Quantcast

any motorcycle riders

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

loganb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
fort hood texas
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
 

TheManes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
80
Reaction score
2
Location
Westchester, NY
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!
 

buffalobrewer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
983
Reaction score
19
Location
Buffalo, NY
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.
 

jiggs_casey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
38
Location
Independence
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... :)
 

hammacks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
402
Reaction score
4
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.
 

Shooter

Almaigan Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
4,553
Reaction score
280
Location
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
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!
 
OP
loganb

loganb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
fort hood texas
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.
 

thataintchicken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
8,539
Reaction score
1,370
Location
Lewiston
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.
 

Shooter

Almaigan Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
4,553
Reaction score
280
Location
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
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.
 

Chap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
395
Reaction score
17
Location
Kailua, Hawaii
A V Star 650 was my bike first bike after a 20 year hiatus. It was a great bike. Started out like this:


became this:


then this:


ended up like this:


Fantastic bike, easily customizable, great starter bike and long term bike. There is a huge support website available as well. The only reason I sold mine was because I thought I was going to start doing a lot more distant riding... now i have a 1000cc commuter :(.
 

HotTrailerBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Location
San Jose, CA
Everything i've read so far is great info. I don't know how much you will be getting into motorcycle riding, but i know many race the sv650, as well as the kawi, and they have a lot of parts that can be swapped out for more performance on a budget. But I wouldnt worry about that until you get comfortable on your bike.

The one thing i might throw out there is regarding your tires. You mentioned you'd be in hawaii. So if it were me i would want some tires that worked well in the wet too, unless you dont mind the sliding around to remind you of your dirt bike days. :D

Also, Keith Code wrote a couple books 'Twist of the Wrist', they helped me a out a lot with the basics and more. I didnt have any riding experience before i bought my 1st street bike, and i feel the msf course and the books were well worth my time.
 

HotTrailerBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Location
San Jose, CA
Oh and to answer your original question. My picks would be on the sportbike side, so i'm thinking a Honda F2 or F3. Both are 600's and pretty forgiving. :rockin:
 
OP
loganb

loganb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
fort hood texas
HotTrailerBrew that is the exact type of bike i am lookin to get. i like sportbike but i like cruisers alittle more. but i am pretty sold on no less than 500cc
 

deprecated

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
210
Reaction score
74
Location
Midwest
I prefer something a bit larger. Mine is just over 4200cc. That works out to a 6-pack in each saddlebag.

98fxdl.jpg
 

HotTrailerBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
Location
San Jose, CA
I loved my F2, but now I'd probably lean more towards the cruiser so I can take my wife with me. The only time I rode one was when my buddy rented a Harley to take his wife on a dayride up the coast. He brought it over after their ride and let me take it for a spin. It felt like a limo and caddie next to the F2, with it being a little longer and much softer suspension. Oh the memories...
 

thataintchicken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
8,539
Reaction score
1,370
Location
Lewiston
HotTrailerBrew that is the exact type of bike i am lookin to get. i like sportbike but i like cruisers alittle more. but i am pretty sold on no less than 500cc
here is an option.

look at a standard in the 600-750 range.
Excellent commuter, capable for 2-up and cheap to insure.
Did I mention Reliable?

 

deprecated

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
210
Reaction score
74
Location
Midwest
Maybe he's referring to his saddlebag capacity?
Yes, I was refering to the saddlebags as 2 6-packs are around 4200cc. It was a joke, albeit a bad one. It is actually 1340cc.

I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you end up with. :mug:
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
180
Location
Oak Grove
Physical fit is much more important for street riding than on dirt bikes. I started on a Kawasaki 550 GPZ, but was never comfortable with the height of the seat. Had to lean too much to put my foot flat on the ground. Bought a Honda Shadow 600 VLX and have been much happier. I can put both feet on the ground, which is great in slow traffic. Also, I don't have to lean forward or sit back on the seat to be comfortable. Taking a day-cruise on an ill-fitting bike ruins the ride.
 

Dynachrome

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
2,178
Reaction score
97
Location
Americas Hinterland
I just read a thread on a different board where a guy was selling his Blackbird because there weren't enough roads in Hawaii - He was in the service also.

KLR650 good all around bike look it up. It can do some off-road too.
 

Spasticteapot

Member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Madison, WI
I'd like to ride a motorcycle, but I'm simply not confident enough in my abilities. That said, I'd very much like to assemble a tube-framed street legal racer one of these days - the can come quite close to a motorcycle in terms of performance, but with the added benefit of a big steel cage surrounding you in the event that something goes wrong.
 

craigd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
315
Reaction score
2
Location
Central Florida
Another vote for the Honda Shadow VLX 600. I learned on a '96 with no background with bikes at all - the salesman showed me how to shift in the parking lot! I was in a similar boat to you. I had 1 car and my schedule made sharing with the wife tough so we needed economical transportation for a short commute. Ran it almost daily for 4 years with minimal maintenance (waxed the chain and changed the oil) and never had a single failure other than the battery. It's very forgiving and power won't get away from you. The biggest issue for me was that it was a bit "buzzy" at freeway speeds but around town it was perfect.

I think the 250 cruisers will be small for you - they were for me at 5'11" 220lbs. The vlx was small enough to be nimble but big enough to not be twitchy. I never rode one but I think the vstar would be similar from looking at it.
 

Spasticteapot

Member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Madison, WI
I don't know jack about motorcycle riding, but a large-displacement low-horsepower engine has been recommended to me should I ever decide to try it. While the big lumps in many "cruiser"-style motorcycles (Harley Davidsons and their various Japanese imitators, mostly) don't produce a whole lot of horsepower, they do have an exceedingly broad powerband. In contrast, a high-strung racer like a CBR600RR might produce two and a half times as much power, but making use of it will require a fair amount of tricky shifting.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
180
Location
Oak Grove
What pasticteapot says was certainly true of my GPZ. 550 cc, four cylinders, four carbs. Zero power below 3000 rpm. The Shadow can walk away from a standing start without applying throttle.
 
OP
loganb

loganb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
fort hood texas
i think i have my 3 picks honda shadow, v star, or the vulcan 650. talked to a dealer the other day and for all 3 of those brand new (i will be buyin a pre owned) are about $6500 on average here. i would love a harley but i dont have money to trough around i have a wife and 2 kids i get excited when i find $5 in my wallet. and from what i have heard the 3 above mentioned are great bikes.
 

Shooter

Almaigan Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
4,553
Reaction score
280
Location
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
i think i have my 3 picks honda shadow, v star, or the vulcan 650. talked to a dealer the other day and for all 3 of those brand new (i will be buyin a pre owned) are about $6500 on average here. i would love a harley but i dont have money to trough around i have a wife and 2 kids i get excited when i find $5 in my wallet. and from what i have heard the 3 above mentioned are great bikes.
All sensible bikes to get started. Have fun and be safe! :mug:
 

Spasticteapot

Member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Madison, WI
All of those are supposed to be really nice. That said, you need not spend $6500 - that's darn close to "new motorcycle" money. You can pick up a secondhand 90s Honda for $1500 or so on Craigslist, and most of the less inexpensive models are supposed to be quite easy to fix.
 

Shooter

Almaigan Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
4,553
Reaction score
280
Location
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
All of those are supposed to be really nice. That said, you need not spend $6500 - that's darn close to "new motorcycle" money. You can pick up a secondhand 90s Honda for $1500 or so on Craigslist, and most of the less inexpensive models are supposed to be quite easy to fix.
I think he was saying they all are around $6,500 new.
 
OP
loganb

loganb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
fort hood texas
oh yeah i am planning on gettin a used because i might have enough for a new one but then i wouldnt have enough for a helmet and all that good stuff
 

FlyinkibbleZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
73
Reaction score
1
Location
Bakersfield, Cali
Although all posts are good advice, but i tend to disagree with most peoples opinion to a certain point.

having a smaller cc bike to start with may limit you a little, but it is still possible to hit 100mph on a kawi 250. i have had plenty of friends who started on these bikes and still did stupid things. Many of them would try some stupid stuff on these just because they weren't as powerful and gave them a false sense of being "more safe"

I have owned multiple bikes, and just because my R1 will do 160+ without thinking doesnt mean that i have to do it.

most of it comes down to responsible riding in my opinion. i have had just as many friends hurt themselves on small bikes vs larger cc bikes. seems it really just comes down to the rider.

The only think about buying a smaller/older bike is that if you happen to lay it down you are only out 3k instead of 13k.
 

Shooter

Almaigan Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
4,553
Reaction score
280
Location
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
Although all posts are good advice, but i tend to disagree with most peoples opinion to a certain point.

having a smaller cc bike to start with may limit you a little, but it is still possible to hit 100mph on a kawi 250. i have had plenty of friends who started on these bikes and still did stupid things. Many of them would try some stupid stuff on these just because they weren't as powerful and gave them a false sense of being "more safe"

I have owned multiple bikes, and just because my R1 will do 160+ without thinking doesnt mean that i have to do it.

most of it comes down to responsible riding in my opinion. i have had just as many friends hurt themselves on small bikes vs larger cc bikes. seems it really just comes down to the rider.

The only think about buying a smaller/older bike is that if you happen to lay it down you are only out 3k instead of 13k.
I understand what you're saying, but stupid people will be stupid, regardless of the bike they end up with. Someone can have the best intentions of riding safe and riding smart and not completely understand what they're getting into with something like a liter bike. A new rider, who doesn't have good throttle control, may not understand or rememember in the heat of the moment that a 1/2 inch turn on the throttle of their R1 can double their speed in a matter of seconds. With a Ninja 250, 500, or a mid level cruiser, a 1/2 inch twist gets you another twenty miles an hour and has the engine screaming at you to shift already!! :mug:

Loganb, glad to hear you are thinking about safety gear as well. I was in Hawaii a few months back and saw too many people riding around without it. Hey, it's a free country, do what you want, but I think that's a BAD idea! Also, the MSF will be a good start, but take some time to practice some basic things on your bike when you first get it to familarize yourself with how it handles. Find a big parking lot and practice some low speed figure eight turns and braking. That way, you'll understand how your bike reacts when you take it out on the road. Good luck, keep the rubber side down! :rockin:
 

FlyinkibbleZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
73
Reaction score
1
Location
Bakersfield, Cali
Shooter has some good points.

i am also partial to the proper equipment...every time you ride. I firmly believe that having the right gear is probably more important (or at least just as important) as the type of bike you decide to get.

some of the worst accidents i have been witness to were on "casual" rides where everyone swore they were just going to cruise. My brother was involved in one of these, and other than his bike and pride being damaged, his butt was saved solely because he would wear full gear even if going just across town.

good gear is one of the best investments you can make in regards to riding, and actually wearing it at all times would be once of the best decisions IMHO
 
Top