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Old 09-19-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
LightChop OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 6
Looking for First Bike Recommendations and Feedback

Ready to purchase my first bike and could use some feedback on the bikes I'm considering. I plan to ride 80% on road, 20% off road, the off road portion won't be too technical. Eventually, I'd like to ride more off, but not a lot of fire roads or trails where I live. I'm looking for any comments, questions, or things I should consider that will help me make the decision, and, pros and cons of each bike. I'm looking at both new and preowned with low miles. Prices I've seen range from $5k- $13k OTD. I realize it's hard to compare the CB500X vs the BMW, but I may have found a great deal on the BMW. Looking to purchase in the next two weeks. Appreciate any comments.

Here are the bikes I've been looking at and my thoughts so far:

Honda CB500X - reliable first bike. Limited off road capability, but a good first bike to learn on.

Suzuki 650 VStrom ADV - solid bike, reliable with some off road capability

Triumph Tiger 800XC - Great all around bike on or off road. The limit on my finances HOWEVER, might also be beyond the capability of my experience at this point.

BMW F800GS - Great all around bike, may have found a good deal on a local used sale.

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
Joined: Jan 2014
Oddometer: 112
My advice?

Buy used.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 719
Also look into used single cylinder dual sports. They probably would be more affordable, and be more off-road worthy than some of the bikes you list. Popular options are DR650, DRZ400, KLR650, G650GS, pre-2008 F650GS. You can always sell them for what you paid once you're past the n00b stage, but these bikes are also favored by many experienced riders. They are bulletproof, so they can take a few naps without requiring $$$ repair bills, and because they're generally lighter and aren't crazy powerful, they can be easier to handle and less dangerous for a total beginner
Tiger 800 XC "Battle Cat"
A Tiger 800XC and an F800GS Get Crabs! A Mini-Eastern Shore Odyssey
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Oddometer: 1,852
Get a v-strom 650, buy it used, you should have ZERO trouble finding one for close to $4,000. Check the flea market here. I have had good luck dealing with the people on this site.

You will not find a more forgiving and dependable bike than the DL650.
Current bikes:2006 DL650, 2008 WR250R
Past bikes: XT225, TTR125, '04 CRF50 '74 DT125,'70 TS250,'85 v45, '89 zx600c, '78 GS400x, '99 GS500E, '01 GS500E '05 Z750s, '77 GS400e, '82 GS1100ez, '97 GSX600, '07 VFR800, '03 KLR650, '03 FJR1300, '06 DL1000, '00 KLR650, '99 WR360, '08 DL650, '05 DR650, '08 EX650r, '96 CR500, '82 GS450T, '06 Ural
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:07 PM   #5
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Central Florida
Oddometer: 423
Triumph Scrambler

Very easy to ride, extremely reliable, easy and inexpensive to maintain,
only downside is it doesn't have ABS
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2006
Oddometer: 162
Buy a used bike and take the next year learning the ropes. You will very likely drop it while rolling it around the driveway or parking lot. There is also a possibility that you could experience an on road incident. Let's hope not but the statistics for new riders is not great.

If you buy it cheap enough you can learn a lot and beat the snot out of it while learning what this is all about. Then next year you will have a much better idea of which bike to get for the long run and test rides will be invaluable in your quest.
2014 Yamaha FZ-09
2014 Yamaha Super Tenere ES
2007 Aprilia Tuono
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:24 PM   #7
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Philadelphia P.A.
Oddometer: 140
Looking for First Bike Recommendations and Feedback

Klr, used, enjoy

Surfinpig screwed with this post 09-20-2014 at 03:25 PM Reason: too quick with tge thumb to send
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:19 PM   #8
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: The land of no:(
Oddometer: 69
You can't go wrong with the DL650. Great on the road and fine on the dirt roads too, especially with dirt tires. I'm amazed at what my son can do on ours. If you want better off road, go KLR 650 or DR650. Both also great rides and easy to live with. If you are taller, the KLR would be better. I'm 5'5" and love the DR.
We have all three in our family, and they're all terrific!
Go used, look for a garage queen, they're out there. I know, my DR used to be one:)

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Old Yesterday, 01:36 AM   #9
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Australia
Oddometer: 12
How tall and heavy r u? Good suggestions Above. I think the bmw g650gs is good value if u can't stretch to the 800. But I might b biased. Will have better road manners than the Suzuki DR but not as fun in the dirt.
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Old Yesterday, 12:57 PM   #10
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Colorado, Front Range
Oddometer: 33
I went used, and it made much more sense for my first bike. As others have said, find a garage queen. Save your money for upgrades to your next bike.
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Old Yesterday, 01:12 PM   #11
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2014
Oddometer: 134
for a first motorcycle I would definitely recommend a bike with no more then 650cc and under 200 kg (440 lb) of weight plus with low COG. Unless you wanna hurt yourself ;)

So forget about a tiger or GS, honda CBX500 sounds like very good choice.

if you got money I'd buy new. More fun, smells nice and won't break anytime soon.
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Old Yesterday, 01:21 PM   #12
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Palmer, ALASKA
Oddometer: 1,087
Also consider a gently used Kawasaki Versys 650. They are FUN and nimble on the road, more than capable of light fire road running, not very heavy, pretty decently priced, and everybody doesn't own one.
Palmer, ALASKA
1 Tim 6:11-12 "FIGHT the GOOD Fight"
2011 Verys ADV
92 FATBOY (in rebuild status)
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 PM   #13
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: NoVA
Oddometer: 2,349
I'll second what everybody else has said about buying used. But it is your money, and if you want to pay for a new bike more power to you. But money aside, a rider that stays with the sport doesn't generally stay with the first bike they buy. Not so much because they grow out of it, but because once they get out and ride they realize what they actually want out of a bike (I've had 6 bikes in 8 years as I still try to figure out my sport touring desires).

Not sure what part of VA you are in, but if it is NoVA you can bet you will be riding more street than you plan. $3-4K will get you a reliable bike that you can ride for a season and see if that type of bike fits your needs. If you sell it after a season, you will take very little loss.

A 650 thumper will do you fine, but it sounds like you are already aware you will want a more street biased bike. Personally, the only one you listed that I would buy new is the Honda because it is cheap and a new model (and has been getting great reviews). But a $4K Wee or Versys may also fit the bill. If your heart lusts for the BMW or Triumph, by all means go for it. But if you buy an F800 for $10K only to find out a thumper (or a Goldwing) would be a better bike, I hope you can swallow the loss when you sell it.
07 XChallenge
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Old Yesterday, 02:04 PM   #14
Joined: Oct 2013
Oddometer: 46
Lets not get caught in the nets of practicality. Your best options are clearly either a big twin harley or a hayabusa.

Were we to be practically minded, used KLRs, DL650 and other light 650s are everywhere. If new is your thing, some really great deals have been reported on the CB500 series. I think the local dealer has one of each, all around the 5600 mark sticker price.
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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM   #15
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Joined: Jun 2014
Oddometer: 195
When i noticed this thread and today of all days i felt i had to pass on this info, mate showed up this afternoon on his new toy an old YAMAHA Super Tenere XTZ 750 its the first one i have ever seen, and i took it for a ride. My first thoughts within a moment were what a fantastic first bike, it ws comfy on the road was plenty compitent and it felt so composed and stable on the tracks i felt like i had been riding it for years i was shocked at how much i liked this thing. Try and look one up i think for a first bike and esspecialy when you get off roading more eventualy as your post sugests you might do, it would be a good cheap first bike and a lot of fun for little money.
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