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Discussion Starter #1
Hey.

I have already introduced myself ( http://www.v-rodforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3554 ) and I was wondering if I could get some help/advice from the V-rod crew.

I am in the market for my first bike. I am going to sign up for a motorcycle safety/learn to ride course in the Summertime (Like hell I'm riding in the snow). But I need to choose what bike I should get. Key thing to remember is I am 18 years old and I don't have a ton of cash (When you were 18 how much money did you have?). I have some money saved up but I will work to earn more (Little hard work never hurt anyone). What bikes can you guys recommend? What are some of the most important lessons you guys have learned/what should I know that they won't teach me.

Thanks guys.

- Slowride
 

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Moderator
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Slowride,
Welcome to the forum as far as being 18 ...When I was 18 I had a 1968 2-Door Nova SS 350/350 horse I thought it was the best ride in Long Beach California....Take my advise save your money and research what you want on the INTERNET. When I was your age we did not have the INTERNET, :lamer: we had to rely on news papers and word of mouth if we were looking for a car or motorcycle....Again welcome and glad to meet you
 

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The Tin Man
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883 Sporster - can add big bore later - the new ones are great road bikes - the old ones vibrate but they will be less expensive = as you get better at riding then you can bigbore it to 1200. Avoid rice rockets - they can greatly decrease your life span - discretion is the better part of valour...... at 18 the temptation is too high as is the HP. Wear leathers and full face helmet - face and asphalt to bad things together. Buy a good road riding safety book.
KSP
 

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Metal Guitarist
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5,201 Posts
look for a 250 rebel or something small to learn on, Buy used....that way when you drop it ( and it will happen sooner or later,even to the best of us), you won't feel so bad,keep it atleast a year before trying anything bigger...Good Luck !
 

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Old Guys Rule
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Ricky I was just above you in San Pedro with my 68 302 Mustang. Ahhh the good ol dayz.

Yes used is a great start on your first bike. There is lots to learn and you will do better doing the safety course but the real training isn't till you get out on the street. I would keep it under 650cc for your first bike. In my opinion for your first bike the Sportster would be a bit difficult to handle. The weight is pretty high and its easier to lean it over cuz its so top heavy. If you HAD to get a Harley as your first bike I believe the Sporty Hugger is about as low as you can go in the weight distribution area.
 

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Manhorse said:
Ricky I was just above you in San Pedro with my 68 302 Mustang. Ahhh the good ol dayz.



Yea Baby,
CRUISING DOWN OCEAN BLVD... Craig 8 Track Power Player mounted under the dash (Guaranteed to RIP your right knee off when getting in) B.F Goodrich L-60's on the rear.... Santana and the Doobie Brothers blowing out the tunes. LIFE WAS GREAT..... :laugh: :laugh:
 

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Old Guys Rule
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Ya I remember in 72 crusin Ocean, out at Redondo on Catalina Ave. and occasionally up in the Van Nuys area. Life was one big party after school let out on Friday. Back when Brew 102 was 1.99 for a 6 pack of talls.
 

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Manhorse said:
Ya I remember in 72 crusin Ocean, out at Redondo on Catalina Ave. and occasionally up in the Van Nuys area. Life was one big party after school let out on Friday. Back when Brew 102 was 1.99 for a 6 pack of talls.
:thumb: :thumb:
 

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Premium Member
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When I was 16 I bought a used Harley sx175 on/off road dirt bike for $300. It still would do 85mph and great gas mileage. It's kinda cool to be able to street ride and then be able to go off road , thats what I would tell others when they made fun of the small CC's ;) Today you can find a used on/off road bike for $2000. Harley even has a mt500 that the US military used that I seen for $5000 used. There is a difference between street bikes and dirt bikes but the basics are the same :ride:
 

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Biker Pilot
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I had a used enduro (Honda) when I was 16 and then proceeded to own several other enduros over the years. It's cheap transportation and fun too. My 2 cents would be to wait until later for the Harley...wait until you have a bit more change to blow on things you don't really need. Get a used bike that you can learn on and definitely take the safety course!! good luck - Crash
 

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Yeah, but what if...
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If you are bent on a HD, I would not get a Sportster. Get like a Lowrider etc. Easier to ride by far. If not bent on HD, I agree to skip anything too fast first up - too easy to accidentally find yourself way out of your depth. Look for ease of use and handling and laid back ergo's - there is a switch in the brain of 18 to 45 year olds that trips when in the human missile position and causes the self preservation circuit to go into sleep mode.
 

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Yeah, but what if...
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If you can swing it, get a v-rod for sure! No reason not to. Well there are a couple, but none good enough if you can afford one - JUST DON"T BUY IT OFF EBAY WITHOUT CHECKING HERE FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Val said:
Aw, slowride, forget all this sensible advice, save your pennies, and get the v-rod!!

;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Damn you guys are awesome.... I see a few of you guys getting a little nostalgic too :)

I'm not hell bent on getting a Harley for my first ride as I know it will get dropped sooner or later when I am learning (Better to scratch up a cheap crappy bike when you are learning then scratching up your Harley). Hell if I had the money I'd get a V-rod, but I'm not a rich kid. I don't want to start with something too powerfull because I will get myself into trouble starting with something like that (Everyones been there, you just get a little carried away).

I actually have some good news. My dad is thinking about getting a Harley. Things are looking up!

I'm going to start looking at some of the bike shops and on the net, I will also call my uncle to see what he has to say (He was huge into HD's before the accident)
 

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Come back Max
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If you set your sights high and get a :vrod: you may not be able to pay the insurance cover.
Start with a second hand bike, one that you can play with at modifying to your taste. Do it up, sell it and make a profit. Move on to the next affordable bike, as time goes by you will get your dream bike.
One last thing. BEWARE GIRLFRIENDS! get one and wave your money good bye.
Good luck!
 

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Vincent said:
Start with a second hand bike, one that you can play with at modifying to your taste. Do it up, sell it and make a profit. Move on to the next affordable bike, as time goes by you will get your dream bike.
One last thing. BEWARE GIRLFRIENDS! get one and wave your money good bye.
tsk! tsk! Vincent, on the girlfriends thing there! Some girls are actually self-supporting these days and even ride, too... There's the cutest little high school girl here in town. We met her at the ERC last summer with her dad. She has a little Honda streetbike and rides it to school -- takes a terrible amount of grief from the other kids for it, tho.

Buying a bike and fixing it up to sell later at a profit is a great idea. slowride, I'd hate to see your pennies go into something that's going to lose value the minute you get on it, knowing those pennies are hard to come by.

have you signed up for a class yet?
 

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Tired of the crap
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Slowride said:
But I need to choose what bike I should get. .../what should I know that they won't teach me.
A first bike can be a difficult choice. On one hand, you don't want something too big and powerful, but on the other, you don't want a bike you will outgrow in the first three months. A V-Max or CBR-600 is obviously too fast for a new rider - but a Honda Rebel will seem dreadfully underpowered after just a few weeks of riding.

Personally I'd go with a sub-600 cc used bike, such as a Honda Nighthawk 450 or Shadow. You should be able to buy a two or three year old model for less than $3000. Any bike that you do buy should be checked over by a qualified mechanic to make sure it is safe (and reliable) to ride. Ideally you want a "standard" bike, as opposed to a full-out cruiser or sportbike, since the riding position and ergonomics will be much easier to learn with.

Taking the Motorcycle Safety course is a good first step. But ideally you will want to spend some time practising before you get to the course. You also need to accept the fact that virtually everyone drops their bike (at least once) when learning to ride. Hopefully it wont be too painful or expensive - but it does happen.

Buy, and use, good safety equipment. A helmet is the first step, but you also will want motorcycle boots, a good leather jacket, and gloves. Try and buy motorcycle-specific stuff, as you will quickly find that it has nice features that make riding a pleasure.

If you haven't read them already, I'd take a look at some of the motorcycle books out there. "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough covers most of what you'll need to know.

Lastly, I'd recommend you make some commitments to yourself. You've decided you want to ride a motorcycle, a machine that can be dangerous to its operator. You will want to do everything you can to even the odds in your favor. So think about giving yourself a set of rules that you can (literally) live with: i.e. Never ride after consuming alcohol; always wear a helmet; never ride beyond your abilities.
 

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My opinion,
Not alot of $$$
Easy to get parts to fix the " I dropped it" blues.......
A 1996 to 2002 Sportster.
Gets you in the H-D door.
Lots of stock and mod parts at swap meets.
Good learning bike because of the ease to find replacement parts when mistakes are made.
You can get a decent used one in the 4,200 to 5,300 dollar range. Yes, they are out there.
Just do not wait until spring is totally here. That is when all the apartment dwellers go out and look for their summer ride(at least in the north it works that way).
Good Luck
BobT
 

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Fries with that?
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There's nothing wrong with a Sportster for a first bike. My "first" was a '75 Sporty... my advice to you is to go "shopping"... sit on every style of bike and see what feels most comfortable. If you don't feel comfortable/confident on a particular bike, it's not the "right" one for you - don't worry about what your friends think you "should" have.

I've never known a bike to jump off its' sidestand and hurt anybody... What will keep you alive is your own maturity and common sense. The most important part of a motorcycle is the nut that holds the throttle.

Used is definitely the way to go. You'll save $$ and won't be nearly as heartbroken if you drop it (and as a new rider, there's a good probability this will happen). You're gonna get raped on insurance for several years, sad to say.

Some other models I can think of off the top of my head...

Suzuki SV 650
Suzuki GS 500
Kawasaki Ninja 250
virtually ANY cruiser-style bike (Magna, Vulcan, Virago, Rebel etc etc)

Do yourself a favor and get some good gear. A properly-fitting leather jacket is a "must-have", along with gauntlet-style gloves, sturdy boots and a full-face helmet. Dress for the crash... better the cow hide than your hide!
 

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Come back Max
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Val said:
tsk! tsk! Vincent, on the girlfriends thing there! Some girls are actually self-supporting these days and even ride, too... There's the cutest little high school girl here in town. We met her at the ERC last summer with her dad. She has a little Honda streetbike and rides it to school -- takes a terrible amount of grief from the other kids for it, tho.

Buying a bike and fixing it up to sell later at a profit is a great idea. slowride, I'd hate to see your pennies go into something that's going to lose value the minute you get on it, knowing those pennies are hard to come by.

have you signed up for a class yet?
Val
I knew I would get my knuckles rapped for that one. :chair: :kiss:
 
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