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Old 06-04-2014, 08:43 AM   #76
vstateblazer OP
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Not an experienced rider, this will be my first bike. The one & only time I drove a bike it was an old Honda helix scooter my uncle had...he told me he wouldn't even let me ride, let alone drive it until I could pick it up off its side. At 12 or 13 I was able to do so & my reward was to drive it in an abandoned neighborhood cul-desac.

I need something that will make a 500mile round trip twice a month for the next two years. So that 15k miles a year I will put on the bike, with 2/3 of that being highway. Wanted it to be able to perform that duty first & foremost. Dirt is the least important, plus from the suggestions of other users a bike that satisfies that role comfortably, would be a handful for any rider on the type of trails I described.

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Old 06-04-2014, 09:11 AM   #77
arrcrussell
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Originally Posted by vstateblazer View Post
... The one & only time I drove a bike it was an old Honda helix scooter my uncle had ...
Before you buy anything, take an MSF Basic Riders course.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:17 AM   #78
vstateblazer OP
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Oh yes that was a definite. The next open course is near the end of next month & a waiting list for this months session.

Like I said in the original post there are two reasons for me getting a motorcycle, the need to see my only child who no longer lives in the same home as me until I relocate & that I have always wanted one. Not looking to go about this in a irresponsible or unsafe manner.

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Old 06-04-2014, 12:17 PM   #79
LordSmoke
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I would reserve real decisions until after the MSF course. It really changed my perspective on things and what I would want. First and foremost, I learned that I didn't know how to ride a motorcycle!

I remember the last day of my MSF course (yes, I can remember that far back). There was an Asian kid there (by far the youngest male in the class - lots of gray hair and a few ladies). He had a strange look in his eyes and was sweating bullets. I asked was he worried about passing the course. He said no, but he was scheduled to pick up his brand new CBRRRRR on Tuesday.

Riding is not that hard. It just needs careful practice, patience, and more practice. A good "beginner bike" is a good first step.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:51 PM   #80
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I would reserve real decisions until after the MSF course.
Yeah the weeding out is to get the experienced input from others ahead of purchasing. The time to purchase isn't now and will be after the MSF course, but getting the knowledge necessary to make an informed purchase from guys who own and have purchased used bikes before is welcome before I pull the trigger.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:54 PM   #81
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MSF Course

Hey guys just an update, I am currently taking my MSF course this weekend a spot opened up for this month so I didn't have to wait til next month's session. First day was great and a humbling experience. It took an hour worth of riding for me to get a grasp of the clutch "friction zone" and do it reliably. At the same time for me to commit and get used to bringing my legs up during take off/slow speeds. We executed short corner turns, 25ft cone spaced narrow slalom, wide angle slalom, wide curve turning and various friction zone exercises.

I'm riding a nighthawk 250 during this course and can see why a lot of people recommend a smaller bike for beginners. It's just easier to develop the fundamental skills without all the growing pains of trying to learn on a heavier, more powerful bike that is less forgiving for beginner skill level mistakes. After getting pass the mental block of picking my feet up and numerous stalls because of releasing the clutch too fast, all other exercises went smoothly. We have 3 bike owners/riders in the class, 2 Harley's one of which is an 883 with a bolt on trike setup and the rider of that one expressed how balancing the little 250 was different to the point she uncomfortable for a while. I think her intentions is to be able to ride without the trike set up. 1 Hayabusa owner who has made 10+ hr trips on the bike, who is still learning some things.

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Old 06-23-2014, 06:35 PM   #82
LordSmoke
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Congratulations. Sounds like you are off to a good start.

I took the MSF on a NH250, too. At 6'4" there was no way I was going to fit on one of the Savages or Rebels.

Ironically, I had a book of all the available motorcycle models available at the time. I deemed the NH the ugliest of bikes. Ended up with an '85 NH450SC as my first bike. Great bike - rode it for 25k. Wanted a 750, but then had a chance to buy the second ugliest bike in the book - the DL650
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:13 AM   #83
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Hey VState, just caught your thread. Looks like you're on a good path, and the MSF course is certainly the best place to start. My wife wanted to ride too last fall, and took her course, and got an '82 Virago 750 for 500 bucks. I threw some DS tires on it, and she can at least join me on dirt roads. No suspension travel, but it all depends on what you want. She needs to just get riding experience first and get comfortable on a bike. Learning the basic skills takes simply repetition.

My recommendation would be similar for you. I'd suggest a more street oriented bike, that's easy to handle and pick up and put some DS tires on it and stick to the easy dirt roads that won't beat up the bike, but gives you the experience of the ground moving beneath you and learning to float the bike under you as you get comfortable. Plan to use the bike for a year or so, then get something different. I can guarantee, the first bike you get isn't what you'll want next year. With that long of a frequent trip, smaller bikes will be downright scary and unstable on the highway for a new rider.

Working with a budget of 5k, I'd spend at least 1k on gear (1-Helmet, Boots, Jacket, Pants, Gloves-5), then 2-3k on a street bike that is reliable, then the rest on a little dirt bike to learn the dirt skills faster if you have trails nearby. Adventure gear is great for multipurpose like you want. If you plan to ride when it might rain, external rain gear is a change I'd make, opposed to liners. Gore-tex or similar just doesn't breath enough in hot climates or off road and is $$$$. A waterproof top box that locks and fits a helmet and rain gear is highly recommended.

The next thing you must do is find a riding buddy that you can learn from and shadow. Get an intercom, and just talk about riding and best practices. It takes a lifetime to be a great rider, so learn from someone who has some of that experience, and you'll be two steps ahead. You can push your limits while knowing they are within the bike's limits.

In the meantime, save up for the next bike. Based on what you want, the Tiger 800XC is the perfect beast. Kicks that F800GS in the gonads. I test rode the BMW, then tried the Tiger the next weekend, and walked out with the Tiger. The Tiger is 97% as capable a GS for the same rider on the dirt, but smokes it in all categories for the street. The only disadvantage in the dirt is it's a bit top heavy, and the power takes a lot of finesse to control. I've ridden the 800XC all day on slab and all day in the dirt, and felt at home at both. The Tiger can drag pegs and keep up with most street bikes, but then ride straight up a ski area, or enjoy all kinds of stuff you wouldn't expect from a bike of that stature. The Tiger 800XC is a case where the bike is typically more capable than the rider.

Exhibit A:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=975869

Exhibit B:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...=957787&page=6

-btao
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:00 PM   #84
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I agree with what btao has to say about buying a used bike and spending 1k on gear. If you shop smart, you'll be able to turn around and sell the beginners bike at no loss in a years time. Having good gear makes a world of difference when commuting every day.

Where I respectfully disagree is on the Tiger 800xc. I've owned both a 2012 Tiger and a 2014 DL650. The 2012+ DL650 will do 99% of what the Tiger does at about 65-70% the initial cost. The DL650 wins out for me with better reliability and overall operating costs. Cheaper to insure, better dealer network, better fuel economy. A 2012+ V-Strom would be a wise choice, but you probably won't find one for under 5000.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:14 PM   #85
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I agree with what btao has to say about buying a used bike and spending 1k on gear. If you shop smart, you'll be able to turn around and sell the beginners bike at no loss in a years time. Having good gear makes a world of difference when commuting every day.

Where I respectfully disagree is on the Tiger 800xc. I've owned both a 2012 Tiger and a 2014 DL650. The 2012+ DL650 will do 99% of what the Tiger does at about 65-70% the initial cost. The DL650 wins out for me with better reliability and overall operating costs. Cheaper to insure, better dealer network, better fuel economy. A 2012+ V-Strom would be a wise choice, but you probably won't find one for under 5000.
no worries.... guess you haven't ridden with our local tiger pack to see what it can really do. haven't seen any weestroms where we go. ever........

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Old 06-24-2014, 07:02 PM   #86
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no worries.... guess you haven't ridden with our local tiger pack to see what it can really do. haven't seen any weestroms where we go. ever........

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I've seen your "tiger pack" around. There is a reason I won't go where you go!


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Old 06-24-2014, 07:15 PM   #87
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I'm starting to lean towards the KLR 650. There are a couple of bikes in the right price range, less than 5k mile, luggage and crash guards, 2008-present year models with the right look. I really like the fact that its advantage off-road is better than the vstrom's on-road advantage. I can do things to the KLR to make it a better on-road machine like sprocket, fairing, seat. I can't fix the weight and ground clearance with the vstrom.

Plus with you guys help I'm starting to understand what each machine can offer and how that aligns with my needs. Plus with me being a noob, a lighter machine is a plus on any terrain. I'm 5'9 220, former athlete, so inseam might be an issue but not strength.
Inseam won't be an issue; I'm 5'8" with a 29' inseam, also 220 and most certainly not a former athlete. I ride a (full height) Gen II KLR. It's a great bike in almost every aspect for your needs.

But I will agree with detractors in that sustained 80mph stretches of slab are not its forte. It'll do it, but not as competently as something like a Vstrom.

If you can keep your ego in check and stick with closer to 70mph (which will be more like 75mph indicated), then I give the KLR a thumbs up.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:21 PM   #88
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I've seen your "tiger pack" around. There is a reason I won't go where you go!


Coming from the guy from Eugene OR, that will leave a fucking mark!!!
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:48 PM   #89
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Hi, just bought my first bike. Completely new to this and riding. Wondering where to begin. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:59 PM   #90
LordSmoke
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Hi, just bought my first bike. Completely new to this and riding. Wondering where to begin. Any suggestions?
Start an intro thread.
What bike?
MSF course?
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