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sudsy9977

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So i am currently saving for a bike.....i am thinking about a sportster 1200.....anyone ride bikes?....thoughts on what to look for?......my budget is probably like 5 to6 thousand......i was thinking of getting a used bike that is more stock with lower miles in better condition than a bike with more add ons with higher miles for the same price.....any advice would be appreciated greatly.....this wilbemyfirstbike.....i wanna get one so i can ride with my dad....Ryan
 

DeepCSweede

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Just don't forget that HD doesn't stand for Harley Davidson - It's Hundred Dollars
Because every tiny piece of crome costs at least $100.:razz:
 

DeepCSweede

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I moved from Harley's to Victory (also American Made - Division of Polaris), which is a sin when I live in the greater Milwaukee area about five years ago. I got sick of my bike overheating because HD's are only air cooled. The sportster is a good starter bike - good balance and decent ride. Make sure you have good compression when starting it up - i.e. starts within a couple of turns. I don't know how much riding experience you have - but take someone along to test ride it if you need to get a feel for how it feels. If you do have experience make sure you take it for a test ride and are comfortable with it. I have sold myself on the idea of several bikes only to change my mind during a test ride.
 

kalaeb

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I prefer the low maintanence cost of the Honda. I used to have a Shadow 1100, now I am saving fo a bmw.
 

ajhuff

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I've got 2 Moto Guzzis.

Take an MSF course.

-AJ
 

Hermes7792

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I have a cbr600 f4. Good bike. I'm more of a cruiser person though. For a 12 year old bike it only has 8500 miles in it.
 

DeepCSweede

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I have a cbr600 f4. Good bike. I'm more of a cruiser person though. For a 12 year old bike it only has 8500 miles in it.
That was my transition too - I picked up the Victory in 2005 and pretty much shelved my CBR1100XX. Now my knees can't handle more than a couple miles on the bike so it has sat in the garage the last two years. That is one of my few new years resolutions it to sell the CBR by spring.
 

Keith Neal

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I bought this one new in 1977. She hasn't let me down yet. Can't imagine a better bike.
 

SpikeC

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I would recommend a smaller bike for the first one, like a 500 ninja or gs500. It will cost a lot less when you have your inevitable first drops/tipovers.
I currently ride a BMW R1100S and have been riding since 1966, commuting year round every day(now retired).
I second the MSF course.
You can ride the smaller used bike until you get tired of it and then sell it for what you paid for it. You will then have a better idea of what you really want in a bike. It is really the same as your first J knife, start with something that will not kill you if you screw it up, get some experience, then let that inform the next direction.
 

sudsy9977

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I have also considered a shadow......i am going to take a course to learn....i don't have any experience riding......

Spike....i thought about that.....one of the problems is i thought i was a litle large for a ninja or a sport bike in general....i am 6 4 and about 300lbs.....but idid consider getting something a lot smaller to ride first but everyone is trying to talk me out ofit that i know.....Ryan
 

SpikeC

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The "ninja" 500 is actually not a sport bike. A "standard" is what you need to start. When I started out a 500 was a big bike!
Something like a Kawasaki KD650 is also a very good starter, it will survive low speed drops well, keep up with traffic easily, and will be fun to ride.
 

ajhuff

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I started with a 30 year old 750. No argument with Spike's wisdom, it 100% sound. I was told the same thing. But in my opinion a 650-850cc bike isn't too big for a first bike. Sure 250-450 might be better, but I don't think it's a drastic step for a novice to move up. I also feel, again my opinion, should at least get something that looks like you want to ride it. If you go 100% practical and pragmatic you might be getting a bike you really don't like. And if you don't like it, you won't ride it. And if you don't ride, you'll never gain proficiency.

-AJ
 

SpikeC

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This can and has been argued back and forth ad infinitum. I've said my piece and am done.
 

ajhuff

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This can and has been argued back and forth ad infinitum. I've said my piece and am done.
Dude, I'm not arguing with you. I'm just expressing my personal experience.

-AJ
 

SpikeC

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No worries, I've just seen to much of this elsewhere.
 

jmforge

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I had the Thruxton 900 version of the new Triumph Bonnevile for a while. it worked well, but I am too old and too fat to be crouched over the bars of a cafe racer.:lol2: if and when I move to a safer city (fewer psycho drivers. I had to put mine on the ground at low speed two weeks after I bought it because some yuppie woman in an SUV with a bad cell phone habit pulled out in front of me at a 4 way stop sign and just drove away.) I will probably look at a used Ducati GT1000 "standard" bike.
 

ecchef

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Ryan,

I'll give you my perspective. The very best advice so far is to take an MSF or AMA aproved riders course. You need this & it will also lower your insurance costs.
The style of bike that you get depends more upon what you want to do rather than how big you are. I would recommend that you start off with something a little smaller, no bigger than a 650. A standard or cruiser type will be more forgiving than a sport bike. Used is the way to go for your first bike because at some point you will drop it. It might not be your fault, but it's gonna happen. Especially on those NJ roads. The simpler the machine the less costly it will be to repair & service.
Buy the best helmet you can afford. Full face. It's a little hot in the summer, but it beats reconstructive surgery. Same with boots & gloves. Always assume that everyone driving a cage is an idiot.
I started out with vintage British iron in my teens and then rode nothing but Japanese sport bikes for years. I was in the industry for close to 10 years before switching to culinary, working for Honda & Kawasaki dealerships mostly as parts & service manager. I saw a lot of stuff in those days, including the loss of 3 friends. If you're going to get into this, please take it very seriously.

Dave
 

sudsy9977

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Thanks Dave.....i am going to take a msf course....there is a harley dealErship nit too far from me that offers one.....as far as the size of the bike truly thought i needed a larger bike because i am so large.....aren't i gonna be cramped on a smaller bike?.....now granted i haven't really went looking around....only because idont have enough money yet......the kawasaki that spike posted actually looks interesting to me........as far as a helmet i did want a full face......any tips on fitting one?.....do they have people trained at dealers that know how to fit a helmet.....i have read about fitting helmets on the internet but who knows if its true.......e last thingiwant.....if god forbid i get in an accident is for the one thing protecting my head to fly off.....that probably woldnt be good........


As far as safety i do take it very safely ....i am aware of the dangers.....i don't know anyone personally that has been injured or died in an accident but i can imagine it can happen in an instant.......one of the main reasons i want to get a bike is to ride withmydad ......he has always wanted a bike his whole life and was only recently able to afford one.......i also like the idea of using my bike as a work commuter,....i have a short drive to work and obviously bikes get better gas mileage.....i thought i might actually enjoy riding it!..........

The other Thought i had was about highway speeds......i am gonna have trouble getting up to hiway speeds on a 600 say even though weigh more than half the weight of the bike?.....it might be a stupid question but that's why aim asking......all of guys obviously ow a lot more and are experienced riders......Ryan
 

DeepCSweede

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Ryan,

I also recommend strongly buying a beater bike for a few months at least, figure out what you are interested in and test ride after you have some experience to see if you still like it. I am in the same range of size and was the same in college. I started with a new CBR600f2 and just as the guys said above - I had someone pull out in front of me and had to lay it down and scratched it up good. Nothing seriously got hurt but my ego. So take the class and keep watching for everyone else - It will make you a much better driver in the car too. Pros of the sport bike is that I think they are much easier to manuver but you have to have good balance and depending on how good of shape you are in the cramped riding style can wear on you quickly. I have no desire to even ride my sport bike anymore. Pros of the cruiser is much more comfortable and can ride for distance without cramping.
As to will a 450-600cc have problems getting you up to speed - absolutely not. If we were talking a 250 maybe but anything over a 400 shouldn't be bad at all.
My recomendation for fitting a helmet is to make sure it is snug on your face but doesnt' mash it in and that it feels comfortable around and on top of your head. Any major discomfort you have will be intensified when you are riding and you don't want that to be a distraction. Also, get on a bike at the dealership with it on and see how it feels in a riding position. Good luck and be careful.
Eric
 

ecchef

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My best advice Ryan is to just go to a bunch of dealerships and sit on a lot of bikes. You'll know which ones are comfortable right away. It's great that you will be riding with your dad. You have a vested interest in each others safety.
With the power to weight ratios of todays bikes, you shouldn't have any problems with acceleration. I used to regularly smoke Corvettes on an RZ350.
Any competent dealership will be able to fit a helmet for you. You want it just snug aroung your forehead with a little play. It will break in over time. Different brands fit differently. Try 'em all. If you have a round head, Bell or AGV might fit better. If you have a more oblong head, Shoei or Arai would be a good choice.
Have fun!

Eric...were you reading my mind while I was typing?! :yeahthat:
 

jmforge

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Also check out insurance rates. Any bike that is popular with a younger crowd is going to cost more to insure with some companies. "Adult" bikes are usually less even for a new rider because the loss experience with them is so much better.
 

Jim

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I bought this one new in 1977. She hasn't let me down yet. Can't imagine a better bike.
Nice that was my first bike as well! Its long gone with 86000 miles on it. Got stuck in the snow more than once.
 

Eaglewood

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go with the Victory for sure-- way better warranty and performance-- they are great-- I went from Harley to these for my next ride.
 

RRLOVER

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I have also considered a shadow......i am going to take a course to learn....i don't have any experience riding......

Spike....i thought about that.....one of the problems is i thought i was a litle large for a ninja or a sport bike in general....i am 6 4 and about 300lbs.....but idid consider getting something a lot smaller to ride first but everyone is trying to talk me out ofit that i know.....Ryan


You being a Big Boy is the main issue you have to deal with.If the bike is to small for you riding it will be a bit of a PITA,pun intended.Also the "handling" of a to small bike could dangerous if you are cramped and can't move freely.I won't say what brand you should buy but you need to be comfortable.I have to opposite problem,I have to wear a boot with heels so I can reach the ground on my Street Glide:D It is a bit difficult when I have a girl on the back and I have to balance the bike off center at a stop light. Good Luck
 

ecchef

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Yeah...too small of a bike could be an issue...:eyebrow:

Fat-Guy-Motorcycle.jpg

:D
 

cnochef

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As a Harley rider and fellow big guy, I find the Sportster too small and really top and front heavy. You're much better of with a softail for the lower center of gravity and comfortable ride. I don't believe that you need to ride a small bike first, my beginner bike was a Fat Boy and no problems at all.

BTW, with the poor economy, lots of guys are selling their used Harleys at more reasonable prices. For $6000 you should be able to buy a late '80s to mid 90s softail evo, a very very good choice for a used bike. Check Craigslist or www.allofcraigs.com

+1 on an accredited rider course, it'll teach you good habits and lower your insurance too.

With regards to helmets, you'll know when you've found a comfortable one! It should be snug but not too tight. I wear the Nexl half-helmet, which is an excellent and light carbon-fibre helmet. see http://www.nexlsports.com/

You will probably want to buy a good pair of goggles if you're only wearing a half-helmet on the highway, especially if you wear contacts or glasses.
 

jmforge

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I tried on the full face helmets like the Arai, Shoei, AGV and Suomy and they made me claustrophobic as all get out. But, oddly enough, the full face touring helmets with the flip up visor/chin bar did not. I guess having that chin bar a little farther away from my mug did the trick. I know that are not as effective in absolute terms as a full boat boy racer bucket, but they are better than the open face helmets and half helmets.
 

Pachowder

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I have a Harley road king custom. Awesome bike. It's awesome because we havea great Independent bike shop who does great work. My advice, forget all the addons and add as you go. Find a good independent shop to do any work, forget Harley dealerships.
 

Mr. Clean

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So i am currently saving for a bike.....i am thinking about a sportster 1200.....anyone ride bikes?....thoughts on what to look for?......my budget is probably like 5 to6 thousand......i was thinking of getting a used bike that is more stock with lower miles in better condition than a bike with more add ons with higher miles for the same price.....any advice would be appreciated greatly.....this wilbemyfirstbike.....i wanna get one so i can ride with my dad....Ryan
Take an MSF course and then buy a bike you can crash/tip over/bonk. Then after you wreck it/scratch it/dent it, which you will, buy something you love. Various brands require various amounts of TLC but it's fun. Buy the one you love :wink:

Ours:
 
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