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Old 05-24-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
loganb
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Default any motorcycle riders

just wanted some opions on what a good starter bike is for someone who only has experience on a dirt bike like when i was 15. i have done some research online and alot of places say that for a first time rider you should start out on a 250cc bike maybe 500cc depending on your build and how much you know. i saw one that i liked its the yamaha V star 250. and im 6' 170lbs if that matters. the reason i want to get a motorcycle is so that my wife and i are not a one vehicle family here in hawaii cause the army only ships one car. thanks

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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Lots of good info in my thread from last year.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f19/the_wife-wants-me-buy-bike-advice-119657/

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:12 AM   #3
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I bought a street bike a couple of years ago with the same experience as you - teenage dirt bike riding. I read all the advice etc and ended up buying a 1988 Yamaha Radian for $500. This bike was great - it had a lot of power for a first bike and was really about as much as I could handle at that time, leaving some upside. I think if I had gotten a 250, and I almost did, I would have been looking for a new bike within a month or two.
The sad end to my story is that I sold the bike a year later as a result of the extreme unpopularity my bike had in my house and in my family (and my dad had a Harley growing up). SWMBO got the best of me, took all the fun out of it. But that's another story. I'll just add this - SWMBO had agreed to the bike, didn't love the idea, but ok with it, but then, the day I get the bike - that night! - my wife gets a call from a friend whose cousin's best friends husband dies in a motorcycle accident! So I had no chance after that.
Anyway, get a 500 at least - and don't spend a lot because you'll be trading up in a year when you know what you really want.
Good luck, Ride Free!

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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I started out on a Kawasaki Drifter 800. Not super powerful and after 7 years still has enough get up and go. There is a big difference between a 800 v twin cruiser and an 800 sport bike. Take the MSF course.

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:39 AM   #5
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If you're 6' tall, you will immediately want something bigger than 500cc'...
There is a WORLD of difference between a 250cc dirt bike and a 1100cc cruiser. Dirt bikes are geared completely different.

I would look at LEAST at getting a V-Star 650. I've never been to Hawaii but, I can imagine there are a ton of great places to ride. You're going to be stationed there for what, 3 years? If you plan on using it as a daily transportation and reselling it, I would look at getting something big enough to resell for what I paid for it. I would be afraid of tearing a smaller bike up...

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:45 AM   #6
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I started riding last year with no practical experience outside of the MSF course (highly recommended). I bought an '82 Suzuki GS 650. I am very glad I did not go with a smaller bike.

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:47 AM   #7
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I've been riding my Ninja 250 for about five years now. It's the ONLY 250cc bike I would buy. I'm six foot 185 pounds. If you can't enjoy yourself on a 250 Ninja, you're doing something wrong.

The 250cc cruisers are underpowered. If you're going the cruiser route the 650cc minimum recommended above is probably a good choice.

As for sport bikes, I like them, but wouldn't recommend anything over a 600cc to start with and I would probably only recommend that to someone with a little bit of experience on other bikes. I've done a lot of group rides and seen people who just were not ready for that bike. Kawasaki does offer a 500cc version of the Ninja.

Anyway, as suggested, the MSF is time and money well spent!

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:54 AM   #8
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nice thanks for all the advice i am defenitly goin to take the MSF course. they got one here on wheeler air base so i just have to go across the street. and i was goin to go more towards the 500cc the 250 seems alittle small. but i got a year so this will be another deployment present i guess. my last one was a truck that is in geogia with my father inlaw right now they wanted $1800 to ship it from texas to hawaii but they ship motorcycles with house hold goods and ship you car for free so im good when i get ready to go back to the main land.

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Old 05-25-2010, 01:04 AM   #9
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Shooter is right about the Ninja 250. I started on a 250 honda, then a 250 Ninja followed by a used 750 Kawasaki ZR-7. I swapped the 250 for the 750 after I started commuting daily.
There I days that I kick myself for doing that, but my Blue Meanie really has been crazy reliable and very inexpensive to insure.

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loganb View Post
nice thanks for all the advice i am defenitly goin to take the MSF course. they got one here on wheeler air base so i just have to go across the street. and i was goin to go more towards the 500cc the 250 seems alittle small. but i got a year so this will be another deployment present i guess. my last one was a truck that is in geogia with my father inlaw right now they wanted $1800 to ship it from texas to hawaii but they ship motorcycles with house hold goods and ship you car for free so im good when i get ready to go back to the main land.
The Ninja 250 engine is designed to rev pretty high. So, it's fairly surprising and very manuverable. I take the thing on back roads as well as the local freeways with no problem. However, there are a couple of good 500cc machines out there. Suzuki makes a 500cc machine that I've always kind of liked, but I'm not sure performance wise if it's really a massive jump over the little Kawasaki. The Ninja 500 is a nice bike. It's slightly larger than the 250, but not outrageously so.

As far as cruisers, I know that Kawasaki used to make a 500cc cruiser. I originally looked into it, not a bad bike and the size was much better than the tiny 250 cruisers like the Yamaha Virago or the Honda Rebel. However, for a cruiser I really would probably go with a 650cc machine minimum. That might sound big, but a 650cc twin cruiser and a 600cc sportbike are two completely different animals. Any bike can be dangerous if not handled properly, but one of those two can speed you towards that death a lot quicker than the other one!

EDIT: So, also, that is me in my avatar photo on the 250. As you can see, it's not a large bike, but it also is not like I'm riding a tiny circus motorcycle built for a clown! The Ninja 500 would be just slightly larger.
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