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Steal one. Ride it around and drop it off before the owner knows it is missing.



According to Mr Crabs, it's not stealing if you give it back before it is missed!



Spongebob
 

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You should give us something to go on. How much did you ride before encountering the VW bus? What type of riding do you want to do now? Blast through canyons/ride long distances/commute/travel two up? How much do you want to pay? Hold off on fully faired bikes till you have another year or so under your belt. Ideal new entry level bikes are the SV650, Ducati M620e, and my current favorite the Moto Guzzi Breva ( the miata of motorcycles) they all are upright riding positions like your old CB and run $6000-7500.
 

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Obviously you should be looking for an old VFR, an SV650, or a Concourse.

Seriously, I would look for a 600 cc standard for a re-entry bike. They don't have the ridiculous powerband (or lack thereof) of the newest 600's, they won't have as much plastic to replace when you drop it, and they are more comfortable than the newest bikes also.

Of course, if you're looking for a cruiser type bike, you might like one of the middle weight Japanese cruisers like the Yamaha Virago 650, or similar. The smaller ones are just that - smaller, lighter, less traumatic when you drop them the first time, etc...

In closing, I recommend a 600 cc standard or older model sporty bike (Suzuki SV650, Suzuki Bandit, Kawasaki ZZR-600, Yamaha YZF600R, etc) if you're looking for something sporty-ish. Plus, a standard will give you the opportunity to decide what type of bike you really want. (Sport bikes look neat, but they aren't what everyone really wants deep down inside.) Or a small displacement cruiser (Yamaha Virago 650, Kawasaki Vulcan 500) if that's the kind of riding you want to do. No matter what you do, enjoy the ride.

"Remember, it's always easier to do things the hard way." Chango
 

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Suzuki's SV 650 is the only answer....got plenty of everything to bring a "geezer" back into it and then keep you interested for a long time. They're plenty fast but very easy to use, handle great, stop well, are reliable, and used ones can be purchased very reasonable. Try one, you'll like it. Most dealers will let you test ride used units if you have a current M/C license. I've had one for 3-4 years,(20,000miles) along with several other newer/larger bikes, been riding since 1965, and the SV is still the favorite.
 

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Hmmm first you have to ask yourself, Do I want a cruiser, sportbike, Dual purpose, adventure tour, sport tour, touring bike, race replica, scooter, Boss Hoss - Aprilia RS50?



Is this a great time to live or what?
 

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The Triumph shop down the road from me (Back Roads Triumph Jacksonville NC) has a great demo plan. They have let me try out many new and used bikes. All you have to have is a Motorcycle endorsement on your license.



I am riding a 96 Nighthawk right now. It is very vanilla and very easy to get along with. The new Bonniville is very nice. The Breva turns me on too though I have not ridden one.



I hope it goes well for you. Good luck.
 

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MSF Class...

Take the standard rookie advice: take the MSF class, get a reasonable first bike (EG, Ninja 250, Ninja 500, maby an SV650 if you have a well disciplined right wrist, good safetly gear etc).

You're skills are rusty enough that terating it as a learn-from-scratch, you will be better.

ObCruisersSuck, they handle like pigs, get a standard or faired standard or large dirtbike or something.
 

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It is coming upon the best time of year for a used bike. Look for a Suzuki GS500. A nice upright position, excellent handling and brakes. Quite suffiicient power for freeways. Get your skills back up and then decide whether you want a more sporty bike, or a cruiser or maybe anothe naked street bike. Or you just might like the GS500.
 

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I stopped riding a few years before you did, although luckily not for the same reasons. When I decided to get back into riding in 1997, I took the MSF beginner's course and I'm convinced it was the smart thing to do. I've since gone through a couple of Hondas and now ride a BMW R1100RT. Take the MSF course, please! As far as test rides are concerned, some (not many) Honda dealers will let you test ride a cruiser or two and they had a special GoldWing demo deal going a few months ago. Most BMW dealers will let you ride any model they have available if they think you are a serious buyer. I test-rode my RT three times before I bought it.
 

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Get something you like that's cheap. Doesn't really matter as long as it suits you, you'll know when you see it. Don't scrimp on a good jacket, boots, and helmet to go with the bike. You may decide later to upgrade to newer/better bike (or not) but either way you'll have the gear which is key.
 

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Buy a used bike. They're cheaper and the owner will let you test ride it. If you skills are rusty or you're a greenhorn, I suggest getting a dirt bike and go out and hone your skills on the dirt first. You can get and old motocrosser or enduro for under $1000 and unless you've master dirt riding before it's well worth it. The other thing is buy good gear, leather jacket, helmet, boots, gloves at a minimum. You'll keep the gear longer than the first bike, so don't economize. You didn't say anything about where or how you planned to ride. If you're commuting a dualsport (Kawa KLR650 or Suzuki DZ600) might be what you want. The 500 twins from Kawasaki and Suzuki are good choices too. If you want to tour you'll need something bigger. If you want to tour two-up you'll need a Beemer or Concours or ST1100. But don't get one of those until you've gotten those control skills and street smarts tuned up.
 

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Seconded..... I got a 10 year old GS500E when I came back after a 20 year break. Light and flickable. Took me 2 days to confirm that I really wanted to do this, and a year to move up to a shiny new VFR, and with trades and stuff, I think it cost me about $500 for the year.



Good luck.... Grif



 

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Get a 750 Honda, reliable, fast enough to get away from the brainchildren, but not fast enough to get yourself in too much trouble. I started out again after a 13 yr layoff from a KZ1000, I started back with a 1150RSBMW[totally different bike], took me several months to get the balance,throttle, brakeing down, the ABS saved me from my dumbist mistakes, now I've got a X11 Honda, if I had made this my first re-entry bike , I would be dead, take your time, the cars are faster so the bikes have to be faster,[you'll need speed to get away from the Einstonians],a 750 Honda has it and you'll feel comfortable withit...and next year it'll be a Blackbird..Bruce
 

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msf course first, some gear and then a ducati 900ss was my route... a shaft drive would mean less kneeling in the garage on creaky knees . I have a feeling that you will gain confidence by 1000 miles and trade up by 2000 ... where can I trade in for a V11 is what I am thinking!
 

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The SV650 would be a great choice unless the new styling is not to your liking. You might want to check out the new Triumph Bonnie, the style and feel are much more like bikes were when you stopped riding. Most dealers let me test ride whatever I want.
 

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Yeah I second the SV-650, good good bike. Although personally I would go for an old naked upright 500 in-line four. Cheap but very enjoyable retro feeling! Warning: don't get similar looking old parallel twin, they run like lawnmovers and offer zero ride pleasure. In my opinion anyway.



-cruiz-euro
 

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Getting back into it? Buy used, first and ride it while you are perusing new and barely used bikes. Early 80's Suzuki GS550 and GS650 can be had for way under $1k, are standard-style bikes, and since they are so cheap, you won't cry if you drop one. Or an early Kawasaki GPz 550... A Kawasaki KLR650, if you're looking for a DP bike, a Honda Hawk 650, or Yamaha Radian if you're looking for something not quite as old as a Suz GS, an 80s BMW R bike if you want euro appeal. An oddball would be a MuZ single in any of the flavors they offered. Newer bikes would include the Yamaha Seca II 600, Suzuki Bandit 600, Suz SV650, Honda NightHawk, or if you are longer of inseam, any of the early Triumph models are now pretty cheap. At the showroom, check out the Honda NightHawk and 919, Kawasaki Ex500 and ZR-7 (Oh, no...), Suzuki GS500, SV650, and Bandit 600, Triumph Bonneville or Speed 4 (not as manic as people might think...).



Yep, good time to be in the market for a bike...

 

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I am so glad to hear all the folks that are giving you the excellent advice of taking the MSF Basic Rider Course. It will familarize you with riding, help you re-learn the skills that you have lost and more than likely teach a whole lot more skills then you have ever possessed.



Once you complete that course, then whatever bike you purchase is up to you. In Florida, Biketoberfest is coming in a few weeks. That is the chance to ride, ride, ride and ride some more of the examples that all the manufacturers have provided for your use.



You make a comment about "bikes are so much faster". Well, the only thing that is going to make them go faster is the amount of throttle that the rider chooses to use. The best safety device is an wise throttle hand!



Myself, I choose to ride a Kawasaki ZRX 1200. I once owned and rode a CB 500, great bike! I like the ZRX for that reason. Just now it runs, brakes and handles like the CB 500 never thought of doing.



 

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Checkout the late model Triumph line. A used Adventurer, Legend or Thunderbird would be a great way to get back in the saddle.



Of course the Honda Nighthawk 750 would be somewhat familiar and used ones can be found cheap. I just think the Triumphs would be just as familiar in feel and the sound from the triple is really nice.



Since you've been out of riding for some years now I'll assume you won't be doing all your own sevice, maint. and repair so consider the Triumph only if you have a dealer near you.



I wish I would have thought of the Triumph when I got back into riding after my break. I went with the Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 and had Iknown about the Triumph Thunderbird Sport I would have had it instead. Reletively speaking it has power and performance in a light weight package and is a complete blast to ride.



I rode these Adventurer at a demo ride a few years ago and I know the Triumph demo fleet is still going around the country. Find it and give them a try.
 

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Elsewhere in this publication some nut rode a Kawasaki EX250 in the Iron Butt and was able to finish! I'm 6'1" and 230, rode one and had a ball. Little small and the motor won't scare you. Handles good, stops ok, but has lotsa body work to scuff up when you drop it. The little motor revs to the moon. Should be able to get a used one for a song. I don't think anyone else out there would recommend one so I included it here. Whatever you get, get a used one, take a refresher riding course, buy some GOOD protective gear and have a great time.
 
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