Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMotorcycles · 10 years ago

My first Bike!! Hopefully, please help?

Help choosing the right starter motorcycle!!?

Hey everyone, I'm looking purchase my first motorcycle this spring and currently looking in British Columbia Canada with a budget between 4-6k. I am planning on buying used as I don't want to be afraid to drop or scratch up a brand new bike.


I'm 21, 6'4 about 195-205 lbs fluctuates, I have about 100 hours riding dirt bikes mostly a crf250x, but sometimes on a 450. I've ridden a relatives ninja 250 for a 3-4 hours and found it way too small for my size. I did like the feel of the bike, and it was comforting to know i had a SLIGHTLY larger margin for error on a smaller bike. I have taken an intensive riding course recently and feel its time to jump into buying a bike.

Potential Options:

I like the feel and riding position of a sport bike versus a cruiser, and have search a variety of bikes. I have questions about suzukis sv650, the FZ6, or a cbr600. I looked at a kawi ex500 but i really dont like the look of that bike. I plan to use this bike within the city initially and then put some highway miles on it with day trips and hopefully weekend trips by the end of the summer. My friends have suggested an r6 or a zx6r, and tho i trust my maturity and respect for such a powerful machine, I dont want that big of a bike to start!!

I would really appreciated some insight from experience riders, and also please share your first bike experiences.

Thanks alot

10 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The problem with a bigger bike is not power, it's weight. At your height you probably wouldn't have a problem starting out on a 500 or 650. A 250 will definitely feel a little cramped.

    In this forum, when you ask "What kind of bike should I get?" people answer with what kind of bike THEY would get. And the most popular variety here is the super-sports.

    Super sport bikes like GSX-R and CBR and R1/R6 are deadly serious single-purpose machines. They are marvels of engineering, wonderful bikes for what they are, but they aren't for beginners. And they aren't for day-long rides. They are not made for comfort. 8^< They have twitchy, sensitive steering, tiny, hard seats (because you get some road feedback through your bottom, and an extreme riding position that wears you out in a hurry. They sacrifice everything to speed and handling.

    SV650, FZ6, Kawasaki Ninja, etc. are general purpose bikes that are good for in the city and long highway trips at higher speeds. They are sporty enough to have a good time, but not to the point where you'll need a chiropractor after 2 hrs in the saddle.

    Don't worry about a bigger bike. Sit on it and tilt it from side to side to get a feeling for it. Put it on the center stand and sit with your hands on the handlebars and feet on the pegs to see how comfortable it is. Ask yourself 'Could I sit like this for 4 hrs?' Yes a bigger bike has more power but there will be places where that power comes in very handy. And you leave it 'in reserve' for those times. If you're a grownup, you can use just what power you need.

    I applaud your decision to start with a used bike. After six months or a year you can sell this 'old beater' for about what you paid for it, and by then you'll have a much better idea of what you really want. But if you have hundreds of hours on dirt bikes you should have no trouble adapting to a flat, smooth road. 8^)

    All the Japanese manufacturers make a great product. Well-engineered, reliable, long-lived, economical. I'm a Honda man myself but they are all good. For a used bike, of course, it all depends on how well it's been cared for. And this is more a judgement you make about the previous owner than the bike itself.

    My first bike was a Lambretta scooter. I bought it to go to school, but I found I loved riding it so much that I'd go on long day trips on weekends, up to about 150 mi. So I got a bigger bike. I bought my Lambretta, hopped on it and rode it home (at night!) Nobody does that these days. 8^)

    BC has some beautiful things to see on a bike ride! You've got coastline, incredible mountains, etc. You're going to have a great Summer! Just, you know, be careful. Watch out for the people in the cars--they don't see you, and it's because they don't LOOK. They are the biggest hazard to bikers, especially if you're used to dirt biking on trails because there aren't any cars there.

  • 10 years ago

    With your previous dirt riding experience, and a course under your belt, you should look at the SV650. Goes like stink, more comfortable riding position for longer rides than a straight up super sport, such as the CBR600, and a little more oomph than the FZ6. (although the FZ6 is a nice ride as well...)

    If you can find a gently used SV650, I doubt you'll have any regrets, and you should be able to find one within your budget.

    Another option, if you come across one, is a GSF650 Bandit. (another longer available on the Canadian market, but still in production for overseas markets) Very similar in many ways to the SV650, but an in-line four cylinder vice a V-twin on the SV650. Lots of get up and go, and again you should be able to find one well within your budget.

    I'm a few inches shorter (4") but a helluva a lot heavier, and the Bandit lugs my big meat locker around with no problems.

    I'm sure you'll find either to plenty of bike for you to start street riding with.

    Source(s): Own an '06 GSF650/Riding experience on SV650 (a friend's)
  • 10 years ago

    Dude! You're big enough to handle the big dogs, so don't worry about it. Any bike ridden badly is going down, with or without you. Get the bike that turns you on! Get the bike that gives the most smiles to the mile for you, just you, nobody else but you.

    Yeah, the accepted wisdom dictates starting out on a smaller displacement bike. Learn as much as you can about riding. Take some classes, learn about handling, braking, street and highway riding. Hone your abilities. Practice, practice, practice. Know your limitations. While you're at it, learn something about maintenance too. A little knowledge of repair and upkeep is a good thing.

    After a while, you'll understand what style of riding suits you. You'll understand what kind of bike you want to ride, and you'll naturally gravitate towards the best fit for you. It could be small and light, big and heavy, fast and manoeuvrable, or slow and steady. There's a whole world of differences- standard, naked, sport, sport touring, cruiser, couch, zip-splat, bagger, chopper, vintage, dirt, half dirt, some dirt, chrome and noise tavern to tavern racers, trikes and hacks- take your time to know what you like.

    I started out with a 125 two stroke street bike. I learned how to crash. I learned how not to crash. Wanted more power, so to a 250. Wanted to dirt bike, so did that. Wanted to do it in the road with more room to haul stuff, so to a 650. Liked road riding, then to a 750. I liked the old Brit bikes. They have character, and force you to learn maintenance. Finally after about a hundred years, I'm most comfortable with what is referred to as a "sport-tourer", and German for it's rugged reliability. Point is, I took the time and effort to learn what I like.

    Best of luck buddy! Keep the shiny side up!!!!

  • 10 years ago

    Finally bought my first bike, what a rush, could not wait to get "on the road" filled it up with gas, and headed out to the freeway, to be free, face in the wind.................. I came on the on ramp to the freeway, feeling all free, for some reason, my mouth was open, and within seconds of being free, a free LARGE BUG flew inside my mouth, hit the back of my throat, and by reflex, my body swallowed it whole. to this day, I have no idea what it was, but I kept my mouth shut after that. also got hit in the ear by a butterfly once, big ones are mostly GOO if you are ever interested, and it filled my ear up with goo. never hit anything with the front tire is my best advice, and ride like you are invisible, take your bike somewhere deserted,and test out how it accelerates, stops, and turns, every bike is different, and some handle much better than others keep the rubber side down ride safe

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  • 10 years ago

    I had an old Z1000. Then I had 3 ZR1100's. The later being Kawasaki 1993. They had issues with their trannies 2nd gear the culprit. They upped it to a 1200 but one of those might be too old. You go to the Motorcycle Trader. I saw one with low miles for around 5 grand. This is a standard not a crotch rocket with expensive fairings to deal with and is cheap to insure from Norhtland or McGraw.I was told by an expert Kawasaki mechanic that the bike handles like a 600! So it's a good choice there I"m 6' 3" 185#. It worked good for me.If I bought new I"d be looking at A Triumph now, as standards seem to be going by way the dodo now.The original Z1000 and the ZR1100 are highly sought after now as collectibles.I bought my last one via a one way ticket from Long Beach to Portland drove it for a few years and sold it for way more than I paid for it.The guy buying had tattoos saying Kawasaki all over his arms.fresh from a trip from Denmark he loaded it in his rented pick-up and took it to Customs crated and sent on a container from the Port of Long Beach. He did this all in a matter of two days. He wanted this bike, bad. This ordeal cost him a bloody fortune, but I didn't have to deal with the dreamers that wanted me to come down in price.He actually couldn't believe I was selling it as it was showroom. I told him I didn't ride anymore, not being that guy who just polish his baby in the garage.

    Source(s): I've been riding since the early 90's and knew early on that big guy means big bike buy beater first. Kawasaki was forced out of the Zepher because Ford owned that name, so I got a new one that used to sell for $8000 For $5000 in 1994 the bike sat for over a year unsold.Full coverage was cheap and needed as people were always running into me.
  • 10 years ago

    I really like the SV650 and I think you have enough experience, barely, to start out with it. Respect the bike and suspect your fellow drivers and road conditions and you will do well. That Suzuki is such a versatile bike, I've test road one and was very impressed.

  • Lauren
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    if ur looking hardtail,fullsuspension or ridgid framed bikes to do the job. Then I think Specialised as a make are good for the hard tail free style,Trek are good for full sus,an hardtail as well. These two companies have awide range to choose from. I my self have had a hardrock, this was good for road use, and quite good for tricks. Also had an FSR specialised blue, up graded the forks to "obsyst" carbon fiber. but snapped the frame, so now got a trek full sus. it works well on all envirments, just change the tyres to suit. hope this helps.

  • Banger
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    Though the EX500 definitely looks pretty early '90s (even a brand new one does), it's a fine machine for someone like yourself. And they're dirt cheap if you get a used one. Don't count it out on looks alone. You need to see if there's any way you can score a ride on one sometime. That will be the ultimate test for you.

    The SV650 puts down a LOT of power for a first street bike, though most of it is at the high end of the rev range. Same goes for the FZ6 and CBR600. We're talking more than 70 horsepower-- and in the case of the FZ6, nearly 100 horsepower! My current bike, a BMW K75, makes less than that (68 horsepower), but even with its heaviness to slow it down a bit, it can still get me into a heap of trouble if I'm not careful. I wouldn't have felt comfortable on the K75 if it were my first bike-- in fact, I felt a bit intimidated by it for a while after moving up from a 650cc single-cylinder cruiser (Suzuki LS650P "Savage") that made around 30 horsepower.

    In addition to the EX500, see if you can score some seat time on a Buell Blast. If the original owner has taken care of it, this can be one extremely fun little bike that is easy to maintain in your own garage. Unfortunately, the Buell brand has been discontinued by Harley Davidson, but you should still be able to order factory-specific parts or get service from most Harley dealers, especially those that carried Buell bikes in the past.

    My experience, since you asked:

    I wanted an old UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) for my first bike, so my parents got a great deal ($200) on an old Honda CB500T. Look it up, as it was pretty rare in North America. I think they only imported it for a couple of years (1975-1977). Of course, the bike needed some work, but cosmetically, it was a beaut. Unfortunately, the engine work was going to be pretty intense, and when I found we had to order even a simple carburetor rebuild kit from aftermarket sources (because the local Honda motorcycle shop couldn't source them from the factory), we knew getting this thing back on the road was going to be an expensive and very time-consuming process. We garaged the CB500T and gave up hope for a while.

    I enrolled in the MSF Basic RiderCourse the summer before my senior year of high school and got licensed (ranked second in my class, just behind an old-timer who had taken the course to refresh his skills a little.) Then, being that I had been gainfully employed for a while and had a little cash saved up, the hunt began in earnest for a late-model starter bike. I was taken by the Honda Nighthawk 250s we used in the RiderCourse, thanks to their comfortable seating position and nimble handling, but was turned off by the drum brake on the front and claims that the bike would have a hard time handling my commutes on a 70 mph highway. Plus, dealer prices for even used-up old MSF Nighthawks were ridiculously high.

    Perusing eBay one day, I was admiring a Suzuki GT380 triple for sale a few towns over. It looked like a screamer, with its small-displacement three-cylinder two-stroke engine and green-over-silver two-tone sparkle paint on the tank. But after my experience with the CB500T, I couldn't make myself go back to the unknown-- sure, it looked good cosmetically and had obviously been restored to factory appearance standards, but what if the engine's a complete turd like the old 500T's was? Not to mention, the bike was selling for something like $1,250-- which is an absolute fortune for a 1970s bike with a smoking two-stroke engine that would be illegal to even buy in some jurisdictions (thankfully not illegal in my home state, however!)

    While I was drooling over the GT380 and talking myself out of it for all the reasons above, I noticed a link to another bike in a nearby town. It was a 1997 Suzuki LS650P Savage. I did a little research and found it was a dead simple bike: One cylinder, one carburetor, one spark plug, maintenance-free belt drive. Plus, it was easily capable of handling my 70 mph commute all day long if asked, without putting undue strain on the engine. Sounded great. Asking price was $2,000.

    I e-mailed the owner and asked to come look at the bike. I loved it. It was a little short for me (I'm 6'3") but not so short as to restrict my movement in any way. I basically offered full price (like a lovesick buffoon) and took it home (in the back of a truck) the next day.

    In ensuing months, I scraped together enough cash to buy a decent helmet and got a good leather jacket for Christmas. I started riding the bike all over the country. Wherever I had to go, if it was above 50 degrees outside and it wasn't raining, I rode the Zook, as I affectionately named her. I enjoyed the ride-- and the fuel economy of about 55 mpg was beating the pants off my 24 mpg Nissan pickup truck.

    One day as I left work, I got too cocky and was leaving the parking lot a bit too fast. I was making a turn in the parking lot and felt my back wheel get a little loose, which cau

    Source(s): Avid motorcyclist.
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    bro i recently bought me a kawi 900cc's for my starter bike and i love the power, just don't drive like a nut and enjoy the adrenaline!

  • 10 years ago

    as a guy who has ridden since 1969 buy big...everone i ever rode with trades up after a few months...i say get 800 to 1000.. if im liein im diein

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