Inquiring about a first bike? Read this...
(I will add a ton of pertinent info here when I get the chance.)
Ideally, I think a first bike should be something out of the sportbike range. Try standards like the SV650 (V-twins should be less violent on the throttle) Fzr600 (for the upright rider position). I wouldn't reccomend the Suzuki Katana 600/750, Kawasaki ZZR600 and bike like it.
I only heard stories of dirtbikes, many of them negative but I can't really say anything about that. Maybe.
I suppose if its a dirt bike nothing more than 400cc.
Another thing is even though it not reccomended to start on the sportbike, some people start on 600cc, 750cc, and liter + bikes. I wouldn't bank on it that just because there are people that do ride liters for their first bike that you can too.
Mistakes are much more forgiving on smaller bikes and people starting out are bound to make mistakes.
Start small, take it slow. If you can, take the MSF courses. Buy the best gear you can afford. As far as bikes I recommend getting something used (first). Something like a Ninja 500 can be had cheap and provides a great learning experience. Dropping a used bike is less of a heart breaker as well. At some point learning you will drop the bike. Like A Spec said try to avoid new sport bikes. These bikes are the closest to race bikes they have ever been and have sharp learning curves.
Dirt bike (off of public roads/highways). I can't imagine starting on anything else. You need to experience what it feels like to lose control, wreck, have the bike get away from you etc...
If it happens on the street, you may not be so lucky. "Taking it easy" on a sports bike is a great idea, but inexperience is what will kill you. What happens when you swerve to avoid something and you accidentally blip the throttle?
If I could add on some things to invest on.
-Rear/Front Wheel Stand(s)
-Helmet (DOT/Snell approved)
-Leathers with armor in the back/elbows/shoulder and some type of reflective tape
-Motorcycle boots (SIDI, alpinestars)
-Anti Theft devices
MSF intermediate Rider course
What is it with some of you newb twits thinking that starting on a bike that puts down more power than the average car is a good fucking idea? Jesus...every thread I've hit asking about "what should my first bike be" has some moron looking at supersport 6's and 1k's.
Welcome to being a statistic...twit...
What about dual purpose bikes?
DAve, what are you looking for in a bike? What will you be using it for? Are you wanting a bike that's more of a road bike with off-road capabillities, or a dirt bike with road-going capabillities? Do you have any riding experience? What's your budget?
First off I have Zero bike experience. Obviously I'll be taking the MSF course. But I'm looking for a bike to commute (6 miles each way). At first I was thinking about a dual purpose bike since they are cheap. But I came across the new GS500F, they market it as a beginner bike and the price isn't too bad. What do you guys think? The way gas prices are a bike seems like a very good option at this point
If you're considering the GS500 then take a serious look at Kawasaki's Ninja EX500R. Though the styling of the Ninja is obviously 400 years old, it beats the GS500 in almost every catagory. I've riden and modified extensively both models and I have gotten significantly more from the EX than the GS...it's why I still own an EX500 for this reason.
However, if at the moment your soul purpose is to get a beginner bike and learn, then look at old bikes. The GS500 and EX lines are designed to be accomidating to beginners, but they're more of intermediate bikes. Most EX500 owners keep their bikes throughout their riding life.
I would suggest looking in the 80's area for beginner bikes. The VF500 is the best bang-for-buck bike I can think of for beginners...it is also still one of the best handling bikes on earth. The Honda NT650 GT Hawk is another great bike to look at...naked and you get a few cool points for having a reletively rare single side swing-arm. The GS500 and EX500 are also good bikes to look at, in the old catagory, as they've been around forever and can be had for very cheap. Yamaha's FZ600 is another good one with plenty of quickness to her. Honda's F1 and F2 600's are also nice considerations with a stupidly huge aftermarket.
The ultimate in beginner's bikes, though, is, hands down, the Buell Blast. They can be had for very cheap and were designed from the get go to be a beginner's bike. Very light clutch feel, super short first gear, very light, ZERO maintanance, and a comfortable ride and they outhandle the EX and GS 500's...just won't outrun them. The Blast's only draw back is that it is solely a beginner's bike, not a "keeper's" bike. You get it, you learn, you get something else.
My two key suggestions in what you chose are:
First, stay away from fairings. Enough people wreck their first bike repeatedly to not even qualify as a statistic...it's just a "is". Scratched frames and engine covers can be touched up and ultimately you're not going to cause them much damage while learning (unless you're stupid), but fairings are reletively fragile and can cost quite a bike to replace.
Second, stay away from twins...even though I suggested a few. If you start on an I-twin or a v-twin, you'll be fucked from there on when it comes to upgrading to a different bike. With a twin comes a ridiculous obsession with only wanting that style of motor. A V-Twin will spoil you for torque. Either way, there just aren't many modern twins to choose from when it comes to upgrading....but I love to see more and more people on them...
Last edited by makenzie71; 09-02-2005 at 12:21 PM.
After riding dirtbikes and then trials bikes for a while. After taking the MSF I'm seriously looking for a bike to start commuting to and from work on nice days to save on gas and insurance vs a car... Thoughts have gone from dual sports to something like the fz6, 600r or R6
My main concern is racking up the milage on a bike.. After talking to a few good mechanics i hear for most 600 cc bike 30k is pretty high milage.. Though if taken care of won't be a problem.. I would go for a dual sport but i dout it would like having alot of miles put on it (50 miles round trip to work)
How many of you commute with your bike, and how fast do you put miles on it.
is my choices of bikes for a commuter/weekend ride off from what i should be looking for.
I have auto ADD.
How do you all feel about a used ninja 250 as a first bike? I've never ridden before but I'm thinking about buying one come spring time.
Last edited by brewster; 09-02-2005 at 02:35 PM.
Good starter bike AND very affordable
Originally Posted by brewster
30k isn't a big deal on a propperly maintained bike at all...one of my ex500's had 45,000 miles before the ignition failed. My TL1000 has 26k and runs strong, and I'm seen FZ6's, SV's, and TL's with 45+ on the clock with no problems...there's one legendary TL on tlplanet.com with well over 100k. A propperly maintaned bike will run forever.
Originally Posted by MKNTRAXX
I can tell you that you shouldn't consider anything more aggressive than the FZ6 as a starter street bike with your experience. Miles will add up just as fast as they do in a car...depending on how enthused you are by riding.
The EX250 is an excellent starter bike and good in-town commuter. It is not designed for the highway or adverse conditions...she's simply too light to hand;e cross winds and turbulence very well. If you're considering this bike as a new one (most 250's are bought new, just not that big a difference in new and used prices), you might also look at the GT250 Comet...superior suspension, modern engine, and a slightly better looking bike (IMHO), but the V-Twin thing I mentioned earlier applies.
Originally Posted by brewster
makenzie71 - Thanks alot for all the info!
I was also looking at the ninja 500 as well, and as far as that being a better bike every review has also said the same thing. AS far as the buell blast. I did actually look at one about 5 months ago. And I definitely think your right when you said that is probably the BEST beginner bike. The bike just felt so comfortable. Hell maybe I'll just pickup one of those to mess around with.
makenzie71... thanks for the info... I'm really liking the fz6.. great price and not much plastic to replace should something happen.
I was searching for the buell blast and came upon this.
I am looking for a beginner commuter bike to ride around 40 miles a day, and to handle nice on the freeway. I doesn't have to be super fast, just enough to get me on the freeway. Something under 5k would be cool. Any suggestions?
That one instance is only one instance. It's like considering all supras bad cars if one falls victim to catastrophic engine failure.
Originally Posted by adversary
Outside of that, I wouldn't suggest the blast as a daily rider. As I've said, the blast is EXCELLENT to learn on...hands down, best in that catagory...but it's not the kind of bike you plan to keep forever...or even an extended period of time.
I would strongly suggest you look at the Ninja 500. The EX500 is one of the most excellent entry-level workhorse bikes ever made...exceptional handling, ridiculous aftermarket, and easy touring abillity. You should also look at older used bikes, as well...there are countless out there that will make excellent beginner commuters for well under $5000.
Last edited by makenzie71; 09-06-2005 at 01:04 PM.
I bought a Katana 600(1997).., With a bad second gear. I am in the process of repairing that right now. I've got good dirt experince, uncluding riding on wet clay..(anyone who's riden trials knows that wet clay is the equivelent to greese...)... Always rode on a KTM 400, or 450 dirt bike with lots of power, and learned how not to "blip" the throttle when coming down.
I'm 6'7", 300 pounds, so i can "muscle" a bike, but Im still a bit concerned about my bike.. I think in the end, Im either going to love it, or sell it and get another dirt bike...
Notes, For a beginer bike, as a commuter, will a Katana 600 (97) Be too much for someone with intermidiate dirt experince?
With moderate off-road experience, the katana makes an EXCELLEnT beginner. You'll find that she's far more forgiving that your 450, and typical street conditions will be easier to grasp with the heavier, lower power bike. She's still got way more than enough power to hurt or kill you, but dishing out a healthy serving of common sense will get you along nicely.
Originally Posted by raven97990
Starting on a Kat6 with your experience places you above most of the squids here by leaps and bounds. Be proud of yourself.
Originally Posted by makenzie71
Now how much fear/respect should I take to the road? I've seen two of my coworkers get hit on their bikes leaving work, by people not even looking. One was on a harly, knocked him down and took him out of work for a month. The other was on a new Honda rocket(forgive my ignorance) And he barely got grazed because he almsot layed it down, to where it tore off her bumper, and only marked his rear swing arm...
After seeing that, and riding the Kat in first gear only(as second was split in two).... It has alot of power, and Im a bit timid of it, just because of how easy it is to get hurt on one..
And those KTM's have such sensitive throttles, I couldn't belive it, so it seems fairly easy to be a bit more forgiving in that aspect..
And this bikes fairings are already boogered up, Im going to do a bit of patch work to them, repaint them black, put it togather and post pictures of the good ol ugly beast.. then in a year I'll put new fairings on it, sell it for the GIXXER 750 I want..
As much as possible. I've been riding for quite some time and I still ride, every day, as though the entire world is trying to kill me. Keep alert and ever defensive, because, though they may not be trying to kill you, they will given half the oportunity. It's not a beginner thing...aggressively defensive riding is a trait you should integrate into your street riding from day one and keep it there.
Originally Posted by raven97990
The majoraty of the riders hurt on the road today ended up that way because they let their guard down long enough for someone stupid to come along.
Starting on a beat-up kat6 gains you even more of my respect. It means you probably spent less to get into The Game, and are more concerned with getting started than showing off. I'm over-joyed everytime someone starts in such a fashion.
Rode a Katana 750 about a week ago. It was my first "sport" bike ride ever, and it scared me shitless. It was the most adrenilating thing I have ever done. My heart was pounding and when I got off my legs were shaking. I was with a somewhat novice rider, but I trusted him.
Anyway after that ride, I am very interested in starting to ride. Do you recommen starting offroad first, or something like the F4i as a beginner bike?
Starting off-road isn't starting. Off-road and street riding characteristics are not in any way interchangeable. Off-road riding experience will give a higher confidence and allow you to learn street-riding at a quicker pace, but the only real good you'll gain from it is basic motorcycle operation and care. I feel that if you're a total noob and your goal is to be riding on the street, you should go straight for the street. If you want to learn off-road as a weekend thing...then do it as a weekend thing, but don't do it thinking it'll be an educational course in street riding.
I don't even think the F4i is a good bike to start on...but it's better than some. I am a STRONG advocate of starting old and slow. There are too many old, reliable, CHEAP bikes out there for noobs to have any logical excuse for starting on a fully fired sport or shiney cruiser. If you MUST start on something newer then I strongly suggest Kawasaki's EX500R or Suzuki's GS500 series. Another good bike to start on is Suzuki's SV650...which I feel is absurdly superior to either the 500's I've mentioned but owning one comes at a cost: Limited choice for future purchases. Starting on a V-Twin will ruin you as far riding goes...ask me how I know...or ask me how hard it is to find a modern supersport v-twin in an acceptible price range (Mille...that's it as far as "cheap").
If you can find a cheap one, though, the ultimate in beginner's bikes is, hands down, Buell's 500cc Blast. It's a bike designed entirely around introducing a new rider into the game. It's light in every way...from physical weight to clutch and brake pull, it has the shortest first gear ever seen in a street bike (almost no clutch required), it's economical, it's cheap and it retains it's resale value well.