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the_machina
the_machina Reader
11/9/20 1:06 p.m.

A bit more commentary here.

A cheap small fun bike you buy this year with 30-40 horsepower will sell for right about what you have in it next year. Buy a ninja 300/400, a sportster 883, a CB500F, an SV650, or an FZ07, and you might MAYBE lose $300 in depreciation. Buy in December and sell in 18 months at the start of riding season and you may make money. If you can find one, a versys 650 is a great first bike for someone your size, it's got better suspension than the SV650 and more open ergos for someone your height.

Contrast that with making your first bike a R1200GS or a SV1000 and you'll lose at least a grand. The R1200GS is also a huge mother of a bike that you don't want as a first bike. I own one and it's fantastic for sport-touring, but it's a handful at garage speeds and would have been a terrible first bike for me.

I think an old-school 250 is probably not the right bike for you. Stay away from rebel 250's, nighthawks, CBR250, etc. I like riding them but they're a little out of breath on the highway.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/9/20 1:15 p.m.

Your first bike will be wrong. The rider you are now is not the rider you will be after a year, so buy something that feels good today, something that you know you will outgrow, and then go shopping again in a year. 

donalson
donalson PowerDork
11/20/20 2:26 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

Don't be scared of buying a smaller bike.  People always moan and groan about it when these discussions come up ("You'll outgrow it!  You need to get a Harley!  You need to get a Gold Wing!  etc.") but if and when you want to move up, you can easily sell the smaller bike and not be out anything.

this 100%... think of a small bike to be like a miata or other underpowered car... you can push it harder and have some safety overhead... get into bigger faster bikes and you can break every single speed in 1st or 2nd gear... 
 

about 15 years ago I wanted a bike... I wanted to go with a 250-500cc type bike... but where I lived the market was super small... I ended up with an older 600cc katana... it was a super fast bike when it was new back in the 80's... but by the time I had it it was "slow" at nearly 90hp... even at your weight it was more than enough to scare me a few times when I'd catch a bump and it would blip the throttle... I put about 5-6k miles on it in a few months because I was commuting 80 miles a day on it.

this spring I decided I wanted to get back on 2 wheels... I decided to keep my budget fairly tight (under 2k$) and wanted something less powerful... i'm 6'4 and similar weight to you... the weight wasn't a real issue... but height is even 15 years ago the katana was right at the edge of what I found acceptable for fit... also now that I live in houston I wanted something a bit more upright... so I ended up with a more street oriented "dual sport" motorcycle... a bmw f650 st ('97) its a 650 single cyl, about 50hp and 40 lbs of tq... it's more than enough to get me up to 70+mph in a more than acceptable time... it's nice and upright so easy to look around and see whats going on around me and comfortable... I've always liked the old UMJ type motorcycle ergos of "sit up and beg" 

you mention the 250 for the MSF class... what model was it?  we where on suzuki su250x... even at my size and weight I'd happily use it as an around town bike... but the interstate and higher speed highways here in TX would be out.

you being a bit shorter you likely have a lot more options... if you are going used (suggested) head to a few dealerships and ask to sit on a few bikes... get a feeling for what you think is acceptable while just sitting still punch them into this https://cycle-ergo.com/ and that can give you an idea of other bikes you'd be ok with... obviously also take into account the stand over height... not an issue for me, I can flat foot even some of the biggest dual sport bikes... but for me that means my legs are much tighter on anything that is remotely sporty :( 

if you find something used that fits you and is smallish you can easily ride it for a year and sell it next year for nearly no money lost... that is kinda my thoughts with the BMW... although I may just hold onto it even after I pick up something bigger/quicker... who knows... I may get my son interested in riding lol.

donalson
donalson PowerDork
11/20/20 2:28 a.m.

oh something else to look into is checking into insurance on whatever you are looking at... some bikes I'm shocked at just how much they cost to insure even with minimums... others i'm shocked at how inexpensive they are.

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
12/24/20 10:37 a.m.

Checking back in. The restricter sounds interesting. I wish I knew about that a few years ago and I would have bought my Dad's FZ1 when he sold it. I rode it once a few months after getting my license. 
 

I was on the verge of buying a leftover CB500F in June, but I was having issues with sinusitis vertigo at the time. Best to stay off 2 wheels when you can't stay upright on your own. 
 

 

the_machina
the_machina Reader
12/30/20 10:54 a.m.

The CB500F is a little beaut. I've heard that it's sort of the cradle and grave bike. You pick one up as a first bike and it's great, and a lot of older guys are downsizing to them as well as they want something that's still fun but more manageable size.

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
2/5/21 11:47 a.m.

A trip to two dealers has reorganized my current rankings. Top three, no order, is between a new TW200, a '17 FZ-07, and a '14 883 Superlow, both about 1500 miles, $6k. 
 

I really surprised myself by liking the feel of the sportster. The appeal to me is the large 4.5 gallon tank and mid controls. The lower ride hight is less appealing, but easily remedied. IF I went this way, and IF I keep it long term, my end game mod would be in a sport tour direction. 
 

Edit, let me elaborate. I use the term "sport" as loosely as HD does in the name "Sportster". I have no inclination of being a street Rossi, but rather taking advantage of the MANY twisties around me without cursing the bike for being a pig. If it became a lifer bike, it would eventually see a big engine kit.

The tour part, again, loosely. At a minimum, 2 hour/100 mile trip up to see family without dreading the return trip. Ideally the ability to ride the 4.5 gallon tank without needing to stop for a break. On that note, mod #1 is a Corbin saddle, probably the solo tour with backrest.  This is all solo riding, no 2 up. 
 

As for the FZ-07, again, with a Corbin saddle, would easily handle the above requirements. 
 

A TW200, I accept that as a different beast. My 30 mile/60mph commute is the on road limit of the bike. But I also have plenty of access to a variety of "dirt" riding.  

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/5/21 12:10 p.m.

Go for a long ride on a sporty and see how you feel about it.

Different strokes for different folks but I find those things kill my back on a long ride.

I'm far more comfortable on a sportbike in the Italian "short legs, long arms" riding position.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
2/5/21 6:54 p.m.

A very old school bike guy I know, has always called a sportster a "motorcycle starter kit" - very easy to modify to make what ya want.  There is a clique that insults anyone on a sportster, but I never much gave a rip about them! The price hit due to the "lifestyle smoke" is my biggest negative for them.

FSP_ZX2
FSP_ZX2 SuperDork
2/6/21 6:52 a.m.

The Sportster will benefit greatly from upgraded shocks; there are many good choices including taller ones.  The Superlow is nice in that it is built around 17" wheels and modern, radial tires, unlike other variants (883N) that use 19"/16" and bias cruiser type rubber.  H-D made a 1200cc version of that bike called the XL1200T that came with bags and a detachable windshield--it also had a more 'modern' shock setup with external adjustments, albeit still 'low'.  

CYCLE WORLD XL1200T FIRST RIDE

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/6/21 9:40 a.m.

I love the the HD faithful call a Sportster a "Girl bike" even though you can buy it as the lightest thing they have with a big engine and it can stop and turn corners.

That said, have you looked at the Indian Scout?

Lighter than a Sportster and more power.

nocones
nocones UberDork
2/6/21 10:12 a.m.

A TW200 will not be comfortable on anything approaching 60mph.  I worked for the local Motorcycle Rider Program and had to put 100 miles on ~30 of them one spring to break them in.  They will do 60..  ish.  But it is ALL they have and acceleration beyond 45mph is fully loaded dump truck slow.  And I was 200lbs at the time. For true in town 0-40 mph and XC type trail work off-road (No limited jumps, they ain't MX bikes, realize they developed out of the 3 wheeled ATC ban) they are fantastic for what they are capable of but operation at the extreme ends of that capability is frustrating.

My next bike will probably be a Monster 750 or similar power/weight bike (I currently don't have one). Or an Indian FTR Rally.  My precious bikes include 600cc sport bikes, a Goldwing, and a ZRX1200R.    I don't need supercar performance in a bike just like I don't need supercar performance in a street car.  It's awesome that that performance is so cheap on bikes but that makes it seem so "normal" and people act like getting base 911 power to weight is somehow a "noob bike" you'll outgrow immediately.  

At your size/weight plan to invest in a correct weight springs for the fork/rear shock.  Bikes tend to be tuned for a ~160-190 lb rider with adjustable preload for an additional passenger (in the rear only).  Some higher end bikes will have adjustable suspension that can be adjusted for your weight. But very few will go to 250+lbs.  It makes a huge difference both in comfort and emergency manuver safety.  

I really liked my ZRX1200R.  It had torque at all RPM which made the bike very docile at low throttle input.  It was a bit heavy but lighter then the 80s bike it was designed to replicate.  It also had good adjustable forks and rear shocks.  I am not saying it's a good first bike, but it's a good bike overall if your a fan of classic naked bike looks.  

I actually enjoyed the sportster I rode.  It was just overall fine.  The suspension was a bit underwhelming, and the brakes (this was a like 2008) needed a pad upgrade, but it had good power to weight and rode lighter then it was.  They are infinately customizable and resale is as strong as anything.  Plus generous aftermarket means the inevitable drop has a glut of OEM parts on ebay that people sell them they upgraded to CHROME. 

Good luck and remember All the Gear All the Time.

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
2/11/21 9:20 p.m.

A trip to two more dealerships, Kawi and HD, after work had me on a new Z650 ABS, a sporty 1200 low, and, sweet Jesus my head says no but my heart screams yes, a Softail Deluxe. Sales guy for kawi advised I skip the 400s at my size. I was quoted $100 under msrp and no dealer fees on the Z650. I almost put down a hold deposit. Another couple miles up the road at the HD shop the sales guy recommended skipping the 883 and going for the 1200 for better highway manners. They had a super clean blue 1200 low for $6k. He also had me throw a leg over an 09 Softail Deluxe and everything just felt right. It was almost a religious moment. I also got the impression that HD financing is easy to get for the sake of moving iron. 
 

Cross shopping a mid weight naked with an HD big twin, WTF, right?

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/11/21 9:31 p.m.

HD will finance ANYONE because they know guys are stupid enough that they will miss a mortgage payment but not a motorcycle payment.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/11/21 9:35 p.m.

100 miles on a naked will have you thinking about windshields, in my estimation, based on my own experiences with my Z900rs.  I don't mind not having a windshield / fairing on my commute but I wouldn't mind having one either.  Real trips can get pretty tiring if you're spending much time over 60 mph.  Again, my 2 cents.

wawazat
wawazat Dork
2/12/21 6:03 a.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

100 miles on a naked will have you thinking about windshields, in my estimation, based on my own experiences with my Z900rs.  I don't mind not having a windshield / fairing on my commute but I wouldn't mind having one either.  Real trips can get pretty tiring if you're spending much time over 60 mph.  Again, my 2 cents.

This needs to be said again.  
 

I did a few 130+ mile freeway trips last year with only a small front fairing.   It worked but would have been less tiring with greater wind protection.  

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/12/21 6:56 p.m.

I've done a number of 90 mile rides on my Z900rs with no windshield and it's not much fun.  The riding position itself is exactly what I wanted.  The bike does not have an excessive amount of vibration.  But the wind blast hits from head to toe.  It made me miss my old VFR 800 with the windshield I cut down to put the buffeting layer around my mid-chest where it's not too hard to deal with.

I bought a windshield for the bike and it was buffeting city at highway speeds.  So I started cutting it down, enlarging the headlight cutout to mount it lower on the bike, etc.  I think I was getting close and then I moved and tuning that setup stopped.  And the current shield wasn't cut & drilled with the best hardware for cutting plexiglass so it's not so pretty these days.  I've got another one that I'll cut up but only after I'm done hacking up the first one as a prototype.

The laid back riding position of a Harley might change things to lessen the effects of the wind but I doubt it's that much better. 

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
2/12/21 7:11 p.m.

In my younger days, 80 mile trips to my folks for dinner a couple times a week were no problem. Including a few on a chopper with no front fender (once during a nor'easter) And back then, I figured folks that wanted to hid behind a windshield might as well own a car!

Now I don't even like to ride to work (40 miles back roads) without one. Guess I got old.

Have not owned any dressers big enough to justify a faring large enough to bring the air over the helmet... But protecting up to the middle of the chest sure makes for a more relaxed ride.

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
2/13/21 11:34 a.m.

After sleeping on it, I'm leaning towards the Z. It's local, new, and well priced. I'll probably be putting money down in the next week or two. As much as I fell I love with the softail, a 12 year old 40k mile bike at the upper end of my budget is not the best idea. 

wawazat
wawazat Dork
2/13/21 1:39 p.m.

Plenty of HD softails made.  If that's the bike you prefer open up your search window or look at other sources like ebay or cycletrader.  I wouldn't think it would be hard to find.  
I know that click you noted above.  I felt that the first time I took my Ducati for a test ride.  Just perfect for me!

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
4/23/21 6:09 p.m.

Things have been on hold until it got warm, but a trip to the local Honda dealer has me moving forward with a new CB500X. I should know tomorrow if it's coming home. It is quite literally the most practical bike I could think of. 

gunner (Forum Supporter)
gunner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
4/23/21 9:01 p.m.

What a great read. I started at the second page then had to go back and start at the beginning. I thought it was neat how you went from being like no cruisers in the original post and then considered a couple and clicked with one. Then coming back to the Z650 THEN the CB500X. All great bikes and whichever you choose, I can't recommend classes or videos or books about riding and skill building enough. Skills are what make a new rider into a long term rider and you can never know too much.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
4/23/21 9:24 p.m.

Man there are so many softails out there for such good money that I would keep looking. I LOVE the softail and its my favorite all around bike that HD makes. 

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
4/23/21 10:45 p.m.

One of my customers has a Heritage Softail, the moo-glide with the cow print seat.

I don't generally like cruisers but that one rides really well. My only complaint is that it's too easy to scrape things.

Brian(formerly neon4891)
Brian(formerly neon4891) MegaDork
4/24/21 12:55 p.m.

And she's mine. I pick it up Tuesday 

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