Author Topic: Which Motorcycle to get?  (Read 11573 times)

MrMoogle

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Which Motorcycle to get?
« on: March 28, 2015, 02:51:27 PM »
I've decided to get a motorcycle, but I need help selecting a good value one.  I don't really want a scooter.  Yes I understand the dangers.  I plan on getting training, using ATGATT, and practicing a lot at slower speed before trying faster.  I'm not sure this is a real mustachian answer to my problem, it's a want and I can afford this luxury. 

I've found a few topics on the subject already:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/top-10-motorcycles-for-smart-people/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/ditch-my-car-to-get-a-motorcycle/

My Requirements:
Inexpensive
I plan to drive it to work daily, 7 miles each way.  I'll use it for other trips too, so 5k-10k miles/year.
It needs to be able to drive easily on the interstate 75 mph.
I want it to last a long time.  According to the above links, *some* motorcycles are only good for 30k miles, and that doesn't seem like much to me...
Good gas mileage.
Good beginner bike.  I have hardly any experience on them, but I'm pretty athletic, so I don't feel like it's going to be an issue.  I'm also pretty boring, so I won't be doing anything remotely crazy with the bike.
Low maintenance costs - preferably easy to maintain, I don't mind learning how, but that includes relatively inexpensive tires
Reliable, you know, as long as I maintain it.
ABS
I'm tall (6'4), so I need to be able to fit.

My wants:
Passenger seat and able to get to 75 with a passenger
Able to take on trips, I drive 400 miles each way to visit relatives once or twice a year, so comfortable enough for that (with stops) and would need saddlebags as an option I guess.

Things I don't care about:
0-60
max speed - as long as it's over 75...
Color

So in the other link, the 4 that were mentioned the most were:  Kawasaki Ninja 250, Suzuki V-Strom 650, Honda NC700, Honda CTX700.  Do these all meet my requirements?  Are there any others I should consider?

Background:
A bicycle won't work to get to work, the only access to my job is on 50+mph roads, no I can't move to a closer location.  I live in Huntsville, where it seems people try to hit cyclists.
I've always wanted a motorcycle.  I have a classic car that's been in the family for 40 years, so I don't want to sell it.  On the other hand, it gets about 10 mpg, so I don't want to drive it a lot.  So I'm going to use the motorcycle for most of my driving.

I understand the risks, and I would prefer if this didn't turn into a safety thread.

kendallf

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 04:08:29 PM »
The Honda would be an excellent choice, with good girl economy and saddlebags available.  If you want something simpler and cheaper, something like a Suzuki GS 500 can be had for around $2-3k in basically brand new shape; it's air cooled, reliable, and will go 75 without a problem.

humbleMouse

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 04:28:24 PM »
I would get a ninja 500-600.  Get one that is not a racing edition but just an easy riding position one.  Ninjas are cheap to maintain and a blast to ride.  I would stay away from a 250 though, they don't have enough torque on the interstate above 70mph.  You will be going 70mph and only have 2k more rpm before redlining in 6th gear...



Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 04:36:01 PM »
...with good girl economy...

All motorcycles have good girl economy. ;)

Look at the Ninja 300 as well.  The Ninja 250 is questionable as far as power goes (GREAT beginner bike, questionable for highway performance), but the 300 adds just a smidge more power and keeps all the good stuff (ABS + traction control are standard).

I wouldn't believe 30k miles for a motorcycle being worn out.  Unless it's some goofball custom chopper or something.  Any decently modern motorcycle that's ridden on the street (not a dedicated track bike) should be able to do 100k miles without falling apart.  Track bikes are a different story.

How much do you weigh?  You're 6'4", so reaching the ground won't be an issue, but leg space may be (tall people on small motorcycles can end up in a riding style referred to as "monkey f*cking a football" - it's not comfortable at ALL).  If you're thin/light, you have a wider range of motorcycles than if you're a bit heavier (a Ninja 250, for instance, is not a reasonable option for a 350lb 6'4" football player).

How mechanically competent are you?  You mention a classic car, which might imply you're handy with a wrench.  If you don't mind doing your own work, it opens up a few options that I wouldn't suggest for someone who had the dealership take care of everything.

I will, however, warn you that motorcycles are very expensive to run, for the following reasons:
- Tires.  If you get a smaller bike, they're less of a problem.  If you go for something with full size wheels, make sure they'll fit Pilot Road (3, 4, whatever they're up to now) tires.  I was spending $600/yr on tires alone when I commuted on motorcycle.
- Maintenance.  They're just expensive to maintain.  If you do it yourself, it's a lot more reasonable.
- Long weekend trips.  Most people don't jump in their car on a nice Saturday and ride 300 miles.  Motorcycles have a way of encouraging this.  You go out to the garage to take the trash out, the motorcycle catches your eye, and says, "Dude.  It's sunny.  Whatever you're doing can wait."  And it wins.  A lot. :)

However, it pays for itsself in sanity and grins. :)  I think it's totally worth it. :)

OutBy40

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 05:12:20 PM »
I am about 6', 210 pounds and ride a Honda VTX1300c.  This is a bike where my wife and I can easily take longer trips.  Does well on the highway and gets around 50 MPG.  Remember that the lower your CCs, the lower the top speed will safely be, especially with a passenger.  Depending on the bike, you may also get vibration when the bike is moving that quickly down the road.

Whatever you do, buy used.  It gives you the freedom of making a mistake and not being out several thousand dollars if you need to ultimately change bikes.  Go to a bike shop and sit on them - comfort really is in the ass of the beholder in this case.  I had to change the stock VTX seat to a Mustang seat for more comfort on longer rides.  It was a good move for me - and my wife likes her seat as well.

I've ridden motorcycles for several years and they have never been more expensive than a car to maintain.  In fact, they are typically less in my experience.  Of course, that might be because I've ridden around Yamahas and Hondas instead of Harley Davidsons.  :)

kendallf

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 05:12:34 PM »
...with good girl economy...

All motorcycles have good girl economy. ;)

- Maintenance.  They're just expensive to maintain.  If you do it yourself, it's a lot more reasonable.

Autocorrect FTW!  Using my phone in the airport..

My maintenance has been quite reasonable, with the only small caveat being more frequent tire replacement compared to a car. 

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 05:41:26 PM »
Another few thoughts on motorcycling:

- Your first bike will not be your last bike.  Don't worry about starting out on a motorcycle that works perfectly for everything.  And, I'd argue, worrying about a passenger on your first motorcycle is a bad idea.  Get something that's comfortable for YOU, that works for YOUR riding, and then ride the wheels off it.  After a year of riding the wheels off, re-evaluate.  What you think you want may not be what you actually want after some experience.
- Don't take a passenger early on.  Give it a while until you feel genuinely confident on the motorcycle, scare the **** out of yourself on the motorcycle and realize you have no idea what you're doing, then actually get to a point where you have confidence in the motorcycle.  That process usually takes about a year.
- Your motorcycle, how you buy it, is not how it has to stay.  You can change almost everything about a motorcycle, and the vast majority of riders do.  If you don't like how something fits or feels, you can change it.

MrMoogle

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 07:42:15 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

How much do you weigh?

How mechanically competent are you?  You mention a classic car, which might imply you're handy with a wrench.  If you don't mind doing your own work, it opens up a few options that I wouldn't suggest for someone who had the dealership take care of everything.

- Long weekend trips.  Most people don't jump in their car on a nice Saturday and ride 300 miles.  Motorcycles have a way of encouraging this.  You go out to the garage to take the trash out, the motorcycle catches your eye, and says, "Dude.  It's sunny.  Whatever you're doing can wait."  And it wins.  A lot. :)

I'm 180-190.

I can follow directions and use a wrench.  I have not done a lot of work on it, but I change the oil.  I honestly haven't had much of an issue with it since I inherited it. 

I already have that problem with the classic...so it won't be any more than I do now :)

Another few thoughts on motorcycling:

- Your first bike will not be your last bike. 
- Don't take a passenger early on. 
- Your motorcycle, how you buy it, is not how it has to stay. 

- It will be my last if I don't have a good experience with it.  I'm just trying to get something I'll use a lot.  And something I enjoy.
- Yeah, I don't plan on taking a passenger for a while.  I'm trying to remember what it was like when I was 15.  We drove around the neighborhood 100 times just to get the feel of the car.  I plan on doing something similar here, where I probably won't even drive it to work for a couple months because I'll have to get up to 70.  So yeah a passenger at neighborhood speeds would be sometime after that.  I want to feel comfortable by myself before risking someone else. 
- That's true.

wtjbatman

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 08:47:35 AM »
Based on your needs, don't get the Ninja 250.

I once owned a baby Ninja and loved riding it around town, but if you want to go above 70mph and one day carry a passenger, that little thing is going to struggle. Better to go with something with a little larger engine. I hear good things about the Ninja 300, but it's a newer model and only been out a year or two, so you won't find as many cheap/used options as you would with another motorcycle.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 08:58:43 AM »


I've got a KLR650 I commute on most days. It meets all your needs, but 75mph while possible is not its comfort zone. 65mph it would be a lot happier.

Based on what you've said I'd suggest a Suzuki V-Strom 650. They are available used at a variety of price ranges and have a great motor that's both reliable, fun to ride and can do 75mph without breaking a sweat.

My commute is on a slower speed [60mph] highway so my KLR does great. If I had to ride at 75mph+ to get to work the V-Strom 650 is one of the bikes I'd be looking at.

You can buy economical hard wearing tires. Doing oil & filter changes at home is easy and is something I would do on an aggressive schedule. Keeping the oil clean and full will do more for your bike's health than any other single thing.



^^^ My KLR outside my office waiting for me to ride it home.

-- Vik
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 09:10:32 AM by Vikb »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 09:30:39 AM »
My bike is not mustachian but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have a 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe.

It gets 50mpg cruising on the highway, has a huge windshield, cruise control, hard saddle bags, luggage rack behind passenger seat, really great for 2-3 day trips.

I would recommend a 1200-1600cc Vtwin cruiser. Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki are all great bikes that can be had with Sub 20,000 miles for ~$3-5k

Oh, and bikes depreciate VERY little if you find a good deal on one.

And regarding the miles thing. My bikes engine is known for hitting 200,000 with valve adjustments and oil changes.

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2015, 09:37:14 AM »
I would recommend a 1200-1600cc Vtwin cruiser. Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki are all great bikes that can be had with Sub 20,000 miles for ~$3-5k

Not for a brand new rider...

That's way too much bike.  Even after you factor in the gutless wonder cruiser motors.

LLCoolDave

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2015, 09:46:45 AM »
Just about every company makes a good bike these days. For a first bike that can do highway speeds I'd recommend a 750cc cruiser. I'd stay away from the sport bikes till you learn the ins and outs of riding.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 10:16:03 AM »

Not for a brand new rider...

That's way too much bike.  Even after you factor in the gutless wonder cruiser motors.

+1 - A modern 500-650cc motor is more than enough bike for a new rider to handle, but there is enough performance they won't grow out of it.

-- Vik

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 10:22:43 AM »
Just about every company makes a good bike these days. For a first bike that can do highway speeds I'd recommend a 750cc cruiser. I'd stay away from the sport bikes till you learn the ins and outs of riding.

A 750cc cruiser is acceptable in terms of power, but I would strongly argue it's not a good fit for the OP's riding profile.  The biggest reason is that he is looking to commute on it, and is a tall person.  For commuting, in my experience, the higher you are, the more you can see, and the more people see you.  He's tall enough to ride a fairly tall motorcycle with no trouble, and being up high is absolutely great for riding in traffic.  You can see further, and this lets you plan ahead more.

I would agree that a full race replica bike (600cc inline 4, literbike, etc) is a terrible idea, but most of the motorcycles listed are not that - they're upright, reasonably responsive, but not the full on bonkers that a race bike is.  If you insist on viewing motorcycles as "cruisers" vs "crotch rockets," then, yes, they're not a cruiser, but none of them are particularly insane or hostile to new riders.

The Ninja 300 and the Hondas listed would both be great options, and are all new-rider friendly.  I *suspect* 6'4 is a little bit tall for the Ninja 300, but it depends on how the OP is proportioned, and this is one of the places where "Go sit on one" is the best solution.

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2015, 10:24:16 AM »
Also, play with http://cycle-ergo.com/

Looks like a Ninja 300 would work fine for a normally proportioned tall rider.

MrMoogle

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2015, 10:55:13 AM »
The Honda NC700 and Honda CTX700 are fairly new models, are there older equivalents?


Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2015, 11:05:16 AM »
Not exactly the same, but you're tall enough you could make a VStrom or something into a similar bike.

Etihwdivadnai

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2015, 12:16:00 PM »
Just to provide my 2-pence/cent worth.
Experience: I have ridden various motorcycles for 20+ years primarily for commuting but some of it for fun.

1) I chose to commute by motorbike because I loved riding [pedal] cycles
and my commute by car was horrible.

2) When I first started / learned to ride I initially planned to use a 250cc to 350cc motorcycle
so that it could keep up with car traffic, but still be economical.

3) Every experienced motorbiker told me that I would eventually get the biggest bike I could cope with.
(and that I would end up buying mootorcycle leathers because they offered the best protection).

4) I very quickly progressed to a 500cc motorcycle (which in retrospect was the ideal commuting motorcycle)

5) I quite soon progressed to a 750cc motorcycle.
This was the largest size that I could reasonably handle with (sort legs, I am only 5ft 6ins tall).
And it was definitely more than I needed for commuting, but it is/was great fun

IFF I was to go back to using a motorbike for commuting I would stick to something 400+cc up to a maximum of 600cc. And I would probably opt for an in-line 4-cylinder for best fuel efficiency and maintenance simplicity.

For fun, I might choose something else, but nowadays that is definitely not MMM
(which is why I have gone back to using a pedal bicycle ;-)

big_owl

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2015, 03:24:29 AM »
Forget the Ninja 250/300 for your criteria.  I owned a 250 for a while and while it's fine for short commutes and will get up to 80-90mph on a level straights, trying to do that with a passenger would be all but impossible and extremely uncomfortable for both parties... especially if you're 6'4".  The 300 might have better wind protection but the 250 was terrible.

I'll give an endorsement for the V-strom 650.  I have one as my current ride and I've put almost 65k miles on it since 2007.  Not a single issue, just occasional tires/chains/sprockets.  Heck I've only had to adjust two exhaust valves in that many miles.  It's plenty tall enough and has excellent wind protection, is all day comfortable, and gets pretty good gas mileage.  I haven't had a chance to sit on the new model but I'm sure it's even better.  Two-up is easy and comfortable, especially if you add a rear hard case that adds a more secure feeling for the passenger.  The only turn-off would be how ugly it is, but my previous ride was a Hayabusa so beauty is in the eye of the beholder....

I've also read good things about the Honda NC700X, I was considering one for my next bike.  One of my co-workers bought one so I sat on his and was turned off by how low I sat.  Again I'm only 6', but after riding the V-strom, I just felt too low.  I prefer being able to see up and over traffic and that wasn't possible on the Honda.

SMCx3

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2015, 06:19:19 AM »
1. Go find and take the MSF course.  This will help you secure a discount for your insurance and you receive your motorcycle license. 

2. Bikes: KLR650, Vstrom, Versys:  All have plenty of power, easy to find used, plenty of aftermarket products.

3. Go visit ADV Rider forum: Great reviews of bikes, great place to find used bikes and gear, find local groups in your area.  Ask for some help from experienced riders in your area. 

4.  Remember you will drop your first bike!  The larger (heavier the bike) you increase the chance of dropping.  Get a low mileage used bike in the 500 - 650cc range.  Plenty of power, fun to ride, easy to manage. 

5. Ride for at least 4-6 months before you take on a passenger. 

BlueMR2

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2015, 10:04:24 AM »
Ninja 300 w/ABS.  You really want ABS.  Having it cuts your insurance rates in half (so presumably it's also a HUGE safety gain).

Retire-Canada

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2015, 10:12:25 AM »
Ninja 300 w/ABS.  You really want ABS.  Having it cuts your insurance rates in half (so presumably it's also a HUGE safety gain).

Where I live insurance rates are based on engine displacement. ABS would have no impact on the cost for a policy.

I don't dispute there is value in ABS for any vehicle. I've never had a motorcycle with ABS, but as more options come out I'll likely get that feature on a future bike.

-- Vik


neo von retorch

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2015, 10:44:28 AM »
In for answers. I'm 6'2", 210 lbs, and currently have a 2004 Suzuki SV650S and often carry my 135 lb passenger :) Been a solid starter bike these past 4 years but I'm considering replacing it.

I'm definitely interested in the VSTROM 650 and am curious about the Interceptor/VFR800...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 12:48:41 PM by neogodless »

TheAnonOne

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2015, 10:56:29 AM »
I am your height and probably a bit bigger on weight (230)

I am partial to Kawasaki's line-up, and own a ZX14R but have owned 4 other bikes....

In the Kawi line-up I would direct you away from the "Supersport" bikes and tell you to simply stick to "Sport" for now...

This leaves you with the Z1000(probably too much power but EASY to control) and the ninja 650 ABS.

Both should be purchasable at reasonable prices when used but probably slightly more pricy than other brands. Kawi tends to be the slightly more powerful brand for whatever reason and I wouldn't say that I have spent too much on maint.


If you really want a cruiser style, the Vulcan ABS is 650CCs and comes with swappable handlebars, so fitment shouldn't be an issue.

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2015, 11:02:47 AM »
This leaves you with the Z1000(probably too much power but EASY to control)...

No.  Abso-fucking-lutely not an acceptable suggestion for a new rider unless you hate them and literally wish them dead.  A 140hp motorcycle is radically too much power for a brand new rider, and regardless of how easy it is to control for an experienced rider, new riders do not have that fine precision of throttle control.  Just because some people have managed to not kill themselves on such a motorcycle does not make it a reasonable suggestion for a brand new rider.

The Ninja 650 is a bit much, but closer to reasonable.  However, it's still a fairly new bike, and the OP was looking for some used options.

kendallf

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2015, 11:17:13 AM »
I have nothing new to add other than the fact that I just got my FJR1300 back after an extended down period.  Started with a valve check and fluid change that ended up leaking coolant twice upon reassembly.. so we'd order O-rings, take it all back apart, repeat.. then I went to Malaysia for most of this month.

My friend and bike mechanic extraordinaire put it back together while I was gone.  Tuned, running beautifully, and most importantly not leaking coolant!  Just rode it back to work at very extra-legal speeds and man.  It's a nice change from the Prius!   :-)

TheAnonOne

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2015, 11:17:42 AM »
This leaves you with the Z1000(probably too much power but EASY to control)...

No.  Abso-fucking-lutely not an acceptable suggestion for a new rider unless you hate them and literally wish them dead.  A 140hp motorcycle is radically too much power for a brand new rider, and regardless of how easy it is to control for an experienced rider, new riders do not have that fine precision of throttle control.  Just because some people have managed to not kill themselves on such a motorcycle does not make it a reasonable suggestion for a brand new rider.

The Ninja 650 is a bit much, but closer to reasonable.  However, it's still a fairly new bike, and the OP was looking for some used options.

To be clear, I was not suggesting the Z1000, but simply stating that it was in that category of upright sporty(but not racy) sort of bikes. I would not recommend that machine to someone just starting out.

That being said, I would recommend the Ninja 250R to just about NOONE who needs freeway access. I had one for two years and 70 MPH is about all the power it has. Sure you can do "90-100" downhill with a tailwind but as far as safety goes, you can only slow down, no speeding up, and no passing. (Again, I am 6ft 230lbs)

You want a bike that can significantly surpass the speeds that you want to ride at. If your highways only go 55, your bike needs to be able to do 90. If you ride on 80MPH freeways, it's not unreasonable to want a bike that can do 130->150.

If you are nearly topping out your bike during a ride, it is going to be one of the most miserable, things you will do. The bike will be loud, sitting way to high in the rev range, and you will be killing most of the MPG benefits you are trying to get...
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 11:21:20 AM by TheAnonOne »

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2015, 11:41:52 AM »
A small cruiser won't fit a tall rider particularly well.

A large cruiser isn't suited to a new rider well at all.

A tall, 550-750cc, dualsport or dualsport-inspired design is probably the best motorcycle for a tall new rider.

Though, from what I understand, the Ninja 300 does, in fact, do highway work perfectly fine.  And there's also a difference between a 55mph rural highway and, say, I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, which is a 90+mph speedway at high altitude.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2015, 12:06:56 PM »
A small cruiser won't fit a tall rider particularly well.

A large cruiser isn't suited to a new rider well at all.

A tall, 550-750cc, dualsport or dualsport-inspired design is probably the best motorcycle for a tall new rider.

Though, from what I understand, the Ninja 300 does, in fact, do highway work perfectly fine.  And there's also a difference between a 55mph rural highway and, say, I-25 between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, which is a 90+mph speedway at high altitude.

My brother owned a Ninja 300, and I rode it 70 miles. It can do maybe 10 more MPH than the 250 but still runs out of steam at 80-90 mph...

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2015, 01:11:14 PM »
My brother owned a Ninja 300, and I rode it 70 miles. It can do maybe 10 more MPH than the 250 but still runs out of steam at 80-90 mph...

And the OP requested 75mph+ top speed, so it qualifies. :)

It really depends on the highway.  That wouldn't be a great bike for hauling up from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, but it's plenty of power for 55mph highways.

TheAnonOne

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2015, 01:24:34 PM »
My brother owned a Ninja 300, and I rode it 70 miles. It can do maybe 10 more MPH than the 250 but still runs out of steam at 80-90 mph...

And the OP requested 75mph+ top speed, so it qualifies. :)

It really depends on the highway.  That wouldn't be a great bike for hauling up from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, but it's plenty of power for 55mph highways.

It qualifies as dangerous at 75, other than the occasional time. If you have a commute like mine on the freeway for 10-20 minutes, it would be a poor choice.

livetogive

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2015, 02:29:05 PM »
 Couple things:

1.) Many people think they've outgrown a bike when they haven't because they are no longer enamored with the straight line power.  If you still have monster chicken strips on your ninja 250 you have not outgrown it.  One of my favorite things in the world is to watch an SV650 smoke a Gixxer in twisties.  I'm selling my ST1300 for other reasons but I still have 1/8" on the rear which tells me I haven't outgrown that either, especially since I'm not sliding off the seat with a knee out very often


2.) Check insurance rates - you'd be surprised how nonsensical they can be.  My friend's uber expensive BMW adventure bike that's designed to go partly off road is 1/3rd that of a quote I got for a sport touring kawasaki bc the kawi was classified as a sportbike and the insanely expensive bimmer was a "standard".


Speaking of which, you should consider the suzuki sv650 as well.  Also don't worry about using pilot roads for tires as another poster mentioned above. Just get good tires that are on sale and designed for touring/sport touring. 


MrMoogle

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2015, 07:10:19 PM »
Thanks for more feedback :)

So, from the way it sounds the ninja 300 meets my requirements, but not my wants.  When I said 75+, the speed limit is 70, and I'd be fine doing 70.  That's what people normally do in the right lane.  I only have about a mile and a half that I need those speeds, the rest is ~60. 

That said, would a 500 be a better option for me?  There's not a lot of 500's here, but there's also not a lot of used 300's here either.

But yeah, the V-Strom 650 sounds like the best fit for what I need and want. 

I will check on insurance.

1. Go find and take the MSF course.  This will help you secure a discount for your insurance and you receive your motorcycle license. 

5. Ride for at least 4-6 months before you take on a passenger. 

1) Yeah I took the MSF about a decade ago, and I'm signed up for it in 3 weeks.  I might get my license before that (written test only), but other than possibly in a parking lot, I'm not getting on a bike until then.

5)  Sounds reasonable.

livetogive

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2015, 07:39:30 PM »
Also once you have the MSF or the basics on how to make the motorcycle go, you should see if your library has any of these titles (in no particular order):

Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques
A Twist of the Wrist or A Twist of the Wrist II
Sport Riding Techniques: How To Develop Real World Skills for Speed, Safety, and Confidence on the Street...

They're well loved because they offer something for all levels.  I used them when I first started riding to understand the basics and now use them 10 years later to try and get faster in turns.

Ah, and although a motorcycle isn't super mustachian, one last tip:  Spending time adjusting your suspension (free) will make you a much faster rider than spending money on mods.

Fuzz

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2015, 01:21:35 PM »
I've had a couple bikes. So plus one to the comment that your first bike is not your last. I didn't really buy/sell them like cars. They don't depreciate that much and you can buy/sell them pretty easily during the summer. So try something out, see if you like it, and be prepared to sell it if you don't.

IMO, a cruiser is a little harder to handle than an upright bike or a dual sport. You can't turn it as well at low speeds. When you're learning, something lighter, upright and more like a dirt bike is nice. You don't want to dump it in a parking lot. So a KLR or DR 400 would be a good option. But for highway comfort, it's hard to beat a cruiser.

I wouldn't get anything bigger than an 800cc cruiser, or a 650cc upright bike.

Suzuki has a nice shaft driver 800cc bike that shouldn't need any maintenance. I was really happen with mine.

SMCx3

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2015, 07:29:32 PM »
Thanks for more feedback :)

So, from the way it sounds the ninja 300 meets my requirements, but not my wants.  When I said 75+, the speed limit is 70, and I'd be fine doing 70.  That's what people normally do in the right lane.  I only have about a mile and a half that I need those speeds, the rest is ~60. 

That said, would a 500 be a better option for me?  There's not a lot of 500's here, but there's also not a lot of used 300's here either.

But yeah, the V-Strom 650 sounds like the best fit for what I need and want. 

I will check on insurance.

1. Go find and take the MSF course.  This will help you secure a discount for your insurance and you receive your motorcycle license. 

5. Ride for at least 4-6 months before you take on a passenger. 

1) Yeah I took the MSF about a decade ago, and I'm signed up for it in 3 weeks.  I might get my license before that (written test only), but other than possibly in a parking lot, I'm not getting on a bike until then.

5)  Sounds reasonable.


You will not be disappointed with a Strom!  Great handling, you can tackle some easy off road riding, and most importantly enjoy being on two wheels. 


Mustache_In_Training

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2015, 09:26:06 PM »
This one is easy! Buy mine! I live in Huntsville and I am selling two bikes. First a Yamaha v-star 650 for $3,100. Second a Yamaha fz-07 for $6400.

One of these will surely meet your requirements and personal preference.

Craigslist ads: http://huntsville.craigslist.org/mcy/4953120187.html
http://huntsville.craigslist.org/mcy/4941765071.html

Serious, will be willing to negotiate for a mustachian. Give me a call or email through the craigslist ad.

Skipper

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2015, 08:56:25 AM »
Skip the Ninja - sport bikes aren't good for the practical uses you want. My first bike was the precursor to the Ninja (Kawasaki EX500) and I found it terribly uncomfortable at anything below highway speed. Sport bikes are built for speed - this means your body position is meant to be partially supported by a high windspeed, so if you're going slowly, your arms will take most of your weight and get very tired.

I've got an ancient Honda and I love it. OEM parts are expensive, but who needs those? There's always a way to "ghetto-ize" (as my mechanic friend would say) a fix that works just as well. Hondas are great bikes that will run forever with a little TLC. Mine is still going strong at 32 years old...older than I am.

As far as when to take a passenger, our local rider courses recommend 1000 miles of experience by yourself before you take the course that teaches you how to ride two-up.

Syonyk

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2015, 12:47:49 PM »
Not all the Ninjas have aggressive riding positions.

The 300 and 650 have almost dual sport rider positions.

big_owl

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Re: Which Motorcycle to get?
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2015, 04:14:42 PM »
In addition to the V-strom 650 I also have a 2007 Ninja 650.  While it has a great motor and handles well, it's way too short for even myself and I'm 4" shorter than the OP.  The leg position really cramps your legs up to the point where it's very uncomfortable on longer rides, and really hot in warm weather.  The newer model may have slightly more relaxed leg positioning, but skip the 07 generation if you're considering it.  I'd go to the Versus - basically the same engine but much more commutable.