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thanks, appreciate the welcome, and I've done lots of time on these types of boards before (non-MC), so I know the flame war drill. i dont plan to engage in any. computers suck away enough of my soul without me degrading and being degraded by complete strangers who share my interests.
 

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fwiw, I've already dropped the zrx1100 that I practice on (ALL of my street experience is on this fat but fun bike). the first time was the very first time I let the clutch out, the second time was during a low-speed u-turn when grabbing a handful of front brake (yes, it's stupid, but i was 19 at the time, and you're allowed to be stupid at 19). so maybe I've got the dropping out of my system and I'd be fine on an 05 zzr 600? or maybe a z750s? or even the z1000 that my dad keeps suggesting. what I REALLY want is an '03 xb9s, but I dont know who to believe about those Buells. i just know they put a fire in my belly. i'm very open to suggestion.
 

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Buy used if you can think rational about. I know buying a bike is an emotional experience but if you can buy a used bike do it. It will save you a ton of money. Your first couple of years are going to be learning miles ...meaning slow stuff. Why put those type of miles on a new bike. My first bike was a sportbike I went through a lot of expensive tires only wearing out the center of them cause I rode like a newbie. Also maintenance intervals should be considered. If you sucumb to lust I would pick the Ducati. The V-Twin gives friendly power and a better riding position for a newbie
 

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USED! I really would encourage more of a standard type of bike or even a DP bike. The leverage advantage from the bars and riding position is going to be more forgiving and give a "new" rider much more confidence. The last thing you want to do is start on a bike that demands a high degree of rider input to use properly.

Best of luck.
 

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Of your choices go with the ducati but please reconsider the suzuki sv650. If it's your first bike you might want to consider resale value because if you really get into it you are going to buy another bike. So buy used or buy a new bike with good resale value. The two that I know of are the suzuki 650 or a harley sportster. Think of them as your pathway to your next bike.
 

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The Toad
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Re: Whenever I hear a question phrased like this...

Ha! You've got a loooong way to fall yet, dude.

There's still the F650Cs.

Then the 1200C. I still break out into laughter each time I see one. Then I wonder what evil styling plot BMW is hatching next.
 

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The Toad
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I have to second all the people who are recommending the SV650.



THe other best possible choices are the Concours and VFR (older one).
 

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Try this

Get a used Ducati, preferably a mid 90's model like a decent 900ss or 750ss. They have approximately similar power to the 600, weigh a bit more, are a heck of a lot more comfortable, and they will not lose any resale value (unless you rash the heck out of them). Spares are still available from the factory for a few more years, and they seem to sell on ebay for about $3000 - $5500 depending on model/condition.

They're a hoot to ride, relatively reliable, inexpensive to own, and inexpensive to insure. I also believe that because of their construction and geometry they are a good beginner bike - nice a easy to lean into corner, less chance to drop in a parking lot (the seat is nice and low). If you find one with full fairing they are gorgeous as well. And just 'cause they're italian, I guarantee that they'll be a babe magnet.
 

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SV is a GREAT choice. A friend of mine just sold his - he had the original model year with the rounded frame. Gorgeous bike, super reliable, great ride. And a fantastic value as well. What else could you ask for?
 

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SRMark mentioned the new Suzuki motard (based on the 400 DS), and I'm with him on the SM route (you can pry my MZ SM-125 from my cold, dead hands!) but you should also check out the MZ Baghira SuperMoto. It's a very unique styled bike, very comfy, comes in a "height reduced" version for the verticaly challenged, handles like gang-busters, and is powered by the rock-solid Yamaha 660 single. It's also cheaper than the Suzuki. If you have an MZ dealer near you, go check it out. Also the two year un-limited mileage waranty is nice.
 

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MZ 1000 S - Any owners out there?

I'm seriously considering an MZ 1000 S. I test rode a 1000 S a few months ago and it was excellent. The MCN Jan 05 review of the 1000 S was very accurate. Is there anyone out there who owns an MZ 1000 S? If so, I'd like to read opinions on the bike. The MZ 1000 SF is supposed to arrive in the U.S. this summer, I may test that one too, for comparison purposes. I've already got a Moto Guzzi EV that can handle the commuting/long haul trips so I can either go sport touring (1000 S) or a naked bike (1000 SF). The liter size MZ bikes have not been around long, and not that long in the U.S. Thanks in advance for the comments.
 

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Consider insurance costs.

Insurance on the Monster 620 will be about 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of insurance for the Buell. there are too many hooligans out there thrashing and trashing the Buells driving up insurance costs.
 

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Just read your post after posting above. I don't know about the insurance costs for the CBR600rr, but if they are the same as the xb9 I was referring to above, he could expect to save about $400 bucks every year with the 620. You're right, that could easily make up the difference in maintenance costs.
 

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My first love was a Duc 620, a special edition Capirex model they had at my local dealership. This was last year, I was 33 and new to motorcycling. I even bought a red jacket and helmet because I new I was going to buy this bike. Then, I had a change of heart. I realized I was going to spend close to 10 grand on my very first motorcycle, kinda freaked me out. So instead I looked for used, for something reliable and inexpensive. Found a BMW K75s with 19400 miles on it for $3500. Since then I've come to realize I will never own a motorcycle that doesn't have lockable hard luggage, having bags on my bimmer is the best, even for commuting. Bringing my lunch or extra street clothes is a non issue. And IMO the bike is still sporty enough for a newbie like me to enjoy. The point to my reply? Don't rule out sport touring machines, still fun and very practical. I'm riding mine from Tucson to Vegas for a week long business trip, between my hard bags and tank bags I have plenty of storage for a week's worth of clothes. This wouldn't be an optioin on a plain monster 620. If you start riding and enjoy it as much as I do, you may want a bike with longer legs and more storage is all I'm saying. Good luck and ride safe!



JQ
 

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Most BMW GS owners I've met or chatted with absolutely love their machines, swear they're the best thing since sliced bread! An experienced GS rider would probably keep up with an average rider on an R1 in most conditions so I've been told. They're more expensive, but they'll run forever.



BTW, from one military member to another, thanks for serving and be safe over there!



JQ
 

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Either bike will be OK for a 'responsible' older rider. Don't buy a bike you don't want just for learning. The Ducati will be more comfortable unless you ride nothing but twisty roads in bad weather. The Ducati (or any naked bike) will survive crashes and tipovers better than bikes with body work. The Ducati will likely hold its value better than the Honda if and when you ever want to sell. If you put on lots of miles the Ducati will cost more for service, but the Honda will cost you more for tires. Either bike is a keeper if you decide never to buy another bike, but the Ducati is the one that will be the most desirable as it gets older.
 
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