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damaticous
09-22-2007, 12:36 PM
I've been thinking about getting a motorcycle. I'm pretty much a newbie and will be driving mostly in town, but sometimes on the highways and interstates. I don't want a Harley and have been looking at either a Honda VLX Deluxe or a Spirit 750.

I plan on taking a riding course, but they only use 250's.

Would you recommend a 250, 600, or 750?

I'm 5' 7" 200 pounds...if that helps.

Bwana
09-22-2007, 12:43 PM
I would recommend you stay the hell off the same road as George Clooney.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PEOPLE_CLOONEY?SITE=MTBIL&SECTION=TOP_STORIES&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Scorp
09-22-2007, 12:59 PM
seriously...
http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k169/rombeck/ride_american_split_page.jpg

2bikemike
09-22-2007, 01:03 PM
I've been thinking about getting a motorcycle. I'm pretty much a newbie and will be driving mostly in town, but sometimes on the highways and interstates. I don't want a Harley and have been looking at either a Honda VLX Deluxe or a Spirit 750.

I plan on taking a riding course, but they only use 250's.

Would you recommend a 250, 600, or 750?

I'm 5' 7" 200 pounds...if that helps.

I would not go much smaller than a 600. Definately take the riding course it doesn't matter what size bike they use. You will learn a lot.

phillip
09-22-2007, 01:56 PM
I wouldn't go too small. People who say you have to learn on a small bike are wrong. You'll just end up wanting to trade up later.

I started riding last summer on Honda VTR1000 Super Hawk. Its a 996 and I learned just fine without taking a class or anything. I've put over 5,000 miles on it and I haven't ever wrecked or dropped it.

I would say if you can already drive a stick shift car, you don't need a class. I think the problem people have is trying to figure out the fundamentals of gear selection and clutch operation at the same time they're trying to balance the bike, and that can get tricky.

If you can already balance a bicycle and smoothly drive a stick shift car, you're gonna be just fine.

DJ's left nut
09-22-2007, 03:02 PM
Don't go lower than a 750.

My first bike was a Honda Shadow Aero 750. It'll ride comfortably at around 80 mph. It's a little buzzy at that point, but still has enough power left to get moving if you need a little more throttle. I'm also about 40 lbs lighter than you, but it should still be fine. Your Shadow Spirit is the same as my Aero, but with slightly different cosmetics (I also think your spirit is chain drive, rather than my shaft drive, so the pickup should be a little better on the Spirit but maintenance is a little tougher).

The Shadow has a slightly lower slung frame, so if you are 5'7'', I would highly recommend it. Mine is a little small for me, but I'm 6'0''. With your height, it'll be a good fit for you.

Take the class. You won't know how to counter steer, your accident avoidance will be for crap. You'll pretty much be relying on luck to get through your first month on the bike. If nobody turns out in front of you you'll probably be fine, but the class is to prepare you for the worst case scenario. If you don't take the class, you'll be at the whim of the cages for the first month or so you're on the road. On the job training is not recommended on a motorcycle.

And sure, Ride American, if you want to drop another $3,000 on a bike with the same performance characteristics, older technology and a more spotty maintenance record. My Shadow will run with any of the Sportster 883s and I got it new for 4K. The Boulevard is an even more advanced bike (EFI, etc...), I just didn't like the feel of it as much.

Cochise
09-22-2007, 03:06 PM
Take the MSF course.

I wouldn't go any bigger than a midsize bike for whatever style you prefer. If the style you prefer is sport, get one of the smaller sizes. Get one a few years old to save money because you're going to wreck it or lay it down, statistically speaking.

Don't worry about what anyone thinks of what you ride, don't be influenced by posers, pick the one that's right for you.

I'd look up reliability too before buying.

Bob Dole
09-22-2007, 03:16 PM
I wouldn't go too small. People who say you have to learn on a small bike are wrong. You'll just end up wanting to trade up later.

I started riding last summer on Honda VTR1000 Super Hawk. Its a 996 and I learned just fine without taking a class or anything. I've put over 5,000 miles on it and I haven't ever wrecked or dropped it.

I would say if you can already drive a stick shift car, you don't need a class. I think the problem people have is trying to figure out the fundamentals of gear selection and clutch operation at the same time they're trying to balance the bike, and that can get tricky.

If you can already balance a bicycle and smoothly drive a stick shift car, you're gonna be just fine.


Before someone else points it out: You're an idiot.

The course isn't about the coordination necessary to operate the vehicle. The course is about operating the vehicle safely, defensively and responsibly.

Cochise
09-22-2007, 03:19 PM
If you can already balance a bicycle and smoothly drive a stick shift car, you're gonna be just fine.

You're crazy.

blueballs
09-22-2007, 04:06 PM
When you meet another motorcyle
and the dude sticks his hand out down low
it means your ride is really gay

phillip
09-22-2007, 04:35 PM
Before someone else points it out: You're an idiot.

The course isn't about the coordination necessary to operate the vehicle. The course is about operating the vehicle safely, defensively and responsibly.

Nice insult, very mature. But, I guess name-calling seems to be part of the culture of this forum, so I'll consider myself part of the club.

Operating the vehicle safely, defensively, and responsibly? What did the class teach you there that common sense wouldn't cover?

I guarantee you don't ride any safer me just because you went to beginner riding school.

phillip
09-22-2007, 04:38 PM
You're crazy.

Why? Last summer was my first time ever on a bike. I started on a 996cc sport bike. I'm 5'8". I started in the cul-de-sac and worked on easiing out the clutch and rolling around in first gear.

My next step was large parking lot where I began shifting up to second and back down. Then I hit smalll neighborhood streets for a few days. Then I went and easliy passed the Kansas motorcylce test.

Now I have racing school and 5,000+ safe, enjoyable miles under my belt. If you're going to take a class, learn how to ride and then go to racing school in Topeka.

TN_Chief
09-22-2007, 05:14 PM
I started riding last summer...I've put over 5,000 miles on it and I haven't ever wrecked or dropped it.And this is where you blew it. Been riding for a whole year, huh? Been to "racing school" too. But apparently you've not learned the most fundamental truth to riding a motorcycle...

There are only 2 kinds of riders. Those who've been down, and those who haven't been down yet. Your post shows none of the consideration you should have given to that simple fact. Started on a litre bike and you've done 5k without eating it? Buy lottery tickets...because you're one of the lucky ones.

(FWIW...18 years of riding, ~200k miles, started on a 600 and have gone up to a 1000 and back down to a 600...all of them sportbikes. On public roads there's absolutely no need/cause for anything more than a 600-750, and a good rider on a 600 will smoke a squid on a 1000 in anything other than a straight line acceleration test. And he/she might even beat the squid at that.)

For the OP:
Take either the MSF or the Harley re-badged version of the MSF (Rider's Edge I believe). First of all, you'll learn your basic skills at an accelerated pace on a nice uncrowded parking lot where you won't be killed and where experienced instructors can critique/instruct you. You'll also be learning on someone else's equipent in the case of Harley's program, so if you drop the bike you're not messing up your nice new toy. In many states you'll also get a free pass on the state licensing test if you have your MSF certificate, and you'll almost certainly get a discount on your insurance as well.

As for size...stick with what I recommended above. 600-750. If you're planning on having someone ride bitch very often, go with the 750. If it'll just be you, you can get away with the 600 and not notice too much difference, particularly on a cruiser.

Bob Dole
09-22-2007, 05:22 PM
Nice insult, very mature. But, I guess name-calling seems to be part of the culture of this forum, so I'll consider myself part of the club.

Operating the vehicle safely, defensively, and responsibly? What did the class teach you there that common sense wouldn't cover?

I guarantee you don't ride any safer me just because you went to beginner riding school.

It wasn't intended as an insult, it was a statement of fact.

And Bob Dole doesn't ride safer than you because he attended a beginner riding school--Bob Dole rides safer than you because he respects the vehicle and has nearly 30 years of riding experience.

Good luck. You're going to need it at some point.

Simplex3
09-22-2007, 05:23 PM
I have one recommendation:

Get one with a good muffler. Why? Because one of these days, maybe soon, I'm going to snap and start killing mother f**kers as they ride down my street with that blaring exhaust.

damaticous
09-22-2007, 10:30 PM
Thank you all for your posts. I appreciate it greatly!

I want to take the class mainly to learn and see what other motorcycle drivers do in emergencies and learn basic training. I have ridden (driven) motorcycles before, but I would like to live...and ride...for a long time. So I think the course would be beneficial for me. Besides, at $175 I can't go wrong and it definitely won't HURT me.

I don't want to get a bike that I'll outgrow in 2 months so I think I'll stick with the 600. Probably not the best bike to be riding country side, but most of my driving will be done in the city. I only live 0.8 miles from work.

It seems that it will work well for my experience, needs, and fun. I feel that it will more than likely allow me a good 1-2 years of experience on it before I decide to trade up to a bigger one.

Besides, if I decide to trade up sooner I'm sure my girlfriend would want it and would drive it.

Again, thank you for your opinions and suggestions.

HMc
09-22-2007, 11:16 PM
couple of tips.

Spend an hour listening to a doctor in the ER talk of the injuries theyve seen on riders.

Purchase a car.

morphius
09-22-2007, 11:26 PM
Embrace the squid phillip...

600 is a good place to start, and please, always wear the helmet as you really never know when you are going to hit the pavement.

kcfanXIII
09-22-2007, 11:34 PM
seriously...
http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k169/rombeck/ride_american_split_page.jpg

when i can pick up an american bike for 1000 bucks, in perfect condition and only 5400 miles i'm all over it. until then, STFU.

i ride a 250 nighthawk, ride it to and from work and love it. i am a new rider as well, and would recommend starting small. they're more forgiving, and there have been several times already i've thought, wow i could have really ****ed up on a bigger bike. plus, they're easy to find, and it gets great gas mileage. about 60 mpg

HonestChieffan
09-23-2007, 05:58 AM
Have you rubbed the side of your head on a concrete wall? Thats a good warm up. then reconsider

dtebbe
09-23-2007, 08:57 AM
I would suggest a Suzuki SV650. It's what I would ride if my wife would let me own a bike...

DT

damaticous
09-23-2007, 10:05 AM
when i can pick up an american bike for 1000 bucks, in perfect condition and only 5400 miles i'm all over it. until then, STFU.

i ride a 250 nighthawk, ride it to and from work and love it. i am a new rider as well, and would recommend starting small. they're more forgiving, and there have been several times already i've thought, wow i could have really ****ed up on a bigger bike. plus, they're easy to find, and it gets great gas mileage. about 60 mpg


I am considering a used 250 rebel since most of my riding will be to work and back (0.8 miles), but I'm sure I'm going to want to take it on the road. How does a 250 do on the highways, backroads, etc. I'm probably going to want to drive on 35, I70, etc, to go on road trips too.

DeepPurple
09-23-2007, 10:39 AM
Back in 1975 when I was 25 years old I bought a Kawazaki 400 brand new for $1200, it was a nice bike. I never rode before so the dealer put the bike on a machine that had dual rollers the tires would sit on and tie-down belts that held the frame in place and fans that blew air across the engine. I could sit on the bike for as long as I wanted with the engine running and shift gears and accelerate as much as I wanted, it was a great way to learn without getting in traffic. After a couple of trips on the machine I took the bike and drove it home, never had any problems.

At the time the Kawazaki 1000 had just come out and didn't cost much more than the 400, but since this was my first bike I decided on the smaller and lighter bike that weighed about 350 pounds. Plus I'm only 5'9" tall myself and at the time weighed about 150 pounds. I found even on the 400 I could only put one foot down at a time. I had the bike for a year, it was all I rode, rain or shine. I've never been on a bike since but a couple of things I remembered.

1) Don't ride after drinking a few beers, I ran out of gas the one time I did and had to push the bike a mile to a station.

2) Living in St. Petersburg, Florida at the time, which is known as the town of the walking dead, you never trust that any driver sees you, even with your headlight on because those old people will cut you off any chance they get.

3) When riding in the rain, stay out of the grease spots, even when it's not raining stay out of the center of the lane where the grease is.

4) Don't ride when it's 'love bug' season, those of you in Florida know what I'm talking about, however when you only own a bike and don't have a choice make sure you have a full face shield.

5) When going around a lefthand high banked curve at say 55 mph, don't look back over your left shoulder unless you want to end up in the medium like I did. Fortunately I didn't break anything, just skinned the heck out of my arms and knees, liquid vitamin E capsules applied to the effected areas will help healing within a week.

laser1972
09-23-2007, 10:57 AM
Guess i will put in my 2 cents..

Been only riding about 2 years. Started on a Ninja 250. I am 5'8 about 150 lbs.. Those bikes arent great on the highway, at 65lb, it shakes a bit.. With your height and weight, not sure that would work, even for a starter bike

I took no classes, my friend let me train on his son's dirtbike to feel the gears etc... Was on it about 3 days when i bought my first bike.

Moved on to a Katana 600, then sold that, now i have a V-star 650. Best bike, i am not a crotch -rocket type of guy, the cruisers are more comfortable, easier to handle etc..

Its just a lot of know where you and the other drivers are at ALL TIMES. Never assume the cars know where you are.

My bike is purely for pleasure around the spring-fall months. I would never drive it to work (I live in Raytown, work by the plaza).. I see enough crazies on my route to work to see i would never use my bike for work.

Women putting on their makeup, men shaving, reading the paper, people on their cell phones, i see about 4-5 red lights ran each morning. Its just not worth it..

I will eventually move up to a Harley 883 Sportster and stay there. The 650 is great right, i have learned so much in the last year. It helps to have an experienced rider with you, follow you.

Yes, i have dropped both of my earlier bikes (just standing while on a hill, weight was shifted), never laid any of the bikes down while riding.

Good luck, be safe and have fun...