeds, but fun to ride on the twisties. Easily handled at low speeds in parking lots etc.

Huge aftermarket for accessories like bags, windshields, seats, and performance mods. For a lot of riders, making the bike "their own" is half the fun!

A variety of models to choose from, ranging from the 883 Low (very popular with the ladies) to the 1200 Custom, nicely tricked out right from the factory.

Solid resale value, especially compared to UJM starter bikes. In fact, many dealerships have a program where if you decide to trade up within the first year of ownership, they'll trade in your Sportster at full purchase price toward a new bike.

As for the weight and being top-heavy, unless you plan to carry the bike upstairs to put in your apartment each evening, I doubt that will be an issue. I ride almost every weekend with a very petite (5'4") lady who's never had the slightest issue with the weight, which is around 550 lbs. Motorcycling on pavement is not a strength sport.

By all means have fun visiting dealerships etc. and check out as many bikes as you have time for. There have never been so many great choices in bikes to choose from. You can use the info you get from that experience to size up used bikes as well. But, if you want a Harley, get one! I can't tell you how many customers I had when I was selling HDs who came in with their less than year old "starter" bike to trade it in for the bike they really wanted all along. And if you're really sure motorcycling isn't just a passing fancy for you, skip the Sporty and get the Dyna!

Good Luck and Have Fun!
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Old 08-08-2007, 06:18 AM   #7
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I don't think there is anything wrong with a Sporty for a first bike if you feel comfortable on it. The key to success in motorcycling is to LEARN and keep your ego in check. If you don't know something, ASK. If you aren't good at something, PRACTICE. If you LEARN, ASK, and PRACTICE, it doesn't really matter what bike you ride. Some may be a little easier than others to ride initially, but if you aren't comfortable or you don't really like the bike you are on, you are less likely to ride it and learn the skills you need to survive. I'd say if you want a Sporty, get one.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:59 PM   #8
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yeah longride has it right. kenneth i think is trying to get us killed.

Honestly someone with as little experience with motorcycles as i have has no business trying to learn on a 1200c sportster. I know this cause i am currently learning on a 1200c sportster.

It feels very heavy in tight low speed turns and I'm often worried about sliding the rear wheel out if i go through too fast.


It's doable and if you want a harley definitely go for it (for all its faults i've fallen in love with mine).. but it's definitely not a beginners bike so be prepared and have some restraint.. its enough bike to get you into a lot of trouble in a hurry which can be a little scary to us noobs.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by findangle View Post
yeah longride has it right. kenneth i think is trying to get us killed.

Honestly someone with as little experience with motorcycles as i have has no business trying to learn on a 1200c sportster. I know this cause i am currently learning on a 1200c sportster.

It feels very heavy in tight low speed turns and I'm often worried about sliding the rear wheel out if i go through too fast.


It's doable and if you want a harley definitely go for it (for all its faults i've fallen in love with mine).. but it's definitely not a beginners bike so be prepared and have some restraint.. its enough bike to get you into a lot of trouble in a hurry which can be a little scary to us noobs.

For heaven's sake, I stopped trying to kill people years ago, including myself (helmet post notwithstanding). My comments on Sportsters for 1st bikes come from knowing, selling, and seeing countless riders start with them. Obviously if you go buy a 350 lb. Honda Rebel with 15hp, it's going to be (Ta Da!) 150 lbs. lighter and a LOT slower. But I maintain that if you take the MSF class and use good sense in your early riding days you'll have no issue with any aspect of the Sportster. AND, you won't wind up with a POS bike that either turns you off to motorcycling all together or that flushes thousands of dollars down the drain when you decide to go buy a truly useful bike.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:42 AM   #10
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I'd rather see people out there learning on Sportys than 600 sport bikes.
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