Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post!



Where's the survey?



Anyway, best beginner's bike:

Dr650 or KLR 650, if the beginner's got the inseam for it: easy power, sit up high with great visibility, and never outgrow it because it'll always be useful as a second or third bike... if the beginner's smaller, just pick the smaller D-P equivalent: KLR250, DR400, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
First Post!



I had zero riding experience, no dirtbikes, no four wheelers, nothing. I did however know how to drive a stick in a car so I think that helped with understanding the wonders of the clutch. I first went to the local community college and took the beginners MSF course and learned a lot. After that I wanted to get something I would be comfortable with.



I think some other people already said it but old and in good shape is perfect. I purchased a 1983 Honda Nighthawk 650 as my first bike and rode the heck out of it. It only cost me like $800 and lasted a few years till I could buy something faster and more expensive.



Buying an older bike saves you money on everything like your payment, insurance and you will also spend less on fixing the bike if you crash or it breaks. Plus if you like tinkering, an older bike lets you play a little and learn before trying to upgrade your precious new $8000 supersport.



Buying older also lets you know if you are really into motorcycling or just doing it to be cool or get chicks. This way if you hate riding (I don't know how one could) or have a bad experience that shys you away you will not have lost out on quite so much money as you would if you had gone out and bought the shiniest thing the showroom floor.



Just try to stay level headed when buying and don't let your friends sell you on something that you may be uncomfortable with for your skill level. Also don't skimp on safety gear. Get the correct helmet and a good jacket with the armor in it, cuz falling sucks!



Hope this helps guys and I hope I wasn't too long winded.



Dan Brunette
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
It depends on the rider. I think most new riders could handle a 600cc cruiser because they don't have near the power output of a 600cc sport bike. It's a difficult choice for new riders. They don't make smaller cc streetbikes like they use to. My gf has a 500 ninja but it doesn't shift very smooth at all. It's a good bike but it would be a great bike if they ironed that out. Don't be stuck on one type of bike. If you want a sport bike but it's a little intimidating don't be afraid to get a cruiser and ride it for awhile (it'll go as fast as a new rider needs to) when you get comfortable step up to a sportbike. Look at the standard type bikes. Concentrate on learning how to ride. I rode various bikes for 9 years before realizing that sport bikes are really what I was into. Where I'm at now I feel limited by the performance of anything else but I enjoy every type of bike. Everyone's got that person they dated that was a lot of fun but didn't really want to introduce to their friends. Again, stay open minded. Don't get caught up on the looks of a certain type of bike. Try to remember the function you're going to use it for. Research insurance, cost of replacing tires, maintenance costs before you actually buy it. If you're an 18 yr old male with a couple of points on your record not only are you not going to be able to afford insurance but you're also in the demographic that's most likely to wreck on a sport bike (Granted the 40 plus crowd on cruisers is currently the highest statistic for different reasons. More riders etc...). You do the math. It doesn't pay to ride without insurance.



Casey Daniel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
If you are looking for recommendations rather than experience, I'd recommend the Suzuki SV650/SV650S or the new Kawasaki Ninja 650R.



I started on cruisers (Honda Shadow 750 ACE) about 5 years ago and almost killed myself first time out. After a brief stint with that bike, I traded it for a larger Shadow 1100 Aero. Beginning to ride at middle age, I had this idea that sport bikes were for kids and cruisers for adults. Unfortunately, I found those bikes heavy and I always hated right turns at intersections. To be honest, they actually frightened me. Although I liked riding at the time, it wasn't until I purchased a Suzuki V-Strom that I actually began to enjoy it with a passion.



I now have a BMW R1150RT and a Suzuki SV650S. This past year, I surpassed 20,000 kms which isn't bad here in Canada given our shorter riding season.



All this to say, if I had to do it over again, I wish someone would have steered me toward a first bike along the lines of the SV650, 650 Bandit, Ninja 650R, FZ6 or something of that nature. Better yet - the V-Strom 650 would be an ideal first bike for someone who wants touring with a bit of sport and off-road mixed in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
Well, I started on a Ninja 500: A great first bike apart from the rather low tech.



My GF started on the 250. Also a hoot.



HOWEVER, I think if I really understood what I was doing (and as I have good right-wrist constraint), I should have started with an SV650 as its a first/last/only bike, not just a first bike.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
My first so-called "bike" (at age 13) was a Whizzer motorbike (bicycle with motor) with a top speed of about 35mph. My first REAL bike (at age 15) was a war surplus Harley 45 with a bobbed rear fender, no front fender, custom loud pipes, hand shift (on the gas tank) and a suicide clutch. I don't recommend either of the above.



I think the best bike for a beginner has upright riding position, light weight, a low seat so both feet can be planted on the ground, and enough power to keep out of the way of cars. Probably a 250cc to 450cc bike is about the right displacement. This will be lots easier, safer and even more fun for a beginner to ride than a sport bike, although I love MV Agustas. Picture yourself trying to balance and maneuver at 2 or 3 mph for your driving test.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I started out at age 14 on a 1948 Cushman. Two speed auto with a genuine trunk! top speed 45 mph laying down. Probably had more fun with it than most of the next twenty bikes.

Ok seriously... best first bike...a lesson in the above. Get one that is "friendly", comfortable, and fun...do not try and impress others. Ride safe so you can enjoy the next 20 bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
My first bike was a Honda Hawk GT (NT650). It suited my inseam-challenged size, had solid but not overwhelming power, and had a comfortable seating position that let me concentrate on riding instead of my discomfort.



In general, I think a used bike is the best way to go. You can get great deals on low-mileage used bikes that will allow you to sell it or trade up with little cost. You won't care as much about scratching it up, and you can take the money you save and buy good safety gear.



In terms of cruiser, sport bike, standard, dual-purpose, I think the key is to buy a bike you like. If you have no interest in cruisers and think they look silly, then don't buy one. On the other hand, if you love the look and it's your paradigm for what a motorcycle should look like, then go for it. For every style of bike there are tons of choices in used bikes with moderate size or power.



Personally, I also like single and twin-cylinder motorcycles (of any style) for beginners. Low-end torque makes them easier to ride without stalling at low speed and you won't need to rev the ***** out of them to keep up with traffic. They also sound cool (;-))



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Many people here say to start with at least a 600cc bike. My reaction is: yes, you can, you can also start with an even bigger bike, but the question is whether you should. I think it is far better for a great majority of riders to start out as small as possible to reduce the chance of getting hurt and to build the confidence and skills needed to hadle something bigger, faster, and more expensive.



I have both a Honda Rebel and Ninja 250. Let me say this first: I ride both of these with my wife, together we weigh near 250 lbs, on the freeway for hours, and they run beautifully. The Rebel is a little slower with a 0-60 in about 12 sec with a *confirmed* top speed of 80 MPH but the Ninja can do that in just 5 with a top speed of 100 MPH. Do you really need that much more power than what these two can offer to start out? Besides they both give you outstanding gas mileage. The average gas mileage of the Rebel is 75, the Ninja 65. Of the two bikes, if the Rebel fits you, it is the easier of the two to ride. The Ninja has some peronality to get used to (in the low rpm range) but is must faster and handles very well so it is more fun to ride in the long run. They are very popular among newbies so it is very easy to resell. Now ask yourselves: Why do you have to start with something so much bigger???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I imagine 5,000 sober tales of well thought-out first bikes will suffice so- here goes with a wee tale that fits a strong minority of mofos out there. My discovered passion for two wheeled vehicles began as a toddler. Tricycles turned to bicycles befor first grade. Early grade school saw B&S go-carts after school till the tanks ran dry. Still short of junior high had me getting quick, furtive rides on actual off-road bikes too big to be safe. During these years, my next door neighbor(boo radley, i had thought, since moving to that block) had 70's bultacos, yamahas, huskys, and something else, monsterous and unidentifiable in his back yard. By 6th grade my daily habit, rain or shine , was scrabbling up the cement block wall between our properties and staring at the incredible machines in his yard. The following year, the ice was broken, we were friends, and a just turned 13 year old, short for his age, was on his way to an old mx track with a big, menacing Yamaha 2 stroke 500cc with earth crushing knobbies, and a former racer to instruct!

Like every bike I've ever had any relationship with, I loved it deeply. It scared away all the older kids and never failed to start. I miss it this very moment. Um..not a recomended first bike. From then on:

Suzuki RM125 1983? Had a TAD more suspension than the old Yamatank.

Honda 450 hawk? can't remember.

Yamaha 100cc 2 stroke enduro. Fun, small, and belonged to wealthy friend who cleaned it far more than he rode it. Good for me.

Honda 650 nighthawk, excellent starter! Quick and responsive. Best first bike here.

BMW 1975 R750R with every ugly bit of batman luggage and barn door available from late 70s. Wonderful machine, my intro into the realm of carburetor problem solving(and not).

BMW R100GS bumblebee, sold imidiately for profit, what a mistake, great bike that inspired me, but I badly needed cash to continue living.

Yamaha FZR1000 1992 Every go faster mod to motor and exhaust from original owner. Perhaps the most satisfying motorcycle ever owned. Loved the ugly frankenstein deeply.

Honda Aspencade 1985 Tyed for most loved. I'll probably have another only for touring when I rob a bank and own a ten motorcycle garage.

Honda CBR600 1990 I want to try this again, post 1999, any make, even Triumph. Probably in next 2 years.

Suzuki DR350 1993 Near perfect first bike!

Honda XR600 1992 Made street legal, must learn art of kickstart, but.. see above.

Kawasaki KLR650 1989 Got one finally! See above. Thank god the price was right on blue/white/green and not the unspeakable(shudder) pink/green/etc!

This brings us up to date, and having just gotten myself aquainted with KLR, I wont doubt that it may end up becoming a favorite. How can all you brilliant, gentle people be mistaken?

Now to order all new safety gear! First time ever.

To some of us, all bikes are perfect, first and last.

wells







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hmmm, don't see the survey, but I'd cast my vote in the direction of the Ninja 250, Ninja 500, or GS500. Maybe a Monster or an SV650. Depends on my choices I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
First bike was a KZ400 but the one I have had the longest and enjoyed the most is a DR650 kickstart only. Easy to have way too much fun on and very forgiving. It still gives me smiles every time I ride it. When it gets dropped about the only thing to get replaced is a blinker or two. It is truly what motorcycling is all about; simple, honest, cheap, reliable, almost a good friend that never lets me down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
I always wondered which was best, the Cushman, Powell, or the expensive Salisbury (sp?). I liked the Powell with its 1 inch front suspension travel and its soft 6 inch rear travel or so., and most kids at my school preferred them. I never rode any of them, myself. The Mustang was the ultimate later on, since it was almost a motorcycle (Walt Fulton even rode one at one of the Catalina races).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
SV650 (non-S)

Definitely SV650, non-S, if your inseam is greater than my 27". My first bike is a Ninja 250R; way too much drivetrain lash for a noob. Have ridden briefly on a 500R, 650R, SV650, SV650S, and a Vulcan 800.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Speaking from experience, whatever your first bike is, make it a used one! You ARE going to drop that sucker and the crunching sound it will make is directly proportional to the amount of money you paid for it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Upon further consideration ...

I thought about it some more after responding to Part One and think that my overall advice for a new bike would be less specific and more general:

1) Buy a bike that is all purpose, master of none. If it is truly one's first bike, then you won't know exactly what you are going to need and this will allow one to try pretty much anything.

2) Buy a bike that you can afford at the same time as the safety gear.

3) Buy a bike you can pick up if you drop it and that you can push to the curb.

4) Buy a bike you feel you can handle.

5) Buy a bike you at least somewhat like the look of.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top