I know that I am sure you had the question before, in fact, I am sure I asked this question a few years ago on this forum. Anyways I am 32 year old, 5'11, heavyset (though loosing weight) man who decided he wants to buy a motorcycle. Though one of the few rules i have is that in my misspent youth, I got into debt, and while its not normal just to ignore it, I am now almost completely debt free and I am stashing over $250 a month into my "slush fund for fun", and anything to do with this I am going to refuse to go into debt, its going to be cash and ride. I have never ridden a motorcycle in my life, though I do know how to ride a peddle bike. I am the first to admit -- I know nothing, and I plan to zoom just locally for a summer prior to doing group rides or any big travels on the bike. I been reading all that I can while got my finances in order. Step one will be taking the MSF training class at the "Local" community college, which is a hour away. it is the closest class. After the class, I should have a better idea of what type of motorcycle I might want to get, but also, at that point, it will be time to buy the safety gear. I know I will be buying a full-face helmet, along with full body protection, (though don't know if I am going with something like a Olympia Stealth suit or a leather jacket and some sort of lower body protection more then jeans. Also don't know much about helmets except for what certifications to look for when buying one. Then comes the infamous question, which motorcycle should I be looking at first? I have asked around, but one thing I learned is that a lot of folks in person want to 1) Sell you there old motorcycle that they are trying to move, or 2) just crazy talk. I am not the most informed, but I know that a big Harley is NOT the best first bike for someone who never ridden. As a note on my riding area - I live in the high country of North Carolina (Ashe County), lets just say that highway performance is NA for this bike, as Ashe County roads are twisty and not overly high speed. I need a bike that you can turn safely, not one that can go 90+ on the freeway. Though I wouldn't mind going on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a nice ride. As I said, I am 5'11 (with kinda shortish legs, so might want to think of me as 5'9-5'10) and I am a big guy who been loosing weight (I would like to be 260, but I will be most likely 280 when I buy this bike) I have been looking at bikes at about 250-400cc. If I was to buy new (or almost new) then I would have stuff like a new Ninja 250, or the new Honda CBR250R. Great reviews, but I hate that "Rice burner" look. That, and I don't want to lean over for long rides, looking for more of a standard or cruiser sitting. Of course, if I was going by looks, it would be something like the tu250. But I am most likely going to be buying used, and I have not been looking at motorcycles long enough to know what would be a good used motorcycle. I am looking in the categories of Standards, Cruisers, and Dual Sports (If I am tall enough, as about 20% of the local roads are gravel roads. (Yes, I live in the sticks) I don't mind buying a older bike as long as I can get parts and its mostly reliable. Also the less expensive it is, faster I can get to the point of buying one. As for maintenance, I don't mind learning, but I want to learn to be a motorcycle rider, not a motorcycle mechanic. Also, I don't mind buying something that I might just sell later, as this is going to be a learner bike. (Of course, if it a bike that still a hoot to ride is a bonus.) So, what type of bikes should I look at? <-- Sorry if this is beating a dead horse, as I am sure you heard this question a billion times.