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  1. #26
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    Feb 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferniebiker View Post
    You guys really suggest the Suzuki sv-650 as a beginner bike? 0-60 in under 4 seconds is faster than most "hot" sports cars, a lot of bike to get yourself in trouble with! I bought a dual sport as my first bike and am still very happy with it after 2 years. It's a klr 650 and I have to say it has been bomber, not too fast, not to slow. It is a bit of a tall bike for u but with a corbin seat these guys made it work:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=254501
    IF said person wants to get into sportbikes, then yes. That's a big if. As was also said, the F2/ F3 CBRs wouldn't be a bad idea either. The F series CBRs were MUCH more newbie friendly than the current 600cc lineups.

    OP- go to a bunch of dealerships, sit on a bunch of bikes. Get a feel for what you find comfortable/ what you like looking at. A relationship with a motorcycle is much different than the one you have with a car..

    Try sitting on the dual sports. I think most of them will have a seat height a little too high for what you want, but fuck what I think. Find out for yourself.

    Try sitting on the sportbikes. You might not like the feet back, hands down approach. Then again, you might. Suzuki no longer makes the SV, but Triumph has the Street Triple, Yamaha has the FZ6, Kawasaki has the Z1000, Ducati has the Monster. Those all have similar ergos to the SV650, so they will give you an idea. Suzuki replaced the SV with the Gladius, but fuck the Gladius.

    Try sitting on the cruisers. Feet front like a lazyboy, but on a lot of them if you hit a bump it goes directly to your tailbone, because your legs are so unweighted. Lots of people like this seating position.. it's all personal.

  2. #27
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    I got lots of time for bike shopping, but plan to start checking things out at dealers in the next few months or so to see what feels right. Won't even be doing a course until April. Thanks so much guys. I have lots to try and to consider. I was sure most folks would say go with the 250cc to start but then again this is TGR so i should have known better

    But it makes good sense to consider a better bike up front that will still be manageable as a first bike yet allow for growth as a rider. I'm super stoked for the info thus far.

    Sent from my XT907 using TGR Forums
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  3. #28
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    I'll go ahead an offer an alternate opinion.

    I started off with a used Kawi Ninja 250 (I was the third owner) and was glad I did. I was able to ride it for a year and then sell it for $200 less than I bought it for. Don't listen to the people that say it can't get out of it's own way...okay yes compared to a full-on litre bike it's very slow...but it will still out accelerate 95% of the cars out there. It also will cruise just fine at 70.

    Eventually I moved up to a 600 cc sportbike but sold it after a while because I wasn't a good enough rider to get anywhere near it's top end and it was pretty boring below 90.

    Whatever you do start with something cheap...you may have the dropsies at first and just because you think it's the coolest thing now, doesn't mean you'll feel that way after awhile. Start cheap, learn quick, and then sell it for a small loss and get what you really want.

  4. #29
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    Apr 2012
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    ^^ That's not a bad plan at all. Pretty much exactly what I did. Ninja 250 or six months, 650 for a couple years, and I'm going to get a 900 or 1000 next. Probably lost about a grand over the course of the two bikes. Those 250s hold their value super well, and if you drop it o lay it down (which you probably will) it's not a huge deal.

  5. #30
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    Oct 2012
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    141
    Not going to give a long persuasive speech but please look at a triumph street triple

    IMHO best of everything.

  6. #31
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    I started on a Kawi Ninja 250 as well. 0-60 in less than 6 seconds isn't really slow. It being light and easy to put your feet down is good for a new rider too. Sure, you may want to trade up in 6 months or so but that isn't really a big deal.

  7. #32
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    Dec 2012
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    When people say "laying down" a street bike what do they mean because I never understood the logic of buying a 250cc because you think you'll drop it.

    Dropping it in the garage and breaking the mirror, turn signal and the brake lever? or high siding at 70 mph? Because in either case it doesn't matter whether you are on a 250cc, 600cc or a Hayabusa. In the first instance you replace the broken pieces on the bike, and in the second instance your insurance company is out 1 bike and they replace the broken pieces on your body. Asphalt and an oncoming car don't care if you fell off a Ninja 250 or a Goldwing.

  8. #33
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    I'll throw my .02 cents in. 250 is probably too slow, (you will want something else really quick),if you have much experience with other motorized sports. My starter was ninja 500. Super easy to ride, comfortable, fine hwy bike. Rode it hard and sold for more than I paid.

    If you have zero experience and plan on trading for better bike after a month or two then 250 is great.

    I wouldn't start with a street bike, even 600's are crazy fast.

    If I were to buy bike for best friend/family i would steal them to the Kawasaki versys or sportier looking other model, can't remember the name. 650 parallel twin, plenty of power, but really easy to ride. I think this is a great choice if you plan on keeping the bike awhile.

    It's much more fun to ride a slower bike hard than really fast bike at low percentage of it's abilities. Don't even think of liter bike, 60-200kph in few seconds welling on 3rd... Too easy to get in trouble as new rider.

    Good luck. Have fun.

    Ps.

    Many of my friends now ride dual sports and have more fun than ever...

    Slower bike can be more fun

  9. #34
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    Make sure your life insurance does not exclude death in a mototrcycle accident. Some do. I'm being serious.

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using TGR Forums

  10. #35
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    There are only 2 kinds of motorcycles, those that have been down and those that will go down........
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSECS View Post
    There are only 2 kinds of motorcycles, those that have been down and those that will go down........
    Understood...kinda like road biking...

    Sent from my XT907 using TGR Forums
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  12. #37
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    Jan 2007
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    Not sure if this has been said but the klr650 is damn tough to beat for fun and cheap to no maintenance.

    I've owned several bikes and totaled two of them being hit by other motorists.

    Drive like everyone is out to kill you. And stay out of town if possible.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberridge View Post
    When people say "laying down" a street bike what do they mean because I never understood the logic of buying a 250cc because you think you'll drop it.

    Dropping it in the garage and breaking the mirror, turn signal and the brake lever? or high siding at 70 mph? Because in either case it doesn't matter whether you are on a 250cc, 600cc or a Hayabusa. In the first instance you replace the broken pieces on the bike, and in the second instance your insurance company is out 1 bike and they replace the broken pieces on your body. Asphalt and an oncoming car don't care if you fell off a Ninja 250 or a Goldwing.
    This is what I think of as far as "laying it down" [i never focus on dropping it]



    Of course Marco #58 is dead now. RIP


    I have been riding since I was 12 , first bike a CL350 Honda, so I went through the crazy "I'm never going to die" phase, the "I need to step away from this before I die" and now "I missed riding and am back for life".
    The riding school is a great way to start with a supportive group and the best way to start at "mid life", seen far too many Harley newbies crash out.
    I also think the SV650 is a good choice for a starter that can be used for light weekend touring/camping with some bags. There are also a lot of older cruiser style bikes out there that would be a great choice for a newby rider. A bike you can sit upright and flatfooted with decent mirror view will make the street riding easier till as a previous poster said "neck swiveling"[or something like that] becomes second nature. I always ride under the asumption that everyone wants to kill me and never stop scanning for possible trouble. Be very aware of "target fixation" , like a snowboarder, on a bike you go where you look.
    The KLR650 though a great bike has a 35" seat height. A 6'4" friend of mine bought one cheap after someone dropped his twice riding down his steep driveway.

    Have fun!
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

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  14. #39
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    Apr 2006
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    I would suggest a Honda enduro and put semi dirt tires on it. It's what I learned on and is lighter and a little easier to maneuver Cheap to work on and reliable
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16

    2018/2019 (24/32)

  15. #40
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    Mar 2004
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    Really liking the concept of a dual sport (like the KLR650) - especially with Maine's roads (lots of frost heaves on the back roads), but concerned about the saddle height at 35"...especially with 30" inseam on my legs.

    Guess its time to go throw my legs over a few to get a feel for what feels right in the saddle, i.e., sportbike feel vs. dual sport feel.
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  16. #41
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vt-Freeheel View Post
    No chicken strips there!

    Agreed. I'd really concentrate on fit on my first bike.

    I think you get this from all the posts, but I'll reinforce it anyway...go sit on a bunch of bikes and buy one that's comfortable, and don't worry about how many cc's are between your legs.

    One thing to remember when sitting on bikes in the showroom: there's no wind. So an enduro or cruiser (without a fairing) with and upright posture and nice wide handlebars that feels great in the showroom, will have you thinking you have a sheet of plywood strapped to your chest at 55mph. A slightly forward leaning posture and not-so-wide bars is a good compromise for the street. And if you do go enduro/dualsport watch that seat height. I'm 6'2" and while I've not ridden the KLR, I've ridden KTM's and those seats are high. On dirt or trail there is seldom flat ground so I'll end up un my tiptoes a fair amount...which is not great when you are starting out and have a lot to think about.
    Last edited by Timberridge; 01-23-2013 at 08:22 AM.

  17. #42
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterslovo View Post
    Really liking the concept of a dual sport (like the KLR650) - especially with Maine's roads (lots of frost heaves on the back roads), but concerned about the saddle height at 35"...especially with 30" inseam on my legs.
    Look at the V-strom 650 - less dirt worthy than the klr, but has a lower seat and might be more comfortable on a 60 mile commute.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterslovo View Post
    Understood...kinda like road biking...

    Sent from my XT907 using TGR Forums
    Yeah, but motorcycles going down are usually more difficult to walk away from. Having said that I loved my bike and always enjoyed the thrill of the ride. Just gotta have yer head on a 360 degree swivel at all times. Definitely made me a much better driver and teaches you self defense pretty damn quick.
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Look at the V-strom 650 - less dirt worthy than the klr, but has a lower seat and might be more comfortable on a 60 mile commute.
    Yeah, the KLR is super tall. With a 30" inseam I can barely get my feet down on one. Also, with a single cylinder, they are notorious for rattling you silly on long rides.

  20. #45
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    There is a reason you'll find the KLR650 mentioned again (and again) in threads like this, both here and on ADVrider (the TGR for dual-sporters, but more polite).

    The best tip is to get an older one. They didn't change--at all--from 1995 through 2007. There is one small mechanical thing inside the engine (doohickey) that needs to be fixed, and the front brake is kind of a joke, but otherwise they are bulletproof, reliable, fast enough to scare a beginner, and can be had for $2500. Buy one and ride it until it bores you (you'll learn whether your next bike will be a faster streetbike like a street triple or SV650, or even something faster or a big dual sport like a BMW or KTM). Don't be afraid of the height--plenty of guys our height ride them, and it's easy to swap in a set of suspension links that will lower it 1" until you get comfortable.

    When you get bored with the KLR, sell it to another guy who wants to learn. They last for a long time, so don't be afraid of 25k or more miles. Some guys even mod them (I put KX forks and brake on mine and turned it into a great dirt-oriented machine) and tour around the world on them.

    Regarding your commute--any upright bike without a HUGE windshield will be less than ideal over 65mph. I have ridden thousands of miles on KLRs, some of them at sustained 70+mph, and it's not fun. Below 65, though, it's really not too bad. I don't really get off on riding fast on straight roads, but I do like to see and feel the wind, so I strip windshields from all of my bikes--you will probably find that no windshield is actually quieter and calmer than a mini-one like the KLR has. Turbulence into your chin is the absolute worst. As a contrast, a sportbike will be very uncomfortable at speeds lower than 80 since you need the wind to push into your chest and take the weight off of your hands.

    One more thing: I started riding at 30 and found that mountain & road bike skills transferred well. The big thing you have to learn (off-road only) is to steer with the throttle, but otherwise it's similar. If you do ride off-road, STAND UP all the time--it will be safer, more fun, and will make you a better rider.

    Welcome to the asylum! Beware--motorcycles breed in the garage even more than bicycles.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  21. #46
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    Sep 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterslovo View Post
    Really liking the concept of a dual sport (like the KLR650) - especially with Maine's roads (lots of frost heaves on the back roads), but concerned about the saddle height at 35"...especially with 30" inseam on my legs.

    Guess its time to go throw my legs over a few to get a feel for what feels right in the saddle, i.e., sportbike feel vs. dual sport feel.
    The suspension is really soft on the klr so once you are on it, it sags into a lower position as well, as you said, go sit on some!

  22. #47
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    It is tall, but manageable. The Suzuki 650 twins (SV and V-strom) are great motors, but if you want to ride off-road the KLR is the clear choice--if for crash-worthiness alone. The Strom does not crash well.

    Vibration is a personal thing--some are bothered by it and others hardly notice it on the same bike. I have done consecutive 700 mile days on KLRs, and it's not fun but the wind is worse than the vibes for me.

    Comparing it to road biking is good, but remember the big difference is that on your moto you'll be going as fast or faster than your fastest road bike descent ALL THE TIME. That's why the danger is so much higher. ATGATT!!! Just get in the habit of putting on everything, every time and when you do go down you'll thank us.
    ride bikes, climb, ski, travel, cook, work to fund former, repeat.

  23. #48
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    Nov 2011
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    Well it comes down to what kind of roads you have around you to make the best of your bike. When I suggested the SV and F2/3s it was based on where I live. If you have twisty mountain roads all the way to work a motard might be awesome. Even a cbr 125 is a lot of fun on low speed twisty roads.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferniebiker View Post
    You guys really suggest the Suzuki sv-650 as a beginner bike? 0-60 in under 4 seconds is faster than most "hot" sports cars, a lot of bike to get yourself in trouble with!
    My feeling is, bikes don't get a rider in trouble, a rider gets himself into trouble. So just don't twist the throttle that far. That engine has a nice flat power curve and the guy we're talking to is 40, not 18. I think it's a fine choice.


    I would like to add though, that commuting 60 freeway miles on a regular basis is going to mean comfort is really important. I find my sport touring bike (a Honda Interceptor) to be pretty comfortable on the freeway. I've ridden a couple of cruisers that were much less so. I owned one that had an aftermarket windshield that had no aerodynamic design considerations, and the air stream was really dirty and hit me right at the top of my helmet. The resulting buffeting made riding really unpleasant. I've also ridden a friend's cruiser with no windshield, and having to fight the wind to stay sitting upright was really draining. I would guess that in general, factory windshields/fairings are designed well for comfort, and aftermarket ones will be a crapshoot.
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  25. #50
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    Sep 2007
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    I started on a Honda Shadow 750 ACE and that was pretty slow but manageable on the highway. Very forgiving bike IME. My next (and current) bike is a 2002 Honda VFR800 Interceptor. I would NOT recommend that bike for a beginner, although I would recommend it for anyone else!

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