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Old 12-18-2012, 05:57 PM   #16
DAKEZ
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Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
A very nice bike, but not the best option for his sixth month as a motorcycle rider, IMO.
Actually it is a perfect bike for a new rider as it is polite and user friendly for normal riding and as the rider gets to know the bike he/she can tap into the performance aspects of it. (those too are polite and manageable)
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:04 PM   #17
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I'd definitely go to a bike show and sit/demo a few. Daytona Bikeweek is coming up in a few months. You may have a bunch of demos closer though.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:45 PM   #18
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Less is more, go small and cheap for your first one and see what you like, then go big!!!
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #19
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I think you need to ride the Bonnie before you cross it off your list. I don't know who's saying it doesn't have enough power -- consider this: it makes three times the horsepower of your Virago 250. Yes it's heavier, but nowhere near three times heavier. 60hp is PLENTY for a motorcycle, and more than enough for somebody who's only been riding 5 months.

V7s are gorgeous but they aren't cheap.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:09 PM   #20
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You are a perfect candidate for a Yamaha V-Star 650. It is a larger version of the Virago 250, and has enough power to take you anywhere you want to go. It even has shaft drive. And best of all, it can be had for a very reasonable price.

But I have to admit I don't understand your aversion to the Virago 250, IF you fit on it. I have a Goldwing, and still put 20,000 mostly highway miles on a Honda 250 Rebel, just for fun. I find traveling on a small bike to be a blast. I only sold the Rebel because I was to big for it, and it wasn't all that comfortable. I am currently looking for another 250, and plan on giving the Suzuki GW250 a chance before buying anything else. I have also had several 125-150cc scooters, and still have 3 of them, including a Yamaha Vino 125 that I put 24,000 miles on. If you like the riding position of the Virago, I would definitely stay away from any type of sport bike. Their primary function seems to be some kind of torture device.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #21
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You are a perfect candidate for a Yamaha V-Star 650. It is a larger version of the Virago 250, and has enough power to take you anywhere you want to go. It even has shaft drive. And best of all, it can be had for a very reasonable price.

No, he isn't...


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I'm not really interested in cruiser style.
But unlliike me, and the detracters of the Bonneville and it's variants, he IS a perfect candidate for a Bonnie. They can be found used and in great condition for $4500-$5500 all day. I think the Guzzi is a little "classier", and it costs more and is harder to find.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:39 AM   #22
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The guzzzy is underpowered and bonnie and is heavy and underpowered IMHO. I would cross the Bonnie off the list and add the street triple. There is also the Aprilia Shiver 750 but I think the monsters are great choices as is the F800r.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #23
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I would not be so quick to write off all of the Japanese bikes. There is a reason there are so many Japanese bikes here. They are good. And more reliable than the Euro brands. While they may not possess the same chic coolness as a Euro bike, you won't have to take it to the shop because its broken once a month.

If you are truly concerned about not looking like a doofus of any kind I suggest the Suzuki SV660. The naked model not the faired S. They are completely invisible and you will not be seen as a doofus at all. In fact you will only be seen when you blow past your big GS riding friends on the twisty bits. They are great handling bikes, that aren't fancy and expensive. I suggest spending a season or two on an inexpensive but GOOD bike (unlike your virago 250) before you dive into something completely new and expensive. The SV is a great educational tool as it's simple around town, but has a great motor and you can really learn how to ride well on it. It is favored by new riders and experienced ones, which speaks volumes about the bikes versatility. Plus they sound awesome.

Pick up a used SV for 2-3 grand and learn with it. No sense if spending 8-10K for a brand new bike that you will inevitably drop at some point. It happens to everyone, and anyone who says they have never dropped a bike is lying, or not riding enough.

PS: I test rode the F800R and hated it. Felt cheap and the plastic parts almost vibrated off during the demo ride. If you look in the "What bikes weren't as good as you expected" thread the F800 has a whole bunch of nominations...

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Old 12-19-2012, 09:29 AM   #24
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I agree about the Guzzi horsepower. Those that say it is under powered likely are comparing it to a 1000 cc sport bike or something, and are disappointed that it wont do power wheelies at 150 mph.

A Monster would be a fun bike, but the Ducati requires quite frequent maintenance. I love the Street Triple, but that's a big jump from the 250.

I love my Aprilia Dorsoduro 750, which is almost the same bike as the Aprilia Shiver. The Apes don't have a very long range fuel tank (~120 miles), but maybe that isn't a problem for you. Maintenance intervals are longer than Ducati, yet they have torquey Italian v-twin motors . What would make them nice for a first full size bike, though, is the adjustable throttle mapping. With the push of a button, you can dial back the power to "Rain" mode. I use "Tour" mode, and "Sport" mode makes it a twitchy race bike.

Definitely go to an international bike show. You will quickly figure out what is comfortable and looks good, while also getting the chance to see bikes you wouldn't necessarily find in showrooms. You've got one coming up in late January:

http://www.motorcycleshows.com/new-york
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #25
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I agree with the beauty of the Guzzi but what about an Aprilia?
A Tuono to be specific. First and 2nd Gens are very affordable and the Rotax engine is amazing. Great sound, power and ease of use. The torque is smooth and forgiving. As far as geometry and ride I think its very well designed plus its very comfortable. Components are high quality like Brembo brakes and Ohlins suspension. Years ago it was hard to own an Aprilia bc parts were hard to get but AF1Racing dot com has changed that, plus there is a new network of dealerhips. I owned a RSV Mille for 32K miles (same engine etc just add fairings and clip ons). Great bike, I regret selling it
So, not only its a high quality high value bike, its great for weekend get aways and -if you ever interested- FANTASTIC track bike.

Second Gen


First Gen:


If you go this route check AF1 racing list of mods for the Tuono. Most cost nothing like de restricting etc. Others involve correct sprocket sizes for your style of riding. And yes, there are many farkles for it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:46 AM   #26
Tim_Tom
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A Tuono would be a whole lot of bike for someone with only a few months of riding!! No doubt that it is a nice enough bike, but for a NEW RIDER?! I don't think its a smart idea.

He has the right idea already of getting a bike in the 600-800cc range. Anything smaller is not enough, and anything bigger is too much.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #27
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A Tuono would be a whole lot of bike for someone with only a few months of riding!! No doubt that it is a nice enough bike, but for a NEW RIDER?! I don't think its a smart idea.

He has the right idea already of getting a bike in the 600-800cc range. Anything smaller is not enough, and anything bigger is too much.

Can't agree there. I've spent time on everything from 155 HP to 7 HP. The least amount I want is around 40. My Ninja 300 had 39 crank HP stock. It'll end up around 43. Stock it has more than enough to be ridden quickly at any speed up to the upper 80 MPH range.

Gearing and weight along with torque curve play a greater role than displacement.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #28
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Thanks to everyone for a lot of extremely helpful comments. I had glanced at the Street Triple but for some reason didn't pay much attention to it--perhaps I mentally associated Triumph only with the vintage-style bikes and thus rejected the others--but I'll add this to my list. Everyone seems to like this machine a hell of a lot.

Quote:
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But I have to admit I don't understand your aversion to the Virago 250, IF you fit on it.
I don't think I have an "aversion" to it, I think I said some pretty nice things about it! But it's not really the bike for me; I'm not that big a guy (5'11") but it's still uncomfortably small, and I'm not that keen on cruisers.

The Tuono seems like rather too much bike for me right now, and more than I really need to spend. (Regarding pricing--I'm not rich but I am committing to getting myself a bike, so my priority is more to get the bike that I truly want to ride, rather than getting a good used affordable bike that, for whatever reason (and some of these reasons may well be superficial ones) I won't be really psyched about.)

I'll definitely try to test a Bonnie to see what it's like. And thanks for the motorcycle-show suggestion--the NYC show is next month, so I think I can last that long in order to look at a bunch of things in person.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #29
GSAragazzi
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Originally Posted by Tim_Tom View Post
A Tuono would be a whole lot of bike for someone with only a few months of riding!! No doubt that it is a nice enough bike, but for a NEW RIDER?! I don't think its a smart idea.

He has the right idea already of getting a bike in the 600-800cc range. Anything smaller is not enough, and anything bigger is too much.

I hear you, but this is my reasoning behind it. i am only talking about my personal experience and have no idea what kind of person the OP is.
The Tuono's engine is a very lazy and comfortable engine with tons of torque. It doesnt need to be rev'd up like a Hoover vacuum to move the bike. Only after 5.5K rpm the "real" power kick in. Yet you can cruise at 80mph at about 4.5k rpm.
The bike is not a featherweight weight wise but its incredibly balanced and low. So the key here is on your right fist. Feed as much as you KNOW you can handle.
Why would I get a bike a bit beyond my skill? BC I dont want to sell a bike 6 month down the road bc of boredom. Your recommendation on CCs is spot on though. I just like Aprilias and thought to plug them.
BTW I rather have more power than less. I own a 350 bored to 385 and its NOT fun on the streets around cars. Why? Bc it lacks the power to get me out of danger.
Anyway, point taken.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:04 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by GSAragazzi View Post
So the key here is on your right fist. Feed as much as you KNOW you can handle.
Why would I get a bike a bit beyond my skill? BC I dont want to sell a bike 6 month down the road bc of boredom. Your recommendation on CCs is spot on though.
Anyway, point taken.
A new rider will LIKELY not have the skill required to deal with the full grunt of a bike. In my mind you should be comfortable on your bike everywhere, not just when using half the RPM range.

If you are determined to get a Euro bike, I actually think the Street Triple would be a very good choice. It looks fantastic, has some real power, but like the Aprilia mentioned above, it only offers as much as you give it. A friend of mine bought one last season and he loves it. Although it did have to go to the shop to replace a broken radiator (covered under warranty). It offers a great combination of being easy to ride, yet entertaining to experienced riders. It is a bike you can grow on, and as you become a better rider, it's limits will expand too.

I don't see how ANYONE could be bored of it in 6 months. For that matter many riders I know decide they need a bigger / better bike well before they have even touched the limits of what their current bike is capable of. That I think is a fault of the riders, not the bikes.

PS Navin, I agree with you 40hp is about the minimum I could live with. But 70 would be way better.
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