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Thinking about buying a motorcycle.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chad Isaacs, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Well-Known Member

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    Well, after a "gentle" nudge from the other half I have been thinking about buying my first motorcycle. I have only ridden once and I was 6 then. I plan on taking a motorcycle class and all that and spending some time with her family as they all ride bikes.

    What should I be looking at? I am no interested in a crotch rocket. I would love a Harley but that is way out of my league right now. I just looked through some adds at E Bay and really liked a few Hondas but I really like the Vulcans.

    My projected budget will be 5k and I want something fairly new with low miles.
     
  2. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Well-Known Member

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    Gee, and I thought this was going to be about bicycles.[​IMG]
     
  3. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Well-Known Member

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    I would get something fast, or a chopper, but both are out of your league.
     
  4. mylan

    mylan Well-Known Member

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    They are out of yours too, why don't you hop on your bike and pedal on home now and leave the postings to someone who actually knows something about bikes with motors....
     
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Well-Known Member

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    Vulcan 800 and 800 classic both have that Harley look, bullet-proof motors, plenty of aftermarket goodies, and are very reasoanbly priced. From camp Honda like the 750 Spirit. The big Shadowers have shaft-drive (which I like), but they got hit with the ugly stick. For some cool Suzukis I wouldn't kick a 1400 Virago out of my garage (now the Boulevard S84). I'm really not familiar with Yamahas offerings at all. Victory will be out of your price range, same with Indian. You might score some luck with a Triumph bonneville, but you'd probably need to be in proximity to a dealer to find alot of used models.

    The 800 vulcan / 750 spirit will probably be your best bet. Add a Vance&Hines 'cruzer' exhaust and a pair of willie&max saddlebags to complete the biker lifestyle. (don't forget your leathers!).
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Well-Known Member

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    I've gone about 55mph on my Lemond Zurich coming down off the Tourmalet in France.... Does that count?

    I have about 5 bikes too, all non motorized [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Me too! I bought my wife a Trek 7300 Low-Step tonight, and picked my old mtn bike from the shop. Oh well, I got nothing on motorcycles. Sorry.
     
  8. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I will edit the title.

    I have never really considered a motorcycle, I hear all of the dangers etc. but my wife grew up riding with her grandfather and he was really the main influence on her.

    Saddle bags huh, maybe assless chaps and a leather jacket with fringes? I am reminded of the recent Bill Engvall skit.
     
  9. Fredster

    Fredster Well-Known Member

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    Kawasaki 250 is a nice starter motorcycle. Cheap, light and surprisingly fast. You could get one new with gear for under $5k.
     
  10. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Well-Known Member

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    Alright, the only 250 I could find is a Ninja, nice bike but not really what I am looking for.

    I also looked at the Honda Spirits, very nice and along the right lines! I assume stuff like a back rest and bags etc. are all aftermarket?


    I tried to change the subject line but I can't find how, any thoughts?
     
  11. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Well-Known Member

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    So off the topic of which bike, what are some things that I need to know about riding a bike? Like I said I have spent no time on one. I am going to get into a class but they obivously can't teach everything!


    actually, I am finding this pretty helpful.

    http://motorcycles.about.com/cs/begi...nrideabike.htm
     
  12. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Well-Known Member

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    Sign up for an MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) basic riding course. While you're waiting I'd read The Complete Idiot's Guide To Motorcycles.

    But a motorcycle is basically a really big bicycle with a motor. As long as you can ride a bike and drive a stick-shift, and aren't missing any limbs you should be riding without too much trouble.

    And no, I wouldn't recommend assless chaps. Thats just way too gay.... try leather pants. [​IMG]
     
  13. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Well-Known Member

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    You're right on about wanting to attend a riders class. Some of the best riders are out there are the ones smart enough to recognize how much a class can help.
    I bought my first bike about 3 years ago, a 2003 Yamaha YZF 600R. Cost was right what I wanted, it was 1300 miles and I bought it for $3500. I wouldn't start at anything smaller than a 600. A 250 is way to small, and after about 3 months of riding, your comfort level will go up and you'll want something bigger. Plus, if you have any height or weight to you, a 250 will make you look like you're on your way to your job at the circus.

    One thing I've always kept in mind when riding, always assume you are invisible to everyone on the road and be prepared to react when a situation occurs. Leave yourself plenty of distance and always ask yourself "What would I do if........?"
    During the day I always keep my high beam on, would rather have someone a little miffed at me, at least I know they see me. I try to sit up a little higher in the seat when in city traffic so hopefully cars can see me approaching. And I always give 4-5 flashes of my brake lights before I actually start slowing down so the cars behind me have a chance to see that I will be stopping soon.

    Hopefully that all makes sense. But if not, I'm sure BobbyG will offer up more of his years of experience to set you on the right path.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    Don't start shopping until you've completed the MSF course. Get signed up NOW www.msf-usa.org . Around here if you sign up now you may be lucky to get into a course in the fall. Harley-Davidson sponsors courses also that are more expensive but are good.

    If you like Harley-style cruiser motorcycles, you can't miss with the Kawasaki Vulcan 800/900 as a first bike. Other bikes to consider in this : Yamaha V-Star 1100, Virago 1100 or 750, Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 (for various reasons I'd avoid the 750 version), Suzuki Intruder or Marauder 800. The straight-back feet kicked-out in front riding position of these bikes can be uncomfortable for many people. For entry level metric cruiser-style motorcycles I personally think the Kawsakis are the best looking by a large margin.

    You'd be better off with a "Standard" style bike, one that's more "generic" and balanced, not sportbike, but not cruiser. Bikes in this Genre: Harley-Davidson standard Sportster, Kawasaki ZR-7/ZR-7S, Honda Nighthawk 750, Suzuki SV-650, Bandit 600, Yamaha F6. The unfortunate styling of these bikes may put you off. They are often bland or scream "I want to be a sportbike but I'm really not". But they are great bikes and really give you an idea of what you like about the sport.The 250 Ninja is generally considered a good starter bike. Personally I recommend something larger, it's nice to have more power sometimes you use the throttle to escape bad situations. On the sporty side the Kawasaki Ninja 500 and Suzuki GS500 are popular.

    Motorcycling is dangerous. There's a general philosophy ATGATT which I subscribe to. It means All The Gear All The Time. Meaning, cover yourself head to toe, including full face helmet, moto-specific armored boots, gloves, jacket, and pants. Leave the assless chaps and leather vests to people who don't care about road rash. The gear I'm talking about can be somewhat pricey, figure a full set of gear into your budget, at least $1000 for everything. Go to your local large bike shop and browse to see what's available. Personally I have three different sets, one for cold weather, one for intermediate weather, and a mesh jacket and pants for hot weather.
     
  15. Chad Isaacs

    Chad Isaacs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Actually, my son's school called me at work today and I had to go pick him up, he is not feeling well. When they called I said it would be 30 minutes or so but I was able to leave within a few moments so I stopped by the local Harley store for a few minutes. I almost crapped when I saw the price tags on some of the bikes there! They are as much, or even more than a mid range new car. Out of my league.

    I am going to research the class and see about getting on a list. I did see that they provide a bike to use while going through the course so that was somewhat of a relief to me. I would rather hold off on buying until I find the perfect machine. So far, I am set on a Vulcan but the way my mind works.. next week it may be something else.

    Oh, I am 6'3 and a "little" overweight so I certainly don't want a ride to the circus! I also don't want to buy a "starter" bike and then have to upgrade later. I would much rather buy one that I like and want that is more powerful now so 3 months later I will not suffer buyers remorse. Our budget it tight most times but now that my home theater room is just about done I can start thinking about my next toy!

    I do think I will start purchasing other things like helmets, gloves, boots etc. now 1 piece at a time. I assume I will want that gear before class anyway.
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    Great bargains to be had at places like www.sierratradingpost.com and www.newenough.com and www.motorcyclecloseouts.com. I bought my mesh jacket and new Marsee Adventure jacket (highly recommended) at Sierra. Oxtar sport boots from Motorcycle Closeouts. Go to a Metric shop to see examples of the different types of gear. A Harley shop is going to have mostly Genuine™ Harley-Davidson™ stuff which is grossly overpriced and often more decorative than functional. A good metric shop (Honda/Kawasaki/Suzuki/Yamaha/BMW/Ducati/Aprillia/Triumph/Moto-Guzzi etc.) will have a lot more variety.

    And keep an eye out for Honda 1100 Shadows, particularly the "Spirit" model and the much more attractive (but conspicuously less powerful) "ACE" models. I'd avoid the smaller Honda cruisers, they are going to be too small for you. The Kawasaki Vulcan 800 would probably fit you fairly well, may be a little small. The Yamaha V-Star 1100 or Virago 1100 is another good one to look for. Great heritige on that simple old air-cooled engine which dates back to 1979. Keep an eye on your local craigslist for bargains on used motos and expect to pay $500 or more for a "tune up" at a local shop to make sure everything is up to par (change hydraulic fluids, coolant if necessary, etc).
     
  17. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Well-Known Member

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    The factory will sell you stuff but it will be alot cheaper to shop aftermarket, especially for saddlebags.
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Well-Known Member

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    I got my last jacket and gloves at bikerleather.com (Jacket BMJ210 $139 Gloves BGL2095 $18) and was wearing them when I got hit by a left-turn car at 55mph. They worked pretty good.

    You'll want to try a variety of brands of helmet out before you buy, diffrent models (even from the same company) can fit your head diffrently, so go to a dealership that stocks alot of lids. The most expensive models may not be the most comfortable. (and if its uncomfortable you wont wear it).
     
  19. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Well-Known Member

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    "...but I really like the Vulcans."

    Me, too. I bought a new 2005 1600 Nomad. Way more bike than you want to start out. But, the Vulcan 800s and the new 900s are good machines.

    The 900s are fuel injected, as is my Nomad. I love having no altitude problems, or need for carb jetting. Plenty of power. You could probably find a used 900 classic for close to your price range. Add some saddle bags and a windshield, and you are good to go.

    Keep in mind as you shop that 650cc or less will likely come up short on the interstate. You will get to interstate speeds, but your bike will likely be wound out at that point, without much in reserve.
     
  20. Buzz Foster

    Buzz Foster Well-Known Member

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    "You'll want to try a variety of brands of helmet out before you buy, diffrent models (even from the same company) can fit your head diffrently, so go to a dealership that stocks alot of lids. The most expensive models may not be the most comfortable. (and if its uncomfortable you wont wear it)."

    Don't skimp on this. The best protection is a Shoei, Arai, or Suomy. Shoei fits my head. Try them all.
     

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