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wdr1 08-18-2009 10:08 PM

First Bike for a Big Guy
 
I've never ridden a bike before, but looking forward to getting started. I've registered for the MSF course in a few weeks & started looking around for my first bike. (My thinking is I should get a bike fairly soon after the course to keep practicing.)

The challenge is my size -- I'm 6'6", 280 lbs. Reading the " New Rider? Read this thread FIRST!" thread, feedback I've gotten from friends who ride is I'll probably need something powerful than the bikes mentioned there. At the same time, I'm worried about handling a bigger bike.

Any advice from some of the experienced riders my size? My primary concern is safety, so I'm open to just about any type of bike.

Thanks!
-Bill

newagetwotone 08-18-2009 10:37 PM

1st rule: dont listen to friends.

Look at the KLR650. Dual sports have higher saddles, more leg and arm room and a 650 single WILL be enough power for you.

seruzawa 08-19-2009 06:38 AM

In the first place anyone who recommends a "powerful" bike for a beginner is not a "friend". Some math will show that even the beginners bikes mentioned in the thread have better power to weight ratios than most cars. With even a big rider like your self a medium displacement bike like an SV650 has a power to weight ratio similar to a Porsche Targa.

You are learning several skills here. You need a bike that is easy to ride as you learn more than how to ride. You are also learning how to deal with cars drivers who are largely out to get you and know that they can get off scot free by merely saying "I didn't see him". Cops and juries always buy this lie.

sarnali2 08-19-2009 07:40 AM

Second the KLR or a Suzuki 650 V Strom, duel sports usually have the best seating positions for taller riders

pushrod 08-19-2009 07:48 AM

12r is a fellow big'n. He'll chime in here in a bit.

I'll add a vote for one of the small DP bikes.

SmokeU 08-19-2009 07:53 AM

What's a Porsche Targa?

sarnali2 08-19-2009 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokeU (Post 221991)
What's a Porsche Targa?


911 rag top....cool car, really fast!

SmokeU 08-19-2009 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 221993)
911 rag top....cool car, really fast!


Isn't the convertable and Targa a different model? I thought the Targa was a removeable panel roof and the cabriolet was the convertable?

;-)

seruzawa 08-19-2009 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmokeU (Post 222001)
Isn't the convertable and Targa a different model? I thought the Targa was a removeable panel roof and the cabriolet was the convertable?

;-)

Either way they are really stupid fast for cars.

The_AirHawk 08-19-2009 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 221993)
911 rag top....cool car, really fast!

Not a ragtop - think '80s "T-Top", without the "T-Bar" and Mullet.

sarnali2 08-19-2009 08:59 AM

Oh Dude, what about the acid washed jeans, big white high tops and Scorpions cassette????

SmokeU 08-19-2009 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 222005)
Either way they are really stupid fast for cars.


This is true.

Once I got to take a spin in an '02 Viper GTS/ACR. That was a BLAST!! Although I had to be careful, the sticker on the window said $82K. My dad was the F&I manager at a Chrysler dealer and he called me up at college one day asking if I wanted to come see it.

12er 08-19-2009 10:14 AM

Chiming in: KLR650, pick up a decent used one for a $2500 or so and ride the wheels off of it. Crank up the preload to max on the rear shock (only 5 settings) and pick up a set of progressive fork springs and 15w fork oil if the previous owner hasnt already (about $150 or less for the springs and oil). Enjoy.

newagetwotone 08-19-2009 01:28 PM

Hopefully the OP is not one of those people that come here and want us to tell them that they NEED a fullsize harley bagger or a CBR1000 because of their size.

Friend of mine was talking about buying a bike "to save gas" on his trip to work (about 30 miles each way) and he's "a big guy." he's not as big as the OP. in fact he's shorter than me, like 5'10 and 230 lbs (According to him) I'm 6'1 220... he says to me "im going to need something with some power cause of how much i weight" So we put him on the CL175..... heh, it was funny. he rode around on it some, let it stall a couple times, and said "Wow thats fast"

12er 08-19-2009 03:55 PM

I'd really like to pick up a late 70's targa for a runabout for my wife. She likes older small convertibles and at least the targa gives you a little security with the hardtop back on. Just have to watch the pendulum effect in the rain, that tail wagging is unnerving till you get used to it.

Dr_Sprocket 08-19-2009 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sarnali2 (Post 222011)
Oh Dude, what about the acid washed jeans, big white high tops and Scorpions cassette????

HERE I AM......... ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE!!!!

Dr_Sprocket 08-19-2009 04:23 PM

On a serious note... I am 6'5" at 195lbs. I started on a Honda Nighthawk (1985 CB700SC). The Honda Nighthawk has plenty of power for a big guy like you, but not sooo terribly much to get you in trouble. My brother's first bike was also a Honda Nighthawk (1993 CB750). He is 6'2" and 165lbs.

For a person of your size, I would suggest skipping the Ninja 250 and looking for a 10-year-old-ish Japanese standard to learn on for the first two years. Commit to yourself to ride the pig for two years, and focus on enhancing your riding skills. Any "friend" who chides you for doing so is simply not a friend at all.

Good luck and let us know what you eventually decide to get!

goldrobe 08-22-2009 01:45 PM

The Monkey & The Football
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 221981)
In the first place anyone who recommends a "powerful" bike for a beginner is not a "friend". Some math will show that even the beginners bikes mentioned in the thread have better power to weight ratios than most cars. With even a big rider like your self a medium displacement bike like an SV650 has a power to weight ratio similar to a Porsche Targa.

You are learning several skills here. You need a bike that is easy to ride as you learn more than how to ride. You are also learning how to deal with cars drivers who are largely out to get you and know that they can get off scot free by merely saying "I didn't see him". Cops and juries always buy this lie.

I'm 6'2" 230 lbs; I'm concerned that I would look like a monkey humping a football on a SV650. I'm not joking.

lari 08-22-2009 03:12 PM

you just said "i never" then, why don´t you try with a big scooter first(you are big too) like yamaha t-max 500 there´s a lot of power good handling,and no gears(shifting).is very smooth to ride. you get use to ride first...
am i ****ed up?

newagetwotone 08-22-2009 07:09 PM

well two things about the looking like a monkey on an SV. first off, why do you care what you look like? Second off you'll look fine, I'm almost an inch shorter than you and about 10 lbs lighter. The SV650 is a full sized bike. Not some giant bloated cruiser, not something like a RS125 (tiny 2 stroke racebike.)

The best idea is to go sit on it. remember that most of the "big" sports bikes arnt all that much bigger, if your looking for a standard bike how about the Triumph Bonnieville series?

wdr1 08-23-2009 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newagetwotone (Post 222043)
Hopefully the OP is not one of those people that come here and want us to tell them that they NEED a fullsize harley bagger or a CBR1000 because of their size.

Heh, quite the opposite. Just looking for something safe to get started on.

Thanks to everyone for the advice. For my next steps, I'm going to do some online research into the KLR650, Suzki 650 V Storm & the Honda Nighthawk, as well as see how the feel at a dealership.

-Bill

sarnali2 08-23-2009 07:37 AM

I think the Nighthawk will be small for you, the KLR and Vstrom should work. A Buell Ulysses would work too though the seat/peg relationship is a little more cramped..still a pretty tall bike.

newagetwotone 08-23-2009 11:13 AM

Wait, what?


anyways, Sarnali, a Uly as a first bike? It was a beast off road...

denise04 08-23-2009 01:02 PM

iavean nitehawk for sale im taking 1600 for it its a god beginners bike call me if interested sheila at 8642011625

goldrobe 08-23-2009 06:33 PM

Thank you all for your positive input.

wdr1 08-23-2009 06:59 PM

Out of curiosity, what do you guys think of a Honda Shadow Aero?

newagetwotone 08-23-2009 07:59 PM

Anytime, we're reasonable people when people arn't rude, know-it-alls ect. Its not like you came in and said "I can ride a harley bagger cause im strong!" or "i Can ride a 'busa cause i've driven a fast car!"

then again if you mention pie around here you might get people going nuts too.... we're a strange bunch.

seruzawa 08-23-2009 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newagetwotone (Post 222389)
Anytime, we're reasonable people when people arn't rude, know-it-alls ect. Its not like you came in and said "I can ride a harley bagger cause im strong!" or "i Can ride a 'busa cause i've driven a fast car!"

then again if you mention pie around here you might get people going nuts too.... we're a strange bunch.

What kind of pie? Not peach! I #@#$%%^ hate #$%#@! peach pie!

newagetwotone 08-23-2009 11:47 PM

um...Oreo pie?

SmokeU 08-24-2009 06:46 AM

I like pecan pie.

pushrod 08-24-2009 08:46 AM

wdr1,

I think the Aero would not give you anywhere to put your legs.

But, try it out!

Be aware that cruisers have the 'sit up straight' ergonomic style. Folks with lower back trouble may have problems with that position.

ShawnKing 08-26-2009 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wdr1 (Post 221970)
Any advice from some of the experienced riders my size? My primary concern is safety, so I'm open to just about any type of bike.

I'm going to give you the complete opposite advice from most others.

I'm almost your size (6'3", 250lbs) and, after my MSF course, I rented a bunch of bikes, including a Honda Shadow 750, a Honda ST1300 and a Honda VTX 1300.

I ended up buying a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe.

The experienced riders reading this are now gasping in shock. :)

The RSTD was an almost *900lbs* touring cruiser. According to all the advice new riders get, I did *everything* wrong - new rider, bike too big/powerful/heavy, I took my wife riding a week after I got the bike (granted, I had put 1200 miles on it that week). We even took the bike on our honeymoon.

But I knew my limits, I knew what I wanted out of riding and I knew that, if I was careful, I wouldn't have (many) issues. I rode The Dragon in TN 6 months after getting the bike.

I rode that bike for 36,000 miles and would still have it...if I hadn't crashed it.... :(

But the crash had nothing to do with the size of the bike and everything to do with the operator's inattention to the task of riding.

My point is - yes, start on a bike *you* know you can handle. If you are worried about a large bike, don't get one. But don't be scared off of them if you know yourself well enough to know you can handle it.

newagetwotone 08-26-2009 03:57 PM

http://alexsah.com/wp-content/upload...10/epicze4.jpg

Giving out advice that bad should be illegal...

The_AirHawk 08-26-2009 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newagetwotone (Post 222649)
http://alexsah.com/wp-content/upload...10/epicze4.jpg

Giving out advice that bad should be illegal...

It works for some people. Most will not have ShawnKing's success.

It's not a failure, just not "standard operating procedure".

ShawnKing 08-26-2009 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The_AirHawk (Post 222650)
It works for some people. Most will not have ShawnKing's success.

Agreed. I would never suggest that it is the right solution for *everyone*.

For the vast majority of new riders, getting a "smaller" bike is the best solution.

wdr1 08-27-2009 12:04 AM

Thanks for the advice, ShawnKing. I'll probably stay away from something that big for now, as I wouldn't feel comfortable/have the confidence to start. One day, though!

Out of curiosity, how'd you like the Shadow & VTX? I sat on both at a dealer, and while I'm still green, both felt okay. (At least they were a lot better than some others bikes that were almost comical to see me on...)

newagetwotone 08-27-2009 08:14 AM

Remember when you go to deside if somethings comfortable or not to sit on it for 20 minutes or so.

Cruisers hurt my back. i have terrible back and neck problems (dirt bike/bicycle crashes, climbing accidents ect) and the first 5 minutes on a cruiser are ok, afterwards my lower back flares up.

12er 08-27-2009 11:11 AM

Also picture a 70mph head wind when trying on bikes, will you be holding on for dear life laying back or are you leaning into it a little bit? All things to consider. If you need a refresher on that 70mph head wind stick your head out the window on the freeway or the hand surfing thing, then picture possibly hours of that and how that will effect whatever pressure point you feel in your posture on the bike.

ShawnKing 08-27-2009 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wdr1 (Post 222666)
Out of curiosity, how'd you like the Shadow & VTX?

The Shadow was *way* too small for me power-wise. When i first started riding, it was a lot of interstate stuff and I didn't feel the Shadow had enough get up and go without having to manage the power band (which I didn't know how to do as a new rider).

I liked the VTX a lot and, if I didn't have the need for the touring cruiser at the time, I probably would have gotten it.

Quote:

(At least they were a lot better than some others bikes that were almost comical to see me on...)
LOL I know the feeling!

BTW, I now ride a Yamaha FJR 1300 - *don't* get that bike as a new rider. :)

SmokeU 08-28-2009 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShawnKing (Post 222759)
The Shadow was *way* too small for me power-wise. When i first started riding, it was a lot of interstate stuff and I didn't feel the Shadow had enough get up and go without having to manage the power band (which I didn't know how to do as a new rider).


WTF is "managing the power band?"


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